H is for the house at the end of Maple Street which has long stood vacant. And even if it were for sale, no one but a distant outsider would buy it. The locals all have seen the occasional lighted window and avoid talking about the noises that emanate from it without warning or provocation. The screams are said to come from the original family who disappeared on the eve of the harvest moon, supposedly sacrificed in some sort of blood rite. All the known rooms and false walls were searched, but the family members were never found. Neither was the boy who, years later, entered the house on a dare while his friends stood and watched from the safety of the street. His screams were added to the rest.
A is for the abomination that lurks along the service road leading to the power station at the edge of town. It has been variously described as pale or ghostly, hairless, hunched but quick, and sometimes as a ‘skin shrouded skeleton’ ever since Charlie Paisley coined the phrase. Whatever it is has scared numerous drivers off the road; but none has ever gotten out of their vehicles, electing instead to get back on the straight and narrow and move along. Lucky for them because this thing has yet to acquire a taste for human flesh and nobody wants to be that kind of instigator. Terry Gillenhall was brought in once with his dogs, but they never found anything because according to Terry, “My dogs need a scent to start off with”.
L is for the labyrinth that little Johnny walks into when he leaves his bedroom for a late night pee. The whole thing has the familiar appearance of the hallway he has grown up with, but he has taken too many rights and lefts to remember how to get back. So he plods along in hopes that he may find his way eventually. He did take a wiz in one corner, but now he can’t even find that. And the troubling sounds he hears on the other side of every wall keep him in a constant state of fear. Mechanized sounds of poorly meshed gears and clanking metal and rattling chains were once barely audible, but have grown to an intensity that threatens to devour him.
L is for the lycanthrope of Bray Road. This werewolf has been described as ranging from six to seven-and-a-half feet tall, with piercing yellow eyes, inch-long dark brown hair, and a short snout that can produce a menacing smile full of sharp teeth. He seems to make appearances during years ending in a seven as far back as written history will allow, scaring the bejeesus out of witnesses. It is said that the scent of road-kill precedes any sighting. So if you run into that ominous aroma while traversing the byways out near Bray Road, you should probably make like a prom dress, and take off.
O is for October, the month that ends with Halloween; lest you forget. O could also be for the opaline gaze reflecting back out from the bushes at Isabella Mudge’s house. Isabella would never deny accusations of liking young boys. You see, she likes them in a stew pot for hours and hours with lots of potatoes and carrots, and a cabbage or two if she can get them. Isabella acquires her quarry by shape shifting into a cat with fur such a deep black that light seems unable to escape it. What attracts the young boys are the iridescent, prismatic, opaline orbs that are Isabella’s eyes. They are eyes that command attention; eyes full of seduction.
W is for the Wyvern that has taken up residence in the bluffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in the Nameloc Heights section of town. This wyvern; which looks like parts of a dragon, an eagle and a bat, has been flying low over the water in search for food. But it has had greater success over land, eating smaller fare such as squirrel, rabbit, and turkey. It hasn’t yet grown enough to take out a deer. Young Brandon Rickenhauer is down on the beach, calling for his best friend, Ringo. Ringo is a mixed breed; half Golden Retriever and half Pit Bull. This is a dog that really sinks its teeth into being loveable and loyal. Brandon will never see Ringo again, for Ringo is no longer of this world. Brandon and the wyvern will have a chance meeting, but not for several years yet. Right now, the wyvern is cleaning the last traces of Ringo from its talons.
E is for the eight-ball sitting on Jeffery Archer’s desk, at the offices of Liberty American Insurance. Mr. Archer has just opened this branch as a promotion within the company and the eight-ball was a gag gift from a friend. It is one of those fortune telling eight-balls and lately it has been making suggestions instead of telling fortunes. Most of the suggestions center on his loving family and various household items, like the electric carving knife they received as a gift from Uncle Rudy just last Christmas. Jeffery’s name will be splattered across the front pages of all the major tabloids for several weeks because of the heinous way in which he tries to hide the brutal murders. Cuisinart and Kitchenaid will spend hundreds of thousands on damage control.
E is for the effigy sitting on the front steps of the Johnson house. Sarah and David had made the scarecrow by stuffing some old clothes from a box in the basement with leaves and straw. The clothes belonged to their recently deceased ‘Granpa’ who had been twice accused of child molestation among other charges. Granpa always said, “They never convicted me of nuthin.” There is something enchanting about the way young Sarah has drawn a face on the paper bag head that will soon allow this effigy of Granpa to snatch little Nancy Wilcox from the front step before she has a chance to ring the doorbell. Granpa and Nancy will never be seen again, despite the rally cry and three day search.
N is for the necropolis on Lewiston Street with markers dating back to the eighteenth century. Located near the center of Arden’s Hill is a crypt bearing the name of Erdeuelu. The crypt door is locked, but we know that it can be locked from both sides. And we can see that the threshold is worn from two centuries of use. Jonny Rubino and Peter Smith do not understand what all that wear in the stone work at the entrance could mean when they pick the lock to gain entry. Jonny wants a skull as a keepsake and Peter has heard rumors of things like pocket watches being buried with the dead. Duke Erdeuelu will not be traveling far to quench his craving for blood. He will, in fact, be dining in. He’ll have to remove the drained bodies to another location in order to keep suspicion averted from his crypt. Nothing settles a meal quite like a good walk.