A Real Life Halloween Scare

With all Hallows approaching, got me to thinking about a real life scare that I had a long time ago...

Both my parents are fright junkies. My Mom filled us full of ghost stories that she said happened in our family, like the night she watched two white terry towel bath robes belonging to her two brothers, suddenly slip off the hooks in the bathroom, crawl across the floor, open the window in the bedroom and slip out, to disappear forever. Uncle Billy and Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Alice always backed up the story as did Granddad. Our Grandmother, whom we called Mother, was also ticked off because she made the robes, she was a seamstress, and I don't think she bought the story. Yet they were never found.

My Dad just liked scaring people, telling us from the time we could listen about this creature named Bloody Bones. “Bloody Bones is gonna git you so you better watch out!” He would say imitating the monster and chasing us around the room, tickling us breathless if he caught us. Dad had a crooked finger from a fire cracker accident, which made his hands a lot creepy when he went into his Bloody Bones act. He also took us to every scary movie that played at the Twin Drive In, in Bond Hill or Norwood, depending on what side of the fence you lived on.

As kids, we were taught and knew not to go into those dark or odd places where things seemed a bit off, so to speak. Usually I listened, but one time I got caught. Years later, Hollywood made the movie The Exorcist. I'd read the book....bought by looking at the cover of the paperback...didn't know anything about the story...just read it...couldn't put it down. But it literally scared the hell out of me. I got to seeing things and smelling smells in my house. My imagination was working overtime for real.

The first thing I wanted to do was to get the book out of the house, which I did. I gave it to my brother in law who was on his way to Vietnam. He read it and tossed it overboard. It's still at the bottom of the Gulf of Tonkin, unless some fish scooped it up thinking it was food. All our conversations turned to that book until he got home. My sisters, both of them, read it too. The Exorcist was the recommended book from the Moore sisters that year.

Anyway, when the movie came out, of course, I had to see it, so my brother in law and my sister and I drove out to Springdale Cinemas. He was back by then. The crowd was huge, but so were the winds. A freak windstorm blew up knocking out electricity for miles around. It was freaky because other than the winds, the weather wasn't bad, sticky, cool but no rain, like the rain would come later. All of us in line were nervously joking about the weather and how maybe Mother Nature didn't want us to see this movie.

It was still early in the evening, so the three of us decided to drive downtown to the Regal Theater in the West End. Chinese Connection was playing and my brother and I were huge Bruce Lee fans. My sister was along for the ride, since she didn't like chop socki movies nor horror films, to this day.

We got downtown and couldn't get into see Bruce, so we decided to head home. My sister had to work the next day so my brother and I decided to meet the next day to see the movie. Trouble is, he thought we were going to see Bruce and I thought we were going to see The Exorcist. The next day, I went to Springdale while he went downtown. I waited and waited for him. Couldn't call because the cell phone addiction hadn't happened yet . We were still on pay phones and carrying quarters, just in case. So I butched up and went inside to watch this movie. whose book had almost literally scared me straight when I read it. The movie was just as bad/good. The theater was packed, but I'm alone again with this stupid story. At one point, I realized I was holding hands with the stranger sitting next to me. In fact we realized it at about the same time. We looked at each other and laughed nervously...but we didn't let go....not til the credits.

Then I went home to find my family... safe again....it was after all...only a movie.

Epilogue: A few years later, I met the Priest who performed the real exorcism and he told me the real story which led to some more sleepless nights. The real story was so much worse..But I'll save that for another day.

Happy Halloween!
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