Halloween Tales

Write, Edit, Publish (WEP) challenge for October 2020. WEP was started by Denise Covy, my Aussie friend. Anyone can join and post real-life stories, pictures, poems, or fictional stories. I’m in the last category. Co-host with Denise are Laura, Renee, Nila and Olga. Thank you, ladies.

This year the challenge for October is Grave Mistakes. While considering this, I struggled because the world seems upside down to me. Between politics (I’m an American), and the fires worldwide it’s a scary time and has affected me mentally and physically. My blood pressure is too high and I’m having trouble bringing it down. 

So, I took inspiration from a Bible passage which I’ve never done before. I’ve included the passage after the story. Once I wrote my story, I realized it wasn’t very ghoulish, so I’m giving you a bonus story titled: Dark Shadows and Ghosts.

I hope you enjoy and as a reminder, every year on Halloween, I put up my two Halloween stories for free on Amazon. Also, you can check out other stories I’ve written in the ‘Pages’ above. Thanks for coming by.


Grave Mistake

Wayne Uptight stood on the 12th floor before his window peering out at New York City. He owned the office building and had converted the entire 12th floor into his home. The style he chose was classical Greek, with marble columns, floor, and walls. Replicas of various Greek gods were in abundance.

            He turned aside and saw his wife, naked eating at the table. This didn’t surprise him. He required her to be naked whenever he was at home or he’d withdraw her million a year allowance.

            “Going to work,” he said, entering his private elevator that took him to the  11th floor where his office was located. The style he had chosen there was dark, polished mahogany. His employees weren’t so fortunate, sitting in cubicles on the phone or on the computer talking with customers. There pay was a pittance of his own. The many factories he owned were all in third world countries were the workers were happy to take home a couple dollars a week. He sold every product he made for 5 times its cost. Life was good.

            This day he made reservations at an upscale restaurant to meet one of his many mistresses. Despite the pandemic, this plush establishment reserved private tables for the rich, in separate rooms, free of any airborne illness. He often spent $1,000 or more per meal.

            At the noon hour, he rode his personal elevator to the ground floor, and walked through the lobby noticing every out of place object, what everyone did in their offices and those who manned the security/information desk in the lobby. He had camera’s set up in his office so he could view it all if he wanted to, even private businesses that leased their space from him. If a business was unable to pay their extravagant rent, he had them evicted. He was fine during this health crisis; they should be too.  

            When he left the building, he noticed the homeless man sitting close to the door. He’d had the police remove him many times, but he always returned.

            “Mr. Uptight, sir. Please can you give some change?”

            Wayne Uptight walked past without a glance. No way would he give that loser money even though he had plenty of cash in his pocket. He slipped into his  limousine and then placed a call to his office lobby desk.


            “Yes sir, Mr. Uptight.”

            “Get rid of that homeless man outside my building.”

            “Yes sir, right away, sir.”

            Uptight hung up.

* * *

Three days later, Uptight left his building at the noon hour once more. He stopped just past the door. The limousine wasn’t there, and the homeless man sat against his building.

            “Please sir, Mr.---”

            Uptight turned. “Shut up you sniveling beggar. I work for my money. You do the same.”

            Screeching wheels roared from behind. Uptight turned just as an out of control car hit him and the impoverished man dead on. Glass shattered as the car sped into his building. He rose out of his body, staring down at his dismembered body and that of the homeless man too. When he lifted his eyes, the poor man hovered before him.

            Angels appeared, surrounded the poor beggar, and took him into the light filled tunnel.

Wayne frowned. No angels came for him. Hadn’t he given plenty of money to his church? Then as he reflected upon that, two black shapes appeared on either side of him and one before him.

That one said, “Who’s the loser now?”

Wayne screamed as the demons pushed him all the way to hell.


Word Count: 601

Luke 16:19–31

19“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. 22The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. 23In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. 24He called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.’ 25But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony. 26Besides all this, between you and us a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.’ 27He said, ‘Then, father, I beg you to send him to my father’s house— 28for I have five brothers—that he may warn them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.’ 29Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.’ 30He said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”


And of course, we all know that Jesus rose from the dead, and there are many who don’t believe in him or that he did, in fact, rise from the dead.


Dark Shadows and Ghosts

Larry grinned. “Double dare ya.”

            “So, let me get this straight. You’re going to give me $100 to spend Halloween night in a graveyard?” Alex asked.

            Larry laughed. “Yeah, you won’t be able to and then I’ll get $100.”

