A Frightening Holiday

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Lesli NolenBy Lesli Nolen

Published October 2013

It was dark. I was walking up to a house—alone, I think. I felt scared. My hands were sweaty, my heart was racing and I didn’t want to be there. I rang the doorbell and waited. Slowly, the door creaked open. Cobwebs everywhere.  I looked up and saw something. I didn’t know what it was. I stood there helpless, unable to move. Then I heard screaming, more screaming, and finally realized it was me doing the screaming. Somehow I was able to make my legs move and I turned and ran to the car. I jumped in and grabbed my mom, holding on for dear life. I was crying uncontrollably. She was telling me it was okay, but I couldn’t stop. I looked up through the front windshield of the car and there was that monster again! I screamed. The monster hit the windshield with his fist and I looked up. He began removing his mask.  It was a man. A man I had seen before.

I don’t remember what house it was, I don’t remember what I was wearing, I don’t remember how old I was, I just remember it was the scariest moment of my life. It was Halloween night.

This memory is forever implanted in my mind. I will never forget what I saw, and how I felt. Since then, I have never been a big fan of Halloween.

Our house was just outside the city limits, so we didn’t get many trick-or-treaters and we didn’t have any neighbors. So, Mom would take me into town and let me go door to door and get candy. As I said, I don’t remember much expect the feeling I had. And from then on I looked at Halloween a little differently. It was no longer fun to dress up and take part in all the activities.

I have never hid out in the bushes to jump out and scared anyone as they were out trick or treating. I have never participated in a haunted house. I have never dressed up to where my looks would scare anyone, and I have never placed a mask on my face.

When my husband, Breech, and I first moved to San Angelo, we lived in a nice little neighborhood, with lots of kids around.

I knew we would have trick or treaters. What I didn’t count on was Breech having to work that night and not be home with me. Here I was in a new neighborhood, new town, no husband and probably lots of scary kids. I had two options—eat the candy myself or face my fear.

Lesli Nolen and daughter Skylar, right, as a cheetah, on a past Halloween night. I dressed in Breech’s old baseball uniform and kept the baseball bat nearby. Every time I heard the doorbell I grabbed the bat and opened the door. After about the third time of a little kid jumping back, thinking I was going to take a swing at them, I stopped answering the door with the bat in my hands. But I did keep it close. Needless to say I had my first successful Halloween in San Angelo all by myself.

Through the years, and after having a little girl, who likes to go door to door to get candy, I have become a better sport. I never let her dress in anything that would scare anyone and I have always gone to the door with her at every house. Her first costume was a cow, at 2 years old. Since then, she has dressed as the Little Mermaid, Strawberry Shortcake, an angel, a cheerleader, a cheetah and a homecoming queen. I have accompanied her as a witch, a nerd and a penguin.

As she has gotten older and more involved in the church we attend, we do more ministering than we do trick or treating.

For the past three years we have set up “trick or trunk” in the parking lot of Harris Ave Baptist Church. We have numerous church members who fill their trucks with candy and pass out to all the kids. Our pastor and his wife hand out information about our church and about a relationship with Christ. We have ministered to hundreds of kids in our neighborhood each year. Most of the time as we are arrive to line the parking lot with our cars, there are usually already people waiting. It is a safe and secure place to take your little ones to get candy.

As each Halloween approaches I pray for all the little children to have a safe and happy Halloween. I hope no one is as scared as I was that night a long time ago. That man with the mask was a friend of ours. Of course, I forgave him, but it definitely took some time. Every time I saw him after that. the scary monster was all I could see. I know he felt really bad for scaring me that bad not knowing it would have such a lasting effect. And to this day every time I think of him I think back to that night, but now I don’t cry!  

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