Fireside Tales Told at Halloween

Our home place in Aughagreagh, North Longford – since done up by its current owners – was the site of supposed hauntings, but not as many as the nearby farm of Willie Carty’s, my dads cousin…

Stories of North Longford families,
Of folk then dead and gone –
Were told to me when I was young
By those who have now passed on…
The woman and wains on the wall,
The snarling dog neath the old womans bed
The rattling buckets in the sheugh
The tales of haunting by the dead…

They thrilled and scared me in my childhood years
I retell them now when older…
Take great joy when a foreign freind
Tells me I scared his wife (not the kids!) with tales I told her
And their family that first Halloween,
When such tales should be told…
Keep alive and share the tradition and the joys
Of storytelling that never grows old…

Background –

As with many families, we had many ghost stories to tell. TV horror films were never needed on an October night, when tales from our families from North Longford of headless horsemen at the Corn mill, or the big tall man at Willie Cartys gate were regaled by my parents… each having their own set of tales from their families, though they were near neighbours.

In the age of internet and TV, this skill – its only talking, telling stories, really – is being lost, and more is the pity. My favourite tale of telling these tales is the first year my friends from Slovakia came over, I told all our tales to entertain the kids. The father pulled on me the next day – “No more scary stories please”. I was delighted, thinking the kids had nightmares and couldn’t sleep. Oh, no… it was even better. “My kids were OK” my freind said… “my wife… she no sleep!!!”

Im officially banned from telling ghost stories to any of their families since!!!

(Note – links over the ghost tales references lead to verses about the ghoststories)

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