Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Halloween greetings from ghostly Annie Mary October 31, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 8:29 PM
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YEAR AFTER YEAR she taunts me with the same message: “I MISS YOU! LOVE, ANNIE MARY.”

Awkward block letters printed in the hand of a six-year-old ghost child. Annie Mary Twente of Hanska. Annie Mary, buried alive in 1886 in Albin Township. Annie Mary, her body later exhumed to reveal scratch marks inside the lid of her wooden coffin. Supposedly a true story and one that once scared me enough to unwisely admit as much to my Aunt Marilyn.

Each Halloween Annie Mary purchases and signs a greeting card, addresses the envelope and drops it in the mail to me. Oh, lucky, lucky me.

But if she wouldn’t send a card, I’d be disappointed. Some Halloweens I forget about Annie Mary, until I pull an envelope from my mailbox to read “A.M.” printed in the upper left return address corner.

I smile and I think, “Oh, that Annie Mary, she always remembers me.”

© Copyright 2011 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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7 Responses to “Halloween greetings from ghostly Annie Mary”

  1. ceciliag Says:

    Had me going though Aunt marilyn did, I had to read that twice!!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Yeah, that Aunt Marilyn, never signs her full name, just uses those initials on Halloween.

      The Annie Mary story is true, though. Sadly true.

  2. htrax107 Says:

    Love you too Annie and Mary.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Readers, Harriet has two sisters, Annie and Mary, both of whom are no longer living. She’s referring to them.

  3. This story is horifying. Oy, vey. Is it written up in a book anywhere?

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Yes, I’ve read the Annie Mary Twente story in a book, probably something like Ghost Stories of Minnesota, although I don’t think that’s the exact title. Just google it and you’ll find something. The story gives me chills, absolute chills.

      • I wondered if it was one like that…I think that my husband’s grandmother has that … whatever exactly it’s called! Yes, so horrible. Not sure I really WANT to read it, but I was curious!


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