            Alex smiled. “You’re on.”

            A week later, Alex packed his sleeping bag and drove to Hollows Grove Cemetery. They never locked the gate there and entrance would be easy. The cemetery was a couple miles from everywhere.

            He parked his VW Bug off to the side and hid it from the street. No cop would make him leave if they couldn’t see the car and he wanted that $100.

            The cemetery itself was quite large and had a section of war dead. Some graves went as far back as the American Revolutionary War. But he didn’t head in that direction. His grandparents were buried here, and he headed toward their graves which were close to three mausoleums.

Once there he stood before his grandparents and said, “I’m spending the night to be close to both of you. I miss you so much.”

There was no response. He didn’t expect one.

Between his grandparents graves and the mausoleums was a grassy knoll. No one was buried there. He laid out his sleeping bag, sat cross legged before it and pulled out his smart phone. Now he’d document with pictures that he was in the cemetery so Larry couldn’t dispute it later.

He watched the sun set between bare trees and heard a few birds fly off. Without a second thought he returned to his phone and documented the sunset before heading into Facebook and posting pictures of his night at a cemetery.

Now it was dark. Really dark, so he used his phone as a flashlight. Removing all but his underwear, he folded the clothes, unzipped the sleeping bag, and got in. Snuggled securely within, he had a marvelous view of the night sky and smiled at the beauty. This was the easiest $100 of his life. He took a picture of himself in the bag and then several more around the dark cemetery. Without checking the photos, he put the phone in the bag with him and fell asleep.

A noise woke him. He frowned and looked around. A creepy sensation rose along his spine and then he saw them. Black shapes, moving from tree to tree and coming closer. A creaking door made him look toward the mausoleums. All three doors were open a crack and lights were on.

“Larry,” he yelled. “It won’t work.”

There was no response. He rolled over and shut his eyes.

Someone whispered close to his ear, but he couldn’t make it out. He sat up. The black shapes were close. One spread along the ground and then a dozen or more where all around him. Red eyes, monstrous expressions, sharp teeth.

“I’m here to make some money.” His voice calm but his heart was thudding.

They began to touch him. Ice cold fingers and claws that broke his skin. He unzipped the bag and stood in the chilled night air Now the shapes started screaming. They ran right through him. He shivered; his body so cold made colder by whatever these things were. He peed and had to remove his boxers. Now naked, the creatures came toward him and put icy fingers on his private.

He started rolling up the sleeping bag and then had second thoughts. He’d been double dared, and he wasn’t giving up even though his fear roared in his ear.

“Leave my grandson alone!”

A familiar voice. He turned and saw his grandparents, all white standing between him and the black shapes. Grandma had a cross and she held it out.

“Leave our grandson alone,” his grandpa repeated.

The dark shapes screeched at the cross fleeing. The lights in the mausoleums went out and the doors slammed shut. When they had gone his grandma stepped closer.

“You’d better take the cross dear. And for heaven’s sake, put on some underwear.”

Larry reached out his hand. The effervesce of the cross vanished as soon as it passed from her spirit to his mortal body and he held substance in his hand.

His grandfather joined her side. “Whatever possessed you to come here and spend the night?”

“And on Halloween night?” Grandma added.

“A $100 bet.”

“You never could turn down a bet.” Grandpa said.

“Now Alex, dear, do something with your life. You only get one you know.”

He nodded. “I know, it was stupid, but I’d do it all again just to see both of you and to talk to you.”

“You’re a good lad,” Grandpa said.

“We can’t stay any longer,” Grandma said.

“We love you son.”

Grandma nodded, and then they turned together and holding hands went back to their graves where they slipped below the ground.

As soon as they were gone, the screeching started, and he saw the first of many black shapes. He held up the cross. “I’ve got the cross. You can all get lost.”

He climbed back into the sleeping bag, kept the cross around his neck and fell asleep.

The morning light woke him. Had it been a dream? No, he had the cross and nearly every exposed place on his body was scratched, and those scratches burned.

He dressed, rolled up the sleeping bag and kept the cross around his neck. He remembered that grandma had been buried with her favorite cross and now he had it.

He found Larry at his job, Jack’s Hardware Store.

“Dude,” Larry said. “Your hair is white.”

Alex ran a hand through his locks and then presented Larry with the pictures in the smartphone. As Larry scrolled through, his mouth opened, and he stepped back.

“See the last pic.? Those are my grandparents. It was great to talk to them again.”


