Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ghost Tale for Tuesday

One of my favorite things about summer camp was sitting around the campfire telling ghost stories and scary tales. Who doesn't remember feeling the little hairs on the back of your neck stand up at attention when the storyteller was nearing the climax?

Do you remember the "Thump-thump-draaaag" story about the deranged killer with one peg-leg? Or the "Bloody Hook" story about the deranged killer with a hook for an arm? Why did deranged killers always permeate the scary story vernacular?

I've found a version of the "Bloody Hook" story, retold by S.E. Shlosser, for my Ghost Tale today and thought I'd share. If it feels more natural, maybe you should turn out the lights and bring out the old camp flashlight to hold while you read this - just in case you feel someone sneaking up behind you!


The reports had been on the radio all day, though she hadn't paid much attention to them. Some crazy man had escaped from the state asylum. They were calling him the Hook Man since he had lost his right arm and had it replaced with a hook. He was a killer, and everyone in the region was warned to keep watch and report anything suspicious. But this didn't interest her. She was more worried about what to wear on her date.

After several consultation calls with friends, she chose a blue outfit in the very latest style and was ready and waiting on the porch when her boyfriend came to pick her up in his car. They went to a drive-in movie with another couple, then dropped them off and went parking in the local lover's lane. The blue outfit was a hit, and she cuddled close to her boyfriend as they kissed to the sound of romantic music on the radio.

Then the announcer came on and repeated the warning she had heard that afternoon. An insane killer with a hook in place of his right hand was loose in the area. Suddenly, the dark, moonless night didn't seem so romantic to her. The lover's lane was secluded and off the beaten track. A perfect spot for a deranged mad-man to lurk, she thought, pushing her amorous boyfriend away.

"Maybe we should get out of here," she said. "That Hook Man sounds dangerous."

"Awe, c'mon babe, it's nothing," her boyfriend said, trying to get in another kiss. She pushed him away again.

"No, really. We're all alone out here. I'm scared," she said.

They argued for a moment. Then the car shook a bit, as if something…or someone…had touched it. She gave a shriek and said: "Get us out of here now!"

"Jeeze," her boyfriend said in disgust, but he turned the key and went roaring out of the lover's lane with a screeching of his tires.

They drove home in stony silence, and when they pulled into her driveway, he refused to help her out of the car. He was being so unreasonable, she fumed to herself. She opened the door indignantly and stepped into her driveway with her chin up and her lips set. Whirling around, she slammed the door as hard as she could. And then she screamed.

Her boyfriend leapt out of the car and caught her in his arms. "What is it? What's wrong?" he shouted. Then he saw it. A bloody hook hung from the handle of the passenger-side door.

You can read more ghost stories in Spooky Campfire Tales by S.E. Schlosser.

1 comment:

  1. I remember this story! I think we told it a little differently - but same basic story.

    Used to scare me at summer camp every year.


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