Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Halloween greetings from Annie Mary Twente October 31, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 12:28 PM
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I always wonder, what did Annie Mary look like? Anything like this little girl?

THE CARD ARRIVED, not unexpectedly, today in my mailbox as one has every Halloween for the past I can’t recall how many years.

In slanted and uneven letters, my name and address are printed across the plain white envelope, the return address a simple “A.M. 56292, MN.”

Inside I find a Halloween card, this time with a wish that we could be together, Annie Mary and I.

Then my eyes fall upon the familiar message Annie prints every year, always in capital letters: I MISS YOU! ANNIE MARY

Sometimes she adds “LOVE” to her signature note.

Chills run up and down my spine.

And then I laugh at the fun of it all, at the card A.M., aka Aunt Marilyn, sends every Halloween because she knows how very much I dislike the story of Annie Mary Twente.

As legend goes, 6-year-old Annie Mary fell into a coma and was buried alive in 1886 in Albin Township near Hanska in southern Minnesota. Later, Annie’s father had his daughter’s body exhumed only to find claw marks on the inside of her coffin.

It is a sad and unsettling, and supposedly true, story. Many years ago I made the mistake of telling Aunt Marilyn, who lives in my hometown with a 56292 zip code, that the horrifying tale upset me.

Every Halloween (and sometimes on Christmas and Valentine’s Day, too) she remembers…

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


14 Responses to “Halloween greetings from Annie Mary Twente”

  1. Oh, I may have to retell this spooky supposedly true story!!!!!

  2. Hotly Spiced Says:

    What a horrific story. There couldn’t be anything worse than waking up to find yourself in a coffin buried six feet under. What a tragedy xx

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Yes, it is a horrible story and you can only imagine how her family felt when that coffin was opened.

  3. Jackie Says:

    Oh that is creepy, but perfect for halloween!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Uh, huh. And I just called my Aunt Marilyn to thank her for making me smile on Halloween. Again.

  4. This gave me the chills – brrr and SPOOKY!!!

  5. I remember hearing about that when we lived in Redwood Falls. I always thought it was just a story. Never realized it was true!

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