posted on Jul, 8 2012 @ 06:08 PM
I’m blessed to have a wonderful father who just happens to be a natural story-teller. I grew up listening to him spin tall tales about mountain
men, spectral lights, strange creatures, and even Ole Scratch himself. So it was only natural that I’d request another ghost story as we drove down
the dark, wooded road.
Let me back up a bit. It was high summer, and my father had just driven my five year old brother and myself (I was seven) up the mountain to go
fishing in a small lake. We caught nothing but tree branches and had a wonderful time. At last, with the summer sun dipping towards the horizon, my
father called an end to our fishing and loaded us into the pickup truck.
He hadn’t driven far before I began to beg for a ghost story. I just couldn’t help myself. The surroundings were perfect; a gravel road,
bordered on both sides with thick trees and deepening pockets of darkness. At last my Dad acquiesced to my please and began his tail of the
To get the full effect, you have to visualize the scene in your head. We’re driving slowly down the dark road while my dad uses his creepiest
storytelling charm to terrify us. It worked, too. Hoo-boy, did it work.
The Cattywampus lived deep underground, away from sunlight. It was an amazingly huge creature that closely resembled an octopus; it’s favorite
method of hunting involved ambushing cars driving down secluded roads and picking the bodies from the wreckage with its long tentacles.
“In fact,” my dad breathed heavily, glancing nervously at the surrounding woods, “It loves to hunt about this time of night, and this would be a
great place for a Cattywampus…”
His voice trailed off as he concentrated on the road. A large curve was just ahead, and he glanced at me and my brother. We were holding each other
tight, hanging on his every word.
My father rounded the curve in the road. “In fact, maybe we should keep a…
OH DEAR GOD THERE IT IS!” he screamed, twisting the steering wheel and fishtailing the truck across the road.
My brother and I did the only thing possible. We immediately became hysterical.
I figured it out pretty quickly, but my brother was inconsolable. My dad had to stop the truck to try and soothe him, but he just continued to scream
at the top of his lungs. He was so loud, in fact, that a house a couple hundred yards off the road turned on its lights and a man stepped out to see
if we needed assistance.
My father never meant to scare us so badly, of course. We have a laugh about it now, but at the time my Mom was furious with him. My brother
didn’t sleep alone in his bed for at least a week.
I’ll never forget the story of the Catywampus, although I’ll wait a few years to pass it on to my son…
….or maybe not.