"Mom", said little Mikey, who was about to celebrate his twelfth birthday on October 31st, "has grandpa always been like he is now?"

Maggie looked up from washing the dishes and slowly reached for the dish towel to dry her hands. She was startled by the question from her son who, before today, never asked or talked about his grandfather. Even since that night about twenty years ago, he's remained speechless and spends his days in a rocking chair either outside on the porch or in the living room.

She looked at her son who was making a peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwich for an afterschool snack. She said, "Mikey, why do you ask now after all these years?"

"I was walking home with one of my friends and we passed by that old empty house that sits off the road over yonder on Elm Street. The wind started to blow and the leaves were falling off the trees and he asked me if I knew the story of the Old Elm Street Ghost Story. I told him I'd no idea what he was talking about."

"This is the second year I overheard my father talking to his brother about your grandfather entering that haunted house on Halloween a long time ago," he said to me.

"I asked him what he was talking about and he said:"

"Your grandfather was a boozer my dad said. One night at the tavern, Halloween night, somebody bet him he couldn't enter the old haunted house and stay inside for thirty minutes. Anyway, he took the bet and went to the haunted house. A few of the men followed him and they stopped at the foot of the hill up to the house. He went in shouting for the ghost to show itself. Then my father said they heard a blood curdling scream and then all went silent. The watchers ran back to the tavern and told the story. I guess your grandfather was found the next morning sitting with his back to the giant Elm tree at the entrance to the road to the haunted house. Some town's people took him to your house and that's all I know Mikey," said Chad.

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