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What's a Halloween?

31st October is a very popular holiday for children and filmmakers in most of the world. It's roots can be traced back to Celtic culture in Ireland. According to their "Druid" religion, November 1st was New Years' on their calendar. The celebration would begin on October 31st, and last into the following day. The spirits of all who died in the prior year, would rise up and roam the earth on this night.

This is an evil night when spirits roamed the streets and villages. Lord Samhain, the lord of Darkness, would arrive in search of the spirits to take them to the underworld. Halloween as it is currently celebrated with costumes, trick or treat, and superstitions, takes from this Druid Holiday.

We don't do all that because we have enough monsters on the streets. But does it matter? Heck no! It's a day that gives us the opportunity to revel in one of the most entertaining pastimes - ghost stories. Nothing brings more people together (except maybe a public beating) than a collection of spine tingling tales. And that's why we decided to take you on a trip along this spooky route.

Spooky encounter

The fishy fish

This is a story I heard from my father about a night 25 years ago. The premise is familiar to me, as are the characters, so I have no reason to doubt its unusualness. But the conclusions you draw from it, are up to you. I'll just present it as I heard it:

It was the late December or early January. Robbani and I were roaming around Sunamganj like we had nothing better to do, which incidentally we didn't. My MA was done and Robbani had just finished his BA. His older brother was my classmate, but my friendship developed with him for some weird reason. He had a motorbike, which fueled our wings and we'd “hang out and addafy”, as you kids nowadays put it, till late night. After that, we'd normally head back to my place, a village just outside of town. My mother would always be awake and she'd warm us some food and maybe fry us an egg and we'd eat and hit the pillows. As you know, we later married in the same family. But those were golden days. Merry, young, carefree…we were on top of the world.

This particular night, we were crossing the bridge at Dhopakhali. In the earthquake of 1897, the ground cracked here. My great-grandfather is said to have fallen in to the crack. But the incoming rush of water from the River Surma, which ran nearby, pushed him back up again. It is a fantastic story, and probably a fabrication. But the fact that this canal was formed by that Earthquake is recorded in Government records. It's also fairly obvious from the steep incline on both sides of the canal. On the eastern side, at the junction of the canal and the river is the shoshan ghat or cremation ground.

Anyway, on this cold night, Robbani and I were heading home at about 2-3 AM. The moon wasn't big, but it was bright and the sky was cloudless. Robbani reduced the speed as he came to the bridge and I looked down into the canal. During winter, the water in the canal would dry up to such a point that it'd be about 2 feet deep and about 3 feet wide.

There was a huge silvery fish moving in the shallow water. We were 60-70 feet up, but we could see its fins and it's tail foaming the water. I prodded Robbani and he stopped. I pointed to the fish and smiled. He grinned back. Dinner was on us tonight. He went down into the canal near the bridge and I went down near the river. The water was freezing, but we didn't care. We could see the fish. It looked gigantic. And it couldn't escape because we'd blocked both ends. It was so huge that I don't think it could've turned properly. We started moving towards it. Both of us advancing slowly. No way it can get away from us. We could see the dorsal fin above the water. We moved closer and closer and closer…and we were face to face all of a sudden. 'Where'd the fish go?' Robbani looked at me. The water around us was filled with broken earthen pots. 'Where did all these come from?' I asked him. With eerie synchronization, both our heads turned to my right. With mounting dread we realized the pots were from cremation rites and we were standing right next to the shoshan ghat. It towered above us, seeming to draw from the otherworldly powers of an unholy place, filling our minds with inhuman terror and our legs with lead.

I don't remember how we got up that hill. I remember Robbani gunning his little motorbike up to max speed and almost flying our way back home. It's a miracle we didn't crash against a tree or something.
We couldn't sleep for two nights.

By Kazim Ibn Sadique

Cool, crazy and clueless

A ghost mouse
Well not exactly but then again, exactly. You hvae a fascination for ghosts. You may even hunt for them. You may be like those guys on TV that use laptops to detect ghosts. Well, you need a themed mouse to go with it.

It is made by some Swiss company. It has the basic 3-button optical functions at roughly $34.90. With an 800dpi sensor, it makes for precise monster shooting action with your PC games.
Rated: Very cool

Be a ghost buster
If you have to look for really crazy gadgets or anything crazy at all then you simply look toward Japan. They are leaders in innovation but sometimes they take that lead a little too far. What you see here is a ghost detector and it's quite popular. You can even use it as a decoration piece for your mobile phone or if your imagination really takes flight (or fright) you can just wear it around your neck as jewellery. Apparently it was tested in a spooky graveyard in Japan.

