[Ends 10/31] Spooky Stories Halloween 2019 Challenge


  • PR Committee

    Spooky Stories Halloween 2019 Challenge

    Equus loves a good photo challenge, it's a tradition if anything. So why wouldn't we make a Halloween challenge! This is a pretty easy simple challenge. Write a 200-word minimum spooky story original or acquire one online (make sure to include credit!). You may use 3 photos max but only required to use at least 1. There are two entry sections with subsections. Single and group entry. The subsections are original stories and published stories (If you or your group did not write it). If you did the work alone you enter in single. If more than 1 person contributed to the project enter in-group will all members' names. For the forum entry, only one member is to post the group entry. To submit your story to the entry form, send it as a google doc. Make sure to format the story the same way you do on the forum.

    1st, 2nd, and 3rd will be chosen from each section, with a cash prize of $5,000, $3000 and $1000 for each winning participant. All participants will be featured into a Halloween booklet to be viewed by members at anytime

    The Contest closes at 11:59 pm Central Time on October 31st. The contest is then open to forum voting for one week after and ends on November 8th at 11:59 pm. After that Judging will begin. Votes from the community will give bonuses to the overall score but will not determine the winner.

    All stories and photos must still fit within the guidelines of Equus rules and regulations. Failure to do so will disqualify your entry.
    Do not upvote during this challenge until after the closing date of October 31st.


    Original story single entry:

    • An original story was written by you with a minimum of 200 words
    • 1 photo required 3 photos max
    • Only 1 person may work on this project and photo must be your original photo taken by you.
    • Entry will be judged on the creativity of both photo(s) and story and how well they complement each other. (editing does not mean winning)
    • For one week after entries close. entries will be opened up to upvoting and bonus points will be given during judging.

    Published Story Single Entry:

    • This story comes from somewhere else and must include credit to the original Author (this may be, creepypasta’s, Edgar Allan Poe, poetry, etc.) a 200-word minimum
    • 1 photo required 3 photos max
    • Only 1 person may work on this project and photo must be your original photo taken by you.
    • Entry will be judged on creativity and how well the photo(s) complement the chosen story. (editing does not mean winning)
    • For one week after entries close. entries will be opened up to upvoting and bonus points will be given during judging.

    Original Story Group Entry:

    • An original story that is written by a member of your group or the group as a whole with a minimum of 200 words.
    • 1 photo required 3 photos max
    • More than one person must have worked on this project together. A member who wrote both the story and took the pictures (and edited if any) will be moved to a single entry. Partners must have contributed more than only sims, horses, or feedback to count as a group.
    • Each photo in group entry that is taken must have credit given to Photographer (and editor if a separate person)
    • Entry will be judged on the creativity of both photo(s) and story and how well they complement each other. (editing does not mean winning)
    • For one week after entries close. entries will be opened up to upvoting and bonus points will be given during judging.

    Published story Group Entry:

    • This story comes from somewhere else and must include credit to the original Author (this may be, creepypasta’s, Edgar Allan Poe, poetry, etc.) a 200-word minimum
    • 1 photo required 3 photos max
    • More than one person must have worked on this project together. A member who took all of the pictures (and edited if any) will be moved to a single entry. Partners must have contributed more than only sims, horses, or feedback to count as a group
    • Each photo in group entry that is taken must have credit given to Photographer (and editor if a separate person)
    • Entry will be judged on the creativity of both photo(s) and story and how well they complement each other. (editing does not mean winning)
    • For one week after entries close. entries will be opened up to upvoting and bonus points will be given during judging.

    Posting format on forum:

    • Title of story:
    • Section Entering:
    • Story Credit (published story only):
    • Member Name(s):
    • Member Credits:
    • Story: (format story how you see fit with photo placements: This could be judged as well)


  • Title of story: Don't Cry Far From Home
    Section Entering: Original Story Group Entry
    Member Name(s): Maria Jones, @Fernanda-Luchetta
    Member Credits: Maria Jones: Pictures/Editing // Fernanda Luchetta: Story
    Story:
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    It was a foggy night. The full moon high in the skies, proud in all its glory, making the night lighter than usual and creating dancing shadows combined with the fog. It was a good night. Countryside areas had few people, farm chores demanded attention at day light and most local residents were grown men accompanied by loyal dogs. Some of the big, colonial looking houses did shelter families though and Halloween had just been a week ago, plenty of pumpkins and festive ornaments could be found upon the very green grass, as well as fake cobwebs, bats and scary figures to make the local children happier.

