An October Tale



“Don’t you realize that that old place is haunted?” they asked. Yes, I had heard the recent claims that every once in a while you might hear moans and groans closely followed by an occasional shriek of maniacal laughter coming from within its walls.

But being a skeptic I found that hard to believe.

Now had I been gullible—primarily a condition I find myself in on weekends due to alcohol consumption—I might have felt differently about it. But this being a weekday, I was absolutely certain I was cynically sober.

Going into the place might mean confronting a sense of anxiety and foreboding, which now spilled over my entire body. This—courtesy of my wife a compulsive house-cleaner with a penchant for sweeping up adjectives I frequently drop.

It all felt like sticky Ectoplasm, only worse than the stuff Slimer lathered all over Bill Murray in Ghostbusters.



The site—which had been abandoned for some time now—ominously oozed terror. I can’t say why (according to my attorney) unless I put it in writing.


Because nothing ever jumped out or grabbed me there, nor anyone else for that matter. At least, not to my knowledge—which is apparently limited to a second grade education.

Still, the possibility of something like that actually happening to me left me curious about how I might handle it.

I realize curiosity has killed many a cat, but not being a feline myself (unless you count the time a gypsy fortune teller put a spell on me), I had no worries. That was until, someone told me cats have nine lives, and with few exceptions… people don’t.

Darn it, if only my wife—who wears a white glove and happens to have OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)—hadn’t been so fanatical about throwing out all my little bits of paper, including the gypsy’s business card…

Then I might still be a cat!

I myself suffer from HCD (Husband Cluttering Disorder), which as any wife will tell you, is a REAL disorder. One every husband suffers from after becoming a male—usually by birth.

But, seeing as my wife had cleaned up all my clutter, I would now be unable to locate the gypsy. Thanks to my wife I was going to have to enter this terrifying place not as a cat, but… AS A HUMAN!

Stories had always surrounded the old place, but that never stopped amateur ghost hunters from trying to sneak past the bad grammar—like chopping and whacking overgrown shrubs—for a chance to get inside. Poor unfortunate souls.

I thought maybe they’d present no obstacle for me either, but I too was wrong. Instead, the stories now haunted me as well echoing throughout the cobwebs of my mind—like bats in a belfry.

Those who did venture inside—and survived to tell the tales—attempted to warn me (in spite of their better judgement) against going in again saying “Don’t go there girlfriend.”

Naturally—not being anybody’s girlfriend—I ignored them.

Once inside, I saw the writing on the wall. No really, I actually saw writing on the walls! It could have been continuous graffiti but I’m almost certain it wasn’t—because that sort of thing only happens in bathroom stalls.

No, this was more like an attempted sophisticated scribble gone bad, done by someone with neither the street smarts, or the familiarity with old Vincent Price horror movies. Where scripts were no doubt written intelligently.

Just then, I tripped over a mouse. A screen monitor sprung to light casting a giant shadow of fear over me. It wasn’t long before I realized… it was only my silhouette flickering on the stairs behind me.



That’s when it struck me; picture-after- picture on the right side of the wall. This gave me a headache and I began to think to myself…

“Could the frames have been hung on weak hooks?”

Little did I know that these framed and angry people (trapped in this Night Gallery) were lashing out (the only way they could) at the fiend who had coaxed them into this frightening place of horror.

However, it was the photo above them that gave me the biggest chills. It was of some guy with the nose of a clown!

Have you seen the news lately?

Well then you know all about it. How clowns are running amok throughout the land trying to scare people half to death—as opposed to completely to death.

Not being a cat anymore though—thanks to my wife and her neurotic habit of throwing out gypsy business cards—this meant I only had but one life to give.

And so terrified as I was (and likely you as well) I decided to move back into…


P.S. This last month was a rather busy one for us. Our oldest son just got married and one of our daughters told us we are going to be grandparents again. So I would like to apologize for my extended absence.

Which means; those of you who may have missed me before, may still get a crack at me by throwing some rotten fruit.

Hey, watch the darts buddy!


84 comments on “An October Tale

  1. Well, that is quite a long story to end up telling us that you abandoned us for things that were more important. Congratulations are in order for your son and your daughter and to the new parents-in-law and grandparents! P.S. You’re forgiven.

  2. Nice to see you back! I was worried. Certainly understand how family mechanics can come in the way on of blogging! My hubby has HCD something awful.

