As a celebration of the season –
enjoy the following digitally enhanced photos of our farm and those who “haunt” it, as well as the 38 stanza poem which captions the anecdotes and tales from the valley…
As All Hallow’s Even approaches
The stories ’round Blue Bell’s base
Are told & retold countless times –
New Denmark’s spooks we face
Here in the leafless, misty vale
And on Blue Belldon Farm at large
It’s lately been fog and twilight’s twigs
All haunted souls in charge!
When a window in our house
Becomes a gothic silhouette
We look for other ghostly signs
Wait! There’s an evil boy’s face there, yet!
We think it looks like Richard
When just a young lad, LONG ago!
Was he possessed? Does he tap on glass?
And what is the meaning of the crow?
When twilight hunkers in
And catches splashes of yellow and blue
The witches flying ‘long Rte. 3-80
Stop by to mix their brew…
And when we go to Sunday church
(Ours is on the right)
We explore behind, the graveyard there
With distant hills in sight
But, beside the many Danish names
Stands out an English one-
The famous Lucy Whitehead.
Like a witch, for all she’d done.
For more upon her story,
See my writing back in March
About this mid-wife of the vale
And Lucy’s Gulch of pine and larch.
Her tale is rather haunting
Rather sad in such a way
Because she had to share her life
In a manner frowned upon today!
When first she started out to help
She perhaps looked a bit like me
But she grew old and grey and ‘witchified’…
As she worked her magic and mid-wifery!
Another sad and haunted soul
Doth haunt this valley’s mists
Her name is Greta Jensen
Of the Danish-settler’s lists
So pretty once was Greta
That the lumberjacks did swarm
To take her to the dances
And to admire her lovely form!
But Greta drowned in Lake Edward
One cold October night
And she now returns in ghostly form
To give us all a fright!
Speaking of frights, what else is there
That Rich and Jewels have seen?
Well, there’s a poltergeist out in the barn
Who’s nasty in the extreme…
He looks a lot like Richard, too!
As if he’d put on a cloak with dagger
But when he takes a swing at you,
You’d better backwards stagger!
Whether we look east to rising sun, (above)
Or west to violent sunset (below)
The colours and swirls make us marvel,
‘Til the bats’ flights make us fret!
Besides bats, there are spiders,
Which hang just outside my panes
And my friend Anne shall keep away
Until I’ve rid them from our lanes…
But I love the nature of their webs
And the flies they swallow down
Perhaps a few less insects
In Blue Belldon’s house to crown?
While many ghosts appear as us,
Joy’s likeness to a crone
Who comes from Macbeth’s Scotland,
Like a moorland witch, alone,
Instead of in a threesome
Like those whose cauldron boiled
For the Aberdeenshire crofts
Is where her ancestors have toiled.
And across the valley, as seen above
There’s often tramps and crones
Who are followed by familiars
Who expect to munch your bones.
The dog is black as all the night
Like Baskerville’s Hounds of old
He’s huge and always growling
To approach, you’d be quite bold!
A spell was put upon him, though
By the cat whose limpid eyes
Can well deceive the cunning
When the test-tubes mix their dyes!
And, what frightening sight did Richard see
When chemicals passed o’er him?
Was there a ghost, or something worse?
The lighting was so dim…
A spate of highwaywomen
Who robbed the travellers in the gulch
Have been apprehended on their rides
And the sheriff turned them into mulch
And then forced Julie to clean and polish
All the tack and livery
And indeed the boots of riders
Who passed by in revelry.
There was a reason why he did this-
She was, he said, at fault, you see
For offering up the homestead
With her wealth of hospitality.
For when old ghosts and witches
Cross the paths of thieves and ghouls
The souls of the dead come forth in full
And those who welcome them are FOOLS!
When lights emerge from valley mists
These aren’t fairies to open hearts to;
They are brutal monsters, like Shelley’s freak,
No matter how much they look like you!
And when the cozy fireside’s warmth
Doth call you to its side
Don’t trust that poisons aren’t brewing there
Best leave the punch untried!
For even the good-natured scarecrow
That may wink at you from our door
Can take on evil concepts
When the herbal brews do pour…
And when organic artists
Who’ve come to Julie’s door in past
Can make their spooky offerings
In the crow’s tree come to last…
Then we know it’s time for innocence
To stand protected in the gloom
Of Blue Bell’s darkening shadow
As October draws to doom.
Julie may keep on writing
Her tales of olden memories
Of souls that lost the struggle
And of crows hidden in the trees…
But we all know the photos
Only speak of half the tale;
That the words that may be written
Next to the TRUTH, may often pale…
For the hauntings will continue
In the valley of the Danes
Where Blue Bell first was settled
With cries of horror and blood stains!
(Not really, children – I made it all up. It’s a lovely tranquil valley. Richard and his chainsaw are the only things to be concerned about… to watch him on his famous invisible one, which is much safer, see: