From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!
Traditional Scottish Prayer
“Nay, every lone tenement, castle, or mansion-house, which could boast of any antiquity had its bogle, its specter, or its knocker. The churches, churchyards, and crossroads were all haunted. Every green lane had its boulder-stone on which an apparition kept watch at night. Every common had its circle of fairies belonging to it. And there was scarcely a shepherd to be met with who had not seen a spirit!”
The lore of things that go bump in the nightis extensive. The author of the above quote carries on for twelve lines naming them all, If curious you may click the link. Most of these are believed to roam abroad as the nights lengthen and especially on the night of All Hallow’s Eve.
However, these days, along with the legendary listed above, there are even more hazards that go bump in the night. Tankers, aircraft, trucks and people are all colliding or otherwise going bump in the night as more and more of the world, not just Las Vegas and New York become “cities that never sleep”. The people we count on to be available 24/7 , police, firemen, EMTs, hospital and military personnel have been dealing with this for decades, but still haven’t conquered the hazards of night work. And for civilians the lesson learned by these professionals have only begun to be used to effect. One group to use them effectively is one that many consider ghoulies, litigation attornys.
In 1991 a motorist who was injured in a collision got a $400,000.00 from MacDonald’s. He was hit by an 18 year old employee of the chain who was driving home from an overnight shift. He was attending school during the day and had only had seven hours sleep in the previous two days. The saddest part of this is he himself was killed in the crash. You can look up the court case, Faverty vs McDonald’s Multinomah Oregon Circuit Court. The jury opined that the manager knew the young man was very tired and unfit to drive.
There is now a clinical designation, Sleep Work Disorder. We are often sarcastic and skeptical about the proliferating number of disorders but this one deserves the attention a title will give it. So as we approach the shorter hours of daylight, the disorientation of time changes and longer work hours for many over the holidays as stores extend hours, please be aware of fatigue, yours and other people’s. We don’t want you to be a victim of “things that go bump in the night”
Quote Source: The Denham Tracts, edited by James Hardy, (London: Folklore Society, 1895), vol. 2, pp. 76-80.