October has always been one of my favorite months; not only do the leaves begin to change from green to vibrant reds and yellows but the Thanksgiving holiday reminds us to slow down and spend time with loved ones. The plump orange pumpkins stick around all month first for décor and then they become spooky faces for Halloween …. This painting above is a combination of something old and something new… and I will let you decide if it is still as spooky as it was when I was a child.
Halloween was always so exciting; picking out my costume, being part of the parade at school… do you remember what you dressed up as on Halloween? There was a princess with a facemask that was hard to wear since I wore glasses, and there was a super girl, a wonder woman, and when I got a bit older I did my own make up … a kitty, a clown, but my very favorite was … a witch! A big pointy hat and black gown to my toes… that one seemed to stickwith me even today I still wear my witches hat when I give out treats on Halloween night .
Wasn’t there a house in every neighbourhood that just spooked you? We had a house at the end of our street that we called the “Haunted house”. There was no decorating, no festive orange pumpkins and no candy. Usually it was the darkest house on the block, the trees clinched the walls like they were protecting it from anyone that dared to walk up the path to the front door. All the children spoke about this “scary house” and although I preferred to avoid going anywhere near especially on Halloween, the rest of the kids gathered together and dared one another to be the first to walk up and ring the bell…
Even the walkway was eerie, crunching leaves can be heard with every step, lights went on and then turned off, the gate was timeworn and falling apart, although every other house lit like a Christmas tree, this old house seemed to stand alone…
The Halloween nights that were rainy and dark were the worst. Although I anticipated wearing my costume, trick or treating in the neighberhood with my cousins I knew once we got to the end of the block… the fun seemed to fade and the fear set in. What was it that the kids thought they knew? There were fables of all sorts; I heard a man jumped to his death from the bedroom window, I also heard if you walked by you can feel eyes looking upon you , following you home, there were stories and as time went on and I got older I stopped listening to them just enough to put my mind at ease about the old place…. except … on October 31st when logic gave way to legends, shadows and spirits.
Today that old house has been torn down and a sweet looking cottage like home sits on the same lot. The bushes seem lighter, the trees still hug the house but in a friendly manner and the door opens on October 31st to all that walk up the path… If you pass by the inviting home and you didn’t know what lay there prior, you would not think this was the “Haunted house” that entertained us as children…… but to us… the kids that grew up on Palmerston Gardens, Clinton, Euclid, and Manning… we can’t help but be reminded of what lies beneath all the sweetness can we?
Dark windows, broken porch handles, dried out bushes and crispy leaves, sometimes wet with rain. The thrill of the dare, knees shaking as we walked up the path, fingers trembling as we thought about ringing the bell, curtains moving ever so slightly in the house … and the creeking sound that we all know we heard even if the door never opened… All Hallows Eve…and we can give our thanks to the house at the end of street.
In case your wondering why go through all of the trouble? It was a broken down old place, it did feel unsettling, but to all of us, it was part of the neighborhood and part of the night.
When we got home, the older cousins got to go through all the chocolates and we got the left overs.. but they were still sweet, tasty and worth the work! We finished off the evening with our animated cartoons – Charlie Brown was never left out of our celebrations and finally as we parted and went to bed… as our lights went off and all was calm.. right before I fell into a deep and wonderful sleep…the last image that came to mind… I saw the house… ” the scary house” , and heard the creek! Boo!!
Happy October everyone, until we meet again, Katerini
I think you will enjoy this tune, not one of my jolly usual’s , this one is specifically chosen for the house at the end of the street !