Friday, April 8, 2016

Tender Years: Ghost Stories at the Puntes'




"A grownup is a child with layers on."  -  Woody Harrelson


Peeling back the layers.




I recall summer evenings at the Puntes' old white house with the cement porch and steps.  Kids out on the porch catching lightening bugs in jars.  Or playing with hard-shelled June Bugs, while the adults socialized inside.  I was one of the younger of the crowd.

One night, they brought the party inside to one of the bedrooms.  The door was closed and it was pitch dark, except for one flashlight.  We were gathered cross-legged on the floor to tell ghost stories. Now, I had never been involved in the telling of ghost stories, as Mama always shielded me from such things, thinking I'd have nightmares.  So, this was my indoctrination. The speaker would hold the flashlight under their chin, with the light pointing up toward their face, creating the eerie setting. Several stories were told, none of which I remember. None of which scared me very much.  But then the light was passed to an older boy who told us the tale of "Bloody Bones and Goo Goo Eyes".  He told his tale slowly and with much inflection and drama  I don't remember that story, either, but it ended with something like "I'm gonna get you!" and the boy reaching out and grabbing at us.  That scared me enough to make me jump!  Several of us squealed and adult voices told us to quiet down and get out.   
One of Pete's daddy's nicknames was "June Bug."

I don't recall if it gave me nightmares or not.  But I do remember the freedom and camaraderie we
shared in those gentle evenings.

Did you ever spend mild evenings playing by porch light? What about ghost stories?

Thank you for sharing!

Barbara

35 comments:

  1. My cousin Corky kept a June Bug on a string!

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  2. I don't remember too many ghost stories from my childhood, but I do remember being scared to go to bed without all the lights on after hearing them.

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    1. Ha, ha, then you probably had a mom like mine who normally wouldn't allow you to watch anything she was afraid might make you scared.

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  3. I used to love telling and hearing ghost stories when I was younger. This post has brought some great memories (and some memories of scaring ourselves half to death lol)
    Debbie

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  4. Never did much with ghost stories. I never knew anyone who told a good story, really.

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    1. I just sort of fell into this. I think the next time I ever heard anyone telling ghost stories I was probably off at summer camp as a teen.

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  5. I was at Boy Scout camp one summer, and told a horror story (of my own creation) to a tent full of scouts. After I was done, they all moved their bunks into one large tent figuring there was safety in numbers!

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    1. Wonderful! You must of been a very convincing story teller!

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  6. YES! That was one of the best parts of childhood. We played outside catching lightening bugs and telling ghost stories and all sorts of cool stuff. We had a great front porch when I was little, too.

    Some of my favorite stories were Golden Arm and Crybaby Bridge (I also wrote an extended version of this legend). There were many others, but I can't remember them at the moment.

    Thanks for the fun memories! :)

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    1. I forgot all about Golden Arm! LOL See how one persons memory jogs another persons! Love it.
      There was just something magical about being outside after dark. I still love it.

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    2. Yes, it is magical after dark. However, where we live now, it is creepy after dark...well, any other time for that matter. :)

      I've always loved playing hide and seek outside after dark, too. Nothing quite like an oogy-boogy in the dark to scare out the hiders. haha

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    3. I'm fortunate. We live where we can go out and enjoy ourselves any time day or night, together or alone, without any fear.

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  7. We used to play outside all the time. Mom would open the doors early Saturday and kick us out from the cartoons. We rode our bikes here, there and everywhere and didn't come back home till it was supper time. If we were hungry for lunch, we went to whoevers house we were closest too and grabbed sandwiches. I don't recall telling ghost stories, but we sure had fun back before there were video games.

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    1. I never lived in a "neighborhood", so Mama wouldn't let me get out far until I was a teen. But then me and a friend who lived about 3 miles from me would ride bikes together all over the backroads between our two houses and stop and visit everyone we knew along the way.

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  8. Despite dire warnings of bad folks and flash-flooding, we played in the arroyo anyway. Shoot, I even went alone! Until stories of La Llorona began circulating. Some crazy lady looking for kids to replace the ones she drowned! That did it, I never went to the arroyo alone at night again;-)

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  9. Yes, to spending evenings on the porch and watching fireflys and June Bugs. Absolutely NO on the ghost stories...not then...not now. The movies 'Ghost' and 'Ghost Busters' is about my speed.
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal

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    1. I don't much care for the super creepy, bloody scary movies they have now. The Ghost and Mr. Chicken is more my speed. LOL

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  10. I had a relative by marriage who was terrified of June Bugs. You know out side in the light at night they will fly so hard and fast into you. She was from Illinois, I wonder if they do not have them there.

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    1. Yes, they are hard and fast! Also, sort of bungling. They have those barbs on their legs and it you had on synthetic fiber clothes or something with texture it could be hard to get them off, once they were on. OH, and get caught up in your hair! They never really bothered me though, once I realized they can't really harm you, like bite or sting.

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  11. We spent many sunmer nights at our camp (most people not from around here call it a lakehouse) it's just an old cabin on Caddo Lake and we would spend summer weekends there and the kids would hang out on the porch, much like you described with the flashlight. We told ghost stories and watched the fireflies. We would chase each other down the pier and hope no one fell in the dark, murky water. It was safe and we didn't have neighbors for miles. We could stay out all night if we wanted or fall asleep under the stars. I miss that kind of living.

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  12. Loved it! Fireflies in jars. Ahhh, the memories of childhood.
    Trisha Faye www.trailangelmama.wordpress.com

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  13. I remember catching fireflies in jars and bringing them over my neighbor's house - their granddaughter was my age and she'd come and visit for a week or two every summer from Michigan. I'm sure it only happened one or two times but it's a vivid memory.
    Visiting from A to Z
    http://gvpeasachantrant.blogspot.com

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    1. Whether once or all summer long seems to make no difference to childhood memories. It's the way we felt while it happened that brands it into our souls so that we carry it forever.

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  14. There were a few times my friends would share ghost stories, and I didn't like it very much. I much prefer watching the fireflies :)

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    1. I love finding the woods alive with fireflies, it looks like someone hung the little Christmas light s all through.

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  15. That whole scene is straight from a movie! :)

    I never had that experience as a child, but I have as an adult, and I loved it. It's always fun to hear everyone's ghost stories!

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    1. Oh, now, that's cool! We should go ahead and experience the things we want to that we missed as a child. Helps our heart and mind stay young!

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  16. We all played with June bugs and lightning bugs too. We did the flashlight routine too and told stories at night. I used to draw a lot and would leave bloody hands and hatchets under my siblings pillows. That always got some squeals. They still talk about that today - five decades later. I guess I liked to stir up some action once in a while.

    Enjoyed your post.

    Sunni
    http://sunni-survivinglife.blogspot.com/

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    1. Ah, I see, you were the instigator of the bunch! LOL Sounds like fun times together.

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So glad you stopped by! Come 'round any time. ~ Barbara

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