March and early May were freezing. Going out at night to run a ghost walk is always a challenge in the cold months. Smaller groups and down to minus zero, I wonder how long I can keep this up for. Knees hurt, back hurts, hands are frozen even with thick gloves on and everything is stiff with cold. But yet and yet... there is never a time that my heart doesn't start to sing when I get out of the car and take in the view over the Bay. An epic panorama of cliffs, sea and sky, never the same twice, ever changing. Extraordinary, dramatic, breathtaking. It has a song.
It is impossible to run a guided walk of Whitby without delving deeply into its relationship with the sea and surrounding landscape. This is a place that was forged from the mud, blood, rocks and oceans of existence..bent, bowed, subjugated and honed by the elemental forces of nature. It is a living mythology.
Halloween... It is said that there was a time, perhaps not so long ago, on the eve of this festival of all festivals.. when the whole land was overrun with spirits, bogles, knockers, spectres and ghosts, hobgoblins, clabbernappers, kitty-witches, jack-o-lanterns, jinny-burnt-tails and apparitions of every possible shape, form, fashion, kind and description; that there was not a village in England that had not its own peculiar ghost. Every lone dwelling place with a story to tell had its bogle, its spectre, or its knocker. The churches, churchyards, and crossroads were all haunted. Every country lane had its boulder-stone on which an apparition kept watch at night. Every common had its circle of fairies belonging to it. And rarely had a night watchman not seen a spirit...
As we sink into the glories of autumn and Halloween begins to loom, the ghost walks are in full swing. But I haven't really said much this year about my favourite walk - the Walking Tour of Whitby. I meet with so many interesting people who privately book this tour and often get to know them a little better than the good folks who come on the ghost walks, because there is a personal connection made during the booking process.