Halloween Stories


One Night

I set out on a trip all by myself.

I did not have a map or a ticket I did not know where I was going.

I went alone.

And I stayed alone.

For awhile.

Towards the end of the trip I heard someone coming towards me-

slowly.

And then I heard someone breathing

just around the corner from where I was was walking

all alone.

And then I stopped.

” Someone there? “

I asked.

No one answered.

” Hey!  Is someone there? ” I called a little louder.

The breathing stopped and the footsteps came towards me

from around the corner.

I closed my eyes tight and put one foot in front of the other and then I flew towards the breathing and the footsteps and the voices that cried out:

” What the hell was that? ” came the voice from behind me and then below me as I took to the darkness above

” What the Hell was that! “

Yes!!  Our Gwenerrella has a spooky story to tell you!!

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Hi!  I gotsa spooky story ta tells ya!!  My friends wanna hear it too.

Theys Loodlelalla an’ Sassy. 

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Loodlelalla gotsa black eye from beatin’ up da bully dat was teasin’ Sassy.

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Sassy is one a my favouritest friends, she’s funny an’ smart, an’ she lissens ta me.

Once upon a time, there was a fam’ly that liveded by a semmaterry.  There was da Momma, Daddy, an’ three little kids.  One day, Momma askded da biggest one to go to da store an’ buy some libber for dinner.

 Da biggest one goed to da store an’ bought some candy, and toys for de kids, an’ then dinnunt have any money leftded for da libber. She was scareded to go home, but she knowed Momma was gonna be lookin’ for ‘em. 

So da kid stopded in da semmaterry and founded somebody that was dead but not inna ground .  Da kid tookded out they’s libber an’ took it home for Momma to cook for dinner. 

When dinner was already, da kid dinnunt wanna eat none, and said they tummy hurted.  Momma sended her ta bed and tol’ her ta feels better. 

Den she goed asleep and got waked up later, accause she heared somebuddy walkin’ and sayin’. “I want my libber!” 

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She getted real scareded, and hided under the blankets, and acted like she was asleep. 

But she could hear dem feets walkin’… 

Thump!  Thump!  Thump! 

An’ she could hear ‘em sayin’… 

“I want my libber!” 

It getted louder an’ closer.   

Thump!  Thump!  Thump! 

“I want my libber!” 

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Den she could hear de buddy she takeded da libber from walkin’ onna driveway. 

Crunch!  Crunch!  Crunch! 

Da girl feelded unner the piddow an’ feelded da candy unner there.  She getted even more scareded, an hollered for Momma. Momma dinnunt say nuthin’, an Daddy dinnunt, nobuddy sayed anything when da girl callded for ‘em.   

She getted up an’ peekded out da winnow and dere was da man hers takeded da libber from, comin’ up onnna porch. 

“I’s onna front porch, I wants my libber!” 

The door wented creeeeeeeeeeeeeeek an she could hear da man inna house!  She getted sooo scareded dat she started cryin’, real quiet.  

Thump!   Thump!   Thump! 

“I’s inna libbing room I wants my libber!” 

Den da girl heared da man onna first step goin’ up to da bedrooms.   

Groooooooaaaaaannnnnnnn!  Goed the loose bored.

 Gwenerella Playing Zombie

“I’s onna first step I wants my libber!” 

Thump!  Thump! 

“I’s onna second step I wants my libber!” 

Thump!  Thump! 

Da girl was snifflin’ by den, an’ the piddow was getting’ wet. 

Thump!  Thump! 

“I’s onna forth step I wants my libber!” 

Hers tried to holler but she counnent make any noise. 

Thump!  Thump! 

Thump!  Thump! 

Thump!  Thump! 

“I’s onna sebbenth step I wants my libber!” 

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Now da girl getted eben more scareded accause she knowed dere was onny ten steps to da bedrooms. 

Thump!  Thump! 

Thump!  Thump! 

“I’s onna las’ step I wants my libber!” 

Da girl was so scareded dat she wetted the bed and was cryin’ loud. 

Thump!  Thump! 

Thump!  Thump! 

Thump!  Thump! 

 “I’s at yous bedroom door I wants my libber!” 

Creeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!   Now da kid could smell da man, an he smelded awful. 

“I WANTS MY LIBBER!” 

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But Daddy neber tellded us what happeneded to da kid.  He neber telleded us if da man getted his libber back ever. 

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 The mischief stirred in his bed of leaves. He stretched slowly, and then wiggled around until his head poked out of the leaves. He sniffed the air, and then stuck his head a little farther up and sniffed again. Then he wiggled with delight. Then air was filled with the scent of Halloween, and so it was time for him to come out of hibernation.

He saw that there was still light coming through the hole in the tree trunk where he had his bed, so he settled down to wait impatiently. He never appeared before it was dark. Darkness was the mischief’s time.

Slowly, the light dimmed and then became tinted with pink. The already cool air chilled still more, and a small breeze sprang up, rattling the fallen leaves down the sidewalks. The mischief waited as the pink light faded. When he finally stuck his head out of his hole, the first stars were prickling the night sky and clouds were scudding over the moon. The mischief called to his friend the chilly little breeze to come and play. It was the perfect time, the perfect weather for a mischief to do his work.

A group of children came by underneath the mischief’s tree, dressed in bright costumes and swinging bagfuls of candy. The mischief fell in behind them, pretending to be a small ghost swinging a plastic pumpkin. He followed them up to the door to a house where they chorused “Trick or treat!” but he didn’t stand in line to get any candy in his pumpkin. He planned a trick instead. As the children ran off, laughing, to the next house, the mischief lingered behind, once again unseen. He eased the ties open on the big plastic bags of leaves that were colored and printed to look like jack o’lanterns and then he tipped them upside down. The leaves scattered in the busy little wind which was happy to help, and the mischief put on his ghost guise again and ran after the children.

A block later, he and the wind sent a gust of leaves into the faces of the children and when they put up their hands to protect their faces, he tipped several of the candy sacks over.  He chuckled silently as he ran off, leaving the children poking through the leaves to rescue their treats.

A garden hose left out on a lawn was knotted in many places, another bag of leaves was opened, and a piece of chalk was used to draw skeletons on a sidewalk. Next the mischief was delighted to find a small piece of soap left by an outdoor faucet – he used it to smear the next few windows he saw.

He grabbed his friend the breeze again and they snuffed out the candles in all the jack o’lanterns they found and then tangled the clothes that someone had left on a clothesline.

The mischief followed several groups of children and tangled their shoe laces and put knots in their hair with the breeze, and then sent the breeze to hover around the adults with the children to make them shiver with cold.

The naughty pair whipped through a few gardens, making a mess of the remaining flowers and then sat in a tree that still had a few leaves to shake them down on the heads of passerby.

They rang a few doorbells and then ran away, and teased dogs which had been left out in yards until they were barking frantically. A black cat, sitting on a fence in the moonlight, had its tail pulled, and sleeping birds were scared from their perches. Trash cans were turned over with a great and terrible clatter.

The moon rose higher in the sky and the groups of children tapered off. The mischief knew that his time was almost over, and he said good-bye to his friend the chilly little breeze. Climbing the tree to his hole, he reflected with satisfaction that this had been a lovely Halloween, one of the best. Then he curled up in a ball in his bed of leaves and went to sleep with a smile on his face, dreaming of what he would do next Halloween.

-She Wolf (c)2007

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Once I went into an abandoned house just to take a look around.

It was  nice in there- there was a beautiful oak staircase and beautiful oriental rugs on the floors and lace curtains in all of the windows.

There were no beer cans on the floor or rock band names spray painted on the walls. There were no dead animals in the walls and the air smelled musty but not bad.

The house had been empty for over 5 years.

I went  from room to room and I opened closet doors and went through the linen cupboards.

Then I went into the bathroom and was surprised that it was so modern looking ( the house had been built in the 1920’s).

Inside the bathroom there was a white enamel bathtub and a matching sink and one of those free standing medicine cabinets that made this clicking noise whenever you opened or closed the door.

I had trouble opening the mirrored door and after I did I wasn’t sorry because unlike the other closets and cupboards I’d looked through the medicine cabinet had something inside of it.

