Halloween Story Contest Winner Announced!

Halloween Story Contest Winner Announced! title=
Halloween Story Contest Winner Announced!
4 Comments
Reads 3293
Update by edhat staff
October 30, 2019

Happy Halloween! Our panel of spooky judges received tons of stories from very talented edhat writers. Congratulations to everyone who completed and submitted their stories, well done! 

Let's meet the judges:

Sue Foley is an environmental consultant, part-time writer, and former dedicated staff member of Edhat.com. Halloween is one of her favorite holidays because she can use her hands to scoop the squishy stuff out of pumpkins. The tiny Snickers bars are also a plus. 

Lauren Bray is the Publisher of edhat.com and spooky story enthusiast. If you have a ghost story, she wants to hear it, preferably while eating a Halloween popcorn ball. This year she will be wearing a penguin onesie costume because it’s ridiculously comfortable.

Rebecca Horrigan is an English teacher at Marymount of Santa Barbara and a contributor to Edhat and the Independent. She gets ridiculously frightened by spooky tales and horror films. However, she loves suspense and will gladly delve into any ghost story as long as she can be comforted by her favorite Halloween candy -- peanut m&m's

The judges rated each story on a scale of 1 to 5 and every story has the same beginning and must include the phrases: ghost, avocado farm, and snickers. This year's winner and one story received the top score to win our annual Edhat Halloween Story Writing Contest. 

Congratulations to our first place winner, Colin Campbell for "Ghosts of Years Past." Read the full story below. 

State Street was abnormally quiet Friday night. The cold October breeze picked up and swirled around me as I walked past dimly lit restaurants and closed storefronts. The former Macy’s department store stood still and dark. I paused before its front windows and looked inside. A small glow of yellow light suddenly appeared from inside the empty building. It grew bigger and bigger moving closer towards me. 

Ghosts of Years Past

By Colin Campbell

It was a man with a flashlight. He shined the light in my face, then gestured toward the door. He opened the door, keeping the light in my eyes, and said, "We ain't open to the public." 

"I...I've been out of town a long time," I said. "I heard that this was the place, that tonight was the night for the gathering of the ghosts of old businesses."

     "What are you, a t-shirt shop?" he said, looking me up and down. 

     "No, I was an ad agency that had the Piccadilly Square account, long ago."

     "You're early," he said, "All Souls day doesn't officially start until midnight. After bar closing time, when all of downtown is dead, that's when we can come out and haunt our former spots." 

     He took the flashlight out of my eyes and I recognized him. "Why, you're Rocky Galenti," I said.

     "The one and only," he said. "Hah, wait until Beaudelaire's gets here, I can't wait to tell him somebody off the street remembered me." 

     He led me through the dark and eerie innards of the abandoned Macy's up to the iciness of the third floor, where a crowd was already growing.    

     "There will be a lot of us here, there's more of us every year," Rocky told me."

     "How does this all work?" I said. 

     "We put our heart and soul into our businesses," Rocky said. "Our hearts stopped. Our souls remained. As long as someone is alive who remembers what we did, our soul persists. Every year at Halloween, we gather to see how many of us are left."

     Rocky introduced me around. "An ad agency, huh? You must have known Aaron Brothers, all the art supplies you needed." 

     "Yes," I said, and shook hands. 

     "I can't wait for Aldos and The Copper Coffee Pot to get here," said Little Audrey. "There's going to be a catfight between them to see which one rules their old space." More restaurants were present than any other companies. 1129, State & A, The Head of the Wolf, Casa Blanca. The event was catered by Jimmy's Oriental Gardens. 

     I was always more of the intellectual type, so I yakked for a while with Andromeda books and Earthling Books and Morning Glory Music, along with some youngsters like Hot Spots and Scavenge. 

     "Everything's different now," said Ott's Hardware. "Back in the day, you came to us for vacuum tubes when your TV went on the fritz. Today? Vacuum tubes might as well be little jars of nothing." 

     "I can help you make a note of that," said Banks Stationery.

     Mr. Milton shrugged. "The way things were going, it was enough to make your fur stand on end. At least they're not throwing red paint on me, now."

     The Green and Yellow Basket said, "We couldn't believe that we were now old hat."

     I saw Bernie MacElhenny regaling the crowd that all this downtown development should have been left up to him, but I heard a lot of snickers.

     "It's been hard for Bernie to be here," Rocky confided to me. "You know how he used to count his own money in front of the mirror, so he could make sure he didn't cheat himself, out of habit? Now he can't see himself in the mirror any more."

     It was a long night of revelry, but you know what? I didn't see a single avocado farm. I guess that sector must be doing okay.  

 

Congratulations Colin! You've won a 2020 Santa Barbara Axxess Book and passes to Center Stage Theatre. And congratulations to all our honorable mentions who received high scores. Read all the honorable mention stories below:


Original Post

By edhat staff
October 1, 2019

Boo!  Did we scare you? It’s officially that time of the year to be scared. The temperate Santa Barbara weather might lead some of us to believe that it’s still summer, but the dedicated staff of edhat.com is a sharp bunch. Once they started walking through fake spider webs and noticed the hundreds of bags of tiny candy bars at CVS, they knew Halloween was on deck. 

So we’re bringing back Edhat’s Halloween Story Writing Contest!

Dust off that fountain pen, grab a sheet of parchment, and start writing. As usual, we’ve given you a head start.

Here are the rules:

Entries can be no longer than 660 words (including the provided beginning), should be suitable for all ages (PG content, please), must include the opening we have provided, and must contain the following three words or phrases: 

  • Ghost
  • Avocado farm
  • Snickers

Your story can be scary or funny or something in between.  All entries will be judged by an esteemed panel of Ed’s friends, based on the following criteria: 

  • Word count
  • Inclusion of the required beginning and words or phrases, and
  • If the judges like it

 

The first-place winner will win a Santa Barbara Axxess Book and a super spooky prize. Ed will decide any ties. This contest is open to everyone, students included! One story per person, please.

Send your entry to ed@edhat.com by Midnight, 10-20-19. Enter “Halloween Writing Contest” in the subject line. Please include your name.  Winner will be announced and the winning story posted on Wednesday, 10-30-19. Honorable Mention stories will also be posted.

Here’s the beginning of the story…good luck!

State Street was abnormally quiet Friday night. The cold October breeze picked up and swirled around me as I walked past dimly lit restaurants and closed storefronts. The former Macy’s department store stood still and dark. I paused before its front windows and looked inside. A small glow of yellow light suddenly appeared from inside the empty building. It grew bigger and bigger moving closer towards me. 

Login to add Comments

4 Comments

Toggle Comments (Show)
Flicka Oct 31, 2019 11:11 AM
Halloween Story Contest Winner Announced!

Fantastic writing, congratulations for a superb story, Colin. It would be spooky and fun to meet up with all your ghosts well remembered by all of us who have been here long enough to know who they are

Roger Oct 30, 2019 02:47 PM
Halloween Story Contest Winner Announced!

Wow that was Beautiful Colin! you must be Old School and Mr. Milton's Furs I almost jumped through their roof once...Thanks for the Memories.

Please Login or Register to comment on this.