The Wick Congratulates 2022 Haunted Tales Award Winners!

Congratulations to all of the students in grades 6-8 who participated in The Wick‘s 2022 Haunted Tales Halloween Writing Competition!

Fenwick High School hosts a number of Grade School Academic Competitions throughout the year. More information on these competitions is available here on the Fenwick website.


2022 Haunted Tales Award Recipients:

Monica Goldstein, Grade 6 – “Inescapable” – Award for Spookiest Setting

Lily Haussmann, Grade 6 – “Cover Your Eyes!” – Award for Most Menacing Monster

Christopher Huseby, Grade 6 – “The Harvest” – Award for Creepiest Cliffhanger

Mahalia Ramirez, Grade 7 – “The Blood Moon Festival” – Award for Most Menacing Monster



By Monica Goldstein, Grade 6 | Award for Spookiest Setting

     Katelyn waited for her best friend, Scarlett, to arrive at the Escape Factor. She texted her quickly, asking if she was almost there. After ten minutes of impatiently waiting, the Escape Factor worker led her to the room, alone. 

     “Wait, wait! I’m not ready, this is for two people!” protested Katelyn. The worker kept walking silently and quickly down to an old, cracked door at the end of the hall. He pushed her in and slammed the door shut. The ticking of the clock started, and she frantically pounded on the door. Terrified, she leaned down, spotting something shiny and silver gleaming on the floor. A key! Katelyn ran over to a large door in the corner, hoping for something useful, and pushed the key into the lock and turned it. The door popped open, and dozens of keys spilled out. Confused, she bent down over the pile. Then, the lights flickered out. Katelyn froze in fear. Interrupting the eerie silence that filled the room, was a ding. She had gotten a clue. 

     “When midnight arrives, the walls will close in. One key fits one lock, and one only. Will you survive?” 

     A deep rumble and a click following made Katelyn jump. The walls seemed to have moved a mere inch in from their original place, and Katelyn had a horrible feeling. Ding! Katelyn looked over at the machine. Something was written on it, but it was too late. It flickered once, twice, and went out. Katelyn screamed. She frantically started digging through the pile of keys, looking for one that looked special, that stood out against the others. Finally, pulling out one with a small heart, she decided it would be worth a try. Digging through the pile of keys one last time just to make sure there was nothing else, she pulled out a key identical to the one in her hand. 

     “What kind of demonic, evil maniac would create this?!” she yelled, hopeless and angry. The only response she got was the echo of her voice around the room. 

     Several hours later, she had found all of the pairs of keys. The room had shrunk to the size of an office cubicle, and she shivered with fear. There was one single key left, an ordinary key with the smallest X in the center. Katelyn held the key for a moment in relief, and stood up, limping to the door. She had cut her leg in the process of sorting the keys, finding a pair of dagger-like keys. She fit the key into the lock, and started to turn it when she heard the familiar sound of church bells ringing. It was too late. The lock spit the key back out, and the walls closed in. The last thing Katelyn was aware of was the sudden darkness filling the room. 

     It is said, in her neighborhood, that you can still hear her screams echoing throughout the old, abandoned Escape Factor that still sits in that very spot today.


“Cover Your Eyes!”

By Lily Haussmann, Grade 6 | Award for Most Menacing Monster

     It was Halloween night, and Mary Anne was going trick-or-treating with her best friend. She strutted outside, where Charles was waiting for her. 

     “Cheerio, good mate!” Charles said jokingly. 

     “Where’s your costume?” Mary Anne asked, puzzled.

     “What do you mean?” 

     “I mean, weren’t you going to wear that zombie costume?” 

     “Oh, I’m too old for costumes, let’s just go.” 

     Mary Anne was confused. Charles had previously gone on about his awesome zombie costume, but now he was only wearing jeans and a t-shirt! 

     “Hey, I’ll be right back, I think I forgot my phone inside,” said Mary Anne.

     Mary Anne went inside to get her phone. She walked through the hallway to her apartment.   

