Halloween Fun At Anita’s Bridge

On Halloween Night we used to love to do things like test drive Mortality.

Here’s how we did it:

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Bloody Mary

You know that legend about Bloody Mary? You’re supposed to stand in front of a mirror, in the dark ( well, use some candles I mean- duh- if you can’t see what’s going on you’re out of luck ) and chant the name ” Bloody Mary ” three times- then she comes out of the mirror and kills you.

I’m not sure how she does it- though I’m guessing sharp objects are involved.

I think the idea is to get somebody you don’t like to do this- but I could be wrong.

We tried it- doesn’t work

but it was fun.

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The Girl At The Side Of the Road

Every Halloween some Dead Prom Queen is supposed to be on some road waiting for somebody to give her a ride home

 From what I understand this story involves a girl who dies in a car accident on her way home from the Prom and somebody will pick her up and drive her home and when they get there they turn to the back seat and she’s gone and her parents come out to tell you her sad story.

We went looking for her too- but we decided if we found her we’d make her go ” Shoulder Tapping ” with us.

Shoulder tapping is what we called it back in the 70’s when you’d hang around in front of the 7-11 and try to get people to buy beer for you- which shows you how smart we were- we always did it in our neighborhood so we were always sober by the end of the night.

And we didn’t see a ghost either.

Darn.

 

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Thirteen Steps To Hell

We have at least two cemeteries here in Washington with stories about how in one crypt or in one grave there are Thirteen Steps Leading to Hell. The Doorway to the steps is guarded by a Witch who will give you the Second Sight if you sell your Soul to the Devil who is waiting for you at the bottom of the 13 Steps to finalize the deal.

To bad the Sight doesn’t kick in before you get to the Bottom of The 13 Steps.

 Then You’d see clear as day that the Devil takes you to Hell and if your plan was to rule the world with your Powers-  you are so going to be disappointed- toasty- but very disappointed.

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Message From The Beyond

Everyone goofs off with a Ouji Board on Halloween.

Everyone knows those things are demonic.

Everyone doesn’t get together three or so  friends, agree on a phone number

as the ‘message’

let their inncoent bystander ( and former ) friends call it

only to let them learn they’re dialing

the intake desk at a local Mental Hospital.

Hey, it’s funny-and like I said you shouldn’t mess with those things…

and on Halloween of all Nights.

Dingbats.

 

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To end this  let me remind you: 

Life is short-

Enjoy Halloween and all the

rest of the year too

amm

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In The Eye Of The Beholder

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PROUD WINNER OF THE

CELLULOID BLONDE

 AWARD FOR

best fiction post

 

Abney Hawkweed taught music for 25 years in the Caswell School District and those were the best years of her life.

Not that she liked teaching; in fact Abney didn’t even like kids.

But the hours were good, she got the Summers off and at the end of the day not many people go out of their way to pay attention to plain looking women with wire rimmed glasses who know how to play the violin and trumpet and the saxophone.

Which suited Miss Abney Hawkweed just fine.

In the old days, after school was over and Abney was on her way home she used to roll the windows of her fuel-efficient little car down and she use to turn the radio off just so she could hear the honking horns and screeching tires. Sometimes she even got an earful and eyeful of some road raging driver screaming their lungs out and waving their fingers around in nasty gestures.

Sometimes, just for the fun of it Abney would go out of her way just so that she could drive by the Great Mall of Felton Hills.

She just loved to watch people dodge buses and trucks and cars and then no matter how many cars were behind her honking their horns she’d drive slow just so she could see the same people sprint, jog or run across the parking lots with baby strollers and shopping carts- all so that they could get into the shops and the food court and consume anything they could lay their hands on.

It all seemed so trivial and innocent and final.

 There was no mystery to life in the suburbs.

You worked, you shopped, you watched TV and then you got to die.

Some people, Abney thought, don’t know how good they have it and that’s a fact.

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Abney’s day job paid the rent; what she did at night was who Abney Hawkweed was. She could always find another day job, but there was only one Abney and when the Sunset came she couldn’t be anything else.

