Fear factor

HALLOWEEN looms again. A time of ticklish terror when the ‘Yikes!’ strike. Though setting only one day aside for the shakes and shivers seems a tad passe. If 2020 proves anything, it’s that fear is an all-year round activity.

Who needs a pumpkin glowing in the yard when an orange President glowers on the White House lawn? And mischievous trick-or-treating youngsters are no longer the only ones in masks. Pesky facial coverings are de rigueur on trains, buses, cafes and probably soon to be worn snoozing in bed. (To be safe, wear one in your dreams, too.)

The Diary has long understood that horrors aren’t merely Halloween shaped, as the following tales of everyday dread, culled from our spooky vaults, prove.

For instance, a reader once hissed at us, in a most sinister fashion: “If Glasgow’s such a great place, why is there a travel agents on every corner?”

Body count

THE following yarn was told to us as a humorous aside. Though for some reason we were reminded of those Edinburgh based ne’er-do-wells Burke and Hare.

“I was ordering goods online and stupidly used my donor car instead of my credit card when giving my details,” explained a chap, who added, “It ended up costing me an arm and a leg.”

Gruesome greens

NOTHING is quite so horrifying as child-rearing. A reader was once in a posh supermarket in Glasgow’s west end and overheard a woman remonstrating with her young son, who was impish rather than impeccable in behaviour.

In exasperated tones, this flustered lady said to the fiendish little fellow: “Be good – or I’ll buy extra broccoli.”

You tube

THE scariest thing about young folk is that we were once them, hard as it is to believe. The manager of a Glasgow office asked a youthful member of staff to find him a bulldog clip. So the callow mooncalf emailed his boss a YouTube video of a rather Churchillian looking hound wearing a Union Flag bowler hat.

Unhealthy viewing

HORROR movies aren’t the only scary things on screens. We recall when NHS Grampian launched a website providing sexual health advice. Due to the graphic nature of some of the information, Grampian’s own staff were informed they shouldn’t attempt to access the site using an NHS Grampian computer.

Fishy tale

AND now a story to compete with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. “I don’t understand the fuss about genetically modified food,” said a woman having coffee with friends. “I had a lovely leg of salmon the other day.”

Class act

WHAT goes on in a classroom can be chilling. Especially for the teacher. A reader once told us that when he was at school, the teacher asked the class the best way to keep milk fresh. One young scholar, no doubt destined for great things, piped up: “Keep it in the cow.”

Little drip

GALS can be gruesome. We once overheard a woman arguing that a mutual friend’s boyfriend was a tad short. Or as she declared: “Small? Put it this way. When it rains, he’s the last to know.”