Horror Writers Association Blog

“A Halloween Ritual” By Naching T. Kassa

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Halloween is a magical time for children. October chill fills the air, frost glittered pumpkins wait in the patch, and disguised friends roam the streets. Halloween traditions increase the enchantment. In my family, one ritual stood out above all others. This was the Halloween ghost story.

The tale was always told before bedtime, when shadows had extinguished the light of day. My mother, the storyteller, made sure we were snug in our beds before adopting a suitably spooky tone. Sometimes, the story was lighthearted with a silly twist at the end. Other times, the story was more frightening, much like the one I’m about to relate.

THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM

When Jack lost his arm in an accident at the Sunshine Mine, his boss presented him with a golden one to take its place. A doctor attached the arm and Jack wore it every day.

Year passed. Jack grew old, as all men do, and soon lay on his deathbed. Here, he divided his possessions among his friends, keeping only one thing to himself. The golden arm was buried with him in the local cemetery.

On the day of Jack’s funeral, a thief rode into town. He heard the gossip about the burial and a wicked plan formed in his mind.

Darkness came and with it, the moon. Under its pale light, the thief dug. Soon, he unearthed the coffin, smashed the lid, and removed the golden arm.

The thief had found an empty farmhouse to stay in and he took the arm there. He set it on the rickety table and congratulated himself on his good luck.

All that hard work had given the thief quite an appetite. He fixed himself something to eat and while he cooked, the wind began to blow. It howled around the building and, off in the distance, he heard these words:

Where’s my golden arm? Who’s got my golden arm?

The thief convinced himself it was only the wind and continued cooking.

A few minutes later, he sat down to eat. Someone called again, this time the voice was closer, louder.

Where’s my golden arm? Who’s got my golden arm?

The thief grew nervous. He snatched the arm up off of the table and retreated to the corner where his bedroll lay.

Moments later, the cry repeated. This time, it came from outside the door.

Where’s my golden arm? Who’s got my golden arm?

The thief threw the blanket over his head as the door opened.

Crrreeeeaaaaak.

Something crossed the floor.

Thump. Thump. Thump.

WHERE’S MY GOLDEN ARM? WHO’S GOT MY GOLDEN ARM?

Suddenly, the blanket was jerked away and the voice cried.

YOU GOT IT!

My mom gave me the first jump scare of my life and I loved it. In fact, my sister and I insisted on hearing this story every Halloween. If you enjoyed it, perhaps you’ll start your own Halloween tradition and scare the pants off your kid.

They might become a horror writer and thank you one day.

 

Bio: Naching T. Kassa is a wife, mother, and horror writer. She’s created over 17 short stories, two novellas, and co-created two children. She lives in Eastern Washington State with Dan Kassa, her husband and biggest supporter.

Naching is a member of the Horror Writers Association and a contributor to the Demonic Visions series. She was a contestant in Horroraddicts.net’s Next Great Horror Writer Contest where she finished in the top five.

LINKS:

WEBSITE: http://frightenme.weebly.com/

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/Naching-T-Kassa/e/B005ZGHTI0

2 comments on ““A Halloween Ritual” By Naching T. Kassa

  1. A great story! It feels a lot like the campfire ghost stories we were told as kids, but I had never heard it before. It’s also a model for creating character empathy even for an unlikable character.

    Thanks for sharing!

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