There could be ghosts and goblins, witches and warlocks running around your part of the world today.
Be careful. Something resembling this might jump out from behind a bush and try to relieve you of your wits and bodily fluids. It is Halloween, after all.
Do you believe in ghosts, really?
Seven years ago, when I worked for the big daily, I was assigned to cover a Ghost Hunt at Syracuse’s restored downtown 1929 gem, The Landmark Theatre, on Oct. 25. I remember the date so clearly because it was two days before Karen jumped into the car with me to drive to Niagara Falls, N.Y., walk into City Hall, and became my dear wife. This I did with no fear.
I remember the assignment so well because Ghost Cop Stacey Jones set the scene that night-turned-into-early-morning for some mighty eerie stuff. She allowed participants the run of the joint, too, and many folks knew about the famous Landmark ghost, Clarissa, said to haunt the balcony. A voice called out from the balcony! It was a ticket-holder, not Clarissa.
Then a group of us toured the dank and dusty basement, standing in a pitch-dark room, waiting for a ghost to join us. Clank! A can of nails fell from the wall to the floor. Everybody swore they didn’t touch it, but nobody could see anybody else, either.
I walked into the upstairs lobby ladies restroom foyer with musician twin friends of mine, and they took pictures of the ornate decorations. We looked at them on the camera viewer later, and in the mirror appeared a globe of light we all sweared was not there in our virtual world. No flashes were used in this experiment.
After that, I huddled with a dozen know-more-than-me’s around a scanner. One explained who these gadgets were well known as a conduit to those gone. Voices came from the scanner, randomly, not the police, not the firemen, maybe ambulance chasers somewhere breaking up from interference? Then, clearly, a voice with a Brooklyn accident that sounded much like my beloved paternal grandfather: “Mork!” Yes. Not quite my name. The name of the alien who loved Mindy. But very close, and extremely eerie.
I wrote one hell of a first-person newspaper story, believe it or not.
Last year we were invited to the costume party of Jeff and Kristen. There were many good costumes, but not a ghost among us. I enjoyed the lineup of my dear wife and all of the women she’d worked with over the years at the big daily. I truly appreciated the chance to work as staff photographer after almost 30 years there as an editor and reporter, then the big layoff and all. Ba-da-boom.
I think I also may have been the guest who most appreciated our attempt to recreate the classic painting American Gothic as our couple costume. I think Karen nailed it. Scary good!
But I must say, on this Halloween 2015, no party invitations in hand for some reason, hopes of kiddies to knock on our doors in costume in our hearts, there is a situation I must address. It makes my fists tighten and my pulse race.
Late Sunday, Karen called me out to the far side of the house. There I saw a good portion of the white metal trim hanging from roof to ground. It was too late, too dark to address it then. We’ve both been too busy since. Today’s the day that I will be able to pull out the extension ladder and handful of nails and hammer and ask my dear wife to steady the base as I climb, align, and reconnect.
Home repairs. Up high.
Now that frightens the hell out of me.
Happy Halloween, one and all!
What’s the scariest Halloween costume to you? What’s your favorite Halloween costume to wear? What do you have to fix around your house, and are you confident about it?