Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It's Been A Strange Trip Blogapalooza!!!

I've been invited to the party and so have you!

The theme of the party is "It's Been A Strange Trip". Participants have been instructed to "on October 29, put a photo of a pumpkin at the top of your post and tell us the story of your strangest or scariest trip ever." I've been tatting up some pumpkinny goodness just for this post.


My strangest trip (and no, I'm not referring to my tatting addiction, here) happened the summer of my 15th year. My sister thought it would be a great idea to take me on a car trip with her to Oklahoma. When you're 15 and you've lived all your life in a small town "anywhere but here" sounds totally cool! So I loaded up my suitcase and off we went. Let me point out that my big sis is 17 years older than me, so this wasn't like I was going to "party central" or anything like that. I was a pretty conservative teenager, really, even for the 80's which is when this was (hmmmm...could that be why my last two posts have made reference to 80's music? Go figure).

We were headed out from somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. As we skidded across the plains on our way to Oklahoma we passed by the monotony of little hills and the occasional clump of trees. I had never seen a sunset across a flat horizon before in my life and I was entranced by the beauty of it. One day, somewhere near Kansas, we passed by a dusty ol' sign off the side of the road that said "See 4 States Tower, next right". My sister had said that we would stop anywhere I wanted and so when I pointed out the sign to her I think she thought I wanted to go there. I was actually going to point out that I thought the sign looked kind of creepy. When she said, "Oh, did you want to stop there?" I found myself saying, "Ummm, sure." 'Why not?' I thought to myself. I discounted my creeped out feelings right then and there, something I would regret later.
To paint a better picture of the situation let me tell you that this particular big sister was constantly bragging about her special powers of ESP. Yup, ESP, she was the biggest, baddest "sixth senser" there was for miles around and she would tell anyone and everyone that. Personally, I thought she was a bit whacked, but once in awhile she got stuff right, most of the time I sensed it was a lot of hot air. So, when she seemed unaffected by the creepy sense I got from the sign, I thought, 'Well, she's the one with ESP, so I guess it must not be creepy or she'd have gotten that, right?' WRONG!
The next "sign" that things weren't quite right was that when we pulled up into the parking lot of this "See 4 States Tower" there were about 4 or 5 very dusty, dirty cars in the lot that looked like they hadn't been moved in ages. There were no clean cars there. Nothing indicating that there were other "current" visitors. Again, my sister didn't seem to notice anthing strange, but I did. Again, I shrugged it off because, after all, she's the one with ESP! I looked up at the "tower" which sat on the roof of a long houselike building. I say "houselike" because there really wasn't a sense of home about it. It seemed void of warmth. The tower had "faces" peering out of it. Faces that weren't moving. 'How odd.', I said to myself. I glanced at my sister who seemed undeterred by these strange, unsettling details about the place. A very nervous adolescent greeted us near the door. He was strangely thin and seemed uncomfortable with our presence there. A shy, nervous adolescent girl peeked out from behind a doorway of a dim room. Her flat affect appeared unwelcoming. She smiled, as though prompted. In the back of my mind I began to hear the theme from "Twilight Zone" playing in my head. I had to keep the chuckle to myself, though, for right at that moment a very large, loud, obtrusive middle-aged man appeared from the same doorway that the frightened young girl had been peering out of.
"Can I show you the 4 states tower?", he said, in a very intimidating voice. "Sure, we'd love to!", said my sister in a cheerful voice. I couldn't believe it! What was wrong with her ESP? Wasn't it working today? If we went up there were we going to come down? Would my sister's car end up being there forever collecting dust? She didn't seem disturbed by him in the least, so up we went. I noticed that mannequins were posed in the windows along the way to the top of the tower. That explained the unmoving faces I had seen peering out the tower windows. They were covered with dust and the whole place had a stale, stagnant aire about it. While the dust had no trouble settling, I was finding the place to be more unsettling with every step through the place. The top of the tower had more mannequins posed with arms waving. He pointed out to the distance where each of the 4 states were. I found myself unamused as all I could see was flat land in the distance between the arms of the mannequins. There was no way to tell if that really was this state or that state. I got the feeling he was just making it up.
