Had a week off. I’ve been ill most of the week, Emily’s been very tired, Jon’s been very busy…. home ed just didn’t happen. We spent most of the week preparing for and planning Emily’s Halloween sleepover. There was a lot to do as we had to clear the entire dining room (and if you remember the Where Do You Home Educate post, you can see what a job that was….!), cover the walls and decorate, cook food including vegan recipes for one of Emily’s friends, and plan/prepare activities and games. An awful lot of work for one night and three children, but hey, we enjoyed it. Photos are here.
I *think* our guests enjoyed it, they certainly told us they had. The whole night was lit only by candles (before they went to bed) or one lamp (after bed), so it was very dark and quite spooky. The girls played a Halloween version of Mash, to find out who they were going to marry 😉 followed by testing their ESP with zener cards. Then it was on to candle wax divination – dripping candle wax into a bowl of cold water and interpreting the shapes. Next up was Blair Witch hide and seek – every light in the house was off and the three girls were armed just with torches.
Back to the spooky dining room after that for some remote viewing/psychic drawing fun, followed by Tarot readings for everyone. After that, they set off on a torchlit treasure hunt and had to find 30 Halloween top trumps cards I’d hidden around the (still pitch black) house – prize was a cauldron full of glow sticks, finger LED lights and glow in the dark silly string.
Candlelit supper was delicious, followed by an experimental version of the Bloody Mary urban legend. Our two guests declined to take a turn at that, but Emily had a go and shut herself in the bathroom with the mirror and candle while we waited outside. She let out an extremely convincing (pre-arranged) scream half way through the last chant 😉
It was about one in the morning by this time, and time to have a go with the angel messages board – a sweet, colourful, child friendly version of a ouija board, I suppose, with lots of symbols, colours and words as well as numbers, letters and so on. The girls seemed impressed with how the glass moved around the board, (sometimes) making sense or answering questions, although who was pushing it at which points seems open to doubt, since they all say they weren’t 😉
I’m sure someone, somewhere will be horrified at children using such an “occult device” – being married to a spiritualist medium, however, I get intensely irritated by all the rubbish spoken about ouija boards, all of which is nothing but urban myth or religious paranoia. Jon uses ouija boards on a regular basis in paranormal investigations and has also been given boards “to get rid of” by people who have been taken in by the hype. He still has them. If you don’t believe in spiritualism, it’s all just harmless, spooky fun and can be put down to the ideomotor theory (being moved by the participants, even unconsciously); if you do believe in spiritualism then there’s nothing to worry about in any case since the spirt world consists of pure love, not evil.
After that, we told spooky stories and the girls supposedly went to bed. Except they didn’t, and carried on playing around with dolls, angel board and various other bits and pieces until gone 4am. I should point out that I supervised the evening throughout and nobody had to do anything they weren’t comfortable with – for instance, neither guest wanted to do bloody mary, which was fine, one guest didn’t want to hide but only to seek and wanted to stop seeking too after a couple of goes, also fine, and so on. I was up all night, monitored all the girls for signs of being upset or genuinely frightened (as opposed to giggly spooked ;)) and frequently checked that everyone felt OK and nobody wanted to stop doing whatever it was they were doing.
Apart from the Halloween planning and being full of poorly, the week passed in a blur of editing, writing, shock and panic at an unexpectedly high tax bill, more shock and panic over new US tax rules which are going to cause us a huge amount of hassle with various American clients, and then more shock and panic over the realisation that our January London trip is going to cost three times as much as we’d budgeted for. So a fair bit of shock and panic, then. I’m hoping for a calmer and more productive November – but first, I’m looking forward to our family Halloween night tonight, with a scary film in the dark, a grown up ouija board and some creepy games 🙂