Halloween, Writing Prompts

Writing prompt: Tell me a Halloween tale

Photograph of the headquarters building at Hic...
I worked in this building around the year 2000. It is probably the most haunted place I have ever been. | Photograph of the headquarters building at Hickam Field in 2005, still showing bullet and shrapnel damage to a wall. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Halloween is coming. Spooky tales abound as the veil between this world and the next one thins. In my mom’s family, visiting ghosts are a yearlong occurrence. Several relatives insist my late aunt still hangs around my grandmother’s house. Although she has never made her presence known to me, I have been warned not to mention the ugly bathroom tiles she picked out before departing for the other side. Apparently, that’s still a sore spot with her.

In the early days of my ex-marriage, I lived in an apartment in Hawaii that I am pretty sure is haunted. It was just the two of us, with baby #1 on the way. We slept in the master bedroom and cluttered the second bedroom with junk. For some reason, that second bedroom gave us the creeps. If I needed the vacuum cleaner while my husband was out, I would run into the spare room as fast as I could, grab the vacuum cleaner, and fly back out, slamming the door behind me. It never occurred to us to start setting the room up for the baby, because our sixth senses told us we didn’t want our baby sleeping in there.

One night, I awoke to find a strange man standing in our bedroom, looking down at my husband. He was a thin, blond man in a red flannel shirt. He didn’t appear to notice I was there but concentrated solely on my sleeping bedmate.

“I must be dreaming,” I thought. I rubbed my eyes, trying to wake up. When I opened them, he was still there. I rubbed my eyes again.

After a few moments, the strange man faded away to nothing. I know I saw him. I was too awake for it to be a dream. I woke my husband and insisted he call home to make sure everyone was okay. I knew the strange man wasn’t there for me. He wanted something from my husband. We never did find out what the man wanted. But we didn’t stay in that apartment much longer.

Hawaii has a long history of hauntings. My ex and I each worked in the headquarters of the Pacific Air Forces for a time back when it was still located at Hickam Air Force Base, which has since been incorporated into Pearl Harbor Naval Station. (I’m sure I’m getting some of these details wrong, but that’s irrelevant to the story.) My point is, the building where we worked still bears bullet holes from the bombing of Pearl Harbor and is rumored to be one of the most haunted buildings in the state of Hawaii.

My coworkers talked of locked doors opening and slamming on their own and lights flipping on and off of their own accord. There was one wing of the building, in particular, that gave everyone the creeps. We cleaned offices in the evenings, and none of us would enter that wing to empty the garbage without getting a second person to come with us.

My ex was still in the Air Force at the time and worked in an office in a different wing of the building. While working late one evening, he called me at home to tell me that he kept hearing voices and footsteps where there shouldn’t be any. He was the only person in the office. He was so creeped out, he wanted me to stay on the phone with him until he was done working.

At one point, he put the phone down to go make some copies. After a moment, I heard a massive rustling of papers right by the phone. It was so loud, I was tempted to just hang up on him. However, I fought the temptation and waited for him to come back on the line. When he did, I asked him what the heck that was all about. He didn’t know what I was talking about. It turned out he was nowhere near the phone for the paper rustling but had gone into a completely different room to use the copier. Who was making all that noise? I guess we’ll never know.

It’s your turn to tell me a spooky story. What’s the weirdest thing that has ever happened to you? Please share in the comments below.

~Amanda L. Webster

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2 thoughts on “Writing prompt: Tell me a Halloween tale”

  1. Wow. That is spooky. I spent part of my teen years in a large, old stone house in the Cotswolds in the UK. The house was probably built in the 1700s so plenty of people would have been born, lived and died there. I never saw a ghost but others were totally spooked by a presence in one of the bedrooms. My sister, when she came to visit (she had moved away to London), would wake up about 2am (always the same time) and feel deeply uncomfortable. She never saw anything but the feeling of some otherworldly being was unmistakeable. Then,a friend came to stay and slept in that same room. He woke up in the night and saw and old man bending over the bed. He tried to scream but was paralysed by fear.

    In more recent years, I was visiting Hobart in Tasmania with my mother. We were in a fish restaurant examining the menu when I heard a moaning/sighing kind of sound. I looked around and saw nothing. Then I felt the ground tremble and vibrate and a tingling sensation shot up my spine. My mother, who doesn’t believe in the supernatural – spirits to her are brandy, gin and whisky – had to admit that she heard and felt it too. Tasmania of course was the site of mass acts of genocide against the Indigenous population in the early settler days so it stands to reason that the Apple Island (as it is known) probably has a large population of unsettled spirits roaming around.

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