Falling for Pumpkins and Scary Stories

Dear Reader:

Yesterday was the day I dragged bags of pumpkins out to start decorating for my favorite season . Since I am leaving shortly to spend the night with Tommy and Kaitlyn-watching the first Clemson game of the season… I am just sticking wreaths up ( in temporary spots to get them out of the bags) – most of the ” hardcore” decorating will have to wait for my return and a stepladder!

I do believe I could start my own decorative ” pumpkin patch” with the number of artificial pumpkins I have acquired over the years…

I remembered to stop by Doodles’ late Sunday afternoon to get the funny ” Pinky” ghost story I mentioned earlier! Then after I got home… and started flipping through the Charleston Ghosts book…. ( ” Pinky” was the last story) memories of growing up listening to the familiar stories came flooding back.

Soon I began to see a pattern developing with the stories… perhaps there are ” cardinal” rules for ghost story telling! 😂

Here are some examples…

Leaning Tombstones-If you go in an old creepy cemetery -for goodness sakes-don’t get close to a leaning to tombstone-there’s a reason you don’t want to know why it is leaning.

” 13″ –Take my word for it… nothing good is going to happen in a ghost story on the 13th … and not just calendar days or nights but also steps-don’t ever linger on the 13th step!

” 3″ or Third- We should all know this by now-nothing is going to happen until the third night-after the ghost has warned you two nights previously-the third anything is when ” Scary Goes Down”!!!

The Bewitching Hour-midnight-And speaking of numbers and time… all of us know that whatever is going to happen to have us screaming will happen right on the dot of midnight ( not 11:59 or 12:01) *** Grandfather clocks are a ” must have” in ghost tales!

The White Wedding or Ball Gown- Every young girl should know by now if you want to survive the ending of a ghost story… wear any other colored gown ( green, purple, even black) but for goodness sake avoid white at all costs-bloody handprints, arrows or bullets show up too well on white! Makes for a dramatic ending at the heroine’s expense!

Environmental Ghosts –If a storm is coming-especially around the Lowcountry areas of the Carolinas -gray is the color you are looking for-because as legend decrees-see the Gray Man and your home survives intact from tropical storms and hurricanes! Happy searching!

And finally Pinky …the determined poltergeist suitor! The last story is about a little girl growing up in her two spinster aunts’ home after her parents are tragically killed in a carriage accident. Lavinia loves her aunts and her room tucked away on the third floor where she plays dolls, imaginary games and reads to her hearts’ content.

But one night as she climbs the steps… she hears steps behind her-though no one is on the steps-they follow her to her room and soon tapping noises are all over the room walls and ceilings-curious Lavinia begins tapping and dancing too! A friendship begins with Lavinia calling her new friend -Pinky.

Joyful years follow until Lavinia becomes interested in a young man and Pinky finally gets so upset one evening he leaves. Soon a wedding follows in the parlor below… all goes well until Lavinia and her husband start their first honeymoon night together!

A comical scene follows as Pinky pulls the husbands shirt off and unties his shoes causing him to trip… he thinks Pinky is Lavinia’s dog and keeps crawling under the bed to get him out -Lavinia is laughing so hard it takes her awhile to explain Pinky is a ghost. Finally resigned to the fact the three live happily ever after!

So until tomorrow… life is full of surprises and most of us like good surprises too and even scary surprises if they are found in fiction. Being ” fun” scared is a memorable part of our camping experiences and group gatherings as a child!

I am sure I was and am now heading to Tommy and Kaitlyn’s for a fun night! Go Tigers!

Today is my favorite day -Winnie the Pooh

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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1 Response to Falling for Pumpkins and Scary Stories

  1. Rachel Edwards says:



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