Spooky Halloween – Doylestown, Wisconsin

Spooky grapes floating in egg whites and eyeballs
Float grapes in a bowl of egg whites. Close your eyes. Feel the slimy grapes squish through your fingers. Imagine how brave I felt in first grade as I listened to ghost stories, with visions of eyeballs dancing in my head!

My First Ever Spooky Halloween

Unaware to me as a child, I had a speech impediment.

I was clueless my speech was not stellar until my 1st-grade teacher, Mrs. Theresa Bow, enlisted Sally, a 6th-grader, to tutor me in pronunciation.

Those speech lessons turned spooky on Halloween morning, thanks to my playful tutor. She snagged my imagination and drew me into the 6th-grade plot —  scare the Jello out of  the 1st-graders.

Spooky glass eyes from antique Nippon doll
Spooky glass eyes from antique Nippon doll

6th-Grade Prank on Halloween

The Doylestown 6th-graders unveiled their Halloween plot early in the day, long before the school bell rang at our little schoolhouse.

Vintage pumpkins that once held Halloween candy for Halloween
These paper-mache pumpkins held Halloween candy in Victorian days.

I was on the playground when Sally whispered, “When Miss Bow went to the mailbox this morning, she found a knife inside — covered with blood!”

I believed her. Sixth-graders know everything. And, I felt forewarned. Her confiding in me signaled anything could happen … it’s Halloween.

Everyone heard soon enough. I felt a hushed wave of what’s-going-to-happen-next hang in the air over my little schoolhouse.

“Did you hear? Miss Bow found a knife in the mailbox this morning … covered with blood?”

Later, the fearless 6th-graders led us blind-folded into a haunted house. The room was dark. Floating streamers brushed our faces as we stumbled into a room I never knew existed and what, today, I image was the broom closet.

Antique bowl filled with spaghetti noodles
Bowl of spaghetti noodles, i.e., blood vessels on Halloween

“Sit down,” they said. No doubt the 6th-graders had to muffle their laughter as they passed around bowls of  what they introduced as eyeballs and blood vessels and told ghost stories.

For a spooky, grand-finale to this Halloween charade and after the final bell rang to end the school day, Sally took me aside again. She pointed to the woods in the distance and the tall, white objects.

“See those ghosts?” she said. “Run fast when you walk past the woods or they will grab you!”

Of course, I ran all the way home.

Birch trees at autumn in the woods
Do you see those ghosts hiding in the woods?

It was years before I realized those eyeballs were grapes in egg whites and the blood vessels were spaghetti noodles. The ghosts were leafless, white-barked birch trees, peeking out from behind autumn trees whose leaves rustle and crackle in a cold, fall breeze.Icon of a curved bar with fringe in blue

School Adventure in Doylestown

I attended first grade in Doylestown, a farming burg in Wisconsin. I walked a mile to school. Our teacher, Mrs. Theresa Bow, taught all six grades in a one-room schoolhouse.

Miss Bow was amazing. She wanted the best education and future for each of her students. For me, it was pointing me to a library shelf of books and assigning a tutor for speech lessons.

My Primary Certificate for reading is not only a Wisconsin official document but more a gift of learning from Miss Bow who endeavored to give me a glimpse of what I could be.Primary Certificate from 1st grade Doylestown reading list

Books happily read in 1st Grade –

  • Many Surprises
  • Happy times
  • Easter Time
  • Day by Day
  • Fun With Us
  • Bob and Judy
  • Runaway Toys
  • Playmates
  • Winky
  • Mac and Muff
Jack-o-lantern pumpkin illustration with blowing leaves and acornsHave a Spooky, Happy Halloween!

Published by

Patricia Wiskur

My love for art comes from years in the studio of Wiskur Productions, with my husband, Darrell Wiskur, a designer and photographer. Also, I was an editor and photographer in the real world for 17 years ... all the while, thankful for an artful life and cherished memories. Photos are ©2019 Darrell D. Wiskur