I wonder if you would be interested in a Fall Mantle; an understated Halloween nook that respects the dead without letting the creepies and crawlies in. As much as I like the element of dark and evil pumpkins, I dislike webs and critters and spiders and skeletons strewn all over my house. They just don’t do the trick for me. In my culture, its not even a good sign, having them around, apart from the fact that I am a little scarety-crow when it comes to calling ghosts. Have had real encounters you see and I can assure you that it is not good and it has nothing to do with orange and black toffee! There will be no spiders or zombies; there will be no walking skeletons but a silence and an unseen presence that’ll make your blood will curdle even in the brightest of daylight. It is not a good feeling and hence, pretty pumpkins carved with cookie cutters is all my neighbourly spirits would get to see.
Infact, why don’t I tell you a story before I tell you how to cut the pumpkins with cookie cutters. A story where I almost fainted with chills running down my spine, sweat running down by brow and eyes refusing to believe what it has just saw.
It was 1999. My sister was in senior year and I was in school. And back then I was not the way I am now- lazy and all. I was sincere and so was she, reading up till 4 at night almost everyday. We were the ones who found out that there was something wrong.
Our windows used to rattle at 3 in the morning, everyday. The window overlooking the red bungalow at the end of the aisle with the wash basin felt scary- like someone’s looking at you from other side of the glass…at first, this was all that got our attention. But slowly and very steadily the nuances of paranormal grew. We heard noises, whispers, and by noises I mean the kind of noise you hear when on the floor above you someone drops small iron balls, repeatedly at 2 in the morning. The rattling of windows reached its hilt… one day I switched the diner lights on and found a fat cat on our dining table staring up at me. What’s more nerve wrecking is we closed all the doorways and windows immediately but could never catch or find it. The disturbances became so prominent that it was getting difficult for both of us to keep it to ourselves. This is when we told dad.
Although dad didn’t tell anything to us about what he found out, soon we found out that he’s applied for a transfer and we are moving from the house. He was with the government, as the chief engineer for civil. That was the last day in the house.
Our things were packed and ready to be transported and we were all sleeping in the hall. It was about 1 when I heard a tumultuous weather outside. There was no electricity, the inverter ran out on power and the little blue light by the corridor by some act of mystery has turned into a light pink. This is also when I heard the roof door banging.
Could it be a thief? Being an educated woman growing up in a free society free of superstitions and inhibitions, that was the first thought that crossed my mind. Grabbing the stick by the door, I embarked upon this solitary journey only to find out that I wouldn’t have to try so hard to find out who was banging the door…
I was standing on the first floor landing…I could hear someone’s coming down the stairs. A straight stairway that it was, you could actually see if someone’s on the other landing. I rose a few more steps and waited for the being to show- it was pitch black on top. Believe as you must…but in the light of the darkness and in the occasional bright lights from the lightening, I could clearly hear a heavy step descending, not 2 meters from me and all I can see is “nothing”. That is how brave I am- I dropped my stick, ran to the hall, woke mum up and sweated like a pig. Fever followed and it left me after 3 days straight.
CUTTING PUMPKINS WITH COOKIE CUTTERS
Sorry about that! This is why you you came here…
HOW YOU”LL CARVE THE PUMPKIN
First, cut it from top with a knife and scoop out the hibijibies.
Next, place a cookie cutter on the surface of the pumpkin and lightly hammer it till only half an inch of it is outside the pumpkin. Now, with a plier, pull the cookie cutter out. Lightly press the pumpkin portion that has been cut out, back and take the pulp out.
What should I leave you with today then? Do you believe in ghosts? Have you ever encountered such? I’d love to hear.