Christmas Gift Giving Superstitions:


It was at one time considered bad luck to give a pair of scissors or a knife as a gift because it was feared that the act would “cut” the friendship in half. Therefore, knives were especially never given as wedding gifts, as it was believed they would lead to a broken marriage.

Also, never give anyone a pair of shoes as a Christmas gift because they would make the person you give them to walk away from you. When you give someone a gift of a wallet or purse, be sure to put some money into it, even if only a coin, to ward off bad luck. At one time, bakers would throw in an extra roll when you bought a dozen as a “gift” in case any of the other rolls were too small. This “gift” became known as the baker’s dozen.

The myth that coca cola company was who came up with Santa’s costume and style:

Haddon Sundblom drew his first Santa portrait for Coca-Cola in 1931… which popularized an existing image of Claus. In 1804, the New York Historical Society was founded with Nicholas as its patron saint, reviving the Dutch tradition of St. Nicholas as a bringer of gifts. In 1809, Washington Irving published his satirical A History of New York, by one “Diedrich Knickerbocker,” poking fun at New York’s Dutch past, St. Nicholas included… in Dutch, “Sinterklaas”. Irving revised his History of New York in 1812, adding details about Nicholas’ “riding over the tops of the trees, in that selfsame waggon wherein he brings his yearly presents to children.” In 1821,William Gilley wrote a poem about a “Santeclaus” who dressed all in fur and drove a sleigh pulled by one reindeer. On Christmas Eve of 1822, Clement Clarke Moore, wrote down and read to his children a series of verses; his poem was published a year later as “An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas” …more commonly known today by its opening line, “‘Twas the night before Christmas . . .

Two of Santa’s reindeer were named Donner and Blitzen…

In 1822, Clement Clarke Moore wrote down in his “An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas” …more commonly known today by its opening line, “‘Twas the night before Christmas . . And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name. “Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! on, Cupid! on Donder and Blitzen! To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! Now, dash away! dash away! dash away all! ” The song about Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer first made the mistake in Donder’s and Vixen’s names!

The myth that a man dressed as Santa Claus gets stuck in a chimney and dies:

This story has been around for almost as long as the Santa Claus legend itself. It is a variation of the motif of juxtaposing an otherwise happy occasion with a senseless tragedy. Note Ella Fitzgerald’s “Santa Claus Got Stuck in My Chimney,” Jimmy Boyd’s “Santa Got Stuck in the Chimney,” and Gisele MacKenzie’s “Too Fat for the Chimney.” I also did a whole post to this particular myth.

The myth that poinsettia plants are poisonous to humans :

The poinsettia poison myth had its origin when a young child of an Army officer in Hawaii died of poisoning, incorrectly assumed to be a poinsettia leaf. A 50 lb. child would have to eat more than 1.25 lbs. or 500 – 600 leaves , according to the POISINDEX Information Service. Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants lists the symptoms of eating Poinsetta as vomiting as a side effect of ingesting otherwise harmless poinsettia leaves. They are however poisonous to animals so please keep them out of the reach of your pets.


Mount Misery and Sweet Hollow Road


Mount Misery and Sweet Hollow Road are famous scary roads near the town of Melville in Long Island. They say the place is haunted and there are lots of scary stories, legends and myths associated with the area.

According to legend, Sweet Hollow Road and Mount Misery have been haunted as long as anyone can remember. It is a long, narrow, winding and dangerous road and there are a number of chilling urban legends associated with it. I Listed them below.

The Overpass:

The first legend is that three teenage boys killed themseles by hanging themselves off of the Northern State overpass bridge on Sweet Hollow Road in some kind of crazed suicide pact. They say that when you are driving down Sweet Hollow Road and pass under the bridge, if you honk your horn three times or flash your lights three times and look in your rear view mirror, you will see their lifeless bodies hanging from the overpass.

The School Bus:

There is another legend that on a dark and snowy night, a bus full of school children was driving across the bridge. The driver suddenly lost control and the bus slipped off of the bridge, crashing on Sweet Hollow Road and killing everyone on board.

