“Then one of the ghosts said, “Whenever you need help, we will come by. We’ll know because we gave you a special whistle only ghosts and vampires can hear.”
It was Halloween, Jeremy’s favorite holiday ever. When it got dark, he changed into his zombie costume and got out his Halloween treat bag. When he got outside, he saw strange creatures standing on Main Street in the town of Spooksburg. Some of the creatures had sharp teeth like real vampires, and some were see-through just like real ghosts! Jeremy was really creeped out, and so were his parents. The entire town, actually. They all ran back inside and stayed in there for the rest of Halloween night.
The next day of school, Jeremy couldn’t concentrate on his work. He couldn’t stop wondering why there were vampires and ghosts. That was when Jeremy had a brilliant idea. Next Halloween, while the rest of the town fled, he would stay in Spooksburg.
The vampires and ghosts were lost and they needed help. On Halloween night the following year, they drifted into Spooksburg again. The town was silent and still. The houses were empty, and the streets didn’t have a single car or pedestrian. Except for a young boy named Jeremy.
The seven-year-old boy looked older than he was. But maybe that was because he was all alone in an abandoned town.
He approached cautiously. “Hello. So you’re some scary looking fellas. I’ve been waiting for you.”
“Waiting?” a vampire said. “But we didn’t know we’d be here.”
“Everyone in town knew. You came last year. That’s why they left. But I wanted to stay behind because I wanted to see if it was true. So what are you doing here?”
“We’re lost,” one of the ghosts said. “We’ve been wandering for ages, looking for our home.”
The boy squinted at them. “This definitely isn’t your home. Maybe I can help you find it.”
The ghosts and vampires were happy and cheered for Jeremy. He just had one question in his head: How am I going to lead the ghosts and vampires where they are supposed to be?
Jeremy of Spooksburg led the ghosts and vampires for hours. Though the creatures had spent ages unable to find their real homes, they felt something new with Jeremy alongside them. They felt drawn to a crumbling village just up the road. It was scary, and the wind howled like an angry werewolf.
Then one of the ghosts said, “Whenever you need help, we will come by. We’ll know because we gave you a special whistle only ghosts and vampires can hear.”
“Thank you. But I have to ask: how did you get lost?”
The vampires and ghosts glanced at each other, their heads bowed.
“We go on a vacation every Halloween,” a ghost said. “But a few years ago we went out and couldn’t find our way back. We followed the same path as usual, but it was like the town had disappeared.
“That’s why we came to your town,” a vampire added. “Thank you so much for bringing us home, Jeremy.”
Jeremy had quite a busy Halloween and felt good that he helped the lost ghosts and vampires. But he couldn’t help wondering how the ghosts and vampires could lose their way. And why did it look like their town disappeared? Jeremy wanted to find out.
At school later that year, when kids were being mean to Jeremy, he would call the ghosts and vampires to come at night and scare the mean kids. That way he could focus on investigating who’d made the town disappear. But he had homework to do. So he blew the whistle, and the ghosts and vampires appeared. The ghosts did his math homework, and the vampires did his reading assignment. Vampires didn’t have the best vocabulary, but Jeremy was glad for the help.
He thanked his undead friends and walked them home. After spending a few minutes hanging out in the creepy town, he went home to finish his investigation.
Jeremy took his whistle everywhere — even on a field trip to a pumpkin patch — which was where he was convinced he lost it. He searched under pumpkins and dug through the dirt, but he couldn’t find it. How could he solve the mystery without his special whistle?
Jeremy ran to the ghost and vampire village.
“Hello, Jeremy? What are you doing here?”
“I lost my whistle. Can I have another?”
“Sorry,” said a vampire, “but that was the last one.”
“But we do have a cellphone you could use.” The vampires and ghosts gave him a little phone.
“Don’t lose this because then you won’t be able to call us,” said one of the vampires.
When Jeremy got back home, he was happy because he did not have his very own phone before. He was only seven, so that made sense.
He didn’t really have a lot of trouble, but one day, his father’s phone broke and he bought a new one and gave the old one to Jeremy. But then Jeremy forgot all about the phone that the vampires and ghosts gave him.
When it was Halloween, Jeremy called the ghost and vampires over to collect candy, and people said, “Good costume. That looks real.”
The vampires and ghosts said, “Thanks, this is our first time going to trick or treating.”
When the ghosts and vampires went to one of Jeremy’s friends, the ghost and vampires said that they have a secret, which Jeremy knew. They weren’t in costumes after all. They were real! But he’d keep that to himself.
The ghosts and vampires were so grateful Jeremy didn’t reveal their secret to any of his friends, that they decided to tell him how their town disappeared. It was actually a zombie with a potion. The zombie thought he had a different potion, but he was wrong. He wanted the village to be bigger, so he thought he’d add more buildings with that potion, but it was really an invisibility potion.
The vampires and ghosts discovered this because the zombie emailed them an apology. But the ghosts and vampires got really mad, so mad that they punished him to go to the potion room and study his potions more so he didn’t turn any more towns invisible.
Every Halloween from that year on, Jeremy invited the ghosts and vampires to his town, then he went to their village to trick or treat because they had a ton of candy.
They ate candy, stayed best friends, and always had the best Halloween ever.