2017 Halloween Writing Contest: Winning middle school entries

The Scare of My Life

First Place by Ella Hudson

The rain was gushing down almost like it was sad. The raindrops felt strange on my translucent skin. The road was slick with the dew. A gust of wind swirled my short wavy hair around unto my face. I turned unto 22 Wallaby Lane. There it was in front of me.

I gazed upon the Haunted House in front of me. No one had even made it even inside before. I was going to be to the first. It had used to be an old candy factory. A wolf howled. I wasn’t yet sure if the sound had come from the hills or from the house. Goosebumps were already forming, and I hadn’t even stepped unto the “pavement” yet. It was so cracked from over the years that it almost looked like gravel.

I stepped unto the pavement. It crackled and popped beneath my feet. I wondered who had last stepped here. I hastily took more steps forward thinking that going faster would help.

Something all of a sudden felt different. It took me a moment to realize that the rain had stopped pouring. I felt like someone was behind me. “Boo” something yelled. I jumped out of my skin. The voice sounded familiar somehow. I turned around.

The thing that was behind me was not human. It was a vampire that I had only heard about in stories. It had one sharp fang and an impression where the other should be. And had something, that I hoped and prayed was ketchup, dripping from it. It smiled. “Hello.” Somehow this scared me more than the “Boo.” I thought about my choices. I could run past the vampire to the safety of my house or go inside the haunted house.

At this point I thought that the haunted house would be safer than trying to make it past the vampire. With all dignity lost, I ran screaming up the porch. I tugged on the door, expecting it to be hard to open, but it came open easily. I almost fell on my face, but I caught myself at the last second. I closed the door behind me.

I looked around. All of the lights were strangely on, even though it didn’t look like they were on from the outside. An old lady was sitting down in a old, broken down lazy boy chair. She was drinking tea and reading a book. By the smell I knew that the type of tea was Blood-Orange Smoothie Herbal Tea. Without looking up from her book, she motioned for me to sit down in the newer looking chair by her.

“Good job. You have made it through all the tests. The last person to do so was I.”

I was shocked. Was this lady serious? “Thank you?” I asked questionably. She smiled slightly, then took a long sip of her tea.

“At first my reaction was the same as yours.. The owner at the time told me the same thing too. He also smiled at me, just like I have done for you. In that moment he told me something that I will never forget. ‘Sometimes the best way to make someone happy, is to give them the scare of their life.’” Then she all of the sudden turned into a ghost that looked almost like a pirate. It had a hook arm that was rusty with age, and its legs looked like of those of an octopus. One of the legs touched my arm. It left a wet clear slime. I shivered. She quirked a smile on her face. “Boo.”

I screamed all the way out the door. Outside was my sister… laughing at me. “What’s so funny?” I yelled at her horsley. My throat was scratchy from screaming.

I looked over her shoulder, and the entire basketball team was behind her. They were also laughing at me. Thinking about it now, I guess it would be funny to see your boys basketball team captain coming out of a candy store yelling like a girl. But I guess that the old lady/ghost person was right. And I guess that I needed some cheering up, since now I too was a ghost.



The Sad Scarecrow

Second Place by Mckenzie Sandifur

It never occurred to me why people were so sad.  Lots of  people get sad, but have you ever heard of a THING getting sad. For example, some ice-cream. Well, that didn’t happen, but I will explain what did…

It was finally Halloween, and I was so excited. I got the best selling costume, a cat, and I absolutely loved it! It was beautiful and very sparkly!!! I couldn’t wait to go trick-or-treating!

This year I was allowed to go without my parents, but I had to bring two friends, so I chose my very best two friends!

As soon as I was out of the house with Lilah and Lucinda, my friends, we all were screaming. All of us were overfilled with the temper to scream! We just couldn’t wait.

As we were trick-or-treating, we came up to a cornfield. There was a secret trail that said, “Enter if you Dare!!!We all thought, “That would be fun to go into.” So we did. As we started walking, we were enjoying every last minute of it. Until we came up to another sign.  The sign said, “The Sad Scarecrow”. It mentioned he came to life at midnight every year on Halloween, but only if there was a full moon. And there was a full moon tonight, and it was Halloween. We all started laughing, because, it’s Halloween, so people are just trying to scare us. We kept walking, and soon we came to a huge building, and they were having a huge party, with tons of candy. We entered the building, and partied for about a half hour, then left.

The clock had just hit midnight, and we were the only ones who had left the party. As we were walking, we noticed the scarecrow was gone. We knew it was just a joke! So we started right back where we had left off. Trick-or-treating!!!

