It was Halloween night and I was a small child of 8 years old, preparing to go trick-or-treating with a group of neighborhood children. I was going with my friend Jenny, her friends Haley and Allie, and Jenny's older brother who would be supervising us. We had just gotten our costumes finished and were grabbing our candy bags. Just as we were about to leave, Jenny's mom announced that she had a few rules for us that must be followed: we must be home by 9 PM, do not speak to strangers, and wherever we go, DO NOT go down Captain Ellis Lane.
"Why can't we go down Captain Ellis Lane?" I asked her mother, to which the reply was, "That's the rule. Now have fun." No further explanation.
I knew where that road was because I had driven past it in the car with my mother multiple times, but never gone down. It was 3 streets down from mine and through a series of side streets was connected to my street, as well as to the main road. All I knew was that it was desolate and dark, much more so than the other roads in its vicinity, and had an old abandoned farm a little ways down the road. From the main road, no houses were visible, the road looked completely empty.
After a passing thought of "Oh, that street is a bit dark and poorly lit, that must be it," I put it out of my mind and left with my friends, ready to enjoy the evening. We went down several other streets and had gathered a lot of candy. People loved my costume, I was having a great night. I was ready to head home and mentioned to my friends' brother that we should start heading back. My friends had other plans.
On the way home, we stopped right in front of Captain Ellis Lane. I was perfectly content not going down the road but my friends all said "What are you waiting for? Are we going or not?"
"NO, no, we cannot, did you not hear what Jenny's mom said? We are not supposed to go down this road!" I exclaimed. But by that point it was too late. They had already descended into the darkness, leaving me behind, and I ran ahead to catch up.
I looked down the street and from the view of the main road it was completely unlit and looked abandoned, in complete contrast to the other streets in the area which were well-lit and densely populated. I heard the rattling of a flag against a flagpole but could not tell where the sound was coming from and the bristling of the wind through the trees. All I could see was one house immediately to my right, an old house that looked like a farm house at what appeared to be the end of the street, and a large, fenced off plot of land to the right far ahead. The left side of the street was covered with trees and brush. It felt like I was walking down a road in the middle of nowhere and something was lurking in the shadows waiting to jump out. I did not like it one bit.
The road forked. I looked to the right and saw that the street did, in fact turn into a more "normal" looking, and better lit street with several houses. To the left was a gravel road encircling a large, fenced off plot of farmland. I could not see the end of the farm but I could barely make out that in the distance was a small white shed.
All of a sudden Jenny shouted "1, 2, 3, I'll race you to the shed! Let's go!" and I immediately protested. I insisted that we were trespassing, that the farm likely belonged to one of the houses we had just passed. I did not want to get in trouble and I will not lie, I was scared! But I also knew I would be left behind in the dark to fend for myself if I did not take off running toward that shed.
Just as we prepared to go, with my heart racing and pounding out of my chest, I heard the creaking of a door which came to a hard THUD as it shut. We all froze and stared at one another trying to figure out where the sound was coming from. Allie said it must be from the shed. The door was probably not firmly secured and had blown shut in the wind, she said, an explanation I was prepared to accept but did not truly believe. It was so far in the distance I could barely see it, just the vague outline. I was ready to turn and run back but they began walking ahead of me on the gravel road, now slowly walking and trying to listen for sound of activity.
As we walked, I felt the distinct sensation that someone was following us. There were 5 of us, but whomever was walking furthest back said they could hear footsteps immediately behind them, but when we stopped they stopped with us, and when we turned around there was no one there. Jenny's brother called out "Is there someone there?" but no response.
As we approached the shed, I heard the rustling of leaves and footsteps in the woods to the right of the gravel road. These were not the sounds of an animal but they sounded like human footsteps. I was not even thinking of the paranormal right now, I feared we were being followed by a living person and I was terrified. Even with 5 of us, it would be difficult to fend off an adult attacker. Haley shouted out that she swore she saw a shadow dart in front of the shed and then disappear. I didn't see anything but I also was too nervous to think.
We climbed quietly over the fence and were now in a large plot of farmland. The shed was now only a few hundred feet in front of us. We quietly approached it. I was on high alert for any movement and I was terrified. I didn't know why I didn't just run back home by myself to Jenny's house when I was on the main road, because however dangerous it would have been I would have felt much less nervous than here.
Haley, the bravest of us all, walked up to one of the shed windows and began to peer inside. It was too dark to see anything. She took out her flashlight and began to look inside. For a few seconds she looked around and all seemed normal. All of a sudden, she let out a LOUD, TERRIFIED SCREAM, dropped her entire bucket of candy and ran away from us through the field and back over the fence. She was stuttering as she tried to tell us what she saw. None of us understood what she was trying to say. She was shaking profusely and practically in tears and begged us to run back to her and walk back home. I could tell she was terrified and on the verge of a panic attack.
Lights began to turn on in the few nearby houses and voices could be heard. Haley's scream must have caught their attention. We quickly picked up our belongings, dashed back down the street as quietly as possible and headed back to the main road. No one saw us as we fled as fast as we could down the dark street.
When we got back to the house, Haley confessed what she saw. She said that she was looking in the shed and at first she only saw gardening tools and empty crates, but then she saw a child. Not a normal child, but a small boy with gaping bloody holes where the eyes were supposed to be, a bony skeleton-like emaciated frame, and the most disgusting rotted teeth she had ever seen, smiling in a sinister smile walking toward the window.
We all froze, terrified by the thought. But we all promised that no matter what we did, we would keep it a secret from Jenny's mom that we disobeyed her rule.
To this day I do not know if she really saw the image of a child in the window or if she was playing a prank on us. But recently, I drove down the road during daylight and noticed that the shed was no longer there and had been replaced. I learned that Jenny's mother had almost purchased a home on that street but had decided against it because she preferred the street they ended up living on, and she too had found the abandoned farm area to be creepy and off-putting and did not want us there because it was poorly lit. If only she knew what Haley actually saw that night.