When the Clock Strikes Twelve …
Sitting atop a hill overlooking the town of Saddle Creek was a creepy looking old mansion that all the town’s people just knew was haunted. There were stories from long ago about this mansion and no one knew which were true and which weren’t. However, the one story that everyone agreed upon as fact was how the mansion wound up being deserted.
In the last century, a rich businessman looking for a place to settle with his family discovered the just established town of Saddle Creek. Right then and there he knew that he wanted to build his house to overlook the town. It was the first and only mansion built in this town and John Carter and his family moved in. He had a wife and an eight-year-old son and a five-year-old daughter. The children were delighted to be living atop a hill and there was plenty of room to run around and play for them and the family dog.
John Carter became obsessed with wealth and soon he owned half of the new businesses springing up in town. The would-be owners griped that they wanted to own their businesses but John knew how to manipulate. He was respected and he was feared. His wife and children made friends among the townspeople but no one wanted to come to their house. Children did climb the hill to play but would usually head on back home when John returned
Came the first Halloween since the Carters had settled here. Both of his children Carrie and Tommy were excited to go trick or treating with the town’s children. His wife Jane was eager to go to the Halloween costume party which the townspeople had every year. John, of course, didn’t want any part of the festivities. Halloween eve came and after his family had left John eagerly began going over his books. He knew that no one would come up his hill for trick or treating.
It was around 10 o’clock at night when the doorbell rang. John opened the door to an old, raggedy looking man. He held out his hand and begged for some food and money. John let out a harsh laugh and told him to go begging among the townsfolk who were having their Halloween party. The old man stood there for a moment and then his face changed. Suddenly he looked more like the devil than a man. It startled John and then the man said in a gravelly voice,” I came to save your soul but since you have rejected my help then you will be sent straight to hell once the clock strikes twelve”.
Hearing this John shoved the man backward and shut the door. He returned to his books. Suddenly he was startled by the striking of the grandfather clock in the hallway. At the last stroke, John’s heart began to race and he rose up from his chair. Before he could do anything the clock became silent and John collapsed to the floor. When his wife and children returned he was lying on the floor with a look of horror upon his face. After it was all over and he was buried his wife took the children away. She felt afraid of the house and just locked it up and left it.
With Halloween coming the townsfolk decided it was time to take the curse off of the old mansion and make it into a social hall. A group of volunteers went up to the mansion to clean the downstairs for their annual Halloween party. The idea was that if the curse had started with Halloween it should end with Halloween. So haunted or not on Halloween everyone went up the hill for the party. The children ran in and out of the house. Music played and people began to dare one another to go take a look at what was upstairs. Suddenly at around 11 o’clock, the children ran into the mansion shouting that a red moon had risen above the house. Everyone crowded outside and sure enough directly above the house loomed a red moon bathing the house in a blood-red glow.
They all went back in and as they were about to enter the living room they heard footsteps coming down the stairs. Everyone froze in place and stared up the stairs. This man with a face that looked like the devil himself stood upon the stairs. He grinned an evil grin. ”This house is mine and anyone who enters it and stays after the stroke of midnight will forever remain my slave”. Suddenly the clock began to strike the twelfth hour. Grownups and children alike all ran out of the house leaving behind all of the makings of the party. When they reached the bottom of the hill they all turned around and looked up. It was midnight and in the huge blood-red moon above the devil’s face appeared and he howled.