We ended up with so much candy, and we figured people were going to start heading back into their homes to go to bed, so we decided to go to my house and sort through our candy. But on the way there, we were stopped. No it wasn’t because of a car, or even a train on the tracks, but because the road was closed. Now, normally you would think of the road being closed because of construction, not because the police were trying to get someone of the road, someone who wouldn’t bother to talk. The scary thing is, the police just thought it was maybe, I don’t know, some drunk person on a Halloween night. But what they didn’t realize was that it wasn’t a costume, like they thought. This “thing” had a really sad face, and wouldn’t talk. Now that should’ve given it away, because the “thing” was the Sad Scarecrow. We told the cops it was a mistake and it was just our dad, that he had eaten too much candy and was just a tiny bit drunk. The cops said they understood and we needed to take him home.

On our way to, well, nowhere, the scarecrow looked at us and smiled, then frowned. It was like he was always sad, even if he was happy, and he was never seen to have a smile on his face for no longer than 10 seconds! We felt bad for him, and thought, “Maybe he wouldn’t be so sad, and wouldn’t be called the ‘Sad Scarecrow’ if we made him happy.” After we discussed all of that, we knew right away that before we tried to make him happy, we needed to figure out why he was so sad.

We had finally gotten the courage to ask him, but right off the bat, or right after we asked him that is, we knew we had been stupid. We were so sad for the Sad Scarecrow, that we had just let our stupidity flow right out of our bodies. He can’t talk. But we were wrong about being stupid, because he knew exactly how to act it out. This is what it looked like:

  • Family, friends, etc.
  • Enjoying his time with his family
  • Smiling and laughing, like there was no other day ahead of him

Then he showed us a picture.

The picture had all these other scarecrows, and one of them was him, the Sad Scarecrow. And he was smiling. He seemed happy. We knew that that just had to be his family. We asked him, and he nodded. It was his family. Then we asked him where his family was, and he took out a drawing. We all gasped! We were so sad and sorry for him. His family had been shredded. Literally, and I know that sounds weird. They were near a corn field, and a combine hit them. The only one to live was the Sad Scarecrow. The last question we had for him was really important, if we could borrow his picture. He nodded and let us go.




This is why the Sad Scarecrow will never be sad again: He had a family. To him, his family could be replaced with new scarecrows, that looked exactly like his family. He would never be lonely again.

All of us now understood the true meaning of sadness, and we got that meaning to leave the Sad Scarecrow, for as long as it would last. We all were so excited about the next Halloween that would have a full moon, so we could meet the Sad Scarecrow’s family.



Hazardous Halloween

Third Place by Lily Sandifur

It was finally Halloween night, and the Smith family was really excited.  Every year Jacob went out with his friends to go trick-or-treating.  His mom and little brother stayed home to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters. His older brother stayed home and listened to rock music and played video games in his room.  His dad also stayed home, but didn’t help pass out candy. Instead, he tried to scare off the teenagers that pulled pranks on them every year. Every year Jacob’s dad stayed home, trying to finally get his revenge on the teenagers. But of course, he never succeeded. He’s been doing this for four years now.

Four years ago he sat on the roof with a bunch of soap bars in two one gallon buckets. He thought he had caught the culprits, but it was just a kind little girl in a  ballerina costume. And when I say little, I mean little. She was probably about three or four years old. Jacob’s dad felt so bad. Only because the little girl had a really big tantrum.

Then three years ago, he made a costume with green fake leaves on it to look like their bushes. Jacob’s dad really fooled Jacob’s older brother, because, well, he got drenched with dish soap. For some reason, Jacob’s dad was always using some type of soap.

Next is two years ago. Jacob’s dad tried making his own slime recipe, but it didn’t turn out. It was like liquid slime. It was green, gooey, and, well, slimy. So of course, he had the idea to make more and use it on Halloween night. Jacob’s dad hid up in a tree. Once again, he thought he had the teenagers, but he didn’t. Instead he slimed the neighbor who had come to complain about Jacob’s older brother having his music blaring so loud that she couldn’t sleep. Believe me, that one was really bad. It was really ugly in the end.

Finally, last year. Last year Jacob’s dad got some old chicken grease and put it in a bucket. You probably already know, but I guess I have to tell you. He didn’t get the teenagers. This time it was himself. The teenagers apparently did something to it to where it would backfire. It was terrible. He smelled and looked terrible, too.

And, well, now came this year. Jacob didn’t know what kind of crazy idea his dad had come up with this year, but he didn’t really care. He just wanted to get to trick-or-treating while there was good candy around. Every Halloween, Jacob and his friends never got any good candy like what Jacob’s mom handed out. They always got the puny stuff. The small Twizzlers, mini Milky Ways, mini Butterfingers, mini Snickers, bubble gum, and mony more things. They were all just mini.

