'Tis the night -- the night
Of the grave's delight,
And the warlocks are at their play;
Ye think that without
The wild winds shout,
But no, it is they -- it is they.
~Arthur Cleveland Coxe
It's hard to say when it came to me, but it haunts me day and night, and not just on Halloween. I know that it's not the spirits that reflect their apparitions onto our windows, the ghouls that trespass beneath our stairs, the wisps of ghosts that spin through our kitchen, the poltergeists that caress the afterlife in our coat closet, or even the multitude of phantoms that possess our pantry.
I actually love living in a haunted house. Oh, but for me, the haunting, haunting, haunting comes from the mess they leave in their wake!
It's their spooky ectoplasmic remains left on our tiled floors they travel -- worn and left dim, pale and filmy blue like the glaring eye of a vulture. Whenever the haze falls upon them, my blood runs cold.
I cautiously stare at the tiles as they taunt me with their cloudy film. I walk over them and hear their slight moan, a groan of lethal fright. Not just a growl of torture or woe, but a whimper of un-dead feet, bone chillingly moving over the 175-year old tiles, the bone crushing "crunch" of ceramic-against-ceramic sound that silently cuts through the night with its low, stifled clattering.
Arising in the night from their horrid screams, or sometimes their quiet siren's songs -- at midnight -- when the rest of the world sleeps, I hear deepening, dreadful echoes of terror that distract me from my slumber...the patter of lifeless footsteps. (How do you tell a ghost to wipe its feet...heh? I can't even get my partner, Richard to do that!). But even as I lay frozen and keep still -- barely breathing -- accompanied by the horrible hush of our 1833 house, strange noises from footsteps excite me to uncontrollable panic.
Waiting in the nighttime darkness until a single dim ray of moonlight appears through the skylight -- like the silken thread of a black widow spider -- falling upon the tiled flooring, igniting a glare upon the surface that mimics the scavenging eye of a raven...again I see the haunting dull blueness with that telltale gruesome veil that chills me to the very marrow of my bones. (Clean-freak that I am, I even have nightmares about this kinda' stuff!)
But no matter, slimed, veiled, bloodied, soiled, or stained by the likes of Beelzebub, fiends, evil spirits, imps, mischievous sprites, or just the day-to-day foot traffic of family, friends and pets -- the tiles of my haunted dreams are actually easy to keep clean:
Maybe it's the incessant cleaning that makes me a lunatic (out damn spot!); or maybe it's the shrieking souls from the fiery depths of hell that leave their footprints on our hallway tiles that taunt me to madness.
What makes me insane on Halloween or any other nocturnal hour? I'm not sure...that's for you and the creatures of the night to decide. (Deep scary laugh...)
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