Halloween is the night of les chorchiéthes (witches) and les r'vénants (ghosts). In the past, people were very frightened of les chorchiéthes and of les chorchièrs (wizards) although they might well consult un tchéthaud (white wizard) to rid themselves of a spell cast by someone with lé mauvais yi (the evil eye).
It was not just les gens du grand sang or les gens du Vendrédi (collective terms for witches) that scared people. In the days before l'êlectricité (electricity), les motos (cars) and les veues dans la rue (street lighting), people imagined all sorts of things that went bump in the night. One of the best known is lé tchian du Bouôlay (the dog of Bouley) - an enormous black dog with eyes like saucers which followed people and was supposed to presage a storm. Another monstrous tchian (dog) was lé tchico - the dog of death.
Lé ouothou was a strange monster which seemed sometimes to appear as a werewolf, à maintchi houmme et à maintchi loup (half man and half wolf) and sometimes as a ball-like creature which rolled along les c'mîns (the lanes).
Parents used to warn les mousses (children) not to go near wells - sensible parental advice, but especially since wells were la d'meuthe (the home) of a creature called la cocangne which would reach out with its long bony fingers and pull children under l'ieau (the water) and drown them. Mêfi'ous d'la cocangne! (Watch out for la cocangne!)
La blianche femme, or la blianche danme, (the white woman or the white lady) was a white phantom which would leap out at people as they walked around the lanes of an evening. Mais lé pus souvent, pathaît-i', ch'tait tchitch'un habilyi dans un lîncheu! (But most often, it seems, it was someone dressed in a sheet!)
One spook to avoid at all costs was la vioge, a malevolent spirit which was supposed to drag people to their doom. Those of a less nervous disposition may care to visit La Ruette à la Vioge in St. Peter after dark and see if anything leaps out!
N'ayiz pon d'peux! (Don't be afraid!)
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