Tall Betsy, usually known as Bradley County’s official Halloween goblin, was caught late Easter Eve delivering baskets of candy to local children. As she is in the habit of eating children, she is under suspicion of various attempted crimes.
“We are taking every precaution necessary,” said Police Chief Samuel Stephenson. “We have never dealt with a horrible monster before, so we’re just trying to keep her appeased and incarcerated.”
Alan Jones, who helped revive the story of Tall Betsy in the 1980s and is largely considered responsible for making her a popular Halloween mainstay, was not amused by the incident.
“Tall Betsy is not a criminal.” said a vacationing Jones over the telephone. “She was transformed years ago into a children loving goblin who handed out candy at Halloween. She is probably just expanding her holiday market value.”
Tall Betsy, who was being kept in a solitary confinement cell with Halloween decorations, was fairly upbeat about the incident.
“I feel alright about it, they’ll come around,” said Betsy in an unearthly voice. “I was really just trying to make people happy. You know, that Easter bunny gets a lot of credit for doing things that parents already do. I was just trying to help out parents and dispel rumors of that wretched rodent in one swoop. Besides, I’ll be out of here in no time. That Alan Jones has enough money to get me out of here ten times over.”
When told that Jones was on vacation, Tall Betsy conjured her trademark persimmon branch out of the air and proceeded to beat down the bars of her cell. She injured several police officers in her escape and is now thought to be hiding somewhere in Fort Hill cemetery. Cleveland residents are warned to take great precaution when traveling at night and local children are being required to read this revised poem:
She comes out only on Easter Eve
On Centenary Avenue she’ll probably breath.
Tall Betsy is the “Lady in Black”
For scaring “night-owls” she has a Knack.
Now if you’re good and go home early,
You won’t get ’et by this gruesome girlie.
But if you linger ’til after ten,
We want you to know you’re a “has-been.”
Cause Betsy will tuck you under her arm,
And you can bet, that’s cause for alarm.
To Fort Hill Cemetery she will go,
To her mausoleum, with you in tow!
If you don’t escape before sunrise
I warn you now you’ll be her prize.
She’ll have you for breakfast, I do not jest,
You’ll be on the menu, not as her guest.
Your bones she’ll dump in that old well,
At Arnold School, and no one will tell.
Your parents, they’ll worry and fret,
They’ll search all over for you, I’ll bet
So, go home early on Easter Eve night,
And Easter Day you’ll be all right.
Egg Hunts can be so much fun,
But if you see Tall Betsy, you’d better run.