Hudson Valley Halloween Contest 2014

Readers shared their Halloween tales for a chance to win tickets to the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze

Here are some of the Halloween stories shared by our readers. The winning story is announced Wednesday, October 22, 2014.

mary b.


Our editors unanimously voted this story as this year’s most memorable. Thanks to all of our readers for sharing their spookiest, funniest, and most memorable Halloween tales.

My husband and I were driving to a Halloween party, when a bunch of rocks hit the windshield. My husband immediately hit the brakes and pulled over, just in time to catch a glimpse of three adolescent boys running up the hill by the road. My husband jumped out of the car, intent on running after the kids, when I stopped him. He was dressed as a woman, wearing a coral, polyester pantsuit (so hideous) and a blond pixie-cut wig with platform sandals, that would certainly not have been conducive to running up a hill. We both started to laugh, since the mere sight of me must have helped scare them — I was dressed as Death — all in black, black cloak and hood, skeletal face. We got back in the car and drove on to the party, where my husband won the title of “Ugliest Woman!” — Mary B., Hyde Park

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The first year that I had all three of my kids 14, seven, and two weeks old, I dressed them as Tin Man, the Witch, and Dorothy. That was the first and only year my oldest (a boy) allowed me to dress him in a theme. Of course, they were a hit and that is always one of my happiest thoughts. To this day my little one, who is going to be nine on October 18, loves the Wizard of Oz movie! — Carolyn S., Yonkers

As a teenager, I lived a few blocks from a large cemetery. One crisp October evening, my brother and I took a walk to the store with our cousin who was fond of telling scary stories. Our walk took us by the cemetery. Our cousin began to tell the story of a lunatic who lived in the cemetery and was suspected of stalking and kidnapping. After his story, we walked quickly and quietly, not wanting to draw attention to ourselves. We suddenly heard the sound of footsteps coming towards us from the cemetery. We screamed and started running home, my cousin in the lead. I stopped a moment to look behind us and saw an empty paper bag rolling down the hill onto the sidewalk… and realized the bag made the sound of footsteps. Laughing, I picked the bag up and ran home, where I found my cousin and brother cowering in the living room. I calmly tossed the bag at them and said, “Here’s your lunatic!” — Diane S., Middletown

We were handing out treats to a bunch of kids on Halloween when all of a sudden a tall person dressed as a witch — [with a] green face and [wearing] all black — walked slowly up our sidewalk. She didn’t stop, but continued walking right into our house! We had no idea what was going on. We kept saying, “Excuse me, excuse me, what are you doing?” The person turned and said “Where’s the wine?” to which we again replied, “Excuse me, what are you doing?” She said, “What? It’s me, Karen! Didn’t you know that?” It was my cousin, we never even recognized her! We thought it was some strange person wandering through our house. — Francine G., Pleasant Valley

I was in the Army in the late ’80s stationed in Darmstadt, Germany. We would go to a place called Burgh Frankenstein. I was only 20 and was there with my boyfriend (also in the Army). I remember a German in full Dracula costume grabbing me out of the audience and pushing me in a casket on stage. It was all so quick and really dark in the casket and I was flipping out. I was only in there for a moment, but when I was released, I realized I had lost my shoe. I had to ask everyone if they found it and I didn’t speak the language well. Finally, someone had my shoe. We laughed the whole rest of the night. I do not know what was more scary: Dracula, or trying to hike down a mountain with no shoe on my foot. This was the same night I was also grabbed by “Freddy Krueger” before the night was over. German Halloween was the best! — Kelly R., Coxsackie

​I went to a Halloween attraction and grabbed my friend’s arm to go through the corn maze. (Note I was only looking down for the way out.) As I finished the maze, I looked up to find I had a terrifying scarecrow’s arm the entire time. I exited the haunted house only to be chased down by a guy with a chainsaw, but I had tripped and he was on top of me as I huddled on the ground in the fetal position screaming for it to be over. Overall, most terrifying-yet-so-worth-it Halloween experience. — Brittany B., Beacon

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When I was younger my grandmother dressed up in a costume. She came to our door and rang the bell; I answered the door and gave her candy. After I closed the door she rang the bell again. I opened the door and said “I already gave you candy.” She then proceeded to come in the house. I called to my parents and then she started laughing and took off her mask. She scared me, but it was funny after all. — Barbara H., Montgomery

