The Spooky Boogie

Submitted into Contest #221 in response to: Write a story where ghosts and the living coexist.... view prompt

30 comments

Holiday Horror Fantasy

This story contains themes or mentions of physical violence, gore, or abuse.

(CW: Violence, crude humor)




Halloween is a holiday that everyone knows well because it’s the only time humans and spirits can co-exist. Every year on October thirty-first, the dead rise from their graves and walk among us. The demons crawl out from the shadows because the holy light holds no sway, and even the monsters come out to play.


At first, there was bloodshed on both sides, but it didn’t take long for humans to adapt to the annual phenomenon by dressing up in silly costumes to blend in with the evil entities, and oddly enough, it worked. When blood lust is in a demon’s eyes, they fail to see the obvious.


Over the years, the tradition morphed into a children’s fairytale, and these days, no one bats an eye if a spectral spook passes by. Adults took on a responsible attitude and allowed their little ones to go out and enjoy the night. Soon after, a festive event called Trick-or-Treating came roaring into every neighborhood around the world. Every girl and boy would get candy if they simply knocked on someone’s door and said: Trick-or-Treat.


The evil creatures paid no attention to the humans and their silly ways. They couldn’t tell friend from foe when they wore the costumes or why one of their own would knock on a stranger’s door and not tear them apart. It was a farce that became institutionalized in its absurdity.


To each their own.


As the world grew older, so did the Halloween fairytale. The traditional holiday of Trick-or-Treating morphed into a health-conscious day when adults decided that too much sugar was bad for their kids. It became a hot topic for years, but the day of righteousness came when many children became obese. In the end, the simple solution was fair and just—the little ones could still go out on Halloween night, but instead of getting candy, they would get vegetables instead.


It wasn’t a popular decision, but it became law and was written in stone. The evil spirits didn’t care one way or the other because they floated on with their once-a-year Halloween romp, stomp, and boogie. They still couldn’t tell humans from demons, but occasionally, a slip-up would occur. If someone removed their costume or mask in a spirit’s presence, they were torn limb from limb without a second thought. This was a rare occurrence but an important reminder to parents and children everywhere to always wear their outfits no matter what.


In the wee hours on Lame Street, Timmy Lawson sat before his parents while his mom, Amanda, adjusted his vampire cape. She saw his legs thumping and asked, “Are you nervous about tonight?”


Timmy widened his and replied, “No, mom! My Dracula costume is the best on the block, and I’m ready to go!” He parted his mouth slightly to show his fake vampire teeth and snarled, “Aargh!”


Amanda looked at her watch and bit her bottom lip. Her blonde hair hid her face, but Timmy could sense her apprehension. “I’ll be fine, mom!”


“I know you will,” Amanda said. “I’m your mother, and I’m allowed to worry.”


Timmy folded his arms and frowned. “Mom!” 


“Fine,” Amanda blurted. “You better get going before it gets too late.”


Doves exploded in Timmy’s heart, and he jumped out of his chair. “Yay!” 


His father, John, who was always overprotective, lowered his evening paper and warned, “Before you go, I want you to be on your best behavior, and remember—no candy or sweets!” 


Amanda parted her golden locks and echoed, “That’s right, Timmy. Only vegetables.”


Timmy lowered his head and slouched. “No one gives out candy anymore. It’s against the law!”


John reached up to his clean-shaven face and removed his black glasses. “That’s true, son, but in this world, there are still a lot of people out there who don’t follow that law. Just remember, humans are just as bad as those monsters and perhaps a bit worse.”


“Okay, Dad.” Timmy didn’t fully understand, but his dad was a wise man, and he’d be a fool not to listen.


“Your father’s right,” Amanda said. “We just want you to be safe.” She knelt and placed a gentle kiss on Timmy’s forehead. “Now go have some fun!”


A bright sparkle filled Timmy’s eyes, and an eruption of freedom sprang from his lungs. He grabbed his empty pumpkin bucket and raced through the front door without saying goodbye. The cool night air brushed over his skin like a masterful painter lightly kissing the canvas with a boisterous color. Lame Street was bustling with children dressed in their favorite costumes.


Clowns, unicorns, beasts, and all. What an awesome night!


