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The Online Magazine FOR and ABOUT Southside Virginia







Nov '08 Contents

Nov '08 Cover


Discovering Southside
West Line to the Blue Ridge (Discovering series)

My Shelves Are Full
and So's My Heart

By Gert Slabach


Depot Poker Run
Event Article

Event Photo Gallery


"Treat Yourself To Art" - Photos
South of the (VA/NC) border - Art Gallery Event

The Straight Leg Infantryman
A Tribute
By Paul M. Steube



South Winds
(Joy Of The Game)

On The Funside
(Bringing the Family Closer for Halloween)
By Amy Hanek

Ask Bubba - Advice
A Bubba Thanksgiving


Editor's Page

V & B Comics
(Verrnack & Blupirk - Fun in the Fall Woods)

Festivals & Events

Past Issues

Past Issues are available from June 2008 through the current issue.
Select the desired issue from the drop-down box below.



"On The Funside"

Looking Gorgeous This Christmas

  By Amy Hanek

   We all have our own family traditions.

   Two years ago my family and I moved from a suburban neighborhood home in Florida to the very peaceful, rolling countryside in Franklin County. I�ve enjoyed every moment. Well, almost.

   I relish the peaceful acres of hay fields surrounding my home. I adore the two farm houses across the street. The cows next door will sometimes moo, reminding me again that we are living the dream.

   But, every October 31st, my kids remind me of our old neighborhood home � when it�s time to trick-or-treat.

   �I remember all of the houses we could walk to,� my son reminded me.

   �Huh? What?� I asked. I was watching the orange, yellow and red landscape of autumn unfold along our drive out to a nearby house.

   �Our old house in Florida,� he pitched back to me.

   �Oh, yeah. I miss that too. Just a little,� I admitted.

   The truth was, I missed it a lot. The kids we would meet. The decorations covering a few wacky yards, complete with gravestones and strobe lighting. Halloween is and will always be my very favorite holiday, after all. And walking easily to a few hundred neighborhood homes made trick-or-treating easy and fun.

   So, after driving for about an hour and a half from one house to another in a five mile radius, I was more than ready trade in my gas card for a new Halloween tradition. I went looking in Union Hall.

   It was named �Listening Hill Horror� and I knew it was on Listening Hill Road. As I drove down 40 East at 9:45 on Halloween night, I only hoped there would be signs.

   �Haunted House, 500 feet ahead� the orange sign read. Sigh. I was relieved.

   Forking over 25 bucks to the ghoulish-looking cashier, I hoped this would be worth our time AND money. It didn�t take long for the hayride to pull up by the road and for us to get situated. I was surprised. There seemed to be about 40 people boarding with us.

   My kids and I found the �right� bale of hay and prepared to embark on a frightful journey. My son insisted on sitting on the outside.

   �That�s where people grab you,� he informed me.

   Fifteen minutes later, we had survived the treacherous trip through the woods, complete with a turned over school bus, graveyard and men with chainsaws. My three kids clung to me, screaming. Our family had never been so close.

   Arriving in the middle of an almost empty field, I noticed a house in the distance. We were led in smaller groups to take the spooky tour. We ran and screamed from room to room. My children clutched my arms, snuggled into me and asked me to �save them.� I loved it. I laughed out loud.

   On the drive home, all three kids decided that this haunted house was the �scariest and coolest� haunted house ever. They also voted this destination as our new Halloween tradition.

   Bringing my family closer, never felt so good.



 Amy Hanek lives near Smith Mountain Lake with her husband, three kids, and two cats.

 An experienced freelance writer, her articles appear in area publications including "Prime Living ". Her column "Just Add Water" runs in the the "Laker Weekly".

 Amy is also working on a regional ghost book covering the areas of Lynchburg, Roanoke and Blacksburg. It is expected out by the end of 2009. Schiffer publishing is the publisher.

 You can read more of her stories at


Questions or comments about "On The Funside"
E-Mail amyh@discoversouthside.com




On The Funside - Archives

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