If someone unearthly is around you, the gadget will blink red and make a warning noise. Of course, it has not yet been tested on other unearthly beings like aliens. But I think aliens only go to America. Japan is just a place they blow up as an example.

If the place is safe blink thrice and stop. Apparently it also saves you in some way. Look for Baketan ghost radar online for further details.
Rated: Would I be crazy to even say it is crazy?

Hunting with Windows
You're deep in your downloading activities late at night and suddenly your PC acts funny. A ghost? A virus? A ghost of a virus? Who knows! But if you feel spooks are around, this USB Ghost Radar is what you need.

The device has an array of sensors and alert lights, as well as a very complex algorithm for detecting the paranormal which analyses the sensor data, factors in biometric feedback from your skin, makes lunar-cycle adjustments and many other things. Did you understand that? Neither did I.

Costs roughly $60 for a 128MB to store your ghostly readings. It's a handy way to keep track of all the ghosts that are living around your at your expense.
Rated: Clueless

By Sadia Islam


Lady in the mirror

Who can forget the scary story of Bloody Mary, the evil spirit who will scratch your eyes out when summoned? Most people heard the Bloody Mary legend when they were children, listening to spooky ghost stories around the campfire. The tale is still told at slumber parties, campouts, and late-night bonfire parties. The legend claims that the evil woman can be summoned by chanting "Bloody Mary" into a mirror anywhere from three to one-hundred times in a darkened room lit only by a candle. (Thirteen seems to be the most popular number of chants, appropriately so.) The bathroom is the most popular setting to test out the legend, but other dark rooms seem applicable.

After the given amount of chants, the spirit will then appear in a mirror and claw your eyes out and death will follow.

Other variations have her driving you insane or pulling you into the mirror, never to be seen again. Who Bloody Mary really is remains a mystery. While there are many versions of this story, most accounts point to a woman named Mary Worth, who was horribly disfigured in a car crash. Some people still tell of a witch who was burned at the stake and has returned for revenge, or it may be the devil himself who comes for your soul.

The Bloody Mary Legend saw some rising popularity with a variation of the story in the 1992 movie "Candyman" that used the idea for its plot. When the characters chanted "Candyman" in the mirror 5 times, he would appear and murder them with his hook hand. The movie "Urban Legends" was released in 1999 and borrows the Bloody Mary myth once again, for one of its stories. There's no doubt, the horrific tale will appear again, perhaps in yet another version with a different twist. While you may think you're safe from mean old Bloody Mary, think again... Legend has it that if you are near a mirror in total darkness, she can still come for you, regardless of whether or not you're trying to call for her.

By Philo

Boo-hoo Q&A

Q: Where do baby ghosts go during the day?
A: Dayscare centers.

Q. What do you get when you cross Bambi with a ghost?
A: Bamboo.

Q: Where do ghosts buy their food?
A: At the ghost-ery store.

Q: Where do ghosts mail their letters?
A: At the ghost office.

Q: What kind of street does a ghost like best ?
A: A dead end !

Q: What do you call a ghost's mother and father ?
A: Transparents !

Q: Why are ghosts bad at telling lies ?
A: Because you can see right through them !

Q: What did the ghost teacher say to her class ?
A: Watch the board and I'll go through it again !

Q: What did the polite ghost say to her son ?
A: Don't spook until your spooken to!

Q: What do you call a ghost with a broken leg?
A: Hoblin Goblin.

Q: What kind of mistakes do ghosts make?
A: Boo boo's!

Q: Why did the ghost go to the amusement park?
A: He wanted to go on a rollerghoster !

A lantern of V8 fire

What do you think of when you see a pumpkin? Jack O Lantern? No? If you think of cooked pumpkin with daal bhaat then this is not for you.

A Jack-o'-lantern is typically a carved pumpkin. It is associated chiefly with the holiday Halloween, and was named after the phenomenon of strange light flickering over peat bogs, called ignis fatuus or jack-o'-lantern. In a jack-o'-lantern, typically the top is cut off, and the inside flesh then scooped out; an image, usually a monstrous face, is carved onto the outside surface, and the lid replaced. At night a light is placed inside to illuminate the effect.

Now if cars, mean fire breathing cars, are all you can think of then nothing beats this pumpkin. It's got the brand new Dodge Challenger carved into it. This example is provided by Dodge and it doesn't exactly show off their pumpkin chopping skills, but they've at least included a stencil for you to try it yourself.





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