Ever since then, people driving down the road at night have seen a group of faceless children walking along in the darkness. Others report seeing a bus full of children parked at night outside the graveyard. They say that if you drive under the bridge and put your car in neutral, the car will start to roll out from underneath the bridge. Some believe that this is the dead kids pushing your car out of harm’s way.

Mount Misery:

The legend is that back in the 1700s, there was a lunatic asylum on Mount Misery. At the time, care for the insane was very bad. The patients suffered brutal treatment and were abused horribly. They say you could hear their screams for miles around. One night, a female inmate set fire to her cell. Soon the entire mental asylum was in flames and it burned down with all the patients and workers trapped inside.

It is said that at night, you can see the ghostly figure of the woman who started the fire. She wanders down the side of the road, dressed in a white hospital gown, with messy unkempt white hair. Sometimes, she jump out in front of cars when they pass by. Some people claim to have seen burning ghosts fleeing from the grounds and heard their horrific screams and cries.

Sweet Hollow Cemetery:

There was a teenage girl named Mary who was with her boyfriend. They were out driving on Sweet Hollow Road when they got into an argument. Her boyfriend suspected her of cheating on him and in a fit of rage, he pushed her out of the moving car. She landed in the middle of the road and before she had a chance to get out of the way, another car came along and ran her over, killing her instantly.

They say she is buried in Sweet Hollow Cemetery and if you go to her grave at night and shine a light on her tombstone, she will appear. Sometimes she appears next to her tombstone and sometimes she appears in the forest across the road from the graveyard, watching you through the trees. If you see her, you will be struck dead before the morning comes.

The Cop:

Another urban legend about Sweet Hollow Road is that a police officer was shot and killed there years ago. They say that if you are driving on Sweet Hollow Road, sometimes you will get pulled over by the ghost of the dead cop. He comes over to you car, questions you and then lets you go. As the cop turns away and walks back to his car, you can see that the back of his skull is missing – blown out by a shotgun blast.

The Bloody Schoolhouse:

Another urban legend tells of a school that was on the corner of Sweet Hollow Road and Mount Misery Road. The school teacher killed all of his students with an axe, then locked the schoolhouse and set it on fire. When she found out what he had done, his daughter was so ashamed, she hung herself.

The Basket of Heads:

The last legend is that people used to see a man in dressed in rags wandering through the woods at night. In his hands he was carrying a basket of human heads. Apparently, there was a series of bizarre murders in the area and the killer was never caught. Many people believe that this is the ghost of the murderer. Others who have seen him claim he wears a checkered shirt and carries a bloody axe in his hand.


The Dead of Antietam


The Dead of Antietam, Civil War Historic Site

The Battle of antietam also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg, particularly in the Southern United States, was a battle of the American Civil War, fought on September 17, 1862, between Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia and Union General George B. McClellan’s Army of the Potomac, near Sharpsburg, Maryland and Antietam Creek. Part of the Maryland Campaign, it was the first field army–level engagement in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War to take place on Union soil. It was the bloodiest day in United States history, with a combined tally of 22,717 dead, wounded, or missing.

After pursuing the Confederate general Robert E. Lee into Maryland, Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan of the Union Army launched attacks against Lee’s army, in defensive positions behind Antietam Creek. At dawn on September 17, Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker’s corps mounted a powerful assault on Lee’s left flank. Attacks and counterattacks swept across Miller’s Cornfield, and fighting swirled around the Dunker Church. Union assaults against the Sunken Road eventually pierced the Confederate center, but the Federal advantage was not followed up. In the afternoon, Union Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside’s corps entered the action, capturing a stone bridge over Antietam Creek and advancing against the Confederate right. At a crucial moment, Confederate Maj. Gen. A. P. Hill’s division arrived from Harpers Ferry and launched a surprise counterattack, driving back Burnside and ending the battle. Although outnumbered two-to-one, Lee committed his entire force, while McClellan sent in less than three-quarters of his army, enabling Lee to fight the Federals to a standstill. During the night, both armies consolidated their lines. In spite of crippling casualties, Lee continued to skirmish with McClellan throughout September 18, while removing his battered army south of the Potomac River.

