By Joann M. Ringelstetter
When witches go riding,
and black cats are seen,
the moon laughs and whispers,
‘tis near Halloween.
Halloween is upon us and houses and yards are decorated with witches, ghosts, and other ghoulish things. I can’t help but be reminded of a game we played on the farm when we were kids. We would wait until it was very dark outside and then we would begin our game of Moonlight, Starlight.
One person was designated as the ghost and they would run off and hide as the rest of the kids sat on the steps, covered their eyes, and counted very slowly and loudly.
“One O’clock…..Two O’clock…..Three O’clock…..Four O’clock…..Five O’clock…..Six O’clock…..Seven O’clock…..Eight O’clock…..Nine O’clock…..Ten O’clock…..Eleven O’clock…..Twelve O’clock….MIDNIGHT!”
“Moonlight, Starlight, I hope to see a ghost tonight!”
Then we would all spread out in search of the ghost. The goal was to catch a glimpse of the ghost, but not get caught by him or her. If any of us got close to where the ghost was hiding, he or she would jump out of the shadows and chase us. Once we saw the ghost, we had to get back to the steps before being touched by the ghost.
Anyone who wasn’t fast enough to reach the steps before being touched by the ghost would be turned into the ghost for the next round. The game continued like this, with pounding hearts and screams, until Mom came out and dragged us off to bed.
Halloween originated thousands of years ago at an ancient Celtic festival. Various Halloween customs were brought to America by the first European immigrants. As millions of immigrants poured into America in the second half of the nineteenth century, they contributed to popularizing Halloween as a national celebration.
I’ll end this post with a few words from Jeff Foxworthy – You might be a redneck if the Halloween pumpkin on your front porch has more teeth than your spouse.