If you ever lived in a shitty neighborhood, like I did when I was a kid, there probably wasn’t a lot of holiday decorating going on outdoors. For a while we lived a place that never saw a Fourth of July flag or giant candy cane in the yard, but come Halloween the place practically decorated itself. Between the broken fence, the darkened windows and the weeds in the yard we had an automatic haunted house all year round but it really only came in handy for about a week each year. In addition to looking spooky the place was literally haunted by angry ghosts with severe drinking problems.
While ghosts in movies might move items and say boo, the ones we had would show up in the night get drunk and make a mess; the sound of chains being replaced the sound of bottles being knocked over as if Jacob Marley somehow drank the chains he forged in life. Most of the ghosts that haunted our house would be gone by morning we could convince ourselves that it was all in our heads and the noise wasn’t anything to be afraid of… except for the one that wasn’t gone. Being kids we did the only thing we could…we closed our eyes and asked for the ghost to be sent back to where they came from. Eventually we moved and the noise at night stopped but the ghost never really went away. It was down the hall, in the attic and in every noise we heard in the darkness…so we kept wishing that the ghost would be sent back to where it came from, quietly without ever telling each other we we’re doing it, we hoped it would happen. It was a matter of time, we knew this, but we waited until finally… years after the sun came up on the longest nights we ever knew our childhood wishes were granted and our very own ghost was sent back to the very dark place it came from…missing the top of it’s head and whatever part of it’s brain hadn’t been destroyed by the post that had gone through it. In the brain that was left, I hope he saw us smiling.
You’d never know it but this post started out as a funny anecdote about Halloween but as you can see it morphed into something much much different, much more personal. That’s just how it happened, I said “haunted house” and the rest wrote itself without me thinking about it. Sometimes I tell the story and sometimes the story tells me.