This year, my husband Tony and myself were invited to a Halloween party that sounded too interesting to turn down. It was to be hosted by an unknown millionaire and held at the dilapidated mansion on the outskirts of town. Invitations were sent to the office where Tony worked. The party promised eats, treats, and thrills, stating everyone must wear a costume.
Tony remarked, “What the heck, let's go, we haven't been to a Halloween party in years.”
Off we went to the costume store, pawing through dozens of costumes until I said, “I've got it Tony! I'll be a playboy bunny and you can be Superman.”
“Hmm, works for me.”
It was a cloudy Halloween night. The full moon was obscured as the clouds passed across it, looking like witches riding their brooms. The wind was howling, making an eerie sound. We parked our car and walked toward the mansion. My bunny ears blew from side to side, I had to hold them on with my hand.
We passed an ancient graveyard overgrown with weeds. The headstones still visible appeared to be broken and tipping over. What a shame I thought, the remains of forgotten people; people who once had lived here.
The mansion was enormous but old, and looked as though a slight breeze would blow it over. The downstairs windows were lit up. I glanced at the upper window, the curtains were moving from the breeze and I thought I saw a dark figure standing there; when I looked again it was gone.
We came to a half broken wooden gate, it creaked as Tony moved it aside.
The massive ballroom was filled with guests. There was a wide staircase in the middle of the room that led to a darkened second story. Butlers dressed in black and white with towels draped across their arms were serving drinks. Tables with black and orange tablecloths were piled high with endless food and dessert choices. In another room guests were bobbing for apples. Chamber music was playing and some couples were dancing.
Suddenly a screaming sound seemed to fill the room. The house literally started shaking. Was it an earthquake? A loud fluttering sound was above our heads; when I looked up, bats were flying everywhere. Guests began screaming and holding their heads. Suddenly it stopped and the bats disappeared.
I trembled with fear and moved closer to Tony. Everyone was transfixed in the room. Above our heads a dark figure was suspended from the ceiling, it's tattered clothing hung in shreds around a skeletal body. A glowing face appeared with a maniacal grin and chanted:
I curse you all so let this be
my spell on you today.
Your clothes cannot be removed,
On you, they have to stay.
This paper will break the spell,
if you dare to follow through,
Otherwise, one year will pass,
And now, I bid you all adieu.
The grinning face burst apart like a bolt of lightening and then was gone. The bats reappeared, darting and dipping. There were little pieces of paper, 'the spell breaker', dancing around the ceiling. Finally the paper pieces joined together and came slowly floating down. Hands reached for it in vain. Just then, a guest, hoping to get rid of the bats, opened the outside door. A burst of wind flew in, taking the piece of paper with it. The guests ran after it but another icy blast sent it up into the sky and it was gone as quickly as it appeared. A silent crowd stood there with their mouths hanging open.
“It's just a Halloween prank,” laughed one of the guests, tugging at his clothes which now seemed painted on his body.
“Right, right,” shouted other traumatized guests.
“And a good one at that,” said another.
Then an elderly man spoke up, “I'm not so sure.”
The room fell silent.
The elderly man continued. “I've heard about this mansion in an old folk tale. The youngest daughter was celebrating her engagement party on Halloween. She was dressed in a gown that had been specially designed for her. Just as a toast was being made to the lucky bridegroom, an old suitor rushed into the room with a knife and stabbed the bridegroom in the heart. His finance let out a blood curdling scream as he fell into her lap and died. Her beautiful gown was stained with blood. She turned and walked out of the room without a word, changed into a black gown and hat, and burned her gown. She never spoke another word nor wore anything but black until the day she died. Rumor has it that every 50 years, at Halloween, a spell is cast on anyone daring to have a party in the mansion.”
By this time, everyone was picking at their costumes trying to pry them off, but it was no use, they were stuck like glue. The chamber music began again but it was interspersed with an evil laughing voice.
Everyone left and as we drove away I glanced once more at the upstairs window and thought I saw the black specter again.
Neither of us slept well that night. How would we be able to function with these darn Halloween costumes.
“Tony, are you awake?”
“Are you going to work tomorrow?”
Tony was the lucky one, he was able to put other clothes over his costume.
I, on the other hand, had bunny ears for the next year and had to bear endless jokes; I knew other citizens were in the same fix.
Next year, Halloween was welcomed in our home for only one reason; the costumes came off. We never attended another Halloween party again.
The house still stands, lonely and dangerous as always. What will happen in 50 years?