It was Halloween Eve 2006. A successful, middle-aged sports executive was spending the night alone at her beautiful --- but remote --- farm in Middleburg, Virginia. She was expecting a phone call from her husband, who was out of town at a judicial conference.
The phone rang. She answered...”Hi, honey,” she said, recognizing the caller-ID. Silence. Puzzled, she hung up. The phone rang again. She answered: “Honey, did you just call...?” A low, almost growling voice, interrupted her: “I am NOT your Honey.” The voice sounded vaguely familiar, but she didn’t know why. “Who are you?” she asked nervously. “I am the Ghost of Mascots Past,” the voice answered.
Just then all the lights dimmed throughout the house, and her state of the art security system screeched into full alarm! For just a moment the lights flicked back on --- before going out completely. In that split second when the room was lit, she thought she saw the outline of a large, dark, fur-covered creature standing upright outside her glass patio door. In the darkness she couldn’t make out any features of its head or its face...it was almost like the creature was headless.
She screamed! She grabbed her keys from the table by the door, raced through the door and ran in the opposite direction from the patio, towards the garage. She made it to her Lexus, relieved to know it had keyless entry, so she just pulled on the door handle and jumped behind the wheel. Immediately, she locked the car doors behind her.
And then, as she reached for the shift lever to put the car in gear, she saw it: A plain brown cardboard box --- bigger than a box for a basketball, but not by much. She didn’t remember leaving anything there. She lifted a flap. She looked down into the box. On that clear October night, they say her screams could be heard all the way to the Verizon Center.