My brain is whirling around thinking of Halloweens long ago. We didn’t trick or treat back when I was a kid but we did have parties and bob for apples and dress up in costumes. The first Halloween that I recall, I was going to a party when I was about thirteen and dressed up like a gypsy (I was always a gypsy because I didn’t like scary costumes). The girl lived on Wentworth Street in Charleston, South Carolina where I grew up. It was a balmy evening and probably the first time I was allowed to go to a night-time party. I can’t remember much about the party except for bobbing for apples and that she gave us all a string of beads. The story that she told us is etched in my mind for all time. She began by telling us that when she was a very small girl, she became extremely ill and was in the hospital for weeks. The Doctors gave up on her after using all of their cures and she died. Her parents were heart broken and her life-less body was taken to Stuhr’s Funeral Home on Calhoun Street where it laid for a few days before they embalmed her. She continued her tale by saying as soon as the undertaker began to remove her cold dead blood and stuck that needle that contained the embalming fluid in her arm, she let out a scream that could be heard throughout the city of Charleston. It was said that even the ships in port heard that hair raising screech. She was not dead after all. Wouldn’t you know, it all happened on October 31st, All Saint’s Day. The undertaker came running out of the room screaming for someone to call her Doctor. The Doctor arrived and listened to her heart and sure enough, she was alive. She sat up and asked for a drink of water as she had gotten very thirsty while she was dead. She said no one could make any sense out of how or why they mistakenly thought she was dead. She remembered that as she lay dead in the morgue, she heard the voice of her twin sister that was never born tell her that she would be alright. It was her twin sister that left her body and went to the great beyond and she was left to tell the tale.
I was mesmerized but yet I thought she was making it all up. I think all the kids at the party thought that it really happened. As I was walking down her stairs that night, leaving the party, something cold flew by my face, touched my arm and I heard a child’s voice say, “I am her twin sister”. I picked up my pace and when I got to the sidewalk, I literally ran all the way home. Was it the ghost of her twin? I don’t know, but I do know that I never returned to her house again. Just saying…….maybe there are ghosts after all. I was convinced on that Halloween night, I felt the ghost of her twin sister.