I awoke the morning of Halloween with a sense of childlike wonder spreading through me. I was finally spending All Hallows’ Eve in Salem.
Salem was expected to have 100,000 people milling around this year, and my friend Meg and I wanted to make sure we procured some bar seats in town. We settled into our watering hole and downed pumpkin ales and shots of Fireball. Soon, the evening chill seemed to not exist.
Things started to get a little fuzzy when a man in plainclothes approached asking Meg, “Are you Karen?” Meg shook her head no and he turned sharply to me. “Are YOU Karen?” he demanded. I shook my head no and watched as he grabbed another two people and demanded to know which one was Karen. Terrified, they said no. A different guy done up with twisted horns and the face of a monster overheard all this and stated, “I’m Karen,” to the original guy’s horror. Meg and I looked at one another and decided it was time to move on. The witching hour had certainly taken hold of these people.
By the time we hit our last Irish-style pub of the night, it was a welcome relief from the streets, which once dark had fallen started to take a turn for the weird. We found two bar stools and settled in. A man flanking us turned slowly. We smiled, but he didn’t.
“Karen?” he asked, studying both of our faces.
We paid and ran.