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Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Hallo-Weenie

 Nothing says Halloween like a really good scare.  Haunted houses abound with ghosties and ghoulies and things that go bump in the night.  As a rule, I do not lend myself to the joys of haunted houses, but my husband/sons convinced me that I wasn’t a complete person unless I experienced a good Halloween nightmare.  Fortunately, from my sons’ viewpoint, this year a Haunted Forest had materialized in the dark recesses of the countryside.  Now a haunted house, to my mind, would seem enough.  How big can a haunted house be?  But a haunted forest?  The idea invoked mental images of miles and miles of trauma-induced psychosis.  Still, I wanted to be part of the group (as much a part as one lone female can be in a male-oriented household). 
            The males determined that the most propitious time to visit the Haunted Forest would be on Saturday night (which gave me all week to prepare and all day Sunday to recover).  Saturday night arrived.  Was I ready for this?  I didn’t think so, but off we went.  The night was very dark and cold.  I had enough winter gear on to be warm even in a worst-case scenario.  Unfortunately, it also made me somewhat challenged in my ability to move with any amount of speed or agility. 
 We arrived at the Haunted Forest.  A long line was waiting, but I took this as a good omen—the gates might be closed before I actually got in.  Slowly the line climbed forward and, about an hour later, we finally made it to the entrance—an entrance guarded by vampires (of course) and the eerie sound of screaming echoing through the night air.  I handed the lead vampire my ticket and we stepped onto the unlit path. 
The vampire hissed. “Stay on the path if you value your life.” 
Well, I can tell you, I value my life!!!  I was going to hug that path like gorilla glue.  My men grouped around me, offering their protection, and we started off.  I tried walking with my eyes closed, but kept tripping over things on the path.  I opened my eyes, and—continued tripping over things on the path.  It was so very dark.  Trees lined the path on both sides, their spiny limbs reaching out to grab unlucky passersby. 

            We stumbled on.  Most of the time we were guided only by the feel of the path beneath our feet.  As we came around a corner and into a small open space lit by the full moon, the “Headless Horseman,” riding a huge gray maniacal-looking horse galloped towards us.  Screaming hysterically, I ran down the path. Gasping for breath, I stopped running, thinking we had left the “Horseman” behind (simply stated, because the weight of my clothing kept me from running very far or fast).  I turned and, staring me right in the face, to my total and utter terror, was the “Headless Horseman’s” horse—nose to nose.  I turned and ran again as fast as I could. But have you ever seen a Sumo wrestler run?  I heard my men ahead of me crashing through the bushes. As I stumbled through the dark, “Jason” armed with a chain saw revved his motor.  I ran faster of course (probably at normal walking pace), down the dark path into nothingness.  My men were ahead of me and I could barely see them by the light of the tree shrouded moon.  As they hit a corner in the path, my husband tripped over my youngest son and down they went.  Very solicitously, “Jason” ran over and leaned down to help them up.
Are you hurt? “Jason” asked.
When my men said they were okay, “Jason” immediately revved up his chain saw and after my men he went.  I edged by and ran for the trees.  I was alone—alone in the Haunted ForestHow did this happen?  Where was everyone?  I was too old for this sort of thing.  Scary things scare me!
            With my hands out in front of me, I blindly groped forward, knowing in the deepest chasms of my soul that huge spiders were waiting to jump on or entangle me in their monstrous webs.  A hideous giant snake dropped down from a tree and stared me in the face.  A bat landed on my head.  A hand reached out and grabbed me!  I couldn’t take much more of this, I can tell you. 
            Alone and unprotected!  Who knew what lurked in the deep shadows of the night, but I was learning the hard way.  I crept forward, bumping into trees, waiting for the next monstrous appellation to attack, praying for salvation.  My life swam before me.  Why was I here?  Was this how my life would end?  Surely this torture would soon be over.
            After hours it seemed, my oldest son found me. 
            “Where have you been, Mom, we’ve been looking all over for you.” 
            Like I had run away or something!  “I’ve been right here trying to find my way out—I want out, and I want out now.” 
            “Oh, come on, Mom,” he said. “It isn’t that bad.”
            Sure, he could say that, he wasn’t the one left all alone, in the dark. 
            The Good Lord was watching out for me.  Thankfully, my son took my hand and led me along the path to safety. 
            I’d made it!  I was back in the light, back in the center of real people—alive.  I had made it!  And not too soon for me! 

P.L. Parker is the author of two 99 cent ebooks - Fiona and Riley's Journey.


  1. Oh, Patsy, I feel for you. You are a good sport to go along with your menfolk to something like that. Not me! I can't even read Stephen King's books. ☺ Great post, though.

  2. Oh, my hat's off to you. That does NOT sound like my idea of a good time.

  3. Oh, my hat's off to you. That does NOT sound like my idea of a good time.

    1. No it wasn't my favorite night, but at least I got to spend it with my men - somewhta!

  4. Girl, I would have said NO! But then my daughter is wuss, so...

    Great story, bless your heart!