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Category Archives: haunted

Halloween for Thanksgiving?

Some people say we should make the spirit of Christmas last all year. I like to make the spirit of Halloween last all year. Last night, I had a couple of Halloween-y experiences I’d like to share.

I gave my schnoodle, Tabby, a bath, because we’re going on a visit for Thanksgiving. Of course, that was more scary for her than for me, but she survived and even forgave me. The point was, I could not just let her run in the muddy backyard to take care of business. I had to put her on the leash and make her stay pretty much on the sidewalk. She’s a good dog and pretty much complied.

I don’t mind walking in the dark. I strolled down the street, looking forward to the Christmas lights we’ll see in the coming weeks. Soon Tabby was ready to head home.

When Steven took down our Halloween decorations, he left out a couple of scarecrows as being appropriate for Thanksgiving. One is rather large. Steve stuck his post into the ground in front of the porch, propping it with some large rocks and letting Scarecrow lean back on the brick pillar. Well, Scarecrow had leaned forward. There are no streetlights right near my house. It’s a little dark. All I saw was an almost person-sized figure lurking near my front porch. Eek!

My alarm was short lived. Then I merely admired the eerie quality of the crazily leaning decoration. As we walked up the driveway (we always go in the back door), I had my second fright when I heard a deep male voice coming from inside my house. Eek!

Had I left the television on? No, I hadn’t turned the television on! The voice sounded calm… and familiar… Oh. It was the answer machine, coincidentally located near the window we were passing under. I’m so silly!

It was actually a pretty enjoyable fright. But I would be glad when Steven got home. After all, you only scare yourself when you’re alone, right?

Later on, after Steven was home and it was getting closer to bedtime, I thought I’d take Tabby out for her last business meeting of the day.

It was cloudy out. I know the moon has been very bright these last few days, and I thought I saw it glowing through the clouds. Wait! It moved! Was that my eyes playing tricks on me? Damn bifocals! No, an amorphous blob of light was moving back and forth. Steven had to see this. I went to the front door and knocked (I mentioned we rarely use the front door, right?). I had to knock twice and Tabby had to bark, but we got Steven’s attention. He came out on the porch and was equally impressed by the ghostly glow.

As we observed it, we saw its movements were fairly regular, and you could almost, sort of see that the light continued groundward. It must have been a beacon, we thought. It was still mysterious, because we don’t know of any beacons in the area. And it added a fillip of interest to my walk, thinking it just might be something else.

So those were my Halloween adventures the night before Thanksgiving. I can’t wait to see what happens at Christmas!

A Halloween Poem

Today’s post is a poem I wrote which may very well have happened in the Mohawk Valley.

The Purple Broom

The witch flew on the purple broom
High above the trees.
She like to loop, she like to zoom,
Wherever she might please.

As she flew, she chanced to meet
A monster with one eye.
He tried to kick her with his feet,
But Witchy flew too high.

And then she met a Frankenstein
Walking through the wood.
Frankie said, “I’m feeling fine,
And hope that you are good.”

The witch flew on, it was such fun.
And soon she met a zombie.
He was quite the well-dressed one
In Fitch and Ambercrombie.

And on she flew into the night.
She saw a werewolf prowling.
The witch said, “Boo!” Try as she might,
She could not get him howling.

A skeleton waved from the street.
His fingers were all bloody.
“Come down!” he said. “I’d like to meet!
And I could be your buddy!”

A wizard with a cauldron black
Was stirring up his potion.
“I need a broom! Come back!” he said.
But Witchy stayed in motion.

Past ghosts and ghouls and everyone,
And as the night drew on,
The purple broom was fast and fun,
And so the witch flew on.

Haunted Walk

In the spirit (so to speak) of making another haunted post during Halloween week, I decided to walk my schnoodle, Tabby, past a couple of buildings in Herkimer which I had read might possibly harbor ghosts.

I was a little flustered when we started out, because I had many things to do that evening and was approximately halfway through them. But I needed a blog post for Wednesday (today), and it is too early in the week to go lame (so to speak) (for new or sometime readers: that is a reference to Lame Post Fridays).

