scared cat imagesWhat’s SCARED you the most in your life?  (other than Obama, of course)

Ever been in a haunted house?  Do you believe in them?   Did you ever find yourself on a street you didn’t recognize, in the dark, and you didn’t know how to get home?  Did you ever have someone knock on the door in the middle of the night when you weren’t expecting anyone?  Did anybody ever jokingly jump out at you and you were really shocked?

Since it’s this silly holiday, HALLOWEEN, how about a scare story or two?


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17 Responses to SCARED?

  1. bocopro says:

    Get a Life, But Not Mine

    Sometimes you get close to certain people in your life whether you want to or not. It might be a neighbor, a relative, somebody you marry, or one of your own kids. Or it might be somebody like Remo. That wasn’t his real name. Nobody ever knew his real name, I suppose. He never told me, and I was always closer to him than anybody, definitely more than I wanted.
    Remo and I were close from Day 1. We were born only moments apart in the same small hospital and grew up together in the same small town. We looked so much alike that most people thought we were brothers unless somebody told them different.
    When we were around six months old, Remo’s parents accidentally drowned in one of those once-in-a-century floods that plague the Midwest periodically to make builders rich and insurance companies broke. His grandparents took him to raise because that’s how things were done in those days. While all that was going on, my parents divorced, and I was sent to live with my grandparents because that’s the way things were done. Divorce was a sign of weakness, failure to manage personal affairs, and anyone who couldn’t manage his own life shouldn’t be raising kids.
    Anyway, Remo had an older sister named Julie who had to go to California to live with an aunt after the parents died. My father, in the meantime, remarried and his new wife gave birth to Judy, my half-sister. To this point, I guess everything is nothing but pure coincidence. Remo and I lived within bicycle distance of each other, so for the next few years we picked up the normal collection of bumps and scrapes and frogs and turtles and black eyes and tall tales — everything little boys are made of, or used to be a couple generations ago. Everywhere I turned, there was Remo, doing what I did, saying what I said, eating what I ate. Still, it all seemed natural, and I’m sure it was. Ron and Remo, Romulus and Remus, Cisco and Pancho, or Pete and Repeat. Folks referred to us as any one of several pairs of real and imaginary characters popular in the 40s.
    Then when Remo and I were about ten, coincidence seemed to get a little help. First, my mother remarried and took me to live with her and her new husband, still in the same town. Suddenly Remo’s grandparents mysteriously drowned in a small creek while hunting mushrooms, so he was placed in a foster home. We went to different schools because of our addresses, but we seemed to cross paths almost every day, especially on weekends and in summertime. I took up practicing the bow and arrow, and got pretty good with it.
    Remo showed up with an archery setup very much like mine and asked me to go out into the woods to hunt rabbits and other animals so often that I lost interest in the sport. My next game was baseball, and just as I worked my way up to starting in left field, Remo was firmly positioned in right field on his school’s team.
    My dog was a mutt, basically a short-haired white terrier of some non-specific parentage with patches of black on him, a little like Petey in the old Our Gang comedies, but without the eye-ring. Remo got a dog about the same time, a long-haired black dog with white patches on him. When I discovered girls, Remo did too, and he either picked girlfriends who looked very much like the ones I picked or just took up with mine after I stopped going out with them.
    At times the way things happened got to be a little too much, and I’d ask my mother and other adults about it. All they usually said was that he was a nice boy who’d had a rough life and they weren’t worried about me when I was with him. I think it was his straight white teeth when he smiled and that lock of blonde hair that always fell down onto his forehead making him a sort of Huck Finn incarnate or something. To everybody else he was a kind of lovable puppy, but he was really beginning to get on my nerves.
    My first car was a nondescript ’51 Chevy. Remo’s was a ’49. Mine was stolen and wrecked by thieves about a year or so after I got it, and my mother helped me replace it with a ’55 Merc. Remo’s Chevy turned up missing one day, and a week or so later he was driving a ’53 Ford clunker. I made the school golf team, but Remo couldn’t afford that particular sport. Naturally he started caddying at the Country Club. I tried to make it clear to him that other people were important to me and that both of us needed to cultivate relationships with as many different types of friends as we could. No matter how curt or cruel I was with him, though, he was always there like some kind of shadow, smiling, eager to please, impossible to lose. It seemed he did
    everything I did when I did it and how I did it except that he was left-handed and I wasn’t. The really big difference that stands out now, I can see, is that I liked all kinds of water sports — swimming, boating, skiing, diving — but he was terrified of water. It’s not hard to see now why he joined the Army when I joined the Navy.
    For some time after I enlisted, I lost contact with Remo. Then a few years later I was in Spain and married to Elena, the beautiful, olive-skinned mother of my children, when somebody sent me a picture of Remo and his wife, Irena, a Greek interpreter he had met while on duty in Italy. The date of his wedding was exactly one year after my own, and I felt myself swatting at something on the back of my neck even though nothing was there. Looking back on my adult life, I remember doing that a lot.
    Elena and I named our first daughter Elizabeth (Beth) and our elder son William (Bill). I made no effort to keep up with Remo, never returning his calls or answering his letters. Then one day just as Elena and I were finishing a tour of duty in Guam, my mother wrote me that Irena had died . . . by drowning. She had been ice-skating, apparently alone, and fell through. That same day Remo disappeared from his Army unit near Stuttgart. Rumors flew about his being on some kind of special squad dealing with defectors from East Germany. Army investigators found among his papers a very legal notarized deposition by him and co-signed by Irena that nominated me as guardian of his children should anything happen to him and his wife. By the way, his kids’ names are Willy and Libby.
    Nobody seems to know what ever became of Remo. Maybe he’s dead, . . . maybe he never really existed. Hell, I don’t know. It’s something I don’t want to think about any more. I didn’t honor his request to take care of the kids, and that scared the hell out of Elena. We did our last tour in Great Lakes, Illinois, and she saw him everywhere she looked. For a while I thought I’d lost her. But after a couple years she calmed down. Our kids started going off on their own into the world, and we never heard directly from him again.
    Still, sometimes when I look in a mirror, I seem to sense, just for an instant, a shadowy outline of someone behind me. It vanishes like a wisp when I try to focus on it. And then I always go back to the high school yearbook and look at his pleasant, smiling, trusting and trustworthy face, and I feel a little ashamed of myself for some reason I can’t quite articulate.
    But every few months or so, both of my older kids, Beth and Bill, tell me strange things that happen in their lives — somebody seems to be following them, or they keep seeing someone who looks very much like themselves, always just a glance and at a distance, or somebody they knew or knew about drowned, or something personal of theirs has turned up missing. And I don’t go swimming any more.
    A box came in the mail for me today from some little town in Wyoming. I don’t know anybody in Wyoming. I don’t know anybody who knows anybody in Wyoming. There’s a little pond about a mile or so from our house. Kids go there once in a while, but basically it’s a lonely, deserted place. It triggers deep-rooted memories of the ponds back home where Remo and I used to chase frogs and snakes and squish mud between our toes and make up outlandish stories. Usually I’d wind up swimming, or at least wading up to my chest for some silly reason or another, and Remo would sit patiently on the bank waiting for me.
    Today when I take the box out there, I won’t go any nearer the water than necessary. I’ll just set it on a little raft I’ve put together and float it out to the middle. I need some target practice with the old .22 Mauser anyway.


