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Mormon Ghost Stories

Trunk or Treat

Cover Image for Trunk or Treat
Moroni's Ghost
By: Moroni's Ghost

“And there are also secret combinations, even as in times of old, according to the combinations of the devil, for he is the founder of all these things; yea, the founder of murder, and works of darkness; yea, and he leadeth them by the neck with a flaxen cord, until he bindeth them with his strong cords forever.”

2 Nephi 26:22

Matthew grabbed the last bin of supplies then closed the trunk to his junky old car by slamming it down hard. It didn’t like to latch unless you used a seemingly unnecessary amount of force on it. It clicked into place on the first try and so he turned around and headed into the building.

The hallways had been decorated with orange and black streamers, along with the occasional cardboard Halloween decoration placed along the wall. A ghost wearing a bowtie, a pumpkin with a cat sitting inside of it, those sort of things.

Matthew walked past the primary room where some of the primary leaders were setting up a cupcake walk and other games for the kids. He thought about how much he loved all those games back when he was a kid. But his favorite part of the ward Halloween party had always been the haunted house. It was tradition in their ward for the Priest Quorum to be in charge of making a haunted house experience that the rest of the ward wouldn’t forget. Matthew had gone every year since he could remember. He loved the thrill of not knowing when the next scare would be coming. Now that he was 16, he was finally going to be able to help with creating this for others instead of just experiencing it himself. He’d been working on it all day with his buddies.

Matthew turned the corner and walked into the gym where they had set up a complex maze out of blackboards on wheels, metal folding chairs and cardboard. They’d brought dozens of old blankets in order to create crawl spaces where those going through the haunted house would have to duck down instead of walk. Hidden nooks and crannies peppered the maze. The pièce de résistance, however, was going to be the tunnels that ran underneath the stage. They were normally reserved for storing all the unused metal chairs in the building, but tonight they would act as the core piece of the maze. They’d hidden the entrances to each tunnel, but the maze wound back and forth so those attending would be forced to go by each tunnel. As they did so, a different priest would be hiding in each tunnel. When someone was nearby they would swing the doors open and present each of them with a ghastly sight.

Matthew had reserved the tunnel in the middle of the gym for himself. He’d put a lot of thought into what he wanted to do. He’d been in church just a week ago and they had been reading 2 Nephi when he had a lightning bolt of inspiration strike. The verse had said something about the devil binding you and dragging you down to hell. He immediately imagined bursting out of the tunnel with a rope around his neck and arms. Red lights that mimicked flames would be all around him. He’d cry for help to those passing by, then have his friend Peter yank on his leg to pull him back into the tunnel then slam the doors. He’d even borrowed two of those little wooden square scooters they used to use in gym class in elementary school so he could slide in and out of the tunnel with ease. They’d gotten makeup supplies and fake blood to slather all over themselves as well. Matthew had one more last minute surprise he was going to add in that he couldn’t wait to show Peter.

He walked through the maze until he reached the tunnel he would be operating with Peter. Peter was there still setting up some of the lights and other effects.

“Got the last box of stuff!” Matthew said delightedly. “Man, this is going to be epic.”

“Oh nice, do you have any more extension cords in there? I need one more to reach the outlets up above.”

“Yeah, I think so.” Matthew fished around in his box and pulled one out, then tossed it to Peter.

“I gotta show you this though.” He reached back into the box and pulled out a large black necklace. At the end of the chain hung a huge pentagram. It was partially rusted over and was made out of cast iron.

“Woooah,” Peter said standing up, “that’s sick, where did you find that?” Peter shared Matthew's fondness for all things creepy and scary.

“I ordered it online from some weird magic shop. I spent hours searching for the perfect one. Most of them were way too shiny and modern. The website said that this one is authentic and over 200 years old though!”

“Sounds expensive.” Peter said, examining the necklace as it dangled from Matthew’s fingers. “How much did that cost?”

“That’s the crazy thing, he said his shop was closing and that this was one of the last things he needed to get rid of, so he sent it to me basically free. I just had to pay for shipping was all.”

“Dang, good find. This’ll look great in the lights.”

“I was thinking we could use some makeup to make it look like it burned the pentagram onto my chest as well. I was gonna be shirtless for the fake blood anyways.”

“Ooo, yeah that’ll look awesome. Let’s get finished setting up.”

