The shops are filled with garish costumes and the faces of ghouls, ghosts and witches line the aisles of most supermarkets as the children prepare the celebrate the season. It is a time for fire crackers, toffee apples and the breathless excitement that is Halloween. But there is another side, and one that will never change, and that is the sight of the candle in the window of most homes, as they light the way for their lost loved ones. As the flame cuts through the darkness, we want them to know that there is light even in the darkest place, and they are not forgotten. Names will be whispered about around roaring fires as we remember better times and better people. Many a tear will be shed, as on this night, when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest, our loss is somehow more profound. There is nothing strange or sinister in these beliefs, as here in Ireland, we live happily side by side with all manner of creatures be they ghost, wraith or banshee. So, we wait, as the dark nights come creeping in to honor our dead and leave an extra log on the fire before going to bed—just in case.
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