The Halloween House

Written and Illustrated by Carol Moore

Inspired by and dedicated to John D. Barrett, Jr., Esq.


The Halloween House is big and old. I'm told that on Halloween night things happen there.


Now Suzie's moved in--she's only 4--along with her brother, her father and mother, and little Picador. He's their dog. Well, maybe half a dog. He's a Chihuahua, as small as they come.

Suzie's room is in the attic. It's no fun. With a high ceiling, cold and gloomy, and shadows that run halfway up the walls. Suzie hides under the blanket. Picador too. Come on, he's no guard dog.

Suzie's mom bought her a bear. A teddy bear named Teddy. He's big and fluffy and Suzie adores him. "I love you so much" she says. Then she wraps her arms around him, snuggling like a cat ready to purr while Picador buries himself in all that fur.

The Halloween House's attic may be scary, but Teddy's not. Around his neck he wears a blue scarf with red polka dots. On his back paws are black tennis shoes tied with lace and plenty of knots.

Something is silly about that teddy bear. He's got a goofy smile from ear to ear. It's kind of lopsided and sweet, although not quite complete. He was cheap when Suzie's mom bought him at the Dollar Store.

But his smile is always there.

When scratching and squeaking come from the walls,

Teddy smiles.

When clothes on the floor become strange figures in piles,

Teddy smiles.

When an invisible spider's miles of cobweb fades away in the morning,

Teddy smiles.