31 October 2015 by Vasil Valkov

Ghosts Of Halloween Past

Vasil Knife True AgencyMy first Halloween was in 1991. On the morning of Oct 31 I touched down at Kennedy airport. One way ticket - Kathmandu to New York. I had decided it was too early to become a Himalayan monk, and instead chose the Big Apple.

That evening I lost my friend in the horrific crowd (no pun intended) at the Lime Light – a gothic church converted to a nightclub in downtown Manhattan. Next day it took me a lot of new acquaintances to track down my friend. And that’s how my decade-long stay in the city that never sleeps began.

So Halloween is special for me, it signifies a crazy new beginning. For my first Halloween agency party I was repeatedly reminded to arrive in costume. Most likely, because my attitude betrayed eastern orthodox arrogance to the unfamiliar, slightly pagan celebration. So it being my first job, I ardently followed instructions. I donned my trophy Driza-bone Australian trench coat (my tribute to spaghetti westerns) – grabbed my grandfather’s 10” hunting knife and burst into the agency’s reception at 9 AM - face fully covered with a black balaclava.

I put some extra effort into the attack of the receptionist (most likely corresponding to her high level of attractiveness). Physical fear quickly replaced her smile when my knife penetrated the reception desk. As a result of my monstrous enthusiasm I was promptly taken to the ACD’s office. There it was explained to me that I couldn’t bring real knives to work.

And so it went for another 10 years – best part of which was walking through Manhattan a 4AM every November 1st, and seeing all the strangeness come out in full swing.

Today I’m in London – and it's about to hit again. British Halloween. What should I expect? Union Jack waving scythes? That made me think, what else happened on Halloween besides bad costumes and tipsy vampires? I googled. I learned. I give you it:


445 BC - Ezra read the Book of the Law to the Israelites in Jerusalem 


1517 - Martin Luther posted 95 theses on Wittenberg church – beginning the Protestant Reformation


1541 - Michelangelo finished painting The Last Judgement in the Sistine Chapel.


1892 - Arthur Conan Doyle published The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.


1914 - Great Britain & France declared war on Turkey


1922 - Benito Mussolini (Il Duce) became premier of Italy


1940 - Battle of Britain ended


1940 – Was the deadline for Warsaw Jews to move into Warsaw Ghetto


1940 - 63 U boats were sunk (325,000 ton)


1952 - 1st thermonuclear bomb detonated at Marshall Islands


1984 - Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated.


2003 - Bethany Hamilton, a surfer aged 13, has her arm bitten of by a shark in Hawaii


2011 - The world population reaches 7 billion inhabitants according to the United Nations



Enjoy yourself – whenever - wherever you are!