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Reader-submitted spooky tales could chill your soul (or tickle your funny bone)


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Like vampires, the tradition of Halloween will never die. Likewise, the Town Crier’s annual spooky stories contest is a community mainstay, with more submissions than last year. Following are most of the submissions we received. Those stories that do not appear in print will be run online at losaltosonline.com. As always, we’re asking you to vote on your favorite story. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your choice, and the top two authors with the most votes will receive cash prizes. We will announce the winner in an upcoming issue. Now, on to the tales!

‘The Story of Goodie and Baddie: A True Story’

By Enid Davis

One Halloween when Kylie was 3 years old, her grandmother pointed to a shadow on a window of a painting of an English cottage that hung on her grandmother’s living room wall.

“Do you see that figure standing at the window?” her grandmother asked.

Kylie responded with, “That black thing?”

“Yes. That’s either one of the two witch sisters who lives there,” replied Grandmother. “Their names are Goodie and Baddie.”

“Really?” The little girl wanted to know more.

“Yes, really. Goodie is sweet-tempered and loves pink dresses and everything sparkly and nice. Baddie is grumpy, naughty and always getting herself and Goodie into trouble. Of course, Goodie saves the day in every adventure.”

For the next six years, Goodie and Baddie found themselves depicted in drawings, games and stories. Goodie was the preferred witch, but Baddie’s antics provoked the giggles and the disbelief. For example, there was the time Baddie painted Goodie’s bedroom black and filled it with nasty crawling creatures that became hard to catch because they disappeared into the black walls, floors, furniture and bedding.

Six Halloweens later, Goodie and Baddie realized that they had not left their cottage for a long time. Kylie was growing up. Goodie said it was time to pack their bags and move closer to Kylie.

Goodie and Baddie arrived at Kylie’s middle school and found the sixth-grader working at her desk in a science room.

Baddie looked at all those chemistry bottles and lab equipment. Oh, the chaos she could cause here, she sighed.

Goodie tiptoed up to Kylie’s desk. She pulled out a lipstick from her sequined purse and drew a door on Kylie’s forehead. Then, without knocking, she and Baddie climbed through the door and into a quiet place in the back of Kylie’s brain.

“Now what?” grumbled Baddie. “What do we do?”

“We wait,” Goodie responded. “Someday, if Kylie becomes a mother or grandmother, something at Halloween time will remind her of us and our stories. Then I will fly out of our hiding place on my lovely pink broom and you will follow on your speedy black broom and Kylie will tell our tales all over again.”

“Do you promise?” Baddie asked, not sure that she could wait so long to be free.

“Have I ever been wrong?” asked Goodie.

Meanwhile, while walking among the students, the teacher stopped at Kylie’s desk.

“You have lipstick on your forehead,” the teacher told her.

Surprised, Kylie rubbed it off.

Now the door to the stories was completely invisible, and the witch sisters stretched out in the back of their beloved Kylie’s mind for a long nap.

‘Halloween Night in the Crocker Manor’

By Alex Kemble, age 11

“I dare you to go there for trick-or-treating tonight, Jack,” teased Daren.

My name is Jack B. Vilasilon and my friend here is Daren A. Kunier. There is one place not even the people with guts dare to go – the Crocker Manor, the scariest place in Delaware – and my buddy here dared me to go into the place of frights.

I took his teasing and flipped it around, saying, “Fine. But if I go there, you give me $10 and half of your candy, got it?”

He agreed to the challenge and I started my adventure to the Crocker Manor.

At first it wasn’t that scary, as some would say. I opened the doors and peeked inside. I entered and then I heard something.

“Leave while you are alive, fool.” I sat

and stared into the darkness, expecting something to pop out. There was nothing – but then the doors shut behind me!

I walked in deeper and deeper until the darkness took over and I couldn’t see anything. I bumped into something square and solid, a drawer, of course. I opened it up and I found a flashlight. I turned it on and a shadow of someone disappeared. I chased after it like a fool, thinking it was Daren playing a prank, to find nothing but a dead body. What the heck happened here?

“I see you found my body, young one,” said a mysterious voice sadly. I looked and found a ghost. “Crocker?” I questioned. “Yes, but you must go and never tell anyone,” he said. “But I’m lonely, so will you come back?”

“No, I must go forever – and I never want to come back.” I said.

