Happy Halloween! Will you be dressing up today for work or play? Perhaps escorting little ones around for treats? Telling spooky stories or watching horror movies? Well, as we’ve discussed before, Halloween might not have been a typical celebration in nineteenth century England, but that didn’t mean the lads and lasses back then didn’t enjoy a good scare!
Every town, it seemed, boasted its local ghost or grisly creature. Black dogs, either evil or kindly, were popular. Take the story of the Mauthe Doog, from Peel on the Isle of Man. The large, curly-coated spaniel was said to haunt Peel Castle, to the point that it would come into the guard room each night and settle by the fire. The tale was immortalized by Sir Walter Scott in Peveril of the Peak in 1823, only he made out the dog to be a large mastiff. Either way, hundreds of tourists flocked to the castle for a chance to see the fearsome pet.
Most of the great houses had resident specters. At Arundel Castle, the Blue Man haunts the library, looking for a good book. (Does it never end?) Residents of Kenilworth Castle have spotted the ghost of a little boy in the stables as well as ghost horses and, ahem, ghost chickens!
Be careful out there tonight.