It seems appropriate to write something a little spooky for Halloween. There's only so much you can write about candy corn and caramel apples. Halloween calls for something a little darker. I think everyone probably has some little eerie event in their memory that they just can't quite explain. (I'm not talking about drunken college days; I'm speaking more paranormal.) The spookiest memory I have involves a Ouija board, a garage sale, a yellow legal pad, and some of my favorite relatives. My cousin's BFF was having a yard sale, and she invited us to bring anything we had to sell. I'm not sure who had the Ouija board for sale. I think it was the BFF, but I know for certain that it wasn't me, and I am pretty certain given the religious climate of their home that it didn't belong to my cousins. I had never really believed in Ouija boards, but they were weird enough that I felt a little spooky about them. We started talking about the board and all the rumors about it, and the discussion became divided between the people who believed the thing moved by itself and those who believed it was being moved by the fingers. Those of us on the side saying the people were moving it argued that since you were already thinking about the answer, you would naturally push the planchette (that's the official term for the "thing" you push) toward whatever you were thinking. This is actually backed up by scientific research. In an effort to convince us otherwise, the plan was devised to send two people inside the house to ask a question. Then two of us outside the house would get the answer from the board. The theory being that if we did not even know what question was asked, it would be impossible for us to move to the answer. I don't remember exactly how it started, but I remember that we noticed the planchette was moving very quickly. Swaying back and forth, occasionally going around in circles. It started stopping on letters, and a dialogue began. We were no longer asking questions of each other, but of the board. Over the course of the next few hours, we got virtually no customers at the garage sale. Or maybe they came and just took stuff, I don't know. We were so enthralled with the board that we wouldn't have noticed. She told us her name, how she died, and who had killed her. The answers didn't come out in complete grammatically correct sentences, so we got a yellow legal pad and began writing down the letters. When she stopped, we could go back and put the letters together and sort out words. It was kind of like doing hooked on phonics with a ghost. This was all fun and fascinating. I don't think we put too much thought in whether or not it was evil or wrong. I think it was just really cool that we were having a conversation with . . . something. The BFF acknowledged she had always sort of thought there was a presence in the house, and little things had happened with hair brushes and lights. We were convinced we were speaking with her ghost, and we were wierded out but totally engaged. We took a break to have a snack and talk about the mind-blowing events. This was not your average boring garage sale! When we reconvened with the board, we asked if she was still there, and the planchette went nuts. It circled; it zigged; it zagged. It went so fast that it was hard to keep our fingertips on it. The fun unknown took a dark little turn when the board announced that it was no longer the lovely lady we had been speaking with. We asked who it was, and the board spelled out the initials she had given us as her killer. Time to put the board up, right? Naaah, we weren't that smart or paranoid. He ranted, he raved, he threatened. He told us he knew where we were and that he could see us. And we finally got spooked enough to quit and put the board away. For good. I called a friend of mine who had dabbled in studying black magic during a dark time in high school. She completely freaked out that we had played with a Ouija board. She believed that in the hands of a non-believer, the board is harmless. But when you believe in something, you give it energy. And when you give energy and belief to the spiritual world, you open a door. Now I can't explain to you what happened under that carport with the Ouija board. I can tell you I have never touched one again, and that I never will. People from all walks of life say they have seen ghosts, that they feel cold drafts and hear voices. Some people say they can communicate with the dead. I don't know about all that. I don't know who is fake and what is real. I do know that I believe in a spiritual world. I believe in angels, and I believe in a life after this one. And I know there is good and there is evil. So while I don't buy into every ghost story or every paranormal encounter, I do believe it happens. And I do believe we encountered something that day. So, you can believe or not believe, but either way.......Have a Happy Halloween!!! Share this with your friends, and share your spooky memories with me! P.S. I took these photos on a cemetery tour at Greenwood Cemetery in Orlando. They have nothing to do with Ouija boards, garage sales, or even Halloween, but they were kind of spooky so I thought you might enjoy them! All my pictures and stories are copyrighted.