Lame Street was a small suburban community where every house looked the same, with trimmed bushes, mowed lawns, and perfectly placed trash cans that stood next to the residential mailboxes by the sidewalk. A place where everyone drove a Prius and worked nine-to-five jobs. Everything was routine, and that’s the way they liked it.


As Timmy took in the scene, he noticed that his friends were waiting for him at the end of the driveway. Alice was dressed as a ghost. Her white bed sheet with the eyes cut out showed a sliver of red hair, which was a dead giveaway. The werewolf was Fred. There was no mistaking that because he had an uneven stride and often lingered behind the others to hide his anxiety. Then there was Carrie, dressed in a silky black dress with a matching pointy hat, long fake nose, and a huge brown wart stuck to her right cheek. She was a witch.


“What took you so long,” Carrie asked. “We’ve been waiting here forever!”


“Sorry,” Timmy said, walking towards them. “My parents—”


“I’m gonna stop you right there, pal,” Alice fired. “We all know your parents are a bag of dicks, so let’s go before the night ends. The other kids are already going home!”


Carrie gave Timmy a wry smile as their eyes met, and he took the lead down the sidewalk. “Okay, then,” Timmy said, with rosy cheeks. “Let’s have some fun and get as many vegetables as we can!”


“I-I don’t like vegetables,” Fred stuttered, bringing up the rear.


The first house they visited was Mr. Sullivan’s—their 4th grade math teacher. Timmy knocked three times on his oak door, and Mr. Sullivan laughed when it swung open. “Ah… What do we have here?! A witch, vampire, ghost, and a werewolf!”


“Trick-or-Treat, Mr. Sullivan,” Carrie yelled, holding out her black plastic cauldron.


Sullivan smiled and said, “Well, don’t you all look so cute.” He reached around the corner and revealed a huge basket of apples. “Here you go, children. I’m afraid I’m out of veggies this evening, so these juicy apples will have to do.”


Timmy extended a shaky hand and swallowed deep. “My parents said only vegetables.”


“Fruits and veggies are a heaven’s delight,” Sullivan groaned. “I don’t see the harm as long as it’s not candy.” He pushed the basket further toward the kids.


Alice grabbed one and quickly took a bite. The sweet juices dripped down her chin, and she smiled. “See, they’re not laced with poison, so grab one, and let’s go!”


“W-Well, you wouldn’t k-know right away because the p-poison takes a few minutes to k-kill you anyway,” Fred said, peering through his wolf mask.


They all shared a laugh, grabbed an apple, and headed for the next house. “Thanks, Mr. Sullivan. See you back in school.”


“Okay, children,” he said, watching them leave. “Be safe, and don’t forget that quiz on Monday!”


The second house belonged to Jane Thatcher, leader of the neighborhood gossip group. When she answered the door, the kids saw a huge bucket filled with baby carrots. “Hello, kids. You all look nice!”


Alice held out her ghost bucket and watched Jane throw one baby carrot in. Plop. Alice narrowed her eyes and asked, “What happened to the big carrots we got last year?”


Jane drew her lips in and took a deep breath. The kids leaned backward and flared their nostrils because her breath smelled like an ashtray. That’s because she smoked a pack a day. “Well, times are tough, and you can’t blame an old lady for trying to save a little.”


“That’s okay,” Timmy said, holding out his pumpkin bucket. “It’s better than nothing.”


Fred held out his wolf bucket and stepped back when he saw Jane place three baby carrots inside. He blinked rapidly behind his mask before noticing her ashen breath upon his brow. “There you go, sweetie! I think your costume looks the best, and everyone knows I like my men with a lot of hair, ha, ha, ho!”


When he saw her yellow-stained teeth up close, Fred ran away. The others quickly followed, but they couldn’t hide their laughter.


“Don’t forget to come back now, you hear?!” Jane yelled.


“T-That was g-gross!” Fred moaned.


“Ha, ha, ha,” laughed Alice. “I think she likes you!”


Timmy couldn’t uncurl his smiling lips. “No, I think she loves you!”


“She wants to pet your fur,” Alice scoffed.


“Alright, guys,” Carrie urged, taking off her hat. “That’s enough. Fred didn’t deserve that, and we have no right to make fun.”


Fred removed his fury gloves and shook the sweat out. He shuffled his feet, cleared his throat, and coughed. “Ew, I can still t-taste her rotten b-breath!”


