Every year I tell this really great Halloween story. Once I told it at Morgan’s Girl Scout camp out, and she refused to sleep in the same tent with me. I also told it at the camp fire at Trey’s Boy Scout camp out, and I scared some little boys to death! I have also scared quite a few high school students especially the big manly athletes. One of them literally jumped into the arms of a boy sitting next to him. This year one of my students started screaming “WHY WHY WHY?” It was quite hilarious.
I usually start a few weeks before Halloween, and I will say to my students, “On Halloween, I am going to tell you a really scary story. The scariest thing about it is that it is true!” They will usually laugh and scoff, and say “Sure it is.” I just say “You’ll see!”
A few days later I will tell my students, “Don’t forget. On Halloween, I am going to tell you a really scary story. The scariest thing about it is that it is true!” Once again, they will laugh and jeer. I keep doing this every few days. Pretty soon, I don’t have to say anything. They will start asking me, “When are you going to tell the Halloween story?” I will just say, “On Halloween, and you had better be ready.”
The day finally comes. I lock the door, and I look at them very seriously. There are a few ground rules that we have to go over:
- We are going into the studio.
- You have to sit on the floor.
- You may not say a word during my story.
- You may not ask questions during my story. If you do, I will stop, and I won’t tell it.
We go into the studio and they sit down. They will try to find chairs but I won’t let them sit in them. They will complain about the floor. I make them get in a semicircle so that I can stand in front of them and see all of them. Then I go over to the wall and turn off all of the light except a very small one in the other room. They can see me, but we are all in shadow.
I remind them of the rules again, and then the story begins.
“I’m going to tell you right now that the scariest thing about this story is that it is absolutely true. It is the craziest, weirdest, and scariest thing that has ever happened to me, and to this day, I cannot stop thinking about it.
I grew up in a small town called Pocahontas, Arkansas population 5,000 people. Everybody knew everybody and those people all knew your business. It was both a blessing and a curse. In high school, I had 3 really good friends: Valerie, Melinda, and Terrie. All of the time in high school, I had heard rumors about this club called the Secret Society. Supposedly it was full of all of the popular kids, and if you got an invitation in your senior year to join, you were one of the anointed ones.
I knew nothing about this club. I didn’t know it’s purpose or what the members did. For all I knew, they sacrificed new-born babies. I just knew that I wanted to join! I had to be in that club! It was the most important thing in my life. All four of us really wanted to be in the Secret Society. In order to get in, you had to receive an invitation in the mail. It would come in the middle of October, and initiation would happen on Halloween night.
And so, we waited, and we waited, and we waited some more. On October 15th, I got a phone call from Valerie. “I got in!” she said excitedly. “Did you?” Honestly, I was afraid to go and look in the mailbox. I slowly walked outside, and all I saw were some bills and catalogues. I was devastated! I pulled all of the mail out of the mailbox and a white envelope fell out of one of the catalogues. It was addressed to Miss Cynthia Lee King, 600 Schoonover, Pocahontas, Arkansas 72455. The return address simply had the letters SS.
I was in! I was in! I was going to be in the Secret Society! I called Valerie to tell her the good news, and she said that Melinda and Terrie had gotten invitations also. I was in heaven! The invitation’s instructions were very clear:
Meet at the abandoned farmhouse at Five Mile Springs on Halloween at 4:00 p.m. sharp. You must be settled in the house for the night before the sun goes down. We will be watching you! You must each sleep in a different room: two on the first floor and two on the second floor. We will be watching you! Once you have settled down in your rooms, you may not leave them until sunrise. We will be watching you! If you can stay in this haunted house for one entire night, you will be welcomed into the Secret Society. We will be watching you!
I couldn’t wait! I guess now is the time to tell you that I am a big fraidy cat. I don’t like dark places, and I certainly don’t like rodents or insects. I don’t really even like to go camping. Yet, here I was happily going to a dilapidated supposedly haunted house in the middle of nowhere with no street lights or any electricity of any kind. I had never been happier! I really really wanted to be in the secret society. So… each of us told our parents that we were spending the night with another one of us. I don’t recommend that you do this but we were dumb, and that is what we did.
When we got to the house, I decided to take the kitchen, Valerie took the dining room next to me, Melinda went upstairs to the bedroom above the kitchen, and Terrie went to another bedroom above the dining room. We were nervous and excited. All we had were our sleeping bags and flashlights. We talked and yelled at each other for a while, and then we settled in for the night.
All of a sudden, I heard a large bang above me. That was where Melinda was staying. We all yelled for her but she didn’t answer. We figured that she was playing a trick on us, and since we couldn’t leave our rooms, we foolishly didn’t check on her.
The next morning we were woken up by all of the members of the Secret Society. They were congratulating us for passing the initiation. The Secret Society consisted of all of the popular people at our school. I felt very special. Valerie came into the kitchen and gave me a hug, and then Terrie did the same thing. We yell up at Melinda but she doesn’t answer. Everyone goes upstairs searching for Melinda. She is not there. We go outside and search everywhere for her. No Melinda…
Finally, we figure that she got scared, and she somehow got a ride home. We pile into cars (There were no cell phones.), and we go to her house. She hasn’t been home all night. Our lies came out about how we weren’t spending the night with each other. The police were called. We all met back at the house at Five Mile Springs. The police combed the area. At the very end of the property in the backyard, there was a dried up well. Melinda’s body was found at the bottom of the well.
It was horrible! We had no idea what had happened. You can imagine how it feels to lose a best friend and also feel responsible for her death. To this day, we don’t know who killed her. We were never the same. So a couple of years later, Terrie was killed in a motorcycle accident. Five years later, Valerie was paralyzed in a car accident. And… some people think that I am crazy…
BUT I’M NOT!
Then I jump at the students, and I scare them to death. They totally buy into the whole story.
For those of you who grew up with me, you know that this story is not true. I did have three close friends: Valerie, Melinda, and Terrie. I am happy to report that they are all alive and well. There was no Secret Society at our high school. There were quite a few haunted houses out at Five Miles Springs, and they were really creepy. My mom and I used to take drives on Sunday afternoons out at Five Mile Springs and she would tell me the true story of this old woman who lived in one of the houses. After she died, they found her husband’s bones in the well in the backyard. That is where that part came from.
It is just a story. I have been telling it for years. I have to admit that it gets better with each year of telling it. So… I know that it is close to Christmas, but Happy Halloween!