Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Leaves of October

I like October.  There are birthdays of family and friends.  I like the visual mosaic of fall - the orange pumpkins, yellow stalks of corn and the colorful falling leaves . I like listening for the sounds of crunching and crackling leaves, as I walk through them.  I like watching the leaves dance in the wind.

One year I watched a marmalade cat chase a skittering leaf.  There was a light breeze that teased that cat. He stalked that leaf, always prepared to pounce.  Only to have the leaf  tumble, and whip just out of reach.  Finally the breeze tired of the game and let the cat catch that leaf.  That marmalade cat pounced.  Then looked up so disappointed when the leaf failed to fly away.

One of the things I like about cool October nights is having a cup of warm Carmel flavored Cider and reading a great ghost story.  Savoring the scary parts as I read the leaves of my book.  Unlike some of my students I like mildly scary stories of the supernatural.  I don't read Steven King because I have enough nightmares of my own, without borrowing any of his.

That being said, I have thought a lot today about Ghost Walks and Ghost Tours here in Montana.  Karen Stevens is the author of "Haunted Montana" and in years past has organized  the Billings Ghost Tour.  Many communities sponsor ghost tours and tell about historic events that happened in the community.  Bannack sponsors several Ghost Walks.  The Ghost Walks   are reenactments of historic events.

Several other hauntingly good books are "Spirit Tailings: Ghost Tales from Virginia City, Butte and Helena by Ellen Baumler.  She also wrote 13 Chillers: 13 True Tales of Ghosts and Hauntings.  Yes there are some spine tingling reads to make you shiver during the October nights.

As I close my books I can here the sounds of October whispering.  The whoosh of a slamming door, the creek of stairs, the squeak of a gate.  The crackle and crunch of leaves, as something runs through them.  I think of these things when I see the leaves of October.


  1. I just taught a ghost story lesson last week. It was chillingly fun! Your piece is lovely, including so much of autumn that is good, but including a centerpiece about a cat is that tiny thing that makes me want to read more. Thanks for the descriptions so true. (Roald Dahl make a collection of really scary stories-Ghost Stories, I think it's called) Hope you can find it.

  2. I watched that cat for a long time. It made me laugh at its antics. I will look for the Roald Dahl book. Thank you.

  3. Your words painted such a beautiful picture. Made me wish I didn't have to go to school today and I could stay home and read! I especially loved the last lines about the "sounds of October whispering". Thanks for sharing.

  4. As the snow melts today...well, it is still too cold to melt...This has been the strangest October. Our leaves didn't turn beautiful colors. Some are still green and on the trees. Some trees are bare. There is snow on the ground. We lost power. Trick or treaters will need boots and a sheet with eyeholes cut to cover their winter coats and hats. There will be a lot of ghosts tonight!
    I usually love the "sounds of October whispering"! Maybe next year.

  5. Your post 'conjured' up such wonderful and shivery thoughts. Mmmm! Now I'm ready for a crackling fire, a great scary book and a warm cup of cocoa. Thank you!


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