THE ROOT ISSUE
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MY BEST AND MOST TERRIFYING HALLOWEEN STORY What’s the Scariest Thing That’s Ever Happened to You?
With the spirit of Halloween haunting us everywhere we turn this month, I can’t help but be reminded of the most terrifying event I’ve ever experienced. I’m almost convinced it might be the scariest thing that’s ever happened to anyone anywhere. Okay, perhaps it’s not that scary, but it is something that gives me the heebie-jeebies even today. Without revealing my age, I have to start this story by saying that my childhood took place in a different time. Every Halloween, I’d gather with my friends, we’d put on our costumes, grab our pillowcases, ditch our parents, and make our way to as many houses as we could before the street lights shut off. Then one year when I was 12, a group of five of us got together to find the best trick-or-treating houses in the town. As we were looking through our pillowcases and comparing our spoils, we saw a house we hadn’t visited staring at us in the distance. We could detect some Halloween decorations on the lawn, but the light on the front porch was pretty dim. We were always instructed that houses without lights on were off-limits. This house did have a light on, but it was eerily faint. But being the tough preteen boys that we were, we decided to take our chances. We ambled up to their lawn, and I immediately noticed that their house was rather oddly shaped. Their roof, for example, hung way out past the end of their front porch. As we crossed underneath, we heard
some shuffling above us. While we were already a little spooked from the Halloween spirit, we all pretended like the strange noises didn’t bother us, but deep down we knew, something weird was going on up there. We knocked on the door and the door slowly opened to reveal a dark figure. We could tell it was a person in a costume, but all the lights in the house were off, so we couldn’t make out who we were talking to. We mumbled “trick or treat” in nervous unison. The figure gave us handfuls of candy, told us “Happy Halloween,” and shut the door as slowly as they opened it. As we peered out from under the roof, a huge flying object started flying straight for us! We screamed as loud as we could and tried our best to run away, but just as I took my first step to sprint, the giant unknown blob hit me right in the face! It definitely sent my head spinning but not bad enough to keep me there. I sprinted as far and as fast as I could away from that yard. After running for what felt like miles, I saw my friends in the distance and headed toward them to regroup. We decided we just had to know what that flying object was. We snuck up to that same yard and tip-toed until we were right next to it. Want to know what it was? A mannequin dressed in jeans and flannel!
Apparently, the couple that owned the house loved a good Halloween prank, but the husband who was up on the roof misjudged how quickly we would leave the porch and flung the mannequin down a couple of seconds too soon. While I still have some latent fears when it comes to approaching people’s front doors in the evening, I have to say that I was and still am so happy the couple embraced Halloween so fully. In fact, every October when my family and I decorate our own house, I think of how cool that couple was and how much fun they had giving the teenagers in the community a good scare. It’s what Halloween is about, after all!
– Dr. Scott Lowry
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