Spooky Summer Writing Contest Winner

This week on the blog, I want to give a huge shout-out to Josie Portell, the winner of our Spooky Summer Writing Contest for Kids. Congratulations, Josie!!! Your story was truly and utterly terrifying! As the winner, you have officially and forever been declared a ‘Scare Master.’ Keep up the good work, and we hope to see many more stories from you in the future.

The story prompt for our contest was:

Spending the summer in a haunted school bus in the middle of the woods was bad enough. Did there have to be killer pineapples?

Now, without further ado, please enjoy Josie’s story entitled:


Spending the summer in a haunted school bus in the middle of the woods was bad enough. Did there have to be killer pineapples? But I’ll get to that later. It was the last day of school. But instead of kids doing fun activities, they were loading their bags on to a bus. They thought they were going on a fun, one night, end of school year field trip. Little did the fifth graders of Cardinal Elementary know that their whole summer was about to be turned upside down.

“Alright kids settle down, put your phones in this bucket,” said grumpy old Ms. Granfield. She was the grumpiest teacher you had ever met. Did she really have to be going on this trip? The kids did as they were told. After what felt like forever, the kids were on the bus heading to their surprise location. Soon enough, the bus stopped in the middle of the woods.

“Everybody get off before this bus explodes,” demanded Ms.Granfield to the students.

“Where are we?” One brave student dared to ask.

“Doesn’t matter Jerry, now get off,” Mrs. Granfield replied angrily.

“There has been a little situation with the bus, and this is where we will have to spend the night,” explained Mrs. Zenoff, another teacher.

“Ugh, whatever,” said Jenna, a popular cheerleader who was forced by her parents on this trip.

forest-2044261_960_720The kids all found this part of the woods a little eerie. They also wondered where that strange noise was coming from. But there was no time to worry when sunset was in an hour! The students hurried to get camp set up while the teachers cooked dinner. “Alright no complaining about dinner, you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit,” Ms.Granfield informed the students.

Dinner was canned meat, canned vegetables and canned fruits. Everyone held their noses as they forced the disgusting food down their throats. Suddenly, the kids and teachers heard a big bump. Everyone ran into the bus, where they were told to sleep. Everything was left still. Then, thunder and lightning roared in and rain poured down.

“Settle in for the night,”called the teachers. “We’ll wake you up in the morning.”

Very few kids went to sleep that night. How could they with all the noise? They were crammed in an eerie bus with suitcases as their bedding. Not the best conditions for sleeping on a rainy night like this.

The strange noises became louder and were joined by a lingering ooh noise.

The next morning, the kids were awoken by their teachers.

“Kids, we contacted all of your parents last night to let them know that we will be spending our entire summer out here. We have the school bus to stay in but that is it,” said Ms. Granfield. All the kids complained in unison.

The oohing noise has stopped, and the kids stayed in the school bus. Something didn’t feel right, and the oohing noise continued.

“Something about this bus is haunted,”said Jenna.

“Yeah,” her best friend Emily agreed with her.

None of the students wanted to spend their whole summer in this creep of a bus, but this was the only option.

The day longed by, and it was time for the kids to go to bed. But one kid, Brandon, could not sleep. He was later awakened by a whispering noise.

“Brandon, Brandon get up, it is me, your grandpa,” said a noise.

“My grandpa died years ago!” exclaimed Brandon.

“I know I did, but come with me,” said the noise frustratedly.

fruit-1850978_960_720Brandon followed the noise deeper and deeper into the woods. They came upon an old cabin that looked even more haunted than the bus. They opened the door. It looked like any old log cabin in the woods. But something felt off. And what were those pineapples doing in the corner of the living room?

“Sit down son, let me tell you a story,” said Brandon’s grandfather.

“All your ancestors and your best friend, Eric’s, ancestors have been living here as spirit. Once a month or whenever someone comes into that abandoned bus, we send certain spirits out dressed as pineapples to kill whoever is in it,” told Brandon’s grandfather.

“But why?, and will you kill me and Eric?” questioned Brandon worryingly.

“No son, not you, but everyone else. Mwah ha ha ha!!” cheered his grandfather. Just as quickly as he had appeared, he was gone.

The next morning when Brandon woke up, everyone except him and Eric had been killed, just like his grandfather had said. The boys started heading home and told their parents the whole story. The story of how this summer had turned out to be way more than they had bargained for.


Great job, Josie!!! So dark and creepy! And to all you young writers out there, fall is the perfect time to get out that pen and paper and start writing. What creepy stories can you create this Halloween season?


Spooky Summer Writing Contest

Greetings fellow ghouls! Welcome to our first-ever Spooky Middle Grade Summer Writing Contest. Do you have what it takes to scare the pants off our spooky authors? Here are some quick rules:

  • Must be ages 8-12 to enter.
  • Submit your story to spookymiddlegrade@gmail.com by midnight CST on July 31, 2019.
  • Stories must be submitted as Word documents, 12pt font, double-spaced.
  • Stories should not exceed 1000 words.
  • Stories must start with the prompt (see below).
  • Include your full name and preferred contact email.
  • Ask for your parent or guardian’s permission before entering.

Three lucky winners will have their stories posted on spookymiddlegrade.com. They will also receive some cool, spooky swag and be forever known as “Official Scare Masters.”


Spending the summer in a haunted school bus in the middle of the woods was bad enough. Did there have to be killer pineapples?