*But they can scare a boy
Back in those good ole days when I was about 12 or 13, us boys, usually me, brother Tom and neighbor Gene, were looking for a little entertainment in the evenings. So, we headed for the LaFollette house, our neighbors, on our bikes.
they lived abot a mile from our house and about 300 yards from the main road, to the Clay and Putnam county line.
When we walked in the door, the usual scene was Frank listening to his big, stand up Philco radio and Hank Williams singing, "Hey, Good Lookin''" or "Jambalaya." Tom was pickin' on his guitar. Barb was in her room, reading or doing homework. Ethel (the mother) was in the kitchen, cleaning up the dishes. And Fred (the father) was just relaxing in his big stuffed chair, smoking his pipe.
They all knew we came to play cards, Canasta or 500 Rummy. So, out came the cards and we settled down to play.
As the evening grew late, maybe 9 or 9:30, Fred "Pap" began telling ghost stories and this particular night he was telling about the old barn that was about 100 yards from the house and about 20 feet from the dirt driveway. we rode past the barn coming in on our bikes.
Pap began to tell about a snake living in the old barn that was big enough to swallow a baby. He said a man walked in one day and never dame out and wild dogs bred in there plus loud, strange noises came out of it at night. One night he heard a woman screaming in the old barn.
Well, it came time for us to leave the LaFollettes. Tom and Gene took off on their bikes pretty fast and left me in the yard but there was a little moonlight that night so that was all right. As I rode out of the yard and into the lane, I thought about what Pap had said. Then I said to myself as I pulled back my shoulders, "Shucks, there ain't nuthin to those old ghost stories of Paps. They ain't true, anyway" and away I rode.
As I came close to the old barn, I could see its shape.
It had an open loft and open doors at the bottom with wings on both sides (one side was part corn crib.) As I got closer and closer it looked like a giant animal with its mouth open and I rode past it, the hair on my arms and the back of my neck stood up and I could hardly breathe.
I tried to speed up but my legs felt like logs. If someone had yelled out of that old barn I would have fallen off my bike and kicked like a dying chicken.
I got past the barn and came to a wash out in the lane so I slowed down and then stood on my pedals to take off but then my foot slipped off the pedal and I had to scramble around to keep from wrecking. Finally, I got back on.
Then I could tell someone or something was closing in on me. I felt they were right behind me, breathing down my neck. Every goose bump on me was poping, my scalp was tight as leather and my hair was as stiff as a broom. I thought I was a gonner for sure. But I finally reached the county line road and toward home I sped.
When I got to bed, Tom was already there, asleep but I just lay there and stared up at the ceiling for about an hour.
Finally, I dozed off. Then, all at once I was behind the old barn in the big briar patch. Then, out of the old barn came the most ferocious, meanest looking dog I had ever seen, snarling and growling, so I ran through the briar patch barefoot at top speed. Then, over the hill to the bottom and I started sneaking away from the briar patch.
The animal was still very loud with growls and snarls.
Then I ran out to the county line road and started toward home. I then looked to my left, toward the old barn and low and behold here came that huge beast. He was much bigger now; he was a big as a horse, roaring across the field, coming at an angle; he was trying to cut me off.
Again, goose bumps came up on my arms and the hair stood up on my neck and head.
I started running as fast as I could. I felt like I was flying.
Then I woke up. The sun was shining brightly through the window.
I jumped out of best, threw on my pants and ran down the stairs (we lived in a big, two-story house.)
Mom was in the kitchen, busy as usual.
"Morning, Dixie Lee, what do you want for breakfast?"
I hesitated before I answered. I stared out into space and thought, "I'll never be normal again, whatever normal is."
It sure was good to see my mother that morning.
Moral: "Shucks, there ain't nuthin' to them old ghost stories. They ain't true, anyway."