Things that Go Bump in the Night

by Shannon Hembree on August 23, 2012

Who doesn’t like a good scare – and by scare, I mean a good old-fashioned ghost story, not the scare you get when you realize that your three year old left the playground without telling you, which by the by, happened to me this week. But I digress.

Anyhoo…who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned scare? My kids have just entered this phase. Because they are three, three, and six, the scare is – well…less than scary – but the thrill is there nonetheless. And because I am sometimes bored with our everyday conversation about why my kids can’t make their toys come alive like Doc McStuffins does, I made these scary stories up for them. Their favorites are as follows:

Stinky Skunk. This one is my personal favorite. Perhaps because I don’t always get a chance to shower every day and may or may not be stinky at any given moment. Who can say…Anyway, the story begins with our hero, a little bear, playing with his friends in the forest. They are playing in their favorite location – near a cave. One day, they hear a spooky sound coming from the cave. It’s a voice wailing, “I’m going to scare them away…” (Note, this should be done in a voice not unlike the really awful Dracula ones saying, “I’m going to suck your blood…” So of course our woodland creatures get scared and run away. But the little bear misses playing in his favorite spot, so – in true horror flick style – he goes to investigate (Note, if this were a true horror flick, the “he” would be a “she,” and she would be wearing next to nothing…or there would be teenagers making out…).

After some harrowing moments of hearing the scary wailing several times while tiptoeing through the darkened cave, the little bear discovers that the wailing is coming from a very stinky skunk. The skunk is wringing his paws together and lamenting the fact that he is so stinky that he is going to scare away any potential friends. Our faithful hero steps in and helps stinky skunk take a bath. He then invites him to join in a game with his friends. And everyone lives happily ever after (Note, the bear might only live happily ever after if a hunter doesn’t kill him and hang his skin in his cabin in the woods, but I never include that part…).

Noise in the Closet. A little boy is going to sleep when he hears a noise in his closet (Note, you have to make up a noise yourself, because I’m not sure how to type the noise like butterfly wings – or maybe it’s more like moth wings…like in The Silence of the Lambs…). He is scared and calls to his mom. She opens the closet door slowly, but notices nothing amiss. She goes back downstairs, but of course, he hears the sound again (Insert scary fluttering sound yet again.). His mom comes back up and slowly opens the closet door. Again, nothing. She goes downstairs, and the boy hears the scary noise AGAIN! (Insert crazy shocked tone here.). This time, he gets up to investigate (Good Lord – why do they always do that?!?). He slowly opens the closet door. Nothing. He reaches into the darkened closet and hits the clothing back and forth. Then he realizes…THE SOUND IS COMING FROM INSIDE HIS FAVORITE BLUE SHIRT (It’s better than the phone calls coming from inside the house…right?)! He pokes the blue shirt, and a thousand multi-colored butterflies flutter out and fly out of his bedroom window into the night. The End.

Snake in the Bathroom. My disclaimer for this is that I hate this story. My kids, however, love it. Why, I ask you – why?!? Anyway, a boy is going to sleep when he hears a noise in the bathroom (do you sense a theme here?). This time, the noise is a SSSSSSSSSSSS like a snake. He calls to his mom, and she goes into the bathroom to take a look. She notices nothing out of the ordinary (Note, this is why I hate this story. The mom should have known what was amiss, so I am just going to say her excuse is child-induced sleep deprivation. I was clearly under its influence as well when I came up with this one.). She goes back downstairs, and the boy hears the SSSSSSSSSSS AGAIN! Of course, he goes to investigate. He tiptoes into the bathroom. With each step, the SSSSSSSSS gets louder. And then…he realizes that the sound is coming from the faucet he left running after brushing his teeth (See, there’s even an environmental message in there.). Dutifully, he turns off the faucet, returns to bed, and falls peacefully asleep. He stays that way until late the next morning…at least until 7:00. (A girl can dream, right?).

And it’s not just kids who enjoy spooky tales. Sometimes a good ghost story is just plain fun. I would be remiss if I didn’t give you a little something to wonder about late at night, so if you’re game, here is a link to ten famous pictures of ghosts along with their stories. Even if you don’t believe in ghosts, they are a bit of fun. Just don’t blame me if it is late at night and you are having trouble drifting off to sleep…and you glance at the slightly ajar closet door and think to yourself, “Did that just move?!?” Because that will not be my fault at all – it will be your imagination coming to call…either that or the ghost in your closet…

And what about you? Do you still get a thrill out of a good ghost story? Or are you more of a leap-into-bed-so-your-toes-won’t-be-in-reach-if-there-is-a-monster-under-the-bed girl? More importantly, do you have any favorite scary books, movies, or stories you want to share?

Sweet dreams…

Shannon Hembree loves a good ghost story. She does, however, still feel a bit irritated at her brother for calling her several times one night while she was babysitting (way back when she was a teenager and before Caller ID existed) and whispering in a creepy voice, “Have you checked the children?” You can follow her on Twitter @Shannon1Hembree.

{ 4 comments }

Farrah August 23, 2012 at 8:05 am

I love these :) Brody is so afraid of even the simplest stories, I don’t think I can use them yet though :)

Shannon August 23, 2012 at 9:32 am

It’s funny — my kids are easily scared as well, but they do love a not-so-spooky story ;)

Alexandra August 23, 2012 at 3:37 pm

My children DO NOT and CANNOT take the paranormal in any way.

tried to see Paranorman today, and the three of them left the theater 20 mins into the film, wild eyed and screaming.

We got our money back and went and had a good time at TacoBell instead.

Me? SUCKER for Alfred HItchcock vintage books and films ( I just about go through the roof when I find them in resale shops)

Also, grew up LOVING Twilight zone, Night Gallery, One Step Beyond. Bring it on.

Shannon August 23, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Love love love Alfred Hitchcock!

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