Horror and Thriller Non-Fiction posted September 16, 2017

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The 'folklore, hoaxes and myths of Halloween

Grandpa! Do Ghosts Leave Tracks?

by junglefighter

Halloween story for youngsters Contest Winner 

"To Grandpa"

Although our old homeplace burned to ashes later on,  the live-oak tree in the yard still stands.  My initials carved in the bark are gone now and yet, the memory of those years, "are etched in my heart!"  My family and I, lived with Grandpa and Grandma in their little log-cabin for six-months until we could re-build.  We were packed like sardines in a can and yet, we were close for hugging.  This Halloween, I shall speak to our Little Angels at the St. Jude's Childrens Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.  Dolly Parton, (Dollywood) a dear friend of mine, will be at my side to read Grandpa! Do Ghosts Leave Tracks?
I don't remember anything of my first through fifth Halloween, and most things of my sixth are vague.  However, I remember well, Grandpa taking me trick-or-treating the year I turned seven on Halloween day.  Reflecting on those memorable years, brings tears to my eyes, and I thank God for the memory of his sweet presence.  "Grandpa! Do Ghosts Leave Tracks?" is a true story.

"Grandpa!  Today's Halloween,  I'm seven-years old, and I'm ready to go trick-or-treating, all by myself."

"Oh, are you now?  You're going alone sounds awfully scary to me.  Are you sure you want to face the ghosts' n goblins all by yourself?"

"Well, maybe not!  I guess you could tag along if you really wanted to."

"Ok!  Do you promise to whoop the ghosts if they try to get me?"

"I promise, Grandpa.  I'll take a broom along and whoop their tails.  Hummm!  You might need to help if they come at me from behind."

"I am so excited.  You and I will dress up like ghosts, light off the oil lantern, sit in the shadows and scare everyone real bad.  Then after that, we'll haul-buggy and go trick-or-treating, okay?"

"Okay, Grandpa!  But before we go I gotta know something.  The other night I dreamed a ghost was in my bed.  It was so scary, because it had no feet."

"Ghosts don't have feet, they ride on sheets, Billy.  Did it tell you it's name?"

"All it ever said was Boooo! Grandpa."

"That'll work for now, Son.  So tell me what happened?"

"Well,  it jumped outta bed and said, "Hey! come with me, whippersnapper.  I'm gonna take you to a dismal place where restless souls go beyond the laws of fact.  Some of us ghosts call them inhabitants of the unseen world and yet, others call them ghosts that leave no tracks."  Of course, I didn't understand all the big words it used, so I wrote em down for you to explain."

"Hmmm!  Some of em,  I'll need Grandma's help to figure out.  So go ahead with your questions and we'll ask Grandma later, Okay?"

"You betcha, Grandpa!  I heard a boy say he was too old to trick-or-treat,  and that kids who believed that ghosts'n goblins live in old haunted houses, leave no tracks when they walk, and that ole black witches ride on brooms, are silly!  I wanna know,  "just how old is too old,  are there really ghosts'n goblins out there and do ghost really have no feet?"

"Good questions, Son.  The answer to who is too old?  Is not as black and white as the spooky ghosts' n goblins we'll meet tonight.  I noticed when I was seven-years old,  that I wasn't given as much candy as the younger kids.  However,  I was big for my age like you.  So tonight,  just hold out your bag and enjoy what candy you get.  If your bag gets full,  just put the rest in your pockets."

"I love you, Grandpa!  When I'm all growed up and have a little boy, I hope you're still here to go trick-or-treating with us."

"God bless you, Son!  I hope so too.  Now, what exactly is the right age, the sweet spot, if you will, for kids to hang up their treat bags for good?  Well, in my opinion, there is no set age for everyone.  Many kids outgrow the candy in a bag part and yet continue to enjoy putting on a spooky costume then tagging along for kicks. As to kids believing that ghosts' n goblins live in old haunted houses, leave no tracks when they walk, and ole black witches ride on brooms are silly?  Well,  if we're alive to come home tonight, we'll work on that one."
"Oh, I just remembered, I had a nightmare last Halloween.  I saw a ghost and it said, "I'm gonna carry you into the darkness and bite you to the bone!"

"Silly ghosts!  It knew it had no teeth.  What did you do then, Son?"

"I screamed, shivered, covered my head with the blanket and yet, could not escape the sound of it's bloodcurdling cry.  So I burried my head beneath the pillow and prayed for God to take the ghost away."

"Well, Billy!  Did God answer your prayer?"

"Awe, Grandpa, you know He did!"

"Of course, I do, Son.  God always hears you when you say your prayers."

"Grandpa.  Could I sit in your lap while you tell me the Halloween story?  I'm a wee bit scared, you know?"

