Short Scary Halloween Stories

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Short, scary Halloween stories are frighteningly good fun to share with friends and family. These stories are great to tell during parties, or you can simply curl up by candlelight and enjoy a spooky tale on your own.

Share These Short Scary Halloween Stories

The Peace and Plenty Inn

The Peace and Plenty Inn was once a tavern and stagecoach shop before the Revolutionary War. Later, it was converted to a private residence. The sprawling red-clapboard home has welcomed many families in its almost four-hundreds years, yet some people have felt very unwelcome indeed. One night just before Halloween, Ann came to the old inn to baby sit for the Armstrong family. The three little girls had done their homework, and were already in their pajamas and ready for bed. The Armstrongs left for their dinner engagements. Around nine o'clock, with all three girls tucked safely into bed, Ann settled in front of the television to watch a movie.

About fifteen minutes later, Ann suddenly felt chilled to the bone. She set her cola on the end table and checked the thermostat. The room temperature was set to 70 degrees, and she could hear the oil burner chugging along in the basement. "Hmmn, that's strange," she thought. "It's freezing in here." She found an afghan on the back of the couch and settled back to watch television.

A few minutes later, she heard heavy footsteps on the stairs leading from the kitchen to the second floor. "Katie? Elizabeth? Laurel?" she called out the three children's names. The footsteps seemed to be coming closer. "Are you girls playing a trick on me?" Abruptly, the light on the end table flickered, flared and went out.

Ann checked the kitchen and the hallway. It was even colder back there than in the living room. Nobody was there. She shook her head and went upstairs. All three girls were sound asleep. She returned to the living room.

"Hmmm, that's funny," she said as she looked at the television. "I thought I left it on Channel 2. It's on Channel 4 now." These were the days before remote controls, so she walked over to the television and put it back on Channel 2. She sat back in the chair.

Suddenly the knob began to turn on its own switching to channel 4, 7… and then static.

A voice whispered through the TV, "Get out."

With a shriek, Ann pulled the plug from the television. Mrs. Armstrong found her upstairs, curled in her afghan, asleep at the foot of the children's beds. "Ann, are you all right?"

"T-t-take me home," Ann cried. "This place is haunted!"

The Face on the Tree

Gloria and her friends Sarah and Megan enjoyed riding their horses through the woods next to the riding stable. Many of the old timers at the stable warned them not to pass Black Woods at night on horseback. The haunted woods often spooked the horses - as well as the riders.One particularly beautiful night close to Halloween, the girls rode out further than they intended. The crisp leaves crunched under the horses' hooves, and the girls spent more time than usual exploring an unused trail. The sunset faded, and the girls suddenly realized they would have to pass by Black Woods in pitch darkness. The horses knew the path and picked their way carefully through the woodland trail. As they came to the fork in the trail that led left past Black Woods toward the stables or right towards the road, all three horses balked and refused to turn left.

Gloria said, "Let's dismount and walk them the last little bit. We're almost home."

"You go," Sarah said. She shivered. "I want to ride towards the road and walk on the road back to the stable."

Gloria persisted. "We're going to get in trouble if we walk the horses on the road at night. It's too dangerous. Besides, we're almost back. We just have to get through Black Woods."

Sarah and Meg had already turned their horses and headed towards the road. "Fine," Gloria fumed. "I'll go straight."

She urged her horse forward. As they rounded the last turn into Black Woods, an eerie glow suddenly lit the path in front of her. Gloria urged her trembling horse forward. As she turned the last corner through Black Woods towards the riding stable, the glow became stronger and centered on a huge, lightning-struck oak tree. On the trunk of the tree a woman's face appeared. She glowed with a white light as her lips moved.

"Tell them…," she whispered. "Tell them I'm innocent."

Gloria kicked her horse, but the horse needed no urging. He flew through the woods and stopped at the stable door trembling in fear.

The next day, one of the stable owners, Tommy, stopped by while Gloria groomed her horse. Tommy had heard that Gloria had ridden alone through Black Woods after dark, and so close to Halloween. As she curried her horse, Gloria worked up her courage and asked, "Tommy, why do people say we shouldn't go into Black Woods at night?"

"Because of the Hanging Tree," Tommy said.

"The big oak." It was a statement from Gloria, not a question.

"The very one," said Tommy.

The apparition's words echoed in Gloria's mind. "Tell them I'm innocent." She shivered.

She never rode anywhere near Black Woods or the old Hanging Tree ever again.


If you enjoyed these short, scary Halloween stories, visit your local public library for more short ghost stories, as well as the following websites.

  • Scary for Kids has many stories suitable for children to read and tell. They're scary, but not gory.
Short Scary Halloween Stories