Does Halloween make you think of things beyond the imagination? Like ghouls, goblins, monsters, vampires, witches, werewolves, and ghosts? For many it’s a time to decorate the house with pumpkins, put up lights, hang animated props, listen to Monster Mash and tap into your childlike “spirit” by dressing up in costume, or living vicariously through the neighborhood kids as you hand them treats.
It’s one of my all time favorite holidays. What could be better than costumes, playing a character, candy, kids and spooking each other out? A highlight of the year, especially when it’s foggy. Since Halloween is a mix of ancient Celtic practices, where bonfires were lite and costumes worn to ward off roaming ghosts, befitting the tradition I spent Halloween or Samhain, once in England. In London, I visited one of the most haunting cemeteries: London’s Highgate Cemetery, dug into a hillside overlooking London, with an imposing Victorian-era archway overgrown with shrubbery, it leads into a stone tunnel lined with catacombs. The darkness eventually gives way to a circle of sunlit vaults staged around a 300-year-old cedar. It’s both spooky and Poesque eerie.
Highgate Cemetery has been the backdrop for numerous horror films, and it’s accessible only by tours, which includes a visit to the newer graveyard sites, a maze of decaying tombstones covered in dense greenery and topped by oversize statues ranging from the carved-stone grand piano above one musician’s grave to the gigantic bust of Karl Marx adorning his own resting place. For not being a proponent of materialism he was given quite a bourgeois tombstone!