A Scary Story

One halloween, a long time ago, my older brother and I were out trick-or-treating. By "trick-or-treating" I mean "jumping out of bushes and scaring girls." Not that we didn't collect our fair share of candy in a mischievious fashion.

The problem is, you can't take candy from girls because you'll feel guilty about it.
Same goes for little kids.

Instead, we decided we were going to get the biggest take of all: college students. You know, the ones that spend the first half of halloween robbing the high school kids, and the latter half going door to door with empty pillow cases hoping they can get people to dump all of their remaining candy in their bags. The ones that end up with five pillow cases worth of candy by the end of the night.

We set up our operation in a darkly lit road next to an isolated, abandoned house. It had been abandoned for as long as anyone could remember, with the classic "uncle went crazy, murdered entire family and himself, no one willing to live there afterwards" story behind it, and we figured it would be a college-student magnet on all hallow's eve. Afterall, daring your friends to go inside was pretty much obligatory.

It took about an hour of waiting, with some tempting catches passing by, but with patience we knew when we had found the jackpot: six skinny guys in ghoulish rubber masks, cracking jokes and acting half-drunk. Between the lot of them they had more candy than we could reasonably expect to transport home. At my signal my brother, positioned on an overlying tree branch, deposited in their midsts what for the past three weeks had been his prized possession: a British flashbang.

I immediately scrambled out of the bushes as he dropped out of the tree and we started grabbing their sacks of candy. In hindsight, maybe flashbangs don't work so well on people wearing cheap rubber masks. For whatever reason, one of them was sensed enough to grab hold of my brother while he was relieving the gentlemen of his confectionary acquisitions. He broke free just as I was going over to help, and then we high-tailed it with our plunder.

At least a couple of them chased after us. It shouldn't have been that hard to outrun them except we were trying to stay together (you can bet my brother knew what would have happened to him if he came home without me). We hopped the nearby gate and made a break in the direction of the house. We bolted up the gravel path, hooked left around the house, and when we got on the other side my brother espied an open storm window, shoved me in, and followed after.

We croutched down and I did my best to stifle my panting which was an act that felt almost like suffocating, but it wasn't long before we heard footsteps outside (which did a lot to motivate me). Whoever was outside hung around for awhile muttering, and was joined by other people, but no one came down after us. After a while they left. Unfortunately, my brilliant brother had gotten us stuck. The window was a good three feet higher up than either of us. I wanted him to lift me out and find the door out by himself, but he was not about to be left alone in there, so I had no choice but to accompany him in trying to locate the exit

We edged our way along the darkness and eventually found the stairs. As we were making our way up, the storm window slammed shut behind us.

Now, I wasn't one to believe in anything supernatural. Neither was my brother. But if you're in a pitch dark abandoned house with a rumored history behind it, that is the conclusion that your mind jumps to whether you want it to or not.

So we froze, terrified out of our minds, and after what seemed like an eternity began frightfully creaking our way up the stairs into what was just barely lit enough to be determined a hallway. The illuminating light was coming from someways down the hall, randomly varying in brightness. Again we froze and listened sounds, but there wasn't anyone there that we could make out. Lacking another choice, we crept onward and stealthily peaked around the corner.

The light was coming from a flickering television. Occasionally, you could make out something on the screen, sort of a figure silhouetted indistictly in white. There was a bizarre staticy noise too. It would buzz and then sputter something that sounded like it might be someone yelling, but if so you couldn't make out what was being said. My brother was fixed on it. Just staring. I started tugging at his arms for us to go but he wouldn't move. At this point my heart was about ready to explode from beating so hard, but I was too afraid to leave without him. I glanced and saw the remote on the couch in front of it. At first I was afraid that if I used it something might happen. Even so, I worked up the courage to grab it, and pointing it at the TV, I tried to change the channel. Then my brother and I, fixed on the glowing television, started screeming. We screemed and screemed and screemed as our blood curdled in our veins.

The television... so horrible... it only had basic channels. No cable.

In blind terror we fled out the front door and ran all the way home.