This story is about a real Halloween Trick or Treat night in the early 1940s. It is based on fact but with enhanced descriptions. The names are of real people, some still alive. I was about seven and had just moved to what I now call Booth Hill. It was Halloween and time to Trick or Treat.



My cousin Joyce Stafford, now Silvey, and I started from her home. It was the last of three homes along our dirt road going all the way out to the Picklesimmer’s. 

Aunt Lola, Joyce’s mother and Mom were there to see us off. “Don’t let the goblins get you,” one of them said as we left. We stopped at Uncle Roy’s first, then Grandma’s. From there we went up the hill to scare Dad and get some more treats.

From there we walked out to Lindsey Queen’s, Abner Durham’s and (I forget) Durham’s. The three homes were bunched on Town Branch Road where our dirt road began. Town Branch Road was still a gravel road at that time. It was mostly a car and a half wide with wide places now and then so cars could pass.

There were no more houses for about a quarter mile further along. I forget how many, two or three most likely. They were just past the little church and its graveyard. The graveyard had an iron gate with a black iron arch over it. The gate was always closed.

The road was narrow and lit only by starlight and whatever moonlight there was. It was pretty scary. Wind rustled the tree leaves. Animals howled, some very close. Once I saw gleaming dark red eyes, goblin eyes, peering at us from the shadows. An owl hooted from the darker shadows beyond the roadside. Several eerie calls answered each hoot, all from the safety of that frightening darkness. It was really scary. We started walking in the middle of the road.

We rounded the last turn before the church and graveyard. Then they were dead ahead. The graveyard gate arch stood out in the moonlight. The gate was open!

We kept going, the homes were just a little further along the road. I think Joyce whispered, “The gate is open.” For sure we knew it was open.

There was a large headstone just inside the graveyard. It was big enough to hide the largest of evil monsters, even goblins. We were right in front of the gate when two white fluttering goblins rose from behind that big headstone. They screeched, howled and floated towards us. Their white arms flailed and reached out toward us. They were coming for us! I remember us screaming and running all the way back to Uncle Tom’s. The house was empty.

It wasn’t long until Aunt Lola and Mom came in. They asked us why we were home so early. We told them about seeing the ghosts. They acted concerned and asked a lot of questions. There were a lot of questions about the ghosts.

Then they held up the sheets and asked something like, “Did the goblins look like this?” Then they started laughing and Joyce and I acted like we knew it was them all along. 

If I have a sense of humor I inherited it.


A version of this story was originally printed in the October 13, 2015 issue of The Lewis County Herald of Vanceburg, Kentucky.