Word count: 961


I always walked through the tunnel under the highway to get home. Strange, I didn’t remember riding the bus, yet here I was at the tunnel entrance with the bus depot behind me. The tunnel was constructed of cement with lights overhead and benches along the side. It was about three city blocks long and saved more than a dozen blocks walking along a busy street and over the bridge. But, today the lights were all burned out. I peered into darkness.

            Rain pelted my umbrella. Perhaps the rain had shorted out the lights. The tunnel leaked when it rained and there would be puddles of water. Above me, the street light gave off a soft glow and I could see the other light far in the distance. No one joined me. There were usually a dozen or more other commuters. Not today.

            I took a breath and entered alone. My foot stepped into a puddle and splashed against my ankle. The emptiness made me anxious and I bit my lower lip.

            I lived alone. After twenty-seven years in an abusive marriage I didn’t miss his companionship and I had no plans to remarry. I did miss my girls. Both in their twenties, they had busy lives. I tried to keep them safe from their father, but abuse is learned and each of my girls could lay it on like peanut butter on toast. The more you put on, the more you choked with the gooey substance sticking to the roof of your mouth.

            The light up ahead started to flicker. A sudden darkness made me turn. The street light behind me was completely out. When I turned back I counted how many times the light hesitated. One, two, three, four and it was out. I stood in utter darkness.

            My heart began to pound so loud that my ears throbbed. The ground shuddered. I stepped forward and fell. A vast chasm had opened in the tunnel floor. My scream echoed against the rock wall. I didn’t remember dropping the umbrella or my purse.

            I grabbed at the rocks that jutted away from the wall. My fingers bled from the attempt to slow my speed down. An orange glow started to dance off the obsidian boulders. I landed and fell forward. My breath rushed out of my lungs. I sat up, checking for injury. Nothing seemed to be broken. Then a hissing, gurgling noise surrounded me. Glowing eyes advanced. Alarmed, I stood. Turning in a circle, a horde approached. Distorted shapes. Some like wolves and others human with elongated features, arms, legs and fingers.

I put out my hands. “Don’t come near.”

They rushed me. Snarling, cursing, I felt sharp teeth dig into my legs. Hands pulled me down. Eyes bore into mine. Foul smells surrounded me. One of them licked my face. I screamed. They laughed. The dog like creatures sounded like hyenas.

“Be gone!” A voice spoke. Smooth as chocolate syrup.

I sat up. My clothes were torn, my skin bruised and ripped, bleeding.

“Come, come. What did you expect?” A man stood before me. In appearance, he was my younger self’s identical twin, blond and tall.

I stood. “Who are you? Where am I?”

His smile caused his lips to split and distort. His eyebrows lifted a little on the ends and blue eyes turned black. “Let me give you a tour.”

“No,” I said. He took my arm anyway and instantly we stood on a precipice overlooking a burning lake. Something moved in the flames but I couldn’t make out what is was.

“I had to work hard with you.” His grin appeared more like a snake ready to bite. “Your husband wore you down, but still you persisted. Your parents never hugged you or gave the encouragement they lathered on your brother.”

As he spoke visions formed in my mind. I saw first my husband and then my parents followed by my brother’s grin. I felt him pinch me hard as he often did when I was a child.

“But your children.” His words came out as a hiss. “First the oldest.” My Sally appeared before me and I heard her speaking. “Mom, you never loved me. You always…” the rest would get nasty. I turned away.

“But the youngest, well…” With his smile his face transformed even more while I felt shattered to the core of my being. Betsy stood before me. A beer bottle in her hand. “Why did you do that, Mom? Why did you say that, Mom? How could you.” Her accusations continued for more than an hour that day. I knew I had never done the things she was laying out before me. And, I remembered the feeling of total emptiness. I had finally fallen into the depths of dark despair. I fought for weeks and yet couldn’t extract myself from the numbing destruction of my heart. My girls hadn’t called me since and I hadn’t called them.

Horns jutted out of the man’s forehead who looked like a wrinkled evil me. I shivered and then I hovered over my bedroom and saw myself on the bed. A pill bottle lay open next to me.

“But, no more sorrow…” I began to quote the verse from Revelations.

“You committed the unforgiveable sin. You took your own life.” He laughed then, a noise that pierced my eardrum. I felt him pushing me.

Falling, falling. I felt the heat from the fire in the lake and then the flames swallowed me. Licking. Burning. My skin sizzled, turned black and then red and blistered. The pain…no words were left. I screamed.