I found some old brown bottles ( with handwritten labels ) and next to the bottles I found an old hat pin with a little red bead on the top.

I remember I touched the bottles and I touched the hat pin and I thought, ” wow, you could take an eye out with that thing. “

And then I thought, ” you could lose and eye right here Anita, and who’d know where you are? “

It was just a jumbled thought- but all of the sudden that sense of adventure was gone and I really could see myself stumbling around in this abandoned house that no one ever went into with a hat pin in my eye.

I put my hand to my face and ran my finger along my eyelid and when I had convinced myself everything was okay I closed the medicine cabinet door.

I actually opened it again, just to make sure that hat pin was still there.  I backed away from the sink into the hall ( no way was I going to turn my back on that room )and shut the door.

 I stood there holding it shut and I remember thinking , ” if that knob turns in my hand I WILL lose my mind.”

 I had to take my left hand and pry my right hand off of the glass door knob and I remember holding my hand to my chest and all I could think of was that hat pin and how I should check on it again.

Or maybe I told myself I should forget the pin and just get out now… 

So I walk slowly down the stairs  and back to the kitchen and just before I get to the door the faucet in the kitchen sinks starts to drip.

I stood there in  by the door which was shut ( did I shut it? did I shut it? It was OPEN Anita!)  and I watched water drip from a faucet that hadn’t had water running through it for years.

And then from right above the kitchen- where the bathroom was I heard a little metal click. 

I opened the kitchen door very slowly and I walked out of that house very slowly because I remember thinking if I don’t run….

it wouldn’t chase me.

I kept checking my eye over and over again- in fact by the end of the day I had rubbed the lid raw.

They tore the house down that Summer.

And I’m willing to bet that somewhere buried under the foundation of one of those new houses they put on the Abandoned House’s Lot…

is a hat pin with a little red bead on the top.

In the part of New Jersey where I live, there are many abandoned bits of civilization in the woods. Towns that simply disappeared off the map, either because the state bought out the land to create reservoirs or they just simply faded away as more convenient communities were developed nearby and people died off. The remnants include foundations of buildings, mine shaftsand graveyards. The closest I’ve ever personally come to a haunting was in one of these lost graveyards.

The Cherry Ridge Cemetery is located somewhere off the New York-Tennessee gas pipeline that runs through the area. According to local lore, the graveyard is haunted, and you can hear “moaning, music, laughter, and strange noises” there.* The cemetery served families in the area until they were bought out, creating a large tract of empty land in which to establish reservoirs that would supply the city of Newark, New Jersey, with clean drinking water.

I was hiking along the gas pipeline with friends. The pipeline is buried, and there’s a large clearing around it that makes for a wide trail that easy to navigate, if you don’t mind crawling over the occasional crop of boulders or through marshy spots. We had come to a spot on the pipeline that was high up on a hill, and we could look ahead for a mile or so at the other hills along the pipeline, which teased us with their likeness to a roller coaster. We stopped here for a bit to rest up.

I don’t normally mess with wildlife when I hike. I subscribe to the “take only pictures, leave only footprints” philosophy of responsible hikers. But today was different. There were these pretty, little, purple flowers growing just off the pipeline. And I have to admit: I picked some. I thought I could do something with them when I got home: put them in water, or press them in a book. Again, not things I normally do. My friends kidded with me about this breach in hiking protocol.

We finished resting and decided to head back the way we came. We had planned to visit the Cherry Ridge Cemetery, which we knew was somewhere on our way back. But we weren’t sure of exactly where.

When I came to a certain spot along the trail, I had a hunch the graveyard was somewhere close to our right. Even though there was no trail or markings that indicated the graveyard was anywhere nearby, I slipped into the forest. The rest of the group followed me. We scuttled around for short bit in the leaves and the undergrowth, but then I saw the graves. Most of the graveswere sunken in, the headstones long gone or broken. I was drawn to the back corner of the graveyard.

There I found the gravestone of Katie Rome, who is one of the youngest known occupants of the graveyard. She was just three when she died in 1880. Her mother Lucretia, buried next to her, died only a few years after Katie. As I stood there, I suddenlyknew why I had picked the flowers. I crouched and put most of the flowers on Katie’s grave. I left the rest with her mom.

