Rabbit Box’s Haunted October

                Rabbit Box had a “Haunted” evening at Sandy Creek Park and the pleasure of being accompanied by 288 (+) attendees out in the perfect weather. Our outdoor amphitheatre and entryway were glowing from the wonderful lighting prepared by Sarah Barlow and the staff at the park. As night fell the fire grew, and mallows were melting with chocolate and grahams (thanks to Larkin Merritt and volunteers). Our storytellers stepped up close to the fire to breathe life into their tales.

                Annie set the tone with the headless woman in the red dress known to frequent her very hotel room at Ashford Manor and the gluttony for punishment that could only be resolved by a trip over to the “unhaunted Hampton Inn.” Sarah was visited by multiple ghosts from her past and future including her yet-to-be-born children and the “perfect mothers” around her. She learned to leave the cages behind and let her natural element guide her, taking flight. Neal was in for a culture shock as a doctor-in-training when dealing with the dying matriarch of an extended Roma family. Routine duty turned to religious rite culminating in the promise of protection from haunting that’s working like a charm.

Lorraine attended a la-de-da party at a house she and her husband had never visited; like a smell in the air a memory had wafted into her that won’t give up the ghost. Kathy entered her name with many other brave souls that night to be our crackerjack surprise. She shared the story of what felt like encountering a ghost when her mother happened upon an otherwise-empty photo album that contained only a photo of Kathy’s father who had died. Hunt, deployed in Iraq, smelled the tomatoes in the fields like he was back in Tennessee when he came under fire and let fly two to the chest and one to the head as was his reflex. But we know he’s doing fine, just take a look at him.

Katee was visited by a would-be-ghost-but-really-stalker with a penchant for upside-down shampoo bottles and pulled-out couches. When she found the keys left by her stalker she was furious and out to find justice. Kyrie helped us move beyond the statistics about abortion and the pain of closing doors. Finally Eddie closed out the evening on a tender note, sharing his father’s wisdom that rebutted the recess opinion that all Arabs are murderers. Wonderful treats were shared by those same children at recess, and the best treat of all was knowing prejudice was now a ghost.

                As we hope is apparent the meaning of “Haunted” varied quite widely, but each story was wonderful. Rabbit Box is glad to have been host to such a special evening. Our mission is creating community, one story at a time, and each storyteller helped do just that. We hope these brief glimpses into the lives of sometimes -friends sometimes-strangers will evolve into a dialogue that builds and sustains community. Did you tell a storyteller what you thought of their story? Or have you thought about telling your own story?

                As always, Rabbit Box depends on an amazing group of volunteers and supporters to make our evenings possible. Thank you to everyone who contributed. Until next time!

Matthew Epperson

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