“Well I’ll kill you!” Crocker said.

I’m now a ghost, forever alone.

‘Pansy Pumpkin’s Transformation’

By Nancy Eranosian, Los Altos

Pansy tried to read the new sign posted just over her head: “Halloween pumpkins, $4.99.” That must be why all these people were crowding into her pumpkin patch!

“Pansy,” Mother Seed whispered. “Sit up and glow. Now’s your chance.”

“Chance for what?” Pansy whispered back.

“To become a jack-o-lantern! Otherwise, you’ll be left behind.”

“I’ll do my best,” said Pansy. She didn’t know what a jack-o-lantern was, but she sure wanted someone to choose her. She’d heard about relatives left in the field going bad: soft sides, misshapen heads, rotted bottoms. To avoid their fate, she sat up tall and glowed as much as her golden complexion allowed.

Eventually a small hand patted her side and a child squealed, “Look, Mama. It’s perfect – it’s as big as me!”

“You’re right, Mickey,” replied Mama. “You think that’s the one for you?”

“Yep,” said Mickey. “Can I carry it to the car?”

“Sure, but let me help you.”

Pansy felt herself being lifted and carried across the pumpkin patch. Mother Seed whispered farewell as the other pumpkins called out, “Goodbye, Pansy, make us proud!”

The next day, Pansy found herself on the kitchen floor. Both Mickey and his mom knelt nearby.

“OK, Mickey,” said Mama. “Time to make our jack-o-lantern. What do we do first?”

“Cut a hole at the top!” exclaimed Mickey.

“That’s right,” replied Mama. “You have to cut zigzags around the pumpkin stem and gently pull the top off. You can fit it back on again like a hat.” Then Mama eased the top off the pumpkin. Pansy suddenly felt lightheaded with this weight removed.

“Can I scoop out the inside?” Mickey asked.

“Yes, and use this spoon to clean out the seeds.”

“Eww, it’s all squishy!” cried Mickey.

Pansy giggled. Maybe her insides were squishy, but Mickey was tickling her! Her lightheadedness disappeared.

After Mickey cleaned out the seeds, Mama shaped two triangles for eyes, a triangle for a nose, and a smile to complete Pansy’s face. Mickey carried Pansy to the front porch, where Mama positioned a candle inside Pansy’s interior and lit it. Then Mickey replaced the stem on top of Pansy’s head as Mama had shown him.

“What a cute jack-o-lantern!” cried the trick-or-treaters on Halloween.

Pansy glowed through her toothy grin, confident that Mother Seed and the pumpkins back in the patch would be proud!

‘Camping Out’

By Viansa Schmulbach, fifth grade

The fourth-grade girls were going camping. Maria had been waiting for this the whole week. Maria was an orphan, and all her family members had died. She was the youngest in her family. She was naturally pretty, with perfect clear skin and flowing coffee-colored hair. Today, she was wearing a nice pink dress with matching barrettes.

The first nights were perfect. They started on Monday, Oct. 9. The lady in charge, Mrs. Kirk, told them that they would stay until early Saturday. She had her hair tied up in a ponytail and had a special twinkle in her eye. She seemed to never be serious. Then on Friday, the 13th, she took them on a hike. The group was told to stop in front of a cheerful forest with birds chirping. Everyone gasped in amazement.

Mrs. Kirk smiled for a moment, then her face went completely serious. “Everyone, remember this,” she announced. “You may visit now, but you cannot visit after the sun sets. Understand?”

The campers nodded, but still Mrs. Kirk had this awful feeling that they would forget. Maria was the first to rush into the forest, and she was also the most amazed by it. When Mrs. Kirk called them, she was very upset that she had to go.

“I’ll come again,” she whispered to the woods, “I promise.” And she rushed off to join the other campers.

That night, when everyone was tucked into their sleeping bags, Maria snuck out. She ran far to the woods. She recognized the beautiful view and rushed into the woods. But as she got deeper into the forest, it didn’t seem the same. The cold nagged at her, and she decided to leave.

As she walked, she heard some strange noises. They seemed to surround her, and she remembered Mrs. Kirk’s words: “You cannot visit after the sun sets.” The loud noises seemed to come closer and closer. Wolves, lions, and even human screams. She could barely make out some faint figures in the background, all in a circle around her. Definitely humans. She seemed to recognize them. Her grandmother, her grandfather, h

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