Gleefully ghoulish and ghostly greetings to all, God help us!
Welcome to our  Hallowe’en and Samhain edition. If this is your first issue, many thanks for joining us and if you enjoy our musings and meanderings, please feel free to forward them on to your family and friends.
Meanwhile, are you ready for Spirit Night?  Here in our Ohio Valley, Mother nature is being kind to the Trick or Treaters  with a dry but cold evening predicted.  That’s unusual for these parts as it’s often wet and miserable. Not that nasty weather  would ever bother the wee witches and goblins  (even if their chaperones don’t look too thrilled).  
We’re expecting a good crowd including some of the grandchildren which is always a treat for us. Then, when  all the kids have been and gone,  we’ll extinguish the pumpkins, draw the curtains and relax for a while with  a pint or two for Russ and a few glasses of wine for Bridget. Also in the plans  is putting into practice an old superstition to find out if we’ll be  in good health until next Hallowe’en. Each of us will take a perfect ivy leaf and place it in a cup of water where it will be  left undisturbed until tomorrow morning. If our leaves are still perfect and don’t have  any spots on them, we should be in fine shape for the next 12 months.  
ED. NOTE: If any and or all of this newsltter seems familiar, we had to resort to our archive because of severe  time constraints ( and perhaps too much merry-making at a wedding we went to last Friday evening. We are still recoverig. 
ONWARDS:  We hope all of our readers in the Republic enjoyed a safe and happy bank holiday weekend and we wish everyone in the UK the same for Guy Fawkes Night on November 5th. Bridget well remembers as a little girl going with friends to Wimbledon Station in the days before November 5th  with an effigy of what looked more like a scarecrow  than the Gun Powder Plot conspirator. We’d prop him up against a wall so people could see him as they passed by. We’d then cry out “Penny for the Guy, Penny for the Guy!” Do they still do that?  What little money we made was used to buy fireworks and our poor misfortunate effigy was burned on a bonfire. We can’t imagine kids being allowed to do that anymore.  Enough of the blather- on with the update ...
Quips, Quotes, Proverbs & Toasts
A Bit of the Wit
Joke of The Week
Did You Know
Know Your Writers
The week That Is
Leave 'em Laughing
Irish Ghosts & Tales from Ireland
Paranormal ireland
Describing ireland as "an emerald jewel in the paranormal crown", this site offers a comprehensive database featuring haunted locations all over the country.
Haunted Britain & Ireland
Intended to be the most comprehensive listing of British and Irish ghosts on the internet, the content on this site has been exhaustively researched and provides those who seek the mysterious with an unrivalled resource of true ghost stories.
In honour of All Saints Day - November 1
Jack & Vivian Hennessy of The irish Page offer a lovely tribute accompanied by the hymn Be Thou My Vision - one of Bridget’s
favourites. Please click
Hallowe'en Hangman
The old classic with a wicked twist. It's worth getting the letters wrong and losing just to hear the comments and see the end result! This one came to us by way of our good friend Hartson Dowd. Go raibh maith agat!
Four great games for the season that's in it
Including: Bone Crusher, Remove the leaves, Find the Candle and Halloween Blast!
Real ghost photos - Real ghost stories
Hollow Hill is one of the Internet's oldest and most respected sites for ghost hunters. They specialize in haunted sites that you can visit.
"Midnight has come and the great Christ Church bell
And many a lesser bell sound through the room;
And it is All Souls' Night.
And two long glasses brimmed with muscatel
Bubble upon the table. A ghost may come;
For it is a ghost's right..." 
William Butler Yeats - All Souls' Night. 
Here's one that's as old and musty as we are - but it's funny all the same: 
Paddy, Sean and Seamus were coming home from the pub late one night and found themselves on the road which led past the old graveyard. "Come have a look over here," says Paddy, "It's Michael O'Grady's grave, God bless his soul. He lived to the ripe old age of 87." "That's nothing," says Sean, "here's one named Patrick O'Toole, it says here that he was 95 when he died."! Just then, Seamus yells out, "Good God, here's a fella who was 145!" "What was his name?" asks Paddy. Seamus lights a match to see what else is written on the marker, and exclaims, "Miles fromDublin."
Paddy was walking through a graveyard when he came across a headstone with the inscription "Here lies a politician and an honest man."  "Faith now," exclaimed Paddy, "I wonder how they got the two of them in the one grave."
1. Ireland had its own werewolf legend? These creatures were believed to be the souls of the damned who had rejected the teachings of St. Patrick. 
2. For centuries, an unholy ringing sound coming from a gnarled old oak tree on windy nights terrified the people of the County Down village of Kilbroney? In 1885, the tree was blown down and the source of the ghostly noise was discovered - a golden bell hidden in the hollow of the trunk by a monk hundreds of years before.
3. The Devil's Bit mountain near Thurles, County Tipperary, is so called because Satan, furious at finding no wicked souls in Ireland, supposedly bit a chunk out of the rock as he flew over it?
But first off to our last mind mangler:
My first is a number, my second another,
And each, I assure you, will rhyme with the other.
My first you will find is one-fifth of my second,
And truly my whole a long period reckoned.
Yet my first and my second (nay, think not I cozen),
When added together will make but two dozen.
Q. How many am I? 
A. Four Score
As always we were flooded with answers both correct  and ahem - not. First in was Patrick from Antrim. Well done! 
And now for our next bit of skulldeggery: 
 You can find me in darkness but never in light.
I am present in daytime but absent at night.
In the deepest of shadows, I hide in plain sight.
Q. What am I?
Please send your answers to Bridget and put Riddle in the subject line. Thanks!
First off, the answers to our last quiz::
1. Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchy
2. The Last Galway Hooker by Richard Murphy
3. The Irish Way:  A Walk Through Ireland's Past and Present 
A tip of the hat and a round of pints to :
Pauline Dewberry
Tom McGuire
Mary Halloran
Helen Dowd
And now - how well do you know  the following?
1. Ghosts of the FaithfulDeparted
2. Ghosts In Irish Houses
3. True Irish Ghost Stories
Shopping Section: We’re pleased to announce two new sources for Irish gifts. Blarney Woolen Mills is world famous and we felt it a great compliment when they approached us about advertising on our site. What’s more, Irish Culture & Customs customers will receive $10 off their first Blarney Woollen Mills purchase over $50 when they use promotion code ICC2011. Visit our Blarney  page here:
Our second new advertiser is Celtic Wedding Jewelry based in Dublin. You will find them in the top righthand corner of our wedding page here:
They signed on for just a month to see if we can generate any sales for them. Fingers crossed,  our loyal subscribers will see to it that Celtic Wedding Jewelry stays with us.
2. County News: The bits and bobs that used to come by mail are now on line here:
3. National News: We keep two week’s worth of headlines and links here:
4. Trivia Contest: Time’s running out to enter the October competition. All entries must be in by midnight, tonight no matter what time zone you live in.
September’s winner was Judi Jemison USA who chose for her prize the JamesJoyce print generously provided by Dublin artist Roger Cummiskey
5. Article: An Irish Hallowe’en
6. Article: Triple Treat for Hallowe’en
7. Articcle: Creepy Irish castles & houses
8. Article: Creepy Irish Creatures
9. Article: The Dullahan, Ireland’s Headless Horseman
10. Article: Something Wicked This Way Comes
11.   Article: Samhain - The Irish New Year.
12. Article: The Day After Samhain - All Soul’s Day
13: The Irish Kitchen
14. Basic Irish: Halloween & Samhain
15. Kids’ Ireland: A Wolf Story 
16. Music Review: Phil Coulter - Heartland
Heartland CD giveaway extended!
Send an email to Bridget at: 
Please put Heartland in the subject line and you'll be automatically entered into a drawing to win one of three CDs, courtesy of Mr. Coulter.
Drawing will take place in mid-November
17. Circle of Prayer. Our third Novena in this cycle began on October 25th and ends on November 2. Please add Clint Shockey to your list of prayers or meditations. Clint is the husband of Kim, mom to our daughter-in-law Sarah. He was diagnosed with cancer in July and since then, the prognosis appears to be very bleak. As opposed to our usual long litany of prayer requests, we think it might be better to focus on just one individual. What do you think?
So there you have it until we write again - probably around the middle of November. If you were married in October or plan to tie the knot this month, here is your special verse:
If in October you do marry,
love will come but riches tarry. 
We know this only too well as we were married in October and we’re still waiting on those riches if what is meant is financial wealth. The truth is we have been richly blessed in so many other  ways.
Married in November - or looking forward to saying I do? here is your special verse:
If you wed in bleak November
Only joy will come, remember.
If you are celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special event between now  and when we write again, we hope it's an occasion filled with joy and happiness.We’ll ’ll take our leave with a wish for a very happy Celtic New Year to you and yours and an  old blessing edited and adapted for Hallowee’n:
At all Hallow's Tide, God keep you safe
From goblin and pooka and black-hearted stranger,
From harm of the water and hurt of the fire,
From thorns of the bramble, from all other danger,
From Will O' The Wisp haunting the mire;
From stumbles and tumbles
and tricksters to vex you,
May God in His mercy, this All Hallows protect you.
 And, as they say in Ireland, mind yourself. 
All the best & God Bless,


