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Happy Halloween!

ghost light

Regular readers might recognise the bewitching pup in the picture… yes, it’s Barley, the star of our April blog!

When Barley’s older sister, Poppy, passed away last Christmas, Barley found it very hard to adjust to living without her. He got particularly anxious during the night. But, when his human mum Lucy brought one of our LED nightlight’s home to see if it would help, that all changed. The nightlight quickly became Barley’s best friend, and it wasn’t long before his night-time anxiety disappeared.

The April blog also featured a lot more information about pets and lighting and included a few things to think about so that your precious pets will feel safe and calm around your lighting and electronics. If you didn’t read it, you’ll find it here! (scroll down a bit and look for Barley’s photo; the blog’s called ‘Is LED lighting safe for our pets?’)

So, because it’s Halloween, and – as you can see – Barley loves getting the chance to dress up a bit, we thought we’d do something a bit different and tell you a spooky lighting-related story!

Have you heard of a “ghost light”?

If you’ve ever worked in the theatre, you almost certainly have.

A ghost light is a small, single-bulbed light that’s always switched on just before everyone goes home and the theatre is closed for the night. It’s usually some kind of floor lamp, and it’s always set up so that it illuminates the dark stage.

From a practical point of view, this makes a lot of sense. If someone is working late in the theatre, the ghost light will let them see where they’re going when they walk across the stage. Theatre stages have a lot of hidden obstacles like trap doors, bumps, and holes, not to mention props and scenery and often a big, gaping orchestra pit. If there wasn’t a ghost light, you could imagine the painful problems an unsuspecting work person might get into.

But there’s a more traditional, eerie reason why every theatre has a ghost light, too.

It’s widely believed that every theatre has at least one ghost. When you think about it, that’s not a big stretch of the imagination. After all, when you consider the hundreds of actors and stage crew who have worked in most theatres, not to mention the thousands of audience members who have come there to watch their performance, at least a few of them would probably have died here, right? You hear about famous actors dying on stage or backstage all the time!

Not to mention, the theatre was a happy place for all of those people. They loved it here when they were alive, so why wouldn’t they want to come back here when they’re dead?

And that’s the real reason why the ghost light tradition started, so – when the light was switched on – there would be just enough illumination for the theatre ghost to perform or dance on stage during the night when nobody else was around.

Some people believe in ghosts. Other people don’t. But, regardless of what you believe, isn’t that a wonderful tradition? There’s something beautiful and magical about it, and when you think that it still happens in every theatre, in most parts of the world, every night… isn’t that kind of cool? It’s a single, simple, unified act that shows so much respect for the past.

Barley’s favourite theatre ghost story

The Maddermarket Theatre, which is pretty much slap-bang in the middle of Norwich city centre, first opened as a theatre in 1921. However, it was originally built in 1794, and it’s said to be haunted by several ghosts.

Probably the most famous ghost is a monk, who has been seen many times around the building. He’s been spotted walking across the stage, opening and closing doors, and even moving the actor’s costumes around and hiding their wigs! But no one’s afraid of the ghost because he’s a very friendly spirit. Once, when an actor forgot his lines onstage, he felt the monk give him a hug to reassure him. More dramatically, the monk knocked a young actress out of the way just before a light plummeted down onto the stage exactly where she’d been standing, very possibly saving her life.

What’s the lesson Barley wants us to take away from all this, particularly if we’re the parents of children who might feel a bit spooked during Halloween?

“Ghosts aren’t anything to worry about. If you think you see one, you probably didn’t. Chances are it’s just your imagination working overtime! But, if it is a ghost, they’ve only come by for a quick visit to say hello and check you’re okay. There’s absolutely nothing to be scared of.

“And, if your little ones (or your pets) still need a bit more reassurance during the night, your friends at Oliver Lamps always have a fantastic selection of LED nightlights, animal-themed nightlights and fairy lights in stock.

“For example, our cute Canar duck has a controllable LED light and can be powered via batteries or a USB cable. It has a super soft and hygienic silicone body, and you can change the brightness of the light with a simple push of its heart-shaped button. That’s not just soothing for your child; it’s useful for you too, especially if your baby has to be changed during the night and you want to adjust the light without waking them.

“Or, if a duck night light sounds a bit quackers, check out the range of Petit Akio nightlights we have in store. Each Petit Akio nightlight features a different adorable character in a clear dome-shaped case, with the LED lights inside the character casting just the right intensity of soft, colourful glow. Is your child still finding it hard to get to sleep? No problem! The case is touch-sensitive, so you (or they) can activate the light with just a tap of a fingertip or use the inbuilt 15-minute timer. The nightlight is rechargeable, portable, and powered via a USB. What could be more convenient?

“Looking for more night-time decoration? Oliver Lamps also stock charming duck-shaped string lights, which are perfect for hanging above your toddler’s bed or around the walls of their bedroom. After all, when your child wakes up from a scary dream, there’s nothing like a garland of endearing light-up-the-dark friends to reassure them that everything’s okay and put them back to sleep.”

Excellent work, Barley! We’ll make a lighting salespuppy out of you yet!

If you’ve got any questions, or if you’d like to find out more about the incredible range of lights, light fittings, smart lighting and home furnishings we’ve always got available in our showroom and online, drop into our shop at 26/28 Oak Street, Fakenham, call us on 01328 855028, or email [email protected].

After all, there are plenty of tricks happening this Halloween season, so why not come to Oliver Lamps for some treats?!

Happy Halloween!

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