A Spooking

Genius loci – the atmosphere of a place can be felt, partly due to our perceptions fed by lore, history and geography and partly by something not quite tangible, maybe the subconscious. Sadness leaking from an abandoned house, raindrops on a grave, an injustice born, they all have an atmosphere. So when a flock of jackdaw caw around the cloud-stained skies above Newchurch-in-Pendle of an October morning, we should be excused our quiet affirmation of a memory reaching back to 1612.

The crows cry from atop tractors and trees, chimneys and church spires before flapping their glossy black wings against the pewter skies.

Now the winds have combed the leaves off tree-branches until they reach like gnarled fingers into the humid autumn air, more than just textures are exposed, but the remnants of livestock sinking into the dark, spiced earth, covered by moss and rotting leaves.

The veil thins at Samhain, or Halloween, so legend has it, and we find ourselves spooked and enriched by the possibilities hiding in early darkness and nightly mists.