Halloween horror (2)
"Someone wants to scare us," says Bill. "The door of the house is always open. Anyone can enter. This is a very old house. Old houses have old clothes!"
Nick is very quiet. Then he says, "This is exciting. On Monday we can tell our friends about this place! Maybe we can see a ghost!"
"Ghosts! How silly! Come on, let's start cleaning," says Bill.
They clean the windows, the table and the chairs.
"It's 5 p.m. It's time to go home," says Nick. "I help my parents at the restaurant. The restaurant is always full on Saturdays. We can return tomorrow for the decorations."
"We must also talk about the games for the party," says Susan.
"OK, let's meet here tomorrow at 1 p.m." says Bill. Everyone goes home.
After dinner Mrs Connor makes Halloween cookies and pumpkin pies. Mr Connor puts the jack o'lantern in front of the window.
Kelly and Megan go to their room. They want to make their Halloween costumes.
"Do you think Abigail Cross is a ghost?" asks Kelly.
"I'm very confused. I don't know, but that house is... evil."
"I don't want to be afraid," says Kelly. "I want to have fun at the Halloween party."
"You're right. Let's not talk about ghosts," says Megan.
The girls start making their Halloween costumes. "I want to be an alien," says Megan. "Look at my green mask!"
"It's nice. I like it. But what can I be?" Kelly thinks for a long time. Then she says, "I want to be Abigail Cross, the witch."
"No, Kelly, don't do it!" says Megan.
"Why not? It's an easy costume. I can wear mom's long black dress. Then I can buy a mask and a wig. I have a pair of old black boots. I want to scare everyone," Kelly laughs.
"Aren't you afraid?" asks Megan.
"No, it's just a Halloween costume," says Kelly. "Remember, our costumes are a secret. Don't tell anyone!"
On Sunday afternoon the five friends meet at the abandoned house.
When they enter they look at the portrait. The woman has the same evil smile. But there is something different in the portrait. Megan sees it. She turns on her torch and says, "Look at the woman in the portrait. She has a red mark around her neck."
"You're right," says Nick. They all look at the portrait. "What does it mean?"
"It's your imagination," says Bill. "You can see the red mark because you have a torch. Who wants to go downstairs and see the basement?" asks Bill. "We can use the basement for scary games."
"You boys can go to the basement," says Susan. "We want to move the old table to the center of the room."
Megan goes to the dark bedroom. She opens the door and looks inside. The black dress and the black boots are still there. She shuts the door quickly. Her heart is beating fast.
When the boys return they say, "There is nothing in the basement, only some old barrels."
The girls look at the floor. "This floor is very dirty. It is made of stone and it's difficult to clean. Let's wash it with hot water and detergent," says Susan.
So, Susan and Kelly wash the stone floor. Suddenly Susan stops washing. She looks at the stones and says, "I can't believe this. There are names on these stones!" Her friends come and look. "One name is George Johnson. Then there's Rebecca Putnam and Sarah Morely."
"This is very strange," says Bill. "Look at the other names." He reads them and then he counts them. "There are 20. This is a mystery. Who wrote them? What do they mean?"
"Can you repeat the names? Perhaps I can find them in my book," says Susan. Bill tells her the names. She finds all of them in her book. "How spooky! These are the names of the twenty witches of the hangings of 1692. There are seven men and thirteen women. Look at this page:
THE SALEM WITCH HANGINGS OF 1692
June 10 - one hanging
July 19 - five hangings
August 19 - five hangings
September 19 - one hanging
September 22 - eight hangings."
"What can we do?" asks Kelly.
"Nothing," says Bill. "Are you afraid of names on stones?"
"But these are not the names of ordinary people. These are the names of twenty witches," says Megan. "Witches have magic powers."
"We can show our friends at the party. We can scare them," says Nick laughing.
"That's a great idea. This Halloween party is exciting!" says Bill. "Let's put the decorations on the walls. There are bats, spiders and pumpkins!"
"Who wants to bring the food and drinks?" asks Nick.
"Megan and I can bring pumpkin pies and Halloween cookies," says Kelly.
"I can bring apple pies, popcorn and sweets," says Susan.
"Let me bring drinks and candles," says Bill.
"Then I can bring paper plates, paper cups and a paper tablecloth. I can also bring some chairs," says Nick.
"Don't forget your portable radio, Nick," says Kelly.
"OK. So, everything is ready for the party," says Bill. "We must be here at 8 o'clock to prepare things. The party starts at 9 p.m."
It's Monday, 31 October - Halloween! There are Halloween decorations in the homes, in the shops and in the classrooms. When school finishes, Kelly buys a wig and a mask of an old lady.
That evening Kelly and Megan put on their costumes.
When Mrs Connor sees them she says, "What wonderful costumes - a green alien and an old lady!"
"I'm not an ordinary old lady. I'm a Salem witch and the year is 1692!" says Kelly.
"Wow!" says Mr Connor. "Where is the party?"
"It's at the abandoned house near the old cemetery."
"That's exciting! Have fun!" says Mr Connor.
"Goodbye girls! Have fun!" says Mrs Connor.
The House of Horrors
The five friends meet at eight that evening. Everyone has a scary costume. Bill is a vampire. Nick is a skeleton. Susan is a ghost. When they see Kelly's costume they laugh and say, "Good evening, Mrs Abigail Cross!"