Despite having superiority of numbers, McClellan’s attacks failed to achieve force concentration, which allowed Lee to counter by shifting forces and moving along interior lines to meet each challenge. Therefore, despite ample reserve forces that could have been deployed to exploit localized successes, McClellan failed to destroy Lee’s army. McClellan’s persistent but erroneous belief that he was outnumbered contributed to his cautiousness throughout the campaign.

McClellan had halted Lee’s invasion of Maryland, but Lee was able to withdraw his army back to Virginia without interference from the cautious McClellan. McClellan’s refusal to pursue Lee’s army led to his removal from command by President Abraham Lincoln in November. Although the battle was tactically inconclusive, the Confederate troops had withdrawn first from the battlefield, and abandoned their invasion, making it a Union strategic victory. It was a sufficiently significant victory to give Lincoln the confidence to announce his Emancipation Proclamation, which discouraged the British and French governments from pursuing any potential plans to recognize the Confederacy.( THE DEAD OF ANTIETAM ),, It was at Antietam, the blood-churning battle in Sharpsburg, Md., where more Americans died in a single day than ever had before, that one Union soldier recalled how “the piles of dead … were frightful.” The Scottish-born photographer Alexander Gardner arrived there two days after the September 17, 1862, slaughter. He set up his stereo wet-plate camera and started taking dozens of images of the body-strewn country­side, documenting fallen soldiers, burial crews and trench graves. Gardner worked for Mathew Brady, and when he returned to New York City his employer arranged an exhibition of the work. Visitors were greeted with a plain sign reading “The Dead of Antietam.” But what they saw was anything but simple. Genteel society came upon what are believed to be the first recorded images of war casualties. Gardner’s photographs are so sharp that people could make out ­faces. The death was unfiltered, and a war that had seemed remote suddenly became harrowingly immediate. Gardner helped make Americans realize the significance of the fratricide that by 1865 would take many lives . For in the hallowed fields fell not faceless strangers but sons, brothers, fathers, cousins and friends. And Gardner’s images of Antietam created a lasting legacy by establishing a painfully potent visual precedent for the way all wars have since been covered.(Location= Washington County,
near Sharpsburg, Maryland)






TUPAC SHAKUR , WEST COAST RAPPER LEGENDARY HISTORY,HIS MURDER AND GHOST HAUNTING , Shakur was embroiled in a feud between East Coast and West Coast rappers.Born in New York City in 1971, Tupac Shakur, known by his stage name 2Pac, was an American rapper. Shakur has sold more than 75 million albums worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists in the world. Most of Tupac’s songs are about growing up amid violence and hardship in ghettos, racism, other social problems and conflicts with other rappers during the East Coast-West Coast hip hop rivalry. Shakur was shot and killed in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 1996.his Early years in Life

Shakur has become a legend in hip-hop and rap circles for his talent, his violent behavior, and his brutal death. The son of Black Panther activists, Shakur was raised by his mother Afeni Shakur. She was actually in jail on bombing charges during her pregnancy with Tupac. She was later acquitted in the case. He had no contact with his biological father, Billy Garland, until he was an adult.

According to The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll, Shakur was originally named Lesane Parish Crooks, but his moniker was soon changed to Tupac Amaru Shakur. “Tupac Amaru” means “shining serpent.” He had a difficult childhood, moving frequently around in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and the Bronx. Shakur received an education in radical politics from his mother, but he also saw some of life’s hardships through her struggles with substance abuse. In his youth, he explored acting by becoming a member of the 127th Street Ensemble, a Harlem-based theater company.