So just after dinner she would gather her tools into a little black leather medical bag- the one she inherited from her Grandfather and she turned the little gold clasps counter clockwise to lock it.

Then for luck, just like Grandpa taught her, she would touch the little brass plate that said, ” Post Mortem Case ” three times.

The luck thing was important because she usually needed it.

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Like with most family businesses you could either take up the reigns and do the family proud or you could skate by and make them wish they could at least say you were adopted or ‘from the other side of the family’.

The worst you could be neither, the worst thing you could be is mediocre.

And know it.

Abney figured she could get the job done-  and that  phrase pretty much summed up Abney’s job performance. She wasn’t as glamorous and thin and blond as her cousin Inez and she wasn’t as smart or athletic as her Father Dr Setwell Hawkweed had been.

They were impressive figures at work and well respected.

No doubt, Abney could dig up a coffin  pop it open and hammer a stake into the heart of a bloated red faced vampire before it could open it’s mouth and spit blood into her eyes-which is what they did when they were about to attack.

If they got you it was bad news because that mess could make you blind.

That’s how they brought you down.

Anyway…

The problem was it was just plain old Abney Hawkweed in some old decrepit church or over grown cemetery carrying on the family trade.

There was no sense of style about how Abney did her work so she did it quietly and efficiently as possible and then she’d go home feed her cat, listen to a little Mozart and then she’d turn in for what was left of the evening.

She did that for 25 years and she never complained.

She didn’t even complain when she had to go into a house on Halloween (of all nights) and take out a family of Vampires who had been sleeping in their basement and then  had taken to hanging from the rafters like water logged Piñatas-dripping blood and purge from their hardly working bowels onto the floor.

All Abney figured when she slipped in the gunk and broke her wrist was that they had done that on purpose.

It wasn’t like the books and comics and video games you know.

Abney learned the hard way that oxygen deprivation at death and then waking up to find you had been turned into a mosquito was enough to make anyone crazy.

Very Crazy.

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On the day Abney retired- both from the Day Job and the Family Trade, her work friends had taken her out for lunch and given her some neat gifts and they had promised to keep in touch.

She doubted they would.

And of course they didn’t.

Her family same to celebrate her retirement and of course they promised to stay in touch too- and Abney figured they’d make good on that and of course they did.

Especially when they needed a night off.

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As time went by Abney started to play the Violin again for the simple pleasure of it. She never got calls to lend a hand at this Graveyard or that Morgue because the Vampire Problem was a Problem Solved and Abney decided to take up the guitar.

It was at Inez’s birthday part last winter that Inez had told Abney, ” You know in the old days we could never have all gotten together like this. It’d have been too dangerous. I mean, a couple of nutty blood suckers and a can of gasoline and before you know it we’re crispy critters and people are dropping like flies from ‘ the plague’ again.”

” You had a lot to do with that Abney. Thank you.”

And Abney decided right then and there that she may not have been the sleekest of models to hit the showroom floor but she had made a difference all the same.

That was when Abney really felt it for the first time- her life; her simple quiet life was all she ever was.

And she missed it.

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When Spring came Abney had decided to take up sketching. She was pretty awful at it, but she had nothing but time on her hands and if this didn’t work she could always try something else.

So one day she’s at her favorite park sketching her favorite tree when four teenagers went walking by.

Shoulder to shoulder they looked like a little black thundercloud rolling along on the cobble stone pathway.

Their faces were pale, their lips were black and they smelled like the perfume counter at the Bay Side Department store.

Abney watched them for a moment and then she called out, ” You there…are you  suppose to be Vampires? “

There was a chorus of snorts and chuckles and someone tried to growl ” suppose to be ” but his his voice cracked.

One of the little black clouds broke away from the rest and she tried to glide up towards the middle-aged woman with salt and pepper hair ” We’re Goth ” she said slowly with her jaw clenched tight and her black hair falling into her face.

” Is that a new type of Vampire?” Abney asked cheerfully.

