Author’s note: The following account of a Texas woman’s fear may not be a paranormal story, but it has disturbed her nonetheless. If anyone knows of the custom described below, or has had an encounter similar to Dana’s, please e-mail me at email@example.com.
Screams of laughter and the rush of the Tilt-A-Whirl and mini-roller coaster filled the usually vacant lot on the outskirts of Wichita Falls, Texas, in 1964.
As seven-year-old Dana Talley’s mother walked her down the midway to the carousel, nothing seemed awry in the early Texas evening.
Until Dana boarded the merry-go-round.
“I was riding on the carousel and a group of 10 to 15 oriental young men, early 20s, student types, were watching me and waving to me and smiling,” Dana said.
Young Dana watched the men as one of them approached her mother. The man asked her mother something, and she nodded.
“They asked if they could take pictures of me,” Dana said. “She agreed.”
Flashbulbs flared with their blue light as Dana went round and round on the carousel. Minutes later, the carousel slowed and Dana stepped off.
“When my ride was over and I was back on the ground near my mother, one of the men came over and handed me a little plastic monkey on a stick and thanked me profusely,” Dana said.
Then the men were gone, blending in with the carnival crowd, and Dana didn’t think about the incident again – until 18 years later in 1982.
“When I was 24 I took my seven-year-old son to a little carnival near our home in San Antonio, Texas,” she said. “It was evening and a group of 10 to 15 oriental young men, student types, were watching him on the carousel.”
As Dana stood by the carnival ride, one of the young men approached her.
“One of them came over and asked me if they could take photos of him,” Dana said, not thinking anything more of it. “I said, ‘yes,’ and they did.”
When the ride slowed and her son leapt off to rejoined her, one of the men stepped up to them, knelt, and handed the boy a little monkey doll attached to a stick. The men turned, and disappeared into the street carnival crowd.
Dana’s childhood experience came rushing back.
“Every once in a while I think about the similarities and wonder is it really a coincidence or is there more to it,” she said. “The men were friendly, overly so. There were no bad vibes. It’s just odd.”
The coincidences are too much for her to think they’re wholly separate incidents.
“Each time at a carnival on the merry-go-round. Each time they asked the mother if they could take some pictures. Each time it was a large group of young men. Each time prolific thank yous and meeting the child and the monkey toy,” she said. “Part of me says it is just coincidence; another part of me says, ‘oh, hell no.’ It is just too bizarre.”
Dana has spent years searching the Internet for similar encounters, but has found nothing. She wonders if she’s alone.
“You know, where my mind goes sometimes is wondering if it was some kind of cult thing where they kept tabs on me all those years,” she said. ”Foolish and highly unlikely I know, but it was just so strange. It has bothered me ever since it happened to me with my son.”
Copyright 2010 by Jason Offutt
Got a scary story? Ever played with a Ouija board, heard voices, seen a ghost, UFO or a creature you couldn’t identify? Let Jason know about it: Jason Offutt, P.O. Box 501, Maryville, Mo., 64468, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Your story might make an upcoming installment of “From the Shadows.”
Jason’s newest book on the paranormal, “Paranormal Missouri: Show Me Your Monsters,” is available at Jason’s blog, from-the-shadows.blogspot.com.