Happy Halloween! October 31st the day when all the scary things come to life. When all the paranormal activity is at it’s worst. The day when it is not only okay to scare people out of their wits but it’s what you supposed to do! Given that read on for some spine-chilling spooky stories that will certainly get you in the Halloween spirit!
1. The Wreckers Daughter
Chambercombe Manor was a very large house on the rocky coastline of Devonshire in England. For three hundred years it was haunted by the ghost of a young woman. One owner after another reported seeing the young woman. No one ever reported being afraid of the ghost. But no one ever knew who she was — not for three hundred long years.
Then about one hundred years ago, the owner of the house discovered a tiny room. It had been hidden away behind plastered walls for years. Inside the little room was the skeleton of a young woman. She was lying on a beautiful bed. She was still dressed in the clothes she had worn more than two hundred years before. The clothes had been soft and beautiful, but they were now dusty and fragile. The skeleton wore beautiful rings and necklaces, now dark with age.
But still, no one knew the woman’s name. No one knew why she had been hidden away in the tiny room for so many years. The skeleton was soon buried in a small cemetery in the village. But the sad ghost continued to walk up and down the halls of the old house. Why was she there?
In the 1600’s, Chambercombe Manor was owned by Thomas and Mary Oatway. The Oatways owned a little shop. But no one knew that the Oatways were wreckers. During stormy weather, when the Oatways knew that a ship was sailing by the coastline, they would build a fire on the shore. The captain of the ship would think the fire was a light to guide him to safety. He would sail his ship into the big rocks on the coast. The ship would crash into pieces. The cargo would wash up on the shore. The Oatways would gather all the valuable goods and store them in a cave. The cave led to a secret tunnel that went right into their house. No passengers or crew ever lived to tell the story.
The Oatways lured ships onto the rocks by lighting a fire.
One night long ago, the sky was black except for some streaks of lightning. Thomas searched the sea each time the lightning flashed.
“Aye, she’s still there,” he shouted. “Maybe she has seen our fire.”
“Pile on more wood. We must make a large light for the ship to see,” Mary said. “We need more goods for our store.” Mary and Thomas piled more wood on the blazing fire so the heavy rain would not put it out.
“She’s seen our fire,” Thomas said. “She thinks it’s the safe channel.”
Mary and Thomas stood in the rain and wind. They watched the ship roll and toss on the waves. They heard the crunch of wood as the bow of the ship struck the rocks.
“There she is, Mary,” Thomas yelled. “She’s wrecked!”
Mary thought she heard cries for help above the roar of the waves. She closed her eyes and put her hands over her ears. They began to search for the boxes and crates. Thomas set his lantern by his side to pick up the boxes. The yellow rays from the lantern fell on a still body lying face down in a shallow pool of water.
“There’s a woman here,” Thomas called. “I think she is alive.”
Only one person had survived the shipwreck.
They pulled the woman from the water. Thomas leaned down and put his ear to her heart.
“She is alive,” he said.
Mary saw that the woman’s face was badly cut from the jagged rocks. Her heart sank. She wanted to help this young woman. “We can’t leave her here,” she said to Thomas.
“All right, Mary, we’ll take the lady with us,” Thomas said. He picked up the woman and carried her safely into the cave.
They put the woman in Elizabeth’s bedroom. Elizabeth was their daughter. Thirteen years ago, the young girl had run away. Life in the tiny village and work in the store was not very exciting for her. She had not known about the fires, the shipwrecks, or the secret tunnel. They had never received a letter from Elizabeth since then. Mary had cried for years before packing Elizabeth’s clothes away. This woman and Elizabeth were about the same age.
Mary sat by the woman lying still on the bed. She had cleaned her face and wrapped bandages around it. But there was nothing else Mary could do. The lady was dying.
“What can we do with her body?” Mary asked.
“If we report her death, people will know we are wreckers,” Thomas said.
They sat next to the young woman until she stopped breathing. The sun was shining brightly through the windows.
“We could bury her in our secret room,” Mary said.
Thomas thought for a while. “You’re right, Mary. We can plaster over the doorway and nobody will ever know that she is there. We’ll be safe,” he said.
He lifted the woman’s body and carried her to the secret room.
The man told the Oatways what had happened in the shipwreck.
Three days passed. Mary was pouring the tea when she heard a knock at the front door.
Mary crossed through the hall and swung open the heavy door. Before her stood a tall, well-dressed man. His head was bandaged. His arm was in a sling.
“Mrs. Mary Oatway?” he asked.
“Yes. I am Mary Oatway,” Mary said.
“I am afraid I have very bad news for you,” the stranger said. “May I please come in?”
Mary invited the stranger inside. They sat quietly and drank tea until the man broke the silence.
“Four days ago, I was on a ship from Ireland. But it sunk off your coast. I am the only survivor,” he said.
Mary’s face turned pale. Thomas gripped the arms of his chair. Did the man know that they had built the fire that caused the ship to wreck?
“I’m afraid I have some very bad news for you,” he repeated. “Your daughter, Elizabeth, ran away to Ireland thirteen years ago. She had married a wealthy Irish gentleman. I met her on the ship that sunk. She missed you terribly and was coming to visit. It was supposed to be a surprise.”
