Spooky Stories for Your Halloween Delight!!

Posted: October 29, 2019 9:00:00 AM CDT

Guys, it’s Halloween!!!

Real talk time: I loooove Halloween!! You know all those memes you see coming through your social media feed about people excited about Halloween’s approach? That’s me to a “T”.

I have always enjoyed a good scary story or horror movie. I recall being a wee one around the age of 8, sitting at the top center of my parents bed (away from edges because of all of the unknowns that may be lurking under the bed – naturally) and reading either Alvin Schwartz’ Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series or his equally amazing In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories (the green ribbon guys, come on!!).

On top of my love of a good scare, I also must confess that I do in fact get scared. I stay up staring at a closet after (mild spoiler) watching Insidious. I am the person that needs to follow up a horror movie or story with some good old-fashioned feel-good comedy. However, that feeling of being frightened of the unknown and the possible creepy explanations for things that go bump in the night is the big draw for me. There are those great thrill seekers who sky dive or go white water rafting – I immerse myself in terrifying lore.

Now for the "meat and potatoes" of this post. I have scoured the internet and found a few notable brief horror stories and adapted them to share with you all. I of course did not write any of these stories, nor did anyone with the Mary and Jeff Bell Library, so all credit is due to the original authors. That disclaimer said, enjoy!!


12:07black and white photo of girl creepily looking at camera as old grandmother reads to her

The last thing I saw was my alarm clock flashing 12:07 before she pushed her long rotting nails through my chest, her other hand muffling my screams.

I sat bolt upright, relieved it was only a dream, but as I saw my alarm clock read 12:06, I heard my closet door creak open.

The Cat

I always thought my cat had a staring problem – she always seemed fixated on my face…until one day, when I realized that she was always looking just behind me….

“If I stay asleep…he’ll go away.”

A young boy awakens to the sound of struggles. Thumps and brief gasps are heard as he lays awake in his dark room. He hears a voice beyond his closed door that does not sound familiar. Pulling the blankets up a bit higher, the door suddenly opens.

The boy keeps still, feigning being asleep. Through brave glances, he sees a strange man dragging the bodies of his parents and propping them up in his room – both are not breathing. Terrified, the boy commits to his plan to pretend to still be asleep, hoping this will at least spare him.

He hears the stranger rub repeatedly on the wall before getting onto the floor and scooting under the small bed. The boy slowly peeks through squinted eyes, trying to see what the stranger did on the wall. As his eyes slowly adjust to the darkness, he sees reddish writing…it’s blood. His eyes adjust further, and he is finally able to read: “I know you’re awake.” Then there’s a shifting underneath his bed.

closeup of insectGuardians

He awoke to the huge, insect like creatures looming over his bed and screamed his lungs out. They hastily left the room and he stayed up all night, shaking and wondering if it had been a dream. The next morning, there was a tap on the door. Gathering his courage, he opened it to see one of them gently place a plate filled with fried breakfast on the floor, then retreat to a safe distance. Bewildered, he accepted the gift. The creatures chittered excitedly. This happened every day for weeks. At first he was worried they were fattening him up, but after a particularly greasy breakfast left him clutching his chest from heartburn, they were replaced with fresh fruit. As well as cooking, they poured hot steamy baths for him and even tucked him in when he went to bed. It was bizarre. One night, he awoke to gunshots and screaming. He raced downstairs to find a decapitated burglar being devoured by the insects. He was sickened but disposed of the remains as best he could. He knew they had just been protecting him. One morning the creatures wouldn't let him leave his room. He lay down, confused but trusting as they ushered him back into bed. Whatever their motives, they weren't going to hurt him. Hours later a burning pain spread throughout his body. It felt like his stomach was filled with razor wire. The insects chittered as he spasmed and moaned. It was only when he felt a terrible squirming feeling beneath his skin that he realized the insects hadn't been protecting him. They had been protecting their young.

The Wooden Chair

When my sister Betsy and I were kids, our family lived for a while in a charming old farmhouse. We loved exploring its dusty corners and climbing the apple tree in the backyard. But our favorite thing was the ghost. We called her Mother, because she seemed so kind and nurturing. Some mornings Betsy and I would wake up, and on each of our nightstands, we'd find a cup that hadn't been there the night before. Mother had left them there, worried that we'd get thirsty during the night. She just wanted to take care of us. Among the house's original furnishings was an antique wooden chair, which we kept against the back wall of the living room. Whenever we were preoccupied, watching TV or playing a game, Mother would inch that chair forward, across the room, toward us. Sometimes she'd manage to move it all the way to the center of the room. We always felt sad putting it back against the wall. Mother just wanted to be near us. Years later, long after we'd moved out, I found an old newspaper article about the farmhouse's original occupant, a widow. She'd murdered her two children by giving them each a cup of poisoned milk before bed. Then she'd hanged herself. The article included a photo of the farmhouse's living room, with a woman's body hanging from a beam. Beneath her, knocked over, was that old wooden chair, placed exactly in the center of the room.

The Library Basement

I grew up in a small town where my mother worked as the town’s only librarian. The library was small but served its community well and my mom was very dedicated to her job. It was always her hopes that one day I would follow in her footsteps and take over the library, but it wasn’t really for me. I aspired to be a writer and moved on to a bigger city to do just that. However, finding a solid job proved to be a bit of a challenge, so I mostly wrote freelance for several online news sites.

This past winter, however, my mom slipped on a patch of ice and did some serious damage to her hip and leg. She was basically bed-ridden for a month, if not more depending on her healing process. As it’s only the two of us, I rushed home to help while she was out of commission.

