On All Hallow's Eve in 2002, the spirits were restless, and apparitions in our yard were at an all-time high. Children in their costumes trembled in their boots as the sight of our haunted manse appeared between the trees.
Approaching closer, a pallor of doom descended over the trepidatious adventurers. Too quickly, the sun descended into darkness, and Halloween lights arose to illuminate the night: spectral spirit lights cast hues of blue, and flickering firelight burned from the flaming cauldrons and from within the grinning jack-o-lanterns.
Like the last breath of a dying man, a chilly mist billowed forth out of the night, cloaking the scene in a dank fog.
Drawing near, the horrifying details of the place came into focus. Frightening faces were carved in the jack-o-lanterns, and a cluster of gravestones crowded around the trees.
From the looks of one of the pumpkins, it was clear that pirates were near. We noted down the design so that we could reproduce it later for history's sake. A toothy grin had been haphazardously hacked into the other pumpkin with a large knife.
Drawing nearer, one could read the epitaphs on the gravestones. A chill goes down one's spine at the thought of it: a graveyard for unruly children who had met untimely ends from bad behavior, such as running with scissors or eating too much sweets, as if in warning to the still-breathing urchins who dared to tread between the stones.
Towering over the stones was a wretched, twisted tree, ringed with ghostly light. Beyond could be seen spirits fluttering among the trees.
Were their eyes playing tricks on them, or was that horrible tree watching them? A greenish glow burned out of knotted wood, resembling eyes. And then they saw it... the tree was moving, yet there was no wind. Slowly swaying, the branches seemed to reach for the terrified children for some unknown, forgotten purpose.
A fluttering motion in the house's upstairs windows caught their eyes. Looking up, they saw the shimmering forms of two forlorn ghosts, hovering at the window, yearning to be freed from the astral shackles that tied them to the mansion.
But what of the other window? Inside, bathed in blood-red light and framed by the flicker of lightning, was the looming frame of a devil, scowling down with teeth bared!
Scampering towards the door to escape the gaze of the unholy minion, the children passed an enormous pumpkin, from which burst three cackling ghosts, delighting in the wide-eyed gazes of the petrified children.
I could see the children approaching from inside my window. The spirits were as active indoors as out! For their courage, each child was awarded their heart's desire: a handful of sweets and a ghastly toy to remember their visit to our haunted home!
Ah, another Halloween adventure survived! The trick-or-treaters have gone home, and are sipping their cider before going to bed, unaware that we are already plotting next year's scares and surprises. But that's for another time.
Until then, Happy Halloween from both of us at ImaginEERIEing!