Friday, October 31, 2008

Is This A Trick?

To give a little background into my weird world, I was always kind of a twisted child; when I won some library contest in grammar school we had a choice of posters and I chose the one with Dracula on it. It was really cool with fog and Dracula was sort of shrouded in shadows at the edge of the forest. I hung it on the back of our bedroom door, so proud for having won it. Many months after hanging it I had a nightmare one night that I was being chased by some weird creature all the way to the edge of a cliff which I fell over. The edge turned out to be the one and only time I actually fell off the top bunk and I landed flat on my face. The poster came down the next day. Although waking up on my face in the middle of the night rattled me, it was not the scariest thing I faced during those years.

When I was a young kid we were babysat after school most days and sometimes our babysitter would travel a couple blocks away, over the old train tracks, to her friend’s house. When we were dragged with her we could hang out with some kids we normally did not have a chance to hang out with after school so it was always a fun time. As kids there were always strange stories circulating and it was just a matter of what urban legend each of us chose to believe in that resulted in what freaked us out; when I was in sixth grade there was no such thing as the internet to verify our information so some of the stories became pretty fantastical. Over on that side of town is where a couple rumors, legends, or perhaps stories based on actual events originated. Many of us will never know.

One day we were hanging out on that side of town and playing some kind of game in the middle of the dead end street. A skunk suddenly appeared and wandered straight down the middle of the street; it was huge and we all stayed clear, thinking we could get sprayed. Since the game was taking a break we started talking and one of the neighborhood kids started telling us this story about The Clowns. She shared the very important information that right there in our own town bad guys dressed up as clowns were riding around in an ice cream truck, handing out poisoned candy to kids. All of us from my grade or younger were completely freaked out and suddenly we were on the lookout for every ice cream truck in the neighborhood. We all wanted to make sure The Clowns were caught and of course sent to jail.

Since that day I have never been able to look at clowns the same way again, I always feel like they must be hiding something. I wonder -- is that clown the one that gave the poisoned sweet tarts to my friend’s neighbor’s cousin’s friend? Since we never heard if they were caught we all had to assume that they remained free to wander suburban neighborhoods, handing out poison laced candies to unsuspecting little kids. I wonder if they will make an appearance tonight?


Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Just as a side note, we of course had the razor blades/pins in candy rumor floating around. My mom took our candy to get x-rayed one year and we were never allowed to take anything without a wrapper (like apples or brownies) or if a wrapper was open. Kind of kills the sugar high to have to delicately bite all the candy just in case of being stabbed lol.

Happy Halloween and be safe tonight everyone!

caf said...

clowns are freaky, im not too scared of them tho.

High Desert Diva said...

So weird to think about all the years we didn't have internet.

Research is much easier now, isn't t?

Happy Halloween

Judi FitzPatrick said...

This is funny in a warped kind of way.

I don't remember the x-ray bit you mention in comment, but do remember checking all wrappers for holes. To this day I won't give homemade treats because I hope parents are still vigilent about this with their kids - there are sickos out there, sadly.

Enjoy the end of the year, the night of the thinnest veil!

Peace and Hugs, Mum

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Mum how do you not remember that!!!??? You took us & the candy to Mt Auburn. Pretty sure it was the following night because we were bummed we couldn't eat anything that night. Early 80's sometime.

Karen said...

Enjoyed reading this. When I was a kid in MA, there was a little old lady down the street. On Halloween she would make homemade donuts and hot chocolate for the kids. Those were the days :)

pastrywitch said...

Clowns are creepy, no two ways about it. We had the rumors about poison & razor blades, but I don't remember it ever slowing down my consumption.

ginger said...

you ate candy that had been x-rayed? did you glow afterwards? awesome judi!

anyway, i grew up in dallas (it's okay, i'm in recovery) and we also had the ice cream truck with the poisoned candy rumor, although it wasn't clowns. there were also the razor blades and injected fruit. we weren't allowed to eat any candy that wasn't wrapped or any fruit, that always went in the trash right away. then my mom had to go through the rest to make sure it was safe before we were allowed to touch it. then there were rumors of kids being kidnapped so we had to come home as soon as it got dark so that's when halloween lost its fun.

i lost my love for clowns when i read stephen king's it.

Rosebud Collection said...

In all honesty, there were people that did crazy stuff..would only take our kids to people we knew..
Clowns are hiding, but I always thought they were hiding their sadness..ever notice someone that is always joking and laughing, is usually covering up..Here I am, in Hawaii and trying to analize clowns..what is wrong with me?, I will be on a couch..
Miss you, will be back next week..

Xylia said...

When I was a child it was till considered safe to trick or treat. Groups of us kids would go out all alone, go into people's homes...all kinds of things that no-one would dare let their child do now. There's one particular thing that has stuck with me all these years and it's still creepy even though I know what it was no. We went to one house where they led us into the basement where they had a spooky maze set up in the dark. At one point someone took my hand and shoved it into a pail of cold slimey stuff and told me it was a bucket full of worms. I remember the revulsion so clearly. It was just cold, oily pasta, but no 8 year old is going to think of that.