Category Archives: Happy Halloween!

True Halloween Story: circa 1935 or ’36

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This was in my past Halloween posts.

One from what I consider the “classic

collection” of stories. When I used just

words to describe and illustrate my

posts. The man you will hear sharing an

old memory is gone now. He has since

passed away. . .

Let’s go back to the year my Mom would

turn 85 and I was visiting her at her

Senior Living apartment. We had

ordered our meals to take up 

to her apartment. . .

“An elderly gentleman was waiting to

pick up his and his wife’s dinners

last night, usually we sit for about 

25-30 minutes chatting with other

people.  Mom sits and sips her wine,

looking and studying faces. Some

are familiar and some are not so. 

We talked to this nice man, named

Felton, a few nights in a row, 

so she was less wary and 

more comfortable with him.

My Mom asked him if he liked

computers and if he had ever 

read any blogs?

Great “kidder” my Mom! 

You know how when you are young, 

you may”use” your kids as excuses 

or possibly as the way to open a

conversation? 

My Mom is the best for being my

“story hunter,” lately.

She asked him the best question!

“Do you have any special, scary

childhood memories of Halloween?”

Here is Felton’s story, with mostly

memories from his fourth grade

“trick or treating” experience.

He thinks it would have been 1935

or maybe 1936 when they occurred!

Felt and his two good friends,

one a boy who had grown up with

him and also his “best friend” and

a girl he had been considering

being his “girl friend,” were heading

out on a long ago Halloween night.

The candles in the pumpkins on his

porch were lit, his parents, he

recalled, were sitting and waiting

to hand out homemade cookies

wrapped in waxed paper and tied

with orange ribbons.

Felt’s friend, Buddy, was wearing his

“bum” outfit and his “future girlfriend,”

Sally, was wearing what she was

calling a “Snow White costume.”

Felton says he thought her big sister

may have lent her a headband and

pasted some costume jewelry on it,

like a crown, and she had a blue skirt,

white shirt and red vest on.

Her sister had given her rosy cheeks

and bright red lipstick-stained lips.

In Felton’s opinion,

“Sally looked beautiful!”

and added,

“I was wearing a plaid flannel shirt

and worn out jeans, with a big

hobo pack on a stick.

We boys often went as hobos.”

A side funny comment was made

when Felt reflected some more,

“I suppose Sally didn’t want to 

get any apples,” 

(as Snow White.)

We all smiled and Mom

chuckled saying,

“That’s a good one!”

Felt informed us that his memories of

actual treats were apples, cookies,

carrots and even cold pancakes.

(We said, “Really?!”)

and if lucky, 

homemade popcorn balls

and rarely,

Cracker Jacks!

Felt set the “mood” then, by saying,

“Did you ever think a witch lived

down the street from you?”

Mom said,

“Yeah, but she was just Mrs. Donahue!”

(We all laughed a bit about her reply!)

There was a house at a dead end of his

long and winding street. He said

it was very dark and gloomy due to

no street lamps so he and his friends

had never gone to beg for treats there.

It was rumored to have “spirits” that

flew around and haunted it with a large,

old witch living there. As the story

went, every kid that attempted to stop

and sell anything or stop and ask

for treats, would be killed with 

their eyes would be pulled out 

of their dead

eye sockets!

Mom gasped, appropriately!

I was enthralled, secretly memorizing

the phrasings that he used, too.

Felt added, “The eyeballs were the

witch’s souvenirs!”

Felt bragged that he never believed

the stories but had never gone up

those rickety steps nor had asked for

donations to his pillow case, full

by the time he reached that

end of the road.

While getting towards that end of the

street along came his

big brother,

Freddy.

“How did I recognize him in his

costume?

Well, let me tell you this, he had

no business trick or treating!

He was far too old to be doing it!

But he had my cowboy bedsheet over

his head, with his eyes cut out,

being on both sides

of a horse!”

He continued farther saying that his

brother had “broken the brother

covenant”

by daring him to go and ring the

doorbell or knock on that

big gray door!

We both asked,

“Did you really have a

‘brother covenant’?”

And Felton said, “Well, these things

are understood between brothers!

He should not have made me have

to do that and I was embarrassed

if I didn’t, due to Sally being there!”

Felton then added,

“Nobody wants to look like a chicken

when your future reputation is riding

on the dare! I was trying my hardest

to make a good impression on Sally!”

