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Halloween Stories

The Black Cat’s Message

    I came home late one night after work and found my wife Ethel puttering about the kitchen with a big yellow cat at her heels.
    “And who is this?” I asked jovially.
    “This is our new cat,” said Ethel, giving me a hug and a kiss to welcome me home. “She just appeared at the kitchen door and wanted to come in. None of the neighbors know where she came from, so I guess she’s ours. It will be nice to have some company around the house.”

    Jack O'Lantern

    Jack O’Lantern

      After a long day of unlucky hunting, I found myself stuck in the middle of the marshlands for the night, without a flashlight or a lantern to guide my stumbling steps. So I settled beside a fallen log to rest until daylight. As I tossed and turned, I recalled the story my great-uncle told me about a ghost that haunted the marshlands.

      Hold Him, Tabb

      Hold Him, Tabb

        Yep, I remember what it was like before the railroad came through these parts. I used to earn my living by carting supplies from town to town on horse-drawn wagons. Not easy work, no sir. Especially in winter. One cold December day, I was traveling with my buddy Tabb, when it began to snow. Gee wilikers, it was cold! We needed to find shelter quick, and I was delighted when I spotted an abandoned house.

        Sifty Sifty San

          There was once a beautiful old house right on the edge of a lake, surrounded by woods. But no one would live there because a spirit calling itself Sifty-Sifty-San drove everyone away.

          Lady in the Veil

          The Lady in the Veil

            He had not expected to meet the woman of his dreams, but there she was strolling along in the moonlight beside the cemetery. Carlos quickened his pace until he was level with her, hoping for a glimpse of her face under her veil.

            White Wolf

              She snapped awake out of a deep sleep, screaming aloud in terror. In her nightmare, a large white wolf had been chasing her around and around the house, gaining on her with every step until it finally pounced on her and ripped out her throat. She lay shaking for hours, unable to sleep after such a terrifying dream.

              Vengeance

                When the samurai warrior Kane first came to California from Tokyo, be brought his new wife, the beautiful Ishi. She was an ideal wife: gentle, attentive, and a wonderful cook. Kane was the envy of his new neighbors. But he was a proud man. When a wealthy family moved into the neighborhood, Kane cast his eye upon their lovely daughter, Aiko, and desired her…

                The Hairy Toe

                Hairy Toe

                  Once there was an old woman who went out in the woods to dig up some roots to cook for dinner. She spotted something funny sticking out of the leaves and dug around until she uncovered a great big hairy toe. There was some good meat on that toe which would make a real tasty dinner, so the old woman put it in her basket and took it home.

                  Playin’ Piano

                    Dah-dah-dum-dum-BLAT!
                    Charlie winced when his wife hit the wrong note on the piano for the thirty-second time that day. He knew it was the thirty-second time because he’d kept count as he went about his daily chores, cleaning the lighthouse, checking the supplies, mending the rowboat.
                    Charlie blamed himself for his wife’s latest obsession. He should never have taken Myrtle to attend the concert when that high-flutin’ concert pianist came to town…

                    Bloody Mary

                    Bloody Mary

                      She lived deep in the forest in a tiny cottage and sold herbal remedies for a living. Folks living in the town nearby called her Bloody Mary, and said she was a witch. None dared cross the old crone for fear that their cows would go dry, their food-stores rot away before winter, their children take sick of fever, or any number of terrible things that an angry witch could do to her neighbors.

                      Black Magic

                      Black Magic

                        Mad Henry was a hermit who lived alone in a decrepit mansion at the edge of town. Rumors were rife about the wild-eyed man. Some folks said that he was a magician who called upon the powers of darkness to wreck havoc upon his neighbors. Others called him a mad doctor who could restore life to foul corpses from the local cemetery. No respectable citizen in town had anything to do with Mad Henry

                        Black Aggie

                          When Felix Agnus put up the life-sized shrouded bronze statue of a grieving angel, seated on a pedestal, in the Agnus family plot in the Druid Ridge Cemetery, he had no idea what he had started. The statue was a rather eerie figure by day, frozen in a moment of grief and terrible pain. At night, the figure was almost unbelievably creepy; the shroud over its head obscuring the face until you were up close to it. There was a living air about the grieving angel, as if its arms could really reach out and grab you if you weren’t careful.

                          Wendigo

                          Wendigo

                            The storm lasted so long that they thought they would starve. Finally, when the wind and swirling snow had died away to just a memory, the father, who was a brave warrior, ventured outside. The next storm was already on the horizon, but if food was not found soon, the family would starve.

                            The Jersey Devil and the Hat

                              I was putting the finishing touches on a nice big dinner – meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans, pumpkin pie – when Charlie blew in the back door. He’d spent the day ice-fishing in the quarry, and I expected him to be in a jolly mood. But he stood there with his gray hair standing on end, his cheeks bright red with rage and his coat and pants covered with snow.

                              The White Dog

                                A traveling salesman came to Goshen Hill for a few days, selling his wares from door to door. He was a friendly man with a warm grin and a joke for everyone. He was accompanied by a large white dog that rode on the wagon beside him; companion, friend, and guardian of his wares.

