Friday, October 9, 2009

Freaky Friday: What Would You Do For a Boo?

Years ago, Halloween brought out the
brave in all the local teens-
and what better way to prove
that you aren't scared of ghosts
than to visit the cemetery after dark.

The most famous place
in these parts was Peckerwood.
(Honest. That was the name
of the cemetery.)

Legend had it that if you
visited Peckerwood around midnight
you would see a ghost
walking amid the monuments.

Loads of teenagers would pile up
in their cars and head west of town
to wait for the apparitions that
were to manifest themselves
like a puff of ghostly smoke.

However, most times it was
just a good place to park
and to drink
and to raise a little hell.

Not that I was there or anything.

I didn't have a car.

Plus, Mom wouldn't let me
stay out past midnight,
even on date night.

Yet, somehow I managed
to visit Peckerwood Cemetery
one dark evening with a few friends,
(Oh, the power of slumber parties!)-
and the scenario was a lot like
the Blare Witch movie.

We were cold.

Scared enough to pee our pants.

Ready to scream at
the drop of a leaf-
and pretty sure that the
Peckerwood Ghost
was lurking over our shoulders.

I never saw a ghost,
though my friends claimed that
they saw the white lady
drift beneath the oak trees,
howling in eternal unrest.

Once the excitement of Peckerwood
waned into simply a stupid old graveyard,
the stories about the Fortune Teller
began to make their rounds.

This was the new "Boo".

The place to go for a thrill.
The weekend destination for
those who weren't afraid of
the supernatural, the occult,
or old ladies with crystal balls.

My sister Jewel had always
told us about a supposedly true story
that took place on prom night
when she was in high school.
Apparently a young prom
queen candidate went to
the fortune teller that night
and was told she didn't have a future.
Later that evening,
she was killed in a car wreck.

The Fortune Teller was popular
for many years and was even on
the "scary list" when I got to high school.

Some of my friends and I
once made the long journey
out into the country
to fetch our fortunes,
but only managed to pull into
the drive and turn around.

No use tempting fate.
Who really wanted to know
if there was a tomorrow or not?

Peckerwood has been forgotten.

I'm sure it's hidden in the woods,
grown up with ivy and moss.

And the Fortune Teller has
long since passed away.

Funny thing is-
her house is less than
a half mile down the road
and I pass it every single day.

The old barn creaks,
the trees hang low,
and the weather vane spins
erratically with screechy music.

And inside...
there are secrets never told.