Story Contest Winner Neely Harrington/Ganador del concurso de cuento Neely Harrington

Winner for 5th Grade

Neely Harrington


The Girl with the Noose


I was staying at my cousin’s house for the weekend. Their house was right across the street from the playground at the Salem Common. My cousin’s house was a tall brick building and they owned the bottom apartment. Luckily, my three siblings were all going to sleep in a room down the hall, so I got the guest room across the street from the playground all to myself.


My room was a little smaller than my room at home, but not by much. The walls were covered with fading, pink roses. There were small rectangles of light where the sun was shining through the two closed windows. It smelled a little dusty but not too much that I couldn’t breathe.


After dinner I went back to the guest room and turned on the TV. I saw that Hocus Pocus was on, so I kept the TV on that channel. For a second the screen flickered and I thought I saw a little girl. “It’s probably just my imagination,” I thought. I watched Hocus Pocus until about 10:57 then I got into bed and my eyes started to get heavy. I saw a girl on the swing set at the playground. She had pale white skin and long, dark brown hair. The girl was wearing a white nightgown. She was swinging in the opposite direction of me going back and forth, back and forth. Then she started to slow down until she came to a stop. Slowly she got off the swing and turned directly at me. Her eyes were as black as coal and filled with evil. She was walking towards me. I woke up drenched in cold sweat.


“It was just a dream,” I repeated to myself. Then later in the day it was time to leave my cousin’s house. Salem was flooded with people in crazy costumes and funny getups. While I was in the car, I spotted the girl in my dream. “I’m probably going crazy,” I murmured under my breath. Right when we got home, I went on the computer and looked up Ghosts. Finally when it was done loading, I scrolled down and something caught my eye. The title said “The Girl with the Noose.” But what really caught my eye was the description underneath. It was “girl with long white nightgown … click to read more.” So I clicked on it. It read that “the first stage is that she would appear in your dreams. Second stage is she follows you and you might see her staring at you from an empty window or in a crowd of people. In the third and final stage, the girl holds a noose in her hand and the person she chose to haunt turns insane.” I was unbelievably scared. Over the next few days, I looked over my shoulder constantly expecting to see her. One night when I started to feel safe again, I woke up to go to the bathroom. So I got out of bed. I looked out the window as I walked since it had become a habit since the girl had appeared in y dreams, and there she was. She was in the middle of the road staring down in. A car was about to hit her when a bright light blinded me. When my eyes adjusted again, the car and the girl were gone. I was so scared that I couldn’t sleep. I kept tossing and turning and as I turned on my side once more, I saw her holding a noose and whispering, “you’re next.”


I’m writing this story in an asylum far from Salem. My sister has just sent a letter to me saying: “I saw her, the girl you always talked about. She was wearing a white nightgown and has pale, white skin and long, dark brown hair. She was on a swing set, swinging back and forth, back and forth.”



Illustration by Stan Jaskiel

Illustration by Stan Jaskiel



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