Hallowe’en, All Hallows’ Eve, Samhain, Mischief Night, I love it in all its forms! The feelings I possess for Autumn, October and Halloween Night are unyielding. intangible and all consuming as soon a September comes around.
It seems as if a shift occurs on October 31st, everything becomes magical, mysterious and possesses a charming yet eldritch ambience. The mundane streets on which I walk daily become Lovecraft’s Arkham, buildings become imposing edifices guarding some terror, trees animated in howling winds seem to be whispering dark secrets, the moon seems to look down and smile, for it sees the spirits and creatures beyond the veil weaving into our earthly plane, it tells us to take shelter at home by the fireside, to take no heed of nightly noises, while only the foolish go out looking to be lead astray by flickering lights and sumptuous goblin feasts!
I am one such fool, a fool that loves old wives tales, historical traditions and customs. Halloween night is all about the dead, otherworldly beings, faeries and divining the future, all of which shall play a part in my Halloween this year.
It is said that if one stands at the crossroads on Halloween night, you may see funeral processions of those who will die in the coming year, or troupes of faeries who pose the danger of whisking you away to Elfhame.
It is said that if one looks through the window of a church on Halloween night, you will see the Devil preaching at the pulpit, and writing in his book the names of newly recruited witches!
So began my search, up and down the Lincolnshire wolds, for the perfect spot to be on All Hallows Eve, it needed a church, a crossroads and preferably a pub!
Day One – Clixby
View from behind All Hallows Church, Clixby
It seemed like the perfect place to start! Behold! There were crossroads, hurrah! There was a pub, and just a jog down the road was All Hallows Church, aptly named!
The church is redundant, and dates back to the 13th century. It is very small, as is it’s churchyard, and as I peeped inside it was all very quaint, two blue tits were flitting about inside from window to pew to font and back again.
In a way the church was perfect, secluded, open, out of the way and surrounded by creepy waving corn fields, but the corn would be harvested by October, there wasn’t a pulpit for the devil to preach at, and the crossroads were far too busy to have atmosphere. On to the next one!
Day Two – Thoresway
The name of this village captured me immediately, and happily it’s origins are just as interesting, according to Wikipedia the name may derive from:-
- Old Norse Þórirs vegr = “way of a Viking called Thórir”, or
- Old Norse Þórs væ = “temple of the god Thor”.
The village itself is enchanting, full of history and quintessential beauty. The church, St Mary’s dates from the 12th century.
Notice the Norman archway peeping over the hedge
Opposite were some very interesting looking barns, reminding me of New England.
A little way down the road is an old disused Victorian watermill, housed in this white building, it was open and I went inside, but I couldn’t get a good picture being up so close.
A little further down from this is a field full of earthworks, evidence of some ancient settlement perhaps?
Idyllic one might say, the crossroads were beautiful, so was the church, perhaps this is a good spot to be when the bell tolls midnight on the 31st.
Day 3 – Stainton Le Vale
I visited this village because of my search for more secluded crossroads, hardly frequented farm tracks that fitted into my idea of where supernatural things may appear, also the church was right on the crossroads, as opposed to some way away like the others.
The graveyard was beautiful, full of interesting gravestones and towering horse chestnut trees, but alas! Still did not possess the right ‘feeling’.
On the plus side, I’m sure any one of these place in the depths of night will take on another feeling, but for now, the search goes on.