They cover the old table with a paper tablecloth. Then they put the food and drinks on the table. They light the candles because there is no electricity.
Nick turns on his portable radio. Megan goes to the dark bedroom. She opens the door and looks inside. The black dress and black boots are not there. She is afraid, but she says nothing to her friends.
Soon their friends arrive. They all have scary costumes and masks.
"Is this a haunted house? It's very spooky," they say. No one answers.
Some boys and girls dance. Others eat, talk and laugh. Several hours pass. Everyone is happy. "It's a great party," they say.
"It's time for the treasure hunt," says Bill. "You all have different maps. Let's start."
Everyone starts in a different room. Some start in the kitchen, others start in the bedrooms.
Kelly takes her torch and goes downstairs to the basement. She looks inside a big barrel. It is very dark and Kelly is in the basement alone. Suddenly there is a sweet smell of roses. She turns on her torch and she is terrified. The old lady from the museum is standing by the barrel!
"You are not Abigail Cross. I am Abigail Cross. Tonight is Halloween and you are in my house. On this night we spirits look for young bodies. When we find a young body we can live again. At midnight my spirit enters your body. You must die so that I can live!"
Kelly's heart is beating fast. Her legs can't move. She has no voice. Abigail Cross touches Kelly with her cold hand. She takes off Kelly's mask and wig. "Your bed is in the barrel. You are tired. You must sleep... forever." Kelly obeys. She goes to sleep inside the barrel. Abigail puts on Kelly's mask and wig. She goes upstairs to the party.
At half past eleven Nick says, "It's almost midnight. Let's sit down and take off our masks. We want to see the person behind the mask!"
Nick asks, "Who is the alien?" The alien takes off her mask. "It's Megan!" Everyone laughs. "And who is the ghost? It's Susan!"
"Who is the old lady?" asks Bill. The old lady takes off her mask. Everyone screams. It's Abigail Cross' ghost! Her face is white and her eyes are red. She has a red mark around her neck. She laughs and her teeth are black. Everyone is terrified.
Bill looks at her and says, "That's Kelly's costume. Where is Kelly?"
"I am Kelly. At midnight my spirit enters her body. Remember, I am a witch."
Everyone wants to run away. They go to the door but they cannot open it. There are the horrible faces of the other ghosts outside the windows. The ghosts are looking inside.
"Who are these people?" asks Bill.
"Ha, ha! They are the witches of the hangings of 1692. Look at the red mark on my neck. This is the mark of the rope. Twenty witches for twenty young bodies. Now you are in my house. This is the house of horrors. No one leaves this house alive. At midnight our spirits enter your bodies. We want to live again. We want to bring evil to Salem," says Abigail Cross.
"Where is Kelly?" asks Bill.
"Look at the portrait on the wall," laughs the witch.
Everyone looks at the portrait. They see Kelly's face! Her lips are red and there is a red mark around her neck.
"This is our party, not yours!" screams the witch.
Suddenly the decorations on the wall start moving. The bats are flying around the room. They are making strange noises.
"No!" screams a girl. "There's a bat in my hair." "Help!" screams a boy. "This bat is a vampire!"
Slowly the ghosts enter the house. They penetrate the walls. They are really spooky. They move around their victims.
Megan and Susan are terrified and say, "They're waiting for midnight! Do you remember the twenty names on the floor? These are their ghosts!"
"We must find Kelly," says Megan.
A candle on the table falls. The paper tablecloth is burning. "Fire! We must get out of here!" says Bill.
''Oh, no! It's a big fire!" says Susan.
"We can't open the door," says Nick. "It's five to midnight. At midnight the ghosts take our bodies. What can we do?"
"I must find Kelly," says Bill.
He takes his torch and runs to the basement. He looks in all the barrels. Finally he sees Kelly. She is sleeping.
"Kelly, Kelly!" says Bill. "Wake up! Wake up!"
Kelly does not wake up. "Kelly!" says Bill. "Kelly!"
Bill takes Kelly in his arms and carries her upstairs.
It's two minutes to midnight. There is fire everywhere. The room is full of black smoke. Everyone is terrified. Bats and spiders are flying in the air. The ghosts are waiting for midnight.
No one can open the door or the windows.
Suddenly the portrait is burning. The fire is destroying the evil spirit.
"Look!" exclaims Megan. "Abigail Cross is burning!"
"Yes," says Nick, "and the other ghosts are burning too!"
"Look, the door is opening," says Bill. "Quick, let's go!"
Everyone runs outside. Bill carries Kelly outside.
"Is everyone here?" asks Nick. He counts. There are twenty people.
The fire destroys the house and the evil ghosts inside. Terrible noises come from the house.
"This is the scariest Halloween party of my life," says one of the boys.
Megan and Bill are waking up Kelly. She is still sleeping. But no one can wake her up. "Is she in a coma?" asks Megan.
"I don't know," answers Bill. Everyone is standing near Kelly. "Oh, Kelly, please wake up," says Megan.
Suddenly it starts raining. There is thunder and lightning. Kelly moves her head. "Where am I?" she asks.
“Oh, Kelly! You're OK! I'm so happy," says Megan.
"What's happening?" asks Kelly.
Bill smiles and explains everything to her.