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Posts Tagged ‘Halloween’

Looking for scary things to do on Halloween? Well, if you live in or near Napa, California, you’re in luck. There’s a particularly spooky country road on the outskirts of town that you can explore on All Hallows Eve … if you dare.

 

partrick

 

Partrick Road is a long and winding road that leads out of the Browns Valley area. By day, it’s just another beautiful Napa Valley country road, leading up to gorgeous valley views. But at night, a terrifying secret comes to life.

Partrick Road was a popular spot in the 70s and 80s where teenagers went at night to park and party, make out and what-not. And most of those teenagers were well aware of the mysterious inhabitants that lurked in the trees along Partrick Road, just waiting to prey on innocent young Napans.

So what is this haunted horror that dwells on Partrick Road?

 

 

Did that scare you? Did you even click on it? Never mind. Where was I …

I’m talking about Rebobs. (Every Napan that just read that either got a chill up their spine, or laughed.) If you’ve never heard of Rebobs, well, they’re winged, monkey-like creatures that terrorize anyone who dares to venture onto Partrick Road at night. And these aren’t your mama’s winged monkeys. You think the flying monkeys from “The Wizard of Oz” were scary? Please. Those were just oversized bats in bell hop uniforms. Rebobs are sinister, devilish beings, and no one really knows how they originated. There are a few thoughts on the subject: Mythological creatures. Graveyard ghosts. Mad scientist’s experiment gone awry. Urban Legend (more like Suburban Legend).

Regardless of what Rebobs are exactly, or where they came from, every teenager in town went to Partrick Road at some point to look for them, or more likely to try to scare the crap out of someone else parked up there. Only most people preferred to stay in the safety of their own cars.

When I was in high school, my boyfriend and I drove my little sister and his young nephew up Partrick Road one night to look for Rebobs. We were excellent babysitters. While I stayed in the safety of the car with my baby sister, my boyfriend and his nephew decided they were going to brave a walk up the road. We watched them wander up the road in the dim moonlight until they disappeared around the bend. They were never heard from again.

Ha, just kidding. We heard them sneak up to the car and try to scare us about five minutes later. I won’t say whether they actually did or not. But lucky for us, the Rebobs must’ve been busy attacking some other kids that night.

So what do Rebobs look like? Well, basically like this:

 

rebobs

(photo courtesy of Colin Kaminski)

 

Yes, Rebobs are so well-known around Napa, that Brewmaster Colin Kaminski of the popular restaurant Downtown Joe’s crafted a beer inspired by them. I haven’t had the chance to taste it yet, but I bet it’s dark, mysterious and dangerously delicious. If you’re in Napa and are too scared to check out Partrick Road at night, you could go try Colin’s Rebob Porter on tap, or hang out at any other restaurant, pub or wine bar in town and see something else pretty scary: tourists.

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skittles https://www.flickr.com/photos/girlanachronism3/

Candy. Who invented candy? I imagine a million people could take credit for it — all the way back to cavemen climbing trees to get honey out of beehives — but I think it was drug dealers. Candy is children’s crack. When I was a kid, my vice was Skittles. Skittles … sounds like some type of withdrawal. “Damn dude, I’ve got some serious Skittles!” or “Get him to the hospital, can’t you see he’s Skittlin??! In the ’70s, my sisters and I would haul empty RC cola bottles to the corner market in a little red wagon to get our candy fix. That’s when a bag of Skittles cost 10 cents. Today, I think a bag is about 34 dollars. I just loved every single color of Skittles, and every single flavor. I could literally taste the rainbow. I had other sweet, colorful  favorites back then, too: Wacky Wafers, Bottle Caps, Zotz, Spree. And chocolate, too, of course: Charleston Chews, Oompas, Snickers, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups — back when Reese’s had an actual peanut-buttery filling, not the chalky stuff they’re filled with today. Oh, but I still love them.

Obviously Halloween was my favorite holiday when I was a kid. Dressing up in a fun disguise to get free candy from every single neighbor for miles. I always imagined I’d save my Halloween candy for the whole year. Right. It was long gone by Thanksgiving, most of it devoured on Halloween night. My parents would always tell us not to eat candy before we went to bed, or we’d have nightmares. Probably like people on acid having hallucinations. So why on Earth my parents let us take our Halloween loot into our bedrooms, I’ll never know. And oh sure, I didn’t touch it like they told me not to. Right. I must’ve ingested 23,070 calories worth of Skittles, Snickers, Reese’s, Jujubees and Milk Duds before 9:00 p.m. Halloween night 1973. The resulting hallucinatory dream followed:  there I was, in the dark on our back porch staring into the black abyss of the backyard. Why I was outside in the dark staring into the wee corners of the backyard in this particular dream is beyond me. It felt like I stared into that deep hole of the yard for a long time until, wait … something was moving … something was … gulp … coming towards me! Wow, this dream was actually in color because I saw three werewolves, each stylishly dressed in short blue pants and dashing yellow shirts with red bandanas tied around their necks. They were arm in arm and skipping towards me ever so creepily. I was frozen. It’s hard to run in dreams anyways, so it’s a given I just stood there like a dumb-ass. They proceeded to dance around me and tie me up in rope until I screamed “MOMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!” and sprang out of my sweat-soaked sheets. Strangely, my Dad burst into our room. Usually Mom was the nightmare rescuer, as I assume my Dad was usually sleeping soundly while my Mom was mending socks, writing up a grocery list and making a casserole while sleeping with one eye open. So my big, strong Dad, immediately provided relief when he burst in the door. He sat down on the bed while I sobbed and poured out the details of my horrific dream of metro werewolves. He tried to hide his laughter (though not very well I might add, Dad) and tucked me back in and told me it was just a nightmare and to go back to sleep. Go back to sleep??!!! Are you high?? I saw werewolf shadows all over my room!!