    • Thank you so much, Jan. I’m glad to be back with my WordPress family. As great as the last month has been, I did miss you guys too. Not to mention, I missed writing. Sorry to hear about your husbands HCD problem. Terrible affliction. As a fellow sufferer, I’ve been told there’s no effective treatment, cure, or drug that causes a worse problem than the HCD itself. So I guess your husband, I, and so many other men, are just going to helplessly clutter up our houses. Fortunately, we have wives. 😀

    • Hey thanks, Paul! Yep, we’re pretty happy and quite thrilled. And congratulations to you too. Those Blue Jays are at it again. Uh.. we won’t talk about my Giants or their bullpen—or lack of. Just waiting for the garbage truck to back up. 😀

  3. Congratulations to your son and daughter! Two wonderful occasions to celebrate and you’re forgiven for your absence! 😀😀 as for HCD…I’m sure my husband suffers from this and he will be so pleased with the diagnosis!! Is there a cure – I ask for the sanity of all wives.😀

    • Thank you, Annika. As for the HCD, well the WHO (The World Husbands Organization) claims to have been working on the problem—for decades now!—but with little to show for it, except lots more clutter. But there’s hopeful news coming in from the CDC (the Center for Dads suffering from Clutterism), and they say that if you’re a dad, then wives might be okay. Being a dad this comes as sad… uh… I mean… GREAT news for wives. But I’d be surprised if the cure isn’t farther away than we’ve been led to believe. Wouldn’t wanna get wives… uh… I mean… husbands’ hopes up too much. :O)

  4. You’ve been pretty busy here getting ready for spook night!!
    As far as your HCD goes, I read one time, “A clean house is a sign of a wasted life.” It looks good, but aren’t there more fun things to do? lol

  5. I wondered where you had gone! Congratulations on the new daughter and grandchild too. My oldest son got married last week and is on his honeymoon too! Thanks for some good laughs!

  6. Well I was on a vacation myself, so I didn’t miss you. Hmm, that sounds a little harsh right…so CONGRATULATIONS on the wedding and the marvelous news of yet another grandchild, such bliss!!!! And yes…that was a funny post. Cheers to you being back, Johanna

  7. Haha my blog too had been abandoned for long!! So glad to have you back!! 😀
    I’m so happy to hear about your son and daughter, a very hearty congratulations to them and also to you and your wife!! 🙂
    And yeah that whole clown scare stories is becoming famous all around the world!! 😉
    Take care, best wishes!! 😀

  8. Congrats and welcome back. Been worried about you with the clown nose. You know it’s not a great time to look like a clown. Just saying. No disrespect intended. Hope to see more from you soon.

    • Hey thank you, Ally! I know what you mean about my clown nose. My picture is always on the back of our bedroom door. However, someone has put a big red circle around it with a large red slash across it, and I’m finding lots of holes in it. Has me stumped. 😀

  9. Great to see you back, Paul! I’m glad to hear that you found your way back into your haunted blog. By the way, many congratulations on your son’s marriage and on becoming a grandparent again soon. That is all wonderful news. 🙂

  10. Paul, you’re back! Congratulations on your son’s marriage and the new forthcoming grandchild! (Or is it grandchild-to-be? I’m not sure what the proper term is.)

    Sounds like you had a terrifying experience stumbling back into your blog. I had a similar experience recently when I ran into a terrifying ogre. It was horrible. He was ugly and nasty, and his face was enough to make a troll retch in nausea-inducing disgust.

    That goodness it turned out to be a mirror, but still. Awful experience.

  11. Funny post Paul!! When I started reading I was wondering if you were going to speak to the topic of clowns,😱 I was not disappointed. Congratulations to you and your wife on your son’s marriage and becoming grandparents again that’s wonderful news!

  12. Well, there you are! At least you had the best of reasons to go AWOL on us. Congratulations on both pieces of good news! So when is the baby due? Have you already begun to write stories for him/her? Will the rest of the family let you near the baby alone, concerned about the type of bedtime story you might create?
    We are all awaiting the details. In the meantime, WELCOME BACK!

    • Hey, thank you, George! The new one is expected in February. Upon hearing the good news, I immediately wrote my good friend Stephen King. Of course Stephen denies this—not that were friends. That’s all true, I mean, if you believe my lies—but that I ever sent him a letter. I asked him for some pointers on how to write a proper horror story that I might read my new grandchild to sleep by it. But (kidder that he is) he’s claiming I wrote him a blank novel, asking him to fill in the many empty pages with a story that I could take credit for—not to mention any possible advance that might go with it. Ha, ha, ha that Stephen, always joking around. Anyway, I’m sure the rest of the family won’t mind me being alone with my new grand baby—that restraining order only applied to the last grandchild. 😀

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