With Halloween season soon upon us The Waynedale News asked a few "older" kids, now lawyers, engineers, business consultants, and business owners, from the Waynedale area what they remember doing on Halloween. Some of them recalled playing a few of the following practical jokes. Perhaps you were one of those pranksters. Harmless, and often hilarious, our readers relate stories on some of those pranks and happenings around Waynedale.
"Halloween is coming and I am afraid the glory days of Halloween Trick or Treat pranks may have ended when I quit hitting the streets many years ago," reported some of the "now in their twenty's and thirty's" neighborhood kids from the Old Trail Road area. "My brothers and I, and even some of our close friends just down the street, used to do some amazing prep work for Halloween. We would bury eggs for "rotten eggs" weeks in advance, we would set aside rolls of toilet paper, cans of shaving cream, make lists of evil neighbors and plan to be up all night if needed to get our prank on."
"I recall the time when we found a dead raccoon. It was probably the one that bit my dad, I'm not sure. Anyway, we tied some of our dad's fishing line around its body and then placed the raccoon in the middle of the road. We were hiding under a pile of leaves on the side of the road and when a car came near we would start pulling on that line as if the raccoon was crossing the road. Some of the cars would slow down and try to go around the raccoon and some would actually stop, and then go, stop, and then go, right in the middle of the road. This would go on for hours. It was a blast!"
Another Waynedaler recalls years ago dressing up and sitting at the back fence with a bowl full of candy. "I sat there and waited, very still, as if I were a stuffed creature. I put nothing but the best candy in the bowl that sat on my lap just to ensure I got a lot of traffic — chocolate eye-balls, black skull suckers (the kind that turns your tongue red) and huge chocolate bars." "When the ghosts and goblins and their friends come by and reach into the bowl for a piece of candy, I would pop up and say "I see you!" or "GOTCHA CHA CHA CHA!" He remembers that this prank never failed. It would scare the pants off them and leave them laughing or shrieking.
It's a good thing these kids, at least most of them, no longer live in the neighborhood, because I overheard them talking about passing out carmel onions.
Legends of ghosts and strange happenings have long been told about haunted houses and cemeteries in the Fort Wayne area. The lights in windows at night, the appearance of "phosphorescently glowing" lights in the cemetery and unusual tombstones.
On one such tombstone reported to be in Prairie Grove Cemetery there are three dates. The inscription on this tombstone reads, "A little bit of time, another breath upon the wind and another woman will bear me." Also on this tombstone is an inscription. Our reader reports that someone has attempted to get this inscription translated but only to find out that it was best to be left alone. History has it that many stories involving hauntings and unusual happenings have their roots in some form of violence. It was reported that this lady was found in a cornfield and her death was deemed to be a suicide, she was shot in the head. But the question remains how did the gun that was found fall twenty feet from her body.
Our reader also tells The Waynedale News, "If you decide to go on a ghost hunt try not to unnecessarily touch or move objects. You should leave the natural environment alone. Ask the ghost to appear. If a ghost passes near you, the ghost catcher should use a chime to alert others. And always have a couple of spotlights ready in case something happens and you need light fast!"
Another story for the season comes from The Waynedale Plumbing Supply guys on Lower Huntington Road. If you recall Virgil and Homer Hoke lost their cat named Jesse about a year or so ago. Virgil has recently reported, "Jesse's "spirit" is back in the shop." "A neighborhood cat just appeared at the door the other day," said Virgil. Of course these kind-hearted guys let it in. "It wandered around a bit and then just like Jesse would do, it hopped into the cat bed and took a nap." The plumbers said that they let it out at night and every once in a while it will reappear.
The Waynedale News encourages all trick-or-treaters to celebrate Halloween in a safe and respectful manner. There's no real "trick" to making Halloween a treat for the whole community.