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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

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STELLA: Stories heal. Stories hurt.

If we repeat them often enough,

they become real.

They make us who we are.

They have such power.

This I learned

on the very last autumn of our childhood.

(PSYCHEDELIC ROCK MUSIC PLAYING)

(TRAIN HORN BLARES)

RADIO DJ: Now it's time to dig yourselves

out of your graves, Mill Valley.

It's Halloween.

But be careful, 'cause when the sun goes down,

it's The Season of the Witch.

When I look out my window

(INDISTINCT CHATTER)

Many sights to see

TOMMY: I did it. I'm going to 'Nam. Yeah.

LETTERMAN: Those commies are gonna pay.

TOMMY: Let's go scare some kiddies tonight, guys.

So many different people to be

That it's strange

So strange

You've got to pick up every stitch

LYNDON B. JOHNSON: (ON TV) But let men everywhere

know that a strong and a confident...

...and a vigilant America...

Going out with your friends tonight?

I'd rather just stay in.

JOHNSON: ...and stand ready tonight

to defend an honored cause.

♪ ...every stitch

Mmm-mmm

Must be the season of the witch

Must be the season of the witch

CHUCK: (ON WALKIE) Stella, pick up.

Stella...

I don't want to go trick-or-treating.

Stella. Stella,

this isn't about candy. It's about payback.

Get all the eggs and TP you can

and meet us at 7:00.

AUGGIE: Stella, please.

This could be our last Halloween together.

CHUCK: If you think you have it hard,

I have to fish a turd out of the toilet.

AUGGIE: You are disgusting, Chuck.

(BELL DINGS)

TURNER: Hey!

You know where you're going, kid?

Following the harvest.

(BICYCLE BELL RINGS)

BOY: Tonight only.

Mom. It's fine.

No, it's not.

Still a little loose in the crotch.

One more.

(SIGHS DEEPLY)

LETTERMAN 1: Take that!

LETTERMAN 2: Bullseye.

You got to pick up every stitch...

Let's go, girls.

Hey, gimme.

Eat shit, Harold.

(LETTERMEN LAUGH)

MR. MILNER: Tommy, slow down.

Must be the season of the witch

What the hell are you doing?

A little privacy, please!

Ugh.

I said Spider-Man.

(STAMMERS) Not a spider...

man.

Be happy the Lord provided.

(SIGHS)

(GRUNTS)

CHUCK: Mom, okay, jeez.

Mom, can I please breathe?

Be nice.

CHUCK: Okay! Can you please stop hugging me like that?

Aren't you a little old to be trick-or-treating? Hmm?

Aren't you too ugly to go on a date?

(SCOFFS) You little turd.

Auggie's here, gotta run.

(DOOR OPENS)

I don't wanna hear it.

Thought you were gonna be Spider-Man.

Yeah, well, get used to it, okay.

I got the goods, so let's banana split.

Stop staring at my sister,

you perv.

(MUMBLES)

You got to pick up every stitch

The rabbit's running in the ditch

Oh, no

Must be the season of the witch

Must be the season of the witch

(KIDS SCREAMING AND LAUGHING IN DISTANCE)

CHUCK: Hey, can you not?

AUGGIE: I mean, these antennae aren't even realistic.

And, if anything, a spider man

should have eight arms, not four.

Okay. At least I'm not a clown.

For the last time, I'm a Pierrot.

It's a 17th-century character from la commedia dell'arte.

Psst. Clown.

(CHUCK CHUCKLES)

Do you even know what's in those?

It's the same toxic chemicals that's giving our troops Hodgkin's lymphoma

and curdling the breast milk of the South Vietnamese.

CHUCK: Mmm.

And you ate them all.

Mmm.

Is that why they taste so good?

(BICYCLE BELL RINGS)

BOY 1: Out of the way, clown.

BOY 2: Nerd!

(BOYS LAUGHING)

(BICYCLE BELL RINGS)

BOY 3: Move!

He's not gonna show.

What? No, he'll show.

Okay, Milner does it every year

and this year will be his last.

Where are you, Tommy?

AUGGIE: I heard the school newspaper

is open to submissions again.

You should submit some of your stories.

CHUCK: Come and steal our candy, Tommy.

No way.

I know our school.

(ENGINE REVS)

(TIRES SCREECHING)

They would disembowel me.

(CAR ENGINE REVS)

Pontiac Catalina. It's him, it's him! Okay.

Okay, just act natural.

(POP ROCK MUSIC PLAYING)

You said we'd go out for dinner.

You and me.