This is the precious line I memorized

and closed my eyes to keep for you all:

“After all, death is instant, but being

called a ‘chicken’ lasts a lifetime!”

This part continued to be very good,

I am so glad we had the time to listen

to Felton. We encouraged him with nods

of our head and “go on’s” along

the way, too.

So, Felt says, he went up the broken

down stairs to the dark, looming house

and trying not to make any noises. He

stepped carefully so that the wooden

porch beams would not creak. He felt

the palms of his hands get sweaty.

He “crept” towards the door.

As he was reaching for the doorbell

next to the huge gray door with paint

peeling off it, the door flew open!

He heard from deep inside of the

“witch’s house,”

a continuous shrieking sound!

Felt said, “It sounded like a ‘screaming

banshee!’ It gave me goosebumps!”

Felt told us he turned sideways, he is

never sure WHY he went that way,

but he headed down the length of the

porch till he ran into

a large, wooden

big tub or vat.

He toppled over ~ INTO the vat!

He felt squishy, slimy shapes in his

fingers

(“Oh no! the children’s eyeballs!”

Felton told us.)

Then the light on the porch

suddenly came on!

He was in a wooden vat of grapes!

The sticky, purplish liquid wasn’t blood!

The round, mushy shapes

weren’t eyeballs!

The large, “witch” came towards him,

yanked on his arms and dragged

him into her house.

The woman said,

“Wait here!”

Felt said, “I did not dare move! The door

of her house had been slammed shut

and that woman seemed angry!”

She went into what he assumed was

the kitchen because she came out

into her sitting room, where she set

two tea cups down and the still

hissing tea kettle on a

crocheted hot pad.

She again used a demanding tone,

“Don’t you dare sit down!”

And she stomped up the stairs in

these big, untied leather boots.

When she came back she had a nice

warm set of wet wash cloths

and handed one at a time to Felton.

He wiped off reddish purple “goo.”

She inquired his name, he told her.

She finished wiping him up with a

dry towel. She laid the towel on

her couch for him to sit down.

She then told him

her name was “Miss Miller.”

She asked him to sit down.

She handed him a wax paper

wrapped caramel apple.

She poured him a hot cup of tea.

Felton paused to say,

“I noticed that my big brother and my

friends did not knock on the door

nor come to save me!

I sat back on her rose tapestry sofa

and enjoyed my caramel apple

and listened while she talked to me.”

“She told me that she didn’t have

any children nor did she have any

friends. She told me this while

I waited for my tea to cool off.”

Felton said in a soft voice,

“I sensed she was lonely and

I felt sorry for her, too.”

She told me she was making wine

and that vat was filled with the

beginnings of a good wine, needed

days more to ferment.

She looked at me and I looked at her.

Really studied her.

She looked about fifty but at my age,

who knows how old she was?”

With a bottle of her homemade wine

in his one hand and a second

caramel apple wrapped up and

thrown into his pillow case of less

exciting treats,

Felton was sent on home after

about thirty minutes

of conversation.

Felt turned as he was leaving and said

he would come back, 

if his mother let him, 

another day to visit.

Felton said,

“Miss Miller smiled one of the nicest,

warmest smiles I have ever been given.”

“I always thought of Miss Miller from

that time on, as a nice neighborly lady.

Oh, and I had the best of times riding

on that wave of popularity

when you “beat the bad guy”

or “are a super hero” because I

lived to tell the story of going into

the witch’s house and making

it back home in one piece.

Best of all, my older brother,

Freddy, got in big trouble

for leaving me there!”

Happy Halloween!

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Spirit of Halloween “Lives” in These Vehicles!

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Halloween Cars and Vehicles

In Delaware, a group of Zombies climb annually out of a rented

Hearse. They turn on the music of “Thriller,” sung by Michael

Jackson. My children and grandchildren tell me this Halloween

tradition lives on, in Delaware, Ohio.

Mom and I were happy to get up, she put on a black and white

top, an orange sweater along with a white ghost pin. I wore this

Halloween shirt, that has spiders’ webs, with black velvet spiders

and a haunted house. On the back of this shirt, which has orange

sleeves is a very large velvet spider. I walked with Mom down to

get our pumpkin donuts, frosted in cream cheese icing, along with

a cup of cider and one of coffee, too. We passed some of the candy

out to the morning servers, teens that Mom has connected with,

over the past two years.