As a teenager, Shakur attended the Baltimore School for the Arts, where he took acting and dance classes, including ballet. While living in Baltimore, he discovered rap and began performing as MC New York. In the late 1980s, Shakur and his family moved to the West Coast. He joined the Oakland, California-based hip-hop group Digital Underground, which earlier had scored a hit with the song “The Humpty Dance.” Shakur appeared on two of the group’s recordings—1990’s This Is an EP and Sons of the P before going solo.In 1991, Shakur emerged as a solo artist—using the name 2Pac—with his debut album 2Pacalypse Now. The track “Brenda’s Got a Baby” reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot Rap Singles chart. His second album, ., crossed over to the pop charts, with singles “I Get Around” and “Keep Ya Head Up.” The album went platinum, selling more than a million copies.

Around this time, Shakur made his film debut in the 1992 urban crime drama Juice with Omar Epps, Samuel L. Jackson and Queen Latifah. He showed his softer side in Poetic Justice (1993), which was billed as “A Street Romance.” Shakur starred opposite Janet Jackson in the film. The following year, he played a drug dealer in the basketball drama Above the Rim. 2Pac became quite a sensation, earning praise for his musical and acting talent as well as condemnation for his explicit, lyrics. Many of his songs told of fights, gangs, and sex. He appeared to be living up to his gangster rap persona with several arrests . Shakur himself fell victim to violence, getting shot five times in the lobby of a recording studio during a mugging.The next year, after recovering from his injuries. His third solo album, Me Against the World (1995), started out in the number one spot on the album charts. Many critics praised the work, noting that tracks like “Dear Mama” showed a more genuine, reflective side to the rapper. The possibility of an early death runs through several songs on this recordings – something that many have seen as a chilling moment of foretelling.

After serving eight months in prison, Shakur returned to music with the album All Eyez on Me (1996). He was reportedly released after Death Row Records CEO Marion “Suge” Knight paid a bond of more than $1 million as part of Shakur’s parole. In his latest project, Shakur as the defiant street thug was back in full force on this recording. The song “California Love” featured a guest appearance by famed rapper-producer Dr. Dre and made a strong showing on the pop charts. “How Do You Want It” also was another smash success for Shakur. It appeared to be a golden time for Shakur.

Besides his hit album, Shakur continued to pursue his acting career. He landed several film roles around this time. He co-starred with Mickey Rouke in the 1996 crime drama Bullet. Before his untimely death, Shakur completed work on two other projects—Gridlock’d and Gang Related—that were released in 1997.

During his career, Shakur had become embroiled in a feud between East Coast and West Coast rappers. He was known to insult his enemies on his tracks. On a trip to Las Vegas to attend a boxing match, Shakur was shot while riding in a car driven by Knight on September 7, 1996. He died six days later, on September 13, 1996, from his injuries at a Las Vegas hospital. Shakur was only 25 years old at the time of his death, and his killer has never been caught. Since his death, numerous albums of his work have been posthumously released, selling millions of copies.

Shakur’s life has inspired numerous books and theatrical productions, including the 2012 musical Holler If Ya Can Hear Me. That same year, he made a posthumous appearance at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival with the help of technology. A 2-D image of the late rapper accompanied Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg during one of their performances at the California event. Shakur’s return to the stage from beyond the grave stirred up a new wave of interest in his videos and his music.

TUPAC GHOST HAUNTINGS , rapper and producer DJ Quik said he was haunted by the ghost of Tupac Shakur when he was in what was supposedly called The Karen Carpenter Room, recording a remix to one of his songs.

Karen Carpenter, the former member of the Carpenters, supposedly haunts the studio.

“We were doing a remix of a Tupac song and Big Syke comes into the studio we’re in, which is notoriously called the Karen Carpenter Room,” he explained. “Supposedly she haunts it. Syke kicks back, hits a blunt and starts laughing into the microphone. And he sounds eerily like Tupac. The lights just got a little weird. I got chills. It was like Tupac haunted the studio.”

