Everyone likes a good, spooky story on Halloween, don't they? Alright, maybe not everyone. My wife isn't too fond of scary things. She still reminds me that I had her watch The Sixth Sense, promising it wasn't scary (I didn't think it was scary--spooky maybe, but not scary) and it freaked her out.
So, for this Halloween, I thought I would retell one of my favorite "spooky" stories. To be clear, I did NOT make up this story. (I had to make that clear so I wouldn't get sued. *grins*)
It had been three days since my wife and kids had gone to visit her parents. At first, I was looking forward to the peace and quiet. We had three daughters, all under the age of four, so finding any moments where there wasn't one crying, screaming or banging on something was rare.
The first couple of nights were great. I came home with fast food, turned on some music, and sang at the top of my lungs without fear of waking up whatever child was asleep at the moment.
The third night, however, was something completely different. It was late October in New England. There were a few leaves that still clung onto the trees for dear life, but most had given in to peer pressure and had fallen to the ground with the others.
I was sitting in our living room, watching TV and relaxing after a long day at work. A storm had rumbled in during the course of the day and had covered the sky. Although it wasn't raining, the wind was blowing steadily, and the heavens were lit now and again with streaks of lightning followed by growling thunder.
Just as the show I was watching was about to end, the power went out. I hated when that happened. No power meant no TV, no computer, no internet . . . nothing. I remembered thinking, What did people possibly do at night before electricity? I sat there for a moment debating my next move. I decided to light a candle and read--even though flickering light gave me headaches. I was trying to remember where my wife kept the candles and matches when there was a thump on the front porch. I nearly jumped out of my seat from being so startled.
It sounded like something heavy had landed on the porch. I thought it was probably a branch that had broken off in the storm and had fallen. I chided myself for being so jumpy. I was about to get out of my chair to investigate when there was a loud bang against the front door.
I froze in place, the hair on the back of my neck bristling. That couldn't have been a branch. Someone, or something, had hit the door. I sat there, my hands gripping the armrests of the chair, and listened.
There was no other sounds aside from the howling wind. And to think, I had been looking forward to the quiet.
Nothing happened for several moments aside from the occasional flashes of lightning. It took me a moment to realize that even though I was seeing the lightning, the thunder had stopped, though the storm had increased in its fury.
Finally, I gathered my courage and decided I was not going to let things that went bump in the night have the best of me. I took a deep breath and stood up.
At that very moment, the front door burst open with such force that it was ripped off its hinges. In the doorway, silhouetted by the lightning, was a coffin. It was deep black in color--so dark, in fact, it seemed to swallow the light around it.
I tried to will my feet to move, but they wouldn't. I tried to look away, but my eyes stayed locked on the coffin. I tried to scream, but the sound would not come.
Slowly, the coffin tilted up, as if someone was standing it on its edge, though there was no one in sight. I couldn't move. It continued to raise itself up until it stood up completely.
Thunder sounded so loud and powerful that it shook the very house. It was as if all the thunder for the last few moments had been stored up and released at once. At the same moment, the coffin lid swung open, revealing that it was empty inside.
For the briefest of moments, I was relieved. Part of my fear came from what could have been in the coffin. That relief soon vanished as the coffin slowly, purposefully, moved toward me.
Whether it was the coffin moving, or the thunder sounding, I'm not sure, but suddenly the flight part of my instincts kicked in. I ran to the closest room in the house--our bathroom. I locked the door and backed up into the tub, the only window to the room at my back.
I could hear the coffin scraping along the floor as it continued to approach. I realized that coming to the bathroom was not the smartest move I could have made. The window was too small for me to fit through. There was nowhere I could go.
My mind raced. What could I do? What was the old saying? Fight or Flight. I had tried fleeing and that didn't work. I was left with the only other option. I looked around the bathroom, catching glimpses of objects here and there when the lightning briefly lit the area. I needed something heavy to use.
There! On the countertop was a large bottle of Robitussin. I took one step out of the bathtub and grabbed it, just as there was a loud bang at the bathroom door, though it stayed closed.
I retreated back to the tub, wielding my new weapon as if it was Excalibur.
Again, the lightning came, but no thunder. I stared at the door. I could feel my heart pounding in my chest in anticipation.
Nothing happened for a long drawn out moment. I thought, Maybe it went away. Maybe it could sense I was going to defend myself.
The bathroom door crashed open and there was the coffin, the lid still open. It seemed to pause for a moment, then again it started to move toward me.
With all my strength, I threw the bottle of Robitussin.
The coffin stopped.