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Disturbing comment - morbid HALLOWEEN warning?

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  • Disturbing comment - morbid HALLOWEEN warning?

    Today I was at the local grocery store to pick up a few items when an older teen that I'd seen around and I believe lives down the road from me came over and gave me some "advice".

    He suggested that I make sure that my black mustang mare is hidden by Halloween "because, well, you know, bad things sometimes happen to black animals around Halloween".

    I asked him if he knew of anything specific that I should worry about and all I got was a shrug and he walked off.

    I was planning on putting her up in the barn on Tuesday anyway, but now I'm almost in a panic because of this kid's comment.

    How would you respond and what would you do???

    BTW - I already talked to the Sheriff's department and they don't seem to feel its an issue or concern......and that the kid was just being a kid.
    Last edited by Tamlain; Oct. 31, 2007, 04:46 AM.

  • #2
    I've always made sure the black cat was tucked away safely on Halloween but I figured the 2 black horses were fine.
    Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.


    • #3
      black mare in her stall, you sitting there with a shotgun and a bright light...
      "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"


      • #4
        I would do your best to be around your property on Halloween, keep ALL animals inside on Halloween (this advice for everyone), and perhaps even post your property with explicit No Trespassing signs. Is he probably 'being a kid' or perhaps even a jerk? Sure. but I would not want to find out I was wrong.

        And I would tell his parents about the conversation you had with him, letting them know that it disturbed you so much you let the sheriff know about it.
        I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
        I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09


        • #5
          Not knowing the kid, or having heard the comment (tone, expression, etc.) first hand, it's hard to say. Since he did warn you, I'd like to guess it's an animal-loving kid who either A) has heard some of his peers talk -- seriously or not -- about "doing something" with a black animal or B) has heard generally of black animals being stolen for nefarious reasons on Halloween. If you know him, you could pursue it further and ask if if he knows of someone specific "out to get" your mare, or if he was just generally concerned because of the weird things that some people do.

          When we've had black cats and dogs, we've always taken extra care to make sure they were secured in the house before and during Halloween festivities. There are some wackos out there, and you do hear sometimes about a black pet going missing. It wouldn't be foolish to put your mare in the barn, as planned. You could also play a radio, put timers on some lights, check on the horses more frequently than usual. In line with Trakehner's suggestion, stomping around the property toting a shotgun and alternately muttering to yourself and shouting can be a fine deterrent. No shotgun? Many common tools can be as effective ... a la Leatherface.
          Equinox Equine Massage

          In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me invincible summer.
          -Albert Camus


          • #6
            Do you know anywhere else very safe you could board her for a few days around Halloween?
            Maybe a barn with more black horses and good security?

            I would definitely talk to the parents, if they are "normal" people.
            Thank them for the kid's warning and so they are aware that he knows something may be up.

            Never thought of black horses being a target. What a world!


            • #7
              I've heard of black animals being harmed around Halloween. That's how I ended up with one of my cats -- she was an all black stray I found in a parking lot the week before Halloween. Sweet, dumb, trusting, and now, mine, and indoors full time.

              Good luck, keeping an eye out should be all you need to do. Let us know that everything is ok on Nov. 1.
              I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
              I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09


              • #8
                In light of the tragic incidents involving horses that we've all read about, I think that I would take this kid's "warning" seriously. There are just too many "sick" people out there to brush off what he said as "just being a kid". IMHO - better to be safe than sorry!

                Maybe you should start keeping your black mare (and any other horses you have) in the barn from now until Halloween is long gone. I would keep the lights on all night too - preditors usually avoid well lit areas! Do you have a nice, large, loud dog who you could leave in the barn?

                Basically, take any precautions you have to to try and keep "strangers" away from your property. And I'd also leave some lights on in the house all night long too - so that it looks like somebody is "up" and therefore the threat of being caught is quite strong.

                Good luck - and I do hope that kid was just "all talk".


                • #9
                  Although it's not as common (I wouldn't think) with black horses...the animal shelters around here will not adopt out black cats or dogs for a few days before and after Halloween. There are some weird-ass people out there who think they're vampires or zombies or warlocks or some other "scary" thing they think they actually are and do bad things to black animals on Halloween. Morons don't realize the actual significance of the day..being All Saint's Day Eve. Others have looked into the background of it. saw it was traditionally a Pagan holiday and slaughtering did take place and totally misunderstood the reasoning behind that. It wasn't worshipful slaughter...it was a festival day that they prepared their winter stores on...slaughtering meat animals to put up in the smoke house. Strictly a grocery-shopping event and not trying to contact Satan or even Satin. But then...one cannot expect morons who think they're really magikal bad witches or vampires to understand much of anything.
                  It's actually a non-violent holiday for both Christians and true Pagans.

                  But it's always a good idea to keep a closer eye on your animals..especially if they're black. Keep watch the night before Halloween too...many communities term that Mischief Night or something close to that name...it's the night set aside for pranks. Usually only toilet papering trees...sometimes leaving flaming bags of dog poop on porches...but sometimes folks get carried away and do some really rotten stuff. That night is the newer "trick" night for trick or treating...used to be we gave out candy when kids said trick or treat to bribe them from playing a trick on us such as soaping windows. Now the non-trick-or-treating aged kids go out the night before.
                  You jump in the saddle,
                  Hold onto the bridle!
                  Jump in the line!