Okay, thinking back maybe I really didn’t see werewolf shadows, but I’ve seen the Tooth Fairy. For real. I was about 9 years old. My cousin Lori was spending the night, so she was in my twin bed and I got the floor. I didn’t care because Lori was pretty and had brand new red and white pajamas that I was in love with. See I always had hand-me-downs, so I thought those things were the cat’s pajamas. Thank you, I’ll be here all week. I had lost a tooth that day and obviously had stuck it under my pillow. It was a front tooth, so I was anticipating a whopping 25 cents. I remember waking up and seeing something fluttering near my pillow. It wasn’t a werewolf … but a … uh … what is that? An angel? Monster? Big pile of empty Skittles wrappers? Holy cow, it was a big freakin’ psychedelic butterfly!! I closed my eyes just enough to squint so it would think I was still asleep. That butterfly was as big as my head and was every color of the rainbow. It was just hovering there, all tooth-fairy-like. Then it swooped down towards my pillow, fluttered back by my face a little, and off it went. I followed its path to the bedroom door where I saw my Mom standing, looking at me with her head cocked to the side. She was probably contemplating checking me in to the Betty Ford Center, but I swear till this day that I saw the beautiful Tooth Fairy and she took my tooth up into the sky where I still see it shining like a bright star till this day. Wait … maybe that’s a satellite.

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When I was a kid, Halloween was my favorite holiday. I loved it more than Christmas. It was that cool time of year when the leaves would fall from the trees during windy evenings and the breeze still had a hint of warmth. Okay, I guess it also had to do with the fact that on Halloween night I would get CANDY, CANDY and more CANDY. I loved dressing up and loved creating my perfect costume. When we were little, my Mom would make Halloween costumes for me and Tracy:

                             ” Help, I’ve lost my sheep! And my dignity.”

In later years, Mom would sometimes buy us costumes from the store — probably K-Mart, and most likely a blue-light special. Little girls in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s had about two costume choices: nurse or witch. I chose the nurse. I liked those little candy pills that came in the little plastic nurse’s box. Hand-me-downs were also a part of Halloween: Coleen and Melissa would be wearing those Little Bo Peep costumes a few years later.

When I was a lot older (at least 9 or 10), I would pride myself in making my own costume. I wasn’t your typical girly-girl who wanted to be a Princess or Fairy or Bride for Halloween. I was immensely proud of a ‘bum’ costume I designed … complete with a pair of my Dad’s old pants I stuffed with pillows to look fat. I guess homeless people were fat back in the day. I rubbed used coffee grounds all over my face to resemble a five-o’clock shadow. “Brother, can you spare a dime? Or a Snickers?”

When I was just starting elementary school, there was a super dry spell in Halloween festivities for children in the San Francisco Bay Area. There was a crazy serial killer named the Zodiac on the loose (maybe you’ve heard of him). During those Zodiac rampage years, no trick-or-treating was allowed in the greater Vallejo area. I hated the Zodiac. I was too young to understand the awful truth about the Zodiac — all I knew was some crazy person had ruined my favorite holiday and all of us were banned to school cafeterias and community centers to celebrate our Halloween. Trick-or-treating around a cafeteria just isn’t the same once you’ve experienced the real outdoor festivities, especially when that nasty warm corn smell was still lingering in the air from lunch time.

We’d parade around the cafeteria in our costumes getting candy and snacks. Oh, and there was bobbing for apples, or as I like to call it, Hello Hepatitis! What the bleep? What were those adults thinking? Hey gang, let’s grab a huge rusty pail from the backyard scrap pile, fill it with water from the hose and throw some apples in it. Then for kicks, let’s have the kids dress up like dorks with crazy makeup all over their face, run around the block begging the neighbors for candy in the cold, then drag them and their runny noses over to the big rusty water pail full of apples and stick their faces in it. Then let’s have them bite at the apples with their candy-corroded teeth long enough so that their spit mixes together in the water. If one of them actually snags an apple in their teeth, they WIN!! They win an APPLE!!

Even as a kid I knew there was something terribly wrong with bobbing for apples. But there were more dangers lurking around in Halloween goodies. My Dad made us well aware of the potential razor blade or cherry bomb or “drug injected by needle” that just might be hiding in our mini Three Musketeers bar. When we got home from trick-or treating during the non-Zodiac years, we had to line up and pass our bags over to Dad for official inspection. Dad would check for pin holes and the like in our candy wrappers. Many times he would have to taste test our candy to be sure they were safe for us. He had to check A LOT of our candy. Well, he didn’t want a cherry bomb to blow our cheek off.

