Why do we celebrate All Hallows Eve?
Celts believed that on Samhain, the walls between our world and the spirit world became thin enough to allow ghosts to pass through and damage their crops. All Hallows’ Eve began in the eighth century as a Christianised version of Samhain. Christians would honour saints and pray for souls who had not yet reached heaven.
Who you gonna call?
Members showed what great sports they are by wholeheartedly throwing themselves into the spirit of our Halloween themed meeting on 31 October. All sorts of awesome and creepy creatures turned up, including terrifying ghosts, a couple of zombies, a coven of witches and a She Devil. Just as well we had out very own ghostbuster there – Martin Langdon.
A spooky video, inspired and created by the talented Dave Henson, set the spine tingling scene. As the lights dimmed, thunder clapped, lightning flashed and skulls and scary images were projected onto the curtains as an eerie voice welcomed fellow ghostmasters to Bromley Spookers.
Our president, Christine Morrell, AKA The Spirit of Fear, opened the meeting with a warning that fear defeats more people than anything in the world. She declared that as it was a celebratory evening for the spirits, she would spread some goodwill and share her secrets with us mere mortals on how to overcome the thing that most people fear more than death itself – public speaking!!
She warned that if we run from fear, the fear will grow but if we face up to our fear, we will grow.
‘Do the thing you fear and death of fear is certain’.
With this in mind, it was onto an evening devoted entirely to the ultimate fear of our Ghostmasters – TABLE TOPICS!
There would be no escape for anyone – we were all in this together. And to give everyone maximum opportunity for impromptu speaking, two evaluators would be randomly selected to evaluate each table topic on the spot.
To take some of the chill out of the air, our Wizard of Warm Ups, Neil Pettigrew, got us all confessing to our worst fears which covered a wide range of scary spectres and phobias including snakes, the dark and Donald Trump!
Our first foreboding Table Topics Master was Vinu Madhavan – the Bewitched Enchantress. She welcomed us to her telestore with the warning that, as it was Halloween, she needed to sell all its items. If she failed, we would all be engulfed in flames and perish. To save us from this horrific fate she invited her team of presenters to the stage to deliver sales pitches for all the items to be sold.
Each and every Ghostmaster took on the challenge with relish and delivered some very persuasive reasons as to why we must buy a whole range of unlikely items, including LED curtains, an acrylic painting and a skeleton costume for dogs.
Black cats are the assistants of witches – never let them cross your path!
We barely had time to recover our breath in the break before we were launched into the second Table Topics session. Now we were into uncharted and very dangerous waters as the deadly Martin Langdon, dressed as a black cat, presided.
There was much shivering and quivering but again the Ghostmasters rose to the challenge, launching into explanations of such supernatural situations as to what they might do if attacked by a werewolf or dealing with the disaster of inadvertently running over a neighbour’s cat.
The Ghoul-Tossing Club
It all took on a very surreal turn when Richard Green and Dave Henson revealed they were long standing members of the Bromley Ghoul-Tossing Club and that David – or was it really Richard? – has a penchant for wearing frilly pants.
It was a tough contest but prizes for the best table topics speakers for the evening were awarded to Sue Shaw for explaining why we needed to buy a black-out eye mask and David Hampton for his passionate and persuasive plea for an end to discrimination against ghouls.
David, who slinked silently into the meeting, totally unrecognisable as a truly terrifying ghoul, also won the prize for best costume.
Well done everyone for taking on the Toastmasters scary monster of Table Topics and emerging victorious. As always at Toastmasters we picked up lots of tips and tricks on speaking along with plenty of treats.
Bromley Speakers meets at Ripley Arts Centre, Bromley on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Thursdays of the month, at 7.15 pm.
For more information please email us