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Friday, Nov. 27, 2015

Happy Halloween

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Hi neighbors. It's almost time for the monster invasion! I anticipate seeing more superheroes than monsters though. With the popularity of Spiderman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Thor, Iron Man and the Hulk, I bet all types of heroes with buckets in tow, will keep the streets busy this Wednesday night.

The Zombie haunted house is going well. It's just down the street from my home and there are screams and giggles all evening long as people line up to get the wits scared out of themselves and their friends.

Horror movies flood the primetime hours on television -- out done only by debates, which are pretty scary as well.

Last week I told you of the scares I faced as a young child in Wichita. After we moved back to Missouri when I was a teenager I found a different kind of spooky. My family lived in a haunted house for several years.

Oddly enough, the Whatevers in that house never made me nearly as fearful as that lion in Wichita, or Bigfoot in the garage.

The house was on a dirt road with houses within a quarter of a mile on either side of us. There was an old henhouse about a hundred feet from the house that sat on the edge of the woods. Behind the house was lots of woods, an open meadow and about half a mile on through the woods, a highway.

The ones who originally lived in the house were a married couple who lived there most of their lives and moved to town when they got too old to farm. I don't know if they ever heard any suspicious noises at night or during the day.

Just before we moved into the house a young couple with two children less than 3-years old lived there. They were so fearful of the goings-on upstairs that they would shut and lock the upstairs door, barricade it and all sleep in the downstairs bedroom. They also locked and barricaded the door to that room.

In hindsight, I am always amazed that different people would hear or see different things. My parents for instance, would hear what sounded like two or three older women chatting around the kitchen table when they were in the front room. When they would call out to those women, voices would answer and tell them to come on in to join them. When they went into the kitchen, there was no one there.

I never heard those old women that I remember.

My mother kept washing the door between the kitchen and the front room. I asked what she was doing -- hoping it wasn't an introduction to spring cleaning -- and was told she got tired of seeing the ugly old man's face on the door. I looked at that door many times and never made out anyone's face on it.

Sometimes, I reasoned, the wood grains or the paint lines will make patterns that the human mind instinctively twists into identifiable pictures of faces, animals, etc. But try as I might, I couldn't see any image that looked like any one or anything.

I asked the young couple who lived there before us if they had ever noticed anything about any of the doors. They both immediately answered that they hated the old man's face that kept appearing on the kitchen door. I never figured that one out.

They said, and my Mom agreed, that they would hear a man rise off the chair in their case; and my bed since I lived there, and walk from that area across the floor in heavy boots and start down the stairs.

The young couple said they never opened the door to the stairway to determine if anyone alive was there. My fearless mother did though -- many times -- and never saw anyone.

I never heard the footsteps, but I often saw the ghost that I assumed made the noises.

My cousins came one summer to spend two weeks with me and they each saw him at least once. He was a young man in a military uniform. His head was bandaged; one arm was in a sling. His face was covered with dried blood, and one eye was swollen shut.

He would float at the foot of my bed, looking like he was in a lot of pain. I found the only way to get him to stop wafting around was to say aloud, "I'm sorry you were hurt. Good night." These words always made him melt away; until the next night.

Then there were the flying balls of light from the creek. But I'll leave that story for another time. Keep plenty of candy handy this Wednesday.

Nancy Malcom
The Third Cup