As we made our way down the narrow, creeky, wooden stairway we were led into a room of "antiques". Now, under normal circumstances I find antiques to be quite charming, to say the least. There was nothing charming about this "antique" shop. It was more like a "curiosity" shop with strange things preserved in big bottles of liquids. Body parts of various creatures labelled on some. Some preserved "animal parts" looked strangely anatomically familiar and I found myself feeling faint. The old pieces of furniture looked burdened uncomfortably by their load of jars. All was covered with a generous coating of dust. I felt queasy. Just when I turned to my sister to tell her I thought it was long past time to be back on the road the large, intimidating man appeared again in the doorway of the room...the only way out. He was flanked by the two, nervously thin adolescents with psychotically large eyes. Didn't my sister think the expressions on their faces were strange? Why wasn't her ESP working? The two adolescents came on either side of us, while the man said in an uncomfortably pleasant voice, "I see you really like our antiques!". I found myself nodding nervously. I was lying, if only to get closer to the doorway!
"Perhaps you'd like to see our room full of torture antiques! We have a whole room full of torture devices collected from all over the world and some are very valuable antiques. You'd find them very interesting!", the older, intimidating man continued.
To my utter horror my sister replied, "Oh, yes, that sounds fascinating.", she said with a smile. As the man started to lead her into the other room I froze as he continued explaining his antique torture device collection..."There's this one box that looks like a coffin." I could see it in the doorway of the other room, the dim room the frightened girl had peered out of before. Now the room was flooded with light as the blinds had been opened slightly. I could see a stretching rack to the left of the doorway along the wall and just to right of the doorway was something that looked like a large metal sarcophagus with metal spikes pointing inward, from the top and bottom of the "box and lid" with a little window right near where the face if the torturer especially wanted to see the pain inflicted upon his intended victim. The young boy stood by the lid of the upright spiky sarcophagus smiling strangely. My sister started to walk in the doorway of the room as the man continued, "this looks like a coffin with nail spikes pointing inward. You could step inside if you wanted and we could show you how it works!" He started laughing strangely as the wide eyed adolescents peered at us. I grabbed my sisters arm and pulled her out of the doorway of the "torture display" room. "No, thanks, I'm feeling sick and we need to be on our way, thank you though!"
My sister said rather tartly, "What are you doing!?!".
"RUN!" I said, "Run for the car, I got a bad bad feeling about those people." It wasn't until then that my sister's "ESP" kicked in and she outran me to the car.
"LOCK THE DOORS!" She yelled as she frantically started the car. She peeled out of there so fast that we left the little house of horrors in a cloud of dust down the dirt lane back to the welcoming sight of the freeway.
It seemed that the more miles we put between the Torture Tower house and us the more settled we both felt. I saw a sign for a petting zoo with a crowd of real, live people and children with smiling happy faces and said, "Let's stop there!" She never hesitated with that and we stopped. As we strolled around the petting zoo we kept noting the comforting presence of the happy animals and children and well kept animal pens right there in daylight. What a stark contrast between this happy place and the dark house of horrors behind us.
"Didn't that place give you the creeps?" I said to my sister.
"No, not until you said something.", she said.
"But YOU'RE the one with ESP! " I blurted out, finally voicing my concerns about the effectiveness of her so-called gift.
"When did you first get the feeling that something was wrong with the place?", she asked me.
"When I saw the sign", I answered.
"Then WHY did you say you wanted to go?", she angrily shot back.
"I thought that if it was REALLY creepy, then your ESP would tell you and we'd be okay. Since you said we'd stop I thought it was okay. I thought I was just imagining that the sign was creepy."

