I met him and his family when they moved into the new house down the road.
"Do you like the movies? Call us sometime and we can go," he said. My new neighbor was friendly enough, though his children (stoic, stern) looked like they were of the corn, and his wife (blank stare, speechless) conjured images of a Salem wife.
Three months later he dropped by to say his wife and children had left him and could we go to the movies sometime.
The county changed our house numbers and gave my number to the neighbor. My house got a brand new number. In spite of filling out the required change of address forms, some of my mail was delivered to the neighbor's house.
Initially he didn't mind bringing my mail. "Remember, movies," he'd always say.
Eventually he started resenting his deliveries, and blamed me for giving him my old address. Finally, one day he came over and delivered a letter along with his anger and a tirade of accusations. He ended by inviting me to the movies.
I was immensely grateful for his promise not to bring any more mail.
One night I returned home to find him waiting in his car, blocking my driveway. He got out and limped over to me. "Here," he said as he handed me a package. "I shouldn't even give this to you considering you're the worse neighbor in the world. I'm sick. I'm in a lot of pain and you haven't done a thing for me. This time I mean it. I'm never ever going to bring you any more mail. And besides you never even took me to the movies like you said you would."
"Ma'am, we're evacuating all the houses on this road. We're dealing with a serious situation," said the officer. "Um, do you know your neighbor well?" he asked.
"No. Not really. I do know he has some mental health issues." I said wondering what was going on.
My neighbor killed himself that day.
Last night as the misty dusk swallowed the sun, I saw him - a spirit dangling from a dark cloud above the vacant house down the road.
I thought I heard him whisper, "Movies, movies. Take me please." But, it must have been the wind.
(I embellished a bit, but basically it's a true story.
I think Halloween acknowledges our fears and our dark side. If we don't acknowledge them, how else can we expose them to the light?)