The Flower Factory in Tarzana, CA- has given me the opportunity to share a personal ghost story from my childhood during this Halloween season.
As a child my sister and I never really went trick or treating, it was not something that my family celebrated. I remember wishing I could experience the fun that my friends all seemed to have during Halloween- dressing up as ghosts and goblins and collecting bags of candy.
One of the things that we did celebrate was the fall harvest which I remember not being as fun, but still was a reason to celebrate, so as a kid I was happy to participate.
One night my family and I went to a harvest party that was being celebrated on a farm which was owned by a friend of my dad’s. This farm was very large maybe 20-25 acres, so as a kid this was a perfect place to go exploring.
At the far end of the property was an old barn that stood 2 stories tall and was not used anymore but for storing and keeping hay dry for the animals. My sister and I snuck into the old barn to play on the bales of hay and had been enjoying ourselves jumping from one to another without falling to the ground.
We became exhausted after about 30 minutes of laughing, jumping and trying to scare each other, so we rested on one of the hay bales. Just then we were both brought to a complete silence by a loud screech that pierced the air above. It sounded very similar to a female human voice and was coming from different parts of the barn, and since it was pretty dark, we could not pinpoint where it actually was- but it definitely was above us.
Believing it was a ghost; we started to run out of the barn- and were immediately stopped by the farm owner who had watched us slip away earlier. He was just outside the broken down barn door- and he stood there with a very concerned look on his face asking us why we were running scared.
We screamed for him to let us out, that there was a ghost in the barn. As we said this to him- the screaming voice let out another shrill screech- we both went pale, and the farmer’s face became like stone. He looked us both in the eyes and said that he thought we must be right.
My sister and I then stood behind the farmer as he peered up into the barn and yelled: ‘Tulip, is that you?’
We both looked at each other and then back into the barn- to see what or who it was that he was calling to. As we did, two glowing, large white eyes appeared just above the bales of hay that we had been playing on.
Getting ready to run as fast as we could- the man said the woman’s name again- “Tulip…Tulip!”
Soon- the eyes of the ‘ghost’ got bigger and closer and the loudest whooshing sound filled the air. We could actually feel wind coming from the barn door towards us, and I remember my heart was pounding out of my chest. When it finally appeared; we witnessed a Great Grey Owl flying out of the barn and landing on the farm owner’s forearm before it let out that very familiar screech once again. He then looked at us and let out the biggest and deepest belly laugh we’d both ever heard.
I can say at that moment I was very relieved, that we were not about to be eaten by a ghost or a goblin, but at the same moment, I was kind of disappointed that we didn’t really witness a ghost. She and I began to laugh again and my heart began to calm down.
He explained that he nursed the owl back to health when it was very young- after he had found it lying helplessly in a field of Tulips. The owl and the farmer had become very good friends, and he told us that he never even attempted to train her. The bond they had just developed naturally, as he was her caregiver when she needed one the most.
That night we didn’t trick or treat, but what we did get, was our very own scary Halloween story to tell our friends who had been trick or treating all night. I wouldn’t trade it for all the candy in the world…
We at The Flower Factory want to wish all of you a happy and safe Halloween this year. If you happen to see a ghost named Tulip, tell her we said hello!