Story Contest Winner Lucely Duell/Ganador del concurso de cuento Lucely Duell

WINNER for 2nd to 4th grade

The Ghost of Salem Inn by Lucely Duell


Going to Salem

Lucy’s sweatshirt flung into the air and landed in her suitcase.  “What to wear,” she wondered out loud.  Her best friend John approached the room and stopped in his tracks.  “What’s with all this ruckus?” he asked.  A pair of flying underwear came flying full speed at his head.


“Gross” said John.

“Its clean!  Now help me get packed!” said Lucy.

“Whoa bossy, you think I will help you when you talk to me like that?” said John.

“Yes I do,” said Lucy.

“I bet Salem kids don’t act like that,” shouted John at Lucy.

“Sorry,” said Lucy. “It’s all right,” said John, and helped her gather some items to put in her suitcase.  As soon as they finished, they heard Lucy’s mom calling for them.


“Come on kids!  The Salem Inn won’t wait forever!”

“Coming!” they both yelled, as they ran down the steep steps to the car.  As the car started up, John asked how long the car ride would be.

“I don’t know, at least three hours” said Lucy’s mom.

“No!” yelled John and Lucy at the same time.  The ride seemed to take more time than expected.  There was a lot of traffic on the highway.  Lucy had fallen asleep while gazing out the window of the car.  When she awoke, she was being lightly shaken.  It could mean that they were there already or John wanted her attention.  She was hoping that she could climb out of her car and be there.  So she kept her eyes shut and said, “yes?”


“We are here!!!” shouted John.  Lucy was so surprised to be in Salem already that when she opened the car door, she fell out onto the sidewalk.  The first thing she noticed was that she was in pain, the second thing she noticed was in a big parking lot.  Her leg was feeling hot, and so she started to cry.  She didn’t want to start her vacation with an injury.  Her mom picked her up and walked with her to the Inn.  John knew that she must be in a lot of pain for a seven year old.


John was seven also. He and Lucy has been friends since Pre School.  He was glad to hear she had stopped crying by the time they reached the Inn.  The place was beautiful!  It had a nice cozy feel, with soft warm lights, and welcoming wooden floors.  There was nothing this pretty back home.


The woman at the front desk showed them to their rooms.  It was super fancy because they had two different rooms. John and Lucy would each have their own beds, a bathroom to share and their own TV!


“This is the best!”  John said.

“Okay kids, before you start to run off and explore, would you mind getting the cooler from the car for me?” asked Lucy’s mom.  They agreed and left the room as fast as they could.  Lucy’s mom took a break and sat down on the couch.




That night when Lucy was sleeping, she heard a strange noise. 

“What was that?” she shouted across the room to John.

“I don’t know, but since you’re awake, will you come with me to grab a drink of water?” he asked.  As they walked out of the room they saw something white fly across the room.


“HELP!  Ghosts!!!!”  Screamed John and Lucy.  Lucy’s mother woke up and ran into their room.


“What’s wrong?  Is everything ok?”  She asked concerned.


“We saw a ghost, mom.”  Said Lucy.  Lucy’s mother frowned and turned on all the lights in the room.  She then pulled back the curtain that led to the front of the street.


 “There is no ghost in here.  In fact, I think you two probably just heard people walking by in the street.  You are not used to being in a city.  Now go back to bed, and stop screaming.  There are other people in the Inn and you two are being rude.”  She slammed the door shut and left the kids alone again.  They looked at each other for a minute and then out the window where there was a crowd of people gathering by the Witch House, which was just down the road.


 “I guess we could have heard people talking and thought we saw something,” John said.


 “I guess.”  Neither one was sure it was the crowd outside.  But after John got his water, the kids decided to be brave and go back to sleep.  However, they did sleep with all the lights on.


The next morning, Lucy, her mom, and John went for a nice tour of the city.  The first stop was the Salem Common where the kids looked at all the pumpkins on display.  The next stop was visiting the street fair where they each played a couple games, and John and Lucy rode on the Ferris wheel.  Now it was lunchtime.  They had a great lunch at Howling Wolf, and then went for a walk to the toy store called Mud Puddle toys.  Lucy and John each bought one thing.  It was getting close to nightfall now.  The kids were told to head up to their room and rest while mom ran out to get some more food, and peek in some more stores.


