Don’t Repeat My Halloween Mistakes! And a Few Other Ways to Keep Your Soul

Don’t go on a drunk ghost hunt, don’t act like a ho, and other vital advice for tomorrow’s Halloween haunting

There are two types of people in this world: those who love a good scare and those who don’t.  I fall into the former category, which is why Halloween is a special time of year for me. I have certain rituals in which I engage every Halloween, like watching Rosemary’s Baby and screaming my way through a haunted corn maze. This year I decided to add ghost hunt to my list of rituals.

Rather than try an organized, official ghost tour, I opted to join a group of neighbors on a trek to Tower Hill Road in Cumberland – a dark, narrow street riddled with hills and dangerous curves.  There have been numerous sightings of ghosts there: a young girl sitting on her front lawn, a toddler riding his tricycle and a young boy walking his dog. Since there’s nothing creepier than a haunted/possessed child, I just couldn’t say no.

Though our hopes were high, we sadly did not encounter any ghosts – child or grown-up. Some members of our party felt quite relieved, but I was not one of them. Disappointment aside, the experience did provide me with an opportunity to reflect on what NOT to do this Halloween:

  1. 1. DON’T go searching for ghosts while drunk. Aside from having to pee while ghost-hunting (see number 7), the alcohol will cause you to make some bad choices (see numbers 3, 4 and 5).
  1. 2. If you do go on a ghost hunt, DON’T eat French food beforehand. We started our evening at Red Stripe, where we all enjoyed a lovely, but rich French meal. If we saw a ghost, it was highly likely that at least one of us would have crapped our pants. Steak frites would no longer be very appetizing.
  1. 3. DON’T play with a Ouija board. This seemingly benign board game is actually the gateway to a demon dimension. Once you invite that shit in, you can’t get it out. Do yourself a favor and sell the game at your next yard sale. Let those demons be someone else’s problem.
  1. 4. DON’T venture down paths to the unknown. See that mailbox in the photo? The one that looks like it belongs in front of
    Castle Dracula? We stumbled upon that creepy mailbox during our Tower Hill Road ghost tour. Adjacent to the box sat a driveway with no apparent end. Intrigued by the mystery of this seemingly abandoned property, I, along with two fellow ghost hunters, plodded down the path, flashlight in hand. As the grass grew taller and denser and all signs of a path began to disappear, I soon realized:  this could be dangerous, really freaking dangerous. Was there a house at the end of this long driveway? If so, you can bet someone quite creepy and angry lived there. You can also bet he owned a gun, or at the very least a chainsaw. What if deer ticks were hiding in that tall grass? The last thing I need is a case of Lyme disease. What if we got lost?  Could one measly flashlight lead three slightly drunk women out of a potential death trap? We should have stayed in the car.
  1. 5. DON’T act like a ho. Have you ever noticed that in every horror movie, at least one couple is killed post-coitus? The couple is always young, unmarried and unabashed about their sexuality. Our ghost hunting group consisted of four couples, all married with young children, so sex wasn’t even on our radar. If, however, you fit the description of that horror movie couple, take heed. I’m not saying you should avoid sex on Halloween, just don’t flaunt it. Don’t walk around in your bra and panties asking, “What’s your name again?” Keep it missionary and clean, and, if your partner is a stranger, act slightly remorseful afterward. You might be spared.
  1. 6. DON’T go to scary places wearing heels and a dress. I wanted to be comfortable, so I wore a dress. I wanted to be stylish, so I wore my new camouflage Toms booties. As I made my way down that path, I felt the grass (TICKS!) brushing against my bare legs. As we raced back to the car, I twisted my ankle. Next time I’m wearing jeans and sneakers.
  1. 7. DON’T go to scary places wearing a scarf. Upon reflection, that psychotic, imaginary homeowner could easily have grabbed my scarf, yanking me back into the darkness where I was sure to be beheaded or placed in a well and forced to rub lotion on my skin.   Also, a long scarf can be quite the impediment when squatting to pee. It hangs there, begging to be peed upon. Hey, at least it’s machine washable.
  1. 8. Finally, and most importantly, if a demon even whispers the words “Get out,” DON’T stay. DON’T venture down to the basement in search of the source. DON’T wait until the housing market rebounds so you can sell. Just get the f*#% out. Trust me, demon knows best.

Have a happy, but safe, Halloween.

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