I read a great summary of several famous vehicles that embody the

spirit of Halloween and need to give, Terry Troy credit for his news

in the Automobile Sales pages of Wednesday’s Cleveland Plain Dealer.

 

Here are the three vehicles that will go in order of ‘scary’ effects:

#1.¬† “Christine,” from Stephen King’s book is a 1958¬†Plymouth Fury,

who is filled with Satan’s soul, according to the thrilling novel. They

used between 20 or more Fury cars, some were destroyed in stunts or

used for parts. This “Christine” is indestructible and a determined “fury.”

 

#2. “Duel” is a memorable horror story of a 1955 Peterbilt 281 tanker truck,

who is chasing through the desert and mountain two lane roads, poor mild-

mannered Dennis Weaver’s character. He is driving a Plymouth Valiant, 1971.

This was, by the way, Stephen Spielberg’s first feature length movie, a triumph

in suspense and deadly scenes, released in 1971. Loud and scary horn is sounded

in a seemingly ‘driver-less’ truck that is relentless in its pursuit.

 

#3. “The Munsters”¬† television series was funny and not so scary, in my mind, as

the more hauntingly creepy “The Addams Family.” In the show, the Munster

family has two vehicles of note. One that you see more often is that of the family

car, called “Munster K0ach.” Fred Munster would take the family out for a drive

and the neighbors and other travelers on the road would pull over. This strange

but fun vehicle consists actually of three Ford Model T’s cut up and reconnected.

This iconic car was assembled by the famous George Barris, famous for other

television and movie vehicles. His other car constructions consist of the Batmobile,

Beverly Hillbillies Truck and KITT from Knight Rider show.

The “Munster Koach” used to tour with Fall car shows around the country. There

was a year it made it to the Marion Southland Mall, where my three children were

able to peek inside and see the red velvet interior, similar to the fabric used in caskets.

The goggle-wearing “Grandpa” character played by the great Al Lewis, was called,

“Drag-U-La” and was designed by Tom Daniel and built by George Barris.

 

 

 

Hope you have a Happy Halloween!

Also, hope you enjoyed this post paying homage to creepy Halloween vehicles, found

in movies and television.

Do you have a scary movie to add, whether or not it holds a vehicle?

Halloween’s “A’coming!”

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My two precious granddaughters, who I labeled the “M & M’ girls were over last night.

We built a slide out of my youngest daughter’s discarded yoga mat and pillows. We

played with my oldest daughter’s Barbies, recently donated to join my collection. She

is the one who has two boys… We played ‘make-up’ and ‘dress-up’ along with reading

all of my Fall books. They still like the story about the two mice who are on two sides of

a pumpkin, tending it and growing it into the, “The Biggest Pumpkin Ever.” They also

liked the simple cardboard preschool books about pumpkins and trick or treater’s. The

last reminder of a great book for this season is, “The Nutty Nut Chase ” book.

We watched the ¬†original “101 Dalmatians” with the scene animations being so lovely,

designed to entrance and bewitch the viewers with fall leaves and engrossing, dangerous

winter scenes. My Marley exclaimed about the chubby puppy who I think is named “Rowdy,”

“That puppy needs a diet!” I noticed that the man of the household is smoking a pipe, which

would not ‘do’ in today’s children’s¬†cartoon movies. (I have to say in the ‘old days’ I would not

have even thought twice about weight problems of puppies nor smoking pipes in my¬†dad’s or

granddad’s mouths.) This came up with¬†my Santa Claus which is porcelain and old-fashioned

“‘Twas the Night before Christmas” books, all still having pipes with smoke circling the head

of Santa Claus l, by ever observant children.

When we were finally settling in to sleep it was around eleven o’clock. I was ‘pooped,’ but wished

to ask what they would be for Halloween. They are BOTH going as “Elsa’s” character from the

movie they so love, called, “Frozen.” Would they go as ‘twins?’ No, they would not since they

are the same person both being, “Elsa.” I so love that no one says, that silly word, “Duh!”

anymore.

I mentioned that I will be up at my Mom’s for the holiday. They asked, almost in unison,

“Why can’t you¬†I be here with us?”

I remind them each time this subject matter comes up, “I hope you will be with me when I get

old and come visit me when it is my birthday.”

Wouldn’t you know 6 year old Marley woke up and asked me to get out the art supplies. Even

before they ate the pancakes I had made them!

