A Haunting of Ghosts

What's the collective noun for ghosts? We'll just assume that it's “haunting” and leave it at that.

Here are some pictures that were taken earlier today; during the last afternoon of what was, to all intents and purposes, the Halloween Weekend.

Our house is always full of ghosts. However, over the past few days, the collection has grown somewhat.

First, here's a picture of the pumpkin I carved – Lumpkin – in his natural habitat: overseeing the washing line. He looks a little bit like a troll, I know.

Here's a detail from the Garland of Ghosts. For the sake of supremacy, let's pretend I crafted them myself.

This guy was a gift. Wire him up to the natural grid and he's illuminated. Now, I want the opinion of anybody who's in any position to give it: What's going on with the bottom left hand corner of his head? There's a lump of some kind. To me it looks like his mouth's protruding in an “ooo” shape. Or perhaps he's sticking his tongue out? I can't be sure.

Here it is, my collection of ghosts. They're not individually named because I don't want to give anybody cause to think of me as a serial killer/disco mystic.

The twins converse with one of the luminous red ghosts here. The twins are interesting in that they both sport those fabulous capes and, should you tug them down from their chain links, they'll climb their way back up; chattering as they go.

That big guy, I think he was the first ghost I acquired. The little one before him is my pride and joy: A gift from America. I've arrived at a fantastic period of my life in that people periodically gift me with either ghosts or robots. I'm told I'm very easy to buy for, long may it last. The plastic candle to the right is a new acquisition. It cost a pound and, when you insert two AAA batteries, it flickered pathetically. It's stopped working now and will never work again, but I'm keeping it for the ghosts. I mean, just look at them.

The gaggle, here. Front and centre is the only ghost I own who doesn't look delighted to have transcended the mortal coil. Hiding behind him is a wax ghost candle I cannot bring myself to light. To his right a pair of salt shakers, one of which is black. Another gift, they remind me of a story I read when I was about eight. It was about a lonely ghost who lived in an attic. He had a rusty ring of keys which he could jangle to unlock any door he wished to enter. This ghost eventually turned black, a fate that befalls any ghost who spends too much time in the sunlight. The black ghost doubles, then, as a salt shaker and a warning for any ghost who wishes to sunbathe.

The stuffed ghost at the back, I'm ashamed to say, I liberated from a charity sideshow game. There was a man who said he could guess your age. You paid him £2. If he couldn't guess your age, you got to choose a prize from a boxful of goods at his feet. I took him up on his wager when I spotted the ghost. He said 24. I'm 25; so without a further word from either of us I snatched the ghost from the box and minced away.

I was later informed that he had given himself a year's bracket on either side of the age he was to guess. As a result, in saying 25 he had actually won the wager; which means that I'd inadvertently stolen a ghost from charity.

I don't feel bad. Had said ghost been sat on some white elephant stall I probably wouldn't have paid more than 20p. But for this guy I exchanged £2 and my dignity. The charity came out on top, no matter how you look at things.

This is the friendliest, happiest ghost I own. When viewed from outside it looks like he's waving at you. I realise that a good blogger would have taken a picture of that prospect, but it was raining and I'm not a very good blogger anyway. And besides; what have you done for me lately?

This one's made of gingerbread and was delicious.

This one's part of a trio of grim grinning ghosts; all of whom glow in the dark. In this picture you can also see more of the garland of multicoloured luminous ghosts as referenced above.

This one has space for a tea candle, and in our last house was attached to an in-built pulley system to achieve a unique “ghost mechanism”. He bobbed up and down when you pulled on a string.

Finally, here's my winning hand: A committee of ten foam ghosts for which I'm yet to find a use. With their sorrowful eyes and lack of mouths they're by and far the spookiest ghosts I own.

Before I die, I wish to open a museum of ghosts somewhere bleak and windswept. What you're seeing here is the genesis of my collection. It's too early to describe it as an “unhealthy collection”, but give it another year or so and you might be on to something.


  1. I bought you a ghost thing here in Sweden, but have so far kept it to myself as I like it. At some point I will do the right thing and donate it to its rightful owner.

  2. I'll get back to you on that...