History... In Person

A World of Folklore

Keynotes & Workshops

Books & Downloads

Join Our Mailing List

I have a friend who lives on Prospect near one of Peoria’s largest, oldest and most beautiful cemeteries, Springdale. My friend works second shift at a factory on the other side of the cemetery, so every day at about three o'clock he walks across the graveyard to get to work. But when he gets off work at midnight, he thinks about walking the long way around.
What would you do?
Walking around means walking almost two miles, versus walking less than half a mile through the cemetery. He has made the walk five days a week for thirteen years. He cuts through the graveyard.
One night as he was walking home just after midnight, there was a gentle rain, more like a heavy mist. He could hardly see where he was going, but he knew his way and could walk the paths with his eyes closed. As he walked alon-AAHH!* He fell into an open grave!
This grave was not here when he went to work in the bright light of the afternoon! He tried jumping out but kept falling back down. He tried climbing, but the walls were slippery mud because of the rain. How do I say this nicely? My friend is vertically challenged, not very tall. No matter how hard he tried he could not get out. Well, he figured there would be a funeral in the morning and someone would come along and let him out. They would get a scare, but at least he would get out, if he could last the night.
Because it was damp and cool he curled up in a small ball in the corner to conserve his heat. He tried to sleep.
About two o'clock in the morning, at closing time, he heard someone else coming through the cemetery. They were quite loud and seemed to be singing some Irish drinking song. The song was getting louder and closer. When - - AAHH!* This other guy fell into the grave. This other guy was freaking out. He was screaming, jumping, and trying to claw his way out! The muddy walls caused him to slip and fall repeatedly. In his panic he did not notice my friend curled up in a ball in the corner.
My friend decided to play a little joke. In his scariest, loudest voice, he said, "Tr-r-r-ry and tr-r-r-ry, but you will never get out! Ah-ha-ha-ha!"
Oh, but that other guy, he got out!
*Prior to this point I talk quieter and slower and then make a loud scream! If your timing is right when you scream, the audience will jump! I usually get two good jumps from both of these simple jokes!
© 1998 Brian “Fox” Ellis * Fox Tales International

HISTORY... In Person

Invite history's greatest minds to your school or conference, Chautauqua or museum.

audubon1 darwin1 civilwar1
poe1 whitman1 Grimm2