Then there was the other half of town. The people there handed out full size candy bars. I’m talking full-sized Hershey’s, Snickers, Milky Ways, Twix, and so many more. But of course there’s got to be a catch. Jacob’s mom and dad don’t let Jacob go. Apparently it’s “too dangerous.” But this year, that didn’t stop Jacob or his friends. Now, his friends were allowed to go, but like I said, Jacob wasn’t.

Jacob’s friends arrived at his house and got candy from his mom. Of course, it was a piece of bubble gum. They decided that it was time for some real trick-or-treating. So, Jacob told his mom goodbye and his dad good luck, and they all headed out the door.

As Jacob and his friends were walking to the other side of town, they saw so many Halloween costumes. In the half of town that Jacob lived, there were the typical costumes being worn. Little girls in pink tutus and boys in Star Wars costumes and some with weird freaky masks on their face. But in the other half of town, Jacob and his friends realized that it was very different. It was the total opposite. They literally saw girls in muscular Batman costumes and boys dressed in unicorn outfits. It was really weird.

Ignoring that, they decided to run the rest of the way there. When they arrived at the first house, they each got one full-sized Twix and one full-sized pack of Twizzlers. It was awesome, so ignoring Jacob’s parents’ rules, they headed to another house.

Jacob and his friends finally got to the last house. The house was kind of creepy. It had weird vines growing all up the sides, and it was a really weird green color, too. All the boys looked up at the house. They could see a white shadow up in the highest window. Then, all of a sudden, the door mysteriously opened. But, none of them were frightened. They all thought that it was just a Halloween prank. But then that night, none of them returned home. They were never seen again. Maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t a Halloween prank. And if they knew that would happen, maybe they would  have regretted disobeying Jacob’s parents.


That all changed his life…

Honorable mention:  Kate Broadstreet, 6th grade


“Allen, come here right now!” Alice shouted. Her voice seemed to shake the whole house. Still half asleep Allen half-heartedly trudged down the the stairs.

What does she want from me on a Saturday morning at like 8:00 am, Allen thought. Hopefully not the fact that she had found the broken window out back. Who said he had done it…. Moving more quickly, Allen worked up excuses as he descended to the living room.  

Now half running Allen reached the bottom step. That’s when it hit him. That smell, Alice had been cooking again. Now Allen knew what Alice wanted him to do, taste her food. He might as well die.

Alice was Allen’s stepmom, his dad married her after they moved to New York. Allens real mother had been killed rock climbing up some mountain. (She fell off and broke every bone in her body.) Allen’s dad owned a small business called The HouseWare Hostages. It paid just enough that they could afford everything they needed.

Allen put his hand to his nose trying to block out the killer oder. Slowly and softly Allen tried to scurry back upstairs but Alice was quick and smart. She had been in the military before she had gotten a leg injury and had to quite. She knew a thing or two about sneaky people, having heard her stepson come down the stairs she called for him again.  

“Allen Mallen, come here right now I want you to try something,” Mrs. Mallen said rather mysteriously. Allen didn’t really have a choice so he backed down the stairs and accepted his fate. Goodbye cruel world, he thought planning in his mind what his funeral might look like. Slowly he popped his head through the doorway.

“Hey Alice…” Allen said quietly.

“Allen, I have something for you to eat,” Alice said quite proud of herself.  

Slowly she held out a brown piece of what  looked like green peppers, BURNT cheese, toasted tortilla shell, and thick brown syrup.

“Um thanks Alice but…,” Alice stared at him her face dropping with every word, “…but I guess I could give it a try.” Allen finished. Alice instantly brightened up.

“Really thanks Allen you always give me the best support,” Alice said with a huge smile. Allen gulped and took the thing in his shaking hands. Here is the end of me, he thought. Gagging down a bite  Allen saw his life flash before his eyes. Then he burped and dropped the thing. Alices smile disappeared again.     

  “Maybe try something different,” Allen barely stammered before he ran to the bathroom and threw up his single bite of what Alice called Maple, pepper potato pancake. When he came out the news was on and alice was sitting on the coach with a bowl of cereal, and another one on the coffee table. Allen sat down without a word and watched the news.

“Breaking new Mihal High had its Halloween dance last night.” The news lady said.

“You never told me you had a Halloween dance,”

“I didn’t go,”

“Why not?”

“I don’t dance and no one knows me,”


“After the dance police found three dead bodies, in the science lab.” The smiling news lady said it as if it were her birthday.    

Both Allen and Alice held their breath, thanking the heavens that Allen hadn’t gone to that dance. Allen was rather glad when Alice didn’t change the channel.

The smiling lady continued. “The bodies were, Calub Grane, Gracey Hulib, and Hunter Zale,”

At that Alice turned off the TV. She stood up and walked to the kitchen. Allen sat their on the couch, shocked. What else could he do. The three people who had been found dead were the most popular kids in school. If they went gone then who would next?

And that is how it all started for Allen Drake. The thing that changed his life.