I required the two little girls to go “Clean up first.” I began singing the “Clean up” song¬†which

caused  Makyah, age  3, to groan and moan. I ignored her, getting paper, scissors, markers,

crayons, lots of stickers out (I had quite a supply when I left preschool special ed. Paid for, as

I used to always do, with my own money for extra seasonal supplies and books.) While Marley

laid on the ground, Miss Drama Queen, Marley got right down to business, used to

this responsibility in her kindergarten classroom.

They put pumpkins, scarecrows and turkeys on 5 x 7 index cards saying,

“Nana, please write, ‘Happy Birthday, Great Grammie O’.”

Marley needed help to copy some of the¬†letters, but is able to write her and Kyah’s names.

Kyah added lots of “x’s” and “o’s” to hers while Marley could write out “I love you lots!”

They stapled them into a little book for my Mom to get on November first, her #86.

We headed back to their house at noon, since Mommy was going to make them lunch.

I gave them hugs and said, “See you Tuesday for your brother, Landen’s birthday and

thanks for the lovely cards for my Mom who will adore them!

Both my daughter and daughter-in-law will send Mom and me photos via cell phones of

the six grandkids. My son doesn’t text me often except to send me a ‘thinking of you’ or a

‘I love you because…’

 

Here is an (hopefully) amusing joke! You know my source, who is very reliable in her

twice weekly letters to me, inserting news articles about Cleveland, Ohio and other senior

and health related subjects!

 

COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN:

“You know you are too old to Trick or Treat when. . .”

 

#10. You keep knocking on your own front door.

 

#9. You remove your false teeth/wig/hair piece to change your appearance.

 

#8. You ask for soft high fiber candy only.

 

#7. When someone drops a candy bar in your bag, and you lose your balance and fall over.

 

#6. People admire your great Boris Karloff mask and you aren’t wearing a mask.

(You may insert Abe Vigoda or other aged people who have character in their wrinkles…)

 

#5. When the door opens and others yell words, but you forget to say, “Trick or Treat.”

 

#4. By the end of the night, you have a bag of restraining orders.

 

#3. You have to¬†carefully choose a costume that doesn’t dislodge your hairpiece.

Or one that covers up your body challenges…

**No slutty nurse costumes for you anymore! (women)

**No more Superman costumes; more likely the Pillsbury Dough boy would work. (men)

(ha ha ha)

 

#2. You are the only Power Ranger or Sleeping Beauty princess with a walker or a cane,

in the neighborhood.

 

And, as David Lettermen would say,

“The Number One Reason Seniors SHOULD NOT Go Trick or Treating Anymore. . .

 

(Are you ready for this one?. . . It directly applies to me and my own elderly problems…!!)

 

#1. You keep having to walk home to use the bathroom!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October’s Bewitching Month

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In a book called, “Brownie Year Book,”¬†written and illustrated by Palmer Cox, he

gives us twelve poems for a year.  This was found in an old anthology book, which

was published in the year of my birth, 1955. I have not featured the other months,

but may in the coming year, 2015.  It includes amusing, detailed pen and ink drawings

of these little ‘Brownies.’ ¬†They are not elf-like nor¬†imps.¬† They are not¬†younger

versions of Girl Scouts either. They look like little men. You may find these curious

characters on the Internet. Go ahead, check what the ‘Brownies’¬†look like. Otherwise,

I like the power and intricacy of words and will try to draw a picture in your mind of

them.  Their eyes are sometimes bugging out of their sockets.  In the wacky month

of June, the Brownies are banding together to go on a gentle ride in a boat along a

lazy stream. Alas, they reach a sudden increase of speed. Soon, they are falling out of

their boat going down a waterfall!¬† Chaos and amusement can be found in¬†each month’s

transitions. The ‘Brownies’ are an unexpected pleasure like some kind of dwarves in

their own little adventures. I think they could compare to the movie, “The Box Trolls,”

in their antics. There can be some ‘episodes’ of serious intent as this October shows:

 

“October

When woods are tinged

with all the glow

October on the woods

can throw,

And game is plenty

on the tree

And every kind

of weapon free:

The Brownies

imitate the way

Mankind does creep

upon the prey.”

(Palmer Cox)

 

 

 

OCTOBER CALENDAR

 

Birthstone: Opal

Flower: Calendula

 

You should be filling out your absentee ballots applications, if you won’t be able to

make it to the polls. One month until elections are here in the U.S. in November.

