There once was a family of ghosts who lived in an old, empty farmhouse on the edge of a small town. The house was shabby and spooky and everyone said it was haunted because, well… it was. The townsfolk were afraid of the old farm. No one ever ventured there… not even the town’s teenagers on a dare. The mother and father ghosts liked it that way. They were happy to have the peace and quiet, but their only child, Boo, wasn’t happy at all. He was restless and bored and looking for adventure, and what he wanted most of all was a friend.
Then, one winter afternoon, the worst thing happened. The ramshackle old house collapsed into a pile of rubble, leaving the little ghost family without a home. “Where will we go?” the mother ghost wailed. “We will move into town,” her husband calmly replied. “But, the town is so noisy and busy and there are… people there!” the mother ghost cried. “Not to worry, dear, we will find the perfect house,” he answered with a smile.
So off they went in search of a new home, and they found one that was perfect indeed. It was a beauty: an old Victorian with gingerbread trim and a large front porch. It had a yard full of lovely weeds and a “For Sale” sign in front that looked as old and weathered as the house itself. Across the sign, someone had painted “Jinx House” in a messy red scrawl. It was obvious that the house had been empty for quite some time, but it looked sturdy enough, so they decided to move in right away. They were delighted to find a few pieces of furniture already there, covered in dusty white sheets, which gave the house a nice homey touch.
Boo was so excited to be in a new place. He just knew there would be adventures here! He flitted from room to room until he came to the attic. There was a large window overlooking the street and when he looked out, he could almost see the whole town! “Finally!” he thought to himself, his fondest wish would come true and he would find a friend at last. Since he was a ghost, he knew that he would have to concentrate all of his energy into making his voice loud enough for a new friend to hear. So, he sat by the window, silently practicing in his mind how he would introduce himself. He could feel his voice getting stronger as he watched and waited for just the right child to see him in the window and ask him to come out and play. But alas, it was not to be…
The days passed, and then weeks, and then months, and Boo sat there watching, as the people of the town went by. No one noticed the lonely little ghost waving hopefully from the highest window of the spooky old house. Winter turned into Spring, Spring became Summer, and still he waited… and waited. He was waiting still, when the trees dropped their leaves and the chill of Autumn nipped the air. Then, something wonderful happened! Just as the sky began to darken, he looked down to see the streets and sidewalks were filled with children! They looked like witches and goblins and fairies and… GHOSTS! They were moving from house to house ringing doorbells. Surely, they would come to this house, too! He watched as group after group passed but, sadly, no one even slowed down. Suddenly, he remembered! “This must be Halloween!” he said, and then he had a really great idea!
Boo ran quickly down the stairs, grabbed a sheet off the old sofa and threw it over his head. Then, through the front door and down the sidewalk he went, bouncing with excitement. He followed a group of children to the house next door. “Trick or Treat!” the children yelled loudly. The door opened and a friendly-looking lady stepped out holding a large bowl filled with treats. The children held out bags and she dropped handfuls of candy into each one. Then, when it was Boo’s turn, she said in a soft voice, “What a cute little ghost! Where’s the bag for your candy?” Boo’s big moment had arrived. Slowly, he spoke, his voice getting louder with each word, “Hello. My… name… is… BOO!!!” The last word was so loud that the windows on the house rattled and shook. The startled woman tossed the bowl of candy in the air and ran back inside, slamming the door behind her. The children dropped their bags and scattered in all directions, leaving Boo alone on the tiny porch. For a moment, he was very sad. “That didn’t go very well,” he said with a sigh. “But, if I keep practicing, maybe I'll do better next year!” He pulled the dusty white sheet from over his head, spread it on the ground and started gathering. “As for this year, I didn't get a new friend, but I got lots and lots of CANDY!”