OCTOBER 31st, 2014
By LANA CARBON
Hallowe’en, the night when the veil between the world of the living and the land of the dead seems to thin that little bit extra and where everyone’s belief in the supernatural is a little bit stronger. This is by far my favourite holiday and I would normally find myself dressed up handing out candy to the wee ones before watching scary movies or heading to a party/dance of some kind or even having a few friends over to crowd around a Ouija board for some spirited conversation. This year I am sitting at work unable to do any of the above. Luckily, I do have one outlet to keep me in the holiday mood. I thought I would write about one of my favourite memories of the creepiest night of the year. Please keep in mind that this was a long time ago and I have matured immensely since the time of these events.
I lived in a small town where there wasn’t much to do for those of us in our late teens/early twenties. We did have the good fortune of having a local bowling alley/pool hall with a young owner who didn’t mind if we hung out and played board games or similar activities as long as we bought the occasional pop or snack. With his help we had made some extra special plans for Hallowe’en.
It was well known that I was interested in the paranormal and a few of my friends had become curious as well. We had started using a Ouija board with enough success to keep us trying. Some of our other friends would say they were interested as well but would always begin fooling around by deliberately pushing the planchette or disrupting our sessions in some way. We decided to teach them a lesson. We were going to hold a Hallowe’en Ouija night at the bowling alley and all our friends were invited.
We set to work making plans with the owner trying to find ways to scare the others. The night finally arrived and we were ready. A table was set up for us and we commenced right away. We decided that we would give everyone a chance but if anyone started their usual shenanigans we would put our plan into affect. To their credit, I do think they acted appropriately for the first half hour and we did start getting some movement. Then the distractions and obvious guiding of the planchette started.
I excused myself to go get a beverage from the snack bar where I told the owner we were going to have to use the plan we had devised. I no sooner rejoined the session when the jukebox started. Now this wasn’t out of the ordinary as it was set on a timer to entice customers to play their own songs. We asked the owner if he would mind if we turned it off just for a while which he was fine with. About 15 minutes later, another song started playing. I asked one of our targets…I mean friends if he hadn’t flipped the switch to turn it off. He turned it on and back off pointing out that the lights went out when the machine was off. Another 15 minutes pass and it plays again. We accused him of messing with us but he swore it wasn’t him but to make sure he unplugged the unit. Some minor questioning took place but we resumed our communication attempts. I’m sure you can guess what happened after the 15 minute mark. Yes music was coming from the jukebox once more but this time it didn’t go off. Our cocky friend was sitting there with the unplugged cord dangling from his fingers with a completely stunned look on his face. It was at that very moment where my best friend, Micah Leythe, began mumbling something seemingly to himself. it started as a soft whisper but grew louder and louder as he repeated it. “Must wash hands…must wash hands…MUST WASH HANDS…!!!”
Seemingly in a daze, he rose to his feet and attempted to walk towards the washroom by taking the most direct route possible even if something stood in his way. As everyone followed to see if he was okay, I did the one thing that, to this day, I do regret. It is at this point I would like to advise anyone reading this to NEVER do what I did in regards to the Ouija itself. While everyone was distracted, I covered the bottom side of the planchette with fake blood so that if we resumed I could flip it quickly and have the blood splatter across the board.
I gave my friend the signal and he returned to the table as if nothing had ever happened. We all returned to our seats after some reassurances that all was fine. I turned the planchette over even more quickly than I had intended and it slammed down onto the Ouija sending fake blood everywhere. A couple people jumped back and the planchette rose from the table (with a little help of resting on our thumbs as we lifted it in the air) and then dropped. Once more there was a need from my cohort to wash his hands but this time he followed people at a methodic pace, his chant gradually changing to “Join us”.
It was at this moment that 3 of our number ran out the door, barefoot mind you, the 2 blocks to their apartment. A fourth the one who had unplugged the jukebox, played along to the point of even using the early line of washing his hands to get close enough to the exit to bolt out the door. This time my best friend gave chase and, by the time I reached the door, was climbing on the hood of our fleeing friend’s truck. I could hear the yells of “It was a joke…just a joke”.
We got our main target back into the bowling alley and though he was still uneasy as though he wasn’t sure we were truly just messing with him or if something really had happened, he stayed long enough that we were sure he’d be okay to drive. We were about to leave, considering that it was well after closing hours, when we heard a knock on the door. Our runner friends had returned and, with frightened tears in their eyes, asked if they could “please have their shoes back”.
From that point on, my friends who were always truly interested in the supernatural could continue on in peace. Those who had only wanted to toy around or even purposely interfere never bothered us again. I look back and realized I made some huge mistakes that could have had some nasty consequences and would never do this again but I must admit that I did take pleasure in it at the time. My story ends here (along with my night at the office) and am so grateful to have this outlet. I hope you enjoyed my tale and had yourselves a HAPPY HALLOWE’EN!!!