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I believe I have mentioned before that Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Fall is one of my favorite seasons. Hagerstown is one of my favorite towns. I have informed you of the rather morbid fascination we had with scary stories and cemeteries while we were growing up on West Northmarket Street. Sure, it might sound a bit odd, but we got a kick out of scaring the crap out of one another. The library held endless tales of cursed prom dresses and ghosts wandering past cemeteries looking for a ride "home". We even made up some of our own, such as the guy with the glowing yellow eyes that had taken up residence in our local park.
Even as a teenager, swinging all alone out there with my best friend; I kept my eyes peeled for the monster we were convinced was a deranged killer. We were certain of this, because of the pile of clothes, burned out campfire and empty liquor bottles we found one summer afternoon. Nothing ever came forward to refute our claims, so the man with the yellow eyes became our own personal Jason Voorhees.
I remember as a kid not sleeping much during the entire month of October. While I loved scary stories, they took on a life of their own after the sky grew dark (which happened very early back in those days). I remember being in bed, night after night, terrified by one strange noise or another. The knocking of a branch outside the house was a murderer (usually Michael Myers...but also occasionally the guy from Candyman) trying to get inside and kill us all. My mind became a big fan of playing tricks on me...it seemed to get a kick out of making my eyeballs shake and my mouth go dry.
As much as these tales frightened me, I kept coming back for more. I couldn't get enough of the macabre, and to this day, I'll still choose a show about the haunted south over anything else on television during a chilly fall afternoon. I haven't yet fully convinced myself that the boogeyman doesn't exist. Just like Santa Claus, he lives on in our hearts, even after his sister chops his head off.
I hope I never lose that sense of fear and excitement in my life. Should it ever happen, it will surely be a sad day, for I will have lost something that reminds me, on its very surface, of how precious life is.
Happy Halloween and Happy October to my readers, new and old, Also, don't forget that Christmas is drawing near and you can purchase my novel, Wiener Brain HERE! It would make a great gift for kids and nostalgic adults alike!