October 2007

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

Here’s how we did it:


Blood 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.


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.




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.


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.




To end this  let me remind you: 

Life is short-

Enjoy Halloween and all the

rest of the year too




From Ghoulies And Ghosties…. 

 and long leggety beasties and things that go bump in the night,

Have A Happy Halloween!



 The mischief stirred in his bed of leaves. He stretched slowly, and then wiggled around until his head poked out of the leaves. He sniffed the air, and then stuck his head a little farther up and sniffed again. Then he wiggled with delight. Then air was filled with the scent of Halloween, and so it was time for him to come out of hibernation.

He saw that there was still light coming through the hole in the tree trunk where he had his bed, so he settled down to wait impatiently. He never appeared before it was dark. Darkness was the mischief’s time.

Slowly, the light dimmed and then became tinted with pink. The already cool air chilled still more, and a small breeze sprang up, rattling the fallen leaves down the sidewalks. The mischief waited as the pink light faded. When he finally stuck his head out of his hole, the first stars were prickling the night sky and clouds were scudding over the moon. The mischief called to his friend the chilly little breeze to come and play. It was the perfect time, the perfect weather for a mischief to do his work.

A group of children came by underneath the mischief’s tree, dressed in bright costumes and swinging bagfuls of candy. The mischief fell in behind them, pretending to be a small ghost swinging a plastic pumpkin. He followed them up to the door to a house where they chorused “Trick or treat!” but he didn’t stand in line to get any candy in his pumpkin. He planned a trick instead. As the children ran off, laughing, to the next house, the mischief lingered behind, once again unseen. He eased the ties open on the big plastic bags of leaves that were colored and printed to look like jack o’lanterns and then he tipped them upside down. The leaves scattered in the busy little wind which was happy to help, and the mischief put on his ghost guise again and ran after the children.

A block later, he and the wind sent a gust of leaves into the faces of the children and when they put up their hands to protect their faces, he tipped several of the candy sacks over.  He chuckled silently as he ran off, leaving the children poking through the leaves to rescue their treats.

A garden hose left out on a lawn was knotted in many places, another bag of leaves was opened, and a piece of chalk was used to draw skeletons on a sidewalk. Next the mischief was delighted to find a small piece of soap left by an outdoor faucet – he used it to smear the next few windows he saw.

He grabbed his friend the breeze again and they snuffed out the candles in all the jack o’lanterns they found and then tangled the clothes that someone had left on a clothesline.

The mischief followed several groups of children and tangled their shoe laces and put knots in their hair with the breeze, and then sent the breeze to hover around the adults with the children to make them shiver with cold.

The naughty pair whipped through a few gardens, making a mess of the remaining flowers and then sat in a tree that still had a few leaves to shake them down on the heads of passerby.

They rang a few doorbells and then ran away, and teased dogs which had been left out in yards until they were barking frantically. A black cat, sitting on a fence in the moonlight, had its tail pulled, and sleeping birds were scared from their perches. Trash cans were turned over with a great and terrible clatter.

The moon rose higher in the sky and the groups of children tapered off. The mischief knew that his time was almost over, and he said good-bye to his friend the chilly little breeze. Climbing the tree to his hole, he reflected with satisfaction that this had been a lovely Halloween, one of the best. Then he curled up in a ball in his bed of leaves and went to sleep with a smile on his face, dreaming of what he would do next Halloween.

-She Wolf (c)2007


Once I went into an abandoned house just to take a look around.

It was  nice in there- there was a beautiful oak staircase and beautiful oriental rugs on the floors and lace curtains in all of the windows.

There were no beer cans on the floor or rock band names spray painted on the walls. There were no dead animals in the walls and the air smelled musty but not bad.

The house had been empty for over 5 years.

I went  from room to room and I opened closet doors and went through the linen cupboards.

Then I went into the bathroom and was surprised that it was so modern looking ( the house had been built in the 1920’s).

Inside the bathroom there was a white enamel bathtub and a matching sink and one of those free standing medicine cabinets that made this clicking noise whenever you opened or closed the door.

I had trouble opening the mirrored door and after I did I wasn’t sorry because unlike the other closets and cupboards I’d looked through the medicine cabinet had something inside of it.

I found some old brown bottles ( with handwritten labels ) and next to the bottles I found an old hat pin with a little red bead on the top.

