Mark Bult Design: San Francisco, CA, Established 1988

Web design and development for small and large business, e-commerce, b2b, b2c, SAAS, and community websites. User experience design and usability testing.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A spooky story for Halloween

I was young, maybe 11 or 12, and spending the day with my cousins and aunt. She was taking us for a drive around the lake, maybe to get ice cream or something, when one of my older cousins suggested she drive by “the witch’s house.” I had no idea whether he was serious, but when we approached the old rickety thing and slowed down, I definitely began to wonder at the sight of it.

Shutters falling off, paint long faded and chipped away to bare wood, dead and droopy trees all around, and dust and cobwebs everywhere. It looked every bit like a kid’s worst nightmare image of a real haunted house. It didn’t look inhabited, but it was hard to tell. Then one my cousins screamed “There she is! I saw her in the window!” and we all freaked out as my aunt drove off in a hurry.

But that wasn’t even the scary part. That just served to put my childhood heart in an appropriate spooky mood.

A short way down the road, right by the side of the lake, was a tiny cemetery overgrown completely with weeds and shrubs. It must’ve been at least a hundred years old. There certainly hadn’t been any recent activity in many, many years. We stopped to look around, and my cousins and I bravely trudged around, pushing aside grass that was taller than we were, when suddenly I fell! Left leg swallowed up by a grave! Panic swept over me in an instant and I’m certain I started screaming for help.

Visions of rotting hands grasping at my leg and arms emerging from the hole were swirling into my mind just as my cousins arrived at my side to help pull me to my feet again, all limbs safe above ground. When we looked down we saw we were standing on the flat stone top of some sort of below-ground mausoleum or a grave that simply had a massive lid, and the lid had been moved partially away, leaving a hole just big enough to swallow up a kid, or at least one of his legs.

We were too freaked out — me especially — to investigate any further, so we made a hasty retreat from that tiny, overgrown spooky graveyard, and I never went back.

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