Sure, Let’s Go for a Walk on a Full Moon in the Fog

By: Allison Pellerito

09-24-2013 farm pic

When I was younger, I was terrified to walk around my grandpa’s farm at night. During the day, I was fine- I got to hang out with my cousins, play with my grandpa’s dog, walk the trails. At night? Yikes.

My grandpa’s farm, by all rights, deserved to be the scenery of some horror film. Old, abandoned, rusty farm equipment surrounds nearly every part of the nearby forest. Bats fly from the unused barn, seemingly at the most opportunistic of moments during scary campfire stories. My cousin used to take us on tractor rides through the dark while cousins would tell the younger kids about the trolls that lived under the walking paths. Deer skeletons could be found in the most hidden pits of earth every so often after the uncles’ inebriated hunting trips. The moon always seemed to be full and in summer, and there always seemed to be a fog over the crops.

Walking to the house is spooky, as eerie light peek through the cracks of crumbling storage sheds as apples plummet to the earth near the campfire.

The house itself is not any less frightening. Years upon years of family history is stored in every single corner of the house. Countless pictures of long dead ancestors hang on the wall, each with that creepily familiar feature of all looking at the bed. Breezes pass through rooms, despite closed doors and locked windows. Everyone seemed to have at least one story dealing with the Haunts that lived in the house.

As a child I was admittedly scared of the house, but as I grew up, I learned over and over that real life is always scarier than the stories. Fear is being sat down by my mother and hearing the words “There’s been a fire” blur with “we don’t know how bad it is yet.” It is not if anyone was hurt or why. It is the kind of fear that strikes when life outshines urban legend, when I was sat down in the same chair at the kitchen table: “I was laid off at work” and “Your grandpa’s in the hospital” and “We need to borrow money for your tuition.”
My grandpa’s farmhouse has been in my family for generations. It’s old. It was as good as kindling.

The Haunts that live in my grandpa’s farmhouse weren’t quite as scary in comparison. The strangest thing, though… The fire inspector was amazed. Despite all reason, the house was miraculously intact. A house that hardly had anything to count for “fire retardant” only needed a few coats of paint and the reimbursement of remarkably few heirlooms.

The Haunts may have been more powerful than we thought.

My grandpa’s land is my childhood. The Haunts may still be there, but they’re nothing to worry about.

This is all there is.

And yet. And yet, during an actual full moon in August before the family reunion, I couldn’t quite comfort myself as usual. My mind replaying the terrible thunk of my cousin mercy killing a raccoon literally rotting alive the night before, I almost didn’t agree to go on a midnight walk with my cousins. As we walked past the foggy corn field, joking about werewolves and zombies, we still felt that underlying hint of danger. We laughed to ourselves about our cliché horror movie counterparts, as we walked through the foggy clearing and under the moon beams filtering through the leaves. We weren’t attacked by a zombie scavenger or a feral lycanthrope that night, but I know that setting is important to scary stories. If these stories were to come to life- well, I can certainly say I’d become a new urban legend quite quickly.

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10 thoughts on “Sure, Let’s Go for a Walk on a Full Moon in the Fog

  1. I might have missed it, but what exactly are The Haunts? Farms have been the setting for multiple scary movies so I can imagine how creeped out you would be visiting. I am surprised that your your cousins never played any tricks on the younger ones to give them a real scare.

    • Oh, no, they so did. Once they jumped out from the forest while on a tractor ride covered in fake blood. Another time we all walked through the corn, and since we were all young, we were too short to be seen. My cousin grabbed me from behind and I nearly stared crying.

  2. The way you described everythiing was perfect I actually had a picture of how everything looked in my head , Do you know of any really scary happenings?

    • Not anything too terrifying. The worst of it is slamming doors when there’s no breeze, or breezes when the doors are already shut. I think one time my cousin said she woke up in the room with all the creepy photos and they all had red eyes- I am 85% sure she was making that up to scare me.

  3. I remember hearing this when you told it in class. Are the Haunts anyone specific, members of your family, or just nameless energy? And how far away from the house did the fire stop? Super creepy, but also weirdly nice!

    • We think it’s mostly the spirits of all the creepy pictures that hang on the walls and possibly the farmer who lived there before my great grandparents. I can’t remember anymore if we only made it up that he died in the house.

      The fire literally started on the wall of the house. A tree hit an electric box and the house just went up. I know it then spread to the outhouse (which was a little charred) and the bench in front of one of the sheds. It’s still pretty insane to me that there wasn’t more damage.

  4. Wow. This was really wonderfully written. I enjoyed reading it. Beautifully done and I think that your statement about how the scariest things in life are true was wise. I agree with the other comments about how it is unclear about what the Haunts are but I think that the article was well written and painted a picture.

    • I think one ironic way I make the Haunts seem less scary is that we don’t quite know what they are- even when we talk among my family. They could be spirits of our family or the man who (might have) died there or just energies. I think I like to focus on that I believe they saved my grandpa’s farm.

  5. While reading this, I felt like I could picture the farm perfectly. I don’t spook easily when watching a movie in a rural setting because it is just on a screen and I live in suburbia. But, real life is much scarier than stories so if I was actually on your grandpa’s farm, I would’ve been terrified. It’s interesting that you are still scared as an adult because I feel that children who grow up around scary places, or homes, usually become comfortable and the fear subsides. Maybe there really are hauntings on your grandpa’s farm and this why you’re so scared. You said your cousins told you stories trying to scare you, but have you grandparents or told you any stories about the farm? They would seem like more reputable sources.

    • You know, it comes and goes. Usually I’m fine up there, but I think the raccoon really freaked me out. My cousin Julie found it, and since she’s a vet, she could tell that it was bad off. They forced her older brother to euthanize it and I watched them bury it next to my grandpa’s dog. It was a really unsettling experience, to say the least.

      My grandparents never really talked about the Haunts much, but they did always say that they were much scarier when my mom was a kid than they are now. My mom said that she and her cousins would try and find them, but they always chickened out.

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