‘Tis the season to be scared

Halloween used to be my favorite time of year next to Thanksgiving (can’t beat food and football) for years. It wasn’t so much the dressing up or passing out candies to the local kids, but just the overall feeling of fall, cooler weather, and the beginning of a wave of holidays.

The nights felt different.

Somehow the darkness felt like it was staring at you, like a stranger peeking through a crack in the curtains or blinds. While you go about your business, you feel something, but you don’t quite know what it is. Yet somehow your stare every now and then is pulled like gravity to that slit so small, but big enough for something outside to get a good look.

These were nights where falling asleep came a little slower, like a skit in a cartoon where your eyes kept drifting shut, but also kept opening up a little less until the weight of the eye lids and lashes were too much to battle.

But as someone who enjoyed a bit being scared, the next morning felt great and the only thoughts you had were, “And I had trouble sleeping last night.”

The day went on as usual, whether it was work, meetings or weekend football games. But at night, the blanket of darkness always brought with it a sense of uneasiness. Something wasn’t right, but you just couldn’t place it.

I’ve mentioned it before, but I spent most of my life in the Rio Grande Valley here in Texas. A place where if local lore about spirits on the railroad tracks, a leg-less torso running across the road using their hands to do so, or a dark figure in a trench coat with red eyes standing on rooftops — stories like that — were part of the local culture.

Consider this entry a preface to what I expect to write over the next two weeks sharing what I personally went through while living there. I may interject stories my family shared, but mostly my experiences are enough to keep someone from sleeping at night.

Halloween is no longer my favorite time of year, but I no longer fear it as I did at one point in my life. I still hear creaking, voices, even the sounds of animals, but I don’t panic anymore. I’ve been through enough for little things like that to bother me.

I probably have enough to write an entry each day until Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead), but I’m not making any promises.

I’m not looking to scare anyone, but certainly place you in the mood for this season of the year. I hope you enjoy.

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