                                Wraith of the Creek

                                  When he left his tribe to work with the white lumbermen, he changed his name to William Cloud, and the lumberjacks started calling him “Cloudy.” They liked to hear Cloudy tell the story of the wraith that lived in the creek that powered the local log chute. The wraith was an evil creature that desired nothing more than to wrap its long arms around humans or animals and pull them down into the water to drown.

                                  Vampire Hermit

                                    She was nervous when her husband said they were to stay in the abandoned house, for it contained the corpse of the hermit who once lived there, enshrined in a coffin in the loft. It was an old custom and one no longer popular among the Iroquois people, but the hermit had insisted upon it before his death. There was good hunting in this place, her man had declared, and so they moved in and she unpacked their few belongings in the front room, refusing to go up into the loft where the hermit’s body lay.

                                    The Banshee of the Badlands

                                    Banshee of the Bad Lands

                                      “Hell, with the fires out,” is what the Bad Lands of Dakota have been called. The fearless nomenclature fits the place.

                                      Cow's Head

                                      Cow’s Head

                                        Oksana lived in a small house on the edge of town with her father, her stepmother and her stepsister. Oksana’s stepmother disliked Oksana, favoring her true daughter, Olena.
                                        Soon after her father’s remarriage, Oksana found that all the housework fell to her while Olena idled her days away

                                        Ghost in the Alley

                                          Rumors were rife about the alleyway behind the tavern. It was haunted, folks said. Haunted by the ghost of a young girl who had been found murdered in that self-same passage. People avoided the small street after dark, for the spirit was said to be a vengeful one. Of course, no one could name anyone whom the ghost had actually killed, but the tales were enough to keep people away from the alley at night.

                                          Llorona, Omen of Death

                                          Llorona, Omen of Death

                                            They say that the Llorona was once a poor young girl who loved a rich nobleman, and together they had three children. The girl wished to marry the nobleman, but he refused her. He told her that he might have considered marrying her if she had not born the three out-of-wedlock children, which he considered a disgrace.

                                            Buried Treasure

                                            Buried Treasure

                                              There once was an evil priest who did not fear God or man. His duties for the church included counting the offerings and ringing the bells to summon people to Mass. But his heart was filled with greed, and he began to take advantage of the good people of his parish. The priest stole money out of the offerings to keep for himself, and when he had filled a chest full of gold, he killed a man and buried him with the chest so the murdered man’s ghost would guard it.

                                              the Phantom Dragoon

                                              The Phantom Soldier

                                                The height that rises a mile or so to the south of Newark, Delaware, is called Iron Hill, because it is rich in hematite ore, but about the time of General Howe’s advance to the Brandywine it might well have won its name because of the panoply of war—the sullen guns, the flashing swords, and glistening bayonets—that appeared among the British tents pitched on it. After the red coats had established camp here the American… Read More »The Phantom Soldier

                                                Ghost Land

                                                The Ghost Land

                                                  The young wife of a chief’s son died, and the young man was so sorrowful he could not sleep. Early one morning he put on his fine clothes and started off. He walked all day and all night. He went through the woods a long distance, and then to a valley. The trees were very thick, but he could hear voices far away. At last, he saw light through the trees and then came to… Read More »The Ghost Land

                                                  The House Accursed

                                                  The House Accursed

                                                    The house was called the Isle of Pines, after a buccaneers’ rendezvous in the West Indies, and the owner made no attempt to conceal the strange plunder and curious weapons that he had brought home with him.

                                                    Resurrection Mary

                                                      There was a dance that night at the Oh Henry Ballroom, so he slicked back his hair, jumped into his red convertible and cruised down Archer Street, hoping he’d meet a pretty girl. He was a shy fellow who found it hard to talk to girls. Bolder men always danced away with the prettiest girls before he got up enough nerve to say hello. But tonight, would be different. Tonight, he would sweep one of… Read More »Resurrection Mary

                                                      The Haunted Grove

                                                      The Haunted Grove

                                                        A certain man called Angus lived near the stage road that connected two large villages, which were about fourteen miles apart. His home was situated nearly midway between them, and about a mile from a grove of trees that was reputed to be haunted.

                                                        Bloody Mary Whales

                                                          Old Man Whales was an evil man who loved money more than anything in the world, except his wife.

                                                          A Case of Blue Denim

                                                          Blue Denim

                                                            I asked my friend to come to my seaside cottage with me one weekend in early spring. I wanted to have it set in order for the summer, but I felt a trifle nervous at the idea of entering it alone.

                                                            A Blow in the Dark

                                                            Blow in the Dark

                                                              Farmer Manheim sat brooding in his farmhouse near Valley Forge, as his daughter, with a hectic flush on her cheek, looked out into the twilight at the falling snow. She was worn and ill with a fever brought on by exposure incurred that very day in a secret journey to the American camp, made to warn her lover of another attempt on the life of General George Washington, who must pass her father’s house on his return from a distant settlement.