Congratulations to the winner of the 2021 Scary Story Contest for teens! This year the stories and poems were judged by three volunteer SUNY Canton judges. They had 78 submissions to choose from! Thank you to all of our teen participants, the judges, and The Friends of the Norwood Public Library for sponsoring the prizes–$25 gift cards to the Brewer Bookstore! Enjoy reading the winning works!

Best Poem:

Before I Wake

By Alexa LaSalle

I feel its hands against me.

I have to just lie there.

No choice to break free.

This sensation I cannot bear.

The lights start to flicker.

I just want to leave.

Everything’s quicker.

I can’t seem to breathe.

I scream out and I cry.

But there is no one to call.

I try to deny…

All the blood on the wall.

My limbs all froze.

My eyes won’t close.

And I never want to fall asleep again.

Scariest Setting:

The One That Walks at Night

By Abigail LaPage

                On the top of a hill in an unknown place there is a house. The paint on the house is chipping showing the old grey wood that has aged over the years. There in the house is a little girl sleeping. She has long blonde hair and light blue eyes. Her hair was as bright as the sun and her eyes were like the waves in the ocean. Her parents died when she was five and now she is with her aunt and uncle.

                She awakens from her slumber and looks around.

                “What time is it?” she asks herself in a soft voice.

                She looks out the window to see the sky is dark. The first things she wants to do is go downstairs. She sees nothing but darkness surrounds her. She stands up and tries to go to the door. Knowing the room very well because it is her own, it did not take long for her to find the doorknob.

                She opens the door oh so slowly. She doesn’t know what hides behind her door in the darkness. She peeks through the crack in the door just to make sure there is nothing to be seen.

                She can see the hallway but there is little light. She walks out of her room, looking both ways just to make sure there is nothing to be seen around her. As she’s walking through the hallway to the stairs, she hears something off in the distance like something glass crashing to the floor. She thought maybe it was nothing and the object fell by itself. She keeps walking and gets to the stairs. As she starts to walk down the stairs into the kitchen, she sees everything is not the same. It’s demonic and scary. The furniture in the rooms is not pretty.

                “I’ve never seen any type of furniture like this before,” she remarked.

                She rushes to the dining room to notice everything has changed in there too. Frightened and moreover confused, she stands still not knowing what to do. Her heart starts to beat quicker and quicker as her eyes become more foggy because she tried to hold in her tears. She doesn’t know how to feel. She runs out of the dining room into the living room to spot a mirror on the wall.

                “What is that thing? Why can’t I see myself in the mirror?” she mumbles.

                The mirror doesn’t show her reflection, it shows pictures and the pictures change. The furniture in this room is also corrupted.

                “The furniture in here has changed too!” she comments.

                Then she hears someone walking in the hallway upstairs. She can hear the floor creak from downstairs. The first thing that comes to mind is someone breaking in and it’s an intruder.

                The person seems to be talking but she can’t make out what they are saying very well. All she hears is “why does…happen all the…time.”

                She stands there motionless. Her eyes wide open together with her heart starts beating as fast as a racehorse. Her first instinct is to run out the house away from the intruder. She runs through the kitchen to the back door. It’s not turning—the doorknob, it’s stuck. Her heart drops and she starts to panic. She hears the person slowly going down the stairs. She runs into the kitchen not knowing anywhere else to hide.

                She tries to think of another door or window she can go through. Then in the corner of her eye she sees someone. It is a man in a striped outfit that is much taller than her. She can’t catch sight of very much detail because he is too far away. She knows that isn’t her uncle because the man is too tall to be her uncle.

                She starts to crawl and hides behind the island. He starts getting closer and closer. She starts to shake as the man walks into the kitchen and grabs something from the utility closet. She wonders what he could be getting from the closet. Thoughts of scary things run through her mind. He closes the door but she doesn’t dare look around the island to see what he has.

                She hears his footsteps slowly fade away. She peeks her head around the corner of the island to see if he is out of sight. She looks around and doesn’t see him. This is the perfect opportunity for her to get out of the house.

