Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween in Anoka, Minnesota

My parents live in Anoka- The Halloween Capital of the World!
Last year my mom and I went with Natalie's Girl Scout Troop to the 'Ghosts of Anoka' walking tour of the city. This year we invited my dad, Amy and her daughter, Coral, to come along, too. Educational, spooky fun!

Our guide wore a vintage dress covered by a long, hooded cloak. A misty rain filled the air, as we followed her through the city streets and neighborhoods of Anoka. History came to life as we learned about the the people who lived in the houses and worked in the buildings and survived the tornadoes. Not everyone survived and nobody lives forever, so Anoka has its share of ghostly spirits...

There are lights that turn on and off.
Doors that slam and lock.
Chairs that spin or rock.
And pictures that move back
to a place they used to be.
Parents awaken to a light and find their child is ill.
Strange noises in the night-
both save a family from a fire
and leave them with a chill.
A voice. A rattle. A fading form.
Merchandise flys off a shelf and hits the floor.

We were taken in. Transported. All the places we have passed by so many times, barely giving a second glance, would now stand out. Now rich and colorful with stories- they had become more than a building, more than a house, more than a winking neon jack-o-lantern.

My mom walked next to me, holding my arm as I held my aching hip. She didn't push me into the bushes, like she did last year when we passed the hedge that reportedly grabs at people. I screamed anyway, like I did before. She was startled, then started to laugh when she remembered.

On the way home, we considered what kind of ghost each of us might become. Would we be filled with benevolence? Would we be pranksters? Maybe a little of both.

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