Appalachia Ghosts - Haints - Spooky Halloween

Afraid of the Dark

Halloween in appalachia

AFRAID OF THE DARK written by Ethelene Dyer Jones

I am one afraid of the dark;
Its unknown tentacles affright,
So ominous, so thick, so stark
Close about me in the night.

Say “Boo!” and I’m long gone,
Mass shock converging in my tears!
My trembling heart, still and prone,
Won’t let me release my pent-up fears.

What antidotes for fears so strong
They tend to swallow, drown me?
“Be brave! No ‘fraidy-cat’ can linger long.”
“Grow up! Few dangers hide in what you cannot see!”

But oh! The dark is ever cold,
And even though this side of fear
I stand more courageous and bold
The echoes of Dark’s voices still fall upon my ear!

-Ethelene Dyer Jones (after reading Tipper’s Blind Pig Post about Childhood Fears – 10/09/2013)


I hope you enjoyed Ethelene’s poem.



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  • Reply
    Mary Lou McKillip
    November 17, 2019 at 3:36 pm

    Topper miss Julie said usually there was an answer to being scared in the dark. I was coming through Slow creek near the State Farm Patrol station in my car and then a light started playing around on my class papers from the Community College it lasted to what seemed like a few seconds then stopped o told the starling light to my family and one family member said Daddy Jake talked a ghost was seem there by several folks . Did I witness a strange light of a mischief ghost. I never found an answer to it yet. Some say it was fox fire but not on a car seat flicker around would you think.

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    October 30, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    I’ll tell you what is scary about the dark – driving through a gaudily lit place after dark (or at least it should be dark). The absolute worst is Pigeon Forge, TN (which I consider to be the definition of gaudy). The dadgum flashing strobes at some of the places there actually make driving hazardous.
    On the other hand, I absolutely love being in a backcountry campsite or walking in the woods with a head lamp or flashlight. You see stuff that you had no clue were there, such as eyes of spiders and other insects – by the hundreds. On a breezy evening, you can see particles of dust illuminated in front of you that you’d never see in daylight.
    Of course we only see the stars when it is dark, and we see them best in the darkest circumstances – way away from the lights of town. I think of these things as the visual version of the still quiet voice of God – heard best when we get ourselves away from all the rattle and prattle.
    Your new layout is excellent, Tipper. I really like the broader reading (and writing) configuration

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    October 30, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    I think you did a wonderful job with the NEW LOOK. I really like the Format and
    the larger commenting box. I don’t know as much as most folks when it comes
    to a computer, and the only thing I recognize is Facebook and that Bird. (Twitter)
    I still like all the songs on the Playlist, my favorite being #8 You Ought to be Here
    With Me. Yesterday I called the radio station and requested “Just a Touch of the
    Past.” When it finished playing Donna Lynn said “that was by the Blind Pig Gang.”

  • Reply
    Rev. Rose Marie "RB" Redmond
    October 30, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    I wasn’t much afraid of the dark as a teen, until one night I was coming home late from somewhere and found the garage door locked for some strange reason since it never was. So I made my way around through the side yard toward the back door, and fell flat on my face over a tire someone had left laying in the yard.
    Convinced it was someone’s dead body – ran at full speed to the back door with our Dad, hearing my screams, running from inside the house to meet me there, and I swear, his hair was standing straight up from my screaming.
    I told him about the “body” lying in the yard. He took a flashlight and went to look. Then came back laughing telling me about the tire.
    Now I KNOW it was a tire, but after that, I didn’t like going through that side yard after dark anyway.
    And I wonder why that garage door was locked that night? Probably one of my beloved siblings playing a joke on me.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    Pamela Danner
    October 30, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    I really enjoyed the poem. I think the scariest thing about the dark are the soft shadows where you can’t quite make out whats there. I do like it dark when I sleep but, if I hear noises my imagination can get away with me.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    October 30, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    I enjoyed Ethelene’s “Afraid of the
    Dark” poem. When I’m at home and
    the power goes off, I can let my
    imagination run away with me if I
    let it. But like Miss Cindy, as I
    get older, things don’t bother me
    much anymore…Happy Halloween to

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 30, 2015 at 11:32 am

    I slept with a night light for a long time before I realized that if there was a boogerman out there, I was illuminating his target. If he wanted to “git” me, he wouldn’t have a problem. I couldn’t see him coming til it was too late. Nowdays I prefer to sleep in total darkness.
    Some people claim that wild animals can see in the dark. That just ain’t true! Most of them see much better than people in low light conditions but in total darkness they can’t see either. Not even bats!
    Bats can find their way and find their prey at night without using sight. They “see” with their ears.They use something called echolocation. They send out a sound and listen for the echo off of objects to determine where they are in relation to them.
    If you accompany me at night on a stroll through a lonely graveyard and I start to whistle, it’s not because I am scared. I am just practicing my echolocation.

  • Reply
    October 30, 2015 at 9:57 am

    Hope the moon is as gorgeous as the photo in this post. Happy Halloween to all!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    October 30, 2015 at 9:15 am

    That’s a very nice picture. I am wanting so much to get a full moon with the black etching of the shortleaf pines across the road. Only thing is, the moon doesn’t track that way. If I mistake not, the big white pine in the picture is one of the ones behind your house that the Deer Hunter and Scott took down.You all will miss it on the skyline I’m sure.
    Dad took my brother and I night fishing and coon hunting as boys. Probably because of that I don’t recall having much fear in the dark. In high school my best friend and I would sneak out of the house at night without a light and walk for miles, including at least one trip through a cemetery. We used to go through abandoned buildings as well and I got a real scare one night. I had just turned the door knob getting ready to open a door when I heard a radio and footsteps on the other side. I froze then very slowly let go the doorknob and walked away, expecting every moment to yelled at or worse.

  • Reply
    October 30, 2015 at 9:05 am

    I have often wondered why little children are afraid of the dark long before they are old enough to know the meaning of danger. I, like Ethelene, also had my share of childhood quivering as I waited for the boogerman to appear in the dark.

  • Reply
    Henry Horton
    October 30, 2015 at 7:35 am

    WOW!…and even Mothedog, the lovebug Lab mix and Baxter the hunting dog with ADD shiver in the dark and want the comfort of the warm dry house when darkness falls and Oogabooga’s scent drifts down from
    the ridge tops. It’s in our genes!
    Happy scairdy Halloween.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 30, 2015 at 7:29 am

    Oh my, it sounds so familiar, as a kid I was afraid of the dark. I’m not sure how I got over it but when I was grown it was gone.
    Thanks Ethelene, that a very good description.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    October 30, 2015 at 7:23 am

    There is a story behind almost every poem that I have written. This is no exception. On reading, two years ago, a post by Tipper who expressed our “Fears of the Dark,” I remembered those childhood times when I, quivering and afraid, had to go into the dark for some reason, and my imagination, wild and wavering, imagined all sorts of dangers in the dark ready to pounce upon me. I must say that I somewhat “grew out” of those childhood fears. Now, I can even find peace and comfort in the quiet dark. But I might add that our fears of the dark, the unknown, are still helpful, as the fears alert us to caution and the need to be aware and alert.

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