” I guess you could say that.” the girl with the pointed white teeth said. Then she tried to stare the old woman down. ” Why do you want to know? “

Abney shrugged, ” just checking. “

And as the little black cloud drifted down the path Abney got up, reached for the black bag under her chair and touched the little brass plate three times.

Then she went to work.

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How Sweet It Is

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I have so many wonderful Halloween Memories…

this is one of them

and it concerns:

Lizzie Borden

Today I read about a Lizzie Borden Halloween Prop that costs THOUSANDS of dollars.

Robot Lizzie swings an Ax up and down.

Sure, whatever.

When I was a kid this family had a Haunted House set up in their basement and the Dad used to dress up like Lizzie and chase people around with an ax and he’d be screaming ” Forty Whacks! Forty Whacks for you all!”

And the entire time he- well, she is doing that, we’d be screaming for Jesus and our Moms and diving under furniture and swinging our plastic pumpkins like around medieval war weapons and trying to climb out the windows.

I wouldn’t trade that memory for anything-

not even for THOUSANDS of dollars.

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amm

The Scariest Thing

“Anita, you write stories about ghosts and the living dead…you worked in a funeral home so tell me…what’s the scariest thing you’ve ever seen? “

To be honest, I’ve seen lots of strange things but I’ve never seen anything that ever scared me. So I’ll laugh, joke and blow the question off.

Ask me the right question though and you’ll get a different answer- you’ll get THE answer

and here it is:

To let you know right off- I’ve never SEEN anything that frightened me but once I felt something that did.

I was working alone in a basement and for once I had the radio off and it was quiet, just still and calm. It was a nice feeling, sort of a ‘sitting by the lake at sunset’ feeling.

I was reaching for something up high on a shelf when I felt something tug at the bottom of my plaid work shirt- I always wear oversized plaid shirts when I’m down there because the dust is so bad it wrecks my clothes. I thought I’d caught my shirttail on something so I reached back and pulled it down.

Then I walked to the next shelf and just as I reached up I felt that tug again and I stood there with my arm halfway up in the air when I felt the same tug- up higher this time- under my shoulder blade.

 I knew I wasn’t alone.

And I knew if I turned around there would be nobody standing there.

Now, when I’m in trouble, or stressed out I give myself these pep talks and it’s always my Grandfather’s voice I hear.Only this time it was my Great Grandmother I heard- and let me tell you she was ‘snap your spine if you made her angry’ type of a woman.

 Comfort was not a word that springs to mind when I think of Nan.

” Don’t you dare turn around ” I was hearing, ” You keep those eyes forward and don’t turn around.”

Then I felt something tug at the end of my braid and I bit my lips really hard and tried to not yell. But I didn’t turn around and as I walked away from the shelf I didn’t look back.

If you can imagine it- worse then that tug on my shirt was that feeling that something was just behind me. Whatever it was wouldn’t go away and it followed me up the basement stairs.

When I got to the top steps and crossed over the threshold I turned around and pulled the door closed. And then I opened it again reached in and snapped the light off.

 This time I kicked the door shut.

That’s it; those five minutes are the one thing that scared me. You can make what you like of those minutes- after all I still wonder about them myself.

I’d advise you to not consider them when you’re alone though, I don’t.

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A Midnight Dreary

 

I not only write ghost stories

I’ve lived some.

enjoy 

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About 10 years ago my husband and our three kids moved back to Mountlake Terrace. When we moved to Terrace we moved into a brand new Apartment Complex, I think there had been less then a half dozen renters in the place.

So it was new and spiffy and energy efficient.

About two weeks after we moved in I was in my bathroom brushing my teeth before bed.

It had been raining and thundering all evening, so when I started to see flashes of lighting it wasn’t exactly a surprise.

Anyway, I was looking into my bathroom mirror- I saw myself, I saw my bedroom window over my shoulder and then I saw blinding white light in the mirror and then my teeth slammed together and there was this deafening roar and all I could think was, ” I’m in trouble. ”

I wasn’t in trouble- but the tree outside my bedroom window was.

 The next day we found out it had been hit by lightning and you could see the scorch mark down one side and two of its limbs were blasted off and another was left dangling.