TUPAC Burial SITE,he was
Cremated, Ashes scattered.
Specifically: Ashes scattered in his Mother’s garden, Stone Mountain, Georgia.

then thier is the controversy theory,that some think tupac is still alive ,kinda like a elvis still being alive controversy theory. A poetic Tupac Shakur monument is located outside the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts in Stone Mountain Georgia .



“Call Me” by Mike Staples

Perhaps the pot puffin’ student years are the worst in which to encounter a ghost.Nobody believes a word of it. “Lay off the weed man! Things that go brrriiiinnnggg in the night? What next?”

Late summer 1995: Brooklyn Heights. Our pursuit of student accommodations reached its conclusion between the walls of a tidy top-floor apartment in a house just off Jay Street, recently vacated by its owner of many years. The rent was low and our landlady, Mrs Fusco, could not conceal her relief when passing the keys. Visibly, she deflated, blowing out air like a balloon introduced to its first hat pin: “My tiny family home for fifty years. But since I put my Mack to rest last month, I just can’t live there myself. Take good care o’ the place boys.”

Mrs Fusco, Terri, had relocated to the other side of the street. Her sister’s home, with a horizontal view of our living room window. She’d be keeping an eye on us. Oh, and she promised to pray. Just in case.

To us, the flat represented new found freedom – our own place in which to lock the door, get stoned lots and study little. The sun shone brightly as Iain, John and I picked out rooms and the new Pixies LP made it feel like summer. Summer in the city. No place for ghosts. No place for fear.

We unpacked boxes, scattered electrical equipment relieved from parental possession, records, books, pinned the obligatory clichéd posters and nested. Iain’s bedroom was to double as the lounge, the social hub. A mainstay of student flats and, to some, an honour. Not one I was willing to have bestowed upon me, however. I like to sleep at night. That room was to become the centre of all kinds of activity and energy and quickly I became glad the room was not mine.

First night, as darkness fell, we sprawled upon the pristine sofa and celebrated with beer and grass. It was the sofa’s last shot at being pristine, but it remained painfully unaware. The joints rolled, the beer poured, we proclaimed, “This is the life boys! No hassles. Nobody telling you what to do. And no more sneaking around!” Three weeks until the start of classes, and we planned to use them wisely. Getting wrecked.

The joints poured and the beer rolled and the telephone rang. Each of us jumped a little, not expecting company.
“Who plugged the bloody phone in?” Iain laughed.
“I did,” John admitted. “And my mother is one phone lighter. Figured we could call Ma Bell tomorrow. Get connected.”
“Yeah, man. We should get connected,” I slurred. Stoners don’t know when they sound like stoners.

I eased myself off the sofa and lurched into the hallway. The large central hallway, an ever present in student apartments, echoed the telephone’s ring, making the tone deeper, louder, eerier than a sound so familiar should ever be. I reached towards the big old receiver. One millimetre from physical contact, the ring stopped. Died. Suddenly. Nothing unusual, right? Probably happens every time you try and get to the phone on time. But here it didn’t feel right. A cold shiver tickled the length of my back and I turned, almost surprised to find myself alone in the hall.

Perhaps it was just the unsettling nature of the first night in a new abode. Perhaps, as I first assumed, I was a little drunk, a little stoned and more than a little paranoid. Perhaps we all were.

I bounded back into the room. I had no intention of appearing shaken in front of my new housemates. So I shook it off.
“Anyone there?”
“Nah, it rang off. Must be someone looking for Terri.”
“Long as it’s not the cops!”
“I don’t think they tend to call in advance.”
Young pot-heads with university careers before them are significantly more afraid of the police than they are of ghosts. That is, until they encounter a ghost.

No sooner did my backside touch fake leather, and the telephone’s grating call disturbed us once more. Brrrrrrrriiiiinnnngggg. Brrrrrrrriiiiinnnngg. Old fashioned ringer: more effective, far more sinister. Sucking on a joint, I started to rise.
“Stay where you are old boy,” said Iain, “I’ll tell ‘em to go fuck themselves!” We laughed, and relaxed a little.