     Mary Anne found her phone under her bed and headed back outside. When she saw Charles, she was very impressed. Charles was wearing green face paint all over his body and a blood-stained, white shirt with jeans that were also covered in blood. 

     “Ooh, I like your costume! How did you change so fast?”

     Charles groaned. 

     “Fine, don’t answer me. Let’s go get some candy.”

     Mary Anne and Charles continued on, from house to house, until their bags were full.

     “One last house,” said Mary Anne. She rang the doorbell on a brown, Victorian house. An old man wearing metal armor came to the door. 

     “Trick or treat!” Mary Anne beamed.

     “Oh hello, you’re just in time! This is the last of the candy,” the man said, gesturing to an orange bowl containing a couple pieces of candy.

     “GROANNNNNN,” went Charles. This severely spooked the man, making him jump out of his skin. He pointed at Charles and quivered with fear.

     “You, little lady,” he shuddered, “are not safe.”

     “Excuse me?”

     “That…that…THING over there is deadly!”

     “What?” Said a confused Mary Anne. “Oh, that’s just Charles.”

     “No matter it’s name, dear, it is a blood-seeking creature, and it must be stopped!” The man grabbed a knife.

     “Hey, put that down!” Mary Anne reasoned. “That’s just Charles, that’s just a…”

     Charles let out a blood-curdling groan.

     “Costume…” Mary Anne then realized something. When she thought about how Charles hadn’t said a word to her since she had come out of her apartment, and how he had seemed to change into a very elaborate costume very quickly, the more things started to make sense. Maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t a costume. 

     Mary Anne looked at the man, but before she could say anything, the man said,

     “Quick, take this!” And shoved her an old blanket. Then, the man slammed the door. When Mary Anne turned around, she knew that she was doomed. On the front lawn were about a hundred zombies, with the exact same wardrobe as Charles. Blood-stained shirt and jeans, messed-up hair, and big, glowing eyes. Right about then was when it all became too much for Mary Anne. She screamed in horror and threw the blanket over her head. And that, readers, is when Mary Anne woke up.


“The Harvest”

By Christopher Huseby, Grade 6 | Award for Creepiest Cliffhanger

     It was an icy-cold winter night, and Adam, a trained farmer who had never once owned a farm, had just bought one. It was an old farm, one that had been previously owned by an old couple, who had mysteriously died. Adam found this creepy but all he cared about was that he had the farm. 

     On his first night, Adam explored the farm, and while checking on the livestock, he found dead cow bones just laying there. Now this was creepy. 

     Months passed, and Adam started to get used to the house’s creaks and noises. When he would chat about it to others in town, they would say he was crazy… it might be why people stopped talking to him. While rummaging through some old stuff left in the attic, Adam found a picture of what seemed to be the old couple. In the photo, they seemed young and in high spirits. Something caught his eye; it looked hideous, a gnarled cow with little flesh remaining. Adam later found other photos, each seeming to be taken a few years apart; in the second, he found the couple looked quite distraught and depressed. This trend kept continuing until the last photo, of their graves. Adam found this odd but went straight to bed. Tomorrow was when he would need to do a lot of planting. 

     At night, in his dreams, he was awoken by a woman’s voice coming from the kitchen down below. Her tone was sad, and she seemed to be speaking gibberish, but it sounded like an odd song. Adam quietly went down to investigate as the singing became louder and louder until it was unbearable. Adam turned the corner to find… no woman, but a spooky arrangement of candles on the ground. In the middle rested a letter. Adam opened it and found one word in all capitals: “YOU.” Adam, not easily scared, went back to bed. 

     A couple weeks later he turned on the television, and all it said was “ARE NOT.” It took Adam a second to realize, but he thought, “YOU ARE NOT,” remembering what he had seen recently. He wondered what would come next.