The kids played and tugged at the damaged tree limb until it came off. I remember them dragging it around for a while and the maintenance man broke it up and threw it away.

It was shortly after that  when the ghosts came.

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My youngest son is a social animal.

At the age of  7 and after only a few weeks of living in our new place he knew everyone. By that I mean he knew names and who lived where and what they did and their pets names and millions of other little details.

Don’t ask me how he did it.

Then he changed.

It was a gradual change-  my son started to sleep a lot during the day,  he started getting dark circles under his eyes and when he started hiding his favorite toys around the living room I thought that maybe the move had affected him after all.

One day I was pulling his collection of Ninja Turtles from out of my bookcase (he had hidden them behind the books) when he went walking by with his skateboard under his arm and said he wanted to take a nap.

It was about 2:00 in the afternoon and enough was enough.

I asked why he was so tired and he said, ” this little boy comes into my room at night and plays with my toys and he’s keeping me awake.”

” Is that why you’re hiding your toys? ”

” Yeah. ”

 Is it working? ” I said trying to play along.

My son shrugged and went into his room and took his nap.

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It was a little while after the toys in the bookshelf incident when my Sister came over for a visit.

My kids had insisted on a pet hamster because not only did their Mom have a cat she had pet rats and the boys decided pets shouldn’t be something only Moms got to have.

They named  their new pet Scooter.

My Sister and I were alone in the apartment- the kids, my husband and her husband were all out buying pizza.

We were in the kid’s room playing with Scooter.

We put him into one of those little balls hamsters  can run around in and I remember my cat was sitting in the doorway and I was going to push the ball with the hamster in it towards him.

My cat had been raised with my rats and he had this thing were he wouldn’t go for rats or hamsters and my Sister didn’t believe it.

So we both look up to where Wolfgang had been sitting when this little boy ran right passed the bedroom door and down the hall towards my bedroom.

” Who’s that? ” my Sister asked.

” Probably a neighbor kid. They walk in all the time. ”

I went to get the kid when my cat sort of slinked around the corner and he looked up at me and growled.

I don’t mean that cat growl- it was big and deep and his ears flattened against his head.

I went to push him out of the way with my foot and he reached forward and grabbed my ankle with his teeth. Then he started to  jerk backwards with these little snaps to his neck and the entire time he’s doing this he’s looking up at me and growling.

Then he sort of turned without letting go and tried to pull me back into my kid’s room.

My sister was yelling, I was screaming  because my cat was holding onto my ankle and the blood was starting to run and no matter what we did or how loud we yelled he wouldn’t let go.

Then his ears went back up; he let go of  my ankle and he walked out into the living room.

” There’s no one in the apartment except us…is there? ” my Sister asked.

I remember I couldn’t answer because I didn’t know.

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I’ll leave you with this final ghost story-

Out of a dead sleep I woke up at exactly 1:45 in the morning and standing beside my bed was my Grandfather.

I was really glad to see him- it had been about 14 years since he had died. He’d missed my Wedding and my High school Graduation and a million other great things.

Now I was going to get the chance to tell him all about it and I remember trying to wake up more so that I could get my husband to wake up and meet my Grandpa.

I was surprised- but not that my Grandfather was there but that he looked so young.

He looked like he did in his late 30’s- I’d only seen pictures of him in those days and I wasn’t sure why he looked like that and not like the man I’d known.

But that was okay- all that mattered was that he was here now.

This went on for a week- I’d wake up at the same time and there he was standing by me looking happy and relaxed and pleased to see me.

At the end of the week my Grandfather’s sister passed away.

I was heartbroken- she was a great lady and she use to tell this great story about performing in a childrens choir ‘back in the day’ for Prisoners in an honest to goodness Prison.

They were singing for genuine convicted killers and robbers.

I use to ask a million questions about what it was like inside of a Prison and she was happy to tell me.

Plus she could whistle through her teeth.

She had a great life if you ask me.

Anyway, I never asked what time she died- I was sure I already knew.

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So there are my stories- are they true?

Did they really happen?

Did they?

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