Mother had one special story she told every Halloween, before the family would go out trick-or-treating. Since there weren’t any large scary houses where we lived, I always wondered about the reason for the story. I guess Mother’s just strange sometimes.
Roy and the Haunted House
Once there was a child named Roy who wanted to go out trick-or-treating. He didn’t have a costume, so he cut a few holes in a sheet and went out as a kid trapped under a sheet. (Ghosts were so last year.) Roy skipped along with his plastic pumpkin, eager to go out and wheedle candy from his neighbors.
He started out at the large house at the edge of town, the one with the overgrown yard, broken windows and strange screams that seemed to come from the attic. All the other kids said it was haunted, but Roy didn’t care. Ghosts may be so last year, but they had to have really unique candy. So, Roy opened the rusty gate leading into the big scary house and ignored the ghostly voice that said, “Turn back now.” It couldn’t be talking about him. It was probably some sort of warning for the wild insurance salesmen that wandered the town at night.
He stepped through the weeds and writhing scarecrows that littered the yard and stepped up the creaking porch steps. The door stood open and Roy stepped inside, once again ignoring the voice that said, “What part of turn back now don’t you understand?”
Roy stepped inside and found nothing but cobwebs and dusty furniture. Oh, and the big scary ghost with transparent blood running down the knife clutched in his skeletal hand. Roy stepped right up to him and held out his bucket.
“Trick or treat,” he said.
The ghost peered down at the child, his milky eyes drilling into his soul. “You’re not an insurance salesman, are you?”
“No,” Roy said. “I’m just a kid in a costume.”
“Good,” the ghost said. “I’m sick and tired of those damn insurance salesmen trying to sell me life insurance. Life insurance! I’m already dead!” He shook his head. “Well, what do you want?”
“Well,” Roy said, still holding out his bucket. “I was wondering if you had any special ghost candy. Like skull lollipops or Booter Fingers.”
“Kid,” the ghost said, as he twirled the bloody knife in his hands. “What made you think a ghost would have candy? The dead don’t eat.”
“Oh,” Roy said, looking down. “Well, I’m sorry to bother you. I guess I’ll be going.”
“You probably should,” the ghost said. “I’m about to start a ghost Halloween party and we’re going to have some skeleton strippers. They may not have any flesh, but it’s still not appropriate for young eyes. Sorry you came here for nothing.”
Roy walked out of the haunted house and headed back towards the town. He spent so much time heading to the edge of town that he didn’t have time to hit up any normal houses and had to go home empty handed. The only candy he ate that night was one of his mother’s dried prune balls.
Moral: Don’t expect mortal candy from haunted houses. You’ll only be disappointed.