The night that farewells October

Witches garbed darkly and riding sprightly broomsticks, awesome black cats with arched backs and glaring green eyes, and fearful, furtive goblins one knew were about but could not quite catch, were abroad, we are almost certain in tonight’s inky darkness. Indeed since our earliest recollection of this last and most intriguing of October’s nights, we find that it has been no trouble at all for us, to hear and almost catch sight of these fabled creatures in the strange spell that has been, and we confess is still wrapped about Hallowe’en. When out of doors in the usual expectant silence and clam of its dark, we are aware of its mystic charm nor indoors with the dark closed out does it lose any of its fascinating. Dimly lit rooms are prevaded [sic] by a strange air which makes the pleasantly eerie, and if we chance to come to a mirror to tuck in a straying lock, we find our eyes searching for a sight of James’ face at a shoulder even though we know that at the very moment he is on some detaining mission away from the house.

Yes, mysterious and always fascinating we find this night which farewells October, and even in the midst of the happiness that is ours at Alderlea – surrounded as we are by our children and children’s children – somewhat nostalgic for the Hallowe’ens of childhood, now left far behind in the years. We find the in verity that spirits walk-shades of those we once knew come back from those olden days clothed again the flesh, young and eager and gay as they were then, those whose wakings now are only names on our lips, or faces in memory. They that we regarded as good or perhaps not so good and yet blessed with many an endearing trait and loyalty, as we recall them, when with us they ran happily and carefree with the pack that were wont[sic] to roam “the hills of home” on bygone and well remembered Hallowe’ens.

                                                   -Ellen’s Diary, November 7, 1949