Root Cellars,Spiderwebs and Darkness
The Root Cellar
Halloween is only two days away and children will be out and about trick or treating or as is the case in our community, many of children will be going to Trunk or Treats which have been planned.at area churches. Trunk or Treat allows kids to have their normal fun in a centralized location which in todays society is much safer.
As I think about the fun times the children and adults will have this Halloween; my thoughts ran to those days in the cotton mill village where I grew up and my memories of Halloween. Our costumes were original. They did not in any way resemble the Target or Wal-Mart costumes kids seem to wear today. I don't have a gripe about the new costumes although I do not approve of those scary ones with a Satanic or demonic influence.
A big part of the fun on Halloween was using our own imagination to create a unique costume. Borrowing our mother's make-up or getting soot from the chimney and applying to our faces was about as wild as we were allowed. An old pair of nylon stockings over our head or one of daddy's old hats completed our costume. The end result was the same, we had a lot of fun knocking on doors in the mill village and having our brown grocery store bags filled with all kinds of fruits and candies. The clean-up and getting all the make-up we had meticulously painted on our face bordered on torture and required plenty of that good old Ivory soap and hot water.
I don't know where the idea of scary subject themes (spiders, webs, witches) came to be for Halloween but I can't help but be reminded of those wonderful root cellars that served many a family in my community. The root cellar was often dug out in the ground and had a nice covered roof to keep out snow or rain or it could have been a nice out building that had been built free of spiders and cob webs. Some of the ones which I was most familiar were more like the proverbial Frankenstein dungeon and quite scary for us kids.
As a boy and often spending weekends and summers at my grandparents farm, the root cellar was actually underneath the house. Occasionally I would be asked to go down to the cellar to get a "can" of soup,peaches for a cobbler or green beans all of which had been preserved in Mason jars over the summer months. Since there wasn't any electric lights in the cellar, it was very usually dark as pitch and a flashlight was necessary to see the canned goods stored on the shelving. Only the natural light from the cellar door opening permeated the cellar.
During those adventures I would be confronted with enormous spider webs and the darkness of the cellar. Just being in the cellar was eerie enough without the added fanfare! I don't think the spiders were so dangerous but as a kid brushing spider webs was more than a little creepy for my imagination which could be active at times. Seems I could feel those spiders crawling all over me. Needless to say when ask to go to the root cellar I made the trips very fast but still managed to get spider webs in my hair.
I hope everyone has a safe Halloween especially those who are currently in harms way on the coast. The high winds and rain will only add to the normal hazards children celebrating Halloween by trick or treating. Stay safe and enjoy this Halloween!
- How to Build a Root Cellar
Many different creative plans and ideas to teach all you need to know about how to build a root cellar on your property.
- Halloween 2012 | Halloween.com
Halloween fun on the internet, the one source for all things Halloween. Including costumes, pumpkins, monsters, vampires, witches, werewolves, ghosts, scary tales, humor, faq, haunted houses, links.
In addition to those root cellars sometimes a basment can lend itself to scaring one out of their wits. We have a full basement in our home and like most I suspect is more thn amply full of all kinds of things from funiture, exercise equipment and clutter.
My younest son is a barber and when he attended barber school was required to purchase a manikein head. Little did I know the head had been place on a shelf in our basement. We do have lights in our basement but one day I opened the outside door to reach inside and turn on the lights and I was eyeball to eyeball with my son's practice manekein head. I almost had a heart attack before my eyes adjusted to the light!! Kinda of funny now but at the time, I didn't know if a booger was about to get me or not.
More by this Author
He sure looked like all the pictures I had ever seen of Santa Claus but in truth, was a mountain man and a legend in our community.
It has been a tradition among many local churches to produce annual Christmas plays. Much work goes into the production of the plays which always have a heart touching theme.
During the 1950's as elementary school students were were given cod liver oil regularly at school. At home our parents gave us home remedies for upset stomach, worms, and the common cold.