Several years after my first Halloween handout at my condo, I was handing out candy with a friend in another city. We'd done it the previous year with costumes and/or masks and makeup, but this year we wanted to make it memorable. So we went all out with preparation. We downloaded this really hardcore Halloween music and looped it onto an iPad. One of the best parts of the music was a ghoul saying, "I will eat you."  Then we decorated the porch with hanging body parts, spider webs, bats,…

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We've seen all the movies...we've heard all the stories...but Ouija boards are the real deal? Come on...Or so I thought. Back in the eighth grade I hung out with a friend who had a Ouija board. You always found them in the game aisles of toy stores, so it seemed like something fun to do. One day I was hanging out at her house. We were in her room and by ourselves, so we decided to play. It was something different. What could it hurt?We placed our fingers on the planchette and asked the usual…

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I was pretty excited when my SO and I moved into our new condo. We'd been living with my parents and were happy to have our own space. I was especially looking forward to Halloween. My family didn't celebrate it, so now I could finally run riot with some ideas brewing in my mind.As the big day approached, I went all out creating a creepy environment. I carved an evil pumpkin, put a candle inside and placed it by the door, and looped some seriously dark music.The piece de la resistance was my…

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In addition to getting up close and personal with the peacocks roosting above our heads at night, one of the many things my SO and I enjoyed about our visit to a working ranch was interacting with the many animals there.That included the ostriches, and the egg I took as a souvenir then forgot about at home till I found it months later. One of the billy goats, who reeked like really ripe goat cheese, took a particular fancy to my SO and tried to engage in an enthusiastic bro hug. After my SO…

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Back in the days when my SO and I had a timeshare, we usually tried to get up there at least once a year. The resort was beautiful, but one summer I decided I wanted to do something different, so I found out about a working ranch in the general area that accommodated a few guests.  It seemed like a fun idea, and since I was an animal lover, I was looking forward to hanging out four a couple of days with various critters. So we drove out to this remote ranch. The wife was pretty nice, but the…

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Ah...the beauty and magic of the Greek Islands. Nothing like them in the world. One year, my significant other and I decided to visit Kos for a week. We'd picked a self-catering hotel near the beach that was recently completed. It was almost empty and very quiet. Just what we need for a relaxing getaway. Or we thought it was empty... Turns out we had roommates, but not the two-legged kind. Yep, the bugs were pretty big and enjoyed hanging out on the walls, particularly over the bed. Nothing…

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There's a lot to like about warm climates. . Where I spend a lot of time, you can enjoy all kinds of different activities, you don't have to dress like a Yeti to stay warm, and you can spend a lot more time outdoors. But it seems the hotter the temperature, the bigger the bugs.. Oh, and did I mention the odd snake? The few I've seen have been harmless, but there are rattlesnakes north of the area. Summer is really the best time to get up close and personal with the local fauna. Now I have no…

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In the early days of my relationship with my then-boyfriend, I didn't see him that often because he was a first-class chef on a well-known cruise ship. I'd have to wait for the ship to return from its destination and then my boyfriend would usually have a few days of shore leave. I always looked forward to him coming back, but I was also excited to see the ship when it returned since we'd met on board when I took a transatlantic crossing to the UK after I graduated from university. On one…

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While my then-boyfriend and I were living in our rundown house of horrors in Essex, we tried to be out as much as possible because of the less-than-wonderful living conditions. One time, a friend of my boyfriend invited him and me to a fancy dress party with the theme, "Vamps and Tramps". I thought it would be fun since I always enjoyed dressing up, so we decided to go. The party was at his friend's house, and since we didn't have a car, we'd have to take the bus there. No big deal, since he…

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Before my then-boyfriend and I moved to our flat near Liverpool Street Station, we lived in an older, run-down house that someone my boyfriend's family knew let us live in free as a favor. At the time, I thought it was a good idea because I was still looking for a job and money was tight, and my boyfriend's income wasn't enough for us to find another place. How bad could it be, I asked myself? We could tidy it up a bit if necessary. That is, until we actually moved in and I got a really good…

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