They made the finishing touches on their tunnel, then Matthew put some makeup on his chest to resemble the pentagram necklace. Once everything was finished, they stashed all their supplies back into the tunnel and put their costumes on. The ward would be doing all the trunk or treating outside first for 45 minutes, then everyone would come inside for games, food, activities and the haunted house.

Matthew nearly ran out of the gym still wearing his necklace, but he didn’t want to spoil the surprise for everyone, so he ran back to the tunnel and placed it carefully on the floor of the tunnel. He was in such a rush he didn’t even notice the faint red glow that started emanating from it as he turned and ran back out of the gym.


Cars lined the parking lot as the Trunk or Treat started in earnest. Primary kids and youth walked the lines of cars that had been covered in a variety of decorations. Each year they had a contest for the best decorated vehicle and the whole ward seemed to compete for the title of honor. Matthew found his parents standing behind their Ghostbusters themed minivan. His two younger sisters and brother were going up and down the lines with his mom, so he told his dad he could take over handing out candy so he could join them. His dad happily agreed and ran off to join the other kids.

Peter was a few cars down at his own parents car. Whenever there was no one at their trunk for a few seconds, they would see if they could hurl pieces of candy into each other’s candy bowls. More cars showed up until the whole parking lot seemed to be overflowing with families, costumes and candy. The sun started to set and parking lot lights started to come on overhead. Soon families started to trickle into the church building and the parking lot started to empty out. Trunks started to close and the moms and dads who had held down the candy forts finally closed up shop to join the others inside. Matthew let his parents head inside as he quickly put away the decorations lining the trunk. Peter jogged over to him and they excitedly went back inside to start up the haunted house for everyone inside.

They walked through the doors to the church building when a strange sensation came over them. Everything suddenly felt… distorted. Matthew took a few steps before he realized what was happening. The ground below him felt as if he were walking on a bounce house, with the floor giving in ways that his feet didn’t expect. His body felt lighter than normal and his vision seemed to subtly swirl around him. He looked over at Peter who had a similar look of surprise on his face.

“What’s going on?” Matthew asked, his voice sounded odd as well, as though it was being distorted slightly at the edges of each inflection. “Do you feel that?”

“Yeah… it feels like I am in a pool.” Peter said. His voice sounded like it was switching octaves at completely random intervals. “Uh, what is that?”

Matthew turned to look back down the hallway. There were people lining the walls and ceiling. Some had their backs against the wall, some had their sides against the ceiling. But each one of them was protruding from the wall. Brother Morris was sticking out of the ceiling, but his legs were nowhere to be seen. There were no holes or cracks. Their bodies had fused into the walls of the church. Everyone stuck to the walls was not moving and appeared to be unconscious, despite their eyes being wide open.

“Uh, we should get out of here maybe…” Matthew said. He turned around with Peter, but the door that had been behind them was now a solid wall. Not only that, it seemed to be… moving. It was gently moving up and down in a rhythmic way. Though it looked like stone, it moved as if it would give if you pressed your hand against it. As though it was no longer completely solid. Peter reached out his hand to touch it.

“Wait!” Matthew said, grabbing his arm. “We don’t know how that happened to those people. We probably shouldn’t touch it.”

Peter shook his head. “Right, yeah, it just seemed so weird. What should we do?”

“Well, I guess we see if any of the other doors are still here.”

They carefully walk-bounced along the hallway as it rhythmically churned around them, being careful not to touch any of the walls as they went along. The further down the hall they went the more motion the walls seemed to swell and increase in intensity. They turned the corner to go to the next closest corner of the building. As they walked along the lights of the building started flickering different hues. The normal fluorescent lighting was suddenly blue, then red, then blue, then purple. It went through a wide spectrum of colors as they kept moving. All the while the motion of the walls kept swaying. Together, they were starting to make Matthew feel motion sick.

They made it to the end of the hallway and looked down towards where the door should be. All they saw were more ward members who had become attached to the walls and ceiling. One boy who wasn’t wearing shoes had even been stuck to the carpeted floor.

“Well, I don’t know what else to do.” Matthew said. “Looks like we are stuck in here… are we… are we dreaming? Is this a dream?”

His voice started echoing across the walls. “Is this a dream? Is this a dream? Is this a dream?” seemingly bounced along the hallways. The walls of the building shuttered at the sound, as if mimicking the noises with their swelling motions.

