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Appropriate Ghost Stories for Any Age SPOOKY TALES FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
TIP : Characters and locations in this story can vary depending on your location and audience. Where’s My Hairy Toe? This story is perfect for youngsters under the age of 10, especially if you’re still gauging their fright level. Long, long ago, an old woman was tending to her garden when she discovered a hairy toe. The harvest was unfruitful that year, so when she returned to her cottage, she reluctantly ate the toe and settled into a quiet evening at home. But she kept hearing a low voice moaning, “Where’s my h-a-i-r-r-r-y t-o-e-e-e?” With every repetition, the voice increased in intensity. All night, mysterious thumps, groans, and demands for the toe echoed throughout the house. Just as she was falling asleep, her front door flew open, and there stood a giant demanding his hairy toe be given back. The old woman, fed up with the begging nonsense, screamed, “I ate your hairy toe!” Calmly, the giant responded, “I know.” The woman was never seen again. Her neighbors, having heard the commotion the night before, found only a single large footprint outside her house in the morning. It was a peculiar print — it only had four toes! TIP : Draw out this story by describing what the woman sees and hears all night, and play around with different voices for the giant.
Ghost stories are a rite of passage this time of the year, but it can be hard to determine which stories will be appropriate for kids. If you have a youngster who is a budding scare-o-phile, here are some stories you can feel safe telling them. Feel free to shape these stories in your own way. Knowing the age of your audience and what kind of frights they enjoy will help you craft your tale. The Flying Dutchman This story is perfect for little historians and those who love maritime tales. Legend has it that ship captain Hendrick van der Decken and his crew have haunted the Cape of Good Hope ever since a storm ravaged their ship more than 450 years ago. Van der Decken was an avid seaman and captain of The Flying Dutchman. In the midst of a horrifying storm, he insisted that the ship keep pressing ahead. His crew begged him to change course, but, according to folklore, his famous response was “We’ll sail for eternity!” Van der Decken and his crew vanished in the storm, but sailors over the past five centuries have often claimed to see a mist- shrouded boat sailing toward them, only for it to disappear from their sight as they drew near. Sailors warn that if a ship crosses paths with The Flying Dutchman, it spells doom for the ship’s occupants.
The Pink Jelly Bean If you’re looking for some suspense with a happy ending, your own version of The Pink Jelly Bean is your safest bet. Here’s an example: There was a dark forest into which no one ventured alone. In the forest was a shack, the spooky setting of numerous gory tales. On stormy nights, it was said that the shack came alive. One night, brave travelers came across the shack and decided to stay for the night just as a storm was brewing. Suddenly, a gust of wind blasted the door open and flashes of lightning lit up the shack to reveal something in the middle of the shuttered living room: … a pink jelly bean! TIP : The goal is to stretch this story out for as long as you can before the final reveal. Add more doors, characters, and creepy objects — whatever it takes to build the suspense. –Joe Di Bartolomeo | 1
The Di Bartolomeo Law Office, P.C. 1139 Exchange Street | Astoria, Oregon | 503-325-8600 | www.JoeDiBartolomeo.comwww.joedibartolomeo.com
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