  2. Kid says:

    I really can’t think of anything.


  3. Mal says:

    Other than the uncertainty when being drafted in 1951 for the Korean War, I have to say it was at age 21 when I rolled over in a convertible at 65 MPH at night and below freezing temps. It was my car but my buddy was driving. I had just given him the wheel and retreated to the back seat for some shuteye when it happened. We both were uninjured and the frame of the car didn’t even bent. Good old day when they were built solid.


  4. geeez2014 says:

    Bocopro: “A box came in the mail for me today from some little town in Wyoming.” TODAY?
    This story’s real?? What happened to Elena? Your wife today is Asian, right?
    I’m confused 🙂
    Or are you trying to SCARE US? 🙂

    Kid…me, neither………..Except, come to think of it, since I’ve owned this place since before Mr. Z (tho we lived in lots of other places, we kept it all those years), I was pretty young and very single when I bought it and did get a little scared when I’d come home late at night…checking closets and bathrooms! 🙂 As if I could do something if I pushed that powder room door open and there WAS a man behind it? But I kept pushing just to put my mind at rest.

    Am still hoping to get a haunted house story here or something!

    I HAVE seen photographs where people took a picture in the foreground and only later, after printing the photograph, saw a child in a vacant house’s window or something….that kind of spooks me, pardon the pun!


  5. geeez2014 says:

    Mal! You weren’t thrown from the car in a convertible with no seat belts that many years ago!? THAT was a blessing, huh?


  6. bocopro says:

    You said to tell a scare story; so I did.

    It’s one I wrote for the local newspaper about 30 years ago. Based on an old friend of mine, but otherwise entirely fictional.