 “Kids, I’ll be right back. I’m only going up the street.  Call my cellphone if there is an emergency. I’ll bring pizzas back!”

            “Ok mom we will just stay in and watch TV” said Lucy.  As soon as their mom left, Lucy looked out the busy streets below. She noticed an owl sitting in a tree. He was staring right into their room.


            “John, come here! An owl!”  When Lucy looked back, the owl was gone. 

            “I don’t see an owl.” Said John.

            “Oh, um that’s it, I’m scared, I’m hiding in the closet until my mom gets back.  And I’m taking Mr. Teddy.”

            “Don’t leave me alone out here with some weird Owl!”  John said and they both ran for the closet.  Suddenly the lights in the closet went out.


“John, why did you shut the lights off?  Turn them on, I’m afraid of the dark!”


“I didn’t do it!” They both opened the closet door to see the whole room was dark.  They decided to run downstairs to get help but the lights in the hallway were on.  They turned back into the room and deiced to call Lucy’s mom.  As they went into the room they walked right into a liquid figure.


“GHOST!” yelled John, and he grabbed Lucy’s hand, they crawled underneath the bed that was next to them.   Then they heard a rustling outside the door.  Lucy closed her eyes and moved closer to John.


The door opened and they heard Lucy’s mothers voice calling “pizza” and just like that, all the lights went back on.  The kids crept out from under the bed. “Here we are,” they said.


“Why were you hiding under the bed?” her mom asked.

“We saw a ghost” said Lucy.


“Not this again.  You two won’t be allowed to visit Salem again if you are going to frightened by the city.”  And she handed them each a slice of pizza.


Later that night when Lucy’s mom was sound asleep, Lucy whispered to John, “we have to get evidence, or my mom won’t let us come back!”  They tried to set up a trap with a paper cup and plastic top to keep the ghost inside.  They both fell asleep while waiting. Suddenly they felt something bang into the cup and it was the same air they had run into in the hallway.  Lucy got up and slid on the plastic lid, trapping whatever was there in the cup.


They ran into the mom’s bedroom to wake her up. “Mom, mom, MOM wake up!” yelled Lucy. “What? What’s wrong?  It better not be ghosts again.”


“Check out this cup!”  Her mother put her hand in the cup that John had used for drinking water and said, “it’s an empty cup.”

“No mom, this cup.” And Lucy took the top off and took her mom’s hand, placing it in the cup. 


“OH! What is that weird liquid?” her mother asked.


“IT’S A GHOST!” the kids shout.  The lights in the room, which were off, began to flicker as the ghost in the cup tried to escape.  The closet door rattled and shook. The owl began to hoot outside the window.  This time everyone ran out of the room screaming “GHOST!”


As Lucy, John, and her mom ran down the hallway with the cup in their hand screaming, the Inn owner came out of his room.


“What’s wrong?” he asked. 

“We have a ghost in our room!” shouted Lucy.


“And we trapped him in this cup!” shouted John.  The Inn owner looked at the three scared people and sighed. 


“I see you found the Inn ghost Old Shane.”


“Who?” they all asked.


“Old Shane. He was a sailor who used to live around here back in 30s.  He loved to stay in this room whenever he came to town.  One night we heard Old Shane was lost in the ocean because his boat wrecked.  We never saw him again although many people say they can see Old Shane on full moons, and during the month of October, which was when he went missing. 


“What should we do with him?” Said Lucy showing the cup to the Inn owner.


“I’ve got an idea.” Said John.


“How about we let him go in the Witch House.  There he can stay forever.


“Great idea “said the Inn owner. 


The next day during a tour of the Witch House, John and Lucy slipped out of the bunch and let Old Shane go in the house.  An owl appeared in the big tree near the house and winked at the kids. And that’s the story of the Ghost in Salem Inn.


Illustration by Stan Jaskiel




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