By Carolyn Nicholson
When you’re a small child no one believes you when you say you’ve seen a witch or a monster. They laugh and try to explain it away but you know what you saw.
I was 5½ years old in November, 1957, when my mother gave birth to my baby sister. Mother and Daddy had taken my 2½-year-old brother, Mike, and me to Mama Jay’s and Papa Jay’s house in the country to stay while Mother was in the hospital. I was having a hard time, missing my mama and daddy, and did a lot of whining about it. Mike even told me, in his toddler wisdom, “Well, we can’t walk home, Carolyn.”
There were two adjoining bedrooms, just off the kitchen, in the back of my grandparents’ house. Mama Jay slept in one and Papa Jay in the other. That one contained his double bed and a small twin bed in the corner where Mike and I slept.
One night I woke up, feeling homesick, and turned over facing the window across the room. In the light of the full moon, silhouetted against the paper shade, I saw a witch! She wore a big, cone-shaped witch’s hat and was sitting on a broomstick. It was the scariest thing I had ever seen! I started crying and called out to Papa Jay, “There’s a witch! There’s a witch in the window!” I don’t think he even opened his eyes because he just chuckled and said, “Aw, that’s not a witch; that’s just a tree. Go back to sleep.”
It took me a long time to go back to sleep. I kept my eyes on that witch and she never did move. I finally drifted off after I decided that she was outside and I was safe inside.
The next day Daddy came to pick up Mike and me to bring us back to Birmingham to be reunited with Mother and our new baby sister, Sharon. In all the excitement, I forgot about the witch until the next time we were at my grandparents’ house. My brother slept in that small bed many times over the next few years but I refused. I knew what was lurking outside that window!