Thus started a long lecture on paying attention to those "little feelings" and being responsible enough to heed them. She said they were gifts from God and important enough to pay attention to.

I'll never know what really would've happened to us in the "torture room" maybe nothing at all, or maybe our faces would've been on milk cartons staring out at millions of people begging them to find our missing selves, who knows! I do know this now; since that moment on I have ALWAYS heeded my gut when I get that eerie little feeling that "something's not quite right" and I have NEVER regretted it. I think it is God's way of warning us of dark things.

Whatever would've happened I know it was the right thing to leave, even if just for the peace of mind. Regardless, it made for a great story as this truly was a strange trip.

Motifs 22 & 23 Pumpkins

Thank you for reading my "Strange Trip" that I took off of the beaten path with my sister. Whew, we made it out alive!


Be sure to stop by Angela's blog at Just Go and sign up for her giveaway...she has goodie bags! Be sure to visit the other Blogapalooza participants and read all about their "strange trips" as well!


Before you run off over there, be sure and leave a comment; I'd love to know what you think! Besides, in celebration of the Big Blogapalooza I thought I'd giveaway these pumpkins as a giveaway prize. My first giveaway and a way to give back for all the giveaways I've won in the past, more importantly, for the friends I've won here in bloggerlandia. If you'd like a chance to win some free hand tatted pumpkins, then all you have to do is post a comment on this very post by the end of October 31, 2008 and I will pick the winner on All Saints Day (November 1st)!!! Make sure you have a blog that I can leave a message on to let you know if you're a winner. I just need some way to contact you if you win. You'll have your punkins (yup, I just said "punkins") just in time for Thanksgiving if you're in the USA and you win, if you're an international friend and you win then enjoy them whatever the season! :)

Happy Trails To You,


Note: The above pictured tatted pumpkins for the 25 Motif Challenge are from Left to right Mary's Pumpkin and a pattern available from CQ Magazine Online called "Needle Tatted Pumpkin" (which was, of course, SHUTTLE tatted, LOL!)

The link for Mary's Pumpkin is this: It is no longer usable and shows up as "error page". I have tried to research it in the Way Back Machine with no luck.

They were tatted with size 10 orange and forest green "Aunt Lydia" brand cotton crochet threads. They were very inexpensive and tatting with straw, LOL!

NOTE: Thank you, Kathy, for the working link to Mary's Pumpkin!

You may have better luck just copy and pasting this into your browser window:'s%20PMKN.pdf

62 absolutely fabulous things were said:

LadyShuttleMaker aka MadMadPotter said...

WoW....I mean wow! What a crazy experience! You told it so well I got goosebumps. Well written too!
In fact I am a bit creeped out right now. Where is that place and I wonder if it is still in existence?

Clyde said...

What a scary time you gave me. I could not sleep so I was looking at peoples blogs at 3 AM and thought that would help me relax. Then I read yours and now there is no way I am going to be able to go back to sleep without dreaming of being tortured. What a great Halloween story. I think it should be a winner. Thank you for the haunting.

Margie said...

Good grief! I kept thinking I'd get to the end of that story and you would say it was just a story you made up for Halloween! Gives me the shivers! How creepy and scary that must have been! I don't think any one else's trip can beat that one!

I LOVE the tatted pumpkins! I've never seen anything like them before!

Have a lovely (not a creepy!) day!
Margie :)

donna said...

Hi! Love this story-totally scary! By the way, Mary Maynard's pumpkin pattern can still be found at:

Thanks for your wonderful blog-I love reading it.


GOOD GRIEF CHARLIE BROWN im sitting here in the dark reading this with goose bumps all over me! That totally creeped me out!
Ohmygosh it was like a storyline from a scary movie.
PHEW im glad you got outta there.

The zoo sounds much nicer :)


Kathy said...

Tattingchic, You had me on the edge of my seat reading this fun summer trip (actually horrer story) with your sister. Sounds like the movie Jeepers Creepers. I am not one for horrer movies, but yours sure would have been a seller.
Found Mary's pumpkin here:'s%20PMKN.pdf

Tattycat said...

I'm like Margie. Being the writer that you are, I thought surely this was fiction. That's horrible! You are the one with ESP, not your sister! I'm glad you learned to listen to God's little whispers when something isn't quite right. Thanks for the scare.

Scintilla said...

Smashing Pumpkins you made!

Very scary story indeed!

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Yikes! That is too weird! What a story! I'm trembling in my boots. It sounds like a tale right out of the Twilight Zone!

Karen K. Kennedy said...

Creepy! Glad you made it out without being tortured!

The tatted pumpkins are beautiful!

Suzie said...

Can you really send pumpkins in the mail?

ICQB said...

What a story! It was sooo creepy, and yet I laughed whenever you wondered what the heck was wrong with your sister's ESP!

Thanks so much for sharing your creepy experience!

Stitchy Mc Floss said...

You had me hanging on to each word, wondering just what was going to happen next. I am with you, always listen to the "little" voice within. :) I love your pumpkins. All your work is so beautiful.

Linda Crispell said...

You were minutes away from being turned into a meat pie!

Kathy Niklewicz said...

Hi Tatting Chic – I was visiting Jane Eborall’s blog when I noticed you had a new post with a pumpkin at the top – so I hopped back over the ‘pond’ to see what you were up to and was AMAZED at that story. I, too, thought it must be fiction, and I was thinking you should be writing short stories for magazines, but it was a true account! Yikes!! What’s really sad is the plight of those children living there. It almost sounded like a Norman Bates scenario. By the way, my husband has a brother 18 years younger, with a middle brother in between – they’re all nine years apart! Great post – wonderful ‘punkins’!!!

