The Editor,

I suppose we could do like last year and be taphophiles for Hallowe’en. Taphophiles are like tombstone tourists, interested in cemeteries because they teach so much, such as historical periods, family genealogy, tombstone inscriptions, and epitaphs, all of which can say much about the person without speaking. We’ll do exactly like many people do who like to visit, stay in touch with and honor the departed. Hallowe’en is an especially good time to do it, around All Saints and All Souls Days. It is thought that souls of the departed are freed to roam for a day at this time, a delight after the yearlong confinement. We think the practice differs somewhat though, from the study of androids, leprechauns, and unicorn legends. We’ll do it early in the evening before supper. We won’t go all out with fireworks, music fests, costumes and buffets, such as is done in many towns and cities around the world. We’ll just saunter around, read engravings, maybe converse quietly in our heads with the permanent residents of the place and be glad for their one day of freedom. We’ll probably collect dates, epitaphs, and any small pieces of advice to take home to supper for conversation. The few pumpkins we leave there on some of our relatives’ and friends’ graves won’t flare like IBM’s but will glow warmly all night, lighting the way, signaling the time to start the exodus. We’ll leave with each of our personal baggage to congregate later for our customary taphophile pot luck supper of meatball mummies, toxic waste salad, spooky shepherds’ pie, and creepy crawly cupcakes. We always make extras in case surprise visitors drop in.
Happy Hallowe’en,
Claudette Hay,
Lachute, QC