It will land on Tuesday, November 4, 2014. My Mom and my youngest daughter

sometimes vote using absentee ballots. I sent out a text to one, a hand-written

letter to the other.  Not sure if this will be true this year or if they will make it to

the Polls!

 

Late October, exciting times are coming: The 110th World Series of Major League

Baseball Championship games keep on going with round #7 playing on October 29th.

 

October 1st-

Remembering 10/1/64 when over 3000 University of California Berkeley, gathered

in protesting Civil Rights activist, Jack Weinberg being arrested, surrounding the

police car. Mario Salvo and other activists had formed the organization of FSM,

(Freedom of Speech Movement.) It was not necessarily just for African Americans,

as there were many Spanish speaking members, along with whites, including Jewish

people. This incident lasted over 32 hours and ended peacefully.

 

1- Quarter Moon.

 

3-4- Yom Kippur.

From sundown on October 3rd until sunset on October 4th.

 

7- Children’s Health Day

Support mothers and fathers who protect their children by keeping their vaccinations

and shot records current. I support our local health clinic in Delaware, Ohio by donating

to their funding.

 

8-¬†Hunters’¬†Full Moon

In October, Native Americans also call this Dying Moon and Travel Moon.

 

9- Leif Erickson Day.

Leif Erickson was believed to be the first (recorded) Nordic explorer of North America.

His Viking ship and members of his crew are shown appreciation on this day. If you

wish to see a humorous interpretation that explains this to children, see Leif Erickson

on Google, then add “SpongeBob SquarePants.”

 

13- Columbus Day.

Celebrating the ‘discovery’ of America, by Christopher Columbus.

Fly flags for honoring Veterans as this is a government holiday in the U.S.

 

15- Last Quarter Moon.

 

17- Alaska Day (observed).

The U.S. officially got the territory of Alaska from Russia transferred on the

date: October 18, 1867.

 

18- Two very different kinds of television programming going on:

1.¬† Stephen King’s¬†movie, “Big Driver,” will be shown on Lifetime on this evening.

2.¬† “My Boyfriend’s Dogs,” will be shown on Hallmark Channel tonight. The

actress, Ericka Christensen is known for her role on the show, “Parenthood.”

 

 

 

23- New Moon (rising)

 

24- United Nations Day.

If you have never looked at all the lovely designs for different stationery, you

may wish to check out the UNICEF website. My parents ordered their Christmas

cards every year around this time. My father’s obituary had two donation places

designated in ‘lieu of flowers,’ as UNICEF and the Hospice organization in Cleveland,

Ohio. Mark Chagall’s lovely designs and the iconic Peace dove with the twig of an

olive branch were some of my favorite cards ever.

 

30- Hallmark Channel presents the American Humane Society Dog Show and

will include: 8 Hero Dogs competing for a national title. Watch these unsung

canine heroes on Hallmark Channel at 8:00 p.m. (EST).

 

31- Happy Halloween Day!

The evening before All Saints Day was once designated as “hallowed evening.”

All kinds of spirits will be roaming neighborhoods, mainly children dressed

up in costumes. Beware! If you don’t offer treats, you may have some ‘devilish’

tricks or pranks played on you or your house. . .

 

Also, a very special celebration will be going on in Nevada!

Happy 150th Anniversary to Nevada’s Statehood! There will be no schools

and all government offices closed on this Friday. Then on Saturday,

November 1st, there will be major hoopla going on, starting with a huge

parade! Congratulations for all those living in Nevada and Enjoy!

 

 

In Autumn, I enjoy going for a drive in the country, stopping and having a

hike in the woods. This is one simple pleasure that almost anyone, except

an invalid or someone bedridden can partake in. I hope you are healthy,

will enjoy the way your senses can all come into play, while enjoying the

great outdoors.

 

“The Open Road

Afoot and light-hearted,  I take to the open road.

Healthy, free, the world before me,

The long brown path before me, leading

wherever I choose.

 

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself

am good-fortuned.

Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone

no more, need nothing.

Done with indoor complaints, libraries,

querulous criticisms,

Strong and content, I travel the open road.”

(Walt Whitman)

 

 

 

No White Halloween Today!