MelMel said...

Oh my i love the pumpkins!! so sweet!

One of my children made it...i say my children they feel like mine!!xx

Angela K. Nickerson said...

Those pumpkins are fab -- and your story is REALLY scary! Thanks for participating in Blogapalooza!

Fantastic Figments said...

WHAT A GREAT STORRY.. Even better that it is true and so wonderfuly worded I really like it. I wish I would have known sooner about the Blog Party I would have loved to enter. Maybe I will right a little story anyway!.. Thanks for hosting a giveaway and stopping by my blog. I love your pretty things!

JES said...

What a great story. You and your sister were kinda like Mulder and Scully; I kept waiting for that creepy whistling theme song to kick in followed by a commercial. But there was no commercial of course -- they story just got worse and worse. :)

sruble said...

Your pumpkins are really cool! Your story is really, really scary! I think you're right about trusting that gut feeling that tells you something is not quite right. Even if it offends someone, sometimes it's better to be safe than dead. Glad you got out of the torture room alive!

Nancy said...

I just stopped by to say hi and to thank-you so much for your kind comments...they were so appreciated. I love your work...and have been wanting to get back to tatting for a couple of years now...did it years ago. I will have to visit your technique area to re-aquaint myself with the methods now. Hopefully soon.
Thank-you so much again.
Hugs, Nancy

Sarah said...

That was so great! You are a great writer. It must have been really scary, especially if you can remember all the details so well.

Tatskool said...

That was a brilliantly written story, you should be writing for a living!!
Love the pumpkins too.

madrekarin said...

First- love the pumpkins!! Second- Seriously?! That is like reading a review of a horror movie! Yikes- I'm glad you girls are still here to tell about it.
Stay away from towers.:)

adrienne said...

Wow, that was quite a story! The mannequin faces in the windows really creeped me out. It all sounds straight out of a horror movie.

Kelly said...

One word: YIKES!

That was one spooky story!

Grizzly Mountain Arts said...

I was picturing "The Hills Have Eyes" while reading your post! LOL Super creepy, but glad you both made it out alive! :)

Sara Cox Landolt said...

Totally scared. And, yes, there are certain feelings we all need to listen to. When someone looks scary, walk away!

Lace hearts said...

That is such a creepy story - it's given me goosebumps. You told it so well. But it's wise advise to always heed your gut instinct.
What a lovely giveaway - the pumpkins are gorgeous. I'm going to shiver my way up to bed now. Night, night!

Brenda said...

Yikes! Glad all worked out for the good...

Great tatted pumpkins!

Anonymous said...

That was truly creepy!

3rdEyeMuse said...

now that story was so spooky I actually got goosebumps! thanks for the scary tale ... and your tatted pumpkins are sooooo sweet!

NeereAnDear said...

My word!!! I was sitting on the edge of my seat through this whole story...
about fell off when I read the part about the guy laughing and asking if you wanted to try out the torture chamber .... willies!!!

Great job on a halloween story to scare the hibbie jibbies out of us


Jessie V said...

YIKES!!! and super cute pumpkins!

Kim Kasch said...

Weird story. You've got me beat - I mean a torture room...

And I love the tatting you've done.

Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...


That was scary! Yikes!!

connieangeline said...

The only way that story would be scarier is if you told it sitting around a dark campfire with a flashlight shining on your face.
Happy Halloween. Wish I had a blog so I could join in the contest.I'd tell my scary story too.

Charmingdesigns said...

Ok, first...I love the pumpkins...then, I love your story, I'm glad you're still around to tell it to us!!lol. Then, thank you for saying you like my placecard on the easel!! I'll have to get busy!lol. Laurie

tales from an O.C. cottage said...

Holy cow! How do you makes such things!!!!!!!!!! Amazing!

M ^..^

Kathi~Lavender, Lace and Thyme said...

I hope you're all happy now! My stomach hurts and I've been yelling at the computer to run and get out of there! didn't you hear me? LOL I for one am thankful you listened and got out. They probably had a lot of fun with that torture room and who knows what actually went on in that house...yikes! my mind is now spinning with my own thoughts, this is not good! Great story!

