My Halloween Story of Contagious Hysteria

My best friend, Mike and I used to go for a lot of walks when we were bored. So one Halloween night, back in Queens, New York, we had just finished watching a horror flick and decided to go for a walk around the neighborhood. It was a little after 11 PM when he headed out the door.

I was 20 years old at the time, Mike, 22. We walked down the block, made a left, then a right, and walked some more. There air was warm that night, which was odd, considering it was late October in the North East. We reached an area of the neighborhood that didn’t have many street lights. Again, this was odd. This is one of the boroughs of New York City; we’re famous for our light pollution. Most of the lighting came from porch lights in this area. Halfway down one of these blocks, it happened…

Mike was walking to my left. I was on the right, closest to the road. At the time, I was focusing my attention on a basketball court up ahead on the right. I was wishing we had a basketball; was in the mood to get a game on. As I was thinking this, I felt Mike walking into me. As I struggled to turn to him, he was shoving his way through me. I was confused as I had no idea why he was doing this. Then I thought, he must have tripped on a crack in the sidewalk. However, his body did not feel like it was falling, but forcefully trying to get past me. He didn’t speak a single word and when I finally turned to see what was the matter, I found myself speechless too. In an instant, I realized what Mike had seen. To my horror, I saw the silhouette of a man with an axe in his hand charging at us! I began falling falling backwards, because Mike knocked me off balanced. We were both trying to retreat backwards while focusing our sights on this deranged lunatic with the axe. My heart was pounding out of my chest. I tried in vain to yell for help, but my fear overpowered my ability to muster a yelp. We hit the ground and awaited our doom…

Then I slowly began to realize that the charging lunatic was not charging us. In fact, he was not moving at all. He was quite motionless. Our eyes finally adjusted to the dim lighting. This charging lunatic with an axe turned out to be a Halloween scarecrow with a rubber axe propped up on someone’s lawn. We began to laugh hysterically. After a minute, we got to our feet then walked home really fast.

Justin M. Salvato

Seeker of 1980s nostalgia, rummager of vintage computers and player of retro video games. When not writing posts of The Retroist, I'm converting Retroist audio podcasts to Retroist video podcasts. My own videos can be found at

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I have no problems with saying if that had happened to me, friend, I would have needed some new pants.

    Great memory, Retro Justin! :)

  2. If I had anything in my bladder, I’m sure I would have need a new pair.. ;)

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