It's Halloween night in Watertown, NY. Eleven-year-old Patrick Jacobs is allowed to go Trick-Or-Treating without adult supervision. But there's a catch. He has to stick to the "safe" route his mother specified, and he must bring along his little sister, Mariah...
It's Halloween night in Watertown, NY. Eleven-year-old Patrick Jacobs is allowed to go Trick-Or-Treating without adult supervision. But there's a catch. He has to stick to the "safe" route his mother specified, and he must bring along his little sister, Mariah. But the temptation of an awesome Halloween House, just slightly off the beaten path, and peer pressure from his friends, cause Patrick to break the rules. Suddenly, Mariah vanishes and Patrick finds himself on the most terrifying... and perhaps final... ride of his life.
“Let’s go see the Halloween House! Your sister will catch up to us.”
Eli’s confidence was contagious. Patrick believed him. Mariah would catch up as soon as she’d relieved herself. He made a mental note to apologize to her when she returned, then nodded at Eli. They took off racing around the corner. When they rounded the bend, they stopped in their tracks to ogle the spectacular scene before them. The infamous Halloween House of Winslow Street, in all its brilliance, was just a few yards away!
“Whoa!” they exclaimed together.
The house was even more spectacular in person than it had looked in the newspaper or on TV. The two-story structure, with its old-fashioned, Victorian design, would have made the perfect setting for a horror movie, even without all the Halloween decorations. Looking up at the two narrow windows on the second floor, Patrick thought they resembled a pair of ominous eyes, studying the crowd below.
Perched atop the roof, was the famous pumpkin balloon that appeared without fail, year after year. The oversized gourd could certainly give “The Great Pumpkin” a run for its money. In fact, it seemed almost big enough to tether it to a basket and go for a hot air balloon ride. Patrick shuddered to think where the inflatable pumpkin, with its malevolent expression, might carry a kid off to.
Elsewhere, a Frankenstein balloon towered over the children that surrounded it. A fiber optic black cat on the porch railing arched its back and made crazy yowling sounds. Gauze ghosts hung from tree branches; there was just enough of a breeze to keep them in perpetual motion.
He and Eli weaved their way through the crowd of excited kids and gawking adults, eager to find the faux graveyard. When they spotted the display of a half dozen or so supposed burial plots, it looked so realistic, Patrick wondered if the gravestones hadn’t been “borrowed” from a local cemetery. He leaned down and tapped one, just to reassure himself that it was plastic. There was plenty of outdoor lighting, making it easy for him to read the inscription: “YOU’RE NEXT!”