     The day before the harvest, Adam spoke with the land supervisor who had sold him the farm. He said, “if you want to keep this farm, this harvest is gonna need to be big.” Adam knew it would. After all, farming was all he focused on for the past months. At night, Adam checked on the animals. Right as he walked in, he saw the bones of his animals arranged, saying, “Everything must die.”

     The next morning, Adam went out to collect the crops and to his anger found… they were all dead? Adam could not believe it. He went inside wondering what he would do. He went inside to check his mail hoping no bills. He found one odd letter with nothing on the front. It read “ALONE,” and to his horror heard the woman singing right in his ear.


“The Blood Moon Festival”

By Mahalia Ramirez, Grade 7 | Award for Most Terrifying Twist

     “The Blood Moon Festival,” as Klyde’s village called it, was a time when they summoned the owl Prince Stolas to harness the power of the Blood Moon to demolish the hexes of Satan. Every October 31st, Satan spread sin and wickedness throughout the village by summoning spirits to turn the people into Antichrists. Satan did this because the village was inhabited by kind-hearted people, and he despised kindness. Stolas did not tolerate this so, every year, he cast a spell hindering the sorcery of Satan while the townspeople fashioned disguises in hopes that the spirits would not recognize them. Until one year.

     “Come on Kaiden,” shouted Klyde, running, “We’re going to arrive late!” 

     “I’m coming, I’m coming,” responded Kaiden out of breath.

     “We don’t want to miss our first Summoning now that we’ve both turned twelve.”

     Ever since Klyde was able to comprehend the sacred texts that elucidated the rituals of his village, he wished that when he turned twelve, he would be able to meet Stolas. Klyde had turned twelve before Kaiden had and patiently waited so he could enjoy and partake in the experience with his best friend.

    After about fifteen minutes, the boys eventually arrived delayed at the Shrine of Prince Stolas. But by then, there was commotion already stirring up. Everyone was debating over the reason for Prince Stolas’ absence. 

    “Well, third time’s the charm,” announced Matriarch Eldria, the leader of the village.

    Eldria whispered into the Grimoire, and the sigil adjacent to her luminesced into a vibrant shade of ruby. Black feathers appeared and encompassed the sigil. Prince Stolas’ shadow arose from below while indistinct owl cries echoed through the room. Kaiden cringed in fear while Klyde stared in awe. The owl cries gradually grew more raucous, and the feathers that encircled the sigil created a vortex. Kaiden covered his ears to block out the sound of the thunderous owl cries. The crowd then was revealed to a distressed owl prince in the center of the sigil. 

    “Pardon my lateness, but my absence was due to a great mire of hindrances,” confessed Stolas,          “for Satan has damaged my Grimoire!”

    The crowd made a collection of gasps. Kaiden whispered to Klyde, “Remember that class on ancient relics,” Kaiden continued, “I might’ve dozed off a bit, but I remember our teacher saying Stolas’ Grimoire is fashioned from enchanted flax paper.”

    “Oh yeah,” Klyde replied, “But that doesn’t make sense, flax paper is endurable, and one of Stolas’ primary focuses in botany is the uses of flax.”

    “Prince Stolas, what is the condition of your Grimoire,” inquired Matriarch Eldria.

    “Mutilated,” shouted Stolas, “But the most damage Satan did was make the spells and incantations incomprehensible and rip some of the pages. Including the one for your protection.”

    Klyde pondered for a while, thinking about a solution. Then he realized something. “Kaiden, remember the flax’s habitat? 

    “Not really.”

    “Its habitat is well-drained sandy loam and temperate climates. That’s nearly exactly our climate and terrain. Maybe if we—oh no.”

    “Oh no, what?” asked Kaiden.

    “All that rushing,” said Klyde, “and we didn’t even make disguises!”

    “If you’re suggesting we venture out for flax, then I think we should risk it. You know, St. Michael the Archangel will protect us,” consoled Kaiden.

    “I guess you’re right,” replied Klyde unenthusiastically.

