High Heels Clicking …
I will never forget the sound of her high heels clicking on the sidewalk that Halloween night. It was late and all trick-or-treaters had gone home. We heard a lady coming down the sidewalk and thought she would go around our building then back to where she came from, but she kept walking straight and entered the park which was dark and foreboding at night.
We lived in an upstairs apartment which faced the park. We often sat out on the balcony in the evening and enjoyed the cool air and since we were at the back of the complex, it was quiet. The lady was walking her little white dog. We had never seen her before and thought she was new to the neighborhood. We called out to her to let her know the park had no lights and it was very dark out there. She obviously did not hear or just ignored us and disappeared from sight under the trees.
As usual on a Halloween night we stayed out until midnight, talking and sipping spiced apple cider. Before we went inside my brother said, “Did that lady ever come back out of the park?”
Mom and I both said we did not notice if she did and did not hear her high heels clicking. There was no way out of the park except where she had entered, unless she climbed over the six foot cyclone fence that surrounded the area and that would be ridiculous. We were a bit concerned and waited a few minutes, watching for her.
Suddenly, her little white dog came running out and ran down the sidewalk, his leash trailing behind him. We became very concerned and Mom went in to call the police. None of us wanted to go out there to look for her, so we waited for the police.
We explained to the police what our concerns were and the two young officers went in the park with flashlights. They searched for over an hour and found nothing. They asked if we knew who the lady was and we told them we had never seen her before but we had been living there just a month or so. They said there was nothing they could do unless someone turned in a missing person report.
The next day we went out to the park to search for the dog then drove around the neighborhood to see if we could find him. He was nowhere around. We were really puzzled about what happened to the lady and her dog. There was nothing on the news about the incident. Over time we wondered and talked about that night and eventually forgot about it, until a year later on the next Halloween night.
We were on the balcony around 10:00 PM when we heard high heels clicking and saw that same lady and her little white dog enter the park. We were stunned and felt chills come over us. Mom said, “This is spooky!”
Even though we were a bit unsettled and edgy, we waited. About midnight the little dog came running out of the park and disappeared down the sidewalk. Mom went inside and called the police again.
This time the two officers were much older than the two who came out the year before. In shaky voices we explained what happened.
One officer asked if we had made the same report last Halloween. We said we did but were not making up a story. “Can you explain exactly what the woman and her dog looked like?” asked the older officer.
We said we saw her clearly when she passed through our porch light shining down on the sidewalk and she was wearing a full skirt polka dot dress, black high heels and a long black scarf. The dog looked like a little white terrier. We assured him we were not just making up a spooky story.
“Oh, I believe you,” he said. “Let me tell you something. You saw ghosts, Ma’am. I have been on this police force for almost forty years and almost every Halloween night the people who have lived here where you are now have reported the exact same incident,” he took his hat off and wiped his brow with a handkerchief. “You see, the first time we got this report I was new on the force. It was on Halloween night and it still haunts me. My partner and I came out and searched the park. We found the woman you described at the back of the park. She had been brutally murdered and her dog was never found. The murderer was never found either. That was about thirty-eight years ago. It’s a ‘cold case’.”
We moved away the following month.
© 2021 Phyllis Doyle Burns
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