Sunday, October 31, 2010

Marie Treanor’s Halloween Haunt

Happy Halloween! Or should I say Scary Halloween, because after all, that’s why we love it. Halloween’s fun where I live. It’s a village and so the kids are pretty safe to roam around knocking on doors – one of the crowd always knows someone in most of the houses!
 Although Scottish tradition has got a bit mixed up with American in recent years – our kids will now greet you with “Trick or treat!” when you open the door – they’ve kept the basic Scottish concept of “guising”, which is that you have to do something for your goodies. In the last few years we’ve had singers, some amazingly well choreographed dancers, the odd short and gruesome play, and joke-tellers galore. The deal is, they do their act and you reward them with sweets etc – I suppose it’s a hangover from medieval travelling “mummers” who would disguise themselves and entertain.
They wouldn’t be kids, of course, if they didn’t try and scare each other witless in the process, and I suppose that’s what we lose as adults. Even at Halloween, catching sight of all your neighbours’ kids, however ghoulishly they’re dressed up, just doesn’t frighten you. For that, I think you need atmosphere. A nice, gothic ruin of a church, maybe, surrounded by an old graveyard, where the creatures of the night can play undisturbed…

Like this one, maybe: St. Andrews Cathedral, which was the setting for my climactic Halloween battle scene in Blood on Silk. It’s a huge ruin of what must have once been a magnificent structure - as befitted the ecclesiastical centre of Scotland – dotted and surrounded with graves. Begun in the twelfth century, defiled and deserted in the Protestant Reformation, then neglected and cannibalized for a couple of hundred years more, this building has seen a lot of history!



You feel that today, wandering through the grounds. Especially at night, the Cathedral has an atmosphere all its own, at once peaceful and awe-inspiring, with just a hint of menace. It’s one of these places where the past can’t help but intrude on the present. The perfect place to encounter ghouls, ghosts and maybe even vampires, in the misty darkness of Halloween…

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25 comments:

Jennifer Mathis said...

oh I love the idea of the kids doing something to earn their treat

meandi09@yahoo.com

Judy said...

I love hearing about all the traditions from here to other countries!!

I love the cover of Blood on Silk!!


Happy Halloween everyone!!!

Carlie Angelus said...

Blood on Silk is a haunting title, nicely done!

I totally agree with you about what we lose as adults. The magic of it all is so easy to get lost.

Kinda like at Christmas how the thrill now belongs to the kids and it is so hard to hold onto as adults.

Great post!

--Carlie
carlieangelus@gmail.com

Brandlwyne aka Brandy B said...

I love the pic of St. Andrews Cathedral and I love Scotland it makew me want to read Blood on Silk even more. I love being scared I think that is why I love Halloween so much!!!

-Brandy
brandyzbooks@yahoo.com

ladydi6497 said...

Traditions are so interesting to learn about. I love to find new facts about things that we do today.

That cathedral does seem like it would have a lot of nighttime activity.

Thanks

dbarskey(at)hotmail(dot)com

Jean P said...

St. Andrews Cathedral would be a perfect place to wander around and get really spooked. Love the cover on your book.

skpetal at hotmail dot com

elaing8 said...

Great post.
Love the Blood on Silk cover.
elaing8(at)netscape(dot)net

Cathy M said...

The atomsphere there must be amazing. I have too good of an imagination and don't know that I would be brave enough to wander there alone.


caity_mack at yahoo dot com

Jessica Subject said...

You're right, setting has a lot to do with tension and fear. Wonderful cover for Blood on Silk.

LORETTA CANTON said...

It is nice to heard about another country traditions and see how the are like our own.

loretta

lbcanton@verizon.net

Virginia said...

I love Scotland. I tend to read a lot of stories set there. Great cover for Blood on Silk.

Margay said...

What a gorgeous cover for Blood on Silk! Very eye-catching.

Margay1122(at)aol(dot)com

Lil said...

I had the fabulous opportunity to visit England,Scotland and Wales. It was wonderful to visit castles, abbeys, churches and the vaious ruins. Really fired up the imagination.

little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

Rae M. said...

That's sounds like so much fun! Unfortunately where I live Halloween seems to have dimmed to the point where I can't even see how it can be that much fun for kids anymore. I mean it's still daylight when they go out for crying out loud! Well at least there's still candy.

rachaelgwen(at)yahoo(dot)com

joder said...

I love seeing how other cultures handle the holidays. It sounds like they have to work a bit harder for their treats than we do.

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

Tabitha Blake said...

I love the feel you get at Halloween time. The thrill of being scared is great.

careydoucet@yahoo.com

Maria said...

I guess that this dates me but when I was a small kid growing up we always had to do a "trick" to get the treat...now kids just come to the door and have no idea what a "trick" is really about...it's a shame...love your photo of St.Andrews:)

junegirl63(at)gmail(dot)com

*yadkny* said...

Hi Marie,
That is an awesome setting for a battle scene!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
yadkny@hotmail.com

Stacy said...

Great cover, elegant yet sensual. That alone makes me want to read the book but the ruins only adds even more appeal. I've walked through ruins and towns/cities all throughout Europe and love the history one can feel emanating from the physical. Nice.

aamassiah@gmail.com

Marie Treanor said...

Thanks for all the kind comments about my post and the cover for Blood on Silk! Great to hear about your Halloweens too.

Maria, thanks for explaining about the "trick" part of the "trick or treating." I'd always imagined the idea was that if the kids didn't get their treat they'd play a trick on you! Sounds like our traditions aren't so different after all.

Oh and talking of ruins, St. Andrews Cathedral in particular, my new cover for the sequel to Blood on Silk - Blood Sin - actually has the cathedral ruins as background. You can check it out on my website, if you like, http://www.MarieTreanor.com/books.html.

Nice talking to you all! And Annie, thanks for hosting this amazing event!

Marie

Linda Henderson said...

I think that would be wonderful opening the door to singing instead of kids screaming trick or treat at you. Halloween in Scotland sounds wonderful. Beautiful picture of the old cathedral, I bet it's stunning in person.

seriousreader at live dot com

Victoria said...

That is some cover. And if I looked that good, I would ware a backless, red dress too!
Great set-up for halloween on the setting!

vickykerr@sbcglobal.net

Beth said...

I've been to a couple similar places here in the states(most famous one I've been to is the Alamo), though they probably aren't as old as that Cathedral. But you can just feel the weight of history in them.

Kim S. said...

Happy Halloween everyone!

Blood on Silk looks so good, I look forward to reading it. And, I was so wishing I was in the town you were tonight, Marie. Or at least able to visit this wonderful ruin you spoke of! ;) We've had no children in our neighborhood looking for treats for many years. :(

thewildtwo @ gmail [dot] com

Annie Nicholas said...

contest is closed