Sunday, October 31, 2021

 


“It was a dark and stormy night…” Of course, everything is this time of year, but for some reason this year is a bit spookier. Perhaps it is the rain and the early dark causing us to skitter into our houses, or back out into the night. For me, I skitter back out into the night during this season often with a dark cape around my shoulders or a pointed hat upon my head. Okay, sometimes it is just a cool, fun sweatshirt, but it is Halloween, and I am open to all of it.

Poe Night came and went with a blazing fire, and with mingled voices of the community and Trine University students. It is amazing for me to think that a man, Edgar Allan Poe, could be celebrated in a little northern Indiana town 172 years after his death. Not only did we read the works of Poe, but we had a scholarly vision of the man who we still see as the father of macabre. I am always proud of my students for exchanging the engineering hats to read poetry! They are all amazed too as one student said, “I had no idea it would be so fun. Can I do it next year again?” I love it when that happens.

A few nights later, as the rain began once again, Lola and I found ourselves weaving through the back gate of the Cline Museum. It was dark and grey as I meandered through the yard and up the back steps. Stepping into the Cline Museum is like turning the clock back 150 years. This time the ghostly collaboration was put on by the Steuben County Historical Society and the Historic Preservation Commission. Then event was to be held outside until the gray October skies opened up, so quickly all was moved inside. Arriving early gave me a chance to tour the old house without much commotion. Inside the Dr.’s office was the creepiest mannequin. It looked so real, and I expected him to turn around and look at me any moment. I couldn’t help myself but to look over my shoulder at him every now and again.

With a full house, Hope Wilson and Heather Burkett put on a haunting show of buildings that used to be once upon a time. The research was scholarly, the photos were eerie and with rain pelting one could only imagine this little town of us long ago. I was honored to read a few of the stories about my favorite prominent folks…the Gales, the Gilmores, and the Hendrys. Most of the ghostly buildings were lost to fire as the structures were wooden. But some magnificent architectural structures were simply torn down to make room for something new. Hopefully, with historic preservation, some of this can be halted to keep the history in our town. You missed the show? Perhaps we will do it again. It is always good to know where we live, and how we all got here.

I stayed to help put away chairs, and divvy up the extra Halloween candy. With one last look at the staircase (really, what was I thinking would happen???), and one last glimpse of the good doctor still sitting, much like The Raven, we shut out the lights and headed out into the gloom of night. I was glad to get home to my cheery old house, put on the lights and my electric fireplace (I can imagine it’s real, right?) and put on the kettle.

Ah, but not all is over. Today our town is bursting with events. Don’t stay home on this day. Come on out to Pokagon for fun events all day long. I will be telling “grown up” stories at the CCC at 1:30. Or spend your day in town at the festival complete with a hay maze and plenty of music, if you feel like dancing in the street.

The costume contest is once again our favorite. Please meet in front of The Brokaw Movie House. Registration begins at 3:30 and the contest is at 4. There is a category for all ages from 0-100! Everyone can participate.

After all the events, let the littles (and the bigs) commence to trick-or-treating. My old house is full of treats so bring them on by so I can fill up their bags.

It is Halloween week-end, and nothing, but nothing is as fun as being in town for the festivities. See you around the square.

Happy Halloween!