I blame my cousin.
While this is not strictly a Halloween story, it’s certainly in the spirits of the season, both macabre and prankster, so I’m going to share it.
In the early 2000s, we purchased an estate property and eventually built a house, where we now live. The property needed a lot of work, from the many piles of trash which needed to be cleared (so large that they photographed from the air as buildings in our property tax assessment and we were being charged for them) to the old farmhouse where I lived mostly alone for a year, which had ancient and damaged wiring so that I had very limited choices regarding electricity, which couldn’t be heated above 56 degrees in the winter with a furnace which could snuff a light at two feet, and which turned out to be a structural death trap the local fire department refused to enter. Also possibly haunted, but that’s another story.
After determining the old house couldn’t be salvaged, we tore it down and started building new. I was our own general contractor for the project, with the considerable aid of my cousin, a brilliant professional builder with a wicked sense of humor. Building new meant digging new foundations, new septic, and new drainage, since we live in recovered swampland. Our new drain ran an epic 400 feet to a field tile. That required a lot of digging.
With so much work going on, we had a lot of inspections. It was my cousin Vince’s idea to plant the skull.
He met the inspector. “Oh, hey, I’m glad you’re here. We ran into a little problem, and I’d really appreciate you giving us some advice and direction. I marked it off so it wouldn’t be disturbed.”
The inspector bought it, and unhappily. He started trying to work out how to handle such an event and what department to call about disturbed native remains or early settler graves.
Vince interrupted him before it could go too far, and the inspector failed to see the humor of it.
Everyone else thought it was hilarious.
I still have the skull, preserved in my new house. And if ever we need some work done, it’s ready.
If you’re looking for a short and inexpensive seasonal read, consider one of my spooky or Halloween-themed short stories!