    Somewhere in a big field, a toddler cried unstoppably near a fence corner. The night was dead silent besides the child’s cry, and no other sounds could be heard. The boy had his head down, his little arms supporting it and hiding any tears to be seen. It was becoming cold, colder than the child could have imagined that night to end up being, and so he started shaking. Suddenly, he heard a tiny, timid laugh that could have easily been mistaken by a little animal’s squeal. Soon, the sound turned into frantic laughters reasoning thought the fields; they were irregular, sometimes deep, sometimes exalted. The boy’s hairs shivered on his entire body as he lifted his head slowly, trying to wipe away his tears.
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    From all the things the boy could have imagined to find upon opening his wet eyes, what he found before his little, cold body was among the last of them. A strange, big headed clown with bunny teeth was riding what seemed to be a dead horse, or at least something you would get from reading mythological books from greek stories. It was the best Halloween costume the child had ever seen, especially on a horse: he was a very dark grey figure with yellow eyes as bright as his owner’s and as foggy as the night they were in, no pupils could be seen. His face had a few bad scratches, one of them across his eyes, making the boy wonder if he was blind. He had the sharpest teeth he had ever seen, sharper than any predator’s could be, drool scrolling down in between them.

    “You are late” a melancholic voice ruptured the silence as the boy faced the clown with a bright red face and swollen eyes “Halloween is over now.”
    The clown seemed somewhat confused. He was a bit arched on the horse’s back, wearing fluffy white clothes. His face was all white painted, contrasting with his bright red mouth. He had two red lines coming up from his mouth corners and ending up almost on his forehead, resembling the horse’s cuts. His orange, fluffy hair was everywhere, making his head even bigger. The clown was an interesting figure, in between the scary and the cute.
    “I’m never late” he replied to the boy with a childish, soft voice “why are you crying?“
    “I got no candies” the boy’s voice trembled “no one has invited me to join them on trick or treats hunt. I have no friends” he lowered his eyes to hide his brand new tears.
    “Oh” the clown seemed amused “I have no friends as well” he smiled, a glimpse of sharp teeth could be seen.
    “Well, you have a horse” the boy was determined to wipe his tears away “I like your costumes” shaky, he gave his best try on a smile “what is your name?”
    “Pennywise. We have no costumes” the clown laughed, innocently “Aren’t you afraid of us?”
    “Why would I be?” the boy looked straight into his eyes “what can you do to me that would hurt me more than I already am?” he looked away.
    “You would be surprised” Pennywise was almost singing “when I’m hungry a lot can happen” he smiled.
    “How…” the child faltered “how did you end up here?”
    “I’m from a circus nearby” Pennywise had a mischievous smile “can’t you hear the music playing?”

    The little boy looked around, clearly confused, trying to find a circus somewhere on the fields and wondering how could he have missed it. There was no circus around, though, nor other people. Slowly, the deathly silence gave place to an entertaining little music, low somewhere in the distance.
    “I… I guess I can” the boy was unsure “why is a clown on a horse?” he seemed to only now realize it didn’t make much sense.
    “Well, that is a long story” the clown replied, seeming to stray, looking away for the first time “it was a night not much different from this one. There was no food and, well” his bright molten gold eyes came back to deeply face into the boy “I was hungry.”
    The horse turned to face the boy, as if understanding he was the subject of the unsettling conversation. Pennywise had now as much drool coming down his chin as the horse had from his own. The clown got off of his horse quicker than any human movement could ever be, kneeling near the boy. Too near. He smiled angelically, and the child saw his cute bunny teeth slowly giving place to ones as sharp as the horse’s, sending a shiver down the boy’s back. Pennywise’s hands, covered with white gloves, slowly moved behind him, coming back with a big balloon of the brightest red the boy had ever seen - even brighter than his own mouth. A thick drop of drool dripping to almost touch his neck, his sharp teeth shining. The fog suddenly became denser, the night was even colder. He handed the red balloon to the boy’s direction.
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    “Are you hungry now?” the boy asked, extending his hand to grab the balloon’s white ribbon and facing the scariest figure he had ever imagined to see on his life. Somehow, he felt lured into the clown.
    For the first time that night, Pennywise sensed fear from the child. The boy looked up to face the only gift he had gotten that Halloween, the big balloon flying peacefully over his head.
    “Not now” Pennywise’s voice was soft and low, almost like a whisper straight into the boy’s ear.
    The child looked forward with a timid smile on his face, finding both Pennywise and his horse gone forever as they never existed.