    Got published somewhere in a local chapbook or shade-tree journal . . . picked it up from the newspaper and asked my permission to reprint it. Didn’t pay me anything for it, tho.


  7. bocopro says:

    Incidentally, I’ve had only the one wife. Can’t seem to shake her. Been hangin around since 1961 or somethin like that. I’m gettin too old to train another one. Might as well keep her.

    And, yes — she’s Pinay. Great cook, great mother, great granny, and great friend. Bit of a pack rat, tho. Sometimes the house gets so cluttered that walking thru it requires a map and a guide. Got Japanese, Chinese, Mexican, Filipino, and all sorts of artifacts . . . a sorta eclectic funk motif.

    Fiery woman, potentially dangerous, but still good-lookin at 78. Betcha if I’d married one of my old girlfriends outta high school, I’d be divorced half a dozen times by now. Definitely picked the right one the first time.


  8. geeez2014 says:

    Boco; I thought they’d be actual true-life scary stories, but this’ll DO 🙂 I got to feeling sorry for Remo, a testament to your writing! Thank SO much!!


  9. geeez2014 says:

    and that’s great about your wife! I love to hear love stories that last!


  10. Kid says:

    Ok Z. Back in the day, we used to race around Sewickley Heights, especially at night. Endless country roads (easier to see on coming lights than vehicles) no cops, million dollar mansions, mile long driveways.

    Anyway, when just entering the area on Blackburn Rd, there was a mansion closer to the road that was abandoned. We called it the pink mansion because of its color. It was empty as long as we knew about and the story was that the last owner was an axe murderer. So, we’d take dates up there and park in the driveway close to the house. One time, a flashlight type light came on inside the mansion and the girls screamed bloody murder.

    Nearby, there was an abandoned insane asylum, with a road that was barely a road that went beside it through the woods. That was always good for getting screams too with the right stories and situations.

    One night, me on my BSA Rocket 3 and my friend on his Norton Combat Commando were crusing Sewickley Heights around 9 pm. We stopped in front of one of those mansions just to take a break and suddenly we simultaneously got this very strong feeling we were being watched, and not by humans and decided to move on. Goosebump and hair on the back of the neck kinda stuff. We got on the bikes and headed off, and as we both agreed later – we felt like we were inside our bodies looking out but that someone else was controlling us and the motorcycles. We were just along for the ride. Very weird. We concluded aliens or ghosts. Nope – no drugs, no alcohol, no nothing.


  11. Mal says:

    Right, Z. Because it was at night and temps in the teens (freezing) the top was up. We flew for about 35 feet off a 3 foot embankment, slid on one side with us bouncing around inside, then stopped and fell back onto its wheels. Yes! We were VERY lucky! It happened on highway 101 about 65 miles North of Santa Barbara.


  12. Mustang says:

    I saw a witch once … honest. Scared the hell out of me.


  13. geeez2014 says:

    Mal, WOW…that’s something nobody forgets!
    I once as coming North on the Ventura Fwy and the traffic from the 405 merged on…it was about 2 AM and I was alone…..not many cars, speeding along at probably 70 mph….when a car from the 405 merged into my lane doing about 45 mph……it was like I was about to hit a WALL……….and I slammed on the brake and spun about 3 times and landed in the slow lane FACING oncoming traffic! And I couldn’t see what was coming because it was on a curve! Did I do the smart thing (I was about 21) and just back off the apron of the fwy? Noooo…I hit the gas, did a U TURN and got home, legs positively SHAKING all the way! Not a scary Halloween story but scary enough for ME!

    Kid, that’s the kind of story I was looking for! GHOSTS and FLASH LIGHTS coming out of insane asylums and old pink mansions! (By the way, nobody uses INSANE anymore, that’s NOT PC!!) HA!!


  14. geeez2014 says:

    Mustang! GOOD ONE!
    She’s DEFINITELY one for the Halloween gallery!


  15. Not scary, but strange.
    We used to gather at a friends mobile home to get high and watch the Saturday night lineup on TV, Mary Tyler Moore, MASH, etc.
    Somebody asked what time it was and we all turned to look at the clock on the wall at the other end of the room from the TV.
    As we looked at it, the hour hand fell off to the floor.
    We all turned back to the TV, thinking we’d each imagined it.


  16. Most scared might have been when my son saw me at a store and waited behind a van next to my car to jump out in front of me as if attacking me.
    What scared me was the thought of killing my son.


  17. geeez2014 says:

    Ed, that IS weird..even if you were all high! What timing.
    And I can’t imagine the scare after thinking you might have killed your son!


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