HALLOWEEN HOUSE

Pat O’Malley
6 min readNov 1, 2021

In a small suburban town, somewhere you may recognize, there is a quiet brick house sitting behind a wide green lawn. The front of the house is a large triangle possessing a single window. Surrounding the property is a tall black fence with an arch at the entrance and concrete steps leading up.

Neighbors couldn’t really tell you who lived there just that somebody took their mail before it piled too high and hired landscapers to mow the lawn.

There isn’t anything especially remarkable about the location. The window’s curtains are always closed and no noise or commotion ever catches anyone’s attention. Its the kind of unassuming little house that you wouldn’t look at twice if you were to walk past it.

That is, until the days leading up to Halloween.

Each year, around the time the leaves fade to auburn and the summer air chills, something interesting would happen. For as long as anyone in the neighborhood could remember, every Halloween the mysterious little house would go all out on the most elaborate and stunning decorations. As if overnight, the empty lawn of the little house would become filled with denizens of the macabre.

Two, small grinning skeletons hung from either side of the archway, staring with empty eye sockets at cars passing by. Towering near the front was a life-size statue of the Headless Horseman reared back atop his midnight-colored steed.

A rubbery Creature from the Black Lagoon with a face like a dead fish stood motionless by the bushes. To the Creature’s right was a guillotine with its blood stained blade raised and ready for its next victim.

A scarecrow dressed like a werewolf in red flannel, hairy gloves and a sagging, snarling werewolf mask stood poised to attack by the door. Hooded figures and horned helmets raised a plastic sickles ready to strike. Tombstones decorated in skulls snaked across the lawn.

Jack o’ lanterns with glowing mischievous smiles were stacked on top of one another. White curtain ghosts with black holes for eyes hanging from the gutters. Large pipe cleaner spiders clinging to the windows the house, now covered in cobwebs.vIn the back by the side of the house there were even statues of science-fiction movie creatures like the heavily armored extraterrestrial hunter Predator.

Somehow even with all these statues and decorations, the small lawn never seemed too crowded.

It was everything that made Halloween fun. Scary monsters that provoked chills but never anything sinister. The kind of thrill that brings horror movie fans back for more scares.

At night the decorations would be illuminated in the purple and orange glow by lights neatly set up at the front edge of the lawn. The house drew plenty of admirers, families with children staring in awe, couples smiling and holding hands at the chilling set-up. Spectators talked among themselves sharing their amusement at the spooky menagerie, yet no one knew who actually lived in the house or why Halloween was so special for them.

That year Halloween arrived like it did every year, before anyone knew what hit them. Word of mouth had traveled well over the years and crowds of Trick r Treaters with their parents visited the quiet brick house staring in awe at the haunting monster and ghoul decorations glowing in purple and orange light. Despite all the many costumed kids stopping by for candy, the bowl never seemed to run out.

Later that night as all the video game characters, Disney princesses and other costumed children retired and houses turned off their lights, the little house with the many Halloween decorations was still lit. It was at this time that a fourteen year-old troublemaker named Louis was walking by. A terror to teachers and his peers, Louis was the type of boy who got more joy from knocking things over then building them up.

“Halloween is for pussies,” he’d sneer at younger kids with his chipped front-tooth.

Louis was red-haired and freckled, dressed in a dark hoodie scarfing down mini-chocolate bars he had scored from some younger kids walking without parents. As he walked by gobbling up chocolate, littering scraps of plastic on the sidewalk, the ghoulish statues and glowing jack o’lanterns at the little brick house caught his eye.Louis knew about the “house with all the decorations.” He thought that the attention that crappy house got every year was stupid.

Anyone who spends that much time and money on Halloween has to be a mega loser.

Pausing from his stolen candy, Louis slowly crept up to the house. The only lights on were the two lamps out front. It didn’t look like anyone was even home. On an impulse, Louis started kicking over the jack o’lanterns and tombstones.

Those life-size statues of old-movie monsters didn’t scare him. Laughing, he reached into the pocket of his hoodie and pulled out a can of shaving cream. He smeared globs the cream all over Headless Horseman’s cape and boots. The little shit continued on, knocking down several of the creature statues, pulling down the ghosts and spiders.

Louis concluded his destruction by kicking over the lamps on the lawn.

Grabbing the huge bowl of candy from the porch, Louis spat a wad of chocolate spit onto the lawn before hurrying out of there laughing his ginger head off. The little brick house’s Halloween decorations were in knocked over, shaving creamed shambles.

Super-charge from a combination of sugar and adrenaline, Louis held off returning home in favoring of stopping by a nearby small park located in a pocket of the suburbs. The troublemaking kid was sitting on a swing gorging himself in the bowl of Halloween candy when he heard a sound.

It was almost midnight, Halloween would soon be over so there wouldn’t have been that many people out. Yet, when Louis looked towards the sound, at the empty dark neighborhood street shrouded in mist, he saw a large group of people.

-Thin, shambling figures were slowly walking towards him. They way the jittered and twitched as they walked was unnatural, unsettling Louis. Some of the figures seemed significantly larger than others.

None of the figures in the distance were making any sound. Feeling his heartbeat begin to rise, Louis stood up from the swing and started to shout something but froze when he heard approaching sound of hoof prints coming from the other side of the street.

Turning towards the galloping sound, Louis saw something more horrible than anything he had ever seen his fourteen years alive. Before he could run, the sound of the hoof prints found him. He had no time to scream. Soon, the rest caught up and joined in.

In the days after, no one knew what happened to Louis. A police investigation went underway but quickly hit a dead end, there were no leads, no clues. Unable to remain in the neighborhood where their son had disappeared, Louis’ family moved away. Eventually, people stopped asking about what happened to Louis, if anything people’s lives improved.

A year passed and it was Halloween again. The little brick house once more attracted groups of smiling trick r treaters, greeting them with its famously ghoulish flair. This year some people noticed a new addition to the decorations.

Propped up by the bushes was a skeletal Grim Reaper dressed in a dark robe holding a plastic scythe. He went well with the rest of the monstrous figures and was a welcome addition. Its almost too bad that nobody took the time to look closely at the Grim Reapers face and notice the odd imperfection. One of the Reaper’s front teeth was chipped.

THE END

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