  • Title of stroy: Whispering Winds
    Section entering: Original story single entry
    Member name(s): Jill Reyes
    Story:


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    The nights are cold, the nights are long, the nights are stormy.

    While the winds were gushing, the sky turned dark and the raindrops started falling, they hurried to take the horses inside. A storm was coming. What seemed to be a beautiful autumn day changed quickly to a dreary evening, and a dreary night. It was indeed “All Hallows’ Eve”.

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    Just in time, they got the horses inside. Save and sound. The wind’s power grew, howling sounds could be heard through the gutters, the rain came rushing down and thunder could be heard in the distance. Stable hands discussed how to best calm the horses and keep them secured, “They seem to have a rough night ahead. Best to secure the stable”. Securing the stalls, they took off in a hurry. Into the dark and stormy weather. After all, they had their wives and children waiting at home.
    The horses were rather calm, all but one. Walking circles in her stall, but no one to comfort her. The winds howled, rain clattered down, and the thunder grew louder. Outside, the trees were moving heavily, creaking like they could reach their breaking point any time soon. A bang, the door flung open and a heavy rush of wind entered the building. She got scared and started panicking in her stall.

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    She started kicking and rearing towards the stall door. Frantically trying to open it, escape the enclosed space. The door gave away and flung open, she rushed out. Moving into the wheat fields, free as a bird, running like the wind. Not because of the freedom, she was scared, panicked and fleeing. In heavy rain, thunderstorms and howling winds.

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    What came over that specific mare, no one knows. The stable hands found her the next day, in the wheat fields. Soaked and scared, trusting no one.
    I don’t know if it was me or if she had sensed my presence. I’m after all just the whisper in the winds.


  • Title of story: Ghost Horse
    Section Entering: Original Story Single Entry
    Member Name(s): Skye Valens
    Story: ( Note this is a continuation of a previous story. I am pasting the previous story here only for those who have not read it so that the new story makes sense. You do not have to consider it for Judging as it was entered in a previous challenge )

    Ghost Horse

    Previous story

    There is a story told in these parts of a mysterious, pale horse that roams the forests on Halloween night each year. The horse they say, once belonged to a girl named Sarah who lived in the area in decades past. They say Sarah was a quiet girl who had no real friends except for her horse.

    The horse, who she simply called Ghost, was a beautiful white Arabian stallion her father had received as a trade for some services he provided to a local landowner. He saw no real value in the skinny white horse, it was too small to pull the plow and work the field but not wanting to be seen as a pushover who worked for free he accepted the horse as payment. He brought the horse home and when he saw his little girl Sarah fall instantly in love with it he told her he had brought it home for her. From that day forward Sarah and the horse had been inseparable. Her father had been worried about giving a stallion to a 10 year old girl but his fears were unfounded. Ghost was very patient with the little girl, gentle as a kitten and very protective. He once saw the stallion take off after a coyote that got too close to the girl while she was playing near the edge of the woods. He watched in wonder as Ghost charged the coyote, snorting, his teeth bared in a snarl. He knew his girl was in good hands with Ghost and never worried about the girl when she was with her horse.

    The following year on Halloween Sarah begged her father to allow her to go trick or treating on her own, she would ride Ghost and she promised to be careful. He was not thrilled at the prospect of his 11 year old going out on her own but the truth was he was very ill and would not be able to take her himself. It was just the two of them now, his wife had not survived Sarah's birth. He felt better knowing she would be with Ghost, the horse had always been very protective of her. He allowed her to go but told her to be home before dark.

    Sarah dressed herself as a fairy with a pale blue dress and gossamer wings that she made for herself from the veil of her mothers old wedding dress. She dressed ghost up by painting magical runes on his neck to make him seem more like a magical fairy horse. She kissed her father on the cheek and set off on Ghost to go trick or treating. That was the last time her father ever saw her.

    Several days after Sarah and Ghost went missing they found Ghost. His lifeless body was found in the woods, a single bullet had pierced his heart. Sarah's wings were next to the horse's body but the girl was never found.

    They say Ghost wanders the woods each Halloween night searching for his little girl.

    Current entry

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    Colleen awoke to the sound of loud giggling. Her two  great granddaughters were bouncing around on her bed giggling and laughing and saying “wake up Grandma wake up!”. They were excited because Colleen had promised to take them to the haunted Farm Festival in a neighboring town. It was a big deal in the area and Colleen had never been. Her granddaughter had been planning to take the girls but had taken sick with the flu and Colleen volunteered to take them in her place. At 81 years old Colleen was still active and in great health. She loved spending time with the twins who were now 8 years old and was happy to step in and take them to the festival.