"Hop up here, Son.  I'm a wee bit scared too.  So, off we go.  When I was seven-years old,  I imagined seeing monsters, ghosts' n goblins everywhere,  while out trick-or-treating. They were groaning, growling and howling at the moon.  My heart beat like a drum,  I tried to swallow and yet, the fear would not go down.  However, I always came home.  Sometimes,  I had nicotine stains in my drawers and something wet running down my leg."

"Please, Grandpa.  Don't use those big words.  I don't  know the meaning of nicotine stains. What is that?"

"Sorry, Son.  I keep forgetting that you're only seven-years old.  Nicotine stains come from smoking or chewing tobacco and have a yellowish color. Kinda like when you pooped your pants as a baby.  Do you understand now, Son?"

"I think so, Grandpa."
"Close enough, Son.  Now, on with my story.  While I was out trick-or-treating,  my imagination was running away,  just like my ole blue mule when I tried catching him to pull the plow."

"Grandpa.  Would you mind putting your arm around my shoulders?  I don't know when I've ever been so scared.  Would you, huh?"

"Of course, Son.  Then I'll hug you when I feel your heart go bump!  Will that work?"

"I love you, Grandpa!  Now, I'm on my pony, and ready for the really scary part.  So,  giddy-up!"

"Okay!  Off we go.  Please, always remember the word Imagination.  Halloween is the only night of the year, that your imagination rides hard on what you really want to see.  Just don't be a scaredy-cat,  carve your pumpkin into an ugly face,  swing it up and down to keep the ghosts in place, then busy yourself at filling your treat bag with lot's of goodies.  Can you do that, Son?"

"I think so, Grandpa.  Is the word imagination kinda like my seeing things that aint there?"

"That's my boy!  You bet it is.  Now,  back to where I was.  I remember well my last Halloween to trick-or-treat was at age-seven.  I ran from here to there and ghosts followed close behind. "Someone help me," I screamed.  "For I don't want to die out here alone."  As the echo of my cry bounced across the darkness,  I seemed to hear a voice say, "look at me?  I'm the ghosts that walks and yet, leaves no tracks."  Once again, I screamed, "someone help me,  for I can't handle this any longer."  The ghosts replied, "are you ready for me, as I'm ready for you?"  I felt as though I was running,  taking two-steps forward and sliding back three.  The only light to guide me,  was that of a crescent moon shining selfishly from above.  Waiting to take my soul,  was the ghosts in the dark."

"Oh, Grandpa.  I think I'm gonna pee my pants.  You said you did that a little while ago, and it ran down your leg.  Am I acting like a baby?  I don't really mean to, but I'm scared to death. Are you almost finished?"

"I'll finish it now, Son!  There are times even today,  that I'll walk along the beach, leave my footprints in the sand, skip pebbles across the water and ask myself, "are ghosts really real?"  Silly question!  Of course, they are, "as long as you really want to see them."  Oh, well!  I put my imagination in my pocket, sat in the beach-chair,  and cast my bait into the water.  "Oh, my God!  What a whopper."  It's gonna taste good for supper."

"Did you finish, Grandpa?"

"Yes, Son.  Plus, my imagination ran out of gas."

"That's okay, Grandpa.  With gas being so high and all, you can tell me another story when I'm eight-years old."

"That'll work, Son.  Now go and tell your little friends, that Halloween's a night for kids to dress up as ghosts' n goblins, take to the streets, shift their imaginations into high-gear,  then scare the daylights outta one another."

"Okay, Grandpa!  However,  if we don't see the ghost' n goblins in the dark, we'll pretend we did, to go along with gag.  I'm getting hungry."

"Me too, Son."

"What's Grandma cooking for supper, Grandpa?"

"Fried chicken smothered in flour-gravy, mashed potatoes, baked beans, and a wagon load of buttermilk biscuits."

"That sounds yummy, Grandpa. What's for dessert?"

"Pumpkin pie and homemade ice-cream."

"Oh, that's my favorite, Grandpa."

"Mine too, Son.  Now, let's go eat before Grandma feeds it to the hogs.  Bet I beat you to the table!"

"Bet you don't, Grandpa, for  I'm eating your drum-stick already."

Thank you, "BRUCEIORIO" for the Artwork!

Halloween story for youngsters
Contest Winner


The earlier years of my life were spent with my family on a little farm in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. We were dirt poor and yet, our faith in God, and trust in one another gave us courage to face the difficult days ahead. My grandpa and I were near inseparable at Halloween time. Although times were hard, Grandpa somehow managed to help fill the cupboard with food, lamps with oil, and take me trick-or-treating on Halloween. Reflecting those memorable years, "I smile and sing a happy song." This little story is true, and is written for Grandpa. Thanks for reading my work, and best wishes wherever you are.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by BRUCEIORIO at FanArtReview.com

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