A week later, after the strange man peered in our house at my mom, Tommy Wolfe and I went down to Bob’s Tavern one Saturday afternoon to get money to go the Joyo Theater. When we walked in, neither Tom or I noticed the small, stocky man seated at the table with Tom’s dad. He was dressed in overalls, wore a railroader’s cap, and was facing in the other direction.
Tom and I were both so busy trying to coax money out George Wolfe, that we didn’t notice the man until George pulled out his billfold and said, “Hey, boys, have you ever met Bubba?”
The small man turned to face us. Tommy and I ignored the money George offered us and ran out of there quicker than Jack the Bear! Bubba was the Red Faced Man! And Tom’s dad knew the guy!
Forever after that day, we watched out for Bubba whenever we snuck out at night or whenever we went wandering around Havelock. I can’t say we ever had some violent confrontation with Bubba, but the Red Faced Man, was definitely for real.
A year later, my mom and my Aunt Darlene got to talking about the night the Red Faced Man had peeked in our back door, and they began telling me a similar story from their childhood.
As girls, they’d lived in Beatrice, NE, and one night when coming home from a movie, they were followed by a strange man. Much like the Red Faced Man, he followed them, almost catching up to them in the dark.
They made it home and ran in shut off all the lights, telling my Grandma about the man following them home. The three of them were walking around in the dark house, peering out of windows. My aunt had recently been in an auto accident which left her jaws wired shut. As it happened, when she peeked out the bedroom winddow, the man was looking back at her! She screamed and popped all the wires off of her jaws!
Moments later, the front door started to open and my Grandma ran and got the poker from the woodstove and started to swing it at the figure who came through the door. It happened to be my Grandpa, who caught the iron poker just before my Grandma brained him with it. She quickly explained about the strange man outside, and my Grandpa went and got his shotgun and searched the perimeter of their property, but alas, the man had gone.
Now the kicker to this entire story is, my mom and Aunt Darlene shared this story while driving us around in Lincoln Memorial Cemetery long after dark. I kept saying, “Let’s get out of here before we get locked in.” But my mom and aunt were having too much fun scaring the 10-year-old kid propped on the backseat, staring wide-eyed out the car window, looking for the flashlight ghost rumored to be out there.
And after thoroughly freaking me out, they finally decided it was time to leave, but when we got to the front gates, they were closed and locked! I screamed bloody murder, scaring the hell out of my mom and my aunt. I then shouted, “I told you so!”
It was spooky watching my mom walk up the caretaker’s house, while my aunt sat protecting me in the car. All the way home, they talked about how much fun that was to tell ghost stories and get locked in a cemetery. However, I wasn’t laughing . . . until later.
When my Aunt drove into her garage, my cousin stuck a dust mop in through her window, directly in her face, and Aunt Darlene stomped on the gas pedal, and crashed the nose of the car through the back of the garage!
Only then, did I laugh. And to this day, that story still spreads a grin on my face.