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On the morning before I left Columbus, Ohio there were varied parts

of Ohio with snow! I was wondering about my Cleveland trip, as were

my friends and coworkers, too. It turns out, the West side of Cleveland,

as always, was not “hit” by any snow. They received only a dusting of

frost that made the branches and windshields look like they were iced

with vanilla frosting.

There have been since the year of 1960, where Cleveland had a huge 7″

of snow on November 11, 1983. This is considered the most snow since

that date. Then there is the earliest snow since that date, October 2, 1974.

I would have been a senior at Bay High School that year.

White Halloweens seem to be a rarity, unexpectedly around here!

I was grateful for the warmer 60 degree weather day yesterday and look

forward to two more activities around Mom’s senior living apartments:

The monthly celebration of October birthdays with cake and the annual

Halloween dress up in costumes and enjoy apple cider with donuts. And

all in one day!

My outside the facility activities will be on Friday, with a trip to Friendly’s

for my Mom’s 84th birthday celebration. I will tell them that my birthday is

coming up in November and this is our only day that both will be celebrated

together. My next trip to Cleveland will be over Thanksgiving, where my

youngest daughter’s birthday will be celebrated and a call to my little Marley

girl for hers. Her parents will either have Marley’s b’day party before the

holiday or after. Either way, they will be assured of my attendance! She will

be five years old and my youngest daughter will be 28 years old.

The other outside Mom’s apartment activity, later on Friday evening, will be

to Chagrin Falls, a whole hour’s drive Eastward, to a juried art show. My

brother will be with me, hoping that he won an award. Randy is a widely

respected artist, but still, like the best of us, loves to “win” awards!

This is going to be a wonderful, less spooky and quieter Halloween Day for

my Mom and me!

Happy Halloween!

Hauntingly Elegant Sites

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If you would like to come to Ohio to see where Midwestern ghosts may

roam, there are several locations in our state. Many can be found in quite

elegant inns and you may stay overnight to get the full experience of such

unearthly spiritual encounters. If you already have plans this year, you

could always plan a visit next year, perhaps…

My youngest daughter, who graduated from U.D., visited the Golden

Lamb Inn once on a date. I was taken once for a “fancy dinner” and envy

those who would stay overnight to experience the ghostly encounters,

this Halloween season. The Golden Lamb Inn has the right to boast it is

“the oldest inn”¬†claims to have¬†three ghosts in residence. They appear in

guest rooms and in connecting hallways, too. This is a four story, brick

Colonial style inn which is both authentic and lovely in its interior

furniture and decorations.

One of the supposed “specters” is a small girl. This may possibly Sarah

Stubbs’ inner child since she did live a long life. She was the daughter

of an early owner of the inn. I would be sad to see a child’s ghost,

especially if it were one who had died young.

Another spirit that roams the halls is thought to be one of Charles

Sherman, father of the Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman.

The elder, Charles, was a well respected Ohio Supreme Court justice,

along with being a renowned lawyer known for his legal decisions and

opinions that have been cited for years after his death.

This Charles, a cigar smoking man, died while staying at the inn due to

a sudden illness, leaving his wife with 9 year old (general) William and

TEN other children, aged 18 and younger! I would think the penniless,

widowed wife would be the one haunting the place, with such a large

family to tend! I would think Charles, with such an active sex life, (proof

in a family of 11 children) would have been able to live longer due to

the exercise and blood flowing through his fertile body! Supposedly,

Charles’ whiskered face with the accompanying smell of cigar smoke

is often found in the inn’s hallways.

Another “ghost” of The Golden Lamb Inn is the one of Congressman,

Clement Vallandigham. As  a U.S. Congressman running for Ohio

Governor, he spoke up against the Civil War. This anti-war stance was

frowned upon and he was ‘expelled’ from the North. When he returned

to Ohio, he was staying at the Inn while serving as a defense attorney in

a murder case. The poor, klutzy lawyer was planning a demonstration

for court the next day proving his client innocent and that the victim had

committed suicide and was not a victim. While practicing the use of a how

a gun could be used to commit suicide, he accidentally shot himself in the

abdomen. He died the next morning. If not of embarrassment, then of the

actual self-inflicted fatal wound!

