I don't celebrate Halloween. I don't participate at all. But I know that some of you do, so I tried to think of a creepy Halloween story to tell. And then I remembered this one. It was about 15 years ago. I'd taken the day off to attend the Halloween Parade at my daughter's school. After the parade, I visited a nearby mall and wandered into a record store.

The record store was empty, except for a salesgirl. As I walked in, she looked up to greet me, but seemed rather startled that I was there. I shrugged it off. But, soon I realized that she was followng me around the store and staring at me, though whenever I turned to look at her, she pretended to be busy. I thought that perhaps she was trying to catch me shoplifting. I found whatever I wanted and took it to the counter. She came up and just stood there staring at me. It was quite bizarre. I had to ask her to ring it up so that I could leave. She was just gaping at me. I grew very uncomfortable. Finally, she said that I was the spitting image of her friend. Her DEAD friend. Her friend that had passed away a few months before, very tragically. I was officially creeped out. I grabbed my bag and left.

Later that night, while taking the kids trick or treating, I broke my ankle. I ended up in DC's George Washington University Hospital's Emergency Room. There was an endless parade of injured folks that came through that night, most costumed. It was a long night. I waited in a corridor, along with many other folks. I was sitting in a wheelchair.

Here's where the story got creepier. I noticed that the woman across from me, who was there with her injured son, was staring. It didn't bother me much, though, as I was trying to figure out what I could say to get to the doctor to amputate my foot. That's how badly it hurt. After 45 minutes or so, she spoke. She apologized for staring, but that I looked just like her sister. Her DEAD sister. Her sister that had passed away a few months before, very tragically. The SAME person that the chick earlier had asked me about.

The woman at the hospital got on the pay phone and called family members, who in turn, started coming to the hospital to gawk at me. When the mother of the deceased arrived, she looked and me and started crying. She took my face into her hands and looked at me for a long time. She thought that I WAS her child. I no longer wanted an amputation, I just wanted crutches to get out of there. She gave me her phone number and asked me to call her the next day. I told her that I would, though I knew that I wouldn't.

I was finally released. I didn't make the promised call but it bugged me. A few days later, I decided to call, but I couldn't find the number. I went back to the record store. I never saw the clerk again. No one has ever asked me about that girl again since then. Creepy, huh?

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