Klyde thought about where the flax would most likely be and how to avoid the spirits’ hexes. He thought that perhaps, maybe, Stolas did not require his Grimoire for a simple incantation. 

    “P-Prince Stolas,” Klyde stammered reluctantly, “I might know the whereabouts of the material, flax, your Grimoire pages are fashioned out of.” The crowd turned in Klyde’s direction. He felt his face turn red in embarrassment.

    “Oh, really? How wonderful! You seem to know your botany,” Stolas replied, pleased, “May I ask for your name, young adolescent? ” 

    “Kluaidh, but people call me Klyde.”

    “Hmph, a bold name. What is the location of the plant,” asked Stolas. 

    “That’s the issue. It’s located out there, out in the open, with the spirits,” Klyde explained. Klyde had already lost all hope in retrieving the plant since he possessed no disguise.

    “We have not a moment to lose! I believe you, me, and a trusted comrade should go and search,” Stolas announced.

    “I’ll join,” Kaiden said.

    Klyde sighed in relief that his best friend was joining. Kaiden was always there for Klyde when he needed him. After all, a true friend never lets down another.

     Stolas, Kaiden, and Klyde rushed hurriedly out the entrance while the crowd wished everyone safe travels. The three ventured out into the Eldritch Forest and started their expedition there. The ghastly, maniacal cackles of the unholy spirits could be heard from every corner. Poisonous plants and deadly organisms nearly everywhere they stepped. The entire time, Kaiden was holding onto either Stolas’ 6″ leg or grasping Klyde’s arm. After about an hour of searching, Klyde noticed something.

     “What is that in the distance, ” observed Klyde. He pointed at a yellowish-grey plant afar.

     “I’m certain it’s—” Stolas tried saying.

     “Flax, ” Kaiden cut off. He sped towards the plant.

     “No, halt! Flax does not illuminate red like that, ” warned Stolas. 

     “Kaiden!” shouted Klyde.

     But it was already too late. Kaiden was too far to hear Stolas’ and Klyde’s words of caution. Just as Kaiden was about to pick up the plant, the plant suddenly transformed into a spirit, revealing itself. It sped toward Kaiden’s heart, planning to possess it. Kaiden had become an Antichrist. 

     Klyde shouted, “NO!”

     Stolas tried pinning Kaiden to a tree with a spell, hoping to reason the unholiness out of him. It was no use. Klyde tried saying this was not who Kaiden was. He hoped that he could get through to him. Kaiden shouted over him to drown his words out. Nothing seemed to affect the hex of the spirit. 

     Klyde was about to give up then he remembered what Kaiden said earlier: “You know, St. Michael the Archangel will protect us.” Klyde came up with one final solution.

    “Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil; May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; cast into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen,” prayed Klyde. 

     A celestial figure appeared from above and Klyde and Stolas recognized who it was, St. Michael the Archangel. St. Michael drew out a sword and sliced through Kaiden. He killed the evilness within Kaiden’s heart and ascended to Heaven. Kaiden had been freed.

     “W-what happened, ” Kaiden slurred. 

     Klyde had never been so happy to see his best friend. He hugged Kaiden so tight that he felt like he was going to explode. 

    “So, everything’s fine,” asked Kaiden.

    “Yes,” replied Klyde.

    “What a lovely moment,” Stolas said. “But wait, what’s this?

    The three looked down to see a brand new Grimoire. 

    “I think it was St. Michael,” Klyde said.

    “Thank you,” Stolas called.

    The three returned home and Stolas cast his spell of protection. But after Stolas said something to ensure the spell continued. Pray St. Michael’s prayer. Klyde also had an idea. He whispered something to Matriarch Eldria. She said that was a great idea. 

    “Well, goodbye all,” said Stolas, “I hope you all weren’t too worried. You should all thank Klyde for his act of true heroism,” Stolas turned toward Klyde, “I hope you never lose your incredible wit. Until next year!” Stolas waved goodbye. That was the story of the Blood Moon Festival, or as Klyde proposed they call it, Halloween.