                She starts crawling on the cold floor just to be safe. She sees the front door right in front of her. She stands up and walks quickly and quietly to the front door. She turns the doorknob and the door opens. She walks through the doorway and onto the porch. Cold air brushes through her hair. She can hear the wind howling in her ears. She closes the front door very slowly. She walks down the grey aged wooden stairs.

                She starts to run and looks ahead and sees the iron gates in front of her house. Every step she starts to get faster and faster. She doesn’t even think of looking back. She gets to the iron gates and sees a chain and lock. She forgot the key! She starts to cry.

                “No…no…no…no….no….no!” she shouts.

                She can’t even jump over the fence because it is too high plus she can’t climb them. She doesn’t want to go back in. The first place she thinks of going where no one can find her is the cemetery at her house. She runs and starts to loose breathe. Each step she starts to get slower and slower.

                She alternates through the rows in the cemetery trying to find her father and mother’s grave. Every family member that has died is buried where she is. Reading all the stones she finally finds them. She falls to her knees looking around to see if she is followed. She starts to wipe the tears from her eyes. In the corner of her eye she sees a smaller grave next to her mother’s grave.

                On the grave she read what says, “Here lies Elizabeth Warner…”

                She stopped reading there and stared at the grave with wide eyes in shock. Then she remembers what happened. She remembers her lungs feeling like they were filled with something. All the time coughing and lying on her porch in a chair type bed. She fell asleep on the porch and remembers seeing nothing but darkness.

                She puts all the pieces together and then remembers she died of a sickness. She remembers daily visits from her doctor to check on her wellbeing. Now we are back to her on her knees crying because she remembered all of these feelings and thoughts flooding her head about her death. Then Elizabeth looks up to see her mother in front of her. She hugs her mom so tight her mother wouldn’t be able to breathe.

                Her mother asked, “What’s wrong?”

                Elizabeth replies, “There is this man in the house and he probably broke in!”

                Her mother tells her, “That’s just the man tha-“

                Before her mother could finish her sentence she fades away into the night sky. Elizabeth wanted to know who the man in the house was. She could see the sky shifting away from her and then all of the sudden everything went blank.

                She wakes up on the cold hard ground and wonders why she was outside. She walks into the house. She walks back up the stairs and into room. She slowly gets into bed and falls back asleep. She has forgotten about everything that happened.

                On the top of the hill in an unknown place there is a house. The paint on the house is chipping showing the old grey wood that has aged over the years. There in the house is a little girl sleeping. She has long blonde hair and light blue eyes.  Her hair was as bright as the sun and her eyes were like the waves in the ocean. Her parents died when she was five and now she is with her aunt and uncle.

                She awakens from her slumber and looks around.

Best Overall:

The Stalked and the Stalker

By Peyton Sullivan

“Let’s go Bobcats! Let’s go Bobcats!” The cheerleaders clash their pom-poms together for Friday night, the biggest football game of the year, Trinten High School home of the Bobcats vs. Dowman High representing the wolves.

Over the loud phone the sports announcer announces, “Ladies and gentlemen, that does it! Number 28 Michael Price with the first touchdown of the night assisted by 64 Corey Wood. The dynamic duo put the Bobcats in the lead.

 Corey and Michael were probably the best football players at Trinten High; they were best friends. Corey and Michael were both amazing athletes. Corey was more reserved and had a heart of gold. Michael had a bigger personality that came with a big ego. He wasn’t the brightest but his social game was one of the best. Then there was Jesse also known as Jess, Christine who had always gone by Chris, and Jackie. All members of Trinten’s cheer squad. Jess wasn’t quite the cheerleader type. She was more artistic, very smart, less peppy, but charming. Chris however was the epitome of a cheerleader, cheer captain actually. She had the long blonde hair, with the silver blue eyes, and long legs. She was a little ditzy but she knows everything about everyone. Lastly is Jackie. She moved to Trinten last year. As a Junior she joined cheer to get to meet people.

On Jackie’s first day at lunch Michael yelled out loud across the lunch room, “Hey new girl you better sit with us.”

 She’s been best friends with them ever since. She has read the whole library. She is very passionate and opinionated and she isn’t afraid to stand up for what is right.