Almost instantly, Iain reappeared in the room.
“Jesus, man. The minute I touched the phone it stopped.”
“Same thing as happened to me.”
“Yeah? Odd.”
As he stood there in the doorway of the lounge, of his bedroom, we became acutely aware that the record had stopped turning and the still summer evening had been defeated by a dark, windy night. A cold stare on Iain’s face betrayed the confidence with which he had exited the room.
“The atmosphere in this place changes a bit at night, eh lads?” John voiced what all were thinking.
“Not half!”

By the time the black telephone had performed its circus act for the sixth time, we three were sitting on the floor of the hall awaiting its next move. Thick jumpers replaced t-shirts in an attempt to offset the icy chill that sat above the hallway. An icy chill, watching our every move. Huddling together, we took it in turns, racing to the phone, trying to answer before it rung off. But, without fail, the ring would stop the second a finger touched its shining receiver. This perpetuated until the stroke of ten. And then the phone stopped ringing.

The following night, the second in our new home, was a repeat. From the moment we attempted to relax on the couch, joints rolled, until bang-on ten o’clock. The details were the same. Identical. But on the second night, it became all the more chilling. No longer a game.
“Somebody is watching us, right?”

By the third night, this was starting to become an inconvenience. More than an inconvenience. Downright annoying and pretty damn scary. We stopped wondering about cause and replaced curiosity with frustration. But nobody ever suggested unplugging the phone. Not once. Like clockwork, the rings would stop each night at ten and, although we didn’t discuss it, I guess nobody was prepared to risk missing something. And, other than the phone’s ghostly ring, nothing more sinister occurred.

On our fourth day in the flat, the Bell engineer banged on our front door. He met three bleary eyed students with a chirpy demeanour.
“Hey guys, sorry to disturb, it’s only noon! I’m here to connect up your phone line.” He leaned forward, flashing his identity and a giant grin.
“It’s ok bud, phone line is already connected. The phone has been ringing non-stop. In fact, we figured there must be an electrical fault or something.”
“Ok guys, let me check it out. I’m the man with the telephone plan!” He and his tool box walked to the phone and dropped to their knees. We returned to the living room to inflict further pain on the sofa.

Two hours later, our friendly neighbourhood phone guy tapped on the living room door.
“Well boys, I have to say, I’m flummoxed. Downright flummoxed. I’ve been all over your point, right down your cables and up the pole outside.” He pointed out the widow to a telephone pole with a ladder leaning against it and an open yellow box.
“This flat is not connected. In fact, the connection into your local exchange,” he pointed to the yellow box, “has completely burnt out. Looks like some kind of electrical surge. Anyway, there’s absolutely no way whatsoever your phone line could have been connected. Not today, and not anytime in the past few weeks. Sure you boys haven’t been imagining things?” He nodded towards the ashtray.

His words hung in the air. There was no doubt, our affair with the insistent telephone was very real and, suddenly, very creepy. In that moment, there was a realisation – the flat was not, and never was going to be, our own. We were merely guests, and had an important choice to make – whether or not to live in fear.

“So, do you want me to fix up your connection? There’ll be a charge, but I’ll soon have you up and running.”
We ushered him out the house faster than a pulse of electronic communication.
“Another time, cheers mate, thanks for all your help!”
There, in the hallway, we caught each others’ eye, said nothing, and gave John the command to lean down and unplug the telephone he had, with the best of intentions, attempted to connect four days earlier.

There, our strange encounters did not end. They just became part of everyday life. Unplugging the phone made little difference; the messages from beyond, or wherever they originated, just kept coming. They never appeared with the same rhythmic regularity, but still the phone rang, although never past ten pm. Eventually, we came to believe ourselves the victims of nothing more than mischief. Eventually we forgot about fear.