Bridget & Russ

Leave ‘em Laughing

Just got this one from our good friend Bill Crotty -  his timing could not have been more perfect. Thanks, Mr. Crotty!
Last week my elderly next door neighbor who lives alone told me he was invited to a Halloween Party. He's a nice old guy, but he's got a wooden leg from a WW 2 injury, he's bald as cucumber, and a little goofy at times. He told me he didn't know what costume to wear because of his bald head and his bum leg, so I suggested he go as a pirate.   I told him to wear a red and white spotted handkerchief to cover his bald head and with his wooden leg he probably would win the door prize for best costume. He called me the next day and said he thought I was a little insensitive about emphasizing his wooden leg and asked me to come up with a different idea.
I apologized for offending him and told him Bev and I had kicked some other ideas around and thought he should wear a monk's costume. The long robe would cover his wooden leg and, with his shiny bald head he would look like he just walked out of a monastery.
Two days later he knocked on my front door. When I opened it I could tell he was not happy. He said he thought we were way off base since we had gone from exposing his wooden leg to emphasizing his bald head, and that furthermore he is a Baptist and would never go as a monk. I told him I was sorry and would give it more thought and get back to him. To tell you the truth I was getting a little ticked off at his attitude.
So, yesterday I called him, but he wasn't home, and I left the following message on his recorder. I told him that we had tried our very best to please him but we had obviously failed, so our final suggestion was a bottle of molasses and a bag of crushed nuts. Pour the molasses over your bald head, pat on the crushed nuts, stick your Wooden Leg up your backside and go as a caramel apple.