Those pictures of Highgate are beautiful, Hobbes. Thanks for sharing them. The ones in your last post are touching, though, to the point of poignancy.
I gather that Highgate is very old. Thoughts of ancient cemeteries reminds me of an old "army days" story that's appropriate for Halloween.
Years ago during my first tour of duty in Germany (before I met A.M.), a few buddies and I headed downtown to Bobligen to have a few beers and carouse with the local women. We stayed out until very
late, and when we were heading back to the barracks at about 1 a.m., we decided to take a shortcut through a section of town that we normally didn't frequent.
As it turned out, our path took us into an ancient part of the city, and we discovered a huge
cemetery that was surrounded by very high hedge rows. The occasional glimpses we caught of the cemetery's interior was rather foreboding. It was pretty obvious that the place had quit taking new occupants hundreds of years ago. To sum it up, the place was extremely
creepy to a handful of young American soldiers who were somewhat intoxicated.
Matters weren't made any better by the fact that there was a section of the street where a streetlight was out (a very rare thing in 1980's Germany). And so, there we were... walking through the eerie darkness, past an extremely creepy cemetery. Everyone got really quiet, and I'm guessing that we probably picked up the pace, a little bit.
You know how, in the movies, they always say that a place was, "Quiet. Too
quiet." Well, that's where we were. That's when the guy at the front of our little group slowed just a little, and started to turn toward the rest of us, to say something over his shoulder.
"You know, this place gives me the cree-..."
He never finished his sentence.
Suddenly, his body violently jolted toward the hedge, right beside him, and with a blood curdling scream, he kicked and thrashed as he began to submerge into the sinister darkness of the hedge. His screams sounded like he was being eaten alive
by something. Oh, Lord, we were both shocked, and absolutely terrified!
At least, for a couple of seconds. That's when we realized that he was laughing like a maniac at our reactions. Of course, he'd deliberately lunged into the hedge, screaming. All it took was our heightened edginess and the dark and creepily sinister atmosphere to be totally taken in by his prank.
Happy Halloween, everyone!