In the 1960’s, construction workers were tearing down an old house in Ireland. They found a metal box. Inside the metal box was a letter addressed to the owners of Chambercombe Manor, Combe Martin, Devonshire, England. The letter read:
Before I die, I wish to confess my sins. My good wife is now dead. I cannot go unless someone knows what I have done. My wife and I lived for a number of years in Chambercombe Manor.
We were blessed with a beautiful daughter, who ran away when she was still a girl. We caused a ship to wreck and killed our own daughter in the wreck. We placed her body in a secret room. We could no longer live in our house. We thought we saw our daughter’s ghost in the house. We moved to Ireland so we could be near our grandchildren.
May God forgive us.
A mother and daughter take refuge in a mysterious house. We’ll show you what happens in the next story, “The Inn at the End of the Road.”
2. The Inn at the End of the Road
It was raining so hard that Erica’s mother could barely drive.
Erica folded her purple pajamas and put them in her suitcase. “There,” she said. “I’m ready to go, Mom.”
Erica and her mother were going on vacation. Mom had made plans for the them to visit Aunt Jill. Aunt Jill lived in a quaint little town near the ocean. Erica and her mother loved to visit the ocean.
The sky was a bit overcast as Erica and her mother turned onto the interstate. It was already late in the afternoon. Erica gazed out the window. The skyscrapers of the city soon gave way to trees and fields.
As they headed north, it started to rain. At first, big, fat droplets splashed slowly against the windshield.
Then, all of a sudden, the raindrops pounded fast and furiously. Mom turned the windshield wipers on as fast as they would go.
Just then, there was a loud crack of thunder. A bolt of lightning lit up the sky, which had grown quite dark.
“It’s raining buckets,” Mom declared. “I can hardly see to drive.”
“Maybe we should pull over,” Erica said.
Erica was scared. They were still several hours from Aunt Jill’s house. Worse, they seemed to be stuck in the middle of nowhere.
“Look,” Mom said, leaning forward and squinting. “There’s an inn up ahead. Perhaps we could stay there tonight.”
Erica felt relieved as they pulled up to a quaint farmhouse. It was white with green shutters. The house looked very inviting.
Erica and her mother grabbed their suitcases and rushed to the front porch. Thankfully, the porch was covered, providing shelter from the rain. Mom rang the doorbell. Before long, they heard footsteps in the hall.
“Welcome,” said the innkeeper, as she opened the door. “Please come in and make yourselves at home.”
“We’d like to rent a room for the evening,” said Erica’s mother. “I hope you still have one available.”
“Certainly, dear,” the lady said. “It is quite a storm we’re having.”
“It sure is!” Erica said.
The innkeeper showed Erica and her mother to their room.
The lady led the travelers to a cozy upstairs bedroom. Erica was pleased to see a giant bed with a fluffy comforter. As thunder boomed outside, she could hardly wait to snuggle under the warm, dry covers.
The next morning, Erica awoke to the sound of birds chirping. The terrible storm was over.
Erica and her mother walked downstairs. The parlor looked even lovelier in the bright light of morning.
“Hello?” Erica’s mother called out.
Erica and her mother could not find the innkeeper.
Erica’s mother shrugged her shoulders. “Maybe she went out for groceries,” she said. “We can just leave a note.”
Erica’s mother rummaged through her purse for some paper. She neatly wrapped a note around some money and placed them on the table in the hall.
After driving a few miles, they stopped to get gas.
“Can I help you?” the boy at the gas station asked pleasantly.
“We’d like a fill-up,” Erica’s mom replied.
“Sure thing,” the boy said. He placed the nozzle into the gas tank.
“You didn’t happen to drive through that terrible storm last night, did you?” the boy continued.
“As a matter of fact, we did,” Erica’s mom said. “Fortunately, we were able to spend the night at that charming inn a few miles back.”
The boy turned and looked at them. “You don’t mean the white farmhouse with the green shutters?” he asked, looking puzzled.
“Why, yes!” Erica’s mother replied. “The hostess was so kind.”
“But that’s impossible,” the boy said slowly. “That’s Mrs. Flattery’s old inn. It burned down several days ago.”
“Burned down?” Erica repeated in surprise.
Erica’s mother figured the boy was joking. She waited for him to laugh. But he seemed very serious. Erica had a creepy feeling.
“Let’s drive back, Mom,” she suggested. “It will only take a few minutes.”
When they returned, they saw that the inn was in ruins.
Erica held her breath as they approached the inn. When they pulled into the drive, she could hardly believe their eyes! Sure enough, the old house was burned, just like the boy had said.
“How can that be?” Erica stammered in disbelief. “We were just here!”
The porch that had protected them from the rain was now sagging and burned. The windows were all broken.
Carefully, Erica made her way to the opening where the front door used to be. Then she gasped. There before her was the hall table. And on it was their neatly folded note.
Maria remembered the room as sunny and filled with seashells.
