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
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!”
“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
“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
Felt set the “mood” then, by saying,
“Did you ever think a witch lived
down the street from you?”
“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
Mom gasped, appropriately!
I was enthralled, secretly memorizing
the phrasings that he used, too.
Felt added, “The eyeballs were the
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
“How did I recognize him in his
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
by daring him to go and ring the
doorbell or knock on that
big gray door!
We both asked,
“Did you really have a
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
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
(“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
The large, “witch” came towards him,
yanked on his arms and dragged
him into her house.
The woman said,
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
Felton was sent on home after
about thirty minutes
Felt turned as he was leaving and said
he would come back,
if his mother let him,
another day to visit.
“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!”
🍁 🍃 👻 🍂 🌚