A number of months passed; student life slipped into its usual routine and our apartment morphed into the social hub you would expect. Our telephone absurdity became renowned, the curious would befriend us, befriend friends, just to experience the oddity of our abode. One particularly bright Spring evening brought the shock we’d be waiting for, that our intrigued gathering of revellers failed to anticipate.

The evening drew in, heavy city air clinging onto the day’s warmth, keeping windows thrown wide. An exam’s end gathering was evolving into a minor party. Always conscious of our landlady’s proximity and presence, and before I drank one beer too many, I bounded towards the window in the hope that misdemeanours could remain hidden behind flapping drapes. There I caught Terri’s eye, peering from the widow opposite. I pretended not to see her, but her gaze drew me in. She nodded, slowly, before making the sign of the cross. Spectacles, testicles, wallet and watch. Well, perhaps not so much of the testicles, but you get my drift. We’d long since determined Terri Fusco mad, and thus, I thought nothing of it and returned to well earned recreation.

The night rolled until only a small group of us remained, including a handful of friends old and new. As the carriage clock on the mantle began to strike the first of ten rings, Iain lifted us from a self-induced fog.
“Hey guys, check it out. Ten o’clock and a no phone. Ain’t no ringing any more!”
We, the residents of the apartment, applauded in unison with a universal groan from those who had gathered in the hope of experiencing our famous “haunted telephone”. And then, the windows slammed.

The windows slammed together. The door slammed shut. The light disappeared. The candles flickered, then faded. Some started to curse, some started to scream, then all lost their voice. Some started to stand, some intended to run, then all became pinned to their seats or pinned to the floor. Nobody could talk nor move. Silence fell. Deathly silence.

And then the telephone started to ring. Three rings, then silence. Two rings, the silence. One ring, then silence.

The room was filled with fear. I looked around at the faces of the party guests, invited or otherwise. Drawn gazes of terror and resignation. Something terrible was happening; something even worse was about to happen. Each flapped around, desperate to move, but unable, glued to their surface like toy soldiers awaiting playful execution. And through that chaos came clarity; Iain, John and I locked eyes. Apartment-house allies, sharing this moment, sharing emotion. We engaged, looked deep into each other’s eyes and saw no fear. We smiled the slightest of smiles and turned heads to catch the bright light that had come to peer beneath the door, to catch the momentary glimpse of a shadow rapidly moving away. To hear the apartment’s front door creak, then slam closed with a chilling gust of absolute finality.

First the candles flickered, then reignited. Immediately thereafter, all were able to move freely, with our guests doing exactly that, straight through the front door, fleeing towards the city streets, never to be seen again. As they scrambled for freedom, John, Iain and I sat quietly. We did not speak; we had not feared. We knew the telephone would not ring again.

And we knew the time had come to leave the apartment.

The next day, the three of us visited Terri Fusco to hand back the keys. Our lease was soon to expire and each planned to return home for the vacation. We never thought to leave the apartment early, did not believe ourselves to have been chased away. It just seemed like the right time to go.

Terri clasped her hands round the keys, never once having visited us during our tenure, never once having inspected the mess we made of her couch.
“I’ve kept a close eye on you boys and, I have to say, you’ve done pretty well. There’s not many would have stayed so long, for sure.”
We shared a glance.
“Thanks Mrs Fusco,” in unison.
“Yep, I’ll be sorry to see y’all go.”
“We’re sorry to go, Mrs Fusco,” each of us dying to depart her creepy air.
“Alright, alright, boys. I can see you’re dying to get away. I just wanted to ask you one little question before you disappear. I just wondered, how’s my Mac doing? And is he still going to bed at ten o’clock sharp, just like I always told him?”
Sharing a sideways glace, I decided to answer for all of us,
“I don’t think so Mrs Fusco, it seems he’s decided stay up later, spend some time on the town.” We grinned. To our surprise, Terri grinned too,
“Yeah, sure, I would think so as well. Last night, you mean? Last night was his anniversary.”
“His anniversary?”
“His anniversary! One year since he last regretted staying out past ten!”

She winked and, with no further questions, we too were on our way.