One time I didn’t listen to my Mom and Dad’s lecture about eating candy at night and I snuck lots of candy from my trick-or-treat bag into my room right before bed, and proceeded to eat most of it. That night, I had the dreaded “eating-candy-before-bedtime nightmare.” About werewolves. Dancing werewolves. If you missed that post, click here, or here (I tend to write about those werewolves quite a bit apparently … )

These days, Halloween has somewhat lost its’ magic. We have a ton of cool Halloween decorations, but never decorate because no one trick-or-treats in our neighborhood. Our neighbors have a light that illuminates our entire cul-de-sac, but strangely enough, they forget to turn it on Halloween night. So we usually go to where the nieces and nephews are to see all their darling princess, Superhero and Tinkerbell costumes. And Jay makes sure to check all of their trick-or-treat candy for dangerous items.

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When I was a kid, Halloween was my favorite holiday. I loved it more than Christmas. It was that cool time of year when the leaves would fall from the trees during windy evenings and the breeze still had a hint of warmth. Okay, I guess it also had to do with the fact that on Halloween night I would get CANDY, CANDY and more CANDY. I loved dressing up and loved creating my perfect costume. When we were little, my Mom would make Halloween costumes for me and Tracy:

                             ” Help, I’ve lost my sheep! And my dignity.”

In later years, Mom would sometimes buy us costumes from the store — probably K-Mart, and most likely a blue-light special. Little girls in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s had about two costume choices: nurse or witch. I chose the nurse. I liked those little candy pills that came in the little plastic nurse’s box. Hand-me-downs were also a part of Halloween: Coleen and Melissa would be wearing those Little Bo Peep costumes a few years later.

When I was a lot older (at least 9 or 10), I would pride myself in making my own costume. I wasn’t your typical girly-girl who wanted to be a Princess or Fairy or Bride for Halloween. I was immensely proud of a ‘bum’ costume I designed … complete with a pair of my Dad’s old pants I stuffed with pillows to look fat. I guess homeless people were fat back in the day. I rubbed used coffee grounds all over my face to resemble a five-o’clock shadow. “Brother, can you spare a dime? Or a Snickers?”

When I was just starting elementary school, there was a super dry spell in Halloween festivities for children in the San Francisco Bay Area. There was a crazy serial killer named the Zodiac on the loose (maybe you’ve heard of him). During those Zodiac rampage years, no trick-or-treating was allowed in the greater Vallejo area. I hated the Zodiac. I was too young to understand the awful truth about the Zodiac — all I knew was some crazy person had ruined my favorite holiday and all of us were banned to school cafeterias and community centers to celebrate our Halloween. Trick-or-treating around a cafeteria just isn’t the same once you’ve experienced the real outdoor festivities, especially when that nasty warm corn smell was still lingering in the air from lunch time.

We’d parade around the cafeteria in our costumes getting candy and snacks. Oh, and there was bobbing for apples, or as I like to call it, Hello Hepatitis! What the bleep? What were those adults thinking? Hey gang, let’s grab a huge rusty pail from the backyard scrap pile, fill it with water from the hose and throw some apples in it. Then for kicks, let’s have the kids dress up like dorks with crazy makeup all over their face, run around the block begging the neighbors for candy in the cold, then drag them and their runny noses over to the big rusty water pail full of apples and stick their faces in it. Then let’s have ‘em bite at the apples with their candy-corroded teeth long enough so that their spit mixes together in the water. If one of them actually snags an apple in their teeth, they WIN!! They win an APPLE!!

Even as a kid I knew something was terribly wrong with bobbing for apples. But there were more dangers lurking around in Halloween goodies. My Dad made us well aware of the potential razor blade or cherry bomb or “drug injected by needle” that just might be hiding in our mini Three Musketeers bar. When we got home from trick-or treating during the non-Zodiac years, we had to line up and pass our bags over to Dad for official inspection. Dad would check for pin holes and the like in our candy wrappers. Many times he would have to taste test our candy to be sure they were safe for us. He had to check A LOT of our candy. Well, he didn’t want a cherry bomb to blow our cheek off.

One time I didn’t listen to my Mom and Dad’s lecture about eating candy at night and I snuck lots of candy from my trick-or-treat bag into my room right before bed, and proceeded to eat most of it. That night, I had the dreaded “eating-candy-before-bedtime nightmare.” About werewolves. Dancing werewolves. If you missed that post, click here.

These days, Halloween has somewhat lost its’ magic. We have a ton of cool Halloween decorations, but never decorate because no one trick-or-treats in our neighborhood. Our neighbors have a light that illuminates the entire cul-de-sac, but strangely enough, they forget to turn it on Halloween night. So we usually go to where the nieces and nephews are to see all their darling ladybug, Thomas the Train and Tinkerbell costumes. And Jay makes sure to check all their trick-or-treat candy for dangerous items.

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