The Colonel Taylor Inn, in Cambridge, Ohio, is a beautiful place to stay. It was a

frequent overnight place of many famous guests, including congressmen, as

the owner was Congressman Joseph D. Taylor. Among the notable guests,

the trio of presidents from Ohio were James A. Garfield, William McKinley,

and Rutherford B. Hayes. (He was a Delaware, Ohio resident and our high

school is named after him.) Although dead Presidents may be inclined to

haunt the White House, the strange noises, unexplained footsteps and

wafting pipe tobacco smoke are all attributed to the Colonel.

The 1861 Inn in Batavia, Ohio is one built during the Civil War to shield

and protect travelers along the Underground Railroad. (Side comment:

Delaware has a corner where North Franklin and Lincoln Roads cross

where there are two tunnels criss-crossing under the roads. The Chi Phi

fraternity House has a scary haunted house that annually plays up this

strange area where ghosts may pass through…) Anyway, the alleged

haunting spirit of a woman named Jennie Penn, can be found in the

hallways and rooms in this inn. The woman graduated in 1885 from

Batavia High School and lived in the 1861 Inn until her death in the

1940’s. Her spirit wanders through, seen and heard here. She was

an artist, so a self portrait of Jennie is hung in the lovely dining room

of the inn. Many of her personal mementos can be found throughout

the building she called home, as a grown “spinster” woman.

The following is a brief list of other hotels and places to find Ohio

ghostly apparitions floating around and creating mischief:

1. Punderson Manor (found at Punderson State Park Lodge) where

rumors of paranormal visitors abound, including an eerie laugh in

rooms and halls, water faucets that turn on and off, and doors

opening and closing.

2.¬† Rider’s Inn (Painesville, Ohio) In 1812, built and also used in the

Underground Railroad stop. Gentle spirit of Suzanne Rider passes

through the rooms and halls here. There is  a Suzanne Suite, Room #11,

which you can book, to get the whole experience of her ghostly

presence.

3. Buxton Inn of Granville, Ohio. Ghosts are of both the innkeeper and

his wife that haunt these hallways together. That couple probably

creates quite a lot of mischief!

4. Lofts Hotel in Columbus, Ohio. This is a beautiful Victorian style

building filled with the possibility of that era’s “lady ghosts,” roaming

around it.

5. There are oddities and unusual sightings in the Marietta Hotel,

Lafayette, Ohio. Personal property goes missing from guests’ rooms.

Shampoo and conditioner bottles are found dumped. There are

sometimes upside down or suitcases that have been tipped over

and contents strewn. This is the most active set of spirits reported

in all the hotels and inns in Ohio.

6. In Cincinnati, the Hilton Inn at Netherland Plaza, has a “Lady in Green”

who occupies the place. She is surmised to be the wife of a construction

worker killed during the building of the Inn, in the 1930’s. There is an

elegant Hall of Mirrors, to view in this location.

At Halloween the best place to visit to get the whole range of emotions,

of course, would be to head towards New England and go north to

Salem, Massachusetts.

Salem has a lot of spirits roaming and everyone, whether they are one

or not, likes to parade around in witch or warlock costumes or actual attire.

I have seen this place during a less cheery time of year, in Winter, while a

young teenager with my family. The grim, freezing cold weather gave my

view a whole different twist on the witchcraft and the various museums

we explored. My family valiantly traveled there to see my Great Aunt Marie,

Great Aunt Dorothy and her husband, Great Uncle George. We spent time

with my second cousins in the town of Rockport, Massachusetts. The trip

was beautiful from the inside of our old station wagon. The icicles,

beautiful antique features of the Victorian and Colonial homes along with

the confectioner sugar coating on all you could see are sights I will always

remember fondly.¬† As long as we were in one of the family member’s

homes with fires blazing in the fireplace or tucked in with blankets, in the

car driving through the towns winter is a wondrous sight in New England!

I would like to see the town of Salem, MA again, on a warmer, less dismal

day! That is the direction that makes the most sense to head while observing

the holiday of Halloween!

Evil Is in the Eye of the Beholder!

Standard

Let’s just eliminate all fun and use of imagination! I am giving an

unapologetic rant, today! I was astonished to read of the newest

“victim” of right wing Christians: pumpkins that are carved into

Jack-O-Lanterns! They are on a newly extended “hit list” that is just

taking this a little too far.

I fully understand why they consider Halloween a “pagan ritual” but

do think almost all children would not realize the implications of evil

in wearing costumes and gathering large amounts of candy into bags.

