Wednesday, October 27, 2010

'Tis The Season for Nocturnal Bumping and Such

It's that time of year again! Here in the US, the days are shorter, the nights are longer...and darker...perfect for us primarily nocturnal beings. I love all things autumn -- carnivals, festivals, candied apples, cooler weather, but most of all, I love Halloween. It's my favorite holiday and I look forward to it with all the excitement of a kid awaiting a visit from Santa Claus.

Why do I love Halloween so much? Well, for one, the television is running a nearly constant variety of "documentary" and "hidden history" shows on vampires, werewolves, witches, ghosts, and anything else they can think up. I love these types of shows. Blame my dad. Of course, his interests in show of this nature were geared more toward science, politics, and world history. Nevertheless, he influenced me and even though my interests are decidedly darker he did teach me to not stop with only information given through one source. But that really doesn't explain why I love Halloween.

Again, we can blame my dad. My enthusiasm overshadows his but he still liked the holiday because it was one of the few days of the year when he sort of cut loose and let his hair down. Not that my dad had that much hair. He wasn't a huge fan of the costumes and the trick or treating -- although he did enjoy sharing "The Loot" my siblings and I brought home -- but he did enjoy having a bit of storytelling fun.

The key to understanding my dad's interest in Halloween is understanding that he was a master storyteller. No, he never wrote anything down, but he could captivate you with his tall tales to the point you would wonder if he was telling the truth. In fact, that's what made him so great. He always slipped in kernels of the truth in every story, and one of his favorite genres was the ghost story.

I grew up listening to tales of phantom lights, ladies in white, spirit hounds, and shadows seen from the corners of your eyes. I loved them all. Mom hated them, but only because she knew the nightmares where coming and she'd be the one rushing to my side in the wee hours of the morning because some spectre was attacking me. (Turns out it was just the cat looking to snuggle but when it's 2AM and your seven years old, the family pet is a ferocious devil-possessed panther coming to rip off your face. It was an honest case of mistaken identification anyone could make.)

Since it's the nearly time for all the goblins, ghouls, and ghosts to run amok (Amok! Amok! Amok!) again, let's have a little fun of our own with a contest. I think I shall dub this one the "Things That Go Bump in the Night" Contest. Keep reading for more information...

Things That Go Bump in the Night Contest

Prize: One (1) autographed copy of BLOOD LAW

To Enter: Post EITHER your favorite ghost story -- whether it's a real encounter or an urban legend -- OR your favorite childhood memory of Halloween.

The Rules:

1. One (1) entry per person. This means you post once with either a ghost story or a Halloween memory. Multiple entries will be disqualified.

2. Contest is open to international participants.

3. One (1) entry will be selected at random and declared the winner.

4. Winner will be announced HERE on November 1, 2010.

5. Please DO NOT post your email address along with your entry.

6. Please keep entries to a PG-13 rating. Graphic entries will be deleted.

8 comments:

donnas said...

My favorite memory was always going trick or treating with a group of friends then when we got back one parent would read Little Orphan Annie.

vvb32 reads said...

The favorite urban legend spooky story I grew up with is of the hook-hand killer - couples smooching in cars beware.

Debi Murray said...

Since I am old, I need to shake the cobwebs out of my mind. One of the most vivid memories was cutting through the cemetery after Trick or Treating (mind you, in those day it was after dark) and trying to scare others doing the same thing. Once we got home came the obligatory sorting of the candy so my mom could seize her due (usually you could buy her off with a few Snickers) and the candy pig out then could begin. The next day would definitely be upset stomach day which nobody reported to mom, lest she get out the caster oil or peptobismol. You only made that mistake once unless you were a stupid child. Ah, memories.....

Jessica said...

I guess my childhood memories were always picking out my costume. When I was a kid, it was generally a store bought one. In my later years and probably close to being a little too old for trick or treating I would make my costume. Nothing extravagant, but basically finding clothes at home and getting the right accessories to make myself into someone else.

Such as a cowgirl, a little kid, a 1/2 angel & 1/2 devil costume--which was a last minute one! Nowadays I see older kids coming to our door in no costume at all!

And to answer the other question as well, one urban legend that was kind of creepy was the Aren't you glad you didn't turn on the lights? Freakyyyyyy!!

Wulfie said...

My favorite memory is taking my little brother to a put on haunted house (by neighbors)and, just as it was our turn to enter, a slew of real bats flew down through the people in line and scared the hell out of all of us. Even our neighbors were screaming. Best haunted house EVER! lol

Wenj said...

I think my favorite ghost story would have to be the legend of Black Aggie. It's one my friend told me when I was very young, maybe 6 or 7 and it's stuck with me through the years. If you are unfamiliar with the tale check here: http://www.prairieghosts.com/druidridge.html It gives a bit of history and the various legends that surround the statue. Very good and spooky stuff :)

Vampyre said...

This is a true story about my sister. It starts when we lived in Alabama. She was about 12 then.

She had some rabbits in a pen out in a shady corner of the back yard and would go out there at dusk to fed them. She started telling us she was seeing robed figures out there and they had no feet or faces under their hoods.

None of us ever saw it. We teased her a little and she stopped talking about it even though she still saw them.

Flashing forward about 10 years, she is now a single mom with 2 small girls living in an apartment in Kentucky. Her robed friends followed her.

Now they are more active. Several people saw things like blocks and dolls roll down the steps even though no one was up there.

It would also hide in closets upstairs and try to scare her by popping out at her.

My brother and his wife were visiting her once and he said he felt the classic cold spot upstairs and when they were coming down the stairs, something tried to push his wife down them.

One terrifying night my sister and her 2 girls were huddled in bed together as a blue ball of light terrorized them.

My sister said she had enough and was angry it was scaring the girls. She grabbed her Bible and commanded the thing to leave her house by the power of God and all things Holy.

It zoomed out the window(closed) and she never saw it again.

V^^^^V

ailishsmom said...

My favorite memory is not from my childhood but my kid's. She always approached Trick or Treating like a general coordinating battle plans. She gathered her friends and laid out the path they would take through the neighborhood. Once they got back she explained how they would divide the spoils of war. All candy in your bag got dumped on the table in front of you. Anything you absolutely had to keep went back in the bag. Things you really hated went into the center of the table to be shared. Things you liked but would be willing to give up for something better went in front of you. Then the negotiations began. I listened for the next hour or so to "I'll trade you 2 Twizzlers for a Reeses". It always made me laugh that the rest of the kids just went along with all this without question.