Michelle, one of the friends with whom I was hiking, said, “Oh, that’s so sweet of you!”

Maybe so, but I can’t help wondering how much of my kindly gesture was really under my control that day. Maybe I had some help from a small, long-deceased child who enjoyed pretty, little, purple flowers in life.

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* Zeliznak, Maryann, O’Biso-Socha, Laura, and DiGuilo, Marcia, Journey Into the Past: Visit the Lost Settlements of Vernon, copyright 1992, Maryann Zeliznak.

 I grew up in coastal South Carolina – a little town called Georgetown – where ghosts are almost as ubiquitous as the tourists who flock to the beaches. Ghost stories were passed around among us children like so much candy, and there was always the (sort of) hope that one of us would actually see one. None of my schoolmates ever claimed to, although we all knew of people who had…

One family whom we all knew lived in a house reported to be haunted by three Revolutionary War soldiers, and had strange thumps and floating silverware. I babysat in that house as a teenager, but never saw or heard anything; frankly, I think any ghosts would have been scared off by the kids who lived there. Another haunted house was beside the graveyard of Prince George Winyah Episcopal Church, which was pre-Revolutionary War as well. My mother taught the girl who lived in the house and told me that the young lady reported that there were frequently footsteps on the stairs and such ghostly noises. Another friend of mine lived in an old rice plantation house that was haunted. His stepfather was said to have seen the ghost of a woman in colonial dress calming the children when they cried at night, but my friend never saw anything. My fourth grade teacher lived in a lovely old plantation house on the North Santee River that was supposed to be haunted. I never experienced anything there, but there is reported to be a ghost that haunts the grounds and chases people.

Some of the local ghosts were well known; the Grey Man was said to warn people who lived at the beach about impending hurricanes, and there was Alice of the Hermitage who still pined for her lost love and lost ring – her grave always had a path worn around it where people tried to see her ghost. I never saw them either, although one story of Alice looking for her ring was said to involve an acquaintance of mine. I didn’t ask her about it because I was afraid she’d say she never had anything to do with it, and even as a child I appreciated a good story.

Then there was a bit of urban legend told to me by a classmate – the story of the Plat-eye, a sort of monster who would visit people along one of the local rivers and if you didn’t have jelly donuts to feed him, he’d “get” you. Since we had a cabin on the river, this one really spooked me; but no matter how much I begged, Mom wouldn’t buy jelly donuts to take with us to keep me safe from the Plat-eye.

My parents had a strange experience on the river once, though. My father was an avid photographer and would take his camera out in the boat to take pictures of autumn foliage on the river banks – I still have boxfuls of the slides he took. In one of the pictures, there is a white shape on the river bank. It looks rather someone wearing a sheet standing on the riverbank except that when Dad snapped the photo, they didn’t see anything unusual. The image showed up when the slide was developed. They liked to scare me by saying, “Here’s the picture with the ghost in it!” whenever they showed the slide.

I thought I saw something when I was about four, in my own house, but since we were the only ones who had lived there, I don’t know. I was walking down the short hall from my room to the den, and passed by the door to the living room. The sofa was along the wall by the door, so I could see it in profile. I was surprised to see a man in a striped t-shirt sitting on the sofa in the dim living room, with his arm up along the back of the sofa. We rarely had visitors, especially ones I didn’t know. I proceeded another two steps to the den where I asked my mother, “Who’s the man in the living room?”

My mother grabbed me in a panic, saying, “What man?!” – no doubt thinking there was a burglar in the house. She carefully checked, and seeing no one there, told me I must have imagined it. Maybe, but I can still remember the sight of him to this day and my surprise at seeing him there. Our sofa was plain, with no print on it, so it couldn’t have been that. (He hadn’t scared me, but my mother’s reaction certainly had!) This was the same house where my father rang the phones after he died.