Others burned beside me. Hundreds, thousands, tears flowing from their eyes to turn to steam on their cheeks. Above me, the devil laughed. And with the sound of his enjoyment sharp blades pierced my heart. I was in hell and couldn’t undo my mistake.

Word Count 982

Half the student body was in the park tonight. At least it felt like half. Some were gathered around the huge bonfire in the pit the park provided. Most were smoking pot and drinking beer. I was using one of the telescopes Mr. Weaver had provided to study the stars along with my classmates.
            “Hey, Wigs,” Brian said, walking up to me along with his buddies, Jack and Paul.
            I glanced at them. “My name is Katie.” The students at my school had started calling me ‘wigs’ after I lost all my hair during chemo, two years ago when I wore a wig. All better now and my hair was back, short but real.
            Brian stopped in front of the telescope blocking my view. “It’s not fair that you were assigned Orion.”
            I stood up straight ready for a fight with the class bullies. “What’s it to you?”
            “We want Orion.” Brian shoved his hands into his pockets.
            “So?” I looked between the three.
            “We are all from Orion,” Paul said.
            “Huh?” Paul was tall and too thin.
            “It’s true,” Jack said. “Aliens came down and colonized this planet from the Orion system.”
            “You’re saying we are from the Orion system? That we are aliens?” This sounded a lot like that weird T.V. show.
            “Not exactly,” Brian said. “We mated with the inhabitants. Changed the DNA.”
            “So what exactly does this have to do with me?” I folded my arms.
            “When you do your report,” Brian said. “Add that in.”
            “You’re joking, right? You want me to humiliate myself by claiming that advanced aliens had sex with cave women? The answers no, boys.”
            “Look.” Jack grabbed my arm. I yanked it out of his fingers and backed up.
            “You three are just pissed because Mr. Weaver gave you the Big and Little Dipper. Maybe you should take it up with Orion, I hear he’s moved in down the street. Big guy, white hair, carries a sickle.” I approached the telescope. Brian picked it up.
            I put my hands on my hip. “Hey Dipper boy, put it down!”
            “You are just---” Jack seemed to have a hard time figuring out how to insult me.
“Hand over the assignment. You take the two Dippers and we take Orion.” Brian’s grin made me want to smack him.
            “Why don’t you go to the nearest cave and dance with the Neanderthals.”
            “Because you won’t be there, ‘Wigs.’” Paul stepped a little to near and I backed up.
            Mr. Weaver came over. “You alright Katherine?”
            “Yeah, just great.” I said. “These three want Orion instead of the Big and Little Dipper.”
            “The assignments stand. Get to work on your project boys and leave Katherine alone.”
            Brian, Paul and Jack walked away grumbling. Mr. Weaver adjusted the telescope and nodded at me. I finished my study of Orion and put my notes in my backpack and left.
            My parents had bought a house that skirted the park. I approached the back gate about fifteen minutes later. I was still mad at the dipper boys and took several steps over the brown grass in the backyard toward the rear of my house. The night had been cool, but a sudden blast of frigid air came on the wind and I was shoved to the ground. I grunted, lost my breath and turned over on my back. The fallen oak leaves rustled beneath me.
            Above me in a cloudless sky was the constellation Orion. Now I’ve never been good at connecting the stars the way the Ancient Greeks did, but as I watched a laser light spread between the stars to outline Orion. His sword sheathed at his side and a sickle raised in one hand.
            As I watched, Orion turned his head and his eyes came alive in shades of red. He leapt from the sky and landed near me. I gasped, my hair was tossed in the wind about my face and I wondered if someone had slipped me a hallucination pill in my coffee.
            “You dare to mock me, human?!” Orion’s deep voice rocked the bare branches of our oat near me. I opened my mouth but couldn’t speak.
            “Die!” Orion swept his sickle past my head. I scooted back like a desperate bug on my hands and feet, straddling the ground. Orion’s sickle slammed into the oak tree. It groaned and a dead branch fell slicing deep into my side. I gasped. Pain coursed through my body like ghostly fingers trying to freeze my soul. The imagine of Orion blurred. I felt the ground shake with his weight as he walked away and realized he had left.
            The wind still whisked through the bitter night. Oak leaves swirled around me. I held my side were the oak had injured me. Blood flowed warm between my fingers. My breath now came in short gasps. My last thought as I died was; The Dipper Boys would get Orion now.

