Fall festivities abounded this weekend. The Fall Fest was fabulous. The sky was blue and clear and the temperature was just right for doing fun stuff under the trees. We had over a dozen teen and adult volunteers helping 60 or more children and their parents and grandparents. Children decorated pumpkins, made paper bag gargoyles, listened to books, pelted a beautiful cut out castle (designed and painted by Sally Onopa) with pom poms, ran the Knight's Relay, dressed up like knights and princesses and tormented our poor teen dragon. When I figure out how to post photos here I will add some. There were mysterious touch boxes, a charming fortune teller, two talented face painters and an impromptu audience participation storytelling presentation, too. Magnificent!
Then, I hurried off to Little Pond Retreat Center for the Lehigh Valley Storytelling Guild's Fright Night Bonfire. WOW! what a wonderful night to sit under the stars on the top of a hill around a crackling, snapping bonfire! The sparks looked like orange fireflies and they rose 20 feet into the air. The night was just cold enough to make the fire seem cozy. The storytellers, Mary Anne Paterniti, Vicky Town, Chaz Kiernan and myself, were awesome. (Well, THEY all were awesome. I played the accordion!). Our MC, Larry Sceurman, did some magic and told personal reminiscences of the tricks he played on Halloween. I love his stories.
I was never a big fan of scary stories - not as a child - not as a teen - not, now, as an adult. You won't catch me reading Steven King or Dean Koontz. Real life is scary enough. Anyone who has ever sent her children off to school for the first time knows just how scary life can be. And then there's your teen's first solo trip as a new driver. The very thought turns more of my hair white.
So, creepy things oozing from the walls, evil lurking in the subways??, um...no thank you.
HOWEVER, I actually like telling scary stories. They are not my favorite stories to tell so it takes me forever to find the perfect stories. The tales I told on Saturday came from Ghosts Go a-Haunting, a collection of Scottish ghoul yarns collected by Sorche Nic Leodhas. I have used Alvin Schwartz's collections, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, etc. for some great spine tingling-ness as well. Later on this week, I will pull together a list of books that concentrate on ghost stories and witch lore. So, stay tuned!