Later on when I was in high school, I began going out to the home of my history teacher who was also a friend of my family’s. (He was also the school librarian, and therefore my boss, since I was the library assistant.) He and his wife and daughter lived in an historic rice plantation house and I became a regular visitor during my last two years of high school. (He also told the story of the picture that I have posted on this site.) The house had changed hands several times through the years, and one of the former owners had been buried near the house and an addition had eventually been built over his grave. He had loved the house very much, and from the stories I was told, still stayed around the place. He was said to have caught a guest who was falling down the staircase, and floating lights were frequently seen in both the bedroom in which he died and the family room, which was in the addition built over his original gravesite. Some friends of the family who had been guests there declined a second invitation to stay the night and chose to stay in a motel instead – apparently the ghost was a little too friendly for them.

Only on one occasion did I have a ghostly experience out there. We had been talking about the ghost, and I went over to a chair to sit down. No sooner had I placed my posterior on the chair than the light on the table beside the chair went out! I hopped up very quickly and the light went back on. I found a different seat, joking about sitting on the ghost. It wasn’t much, but it was a little bit freaky!

For someone who grew up in a highly haunted area, I had a rather ghost-free childhood. Maybe that’s a good thing…

She Wolf (c)2007

 When I was in high school in the mid 1970’s my class decided to collect some of the local ghost stories. This wasn’t hard because much of our coastal South Carolina town was built in the early 1700’s and ghost stories were abundant. For the project, my partners and I decided to interview our history teacher, Mr. Hall, who lived in an old rice plantation house built in the early 1800’s that was reputed to be haunted. We went out to the house one Saturday afternoon to interview him.  After we had gathered the information on the household ghost (which most of us knew anyway), he and his daughter’s fiancée, Mr. Jones, decided to tell us another story. That story gave us the creepy-crawlies. From the perspective of adulthood, I think that perhaps the story was concocted for our benefit – both of those gentlemen would have delighted in this. I have changed the names, but the rest of the story is as it was told to us in about 1974.

The other two students and I were sitting in the library and Mr. Hall, the owner of the house, pointed to a picture on the wall. It was a very dark painting. You could see that there was a person in it, and a woodstove with a fire, but that was about it. All the details were lost in the darkness. He said that he and Mr. Jones had had an interesting experience with that picture.

Mr. Hall and the younger man, Mr. Jones, who would later become his son-in-law, were sitting in the library of the Halls’ historic home one evening after dinner. The room was a pleasant room, filled to the brim with books. There were comfortable chairs, a fireplace, and on the wall was a rather dark painting. The picture was dark enough that it was hard to make out anything in the picture; it seemed to be a man sitting by a wood stove, but that was all you could really see.

As the evening passed, Mr. Jones happened to look up at the painting. It seemed to be lighter and easier to see the subject than it usually was. He didn’t think much of it and went back to what he was doing. When he looked up again in a little bit, the painting was clearly brighter and the details were easier to see. He pointed this out to Mr. Hall, who was of course quite surprised. As the evening wore on, the painting changed still more. The grate in the woodstove in the painting began to glow as if there were truly a fire in it. A lit cigarette in the hand of the man in the picture began to glow, too. The subject’s face took on a strange brightness – the men could see his features as they had never been able to before, and things in the background of the picture were clear.

While they were telling us the story, we were all staring at it with wide eyes. Here we were in a house that was supposed to be haunted with two people we respected telling us that the picture we were looking at was haunted – or something. The only bit of atmosphere missing was a dark and stormy night.  I still remember how dark that picture was, and how eerie it looked even in broad daylight. The woodstove in the painting had only a dim orange glow to it and you really couldn’t see much in the picture at all.  

The grate of the stove in the picture glowed brighter and brighter, as did the cigarette in the man’s hand. Mr. Hall and Mr. Jones described the picture as becoming rather devilish-looking with the red glow from the stove in the picture. They could see all sorts of details they had never been able to see before, such a  clock in the background.

Finally, they grew too tired to stay up and watch the picture any longer, and went to bed. The next morning, they immediately went to see the picture only to find that it had returned to its original dark state.

We questioned the men at length, trying to come up with some rationale about why the picture would do such a thing. Was it the anniversary of the artist’s death? The subjects? Did it happen every year? They did not know of anything that would help explain the events – and we left with backward looks and goosebumps running down our spines.

Contributed by She Wolf – retelling (c) 2007

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