Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Annie Mary Twente sends Halloween greetings November 4, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 8:50 AM
Card from Annie Mary Twente

A.M. (Annie Mary) sends greetings each October.

HALLOWEEN BRINGS the macabre, the horrible, the frightening.

And for me, it also brings a message from Annie Mary Twente, or someone impersonating her. As legend goes, the 6-year-old fell into a coma and was buried alive in 1886 in Albin Township near Hanska. For the complete story, go to www.minnesotamoments.com and read blogs I posted there on Oct. 30 and 31, 2008.

For years and years and years, I’ve received a Halloween greeting card from the ghost of Annie Mary. This year was no exception, except for the card’s two-day late arrival.

As always, the envelope bore no return address, only the initials “A.M.”

As always, the envelope bore a postmark from my hometown of Vesta.

Inside this witch-themed card, the little ghost girl signed her name and the chilling message, “I MISS YOU!” I don’t know why those words send shivers tingling down my spine, but they do. It’s as if Annie Mary is taunting me, in the sing-song chant of a child: “I MISS YOU! I MISS YOU! I MISS YOU! Na-na-na-na!”

I suppose if I considered this rationally, I would realize how very nice of Annie Mary to remember me on Halloween. But I can’t get past the possibility that she is trying to haunt me, to scare me, to….

Despite my concern over the intended meaning of A.M’s Halloween greeting, at least I have not been the recipient of correspondence from Norman Bates, the psychotic owner of the Bates Motel. My cousin Dawn tells me of years past when Norman contacted her, even sent dead box elder bugs. She is thankful, she says, that he has forgotten her and moved on.

I have five words of advice, Dawn. Don’t let down your guard.

© Copyright 2009 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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