We have a winner!

Spooky story contest winners announced.


Thank you to those submitting to this fall’s Spooky Story Contest.

We are happy to announce our winner, Abigail UpDyke, author of The Forever Child. Abby will receive a writing journal.  Runners up were Melanie Cora, and Rebecca Gilbert.

The Forever Child

By Abigail UpDyke

I’m often asked when I was born. What my name is. Where I’m from. You may be wondering the same things. The honest-to-god truth? I don’t know the answers, either.

I don’t remember having a home, a family, a name, or even an age. I’ve looked the same for years: Like an 11 year old boy. I feel as if I’m living in a constant whirlwind of time and unanswered questions. The world has been cruel, but I’m still here.

I don’t want to be here. I should have died a long time ago, but no matter how many times I’ve been sick, death seems to fear me more than I fear death. I’ve endured more pain than a man walking on a staircase of Legos.You cannot help me, but that doesn’t mean I cannot protect you.

For years upon end, I have attended Camp Phantasmal. I found this camp in the summer of 1934, soon after I was banished from a village after being framed for stealing our bread supply. The camp is home to mountain creatures of Canada, and to a spirit i’ve come to recognize.

I’ve had multiple confrontations with this spirit every year. The boy, Thomas, is much more gruesome and gory than all of the spooky stories combined. Scars and burns paint his face, with a bite in his left leg and shredded skin around.

Thomas is in no way Casper the friendly ghost. His appearance perfectly reflecting his horrific personality. The only problem is that I seem to be the only one who can see him. He is the source of all of the “accidents” at this camp. Thomas has a history of murder and torture here at Phantasmal in both life and death.

I have made it my eternity’s mission to protect the campers. I have memorized incantations and spells that I learned from the Salem witches back in 1692. These seemingly insignificant words mean a world of pain for Thomas, and safety for the kids I’ve grown to love.

This year’s group of campers arrived earlier this morning. This is the best day of the year to me, for tonight is the annual campfire; It is the best part of all camp. After we have eaten we head to the lit fire. From a distance I swear I can see the outline of Thomas, only to realize it was not imagination.

I sit next to a girl, Isabel, on an oak bench. Isabel has been an attendee of Camp Phantasmal for 3 years, and every year she always has the scariest story of the night.

She begins to tell her tale. “As you all probably know, a ghost haunts this camp. This ghost is not nice, he is not happy, and he is definitely not merciful.” Isabel pauses as everyone leans towards her in interest. “The ghost, Thomas, died a painful death many years ago. No one knows exactly how he left. All we know is that he is out for revenge.”

She goes on to explain. “Thomas attends camp just like we do, except he is not seen, nor heard, nor felt. Thomas is upset at this. He wants to be noticed, to be acknowledged; even in life, the boy lived off of attention. This is why he haunts us, hurts us, and harms us. Thomas wants us to know he is there. But I know, and we all know, that someone is protecting us. Over the years, there haven’t been many ‘accidents’. We do not know the name of our protector, but we know he is here. He is probably here with us right now.” I never heard of this story. I just inferred she was making something up.

“Last year, Thomas tried to set fire to the dining hall during dinner. I remember it clearly. Thomas was in the kitchen, heating up the oven, stoves, and creating flames wherever he could. One flame grew, and grew, and grew,” everyone stared with growing intensity, “Until the cook’s apron caught fire. Everyone in the kitchen was panicking. No one in the hall noticed what was going on; no one, that is, except me. I saw the whole thing. A shadow ran into the kitchen, put out the fire, and stilled, right next to Thomas.”

Isabel finishes her story. “No one could have saw Thomas. The flames suddenly reappeared, intensified, turned different shades of blue and purple, and then, suddenly, disappeared.There is another spirit here in this camp. This spirit is with us, probably even now, protecting us.”

With that, Isabel laid down on the bench, leaning on her friend, Alex. The scary part? Her legs went completely through me, as if I don’t even exist. As if I was… a spirit.