My husband and I went to Sterling Forest haunted trails. As we walked around enjoying the entertainment, my husband — who was very sneaky — switched places with one of the scary characters. He was holding my hand and walking beside me. I let out such a scream and jumped back when I turned to speak to him. Everyone around us had a good laugh. I did too — after almost having a heart attack! — Josephine P., New City

Our children were three, five, and 10. We decided to dress up as The Wizard of Oz theme. Our children were so happy. My husband was the Tin Man, I was the Wicked Witch, our youngest was Dorothy, our Maltese was Toto, our eldest son was the Scarecrow, and our middle son was the Lion. — Gwen S., New Hartford, CT

Watching The Exorcist and having to walk home alone at 11 years old. — Gina O., Yonkers

Three years ago, on the Halloween weekend when we had the huge snow storm, my boyfriend and I spent the night at the Shanley Hotel in Napanoch. The Shanley is haunted by numerous spirits and we did an all-night investigation. From 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., we had experience after experience: our names being said through the spirit box, seeing shadow people, hearing footsteps and knocking, having the spirit box answer our questions (such as counting objects in the room) or guiding us to certain rooms, feeling intense emotions in certain rooms, being touched, feeling spirits next to us, using the EMF to communicate and having our questions answered, having cold spots when we were communicating… it was scary, but exhilarating. We never felt unsafe, but we were definitely out of our comfort zone! There was no doubt that we were in the company of many, many spirits who went out of their way to connect with us. — Amanda P., Germantown

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Being in Disney World for Halloween! Nothing beats that! — Maureen B., Rock Tavern

My most memorable Halloween story has to be when I was visiting a local haunted house. I was walking through one of the attractions, which was pitch black; you couldn’t see a thing. All of a sudden, I hear a chainsaw and my immediate reaction was to start running. Well, I ran so fast I ended up running right into the chainsaw! I ran into it so hard that the actor holding it felt so bad that she broke character and made sure I was alright. Luckily, it was not fully functional, but I did end up with a nasty bruise on my stomach for a few weeks. — Nicolette C., New Windsor

A few years ago, my now 16-year-old daughter, Margaret, celebrated her birthday at the Double M Ranch’s Haunted Hayride in Malta (Halloween was her favorite time of the year). As the event name indicates, our group was brought through the woods on a tractor bed, with various costumed characters leaping out from behind the trees to frighten us. We were having a great time, but one of our daughter’s friends apparently got truly scared — and she was still shaking as we all gathered in the central concessions/meeting area after the ride ended. Making matters worse, as people mingled about to enjoy some hot chocolate, apparently the work of the costumed characters was not done. One actor noticed that my daughter’s friend was still visibly upset, and he began circling and stalking her and the rest of my daughters’ friends to frighten them some more. I was standing off to the side, but before I could come over to ask the character to move away, my daughter stepped over and put herself between her upset friend and the costumed actor. It was a surreal moment as I watched my not-so-little girl holding up her fist and warning the guy to stay away from her friend… with a determined look in her eyes I had never seen before! No matter which way the guy moved, Margaret moved with him to protect her friend. She wasn’t fooling around at this point. Finally, after a few minutes of this, the costumed actor gave up and walked away. It was in that moment that I saw my daughter in a whole new light. Strong, Brave. Protective of her friends. And definitely kick ass. — Tom M., Latham

Going to Lake Compounce every Halloween and going to the Haunted Graveyard with people jumping out at you in the pitch black, not being able to see anything. Then going on the Boulder Dash in the dark rumbling 65+ mph in the woods on a chilly, October night. — Elizabeth J., Mahopac

Teens being what they are, one Halloween we decided to toilet-paper a friend’s house. We parked across the street and commenced with our debauchery. As we were tossing paper into her mailbox, someone pulled in next to us. We beat feet back to the car to see the enraged driver glaring at us. We took off. “He’s following us!” someone yelled. He trailed us through three towns, even jumping out at a stop sign, mad as heck. We were terrified. Traffic started to move before he could reach our car. Finally, we managed to lose him on the highway. The next day at school, the story of our chase was gossip fodder. Turns out he was the father of a girl who lived at the house where we parked and that was his mailbox. — Allison L., Wappingers Falls

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