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Ghost stories for the new millennium

 

Adele Elliott

 

I looove Halloween. The cooler temps, mysterious shadows and, best of all, the chance to wear a costume. Anyone who has seen me this week knows that I started costuming on Friday. 

 

Ghost stories, too, thrill me. I have been lucky enough to live in two very haunted cities. New Orleans claims to be America's most haunted. But we all know that Columbus, and the rest of the Golden Triangle, can give her a run for the money. 

 

However, I sometimes tire of hearing the same stories again and again. Etchings appear on windows, even after they have been broken and replaced. A child cries at Waverly Plantation. A dark man in cloak and fedora prowls the Princess Theater. 

 

So, I have decided to create some new legends for our area. Pay attention, Hollywood. Any of these would make a great motion picture. 

 

 

 

Fowl play 

 

Let's face it, we have more chicken restaurants here than we have churches. This is creating some very angry birds, which are set on revenge. The "tail" starts with a rooster crowing at dawn. There are stories of feathers found scattered around town. Soon the chickens are everywhere, hurling raw eggs and pecking at our heads. In the end no one survives except one child who was wise enough to were his bike helmet. (My apologies to Alfred Hitchcock.) 

 

 

 

Frightful fight night 

 

We know that our local politicians have little love for each other. Sometimes, that means trading insults, sometimes even trading punches. It is scary to think that this could really get even more out of hand. In the story, elected officials roam the area, in gang-like packs, looking for a fight. They are unstoppable because no one ever loses his position due to a random headlock or broken nose. 

 

The happy ending comes when a well-dressed, but capeless, crusader, known only as "The Conscience of Columbus" runs for office and cleans up the town. (Spoiler alert: "The Conscience," as this hero is called by close friends, is not a man.) 

 

 

 

Bitter bloody hearts 

 

Aren't we sick of hearing, "Well, bless your hear-art"? And everyone knows that this phrase has more meanings than Bill Clinton's "I did not have sex with that woman." In this scenario, people who do not want their hearts blessed (especially by those who think the name of that organ is a two-syllable word) run amuck through the street, bleeding on linen dresses and seersucker suits. The problem is solved when those who commit the offense are forced to wear an embroidered heart, ventricles, valves and all, on their chest (a la Hester Prynne) and red Pollock-esque splatter patterns on clothing become stylish. 

 

Of course, there are some very scary things going on at the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau, the school board, and any organization in the area that is fueled by our tax dollars. But those stories would give you nightmares. I just do not want to be responsible for that. 

 

I wish all my readers a happy Halloween. You may be relieved to know that I will not write another column on this subject -- well, not this year, anyway. Hope I did not scare you too much!

 

Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina.

 

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