Part of my efforts to assist of course meant running the library. I had helped her in the library for years, so I knew the ins and outs almost as well as she did. The night before my first day taking over, however, she called me into her room and said she had a list for the closing procedure. I laughed explaining I knew the process. She looked at me sternly and said, “Please…just follow the list and do exactly as it say.” Not wanting her to stress over it, I swore I would, took the paper and folded it up, placing it in my bag.

The next day came and I opened the library as I’d seen and done for so many years. It was a pretty standard day, and all went smoothly. As the last patron left, I began the closing procedures. After I did everything, I grabbed my bag to leave. When reaching in for my keys, however, I found the folded paper my mom had given me.

“Ok, mom,” I thought, “let’s see if I forgot anything.” I ran through the list and sure enough, I did everything on it…well almost everything. The last task read: “After all is locked up and done, grab the book on my desk and head down to the basement area. The key for the door is marked on the library keys. Hit the light switch and you will see a light turn on over a chair before the stairs. Sit here and read from the book for 30 minutes (the page is marked). Do not move outside of the light. After 30 minutes, mark where you left off and head back upstairs. Turn off the light, lock the basement, and leave.”

Cryptic and odd, but I swore to her I would follow the Dark basementinstructions, so I did. I sat there reading to the darkness for about five minutes before feeling like an idiot. I was about to get up and leave when I heard a stirring from within the dark. I paused and stood motionless in that small pool of light…listening. More movement, a shift of something large and heavy. I waited a bit longer as whatever it was moved forward.

Gasping, I saw the shadow of a large spider-like creature. It did not move further into the light, but it didn’t have to, its hulking shadow was all I needed to trigger my fight or flight response. Flight almost won over; I was halfway up the stairs when I heard a soft whimper sound. Pausing, I turned around and saw a limb with a sharp point enter the light, gently, it pushed the book I tossed in my fight towards the chair.

I’m not sure if it was the whimper, my own destructive curiosity, or what, but I found my body slowly moving back down the stairs. I stepped into the light, took up the book, sat down and continued reading. Ever shift made my heart speed up, but soon, the thing in the darkness stilled. After the 30 minutes was over, I rushed out. Locking up, I panted as fear, shock, and disbelief overtook me.

I never wanted to bring it up to my mom, though I’m sure we were both walking on eggshells around the topic. As the next nights followed and I got to that final step, I grew braver and more at ease with each visit. Was I completely ok with the fact that a monster was living in the library’s basement for who knows how long, and my mom was reading to it every night? Absolutely not! But there were little things…like I brought the thing pink starbursts – which it enjoyed thoroughly and politely pushed the trash back my way. The next night, I found a pink starburst waiting for me in my chair. I’m assuming the thing hoarded what I brought and thought to share with me. While the fear never fully went away, I found myself almost looking forward to the visits.

One night, however, I had problems with a patron. Phil was his name and he was the town’s lewd drunk. He’d creeped me out since I was a kid, and nothing has changed. He was being particularly problematic one night and I had to ask him to leave. After threatening to call the police, numerous times, he finally left. Shaken by the event, I attempted to put on a brave face, reassure the other patrons.

The whole situation rattled me more than I expected, however, and I found myself forgetting little things. It was finally closing time and as I prepared myself for the nightly reading, I heard the door of the library open. Apparently, one of the things I forgot was to lock the door. Standing with a drunken smirk was Phil. He locked the door behind him and started approaching the desk.

I immediately grabbed the phone to dial 9-1-1, but Phil jumped over the desk and tackled me down before I could react. He yanked the corded phone from the wall and began his attack. He struck me a few times and as I struggled to get away, he ripped my shirt. With very little options, I found myself running to the basement. Feeling around my pockets, I pulled the library keys from my pocket and unlocked the basement. I just managed to turn the lights on when Phil tackled me from behind.

Together we stumbled down the stairs, landing in the small spotlight. Phil was on me again, pinning me down. The sour smell of his boozy breath washed over me, gagging me as I fought my attacker. He hit me again, slowly my movements as I found my vision going hazy. That’s when I heard the shift in the dark.

Phil heard it too and froze.

“Who’s there!?!” He slurred, staring at the dark. Rising from me, he faced the darkness, “Come out whoever you are!!”

Yes this is the Mind Flayer from Stranger Things...but you get the picture.

Trying to gather my bearings, I rolled to my side to push myself up. The creature moved with speed. One moment, Phil was challenging the darkness, the next, he was pinned to the ground by that all too familiar speared limb. Looking at me, Phil’s eyes widened as blood erupted from his mouth. The creature lifted Phil’s body and struck him with another limb. Then, pinning him to the floor once more, he dragged my assailant into the darkness. The basement was filled with the sounds of flesh being torn; bones being crunched.

I stared in relief and horror as the feast went on beyond my sight. Rising, I righted the chair I used many nights. Going upstairs, I gathered cleaning supplies and cleaned what I could. With one more look into the darkness, I softly smiled then went upstairs. I called the police, reported the incident and told them Phil took off after I managed to get free and lock myself in a room. I couldn’t get to a phone to call the police until after he left, however.

After taking my statement, I finished cleaning up the library and locked up to go home. As I walked to my car, I thought, “tomorrow, I think I’ll pick up a whole bag of pink starbursts…maybe we can try some chocolate too.”

 

Happy Halloween!!

Trisha

 

 

By: Trisha Hernandez

Category: Library Randomness