Your tatted punkins are always! I was looking at the detail, you are a perfectionist! Wow!

Happy Thursday to you!
Kathi :)

JaneB said...

Great story and love your tatted pumpkins.


Gerry said...

Oh my goodness, your tatted pumpkins are to die for! Love, love, love them.

Thanks so much for stopping by to visit me.

Well, I'm off to see what else you've been up to.

Have a Spook-tacular Halloween.

Shabbyfufu said...

WOW that's quite a story! You could probably write a book! ~XO~ Janet

Susanne said...

I was speechless but had goosebumps all over when I read about your experience in that weird house. I am so happy it didn't happen to me, I have no idea how I would have reacted, lol.
Lovely pumpkins you've tatted.

Rue said...

The whole time I'm yelling in my head.... GET OUT! ...LOL I'll bet he turned out to be some sort of mass murderer or something :0

I can't Tat, so winning would be fabulous!


Daisys Little Cottage said...

Hahahaha...thats an awesome story and a great memory for you and your sister.
have a happy and safe halloween
ps yep those were mrshmallow "PeeP" ghosts.

kari and kijsa said...

Wow!!! Have a safe and happy Halloween!
kari & kijsa

Barb said...

Hi Tattingchic,

What a story! OMG. God was watching over the two of you. I am a firm believer in listening to your gut. Growing up, I always didn't listen but I sure do now.

Have a boo-ti-ful Halloween.

hugs from me

Fete et Fleur said...

I am completely freaked out!! Oh My Gosh!! I'm not sure I will sleep tonight. You're the one with the ESP girl never doubt it ever.

I would love a chance to win one of your pumpkins. Infact, I think you owe me one for scaring me so much. :~)


Pat said...

Always follow your gut instincts! That's all I'm saying. And, thanks for your visit to my blog today with such a nice comment......your work is the pumpkins! Pat

rochambeau said...

Hi Tatting Chic.
Glad you made it through that experience! And
Yes to what you said about intuition. God gave it to us for a reason that is for certain!! Happy Halloween.

Your tatted pumpkin is pretty!

Karen ~ Cider Antiques said...

Woowza!!!! What a story. That far exceeds my little moving curtain story, LOL.

You are absolutely right to trust your gut. That little voice is there to protect us all :)

Amazing story! Karen

Charmingdesigns said...

Oh how I giggled when I put that piece of tatting on my pincushion!! Who knows where I got it...or why just a little Laurie

Nermal and Kitty said...

Gosh, Tatting Chic, that sounds kinda like the Bates Motel of Psycho fame. Creeps me out just reading your account of it! I love your pumpkin tatting. Seems you can take any subject and tat something appropriate to it. Very talented lady. By the way my hedgehog collection was on a post dated May 24, 2008 if you care to check. I have several more that I show there, but there had to be a limit. ha.. Nerm

TattingChic said...

Hi all! Thanks for the comments. I didn't comment back individually this time because I was going to be using the Random Integer Generator to pick the numbers. So now I have 1-54 and I'll post later in the day! Have a fun and safe weekend everyone! :)


whew hwat ascary trip!!! i am too late for your give away...rats!! the punkins are breathtaking as is all of your tatting!!!! xo

AngelDoll said...

Your story was EXCELLENT, but ahat a horrible experience for you and your sister. I can still feel chills creeping on my skin.
You are also an excellent writer too...just like your tatting...Keep up the excellent blog.
Hope maybe I can still be entered in the draw for your beautiful work...thank you for sharing.

Tracy said...

OMG!!! That was quite a story, TattingChic...and perfect telling for Halloween week! ;o) Fantastic! LOVE all the tatted pumpkins, there are sooo sweet! Happy Weekend, friend ((HUGS))

Steph's (tat) Stuff said...

Now that was a creepy story. A co-worker of mine who tells tall tales all day long said something about that tower once. Knowing he was full of it, I just said, "Oh, yeah?" and forgot all about it. Now I see that maybe he isn't totally full of it afterall! Those pumpkins are awesome, by the way.

Liyarra said...

You must be a scream at pyjama parties telling ghost stories!!!!
That was nearly the most chilling thing I have ever read!!

BumbleVee said...

Yikes!! that would give anybody the creeps.... I just know I would have turned back at the dusty cars....whew.......

Nikki via The Scarlett Rose Garden said...

Great story!! Creepy for sure! Yes, we should always listen to our "senses".

Those lil' punkins were SO cute!