Timmy removed his fake fangs and said, “Carrie’s right. I’m sorry for laughing at you, but it was a little funny.”  


“Yeah,” Alice said, lifting her bed sheet to suck in the night air. “We were just pulling your leg. We’re sorry!”


Fred swayed from side to side and said, “It’s f-fine. I g-guess it was a little f-funny.”


“You know what we need?” Alice muttered. “We need some candy! That would be awesome!”


“We can’t have candy,” Timmy said, looking at the pavement. “Besides, no one around here gives it out anyway.”


Carrie nodded and gave Alice a pat on the shoulder. “You’re right. Getting vegetables every year sucks, and it would be nice to have some sweets.”


“Y-Yeah,” Fred agreed.


Suddenly, a deep, shallow whisper blew by the children like a small flower floating in the air on a warm summer day. “Did someone say candy?”


Stepping out from the nearby bushes was a small, slender man. His face was a carved pumpkin, and he wore a black top hat with a matching suit with gold trim, boots, and white pants. He held an antique lantern to light his way.


The children were speechless. They had never seen a costume like his. “Who are you?” Timmy asked, breaking the silence. His eyes were fixated on the mysterious figure.


“Me?! I’m Mr. Spooky, silly!” he said, bowing. He wobbled over and peered into their plastic buckets. “What’s this? An apple…carrots! Where are the sweet treats?”


Alice placed her hands on her hips, and her sheet ruffled in the wind. “We’re not allowed to have them! Where have you been hiding, under a rock or something?”


“No,” Mr. Spooky said. He held up his lantern and uttered, “I’ve been locked away in darkness for the longest time, but I found this light, and it has guided me here.”


“A-Are you a d-demon?” Fred asked, taking a step back.


“I told you already. My name is Mr. Spooky, and there is no other.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a handful of lollipops. “I have all the sweet treats you could ask for!”


Alice widened her eyes, and the sheet covering her face became moist at the mouth. “Wow!”


Timmy shook his head when he heard his parents’ words echo. No candy, only vegetables! The thought sent a river of snakes sliding down his spine. “We’re not allowed to have any candy, Mr. Spooky.”


“What?!” Mr. Spooky shrieked. “No candy? That’s absurd. Don’t you know what day this is?”


Carrie stepped forward and brushed Mr. Spooky’s hand away. She didn’t want to hear any more of his nonsense. “Look, Timmy’s right. We can’t have candy, no matter how much we want it. It’s the law; if we break it, we’ll be grounded forever.”


“How rude,” Mr. Spooky said. “No child should ever be grounded. My candy will free you and make you fly like the birds in the sky!”


“L-Look, man, we appreciate your offer, but we need to g-go now,” Fred said.


The children turned their backs to Mr. Spooky and left him alone with an upside-down smile. They didn’t mean to hurt his feelings, but in their defense, they were trying to do the right thing.


Mr. Spooky thought and thought as the children walked away. No child should ever go without sweet treats. I must change their minds.


“Wait!!” he called out. The kids stopped and turned. “I have a spooktacular idea! We should do the Spooky Boogie Dance! It always cheers me up, and then maybe you will have some delicious treats!”


Before the children could say anything, Mr. Spooky stuck out his butt and twirled around like a dancing clown. Timmy, Alice, Fred, and Carrie had a strong urge to run away, but they stood firmly and watched Mr. Spooky because he was just too darn cute! Before they knew it, he broke out into a song.


Everybody twirl your body.

Do the spooky boogie.

Clap, clap, clap.

Throw your hands up now.

And clap, clap, clap.

Stick that booty out.

And Clap, clap, clap.

Do the spooky boogie.

Shuffle here and shuffle there.

Do the spooky boogie.

The spooky boogie!



Mr. Spooky’s song and dance intoxified the air like a poison mist, and the children soon found themselves twirling and singing along. Their minds were like a lost ship sailing into uncharted waters. The discovery of a new-found rebellion was at hand.


Within minutes, candy rained down, much to Mr. Spooky’s delight. “Oh, how wonderful! Sweet treats from the heavens above. Dig in now and enjoy the splendor!”


Timmy clenched his stomach and stiffened his jaw. “No…our parents said no…”


“But I say yes! What good is Halloween if we can’t enjoy a sweet snack?!” Mr. Spooky spun around and threw more candy at the children.