How about some dessert?

Get ready, man.

LETTERMAN: Ha-ha! Suckers!

(LETTERMEN LAUGHING)

Oh, what's that smell?

Oh, it's old-man undies!

Ugh!

(TIRES SCREECH)

CHUCK: We got him.

All right, here we go. Let's do this. Let's do this!

Bully this, asshole!

Douchebags!

God damn it! Those little shits.

(TIRES SCREECH)

And now for the poo d'etat.

(ENGINE REVS)

Eat turd, shitbird!

(RUTH SCREAMS)

TOMMY: Holy shit.

RUTH: Stop the car!

LETTERMAN: Put it out!

(TIRES SCREECH)

(PEOPLE CLAMORING IN DISTANCE)

What is Ruth doing here?

Chucky, you little brat!

I don't know. I knew she was

going on a date but not with him.

(SLAMS BAT)

Damn it!

(CHUCK YELLING)

I'm gonna murder them!

Argh! Come back!

(SLAMS BAT)

(ALL PANTING)

CHUCK: Go!

TOMMY: I'm going to get you!

Let's get 'em!

STELLA: Come on, guys, go!

(EXCLAIMS)

TOMMY: Over there! Get him!

CHUCK: Oh, douchebags, nine o'clock!

(INDISTINCT CHATTER ON SCREEN)

Oh...

MAN ON SCREEN: ...behind those tree

if you want to go check it out.

(ALL PANTING)

Go ahead. Go ahead.

STELLA: Is this seat taken?

Uh, I don't... Guess not.

(CAR DOOR CLOSES)

Hey, get out of my car.

STELLA: Please, please.

CHUCK: Be out of here in a minute.

STELLA: Thanks, okay.

What are you guys doing?

We're saving our bacon.

Sorry.

CHUCK: Okay, okay. We're good.

AUGGIE: We're good?

CHUCK: He's gone.

(PANTING)

AUGGIE: Thanks. We owe you one.

I am a Pierrot.

(CHUCKLES)

(SNIFFING)

You live in here?

BOY: Hey.

Stay out of my stuff.

CHUCK: Got it.

So, what are you doing alone at a drive-in?

What are you still doing in my car?

I understand you're...

You're not from here, are you?

(STAMMERS) Where are you from?

Forgive my friend.

He did not get enough oxygen in the womb.

More than you, clown.

Can you guys stop?

It's him, not me.

Yeah, we're stopping.

Your friend is a little nosy.

Night of the Living Dead.

(WOMAN ON SCREEN SCREAMS)

CHUCK: It's a good flick.

You've seen it?

"All right, Vince, hit him in the head,

"right between the eyes."

(CHUCKLES)

That's the best flick all year.

BOY: Yeah, yeah, it's... It is.

Ramon.

Stella.

Chuck.

AUGGIE: Auggie.

(SOFT THUD)

TOMMY: (GROGGILY) Get out of the car.

Get out of the car.

(SIGHS)

Get out of the car.

(GRUNTS)

I don't think that you heard me.

(SIGHS)

Everyone needs to get out.

Mmm-mmm.

TOMMY: Now.

You too,

wetback.

(LETTERMEN CHUCKLING)

You're not going to try and run away

like Mommy too, now are you, Stella?

(SNIFFING)

You smell like shit.

(SNICKERS)

Get the hell off my car.

(CAR HORNS HONKING)

MAN 1: Hey, down in front. You're blocking the view!

MAN 2: Come on!

WOMAN: I can't see the movie!

Hey! Get back in your car or get the hell out of here!

Hey!

This ain't over.

MANAGER: Let's go.

MAN 2: Move it, you idiot.

MANAGER: Let's go.

TOMMY: Huh?

MANAGER: Get back in your car. Let's go. Come on.

Okay, let's go.

Where we goin'?

That way.

TOMMY: Okay, we'll go together.

(SIGHS IN RELIEF)

You okay?

Just excuse me for a second.

(CAR DOOR CLOSES)

Did I say something?

No, that asshole, Tommy did.

Her mom left when she was a kid, just like that.

Yeah, people wouldn't stop talking about it, though.

You know, we live in a small town.

Yeah, the gossip got really mean.

Jeez.

AUGGIE: Yeah, but it still bothers her,

so I guess that stuff sort of sticks with you.

CHUCK: Yeah, and we're like her only friends now.

So, I would say she's definitely not your type.

It's Stella. She's not anyone's type.

Don't think I'd agree with that.

You like every girl. It doesn't count.

It's not every girl.

