Trick or Treating for a HiveBuzz badge with a Halloween Ghost Story

Yesterday, when scrolling through my feed on my Hive blog, I saw the following post pop up from the @hivebuzz team about a new HiveBuzz badge –

Trick or Treat – Share your scariest story and get your Halloween badge

And look at this beauty! How could I resist the opportunity to display it on my HiveBuzz board?

HiveBuzz HiveBuzz badge for Halloween 2020

Basically all you need to do to get the wicked awesome HiveBuzz badge is:

💀 Upvote the HiveBuzz post
🎃 Make a post before the 31st of October, 23:59 (UTC time)
👻 Use tags #halloween AND #hivebuzz
🍫 In the post include the magic words “Trick or Treat”

Scary simple and fangtabulous fun, rignt? 🔮

So now for my Trick or Treat story to get it!

First, a little bit of back story – about four or so years ago, when I got the chance to do a wicked fun radio interview about my experience as a tour guide for the Hammond Castle (yes, I grew up in a small town in Massachusetts and happened to live a few miles away from a castle…lol), I alluded to having a number of spooky stories to share. Here’s one of my experiences, that took place at some point in the summer of 1984, to the best of my recollection…

Meeting Jack – my Trick or Treat story for a HiveBuzz badge

Not only was I a tour guide for the castle by day (built by John Hays Hammond, Jr, an inventor with hundreds of patents who was known as, “The Father of Radio Control”), but I also worked as a sort of security guard/front desk clerk at night when there were events that the usual desk clerk couldn’t make.

This particular night there was a jazz concert taking place on the back lawn, so the building was essentially empty, other than a maintenance guy keeping watch on the downstairs door while I sat at the ticket booth on the main floor. My spot behind the counter overlooked the main lobby, with the admin office (that had windows that overlooked the aforementioned back lawn) behind me, and the door out of the office led into the gift shop which was just off the lobby. So essentially no one could walk into the gift shop without being seen from where I sat.

One of my favorite things about doing these events was the chance to catch up on some reading while enjoying some amazing music. I remember I was rereading one of my favorites at that time, The Mists of Avalon, partly because I loved it, and partly because I couldn’t resist how delicious it was to immerse myself in the feminine perspective of King Arthur’s tale while sitting in an actual castle. I would occasionally put the book down and walk around a bit, just to keep an eye on things, and every now and again someone would come up from the garden to use the facilities. While the lobby and the bathrooms were well lit, the shop and office were left darkish, so as not blast those outside with bright lights.

It was pretty close to the end of the concert that I took a stroll around the lobby, walked through the gift shop, then headed to the open windows in the office to do a bit of people watching from above enjoy the view of the Atlantic ocean. I stood there for a moment or so, enjoying the mellow music as it drifted up, and the serenity of scene far below me. When I turned around to go back to my seat, I was startled to see a tall man standing in the shadowy doorway to my right. My first thought was, “Geez Brian (aforementioned maintenance guy), you got me this time!” as we all enjoyed trying to scare each other.

Then I realized the tall man wasn’t standing in the shadows.

He was a shadow.

It took my brain way too long to figure out I couldn’t make out any of his features, and in fact I was able to see through him. While I frantically tried to decide if this was just some weird optical illusion from some funky shadows, I took a couple of steps to the left to see if the change in perspective made the source of the image clearer.

I swear the shadow turned its head slightly to follow my movement.

While it seemed like I stood there forever, frozen in shock (but not actually fear – surprisingly I was more curious than afraid), it was probably more like a minute or so, and I could hear the sounds of people leaving the concert coming from the windows. Rather than letting my boss come upstairs to find me cowering in her office because of a shadow, I decided (with the bravery of youth) to simply walk through the doorway and out to the lobby.

But once I made that decision, I had a hard time actually moving.

It wasn’t until I heard people approaching the lobby from outside that I took a deep breath, looked in the general vicinity of the figure’s face, and said out loud something along the lines of, “Sorry Jack” (as I was fairly certain at this point it was the spirit of Mr Hammond, who we commonly referred to as Jack), “I don’t mean to be rude, but I need to get out to the lobby and the only way is through that doorway you’re standing in. Nothing personal.”

Then I took a few steps towards him and just before I passed through the doorway, I closed my eyes and held my breath.

There was a quick moment of feeling like I’d stepped into a room with some decent air conditioning, and I had a sort of… very mild tingly sensation (which, to be fair, could’ve been my body reacting to fear since my brain decided to ignore it), but it disappeared almost as fast as I felt it. I quickly continued out into the lobby, just as people were making their way in. I vaguely remember smiling and saying hello, but I still vividly recall my boss walking up to me, saying jokingly, “Are you okay? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”


via Giphy


I hope you enjoyed my tale, and thanks to the team behind the HiveBuzz badge for putting together such a fun, seasonal challenge! Happy Halloween!


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