 “Only two minutes remaining in the game, and it’s close 22-20 with the Wolves winning. Coach Mac has called for a 30 second timeout by Trinten.”

As everyone hustled in, Coach said, “You guys pick up the pace. All we need is one more down and it’s ours. Wood go long for a pass from Mitchel, bring it as far as you can, then short passes to Michael.”

 “Bobcats on three, 1,2,3…Bobcats.”

 “Wood makes a great catch from Ben Mitchel and is going. Can the Bobcats pull it off with only 40 seconds remaining? Oh my god an excellent play between 64 and 28. Michael is going for the win, he’s going and—oh he takes a hard tackle from a wolf. Fifteen seconds, oh and Wood comes to support Price and has the ball. Ten seconds, he’s going. Five, four, three and an excellent down by Wood with two seconds left the Bobcats win!”

 As Corey was walking to his car he noticed a note in between his windshield wipers. It said, “User04928@gmail.com”. He didn’t  know what to think of this so he ignored it on his drive home. Once he got home he noticed the door was wide open. His mom wasn’t home because she was celebrating the win with other parents and his little sister went to a friend’s house after watching the football game. He grabbed the garden rake off the porch and slowly went in. Nothing looked disrupted or touched. Very cautiously he turned into the hallway and started up the steps. He was light on his toes in hope not to make a sound. Once he made it up he used the rake to push open his door. He looked around everywhere in the house: the closets, kitchen, cupboards, bathrooms, even the cellar. Afterwards, he locked every window and door in the house. He went back up to his room, opened his laptop, and opened up his email. He addressed it to “User04928@gmail.com.” In the subject he typed, “Who are you??” In the email he wrote,

                               “Who is this? I found a note on my car. I am writing this because I don’t want to be a part of whatever this is. Goodbye don’t write back.”

He went to a website called “Identifyyouremail.com”. The website had a search bar. He put the email address in to see if he could find who this was. Three results showed up. The first was a middle aged white guy, with a long gray beard that was like a rat. The next was an old lady with thin white hair and an abundance of wrinkles. The last was a pale teenage kid with a bowl cut.

It was around midnight and Corey got an alert on his computer. It was coming from his email; the anonymous user had written back. The message displayed,

                               “Hi Corey so happy you could write back, you have now entered yourself in a fun game! You know who I am, I’m a dearest friend. Oh dear friend, would you please bring 400 dollars in cash to the local diner tonight at 3:25 a.m. sharp. If you fail to do this that’s fine Mr. 56 Mill Road,

                               Thanks for playing,

                               Your Dearest Friend”

Before he could even think, a message popped up in his email saying,

                               “So glad you took the time to open up and read my message! I forgot to say don’t tell anyone about this :). Oh and the color blue really suits you, it looks great with your eyes.”

                               Sincerely,

                               Your Dearest Friend”

Corey lived at 56 Mill Road. He was wearing blue flannel pajama pants with a blue Trinten football shirt. He was terrified, he felt like he was pushed against a wall. He replied to the first message saying,

                               “I’m not afraid of you, but what do you want from me? I’ll put the money under the welcome mat, please don’t write back.”

Corey went downstairs and grabbed his credit card out of his jacket pocket. He went to a 24-hour ATM where he cashed out 400 dollars. He went back home to prepare for this moment. He changed his clothes out of the blue color, he also grabbed his school bag and dumped all of his stuff out. Instead he put a hammer, a cell phone charger, an extra jacket, scissors, and an envelope with 400 dollars inside labeled “weird freak.” His computer beeped again. It was a message from the same person saying,

                               “Oh dearest friend, a hammer is unnecessary, and scissors. What are you going to do with scissors? Actually that whole bag is unnecessary. I just want the envelope.

                               “Thanks again, weird freak. “

Corey wanted to call the police or someone but he knew whoever it was was right outside his window. He actually peeked through his curtains looking for someone, but no one was seen.

The diner was about four minutes away. It was 3:18 and Corey went to his car. He locked the door behind him and grabbed his keys and phone and put them in his pocket.

He got a text from his mom saying “Core it’s been quite the night. I’m staying with the Thompson’s. Love you, sleep tight!”