Word Count: 825

The Shepherd

Stewart took his sack lunch and walked outside along the paved pathway before The Museum of Natural History’s building. Midway toward the parking lot, he sat on a bench to eat and admire the view. A breeze rustled the yellow and red leaves of autumn. Golden, red and white mums decorated the path and gave off a heady scent. In his bag, Stewart had packed a tuna sandwich and had ruffled chips and a red delicious apple along with a thermos of coffee. The flavors of salt and sweet combined in his mouth enhanced by crunch, and the smooth texture of his sandwich. He sighed, happy.

            For two years, he’d applied to the museum and now he had a job labeling artifacts. For some mysterious reason, this particular job became available every couple of months. Stewart wasn’t concerned. He was an expert at letting confrontation slip off his back, no doubt the others he’d replaced were too sensitive and had left.

            Opposite him along the path was a massive statue of a shepherd carved from obsidian stone in a sitting position. Its head was bent and the hood concealed its features. He held a shepherd’s staff in one hand. Beneath the black robe were his sandaled feet and beside him in obsidian was a lamb. For some reason, the flowers around the statue were dug up and scattered. A prankster.

            A crowd of people approached headed for the museum. Every one of them paused just before they got to the portion of the pathway that would lead them between Stewart and the shepherd and without exception, they turned into the park, walked around Stewart’s bench and rejoined the path further on. Now, that was weird, Stewart watched them bemused.

He finished eating and returned to work. On his way to the artifact room an old lady with a cozy white sweater over her blue dress came near. “Never leave the building after ten and walk that path,” she said.

Stewart stopped. “Excuse me?”

“I saw you eating in front of that thing. Watch yourself, it comes alive after ten.” She continued on.

Stewart turned and waited until she’d rounded the corner and then muttered, “Batty.”

In the weeks that followed, he became enthralled by a new set of dinosaur bones. As night encroached Stewart barely noticed. When he finally looked up from his work he realized it was after midnight. Time to leave. Snow was forecast so Stewart grabbed his winter coat and buttoned it as he walked. By the time he reached the door, he’d wrapped a red scarf around his neck and had his black leather gloves on. He lift his briefcase from under his arm and held the handle.

A blast of frigid air took his breath when he opened the door. He bent his head against the wind. Snow crunched beneath his feet as he walked the path. He could only hope his car would start. He’d brought the old Ford with him from Florida and didn’t know the first thing about winterizing it. He’d almost reached the place where the shepherd statue was when he noticed enormous footprints crossing the path toward the park. Odd, Stewart kept going and then…he was at the park bench. Snow cover it and clumps had piled at its feet. The statue was gone. Gone!

Someone must have stolen it. But if so, why did the snow only show giant footsteps? Stewart knew the statue was too heavy for a man to lift, they’d need machinery, but no evidence of machinery was visible. No tire marks, no chains, nothing.

Then he heard a deep rumble. “You!”

Startled, Stewart felt his heart thump against his ribs. When he turned to look toward the park he saw a massive shadow nearly as tall as the tree. It moved into the street light. The shepherd. It was alive!

“Ohhhh---” Stewart dropped his briefcase and ran. Snow crunched beneath heavy footfalls behind him. His breath rasped from his exertion. He looked behind and saw the shepherd gaining on him. Would he reach his car? Ice met his steps and he slipped, landing hard on his back. The shadow of the shepherd covered him. A massive hand reached down, grabbed Stewart’s coat and yanked him up into the air. He screamed, and the wind howled, taking his breath.


The museum curator, Frank Morris shook his head. Officer Lindy folded his arms. “We found Stewart Grimm hanging from the limb of the tree across from that statue. His heart, kidneys and liver on the ground.”

            “What a shame,” Morris said.

            “How many does this make?” Lindy asked.

            “Twelve, thirteen, I’ve lost count.” Morris formed a steeple with his fingers.

             “You said you’d warn them.”

            “I have. Trust me. They don’t believe.”

            “Perhaps you should hire a local fool.” Officer Lindy put his pocket notebook away.

            “No one will take the job.” Morris pushed away from his desk and stood. “We must move the statue.”

            “How? That will only bring death to the trucker who is hauling it away.”

            Morris tapped his finger against his pant leg. The solution eluded him.

            “I’ll notify the mayor,” Office Lindy said and turned to leave. “He won’t be happy.”

            The mayor had warned Morris the last time. The city intended to close the museum. Sitting again, Morris pulled out his laptop and began searching for a new job.

Word Count 902

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