I remember I touched the bottles and I touched the hat pin and I thought, ” wow, you could take an eye out with that thing. “

And then I thought, ” you could lose and eye right here Anita, and who’d know where you are? “

It was just a jumbled thought- but all of the sudden that sense of adventure was gone and I really could see myself stumbling around in this abandoned house that no one ever went into with a hat pin in my eye.

I put my hand to my face and ran my finger along my eyelid and when I had convinced myself everything was okay I closed the medicine cabinet door.

I actually opened it again, just to make sure that hat pin was still there.  I backed away from the sink into the hall ( no way was I going to turn my back on that room )and shut the door.

 I stood there holding it shut and I remember thinking , ” if that knob turns in my hand I WILL lose my mind.”

 I had to take my left hand and pry my right hand off of the glass door knob and I remember holding my hand to my chest and all I could think of was that hat pin and how I should check on it again.

Or maybe I told myself I should forget the pin and just get out now… 

So I walk slowly down the stairs  and back to the kitchen and just before I get to the door the faucet in the kitchen sinks starts to drip.

I stood there in  by the door which was shut ( did I shut it? did I shut it? It was OPEN Anita!)  and I watched water drip from a faucet that hadn’t had water running through it for years.

And then from right above the kitchen- where the bathroom was I heard a little metal click. 

I opened the kitchen door very slowly and I walked out of that house very slowly because I remember thinking if I don’t run….

it wouldn’t chase me.

I kept checking my eye over and over again- in fact by the end of the day I had rubbed the lid raw.

They tore the house down that Summer.

And I’m willing to bet that somewhere buried under the foundation of one of those new houses they put on the Abandoned House’s Lot…

is a hat pin with a little red bead on the top.



In the part of New Jersey where I live, there are many abandoned bits of civilization in the woods. Towns that simply disappeared off the map, either because the state bought out the land to create reservoirs or they just simply faded away as more convenient communities were developed nearby and people died off. The remnants include foundations of buildings, mine shaftsand graveyards. The closest I’ve ever personally come to a haunting was in one of these lost graveyards.

The Cherry Ridge Cemetery is located somewhere off the New York-Tennessee gas pipeline that runs through the area. According to local lore, the graveyard is haunted, and you can hear “moaning, music, laughter, and strange noises” there.* The cemetery served families in the area until they were bought out, creating a large tract of empty land in which to establish reservoirs that would supply the city of Newark, New Jersey, with clean drinking water.

I was hiking along the gas pipeline with friends. The pipeline is buried, and there’s a large clearing around it that makes for a wide trail that easy to navigate, if you don’t mind crawling over the occasional crop of boulders or through marshy spots. We had come to a spot on the pipeline that was high up on a hill, and we could look ahead for a mile or so at the other hills along the pipeline, which teased us with their likeness to a roller coaster. We stopped here for a bit to rest up.

I don’t normally mess with wildlife when I hike. I subscribe to the “take only pictures, leave only footprints” philosophy of responsible hikers. But today was different. There were these pretty, little, purple flowers growing just off the pipeline. And I have to admit: I picked some. I thought I could do something with them when I got home: put them in water, or press them in a book. Again, not things I normally do. My friends kidded with me about this breach in hiking protocol.

We finished resting and decided to head back the way we came. We had planned to visit the Cherry Ridge Cemetery, which we knew was somewhere on our way back. But we weren’t sure of exactly where.

When I came to a certain spot along the trail, I had a hunch the graveyard was somewhere close to our right. Even though there was no trail or markings that indicated the graveyard was anywhere nearby, I slipped into the forest. The rest of the group followed me. We scuttled around for short bit in the leaves and the undergrowth, but then I saw the graves. Most of the graveswere sunken in, the headstones long gone or broken. I was drawn to the back corner of the graveyard.

There I found the gravestone of Katie Rome, who is one of the youngest known occupants of the graveyard. She was just three when she died in 1880. Her mother Lucretia, buried next to her, died only a few years after Katie. As I stood there, I suddenlyknew why I had picked the flowers. I crouched and put most of the flowers on Katie’s grave. I left the rest with her mom.

Michelle, one of the friends with whom I was hiking, said, “Oh, that’s so sweet of you!”

Maybe so, but I can’t help wondering how much of my kindly gesture was really under my control that day. Maybe I had some help from a small, long-deceased child who enjoyed pretty, little, purple flowers in life.


* Zeliznak, Maryann, O’Biso-Socha, Laura, and DiGuilo, Marcia, Journey Into the Past: Visit the Lost Settlements of Vernon, copyright 1992, Maryann Zeliznak.

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