By Rosie Preston
My experience with Halloween as a child was always wonderful. It seemed safer back then, and the amount of candy was enough to fill up our plastic pumpkins. Yet, my grandmother warned me of about her next-door neighbor, who lived alone in a small house. She was a strange character who would stare at us as we played in the yard. My sister and I made a decision that she was a witch. We sure didn’t go to her door, even for candy on Halloween.
One of my friends owned a cabin on Weiss Lake in Centre, and on one occasion I went there to relax and paint and read. My friend told me exactly where to find the key upon arrival. The journey there was a little hazardous, and I did not arrive at the cabin until it was dark. There were no lights, and I am terribly afraid of snakes, so I tread lightly with each step.
When I finally reached the the back door of the cabin, I found the place she told me to find the key, but no key was there. I called her and she told me to check the same place. The only lights available were my car lights, so I carefully drove the car as close as possible to the back door. I eventually discovered that the key was located inside a lantern- type light instead of being on top of the light like my friend told me. After an hour or so, I retrieved the key and entered the cozy cabin. I had not thought about being by myself until the wind began to blow, and an animal scratched at the door. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep a wink that night.
Years later, I experienced a similar situation at another friend’s cabin, which was located in Mentone. I invited my son and his friend to come with me. They were about 12 years old, and I thought nothing of them playing outside. But darkness fell rapidly, and the boys had roamed deep into the woods. I heard them screaming, so naturally I went into my Mother Bear Mode and searched for them by following all the noise they were making. It turned out the boys had encountered a raccoon and were as glad to be found as I was to find them.
About three years ago, my granddaughter and I were in my bedroom watching TV. We had a fan blowing, but even with the background noise we could hear very loud music coming from a car that seemed to be right next to our house. The music continued to get louder, and the noise brought back memories of when many teenagers had boom boxes in their cars.
The music eventually stopped, and someone began knocking on our door. I didn’t answer it, of course. After about a minute of silence, we heard a noise that sounded as if the top of my bed had fallen to the floor. The noise vibrated my house, for sure. I checked the bed and it had not come apart.
The next morning, I found out that one of the shelves in my large walk-in closet had hit the floor. It will remain an unknown mystery of what happened that night. Indeed, it felt like we were being targeted!
Another incident happened during my teenage years after my parents surprised me with my first car, a 1964 Comet convertible. I didn’t think a thing about my friends screaming from the back of the car when I did not slow down for curves in the road.
During one particular night, we noticed that the same car had been following us for a while. I made some quick turns in the hopes of hoping losing the car, but it stayed right behind us. Suddenly, beer bottles were hitting my car. The faster I drove, the closer the car continued to keep up with us. We were terrified!
I eventually remembered something someone told me about driving to the nearest police station when feeling threatened. Sure enough, as I pulled into the police station parking lot, the car did not follow.
A few days ago, I watched a documentary about Halloween, and it is no wonder in today’s times that only one dose of the opioid Fentanyl can be fatal. This highly dangerous drug is being used on innocent people, so it’s best to only Trick or Treat at the places you are familiar with or with people you know.
Keep smiling, Rosie
Contact Rosie Preston at email@example.com.