KN, p. 266 “Haunted Cemeteries for 2023”

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Are you spooked by cemeteries? Or, do you walk through them to check out your own ancestral history?

Cemetery excursions often evoke fond memories of a favorite friend or relative. Some cemeteries are destination outings for those who wish to visit famous people buried within the hallowed grounds.

But sometimes, the visits are not about honoring the departed. Most European cathedrals have graveyards outside, but also house the remains of royalty beneath the slate and tile in the sanctuaries. Walking across the stones in certain corners of Canterbury Cathedral can stir a feeling of the presence of evil. The crowds that have worn away the stones over the centuries have not removed the sense of death and sorrow that seems to linger in the darkened alcoves.

We read about souls lost in between this earth and another dimension. We tell tales of being scared beyond rational thinking when stuck in a graveyard at night. Reports abound of an unnerving feeling, as if life-forces come out after dark to dance or moan soulfully of their own unfortunate, untimely demise. What if the dead haven’t yet crossed over to another plane and need to reach someone in this world in order to be able to rest in peace? It’s the stuff of novels and movies galore.

We have ghost hunters searching for restless spirits, cemetery researchers looking for the ancestors of a client, and the curious wondering what all the fuss is about. Whatever your belief system, it is possible to take cemetery walks all over the world, some for free, others at stiff prices for the privilege of being frightened in the name of fun.


New Orleans, Louisiana is the place to go for a variety of spooky tours – vampires and voodoo included. Check out the site for Phantom Tours, where you will find French Quarter  tours as well.

In the Fort Worth, Texas area? Fort Worth Ghost Tours takes small groups of ghost/spirit hunters through the area, stopping at famously haunted areas. Tourists/believers can see ghostly lights and (maybe) ghosts everywhere. Let us know what you see if you go. Pictures welcome. Indeed.

Cary, North Carolina is the site of historical Hillcrest Cemetery, one of Cary’s most haunted cemeteries. Click on the name to find details about this fascinating place.

Also in North Carolina, Charlotte (the Queen city), offers a chilling ‘haunted walking tour,‘ guaranteed to show off  ‘restless spirits.’ It promises to be family-friendly.

Remember Ichabod Crane and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”? Sleepy Hollow, New York is the home of Sleepy Hollow Cemetery , the definition of spooky. There are tours scheduled for day as well as night and must be booked ahead. A Lantern tour at night promises to deliver on the scare factor as stories are shared about some of the inhabitants.

Salem, Massachusetts is well known for the Salem witch trials. One of the most famous judges from the trials is interred at The Burying Point cemetery. Spellbound Tours, delivers what they call Salem’s “original and best haunted tour,” and includes the cemetery on the agenda for the evening.


Check your town’s website to see what events will be held locally. If illness has caused cancellations in your area, set the DVR for Halloween movies and wear your costumes anyway. Whatever you decide for your Halloween observance, stay safe and have fun.


Kelley reads to the neighbors



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KN, p. 298 “Halloween Crime Revisited – 2022”

Kelley reads to the neighbors

We owe many of our Halloween celebrations to the Irish and Scottish immigrants who arrived in the United States in the 1800s. For centuries in England, it was the custom to travel from house to house dressed in scary outfits, asking for food in order to keep the goblins from doing mischief.


When I was in elementary school, my dad told us to repeat the phrase “Trick or treat?” and be prepared to demonstrate a trick if asked. Imagine my shock when I was actually asked to perform my trick by a neighbor who knew my dad and had recognized me in my pirate costume. Over the years, ‘cabbage night’ was added to the Halloween events. Cabbage night played out on the night before Halloween as a way for the local high schoolers to prank the neighbors. Toilet paper was sometimes involved, along with chalk, soap, and eggs. One year, the local grocery store refused to sell eggs to anyone under 21. Somebody had too many broken eggshells to clean up and protested to the unsuspecting suppliers.


Somewhere along the way, adults decided that if the kids could have parties, why couldn’t grownups do it as well, but instead, substitute hard apple cider for the kiddy stuff. But, as the adult parties grew in popularity, so did the size of the parties and the mischief that invariably comes with big crowds.


In 2019, the NY Post reported that there were only 21 days in 2018 that saw more crime reports than Halloween. That night, there were 277 cases of petty theft and numerous cases of people damaging graves and creating graffiti around the city.

In a suburb of Chicago in 2021, two people were killed and 12 more were injured when men with guns opened fire on a late-night costume party with almost 200 guests in attendance. It was one of at least 11 mass shootings (four or more dead – not including the shooter) in the US over that holiday weekend. In Albuquerque, New Mexico, police reported two dead and four injured during another Halloween shooting.

Grownups can get out of hand and I often wonder where their supervision is…


How do we keep the kids safe?

Some police departments recommend that children trick-or-treat between the hours of 6 and 8 p.m. Check the other safety suggestions listed below:

  • Make sure costumes are short enough to allow for easy walking.
  • Consider non-toxic makeup instead of masks, which are hard to see out of.
  • Take flashlights to light the sometimes dark sidewalks.
  • Eat only the candy that has been commercially wrapped. 
  • Best tip? Make sure the kids look both ways before crossing the street to get to the ‘best candy’ house on the other side. Getting hit by a car tops the list as the most dangerous thing that happens to children on Halloween.

In this post-pandemic world, more children will be out and about on Halloween, hopefully with parents somewhere close. In 2021, our neighborhood had crowds of people during the fave hour from 7pm to 8pm. The parents dressed up as well and sometimes a family theme was evident. Great fun for everyone.

Be safe and enjoy!



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KN, p. 281 “Halloween Fun in 2021”

Kelley reads to the neighbors

It’s time to let the skeletons clickety clack and rattle their way through the streets. Ghosts have been waiting for almost two years to flap in the trees and boo the germs out of the goblins. The bats have been practicing their swooshing past my office window at twilight. Everyone is getting ready to have fun in the neighborhood.


Last year, our neighbors were new to the rules of the Pandemic. The town had allowed the door-to-door candy fest with great caution advised, but the big parties were canceled in deference to a widely held fear of a super spreader event. There were a few hardy souls that ventured out after dark, but the usual crowds of children yelling “Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet,” and other happy verbal foolery were sadly missing.


This year, with more and more people vaccinated, more medical mask wearers out and about, and people automatically social distancing, it promises to be an almost back-to-normal holiday fest in our neck of the woods.

With a few recommended guidelines, that is.

  • Trick-or-treat with small groups of people you know (adults should always be close by their children).
  • Adults are encouraged to stay outdoors to pass out candy (our neighbor sets up a table in the driveway and chats with passersby).
  • Adults should consider placing candy into the trick-or-treater bags rather than have children reaching into a bucket.
  • Wear a medical or two-layered mask while out and about. The costume masks are generally constructed of only one layer.
  • Want to have a party? Set it up outside to reduce the possibility of germs spreading.
  • Practice social distancing whenever possible. 
In 2020, one Missouri county experienced the doubling of Covid cases during the two weeks following Halloween as did other parts of the country, so there is a continuing reason to be cautious in crowds and among strangers.
Above all, stay safe. If that means staying home with the family while wearing a costume, eating homemade Halloween treats, and watching Halloween movies on TV, go for it! Kelley (the articulated skeleton in the photo) and I will be at Halloween Grove reading to the spider, the witches, and the apprentice skeleton, and watching the bats fly by.

Happy Halloween!


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