During the time spanning November till the end of December, it is common practice in the area for people to leave a candle burning in the windows of their bedrooms. The process has only increased in number during the over ten years since it started, despite the obvious fire hazard and the concerned pleas of local fire fighters. The practice stems back to a singular occurrence that happened years before, which ended in events so strange that even all these years after the reasons for the practice are not commonly discussed, leading many to take up the practice without truly understanding why.
Years before the tragedy, a foreign woman moved into one of the smaller two story homes in the area. Though her accent was obvious, it did not take long for her to make friends. She was a beautiful and intelligent woman, with fiery red hair and green eyes. She took up a position working with the local historical society, and took a vested interest in the community. Within a couple of years she became involved with, and then married to, a local bartender. They were a happy couple, and it surprised no one when they were married only a few years after meeting. Soon thereafter the woman became pregnant, and together they began to make plans for one of the rooms upstairs.
Unfortunately, this streak of good fortune did not last, as the husband became ill shortly after the birth of the baby. He was taken to several doctors, but no set diagnosis could be made. What was known were his symptoms. The man complained of constant fatigue, and as weeks passed he began to loose weight. Within a few months he had lost nearly forty pounds, all without a set explanation. Tests were run, including ones affiliated with the investigation into a wide scope of cancers. However, as time passed and each progressive test failed to yield results, people began to lose hope as the man continued to get worse.
Passerby's claimed to see a candle in the window of the man's room, and it was assumed that the woman had lit a candle as part of a practice common in her home country. As time passed, the man would complain about chronic pain in his limbs and chest. Tests revealed that part of the reason for this was the fact that the mans body was no longer taking in nutrients effectively. Even with medical aid, the mans condition continued to worsen, and within a month the man lost the majority of his mobility, and was unable to breath without the use of an oxygen tank. He experienced severe muscle spasms, and lost all ability to see at night. This is strange, as he would often awaken the next morning, complaining about shadows passing by his window.
As the husband became worse, the woman took more and more time away from her normal work to take care of him. However, despite all the efforts taken, the husband soon passed away, only four months after the birth of their child. After that, the candle ceased to burn in the window.
Being well liked had its perks, and although she had lost her husband her friends and neighbors made sure that she had the support she needed while she adjusted to her life as a widow. This managed to bring herself and the communityceven closer together, and by her daughters first birthday most of the people on the street knew her daughter Gizella by the more affectionate, shorthand name of Gizi. Many young students babysat the young girl, allowing the mother some much needed time to rest. It was not uncommon for people to drop off groceries, as well as simply check in from time to time.
To everyone's horror though, a few weeks after her first birthday, Gizella fell ill. Much of the woman's and her former husbands savings went into his treatment, leaving little for little Gizi. Yet the community came together to provide support, pitching in what services they could. But as the weeks passed it became clear that the baby was suffering from the same thing as her father, and began to lose weight rapidly. Again, every night a candle could be seen from the window of the daughters room, as things continued to become progressively worse.
One day the woman was at the market, when one of her friends asked her about the candle in the window. She admitted that she had no idea what they were referring to, but upon discovery of the fact that a candle had been seen burning in her child's window every night, she became distraught and quickly left the store.
That night, there were reports that there were not one, but two candles burning in the window. At around three in the morning the woman arrived at the local hospital, her child in her arms, herself on the verge of collapse. She said very little, but they were both admitted within minutes. Strangely, the baby seemed to have nothing wrong with her. If anything, she had begun to make a rapid recovery. However, her mother was far less lucky. Her hands, arms, and chest were all badly burned, and her lungs were damaged from what would be best described as smoke inhalation. A great amount of time was devoted to surgery, but she was soon made stable. During the process it was discovered that some of the burns were caused from a waxy substance. However, upon investigation it was discovered that the material was tallow, a compound used in the making of candles when cheap wax wasn't available, though the process mostly stopped long ago. The substance is derived from animal fat, and after a litany of tests it was discovered that the fat came from a human.
Investigation into the home found a candle alight in the little girls room. Though there wasn't one at the time of the investigation, there were signs that a fire had occurred shortly before the woman had arrived at the hospital. Only the source of the ignition wasn't the candle. To this day the cause of the fire, and how it was put out has never been determined. The mother and Gizi both made a full recovery and still remain in their home. Though her mother has lost a great amount of sensation in her hands and suffered damage to her lungs, she still considers herself lucky, though she refuses to speak on the matters of the night when she went to the hospital.
As the weeks passed, more and more people began to place candles in their windows. When asked about it, they claim that it is to ward against a evil spirit known as a Lidérc. It is sometimes described as being a succubi like creature composed of fire, and it is believed that the lighting of a candle confuses it into believing that the people inside are claimed. The reason why this only happens during this short time of year, or how it caught on so fast is anyone's guess. But in the period between November and the end of December, many if not most homes sport a candle.
There have been no more reports of the mysterious illness, and no cause has ever been found. Walking along the street at night will often prove pleasant as one sees the display of candles, though sometimes people sometimes claim to see more than one light coming from a room. Yet as soon as such an observation is made, the extra light seems to be extinguished, leaving only one light burning in the dark.