Monday, September 9, 2013

Halloween when I was but a child..............

Joining in the Haunted Humpday again this week.

I know many of you that are from my era....the dark ages.....and remember how Halloween used to be. Fun, safe, not a threat to anyone else's religion, or way of life. I know it is why I love it so much still. It was and will always be my favorite holiday.

All through Elementary school, I walked home from school a distance of 2.8 miles. I know if it were now, I would have had to ride the bus because I crossed Route 66 (Central Ave) and used some very iffy shortcuts, down alleys, through some backyards and such. When I showed the grands how far I walked and the route I chose, they were needless to say.....ugh taken aback. Had my parents really known how I wandered and explored, well they may have made other arrangements for my after school care......but since I came home to an empty house every was not a big deal. My Mom worked at a bank downtown and my Dad sold insurance and was never around in the afternoons.

On my walk home, I would stay on the sidewalk until I got in front of a certain railroad era house the story went, the lady who lived there had murdered her kids and husband in their sleep. And the house had not been occupied for some years and it was the perfect Victorian ramshackled house of which children's nightmares are made. When I came to the Willem's house, I always crossed to the other side of the street where I would stand and look to see if anyone was watching from behind the boarded up windows. I could always feel my heart beating very rapidly in my chest and my mouth went dry. I truly was convienced that Mrs. Willems could see me walking past and that maybe she still had a murderous intent towards children.....especially cute chubby dark haired girls like me.

No such luck....only the occasional bird rustled in the dead trees.

When I saw this house, I knew that I wanted to make it much as I remember the Willem's house. Of course there never was a jack o lantern.....but I took some liberties.

Happy just a few short weeks


  1. Happy Haunted Humpday Linda...I also remember those dark times when Halloween was safe...and FUN!

  2. what a great story!
    I got so into imagining the creepy house and scary MRS. Willems looking out from behind those boards that when my phone went off just now, I literally jumped off my chair!!!
    thank you for that!
    have a great day:)

  3. There is something creepy and mysterious going on in that attic, or is it a belfry?
    I will not dwwell on it as I am alne here in this dark house.

    I was thinking just today how all the children ride buses to schools and now have metal detectors or locked doors to pass through.
    We used to walk as a neighborhood group, fearing only one bully.

  4. Happy Haunted Hump Day! I may have to come up with ghostly tales.

  5. "Iffy shortcuts" walking to and from school -- oh yeah, I remember those well! Oh, the places we explored! I feel sorry for kids today -- it's a different, more paranoid, less safe world.

  6. We had a witch that lived in the woods. Her name was Cranberry, but as I remember, it was a name given to her, for she was always picking cranberries. The other kids were scared of her, but I always smiled and said hello, for she didn't look like a witch. She didn't have a black cat following her or carry her broom, but she was always dressed in long flowing dark dress and squared hat. I smiled and said hello one day after school and she started talking to me - she asked me why I did not say unkind words to her "I was the only child that spoke nicely to her" - as she stated. I told Mom n Dad about the witch and they told me she wasn't a witch, just a poor person living in a small shack in the woods, trying to get by - that she wasn't anybody to fear, but somebody to be friends with as she had all kinds of cures for sickness and knee bumps. I was bicycling through the path in the woods one day and hit a slippery spot and fell off my bike and had a nasty cut on my elbow. The witch stepped out from the path and helped me with my bike and noticed the cut on my elbow - she said she had just the thing for that and drew a small jar out of her bag and rubbed some on my elbow and I swear I was shocked for the next morning it was gone - no sign of a bruise or cut at all? I think she was magic alright and I believe she was one of those good witches that liked good kids. That's my memory of our "Witch In The Woods". I was 8 years old when this happened. As my Dad would say "That's my story and I'm sticking to it".
    As you know, we love Halloween here and have loads of fun. The kids in neighbourhood and surrounding area get great surprises n treats on my doorstep. Yah, loads of fun, eh :)
    Apologize for little long story, but I had to tell you, RIGHT :)

  7. Great post, Linda.

    I could have written this post, as well, only my haunted house was occupied by an old spinster. I was just telling my grandson about her the other day. I walked a LONG way to school. The kids that lived across the street could ride the bus but I didn't really care. Back then, we had a lot of fun on those long walks.

    I remember the October 31's of my youth and you are so right. They are not the same today and it is MY favorite holiday as well. My husband and I love to play tricks and give treats in costume.

    xx, Carol

  8. Never heard of Humpday (living under a rock of Uluru proportions) BUT 'cute chubby dark haired girls like me' Oma dude you & I were seperated at birth - fun spooky post :)

  9. I've always been jealous of those who were able to walk to and from school. Mine was 10 miles away in the country, so it was the bus for me!

    I too remember when Halloween was a safe, fun, non-threatening holiday. People seemed less uptight back then and there seemed to be less nasty folks.. or maybe there was the same number of nasty folks, but the media had more class and integrity and didn't cling to every horrible thing that happened to get ratings?

    Ah well. In any event, I love your spooky ooky house and I'm glad that spectre didn't murder that cute chubby dark haired girl. ;)

  10. Our neighborhood was frozen mid construction because of the housing collapse but now the homes are finished and I'm hoping we get some Trick or Treaters this year. We'd better; eating all the candy isn't good for me.

  11. I am much older than you and we still had to be careful there were no razor blades or pins in our candy and fruit. The cool folks just gave us money to buy our own. I must have lived in a rougher area than you. Had to smile at your old lady that murdered kids adventure. You had to look. So did I at the abandoned store front I had to pass on the way to school that was reputed to house an old man wienie flasher who would stand in the window exposing himself. I too walked on the other side of the street, but had to look. Never saw him but kids are curious, even when scared.

  12. Lol, I had a 2 mile walk from the ages of 11-18, and I wonder if my parents had any idea of my sometimes creative routes!

    Actually, when I was 4, and had just started school, I walked round 3 corners by myself to my friend's house, and then her older sister (who must have been all of 7) would march the two of us, and another wee boy from round another corner, down to the busy main road, across it, and up 3 streets of interminable hills. Probably only about half a mile, but I can only imagine the horror parents these days at a bunch of small children doing that alone!

    We never had fun halloween inspired walks though...

  13. I remember those times as well Linda. Walking miles to school and home, to stores. My mother telling me not to cut through people's yards and me thinking, "they won't mind. I won't hurt anything." I don't know if we were really safer or there just wasn't as much media on it. Either way, I know I always felt carefree in my wanderings.

    CREEPY story of Mrs. Willem's legacy and I love the image you created from memory, including the additional pumpkin. Happy soon to be Hallowoonie, my love. Mina

  14. This tale makes me miss home... When I finished reading, I closed my eyes and thought about walking the few kilometers from home to school. You and I seemed to walk about the same distance, but my shortcuts were woody areas (and long-cuts that included walking under bridges to see what was there).

    Gods, I'm amazed how similar our lives were, my Oma Linda. Your Mrs. Willem reminds me of Lualda, an old lady whose house I used to brave in order to get coconut milk ice cream and guavas...

    I love the Jack-O-Lantern, and the way you told the tale. So much so, than I've joined Haunted Humpday. I might follow in yours steps, and tell of my after school adventures at Lualda's how.

  15. I think my heart would have been beating hard too! That was quite a walk home! I am with you, and Shelle! Cute, chubby, dark hair girls, rock!! ;o) Big Hugs ;o)

  16. Fun memories.. yours and some of your readers'. One of the few things I'm not looking forward to in my new home is that Halloween will surely go by unnoticed. We're not in a very populated part.. at least not beyond summer. I will miss it for sure.


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