I have always appreciated a good tale. My Dad and Grandpa could readily spin an impromptu yarn, a dubious talent spawned by their Swedish heritage. The Vikings of old were fond of their legends and Nordic sagas. Notations on their nautical maps even ended with, “beyond this point there be monsters”.
I grew up in the country about thirty miles west of the Twin Cities. When I wasn’t working or imprisoned at school, I could be found exploring the great outdoors. These were simpler times and we boys had free roaming rights on all of the neighboring farms and woodlands.
There were many regional legends of by-gone lore. One place in particular had served as the epicenter to some very strange and supernatural transpiring’s . . . the “Old Crowe Farm”. At one time, in the pre-settlement era, the future site of the Old Crowe Farm had been a Lakota Sioux burial ground. There were several mounds and the subsequent pioneers often found arrowheads and other artifacts. It was even reported over the decades that during the “blood moon” eclipses (when the shadow of the earth fell across a full moon) the locals could hear chanting and drumbeats and see an unearthly glow emanating from the burial mounds.
In the 1920’s a man called Crowe built a two story farmhouse adjacent to the burial mounds. His four hundred acre farm was situated in a valley surrounded by high hills and no close neighbors. Old man Crowe took a pretty, young wife and over the next ten years was blessed with four children. Things were tolerable in the Crowe household until the onset of the Great Depression and the drought. The old man began to drink heavily and his wife took their children and left him. His descent into oblivion came to a head one blood-moon night in the master bedroom upstairs.
A local rite of passage for area teen-age boys was to camp out on the grassy knoll adjacent to the ruins of the Old Crowe farmhouse and the Sioux Indian burial mounds. The house structure was still there, but in sad condition. You could still see where Old Man Crowe kicked out the bedroom window. Sven, Jim and I set up our tent, ready to prove to the world that we had arrived, tested our courage, come of age. Of course there was a September, full blood-moon. Sven had a single shot .410 shotgun. I had a Remington semi-auto .22 pistol. Jim just zipped himself entirely into his sleeping bag – from head to foot. Midnight rolled around and the three of us were as quiet as church mice. I could hear my heart beating and feel the pulse in my eye lids. All of a sudden there was a horrendous scream, coming from the burial mounds.
“Holy Mother of God”, said Jim from inside his sleeping bag (he was a good Catholic boy).
“Give me your pistol,” ordered Sven. Then he zipped down the fly on the tent, flashlight in hand, and walked out into the light of the blood moon. BANG, POW, ZING! Sven fired my pistol.
“Bring the shotgun.”
“Let me know what happens,” whimpered Jim, still cocooned in his sleeping bag.
By the time I caught up to Sven, he said, “whatever it was ran into the Old Crowe house and up the stairs. Let’s check it out.”
“We’re here to be men, aren’t we?”
Step by step we entered the rickety, dilapidated relic of a homestead. Sven was first, flashlight in one hand, pistol in the other. I followed two steps behind with the shotgun and we began to ascend the staircase. We were headed toward the master bedroom, squeaking casements underfoot, where Old Man Crowe had died.
BANG, CRASH, BOOM! The flashing specter ran around Sven and through my legs, lunging past us down the stairs – out into the blood moon of the burial grounds.
“What was it?” I cried.
“Nothing but a red fox,” laughed Sven.
“What are we going to tell Jim?”
“Leave that entirely to me,” said Sven with a devilish grin.
And so the legend of the Old Crowe farm grew by one more chapter, “The Ghost of the Blood-Moon”.
February energy tips: Take a quick look inside your home. If there is frost on the windows there is too much humidity inside your home. The recommended relative humidity is from 30 to 40%. Anything higher and you will have air quality and humidity problems. If you have black staining on the ceiling adjacent to the outside wall, you probably have ice-dams on your roof. This is caused by hot air leaking from your living area into your attic. The biggest source of hot air leakage is usually your attic access scuttle hole. A second source of air leakage are holes around wiring or plumbing, or other vents that penetrate into your attic. Is your furnace short-cycling (coming on and off every five minutes)? If so, your furnace is probably starved for air in the combustion cycle. Change your furnace filter, and if the problem persists, you will need a service technician to do a furnace check-up, with a possible clean and tune of your furnace. If you are experiencing any of these problems, and are eligible for energy assistance, call Tri-CAP. We may have the helpful programs that you need to get your residence back to tip-top shape.
Tri-CAP blog February 2019
By: Stephen Bjorklund