Alice was the first child to give in to the wicked bliss. She picked up a chocolate bar and took a big bite. “Oh! This is wonderful!”


Fred grabbed a piece of laffy taffy and bit into the sticky goodness. As it stretched an arm’s length, he smiled and said, “T-This is g-good!”


Carrie and Timmy held out the longest, but after seeing their friends give in, they had to sample the goods. They grabbed a peanut butter bar and crunched down. No words came, but Mr. Spooky could tell they loved it by their upward smiles.


“That’s it, my lovelies, eat. Eat until you’ve had your fill of sugary sweets!”


Mr. Spooky twirled and swirled like a ballerina and watched the children devour the candy like a pack of wild dogs. They were in it deep now and munched away every ounce of the candy. They ate so much that they fell to the pavement. They were plump, juicy, and ripe.


“Now that you’ve all had your fill, I suppose I shall have mine,” Mr. Spooky growled, walking around their fallen bodies. “You all look so delicious!”


Timmy rolled over and mumbled, “No…you…can’t…do…this…”


Mr. Spooky cackled at Timmy’s protest. He raised his lantern and smashed it down on his head. The impact did nothing more than shut his mouth. With another twirl, a thick plume of purple smoke filled the air, and Mr. Spooky transformed into a hideous demon. His sweet pumpkin face gave birth to devious evil that was hidden all along. He ripped his suit off to reveal a pair of old brown overalls that covered a dusty white shirt.


His voice had also changed—it was deeper and more demonic. “Yummy, Yummy! You children are now full of sugar! Just the way I like my sweet treats!” Mr. Spooky reached into his overalls and pulled out two sharp kitchen knives that twinkled in the moonlight. “Now, now… Stay still while I cut you up to pieces. I can’t eat you whole after all, ha, ha, ha!”


Alice still had a piece of chocolate in her mouth, and as Mr. Spooky walked towards her—knives dangling by his side—she spat out the sugary treat. He carelessly stepped into the sticky goo and fell with a thunderous thud. His blades slid in front of Timmy and Carrie, and they grabbed them with lightning speed.


Fred exploded to his feet and tackled Mr. Spooky so he couldn’t escape. “Y-You’re not going a-anywhere!” Even he was surprised at his new-found courage.


“That’s right,” Alice yelled, standing. “The one thing about sugar is that it messes with your mind and makes you want more!”


“Yeah,” Timmy said, holding his head. “And we are still hungry!”


“What?!” Mr. Spooky shouted. “You can’t do this to me!”


Mr. Spooky writhed back and forth, trying to break free from Fred’s grasp, but it was useless. Timmy and Carrie seized the moment, plunged their blades into Mr. Spooky’s head, and cut away huge chunks of pumpkin slices. He screamed like a dying cat.


Alice and Fred stuck their mouths inside his skull and drank deeply with their sticky lips. They spat out the seeds and laughed. Timmy and Carrie continued carving away until their sugar rush melted away and ate what was left. The last thing Mr. Spooky heard was someone chomping down on his skull. 


Later that night, the children agreed to return to Timmy’s house to watch some scary movies. They promised each other that they would never talk about what had happened….   


When they walked through the door, Timmy’s parents asked, “Did you all eat your vegetables?”


In one collective voice, they said, “YES, WE DID!”  


October 24, 2023 06:01

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30 comments

Martin Ross
11:08 Oct 24, 2023

My grandson always wants me to tell him “scary stories.” He’d love this one! Well-done!

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Daniel R. Hayes
16:28 Oct 24, 2023

Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked it :)

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Stevie Burges
07:32 Dec 29, 2023

A well-told story. I liked the angle about how to beat obesity and that only vegetables are allowed. As a rule, I don't like horror stories, but I've now read two of yours and really enjoyed them. Good imaginative tales.

