Awww Halloween, tricks or treats, the holiday that cannot be beat! The holiday that by far is my favorite of the year. Why is that you ask? To answer that you would have to do a complete and thorough psychological evaluation upon me. The most prevalent of those being I ALWAYS knew real horror from make believe. The make believe horror was almost a gauge which could never measure up in any way to the real terror in our household. One of the reasons I love horror movies and books. Good usually triumphed over evil and what an imaginary group of monsters were created, never ending fascination to me. I am always trying to find something to scare me but it never did or does. Knowing it is fantasy is ingrained in my consciousness. Real violence precludes imagination.
Halloween was one of those holidays I could escape to. My favorite time of year being autumn, I always awaited that night and if everything went accordingly, it would be windy and slightly cool with a full moon to light up even the darkest of homes, especially those that would not participate and became prime targets for tricks!
Halloween and especially the trick or treat portion took on a life of itsâ€™ own the older I got. At first as a young one, I was interested more in the treats then the trick. Where I lived we were close enough to 2 other counties that all would have Halloween on successive nights so we could trick or treat 3 nights in a row. The â€œrideâ€ was the important thing and usually we had different ones on each night. Leaving the country and getting to cities were important since we would fill bags with candy instead of spending it on traveling time between houses. We kids were expedient as an accountant when it came to candy. We would have 3 grocery bags full of candy by the time this county jumping was finished. Then there came the sorting. There were many a candy, believe it or not that were not favorites and they were either tossed or preferably traded. You could always just grab your favorite treat when your brother was not around. Later this resulted in blackened eyes and fisticuffs but those damn Butterfingers were worth it! Were we selfish little pigs? Damn right we were.
I had a few tricks that went wrong when I was young that I never learned from. There was a family named Bartholomew. The house was dark and ominous and we decided to pull a trick of soaping the windows. As we approached the house, what do we observe? All the lights are out. A scarecrow is sitting on the porch swing and the surroundings adorned with other holiday decorations. My brother decided to soap the windows to the car sitting in the driveway. I was going to get the porch windows. As soon as I extended my arm to begin my trick, the scarecrow sprang from the swing, grabbed my arm and I almost went in my pants and I also screamed like a little girl. My brother was grabbed around the ankles from under the car and pulled to the ground. Both of us screamed much to the delight of our antagonist. We pulled ourselves free and ran away, complete failures in our endeavor to make a family pay for not giving out treats. We both learned from that incident what shirt tails are for!
We always would pay a visit to the Greene Cemetery and run the driveway which was in a large oval through the cemetery itself. The trick was to run the oval which was almost a perfect 440 yard dash and get out of the cemetery before the family that were the caretakers, which lived across the street, discovered our discretion and came to the door with a shot gun and let rock salt fly. This event took place until we were 17, it stopped when 3 of us, upon reaching the car after a very fast run, and attempting to stop at the same time we were getting into the car. We discovered that it is best to STOP before getting into a car but of course shot gun blasts are quite an incentive. We became entangled with one another all trying to get into the backseat at once and slid UNDER the car. By the time we got back into the car I was burned from the muffler and all of us were missing skin from falling and sliding on gravel. Blood and pain does put a damper on the tricking aspect of a beloved holiday and our training for track stopped that night.
Here is my favorite story among dozens of a Halloween story. It concerns the story of Francineâ€™s grave. The legend was that the tombstone had a curse literally carved into the tomb stone. She was supposedly killed by her father. I had heard a story from a good friend of mine pertaining to when his brother and a friend attempted to steal the tombstone. They picked up the tombstone and attempted to put it in the trunk of his car but it began to glow and the trunk could not be closed. They dumped it as quickly as possible and continued taking whatever drugs they were on.
The scene opens with 15 people at my friendâ€™s house whose father was a minister and he knew our proclivity for mischief. We all got into a discussion about the grave and related the stories. I called everyone on it and wanted to know if anyone knew where the cemetery was located that housed the grave. My friend Dave knew and of course spun a tale of its location being under an old twisted and misshapen Oak tree in the far corner of the lot all by itself. Of course those that uttered the words of the curse were destined to die in an unspeakable manner within the next year. There are always time limits placed upon curses you see. We all concurred that we will seek out this haunted, cursed tombstone and speak itsâ€™ curse.
Dave of course DID know where the cemetery was located and proceeded to lead four carloads of us to it. Even a writer for a movie script could not have picked such a night or location. Even though it was fall, there was an unusual warm breeze blowing. The sky was cloud covered hiding a full moon and the sky was a peculiar yellowish color.
The cemetery was located by the side of a gravel road surrounded by a cut corn field with an old barbed wire fence surrounding it in need of repair. It was small and had some trees in it and even with a yellowish sky, the cemetery was dark. Everyone emerged from the cars and we decided to see who would go in. Use your imagination and picture the description of the scene. By the time all was said and done only THREE of us would go in. My friends Greg and Dave and I were all that would go. We gathered 3 flashlights and proceeded cautiously in the cemetery. We went directly to the left rear of it and just as Dave had described, it stood alone, no other graves near. The tombstone sat beneath a large, old Oak which had seen better days and looked more dead then alive. A thirty foot guardian protecting what was at its base.
The three of us stood silently staring at the scene. I give us credit for getting this far. All that could be heard was the sound of the breeze as it rustled the leaves and branches. It was dark in that corner and we had yet to turn on the flashlights. We just stood silently taking in the scene when suddenly I felt someone place their hand on my right shoulder and it was not Dave or Greg. I screamed and jumped 3 foot into the air and fell to my knees due to the strength sapped from them. The three of us had not noticed my girlfriend Debbie had come in after us after working up enough courage to do so. She had a speech impediment and just wanted to let me know she was there in a silent way. I did not expect this to be a 4 change of underwear adventure but that is what it turned out to be. Needless to say that was the end of the foray and we went no closer to the grave. We left with everyone making sport of me and laughing about it. I deserved it because to this day, it is funny. How we can work ourselves into such a state that slightest variable introduced into a situation can send us off the deep end. Deb had more guts then anyone going into the cemetery by herself too.
There are so many stories to relate but this is to be kept short and sweet. Maybe another time I will relate the â€œGreat Pumpkin Heistâ€ or the â€œHow I got my hands on a 125 pound pumpkinâ€ or the â€œDirty Birdâ€ caper. There are just too many to tell. Happy Halloween all! Remember that on this time of year that made you laugh and love this holiday.