Saturday, October 31, 2015

A Halloween Memory

I have told this story before but I recently rewrote it.  If you read it before, I hope you find this telling a little clearer and if you have not heard it, I hope you enjoy the memory...


I was five the first time I went trick-or-treating. We lived out in the country at that time and the first stop was at Bunches, a grocery store in Eastwood, where we were given an apple. It seemed to be a good deal, to dress up and take a bag up to a door and say “trick-or-treat” and come away with goodies. You can get away with such things as a kid. As an adult, you’d be guilty of extortion, but as a kid, you’re cute. After Bunches, we went over to my grandparents and were joined by my grandma and my Uncle Larry. Together we went into town to see what kind of goodies we might collect. Larry, who is six years older, took my brother and me door-to-door while my Grandmother and Mother followed along in the car.
All was going along splendidly until we came up to an old big house. The house itself looked spooky, but we were with Larry and were not afraid. He rang the doorbell. We could hear the shuffling of feet and the door slowly squeaked open and we found ourselves standing in front of three grinning witches. These women were dressed in black and wore strange hats. My brother and I, leaving Larry behind as a morsel for their cauldron, dropped our bags and ran back to the car, shouting the alarm: “witches, witches.”
Mom met us before we got to the car. “You need to apologize to those women,” she said, as she grabbed our wrists and dragged us back up to the porch. We kept squirming and fighting to get away. “They’re not witches,” Mom kept saying, but we’d heard the stories of Hansel and Gretel and others who had been tricked by such evil women.  Eventually, shaking in our shoes and mom squeezing our wrists, we apologized and learned they were not witches, but nuns wearing habits. Of course, at the time this didn’t make any sense to this five year old. “Nun” was the dessert you got when you didn’t clean your plate and habits was something usually modified by the word “bad.” I was developing a few of them… The nuns accepted our reluctant apology and laughed as they gave us each a handful of candy as our fear waned.
Happy Halloween!  Do you have any plans for this evening?

47 comments:

  1. That is a hilarious story seeing as i spent 11 years in Catholic school and the first 8 the nuns were in full habit, wimple. rosary and wooden ruler which they carried as a side arm holstered.

    You know the slum Halloween Jeff--we, like everyone else, lock the gate keep the lights off and answer the door with the shotgun close at hand.

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    1. I can understand why you are relucant about opening up to Halloween in Detroit and also why some who knew "nuns" personally saw them as even more frightening.

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  2. You know, I bet those nuns probably had several such experiences over the course of the night every year - and loved every minute of it.

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    1. I'm sure as they weren't too many nuns in the South in the early 60s

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  3. I'll be handing out candy, if the expected storm doesn't keep the kids away.

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    1. I hope you had a great and safe (and dry) Halloween

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  4. Oh, and that was funny---mistaking nuns for witches. In my time I've known a few nuns who were scarier than witches.

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  5. I remember such childhood misunderstandings. On a spooky night, that would happen.

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  6. lol that was funny. I'm not doing much tonight and we never get trick or treaters anymore but my grandson is going to stop by with my daughter so we can see him in his costume.

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    1. It is good to be able to dote on grandchildren, isn't it

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  7. LOL....I don't think I saw a nun till I was in high school, so I get it!

    My daughter is dressed as Olaf and is busy handing out candy right now.

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    1. I don't know when the next time I saw one... probably high school

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  8. That's a great story. At first, I thought the scary part was that you received an apple.
    Happy Halloween weekend, Sage.

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  9. Funny story!

    I never went trick or treating, it wasn't a thing in England when I was growing up.

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    1. I thought Halloween was catching on in Europe

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  10. I didn't see the nun twist coming on this one. Excellent story!

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  11. When I was a teenage some horror flick had possessed nuns floating around a cursed convent. Since then nuns sort of give me the creeps. As for Halloween plans, my wife and I gave out candy and watched movies.

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    1. I hope you had a great Halloween--it was later that I learned about nuns and rulers that I realized there was a reason to be afraid :)

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  12. Nothing happening here near Charleston for us. We live too far down a dirt road and the Halloween festivities ended when we moved to the hinterlands. You are a close by inhabitant of the places I love--southeastern marshes.

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    1. Yes, just southeast of Savannah. I grew up around salt marsh and now find myself back

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  13. You might be amused by Fr Ted. In Ireland and the UK, Fr Jack shouting 'Nuns !!!!!!!, REVERSE' will rise a huge belly laugh.

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    1. I am not familiar with Fr. Ted or Fr. Jack... is it a TV program?

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  14. Good twist. Like all good Halloween stories, yours has the right amount of suspense. Thanks.

    Greetings from London.

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    1. Thanks--I have written this a couple of times, and I think I got it down to my favorite telling with all the details this time.

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  15. I love that story! Halloween is so much more interesting through the eyes of kids.

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  16. Hahaha!!!!! That is hilarious. That is probably the first time nuns have been called witches. :p

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    1. I'm not so sure about that being the first time... my friends who went to Catholic school tells of being afraid of them!

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  17. Hahaha!!!!! That is hilarious. That is probably the first time nuns have been called witches. :p

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  18. That's hilarious! I don't remember reading that story before - must have been before my time. :)

    I just hung out at home that night, waiting for trick or treaters who never came by. I think the kids in my little neighborhood have finally aged out.

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    1. It is kind of sad not having trick-or-treaters Here, their is one section of the island where everyone goes and a lot of people go there with golf carts decorated and drive around handing out candy, but I didn't have time for that this year.

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  19. I really enjoy hearing about your past stories, what fun! As a matter of fact I had big plans and if you read my blog today, (Tuesday) you'll see what Halloween fun I had too!

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    1. I enjoyed the story of your Halloween fun with your grandchildren.

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  20. Aww, glad you got the candy in the end :-)

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    1. Yeah, they could have given out rosaries :)

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  21. Oh no, but gosh, what a funny story years later.

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    1. It reminds me of a time when life was much simpler and innocent

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  22. That is a great memory (and nicely told).
    My job is to hand out the treats. A little story about that... The people who we bought our house from (10 years ago) handed out freshly made and still warm donuts as treats. They were legend and gave out lots of donuts. Well, on our first Halloween there, many people people came to the door expecting a donut. We knew nothing about that, and apparently disappointed more than a few of them. Every year there are less and less of them, but we still hear about it (in a humorous way).

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    1. It's hard to keep up with the past! Reading about the donuts, my mouth waters.

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  23. That is quite a story with an unpredictable outcome. Nuns! Who would have thought? Relieved it all worked out!

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    1. This was before "The Flying Nun" came on TV, so my worldview wasn't very large

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  24. I remember thinking the same thing when I first saw a nun in full habit. But it was not Halloween.. .rather a lovely sunny summer's day. I asked my older sister if the two of them were witches. She certainly knew better but told me "yes" anyway. And mine was a predominantly Catholic neghbourhood.. but I was raised Jewish. ;)

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