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Daniel R. Hayes
17:15 Dec 29, 2023

Thanks Stevie! I never really set out to write horror stories. I've written in all genres, but people seemed to really like the supernatural stuff, so I went with it. I like to add in my sense of humor and that's where the silliness comes from. I can't wait to read more of your stories and will comment when I do :)

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Rebecca Lewis
01:24 Dec 23, 2023

The Halloween story you've shared is quite engaging, blending the traditional spooky elements with a unique twist on the consequences of indulging in forbidden treats. The transformation of Mr. Spooky from a whimsical character to a sinister demon adds an unexpected layer to the narrative. The incorporation of moral dilemmas, parental warnings, and the children's rebellion against the rules creates a thought-provoking atmosphere. The story effectively weaves in moments of humor, especially in the interactions between the children and the re...

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Daniel R. Hayes
06:00 Dec 23, 2023

Thank you so much! I'm really glad you liked this story. I try to keep the reader engaged and then throw them for a loop, so it's all in good fun. This was my Halloween story, and I hope to write more short stories in between my new novel :)

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Graham Kinross
02:45 Nov 18, 2023

As a teacher, I know how dangerous kids can be. This could be a true story. Nicely done.

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Daniel R. Hayes
17:33 Nov 20, 2023

Thanks Graham! I really appreciate your comments! :)

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Graham Kinross
22:36 Nov 20, 2023

You’re welcome.

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Shannon C.
19:31 Nov 02, 2023

This was wonderful. I had a smile on my face the whole time reading it.

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Daniel R. Hayes
01:08 Nov 03, 2023

Thank you Shannon, I really appreciate your comments!

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Ferris Shaw
08:48 Nov 02, 2023

I guess Timmy's father was right. The humans, even the human children, are worse than the demons. Or at least, more dangerous.

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Daniel R. Hayes
01:05 Nov 03, 2023

You nailed it Ferris! Humans are always devious in their intentions! Thanks for your comments!

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Nina H
10:06 Oct 30, 2023

A modern Grimm’s tale!!! So many great parts in this! I really thought the fruit substitute was going to wreak havoc, but they carried on! And the baby carrots rather than the full size carrots 😂 Thanks for sharing this great story! 🎃

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Daniel R. Hayes
18:15 Oct 30, 2023

Thank you for reading it, Nina! I love Halloween and wanted to write something really cool this year!

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Shirley Medhurst
22:20 Oct 29, 2023

Great spooky take on a possible future of the Trick or Treat tradition of modern Halloween. Who knows… wouldn’t surprise me if veggies were to overtake sweeties???? I enjoyed reading this, Daniel, and think you chose a fitting end to your tale

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Daniel R. Hayes
18:09 Oct 30, 2023

Thank you Shirley! I agree with what you said. We never know what will happen in the future, so that could be a possibility...lol

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Danie Holland
14:08 Oct 27, 2023

And that — my dear friends — is why you never play with your food. 😭 Great story telling, the three baby carrots and the wolf costume part had me rolling. Thanks for a sweetish story full of tricks!

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Daniel R. Hayes
17:36 Oct 27, 2023

Thank you for reading it! I'm glad you liked it 😊

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Crows_ Garden
15:39 Oct 25, 2023

That ending was pretty neat. I liked how they said they ate all of their veggies. Considering Mr. Spooky... It isn't technically a lie! I loved the bits of rhythming throughout too, it really added something to your piece. Nice job homie!

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Daniel R. Hayes
20:00 Oct 25, 2023

Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked it. I thought the ending was cool too because their parents told them no candy...lol

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Crows_ Garden
17:13 Oct 27, 2023

Of course, it's really nice! Yeah, I liked that bit : )

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Myranda Marie
22:26 Oct 24, 2023

This is a horror film in the making! Loved the twist at the end, although those kids creeped me out !!! Great read, Happy Halloween !!!

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Daniel R. Hayes
00:44 Oct 25, 2023

Hi Myranda! Thank you so much. I'm so glad you liked the story. Happy Halloween! 🎃

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Daniel R. Hayes
00:44 Oct 25, 2023

Hi Myranda! Thank you so much. I'm so glad you liked the story. Happy Halloween! 🎃

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Daniel R. Hayes
00:44 Oct 25, 2023

Hi Myranda! Thank you so much. I'm so glad you liked the story. Happy Halloween! 🎃

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Mary Bendickson
16:24 Oct 24, 2023

A spooky twist to trick or treating. 😋 Thanks for liking my latest couple of stories.

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Daniel R. Hayes
16:30 Oct 24, 2023

Thank you! I always try to write things that may lead the reader one way and then take them another. I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

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