“Let’s check the gym.” Peter said. Matthew nodded.

They made their way to the gym doors next to the chapel which had been propped open. They stepped inside and suddenly the gravity holding them down lessened even more and the lighting became blood red. They walked into the open space of the gym, each stride sending them higher and higher into the air as if they were on a trampoline.

More ward members were scattered along the walls of the gym. They almost looked hairy for some reason. As though little hairs had sprung from all over their bodies. Though they didn’t dare touch the walls still. The whole room seemed to be swimming to Matthew, as though he was looking at everything through water that distorted all the sizes and shapes around him.

One spot in the room appeared to be glowing a stronger red color than everywhere else. It was the tunnel they had been working on earlier for their haunted house. Matthew pointed over to it and spoke to Peter.

He meant to say “Over there!” but all that came out were the sounds of birds squawking. Peter followed his finger and tried to speak as well. It sounded like car horns honking in traffic as he did so. They made their way towards the tunnel as the world swelled in strangeness around them. The distortions in Matthew’s vision and hearing grew more and more severe until it looked as though everything was moving in odd patterns. The image in his mind no longer connected to itself in proper ways. It was as if someone had taken a picture of the room and cut it into 100 different pieces, then had swapped those pieces randomly and taped it back together. Nothing appeared to make sense anymore. Matthew pushed forward despite the sensations, following his gut to take him to that tunnel and the source of the glow.

Then, he saw it. His vision pieced back together in a normal way as his eyes rested upon the pentagram necklace he had left in the tunnel. It was a deep blood red and was pulsating with light. It was flat against the ground, and Matthew saw more small hairs that appeared to sprout around it onto the floor. They were odd looking, less like hairs, and more like something else familiar that he couldn’t put his finger on.

Peter, who was beside him, reached out to grab the necklace. Before Matthew could stop him he had made contact with it. As soon as his fingers touched the metal he recoiled in pain, but a thin line seemed to connect him to the pentagram now. His hand shot back out towards it as he tried to fight some unseen force. His hand made contact with it again as it pulled him closer. More connections, as fine as fishing lines, shot forth around him. Suddenly the little hair-like structures started appearing at Peter’s finger tips. They grew on him in a swirling pattern, slowly enveloping his hand. The line from Peter to the metal necklace seemed to swirl around him.

Matthew tried to help pull Peter away, being careful not to make contact with the lines or the little hairs. As he tugged on Peter and watched the lines rotate around Peter’s arm he had a realization. Those little hairs weren’t hairs. They were small pieces of transparent rope. The frayed little edges of the finest rope he had ever seen. And those frays were distorting the whole world around them. Now that he had seen it, he could see that it was slowly wrapping its way around Peter’s arm. He panicked and pulled harder. That’s when he saw a line in the air hover up in front of him.

He screamed which caused the sound of a gunshot to come out of his mouth. Peter waved him away as the transparent rope continued from his arm onto his torso. His arm was now flush against the ground and more strings had popped up to bind his other appendages. Some had started around the top of his head as well.

Matthew tried to run. He semi floated as his vision once again became a broken mess of puzzle pieces. He bounced along the floor as fast as he could and his vision became less distorted as he did so. He made it to the gym doors and walked back into the hallway. He turned to look behind himself and saw that a series of transparent frayed strings were still following him. He headed for the multi use room down the hall, the one that had the baptismal font.

He made it to the room which was thankfully open. He avoided all the walls, which he now realized were moving because transparent strings were moving and slithering all around them, like a pile of snakes that had no end or beginning. He saw that the baptismal font door was open. He didn’t know what else to do, so he jumped inside of the font.

The tile of the font did not seem to move and slither with ropes like the rest of the building. He laid back against the wall and watched for any rope that had followed him. After a few minutes of watching and seeing nothing, he rested his back against the wall.

He closed his eyes for a moment in an attempt to find relief from the psychedelic experience he had just had. He leaned his head backwards so he would be looking at the ceiling, then opened his eyes once more. He saw that the faucet for the font was directly above him.

Falling from the faucet were a million hair thin pieces of rope that hit his face all at once. They wrapped around him before he could blink and affixed his head to the base of the faucet, lifting him off the ground. A look of terror immortalized on his now immobile expression.

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