Runner-up winners in the Herald’s spooky submission contest

Published 2:59am Sunday, October 27, 2013

The following poems and short stories are winner of two weeks of the Herald free. Winners can stop by the Herald, 310 Second St. NE, to pick up their prizes.


  • Emily Folsom, 9, told her story of a ghostly girl who disappears at the last moment.

“Grandma’s Halloween Scare”

One day when the moon was full a beautiful princess ran away from her palace because she didn’t want to marry anyone. After running for some time, she started to get sleepy and decided to lay down by an old oak tree.

Shortly, the princess had fallen fast asleep not knowing she was resting by an old graveyard. Early the next morning, a group of witch hunters were wandering through the woods and they stumbled upon the sleeping princess. It was still very dark, and the hunters did not see that the woman was beautiful. Instead, they thought she might be an evil witch who had fallen from her broomstick. The hunters decided it would be best to bury the woman in the graveyard to make sure she didn’t cast any more evil spells.

Years and years later, the townspeople had changed but the legend remained of the missing princess who was never heard from again and the graveyard was still there near the town, but it had been abandoned. A young girl the age of 17 named Kate and her younger brother Joey had arrived in town to visit their grandmother. They wanted to have a special Halloween and decided they would try to find out if the legend of the princess was true. Their grandmother decided to give them an old map of the village the way it used to be a long time ago. So Kate and Joey took off in search of the princess’s castle.

The map led them to the spooky woods. The woods were deep and dark and the kids were very scared to enter. Suddenly, they heard a whisper and it sounded like someone was calling their names. Joey thought it might be the princess calling for help, so they decided to enter the woods.

Soon, the kids came to a short path that led them to a broken fence. Behind the fence were tall weeds and large bushes. Kate and Joey looked around quietly and again heard someone calling out their names. Suddenly, behind a large bush a dark shadow appeared that startled the kids. Kate grabbed Joey and they held each other tight. The shadow looked like a person and was coming toward them. Soon it was closer to them and they heard their names again. It jumped and right in front of them was grandma. “Surprise,” she exclaimed. Grandma started laughing and said, “I wanted to play a silly Halloween trick on you kids and I got you.” Kate and Joey were scared and told their grandma that she really had them worried. Grandma told them that they should head home together so they could eat some Halloween treats.

As they were leaving the woods, Grandma happened to see a vision of a young beautiful girl wandering down the short path. Grandma thought the girl looked tired and then saw her lay down by a large tree and suddenly disappear.

The End 


  • Candice Mathison gave a poetic turn to the baker Mrs. Lovett in a piece based on the screenplay “Sweeney Todd”

“Mrs. Lovett’s Pie Shop”

My name is Mrs. Lovett and I run the bakery here.

To turn out tasty pastry is the goal of my career.

I have a helpful neighbor whose name is Sweeney Todd.

He’s quite a charming fellow, but he’s also very odd.

By trade he is a barber and if sitting in his chair.

You’ll want to hope his razor blade is the only cutting hair!

Sometimes the blade does seem to slip, (I’m really not sure how)

But when the goods land at my door I use them all somehow

When visiting my bakery, you’ll find my wares quite pleasing

An though the ovens all are hot, the air here must stay freezing.

For I preserve the dainty morsels flavoring my pies.

I choose from fingers, toes, and ears, from nails and teeth and eyes.

I love to try new recipes using my imagination,

Incorporating organs in delightful combinations!

A kidney pie, a liver pie, or simply just minced meat.

And pumpkin pie that’s spiced with brains is certainly a treat!

My pies, my pies, my lovely pies, spicy, savory, sweet.

You’ll want to try them all, my friends, they’re heavenly to eat!

So I’ll continue baking, preparing pies with care,

And while you wait your turn to taste, can Sweeney cut your hair?


  • Patrick Hansel gave us a haunting question “What if a Ghost Town Has No Ghosts?”

“What if a Ghost Town Has No Ghosts?”

What if its river carries no cries down its long

and twisted fingers?  What if the cemetery has

no hinges between heaven and hell?  What if

the stories you were told were told to the first hearers

not to lift their wings or give them hope, but to

shut them up for every hour?  What if the shovels

and the pitchforks and the lanterns and the shouts

all marshaled to bring the old town down, still hover

in the copse of pin oak and maple that looks

over the long, slow bend in the river?  What if

the houses, built log by log, peg by peg,

first the frame, than the roof, then the longing

in the roof, the longing for sky and protection

from storms, the child’s dreams wafted into prayer,

the moon beheld and the sun obeyed; what if

the chair set by the sick bed and the stool pulled

next to the stove in deep winter were the first

to go up in flames; and what if those bodies,

the damned and the saved, did not weep as they

were driven from their homes, but held their hands

as wings in front of their bodies,

two to cover the face, two to cover the flesh,

two to hover and to rise as if all sacrifice

were but the backlash of praise, and what if

those angels, those devoured by our fear,

hold not to hatred, nor sorrow, nor the lust

to kill, but incense, candlelight, the taste

of warm bread and sweet wine, and what if

as you and I walk through fields of poppies and oxeyes,

our eyes brightened by the late summer sun,

we discover that what we thought was curse

was blessing, and that these enemies

driven from among us, have returned

in our children, in our song, and will stand

for us in the last night, in the last breath,

in the sound of the trumpet?

What will we say then?


  • And finally Benet Stoen wished us all the best on this frightful holiday.

“Happy Halloween”

Jack-O-Lanterns light the dark walk home

I shiver as I make the journey alone

Only on this October night

Do my childhood fears darken the light

The ghosts stalk me at a silent prowl

And in the distance I hear the werewolves howl

If I run they will chase

But if I stay I will surely faint

I choose flight instead of fight

For I am no match for a monster’s might

The lanterns’ creepy, evil smiles

Follow me for several miles

I am still alone

When I finally reach home

I crash through my front door

Chased by ghosts and monsters no more

My mother is

standing there before me

She smiles and says “Happy Halloween”

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