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I was walking through Heman Park this afternoon, and came upon the playground. Empty on this cold and gray day.

It gave me the creeps. I've always found playgrounds a little eerie, partly, I am sure because one of my earliest memories of a park and its swing is falling off and cracking my head. But there's something else at work; something that leads some horror movies to be set in fairgrounds. It's the contrast between a lot of noisy enjoyment when they're in use, and the absolute inactivity and silence when they are not. It's like turning a switch – click – and all life is gone.

That's how it seemed today.