I have “held my tongue” and cooperated with the schools (and preschools)

that have decided to turn their Halloween costume parties into Harvest

Fests. I have never complained to my grandchildren or let on to the

fact that 4 of 6 grandchildren will not be having Halloween parties. They

will have cider and donuts, or possibly even cupcakes with pumpkins

and leaves being the decorations instead of witches, goblins, vampires

and zombies! (Side comment: both the 4 year olds like those “scary”

images and don’t have nightmares with them involved.)

Being scared is part of being a child. Remember being afraid of the dark,

clowns, dolls, what was in your closets or under your beds? If you teach

your child fear, this can be good! Don’t want them going off with strangers

nor accepting food, candy or other things without adult or parental

permission! I am fine with those very important lessons learned in these

“stranger danger” possibilities. I would prefer some fear in their lives…

I loved scary stories, yet did have a few bad dreams or nightmares, while

a child, though. I liked “ghost stories” due to the way the goosebumps

made me feel scared but alive!

Here is a new list of things that are being taken out of the New York

City schools’ tests, due to recent NYC Dept. of Education mandates:

1. “Dinosaurs” (due to people who don’t believe in evolution)

2.¬†“Birthdays” (Jehovah’s Witness have a problem with them. So, can we

still celebrate the LIVES of famous people around their birthdays?

Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, others come to mind…)

3. “Creatures from Outer Space,” so Aliens cannot conform to Bible

teachings but how about imagination and silly monsters?

4. “Homes with pools” really, I could not make this up! Not sure but

am trying to reason that some people would be underprivileged

enough not to recognize them and would not “test well” using these.

5. “Computers,” really again trying hard to rationalize why?

6. “Vermin.” Enough said.

7. “Junk food.” How about lessons on not eating them?

8. “Abuse.” Well, we don’t want to teach them about it, but how about

prevention?

9. “Terrorism,” always a very touchy subject.

10. “Divorce.” Not sure why testing would be skewed with this but okay.

11. “Holidays.” Enough said, again.

When you were little you probably loved those holidays with candy and

fun, like passing Valentines out and getting dressed up and collecting

door to door candy. If you are from somewhere you weren’t exposed to

these “customs” and let’s not call them “holidays,” maybe you had another

one or two that included fun, games and treats. In Mexico, a pi√Īata would

be great filled with candy! Name some in your country, include any times

you were allowed to wear a costume, please, too!

Here are some areas that are now being added to concerns of people

when considering costumes and celebrating Halloween:

In Sandy, Utah a conservative citizens’ group don’t want children to

wear any “cross-dressing costumes” or “masks,” either.

I had a wonderful read today in the Cleveland papers of a woman

who wrote an editorial reply to this, paraphrased as”

“If you think my son wearing a ‘Daphne’ character’s costume from

“Scooby Doo” cartoons will make him (or turn him) into a gay, I

need to worry about your son turning into an axe murderer or

a ninja!”

Another group, from an area down by my “neck of the woods,” is

telling members of the Maryland Elementary in Bexley, Ohio that

some children may not have enough money for costumes so that

is a good reason to not have a Halloween costume party. Hey!

What about the ghosts made out of sheets, the cats with all black

leotards with black eyeliner whiskers, the hobo costumes, the

farmer or scarecrow costumes where you use overalls and plaid

shirts, or the 70’s hippies or 50’s bobby sox outfits? Aren’t these

fun and inventive ways for parents to dig up stuff out of their

closets? And, yes, my son did dress up as a woman with a wig,

dress and high heels: he is married and has two children and

two stepkids, too!

How about a ban on scary costumes? How about just friendly

ones like Casper the Friendly Ghost or Scooby Doo? I like the

princess ones that the little girls wear year round to the grocery

store and the little black cape and Batman half mask that my

oldest grandson wore everywhere he went. I liked the cowboy

boots passed down from my brother to my oldest daughter,

who wore them, even in Christmas pictures with Santa Claus.

Two more Evangelists who are complaining about Halloween:

Pat Robertson says, “Halloween is Satan’s Night.”

Kimberly Daniels says, Most of the candy sold during this season,

has been dedicated and prayed upon by witches.” (Jacksonville, FL)

I don’t think innocent children have “devilish” intentions and I am

not sure that the majority of their parents do either!

Hope I did not step on too many toes here! You are allowed freedom

of speech, I agree to disagree with some of the opinions expressed

by my opposition. I will be polite, your turn to rant…