This Story Changed My Life
My scary Halloween memory has left me dreading the holiday every year now.
It was Halloween night. It was a nice evening, not to cold, and not raining… a perfect night for trick-or-treating in our neighborhood. We lived at this duplex for almost two years, and loved the neighborhood. It had old Victorian houses down some streets, then some apartments and duplexes for the college students a few blocks away. We had good schools, and the best part; great neighborhood people. I felt safe going trick or treating and it was wonderful. Who knew what was lurking…
It was set. My husband, our son (four years old at the time), I and our family dog all got our costumes on and headed out the door. My son was Tigger for a third year in a row, and decided to dress our dog up the same. She had an orange/black striped fake fur blanket tied around her, but to our son, she was perfect! We slowly walked up to each house and had fun with all the decorations and the merriment of the holiday. Almost everyone in the quiet little neighborhood had their yards decorated, and it was a sight to see. There were zombies coming out of the ground and headless dolls hanging from trees. Our son was so excited about being able to run house to house that he didn’t realize all the scary stuff around him. My husband and I walked hand in hand, enjoying the quiet neighborhood we called home. It was wonderful. Even our dog had fun! It was our home and we were happy and comfortable.
About an hour later we headed back to the house. My son was hungry and insisted on a bowl of cereal for dinner. It was only about 8 o’clock, so I said sure, but we had to eat out on the porch so we could give out candy to all the trick-or-treaters. He smiled and agreed.
Our house was an old shop back around 1900 or so, and was renovated into a duplex. Ours was the front unit and had a beautiful brick porch with a 3 steps up to the door. The walkway had small hedges on either side and was very cozy. There was very little lawn, so we were very close to the sidewalk, but it was still a wonderful set-up. As we sat on this antique porch, on blankets handing out candy to the locals, we told stories of how much fun we had at each house. It was something out of a feel good movie or novel… then he walked up…
My son was right next to me, finishing off his cereal, when we noticed a man in dark clothes walking up the sidewalk towards our house. I stopped and wondered who it was. I called for my husband to come out and sit with us. As this man got closer, my heart beat faster. Then a small group of kids and parents walked up as well, and this stranger let them pass. My son, oblivious to this strange man, giggled as he handed out way too much candy. I let him because my eyes were on this man.
As he came closer, the porch light shined and he lifted his head to me. It was our landlord! Phew! I greeted him and asked what he was doing out here so late tonight. He avoided the question and asked how our Halloween was. I told him in detail how exciting it was strolling around our neighborhood and how wonderful the evening was. He didn’t even smile. What he said next sent shivers down my back and I have not been the same since…
He told us he was selling our house and we had two months to move, starting tonight.
He said his piece, handed us paperwork, turned around and left.
Next thing I knew was my son was asking for another bowl of cereal and more trick-or-treaters were walking up the path to what used to be my dream home.
We eventually moved and the house we are renting is bigger and better… but every Halloween I now worry about not what is in people’s yards to scare us, but what is waiting for us when we get home!