Maria and Claudia climbed the steps to their train car. The sisters had flown to Montpelier. Now they were taking a train on the Central Vermont Railway. They were traveling to see their aunts who lived in a very old house near Highgate Springs.
“I am glad we will finally put an end to our disagreement,” said Maria.
“So am I,” agreed Claudia. “Let’s hope our aunts will let us see the room.”
As the train rumbled along by the Winsooki River, Maria and Claudia talked about their childhood visits with their aunts.
“Whenever I went by the little door off the kitchen, I saw bright sunshine under the door,” said Maria. “One day, I quietly opened the door. The room was filled with sunshine. There was a big window. The furniture was brightly painted. There were shells everywhere.”
“Did you go inside?” Claudia asked.
“I tried,” Maria said. “I opened the door once. But Aunt Bedelia saw me and cried, ‘Come away from there this instant!’ I never was brave enough to open that door again.”
“I remember the room,” Claudia said. “It was not at all as you saw it, Maria. When I was little, the door off the kitchen always had a cool breeze blowing under it. I could smell flowers in the breeze. One day, I opened the door. The room was cool and dark. Red velvet curtains covered the window. The walls were covered with beautiful wallpaper. There were vases of deep red roses. The roses were the flowers I could smell when the breeze came under the door.”
Claudia remembered the room as dark and full of roses.
“Did you ever step inside the room?” Maria asked.
Claudia shook her head. “I tried, too. But Aunt Magnolia came up behind me and cried, ‘Come away from there this instant!’ I was never brave enough to open the door again,” she said.
“Isn’t it strange? We remember the room so differently,” Maria said.
“I wonder why Aunt Bedelia and Aunt Magnolia did not want us to go into the room,” Claudia said.
“It’s quite a mystery,” Maria answered.
The train clacked and creaked along the tracks.
“It will be good to see Aunt Bedelia and Aunt Magnolia again,” Claudia said.
“I wonder if they have changed much since we last saw them,” Maria said.
“I just hope they will finally let us see the room,” Claudia said.
Maria and Claudia took a taxi to the old house where their aunts lived. The aunts were standing on the front porch when they arrived. The girls ran to the porch and hugged their aunts.
Maria said, “We hope you can solve a mystery for us. Both of us remember a little door off of the kitchen. I remember a room full of bright sunlight and seashells. Claudia remembers a room full of cool breezes, shadows, and roses. Who is right?”
The aunts looked at each other. Aunt Bedelia said, “Perhaps you are old enough to understand. Magnolia, please get the lamp.”
Aunt Magnolia stood up. She picked up an oil lamp from the table.
Aunt Bedelia said, “The room you remember does not have shells in it. It does not have roses in it. Come and have a look.”
The two young ladies followed their aunts to the little door off the kitchen. Aunt Magnolia held the lamp. Aunt Bedelia unlocked the door.
The aunts showed Claudia and Maria the marker in the cellar.
Claudia and Maria saw the stairs to the cellar. In the center of the cellar was a wooden marker that read:
Shelly and Rose
December 31, 1948
Maria and Claudia stared at the marker.
“One winter night,” Aunt Bedelia began, “when your Aunt Magnolia and I were only a little older than you are now, there was a terrible snowstorm. We heard a knock at the door. It was a young woman. She had a little baby that was wrapped in a shawl.”
Aunt Magnolia continued the story. “We took the young woman and her baby in. She was almost frozen from the storm. We bundled them into bed with extra blankets. We built up the fire to make the room warmer. We fed them hot soup. We did our best to take care of the young woman and her baby. When morning came, both the baby and the young woman had died in their sleep.”
Aunt Bedelia said, “We did not know what to do. It was winter and the ground outside was frozen. We had to bury them in the cellar. The ground was softer because it was warmed by the house. The young woman had a note in her hand. The note said, ‘Take care of my Rose — Shelly.'”
Aunt Magnolia shook her head and said, “Some days this is just our cellar with a wooden marker in the center of it. On other days, it is a room filled with sunshine and seashells.”
“Other days, it is a room filled with roses and shadows,” said Aunt Bedelia.
“Did you ever find out who they were?” Claudia asked.
Aunt Bedelia answered, “We could not find anyone who knew the young woman. All we had was the note she was holding in her hand.”
Aunt Magnolia said, “I think the young woman knew we tried to help her. Whenever the room appears, there is a happy feeling in it.”
“If the room is sunny and bright, you feel like dancing and singing. If the room is filled with roses, you feel peaceful,” said Aunt Bedelia.
Maria, Claudia, Aunt Bedelia, and Aunt Magnolia walked back up the stairs.
“I did not know your house was haunted. That would have scared me when I was little,” Maria said.
“That is why we did not want you to go into the room,” Aunt Bedelia said.
“We did not want you to be frightened,” Aunt Magnolia said.
The woman and her baby still lived in the room.
As the young women and their aunts stepped back into the kitchen, the steps began to fade.
If they had looked back, they would have seen that the room was bright and sunny. There were many seashells scattered about. There were vases of deep red roses on the tabletops. A young woman sat in a rocking chair and sang softly to a sweet little baby.
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