The Face on the Tree
Gloria and her friends Sarah and Megan enjoyed riding their horses through the woods next to the riding stable. Many of the old timers at the stable warned them not to pass Black Woods at night on horseback. The haunted woods often spooked the horses – as well as the riders. One particularly beautiful afternoon close to Halloween, the girls rode out farther than they intended.
The crisp leaves crunched under the horses’ hooves, and the girls spent more time than usual exploring an unused trail. The sunset faded, and they suddenly realized they had to pass Black Woods in pitch darkness. The horses knew the path and picked their way carefully through the woodland trail. They came to a fork in the trail. If they took the shortcut, they would go past Black Woods toward the stables. The horses balked and refused to turn left onto the shortcut.
“Let’s dismount and walk them the last little bit. We’re almost home,” Gloria said.
“You go.” Sarah shivered. “I want to take the long way home and ride to the road.”
“We’re going to get in trouble if we walk the horses on the road at night. It’s too dangerous. Besides, we’re almost at the stables. We just have to get through Black Woods.” Gloria persisted.
Sarah and Meg had already turned their horses towards the road.
“We could get hit by a car being on the road in the dark.” Gloria warned.
“Fine,” Sarah fumed. “I’ll go by the forest.”
Gloria urged the horse forward. As they rounded the last turn into Black Woods, an eerie glow suddenly lit the path in front of Gloria. She urged her trembling horse forward. As she turned towards the riding stable, the glow became stronger and centered on a huge, lightning-struck oak tree. On the trunk of the tree a woman’s face appeared. She glowed with a white light as her lips moved.
“Tell them…,” she whispered. “Tell them I’m innocent.”
Gloria kicked her horse, but the horse needed no urging. He flew through the woods and stopped at the stable door, trembling in fear.
The next day, one of the stable owners, Tommy, stopped by while Gloria groomed her horse. Tommy had heard that Gloria had ridden alone through Black Woods after dark, and so close to Halloween. As she curried her horse, Gloria worked up her courage and asked, “Tommy, why do people say we shouldn’t go into Black Woods at night?”
“Because of the Hanging Tree,” Tommy said.
“The big oak.” It was a statement from Gloria, not a question.
“The very one,” said Tommy.
The apparition’s words echoed in Gloria’s mind. “Tell them I’m innocent.” She shivered.
She never rode anywhere near Black Woods or the old Hanging Tree ever again.
Riding Home From the Party
Fifteen-year-old Jacob went into the garage to retrieve his bike to ride to a Halloween party but discovered the front tire was flat. Running late, he hopped on his sister’s bicycle and pedaled toward his friend’s house. He turned down the lonely side street, skirting the woods that he and his friends used as a short-cut through town. He shrugged off the creepy feeling someone was watching him as he neared the darkest part of the street and sped through as fast as he could. He arrived at the party and stayed until 10 pm.
On the way home, he considered not using the shortcut, but he needed to study for a math test and wanted to get home as fast as possible. He started down the narrow lane when he noticed someone was in the middle of the street. It must be some kid from the party taking the shortcut home. Jacob slowed down as he drew closer. The figure turned around. An ugly, twisted, gnarly face glowered at him. Jacob slammed on brakes, intent on turning around when a heavy chain rattled through the air. He turned just as the chain slammed into his head, wrapping around his neck.
“Got you!” the wicked voice boomed as Jacob felt himself falling to the ground. The macabre being stood over him with blood dripping from its lips. “Thought you’d never come back this way, boy. Glad you decided to take the shortcut home!” Jacob’s sister’s bicycle was found in the middle of the side street. Drag marks were determined made by the killer dragging Jacob’s body off the road. The police discovered Jacob’s body drained of all blood only a few feet from the street. His killer was dubbed The Halloween Vampire. To this day, no one travels down that side street, especially at night. SallyPainterhttps://paranormal.lovetoknow.com/Short_Scary_Halloween_Stories