                  • Original Poster

                    If I knew this kid's parents, I would have talked to them after what he told me, but I've only seen him around town. I'm not even sure if he lives near me, or I just seen him passing by on the way to a friends.......I don't even know his name.

                    As to his tone, it was very monotone, and frankly, brought the hackles up on my neck as he made his comment, and his expression was very odd and just as carefully blank.

                    It was all very surreal and weird....

                    I always tuck away any black animal I may own before All Hallows to be safe and will continue to do so....and I don't plan on going out that evening, but the barns are far enough from the house that I'm concerned......

                    Maybe I'll add a baby monitor to the barn for that night......

                    I hate being this paranoid.......


                    • #11
                      That would scare me, too, honestly. I would leave all the lights on, and hang out around your property as much as possible on Halloween. Keep ALL your animals inside.

                      People are nuts, and are very capable of evilness that the rest of us can't understand. Better safe than sorry.


                      • #12
                        I am all for caution - and you should be cautious. But just consider that this kid might be doing the same thing we are - hanging out on line and learning more than he wants to know sometimes. He may have read something on-line that disturbed him so much, he felt the need mention it to you. It doesn't mean there is a specific threat to your horse.

                        But better safe than sorry.

                        The above post is an opinion, just an opinion. If it were a real live fact it would include supporting links to websites full of people who already agreed with me.



                        • #13
                          My gut reaction is to heed the kid's warning. He has heard SOMEthing, though it might not specifically be about your animals. I'd be sure to thank him and let his parents know (if they're normal) that you genuinely appreciated his concern. That being said, I would plan on being home all night with barn lights on, pets in the house, horses in the barn. Might be a good night to work on a small project in the barn or clean tack. Of course, sitting in the dark with a shot gun works too, but with litigation and law suits it might be best to deter the little buggers instead of seeing if they actually do show up.
                          "You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
                          you have a right to be here." ~ Desiderata by Max Ehrmann


                          • #14
                            My black cat turned 18 a few months ago, and we have always kept her inside around Halloween. Too many wackos out there...

                            You should dress up as the headless horseman and ride your mare around your property... scare the **** out of the kids who are trying to scare you (just kidding)
                            RIP Victor... I'll miss you, you big galumph.


                            • #15
                              Would it make sense to talk to the high school, so they remind the students NOT to do damage those nights, especially to animals?
                              How about asking the TV newspeople to have some stories on being responsable and caring, not tearing things, much less harming animals?
                              That such is sick and it should be reported, before it happens, if possible?
                              That they warn people to be watchful those nights for mentally sick people that may do harm?

                              With all those warnings, maybe the ones that were thinking of doing harm will have second thoughts.


                              • #16
                                call the police with non-specific info

                                I might phone the non-emergency police number. Explain your situation, and what you were told, explain your fears, with owning black livestock on holloween. Then ask politely if extra patrols could be sent around your neighborhood on halloween, just to be on the safe side. Most likely, the police/sherrif dept. will be glad to do it and it might give you more peace of mind. As soon as most teens bent on trouble see a cop car, they melt away.
                                Luistano Stallion standing for 2013: Wolverine UVF


                                • #17
                                  Good responses. Bluey and Cielo A both have excellent suggestions.

                                  I would have company over and perhaps have a little halloween barn party well into the wee hours.

                                  Also, installing an entry alarm at the drive and barn entrance that buzz only into your home will alert you to unexpected visitors.


                                  • #18
                                    A question, maybe totally irrelevant, but did he say "your black mustang mare," or did he say "that black horse" or something vague like that?


                                    • #19
                                      I don't think the police will care so much if you couch it in terms of "you fear for the safety of your black horse on Halloween." Sorry, but police don't have animals high on their priority list. NOW, if you called and told them a kid threatened you AND your property (animals included in definition of property) then they may be more than willing to patrol your neighborhood on Halloween evening. I would tell them you fear for your own safety and then they might pay more attention. I would also call the police station in addition to the Sheriff's office and let them know you are very worried.

                                      I don't know what you can do in S.CA, but in Texas we would shoot anyone that came near the barn or the house. In a world full of crazies - you just can't expect a civil conversation to work every time.

                                      I agree with the other posters, put ALL your animals up when it gets dark and be wary of your surroundings. Do you have motion sensor lights? That might help deter would-be pranksters if they walked up to the barn/house and were flooded by bright light.

                                      Take care - I hope everything will okay.
                                      Most friendships in the horse world are just an opinion away from doom.


                                      • #20
                                        WOAH, cue the "Deliverance" music!

                                        This has never even crossed my mind. I have a black weanling AND a black cat. Of course we live in an area of "good Christians" who think Halloween is Satan worship...our kids can't even dress as anything scary in some parts of town and there IS no Halloween in some parts of town, so I ought to be OK, right?

                                        That would freak me right out. The flat affect and creepy monotone, yikes!

                                        Definitely camp out in the barn or at least alert the police, maybe they can drive by a couple of times?
                                        Click here before you buy.