Hey, everyone. It’s been a while since I wrote a Mystery Monday post. A few days ago, I was reminded of a mystery that happened right in my back yard. I wrote the original post several years ago. With it being October and nearing Halloween, I decided to repost. Hope you enjoy it.
Goblins and great pumpkins. Trick-or-treats and haunted houses. Bats flying about. Witches on broomsticks. Halloween is always a good time for an old-fashioned ghost story.
My encounters with the unexplained are due more to an over-active imagination. Such as the time I thought I saw a werewolf. Or when my cousin and I convinced ourselves a ghost was after us. Once I was even on the lookout for a headless horseman in the woods near our home.
However, I had one strange occurrence several years ago that I can’t explain. Nor can anyone who was present that night.
In October 1980, my family hosted an outdoor chili supper. We invited friends and neighbors. The following year, we expanded it to include an art exhibit. It became an annual event where my brother and some of his classmates from The University of Texas would display their latest works.
A highlight of these annual events was a Saturday night bonfire. Starting in late summer, we gathered tree limbs and scrap lumber and piled them in an open field. By October, it was large enough for a nice bonfire.
One year, a few days before Halloween, we gathered in our pasture. About fifteen adults were present. We stood around the fire, enjoying the conversation. Since it was in October, I’m sure a few people had a ghost story to share.
The winds were still. The moonless night sky glistened with stars. Traffic was sparse on our country road in those days. The only sounds came from the crackling of the fire and soft-spoken conversations.
We had been outdoors for an hour or so when it happened.
A strange noise.
An inexplicable noise lasting twenty seconds at most.
Conversations ceased. Everyone asked in unison, “WHAT WAS THAT?”
“It sounded like a dragonfly flew next to my ear,” someone said.
Another person joked it may have been a UFO, while another thought it was the trill of a nighthawk.
The closest thing I could think of was the sound of a plane’s landing gear being lowered.
No one could agree on the source A single dragonfly can’t buzz fifteen people’s ears at the same time. At any rate, dragonflies aren’t around in late October. Most discredited the nighthawk theory. We didn’t see any strange objects in the sky. (Nor any aircraft.) As for me, to hear the landing gear sound, I would have needed to be inside a plane.
After a few minutes of speculation, most of us continued our conversations. One person took the opportunity to go inside the house on the pretense of checking on his son. He didn’t return.
Life gets busy. Years passed without us hosting the annual event until my brother and his friends revised the art show several years ago. In 2013, friends gathered at our place. Several of those attending were present on that night in the early eighties.
Times change. Instead of a cookout, we went out for dinner at a local restaurant. A fire pit replaced the larger bonfire. But in the course of the weekend, we discussed the mysterious sound heard long ago.
People often tend to embellish stories such as these. Not this one. Those of us who were there still stand by our original story. We heard a strange sound. No one could identify it. We can’t pinpoint the origin. Although we can’t agree on an exact description, it’s safe to say it wasn’t our imagination.
Perhaps we’ll never know what was behind the mystery at the bonfire, but one thing is certain. It makes a good story to tell while sitting around a fire at Halloween.
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