Halloween Tales From Orkney: ‘Dead Men Tell No Tales’

In response to the previous article in this series, Halloween Tales From Orkney: ‘Authority Was Flouted’. the ‘youth of Orkney’s country parishes’, wrote a letter to The Orkney Herald and Advertiser on 4th of November 1931.

“This is an infernal misrepresentation, sir, and we are sorry that we cannot express ourselves more strongly. We are not degenerate; our escapades are far more madcap and dare devil than were those of our forefathers – decidedly so, but the fact is that the old men of Orkney are jealous of us. They deliberately glorify their own petty exploits and dismiss our much great achievements as insignificant. Let me point out a few of the things we have done on Halloween night during the past year or two.

1928 – raided Mr F…..s orchard, killed seventeen of his hens and six of his ducks, turned on all his water taps and gave two of his sheepdogs poison.

1929 – laid in wait for Mr G… and his cart, attacked him, tied him hand and foot, and put a funny mask on his face (although it wasn’t necessary), tied him to the wheel of the cart and drove him home at a gallop.

1930 – attacked R…farm at midnight. Set fire to stables and haystacks to farmer’s annoyance. Chased farmer with pitchforks, made him climb to the top of a high dovecot, and then burnt down dovecot and farmer.

1931 – stampeded several herds of cattle and a flock of sheep into sea where they drowned. Threw farmer into sea after them. Don’t know if he drowned or not. Hope he did. Drove traction engine through farmhouse. Became bored and went home.

This should show that the youth of Orkney are far from degenerate.

Yours affectionately, J.I., T.R.,W.M.,W.J.

I may say that I have shown this letter to the Police.”

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