Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween Ghosts and Shenanigans

Many years ago when my family lived in Lansing, my husband and the neighbor across the street wanted to give the trick-or-treaters a scary treat. The two men spent a day climbing a huge maple tree in our yard that hung over the sidewalk and street to place a pulley high up in tree's branches that connected with the neighbor's roof. They rigged a guide rope between the tree and the house across the street so that a ghost could swoop down out of the tree and over the heads of the children and across the street to the neighbor's house. It worked great! There was more screaming and laughing that night than even Halloween deserved. Of course kids came from all over, and the guys were careful to prevent small children from being unduly frighten out of their wits.

As the evening wore on the guys noticed a car kept coming down the street. This was a typical urban neighborhood street. There was a grocery store on the corner, and our house was next, about seventy-five feet from the corner with houses setting cheek by jowl down the street. This car kept hitting forty-five or more as it passed our place at the height of trick or treat activities. Numerous children were still walking the sidewalks and crossing the street between parked cars. The third time the car passed, the trickster guys recognized the car and dropped the ghost on the windshield. Brake lights flared and brakes squealed, but by the time the car had slowed down it was two houses down and the ghost had disappeared up into the tree. The car's driver took a much slower trek down the rest of the street. Two wives demanded the ghost and the ropes guiding it disappear immediately and permanently. That, of course, was not the end of it. About thirty minutes later a police car slowly crept down the street, light beams flashing over our house, the neighbor's house, and the trees lining the street. When he found nothing, he slowly crept traveled down the street. A year later we moved out of state, ending the Halloween madness two neighbors regularly cooked up.

A few years ago we received a box in the mail. It seems the city decided the old maple was a danger and had to be cut down. Our former neighbor sent a section of a huge branch bearing a pulley. That tickled my partner no end. I was just glad the statute of limitations had long passed.


Roseanne Dowell said...

Sounds like you had a lot of fun.

Pat McDermott said...

What a hoot, Rhobin. Thanks for the smile!

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