A tear streamed down Corey’s cheek. He texted back. “Love you too, goodnight.”

The gravel grunted as his tires backed out. When he got to the diner he locked his car but kept his headlights on for light. His head was spinning all different ways as he ran to the mat and slid the envelope under. He sprinted back to his car and drove back home.

He couldn’t sleep all night. He was petrified. He wanted to text Jess to come over so he wouldn’t feel alone but he didn’t want to risk her getting into this troubled mess. For the rest of the night Corey hid any harmful weapons, and he blocked his windows and shoved towels under the doors. It was about five in the morning, and Corey got another message. It said,

                               “Good morning dearest friend! I was so glad you could complete your first mission. I have a new mission for you! Before midnight bring 2000 dollars and put it under the bleachers of the football field. Your eye bags are terrible by the way, maybe you should have gotten sleep.

                               Thanks again,

                               Dearest Friend”

Corey once again went to the ATM. He saw he had a balance of 1729 dollars. He took all he had. He wanted to get it over with so he was already on his way to put the money under the bleachers. Afterwards he wanted to take his mind off of this whole thing so he called Jess to hang out. Chris and Jackie were already over so Corey and Michael decided to go over. Tonight there was a college hockey game and they thought it would be fun to go together. Until then they all just caught up with one another.

The game started in an hour and if they wanted to get good seats they had to go soon. Corey didn’t have any money for gas so he suggested,

“Why don’t we all take Chris’ car? I can drive if you want. It holds all five and it’ll be more beneficial to just find one parking spot.:

“Okay, yeah that’ll work. I call shotgun,” Jackie agreed while running out to the car.

Once they arrived the guys went to get tickets and the girls went to raid the concession stand. They got popcorn, colas, chocolate bars, red vines, and of course soft pretzels with cheese dip.

“Oh man I must have left my wallet at Jess’. Could you cover it?” Corey questioned Michael.

“Sure man, but you owe me,” Michael joked.

“All right for five tickets that’ll be thirty-five gentlemen,” the worker said.

Michael paid and they all sat down in their seats which were behind the home team’s net. They all argued over the red vines and enjoyed the game.

It was half time and about 8:30. Corey got up to use the bathroom. He left his phone in his seat. Once he left a text message appeared. Jess took a glance and saw the message was from a no caller ID and didn’t look so good. It said,

                               “DO YOU NOT KNOW MY CAPABILTY! WHEN I ASK FOR SOMETHING I GET IT. YOU DON’T RIP ME OFF. I haven’t seen you around Corey. And you haven’t been answering me. You said you weren’t afraid. If you’re so unafraid, meet me tonight ALONE halfway through Dillard Street at 9 p.m. sharp.

                               I better see you there,

                               Your Dearest Friend”

“Guys what is this?” Jesse asked.

 “That doesn’t look so good,” Chris said worriedly.

 Everyone agreed.

 Corey came back and Michael addressed it.

 “What is this?”

 “Oh my god, I gotta go,” Corey said while rapidly walking away.

 Everyone got up and followed him.

“You can’t go, Core. This looks bad,” Jess said.

“Yeah, I agree you need to call the police,” said Michael.

 “I’m going alright! I’m so sorry.” Corey ran off and took Chris’ car.

Michael was on the phone with the police. He said, “We have an emergency on Dillard Street in Trinten. A friend of ours is meeting up with some guy that has been blackmailing him and we don’t know what is happening.”

“We’ll have an ambulance and a squad car on the way. Thank you for calling, stay on the line and we will update you with any further information.”

Meanwhile Corey was driving down Dillard Street. He turned, lights flooding his vision. CRASH. The car rolled into a ditch, windows shattered and smoke arose. The car that had hit him sped off damaged. Sirens filled the night silence and there the cops saw a teenage boy in a burning vehicle.

“Trinten police are investigating potential suspects for a hit and run last night in Trinten, Connecticut. The 17-year-old victim, Corey Wood, had been flown into Boston hospital. Sadly, the odds of him surviving are low.” The four friends were all teary eyed sitting on the couch listening to the TV.