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Things that go ‘boo!’ in the night
October 27, 2004

            Early this October, nights grew dark and darker around Bainbridge.  All over town, all over the county, a strange almost eerie scratching sound filled the black air.  Scary things were afoot.

            But don’t worry. Eighty-two Decatur County middle and high school students burned the midnight oil and scratched out spooky stories.   Later, in the bright light of day, they took them to the Southwest Georgia-Gilbert H.  Gragg Library as entries in the Teen Read Week “It’s Alive” Scary Story Contest. Each entry had to begin with a version of that scary story classic beginning, “It was a dark and stormy night…”

            And were there ever scary stories!   I dropped by the library to hear some of the teens read their stories.  Before the reading, Judge Debbie McIntyre  told us about the fun of judging.  The stories were full of blood, bats, owls and spiders.  Branches shook, she told us, and heads went flying.  While imaginary creatures like werewolves and ghosts crept through the pages, familiar things also became scary.  Debbie remarked that Bainbridge must have more long dark hallways than any town in America!

            Branch library manager, Chandra Anderson-Casteel, who put together this creepy competition, then announced the winners.  Third place went to Hutto eighth grader Megan Wimberley, the daughter of Michelle and Ryan Wimberley.  Hutto can claim the second place winner as well—Jordan Inlow the son of Carol and Jim Inlow.

            First place honors for the scariest story in the entire county went to Chelly Justice.  Chelly, the daughter of Irena and Michael Justice, lives in Attapulgus and is a seventh grade home-school student.

            After the three prize winners had the audience spooked, Megan and Max Sorrelle and Rhonnie Fordham topped off the grisly afternoon by reading their entries.  I’m surprised the audience had an appetite for the refreshments—but we managed.

            Now it’s your turn.  Dim the lights, pour a cup of cocoa and share the scare!    

Post-script: If you are looking for a fun way to spend Halloween day, pack up the family and head over to Grady County where Birdsong Nature Center is holding its annual Fall Festival from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. (adults $5, children $3).  There’ll be lots of wholesome outdoor fun, food and music.  For more information call Birdsong at 1-800-953-BIRD, or visit their web site, http://www.tfn.net/birdsong/ .  For directions, give me a call, 229-246-6766.


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Trilla Pando is a member of the Southern Foodways Alliance & the Story Circle Network