We headed to the Historic Four Corners, which holds the 1834 Jail and the Herkimer County Courthouse, both of which are reputed to be haunted. I thought I might also stroll by the other two corners, the Herkimer Reformed Church and the County Historic Society, just in case.

The Reformed Church seemed like a good bet, with the graveyard and all. Tabby was more interested in sniffing a handy patch of marigolds outside the yard. I started to pull her along, then I noticed a sign in front of the church that said, “Be still and know that I am God.” It’s one of my favorite Bible quotes, and it was so apropos for the moment. I stood still till Tabby had finished her sniff.

I saw a light on in the church, so I did not walk into the graveyard after all. I did not want to be caught creeping around gravestones looking for spooks by people doing church business.

We crossed the street and walked up the steps to the door of the 1834 Jail. I felt somebody watching me and waiting for them to ask me what I thought I was doing there. I was all ready to say, “Just checking if there was a ghost,” but nobody asked. Then when I looked, nobody was there. It was not until later that I realized the significance of that. I felt somebody watching me, but nobody was there. Hmmmm… Only,do ghosts go out onto the sidewalk in front of buildings they haunt? I suppose it would depend on the ghost.

We walked across Main Street to the courthouse, which is still in use for the purpose for which it was built. When we got to the top of the steps, I saw a couple of current notices taped to the door. Very prosaic. We walked back down the steps in time to greet a very cute little dog walking with his person. Tabby was less than thrilled when he wanted to sniff her butt. They all do.

I started to walk up the sidewalk next to the courthouse. It bordered a parking lot so did not look like any place I was not supposed to be. I did not notice anything unusual, but Tabby pulled me very insistently back to the Main Street sidewalk. She was not at all interested in checking out the Historic Society but kept pulling in the direction of home. I could not help wondering if she saw something I did not. In any case, I figured she had been nice enough to accompany me two places ghost hunting, I would let her decide where the rest of the walk took us. She took us straight home. I only made her wait for traffic when we crossed a couple of streets.

We passed one pedestrian on our own street. Tabby barked a little angrily at his ankles as we crossed paths, which is unusual for her.

“What’s that all about?” I asked her. The odor of tobacco drifted back to me, so I wondered if Tabby had taken exception to his cigar. Then I remembered that some ghosts announce themselves with a scent such as tobacco. Maybe that guy was a particularly solid looking ghost. Dogs are supposed to know these things. Unfortunately, there was nobody else around to ask if I was the only one who had seen him. That would have been another sign.

I suppose now I’m being silly. Or else really reaching to invest my little expedition with haunted excitement. Oh well, how else am I supposed to get a Halloween blog post out of a twenty minute walk?

Haunted Castle?

I haven’t written much about haunted things this Halloween season, and I’m not sure if this is an actual haunting, but I found it of interest.

Recently I was at Beardslee Castle with a group of friends which included my sister Cheryl. We had lunch in the basement, or dungeon as some in our group called it. The next day Cheryl called me.

“Did you see the guy wearing an old fashioned captain’s uniform?” she asked.

“No, I didn’t see anyone like that.”

“I’m the only one who saw him!” Out of eight of us. “I didn’t speak to him, because he didn’t look very happy to be there.”

The not looking happy to be there part caught my attention. Usually if you’re in a cool setting wearing a cool costume, you’re happy to be there. For example, at Home Fries with the Historical Society, the gentleman dressed at General Herkimer was strolling around, chatting people up, and he looked quite contented.

“If Steve or I had seen him, we’d have said something to him,” I said. “You know, about the costume.” Theatre people would.

I suspected, of course, that she was making it up, just to freak me out.

“Why would I do that?” she asked.

“Because I’ll believe you,” I said. “And then you can laugh at me.”

“That’s what I thought you guys were doing to me,” she said. “Everybody pretending I was the only one that saw him.”

We had not so conspired, but I was a little disappointed nobody had thought of it. It would have been a great Halloween prank.

“Well, we’re totally going back there,” I said.

Cheryl agreed. I’m thinking maybe on a night when there’s a full moon. I’ll report back.