    They spent the morning baking Halloween cookies until it was time to go. The girls asked Colleen what she did for Halloween when she was a girl. It was a difficult question for Colleen as she did not have any memory of her time as a child. She only remembered the orphanage where she had spent her teenage years. The nuns there told her she had been brought to nearby St. Marys hospital after being found unconscious on a nearby beach with a serious head injury. They told her that she had spent more than a year in a coma before being brought to the orphanage. She had no memory of her life before the orphanage. She did not explain this to the girls because they were too young to understand so instead she just smiled at them and helped them shape the cookie dough into ghosts and pumpkins.

    As the sun set Colleen and the girls arrived at the old farmhouse. It was at the end of a long dirt road that had been decorated for spooky effect with old spider web covered trees, pumpkins and at the entrance to the farm was the most frightening scarecrow Colleen had ever seen. The girls loved every minute of it. A strange feeling of deja vu washed over Colleen as she walked the girls to the line for the haunted house. It was at once a feeling of great sorrow and yet it was tinged with a happy kind of nostalgia. She was certain she had never been to this place before yet it felt familiar like someplace from a dream. She took the girls to the line where they would wait for their chance to enter the house and then wandered over to a plaque that hung on the wall near the door. It read:

    In memory of Sarah and John, gone too soon. She ran her hand over the small plaque wondering about Sarah and John, who were they and what had happened to them.

    “Such a sad story” a womans voice startled her from her thoughts. Colleen turned to see a tall elderly woman with kind eyes and an easy smile standing to her left. “What happened?” Colleen asked.

    The woman told her the story of Sarah and John Malone who had lived on the farm. Sarah was his daughter she said, and one night 70 years ago she had disappeared on Halloween night. Her horse found dead in the nearby woods, she motioned toward the woods on the edge of the farm as she spoke. The girl was never found she said. She told Colleen that John had died of a broken heart the following year. The family had no other relatives and the farm had fallen into the hands of the county and eventually was turned into a town festival ground where various local events were held. Colleen felt a great sadness at what had happened here.

    She looked over to the line for the haunted house and the girls were still happily waiting in line. She wandered toward the woods. Strangely drawn to them after the story the woman had told her. As she approached the woods a feeling of apprehension washed over her but she continued, stepping carefully into the trees at the edge of the woods.

    As Colleen stepped through the treeline everything changed. A ghostly scene unfolded before her eyes. She saw two boys maybe 12 or 13 years old. They were dressed in old fashioned clothing and one of them held an old style rifle. They were giggling and shoving each other as boys do. She heard a sound from the woods in front of the boys and she watched as the older looking of the two boys raised the rifle and pointed it in the direction of the noise. The other boy shoved him again just as a beautiful white horse emerged from the trees, ridden by a blue fairy. The sound of the rifle discharging seemed to encompass the whole world while Colleen watched in horror as the girl was thrown from the horses back as he fell to the ground. Seemingly in slow motion she watched as the girls blue wings caught on a tree branch and were ripped from her costume. She saw the girls head slam into the tree base and all was silent. The horse lay silent on the forest floor, his last breath having escaped his now lifeless body. She watched as the boys scrambled and argued and then finally the bigger boy picked up the little girl and began carrying her through the woods. Colleen followed the ghostly figures as they walked through the woods carrying the lifeless body of the little girl. She followed for what seemed like forever until they reached the edge of the forest and the river that bordered it on the other side. She looked in horror as these ghostly boys prepared to toss the body of the girl into the raging river. No! She cried out and the boys faded from her vision. Gone as quickly as they had appeared.

    Colleen looked around not sure what had just happened. She heard a rustling in the trees to her left and she turned just in time to see a beautiful ghostly white horse walking toward her. It shimmered in the moonlight that filtered through the trees. The horse approached her and nuzzled her hand and she reached her hands up and touched his beautiful, ghostly face. “Ghost” she whispered as tears rolled down her cheeks. She laid her forehead against the horse and the memories flooded back. The horse nickered softly and was gone. Finally at peace, Ghost had found his little girl.


  • PR Committee

    Hello Everyone!

    First off, I'd like to thank all of the participants. Your stories and pictures are amazing!
    After discussing, it was decided due to the low number of entrants, to award all 4 participants the first place prize of $5,000. Congratulations and again Thank you so much for participating!



  • Thank you and thank you for hosting!


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