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Thinking inside the box

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The Horrors of Filing!

Talk of hauntings, spooky goings on and the BBC’s Strictly Halloween “special” mean our thoughts are turning to all things orange as retailers bombard us with pumpkins and trinkets galore.

It’s all seen as harmless fun, but some places lend themselves a little more to Halloween than others. Most of us will have experienced a slightly unnerving sensation when browsing in a quiet library – someone is watching us! Usually it’s the CCTV or even the librarian quietly making sure the books are being treated with respect. Perhaps there is something about long rows of books or files that set our imagination racing. There are many tales of haunted libraries including Bristol Central Library.

The library stands in College Green next to Bristol Cathedral, one of England’s most famous medieval churches dating back to 1140 when it was founded as an Augustinian abbey. The whole of College Green, including the cathedral and the library is said to be haunted by the ghost of a monk who is often seen walking wearing a grey habit.

Most stories from witnesses tell of the monk wandering out of the cathedral’s main door on to College Green, before disappearing in to the library. The library stands on the site of the old Augustinian priory and while the Augustinians wore black habits, some believe this grey monk may have been visiting the priory in life. He’s also spotted in the library itself going through theological documents. The monk entered the library through a bricked up door way which is one of the original entrances to the priory.  Who knows if he will make an appearance on 31 October?

Halloween represents a time of remembrance and continuing bonds with those that have passed away. Its origins are poles apart from the modern day ‘Americanisation’ of this celebration.

The word Halloween dates from about 1745, it simply means ‘Saints Evening,’ a mixture of the Scottish word ‘eve’ or ‘een’ and the English All Hallows (The Feast of Saints).

But further back than that in the Pagan Calendar it is linked with Samhain which is from the old Irish for ‘summer’s end. During these festivities the passage tombs of their Neolithic forefathers were lit with flaming torches. It was also marked with great gatherings and feasts. The ancient burial mounds were opened and these were seen as portals to the Otherworld.  The festival also paid tribute to the souls of their deceased family members who they believed visited the house, and food and offerings were left out for this. The families even laid out a place for them at the table during the Samhain meal.

The thought that the souls of the dead would return home for one night of the year and must be appeased is actually prevalent in many cultures around the world.

In Christian Society Halloween is the evening before All Hallows Day on 1 November and All Souls Day on 2 November. This time is used for honouring the saints and praying for the souls of the newly deceased. In today’s traditions many of us have a house decorated with a carved pumpkin, but this tradition was not carried out until mid-late 19th Century in America. In Ireland and Scotland a turnip was used, immigrants to North America then started using a native pumpkin which was much softer and easier to hollow out.

You won’t find any carved pumpkins on the shelves at Filofile. We make sure all your documents are stored safely in a climate-controlled environment free from any spooks or unwelcome visitors!

Our facility is monitored 24/7, linked into Police and fire services and fully ISO 9001 compliant, storing your files off-site with Filofile adds an extra layer of security.

What’s more when your files are no longer required by you we will ensure all records are safely shredded and recycled so any confidential information cannot pop up again to scare the living daylights out of you – we will leave that to the Halloween trick or treaters!

If you would like to find out more about how Filofile can help with your Document Management, contact us today.

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