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Spooky Stories 2018 – readers encouraged to pick a winner

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Thanks to all who participated in the Town Crier's 2018 Spooky Stories contest. Below are the stories received. Be sure to vote on your favorites, either in the comment section at the end of this entry, or by emailing editor Bruce Barton at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The winning entry will announced in a near-future issue and will receive a prize. Now read on, and prepare to get spooked!'

Gargoyle’s Trick

By Talinn Hatti

Age 11, Grade 6

Cameron was so excited. Finally, he was old enough to go to the GHOST MANSION! Dressed in a black and orange T-shirt and his favorite skeleton beanie, he was ready to have some Halloween fun with his dad!

Cameron got more and more impatient with every passing minute that they waited in line.

Finally, they were seated in a carriage with a metal bar secured across their laps. Then it all began with a jolt. Cameron was fascinated by the flying witches, the mysteriously glowing pumpkins, the eerie purple light. The carriages were swirling in all directions and skeletons were popping out of dead, black trees. Suddenly, a giant gargoyle swooped in and roared, “Trick or treat?”

Cameron’s father, thinking it was a joke, replied, ”TRICK!” Suddenly, the carriage screeched to a stop. There was dead silence and it was pitch black. An evil laughter somewhere in the distance made Cameron shiver. Now the carriage was speeding out of control before slamming into what looked like a big hairy monster drenched in blood. The lights started flashing red, eyeballs started falling from the ceiling, and everyone started screaming. The gargoyle cackled and screeched, creating even more chaos. Cameron thought it would never stop! Then the carriage went through a dark cave filled with spiders before coming to a stop at the entrance to the ride.

A staff member came to help them out of their carriage.

“Wait, what if you had asked the gargoyle … for a treat instead?” asked Cameron.

His dad replied, “There’s only one way to find out!”

The Doll

By Laura C. Allan

“Daddy, why did you get me this doll?”

Daddy looked up from his rocking chair, into the darkness where his daughter was supposed to be sleeping. He could see the outline of her back, facing away from him in her bed, holding something. He knew she must be clutching the porcelain doll he’d gotten for her birthday that October.

“It was a gift,” Daddy said.

“Yeah, but why this doll?”

Daddy thought about that a minute.

“Well, honey, it reminded me of you,” he said at last. “It had brown hair like you, and blue eyes like you. It was wearing a pretty dress, and I thought you’d like it.”

He heard a giggle before his daughter spoke again.

“Lots of dolls have brown hair and pretty dresses, Daddy.”

“That’s true,” Daddy said. “But this one … called to me, when I saw it. It looked like you, and I just felt like I had to get it.”

Daddy felt a strange knot in his stomach as he said that. He wasn’t sure why, but talking about the doll made the hair along the back of his neck stand up. There was another moment of silence, then an excited squeal.

“You’re right, it does look like me!”

“Well, there you go.”

He moved to raise the book again, but once more heard his little girl’s voice.

“Daddy? This doll is so warm. Can it sleep with me every night?”

Warm? How could a porcelain doll be warm? Something about this didn’t feel right.

“Its skin is soft, too,” she said. “Like it’s really alive!”

Daddy slowly began to rise from his chair, the knot in his stomach growing bigger and bigger.

“Do you mean it’s smooth?” he asked, voice trembling.

“No,” she said with a laugh. “Soft and fuzzy, like a peach. And it breathes!”

He began quickly walking toward the bed where his daughter lay in the darkness.

“Honey, put down the doll.”

“I just wish it would open its eyes,” she said plaintively. “It looks like it’s sleeping, I just wish I could see its eyes!”

Daddy looked down into the bed at his little girl, but she wasn’t moving. Her eyes were tightly shut, and she was breathing evenly in deep sleep. The only eyes that looked back at him were those of the porcelain doll.

Something Fishy

By John Allan

He looked into the fish tank, and he saw … fish! This may not seem unusual to you or me, but he had never seen a live fish before. Sure, his mom served fish for dinner sometimes, but that was different. Growing up in the middle of a city where there were no streams or lakes, and very few trees, he had not seen much of nature. These fish were fascinating.

As he looked at the many fish in the tank, he saw one of them turn toward him, swim over to the glass, and stare right at him, straight in the eye. He could not turn away, and so the two of them, a fish and a boy, stared at each other for what seemed like a long time. Then, remarkably, he found himself being the fish, staring back at a boy outside the fish tank. This was not scary, but it was very puzzling. He wondered why that boy was outside the tank, where no fish could survive. He wondered what the boy was thinking about the fish in the tank. He wondered ...

The doorbell rang, someone opened the door and ghosts and goblins yelled, “Trick-or-treat,” and were rewarded with candy. It all seemed very festive, and he realized he was again the boy looking into the fish tank.

What had just happened? He felt as though he had taken a small journey into another world. Was it real? And why was he wet?

Strange things happen on Halloween!

The Halloween Party Disaster

By Vincent Pirozzo

Once upon a time, a goblin had a Halloween party on the planet Dracula. He invited some bats, some ghosts, some witches and, of course, some of his goblin friends. They were having a spooktacular time until a goblin swallowed all the bats. His barf was a mile high. The barf was yucky, so everybody rushed to get out of it. It spread until it covered the whole planet. One ghost took a big leap and he went all the way to Earth, where he turned everybody into a ghost.

 

A Halloween Ribbing

By Scott Klusaw

Doug Upp walked through the door of his home with a heavy, relieved sigh.

“Honey, I’m home!”

“Welcome home, dear,” Rose called to her husband. “The poultry-geist’s in the oven and Barry’s getting ready for trick-or-treating with the neighborhood children.”

“Well, I hope he gets plenty of candy,” he said, taking off his jacket. “This is his favorite holiday, you know.”

“How was work?” she asked. “I know it’s the busy season.”

“Well, I’ve quite the bone to pick with my boss,” Doug said. “I’m thinking I should get a different job outside the amusement park.”

“Did they put you on the haunted house again?” she asked her husband gravely.

“Those numbskulls put me on the haunted house every year! I swear. I’d work in the science hall if I had the guts for it.”

“Maybe one of these days,” she said with a smile.

There was a loud rattling as little Barry came down the stairs.

“Dad! Did you scare anyone today?” Barry asked entering the kitchen.

“Oh yeah!” Doug said with a chuckle. “Right out of their skin! Is that your costume?”

Barry held out his bony arms, revealing nothing at all. No clothes. Nothing. In fact, no skin!

“Mom said that the best way to make friends is to be yourself. So I’m going to be a skeleton this year! Just like you guys!”

“That’s my boy!” Doug chuckled. “Though I have to admit, you did a REALLY good human costume last year!”

“Yeah,” Barry said, grabbing his bag. “But no body got it. So this year I’m creeping it real! I’m gonna go find the neighborhood boys and get started! This is our last year!”

“Be safe! And grab a coat so you don’t get chilled to the bone!” Mom called to her son.

But of course, the stubborn bag of bones was out the door before she could get another word in.

“Isn’t he humerus?” Doug asked his wife.

“Every day,” she said with a smile, grabbing two mugs from the pantry. “Would you like some milk? It’s good for your joints.”

Doug was dead silent for a moment before he looked at his wife.

“When do you think we should tell him?”

“Tell him what?” Rose asked, looking at her husband in confusion.

Doug simply smiled a skeleton grin.

“That he’ll never outgrow Halloween.”

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