We didn’t do Halloween when I was a kid. It was basically an American festival, not ours. We did do All Souls and All Saints though – it was a church thing.

But loads of people I know love Halloween and they love the chance to dress up, to scare each other (and themselves), to play. I like it because there is a sense of misrule, of Pan and Bacchus being abroad, and that always excites me, even as it unnerves me a little. (The image above is from Saturday, when Shelley and I – and several others – went dressed up/made up to Pilates … the way you do …)

So, here’s a Halloween gift.

It’s chapter thirteen of London Lies Beneath, it’s sort of a ghost story and sort of a love story and definitely a sea story. The book is studded with stories that feed the main narrative but some of them can almost be read alone, this one is the most self-contained.

Here are two pdfs you can download – one is pretty with the gorgeous book cover as a watermark, one is very plain in Arial (sans serif) for those who need/want a clearer font.

(maybe next year I’ll record and share my Mum’s scary song …)

with pretty watermark

no watermark and clear