Rabbit Box: Bewitched
By Melissa Harward
We may have missed the Blood Moon, but October 8th still brought the spooks as storytellers and guests gathered in the blue-lit woods of Sandy Creek Park for “Rabbit Box: Bewitched”. Appropriate for the season, the evening theme centered on stories of bewitchments, something that has cast a spell over our performers.
Alex White, emcee of the night, welcomed everyone to S’mores (called it!) around a flickering campfire. Before the start of the show, Mr. White had asked each of our storytellers to reveal something that they had bewitched in their lives, their own hidden masteries. Turns out, many hidden talents aren’t so hidden. By the end of the night, many of these stories (and the surrounding woods) had this scaredy-cat of a writer feeling the heebie-jeebies. Check out the recording of each story at your own risk!
Name: Eddie Glikin
Hidden Talent: Dancing
Toward the very start of his career as a percussionist, a young Eddie is lured by the exotic drumming of a group of Hindus at a campus festival in Baltimore. Plucked from the crowd and chosen to drum with the men, “Ettie” has an out-of-body experience the causes him to flee the scene, drumming dreams in tow.
Name: James de Molyneux
Hidden Talent: His passion
The commanding de Molyneux brought the audience a surrealistic tale of his first night alone in the Smithonia Plantation, an 1863 estate in Oglethorpe County. Taking on an extensive renovation of the plantation, de Molyneux hopes to expose the atrocities associated with the property: slavery, the hard life of convict laborers often rounded up because of Jim Crow laws, and — earlier still — land usurped from Native Americans.
Name: Rachel Cassity
Hidden Talent: Rock-climbing
As a child, Rachel was enchanted by the idea of having a magical talking chicken, just like Dorothy’s Billina from Return to Oz. When she comes into possession of an Easter rejection in the form of a pink-dyed chick, Rachel’s wishes are almost fulfilled. Her own Billina grows up on the farm of Rachel’s great-grandmother, where the family discovers that the sweet pink chick has matured into a white, blood-thirsty rooster. The dream of the talking chick seemed to be crushed — until an unfortunate accident on the farm.
Name: Jan Turner
Hidden Talent: Unknown
Born with “extra perception,” Jan has always seen ghosts. While working as an associate director for the 1976 film Exit, Dying, Jan curiously explores the set: the Grand Opera House in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Tales of ghosts draw her down to the dark deeps of the theater’s boiler room, where Jan learns that not all ghosts are friendly and why you shouldn’t venture into creepy places by yourself.
Name: Cindy Dyer
Hidden Talent: Crafting baby blankets and jewelry
Bewitched by the search for love and acceptance, Cindy falls into an endless cycle of alcohol and sex. Never satisfied, she continues to flutter from one dangerous situation to another. When a phone call to long-lost home brings revelation of a life worth living, the spell is broken.
Name: Whitney Holley
Hidden Talent: Sounding like a dying cow on the bassoon
If there’s one thing Whitney has learned from exploring the supposedly haunted Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Kentucky, it’s that you don’t want to be first in line, and you certainly don’t want to be last. Historically a hospital for tuberculosis patients, Waverly Hills boasts its fair share of horror and ghost stories, but on this trip, Whitney encounters her own.
Name: Janet Martin
Hidden Talent: Bringing harmony
Coming from a family of scientists and trained as a veterinarian, Janet’s practice, as well as her thinking, is founded in evidence-based conclusions. However, as Janet learns on a research trip into the deep forests of Papa New Guinea, not everything in the world can be explained by facts alone.
Name: Russell Cutts
Hidden Talent: Being the last Rabbit Box speaker
As an honorary member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Russell explains that certain Native American traditions can seem creepy. After a close friend is “conjured” upon, he sees that we all have the potential for some magic, be it good, bad, or somewhere in between.
Our crackerjack storyteller of the evening was Jonathan Hallemeier, who, after choking during a mandolin gig, was lured on an epic bike journey by the enchanting call of bagpipes in the distance. The music lead him to discover just another moment of absurdity in life.
Join Rabbit Box next month for “Rainbow Box: Stories from the LGBTQ Community”. Special thanks go out to super-volunteer Mark Woods, whose brilliant lighting for the “Bewitched” show set the perfect mood.