15 January 2009

Ghost in the Graveyard

I spent some time tonight researching the search terms "Ghost In The Graveyard" Childhood Game. I was trying to remember the exact way we used to play this game.I remember the way the game was played: First we gathered up as many kids in the neighborhood as we could. Then we outlined the boundaries of the game: usually our house and Barry's next door. Our lots were about 3/4 of an acre each, so this gave us plenty of room. We identified "home base", which was usually a patch in front of Barry's house just beyond the clothesline. Finally, someone was chosen to be the "Ghost". The non-ghosts would sit in a circle at home base and begin a little chant while the ghost went to hide. When the chant was finished, the non-ghosts would go search for the ghost. When one spotted the ghost, one would run back to home base, yelling "Ghost in the Graveyard" which would in turn prompt the other kids to run back to home base. Anyone touched by the ghost became a ghost themselves and thus you had more obstacles to home base. It was a very good thing to be the first one to spot the ghost (unless you didn't spot him/her until he/she touched you!).

The part I do not remember is the chant. All the websites that described this game just say it was counting the clock: One O'Clock, Two O'Clock, Three O'Clock, etc until midnight which was the cue to start searching. Ours was a bit different in that some of the times were replaced with rhymes adding up to the final line signaling the start of the search (anyone catch the rhymes in that description?):

One O'Clock, Two O'Clock, ______________________
Five O'Clock, Six O'Clock, Ghost is almost here
Ten O'Clock, Eleven O'Clock, GHOST APPEAR!

I can't for the life of me remember the exact chant. Anyone around here know?


Brian said...

I remember that game and I don't remember that chant exactly, but I do remember yelling "Midnight! I hope I hope to see the ghost tonight!" at the end.

We also played another version (same game) called Bloody Murder. The people that hid themselves were called the Bloody Murderers and when you found them you had to yell "Bloody Murder." I have no idea what people in the area thought we were doing.

karl said...

I remember the chant as
"1 o'clock, the ghost is near
2 o'clock the ghost is near,
3 o'clock the ghost is near.."

and repeated on until "Midnight".

Allison Leigh Smith said...

I was looking this up on Google to remember the whole chant- I remember saying
1oclock the ghosts not here
2oclock he still not here
3oclock it's getting near
4oclock he's drinking beer...
but I can't remember it all either!! :(

david said...

One o' Clock, Two o' Clock, Three o' Clock rock, Four o' Clock, Five o' Clock, Six o' Clock rock, Seven o' Clock, Eight o' Clock, Nine o' Clock rock, Ten o' Clock, Eleven o' Clock..
Midnight stars are bright, hope I see a ghost tonight

aburgt said...

One o' clock the ghost aint here, two o' clock the ghost aint here....(keep going with the same chant) until you get to 11:00. Then you say...eleven 0' clock he's drinking his beer, twelve o' clock he must be near....then you run out to find everyone

kittycat said...

We used to chant, "One o' clock, no ghost. Two o' clock, no ghost. Three o' clock' no ghost." So on and so forth. And when one of us found the "ghost" they'd shout, "Ghost in the graveyard!"

I think this game has variations from family to family or generation to generation with how the chant goes and such.

FriendlyRecluse said...

We chanted one o'clock, two o'clock, three o' clock rock, four o'clock, five o' clock, six o'clock rock, seven o'clock, eight o' clock, nine o' clock rock, ten o' clock eleven o'l clock twelve o'clock rock. Midnight, moon's bright, hope to see a ghost tonight! But the no ghost chant makes more sense...