Evening falls and the last hues of dim sunlight fade behind the church steeple while residues of daily life begin to settle in for the night, taking shelter under a layer of mist.
Enticed by the wind, fallen leaves break into a dance of their own, floating around grisly tombstones and hovering cautiously over time-worn epitaphs.
The grounds are deserted but for the occasional crow pecking at leftover floral offerings.
Unease creeps into the atmosphere causing even the trees to shudder, and waves of gloom penetrate the growing darkness.
The church door creaks open and a gust of wind sweeps the damp floor, chilling the already ice-laden air.
The rain, which had started off as a drizzle, now batters relentlessly against the stained-glass window.
Left for defeated, a tenacious candle flickers anxiously in a puddle of wax, desolate and unsure whether the occasion is merry or eerie.
A knock resounds, faint at first, like a gentle tap repeating itself and resolving into an irregular pattern as the churchyard gate, whipped up by the wind, swivels, its weary hinges bursting into a doleful screech.
A sinister sigh ripples in the dead of night and creepy whispers echo throughout the graveyard. Blood-curdling murmurs spread, increasing in intensity across the burial ground, their seed an ominous prediction.
Ghosts, ghouls and every variety of ghastly creatures drag themselves out of their resting places.
In their wake, they cast long, gnarled and distorted shadows, swallowing up the reminiscence of human presence, the last shreds of which are reduced to a shiver.
The stench of decay rises and dread fills the skies.
The cemetery is permeated with impending doom as the most anticipated, and the most feared, time of year dawns – the night of all Hallows’ Eve.
The boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead has dangerously thinned to a sliver, opening up the gates for the undead, shifting its balance from one realm to another.
It’s thriller night!
You have set foot on accursed ground and, as damnation closes in on the scene, a surge of terror pierces your body. Your last thread of hope vanishes as you watch, horror-stricken, fate envelop you with its deathly shroud.
For all your desperate efforts, it is too late and your screams are a waste of breath. Your lot has been cast where it belongs…
But whether it be cheerful or spectral, tucked warmly under a fluffy blanket, candy trading or braving malignant spirits, ’tis the time to enjoy the Hallowe’en season, a holiday unlike any other!