Tell me you at least you got a switchblade.

Can I see your switchblade?

Did I say I had a switchblade?

(STUTTERS) No, I guess you didn't say you had...

He has a switchblade.

I know.

Well, it is Halloween, so...

Do you want to see a haunted house?

(SCREAMS)

RAMON: You weren't kidding.

STELLA: Told you it wouldn't disappoint.

RAMON: I don't know, you'd think on Halloween, this place would be hoppin'.

CHUCK: Oh, it was, for a while,

then some kid went missing, so they boarded it up.

I think it's being torn down for a mall or something.

Hey, guys.

CHUCK: Clowns first.

Really?

(CHUCK SCOFFING)

AUGGIE: Okay, there, we saw it. Can we go now?

CHUCK: (SCOFFS) Who ordered the chicken?

Because I don't like to spend my nights in a house

where a child murderer lived?

(CLUCKING)

RAMON: Someone was killed in that house?

That's pretty dark.

Who lived here?

STELLA: The Bellows.

One of the first families to settle here

in the late 19th century.

CHUCK: Built the paper mill that pretty much

put this town on the map.

AUGGIE: We could at least look for some stairs.

Yep.

Just as I thought.

They got this place locked up pretty tight.

RAMON: Anyone got a pen?

Meet Lola. She is madly in love with me.

AUGGIE: Yeah, your hand maybe.

Nice.

Lola! Hey, what?

(DOOR CREAKS)

(WHISPERS) He's so much dreamier than you.

STELLA: The Bellows had a secret:

a daughter that they never allowed to leave the house.

The myth is that there was something really off about her.

A really scary part

is that her family erased her from every single portrait.

To this day, nobody's ever found a picture of Sarah.

They disowned her.

(SCREAMS, CHUCKLES)

Better run, clown.

AUGGIE: Shit!

CHUCK: Better run! (GIGGLES)

Bet you can't catch me!

(FOOTSTEPS RUNNING)

AUGGIE: Chuck, if you jump out at me,

I'm going to punch you in the throat.

RAMON: So what happened to her?

STELLA: Kids would come from all over

in hopes to get a peek at Strange Sarah.

And though they never saw her,

they could hear her.

Through the wall.

Sarah told them stories.

Scary stories. (CHUCKLES)

Some kids never returned home.

Children around town died...

Poisoned, they said.

Everyone knew it was Sarah.

But before the mob could even get their hands on her,

she'd already hung herself

with her own hair.

(CHUCKLES)

And as the legend goes,

if you come to the Bellows House at dark,

and ask Sarah to tell you a story...

(STOMPS FOOT)

...it'll be the last story

you ever hear.

(BOTH CHUCKLE)

Mwa-ha-ha-ha!

RAMON: Oh, what's this?

(SHELF CREAKS)

Push the other way.

Push.

(SOFTLY) No way.

(DOOR CREAKING)

(STELLA GASPS)

(GATE CREAKING)

STELLA: Well, that's it.

(CLICKS)

(DOOR CREAKS)

(GASPS)

Sarah's room.

(DOOR CREAKS OPEN)

AUGGIE: You're not going to scare me.

Chuck?

Chuck?

(SNICKERS QUIETLY)

CHUCK: What the...

(GULPS)

(SLOW FOOTSTEPS APPROACHING)

(FLOORBOARD CREAKING)

(FAINT EERIE LAUGHTER)

(FLOORBOARD CREAKS NEAR DOOR)

(CHUCK GASPS)

What? Where's the old lady?

(PANTING) And the dog?

AUGGIE: What old lady?

We gotta get out of here.

Stella! Stella! We got to get out of here!

Stella, let's go!

STELLA: Guys, you've gotta see this! Come here.

(LIGHTER CLICKS)

AUGGIE: Who ordered the chicken?

CHUCK: Shut up.

This is where her family kept her.

Locked her away from the world.

All alone as some sort of freak.

She must have just sat right here

and told her stories to the kids through this wall.

CHUCK: How have we never seen this before?

AUGGIE: I don't think anyone wanted us to?

(MUSIC BOX PLAYING GENTLE MELODY)

CHUCK: Can we get out of here now?

(BOOK SCRAPING)

RAMON: What's that?

STELLA: I can't believe it.

It's her book of scary stories.

She had a book?

CHUCK: There's no book in the version of the myth I heard.

The book is a part of every version of the myth.

And...

that it was written in children's blood.

Well, kids died hearing these stories, okay?

Look, let's put it back where you found it

and let's just get out of here now.

(DOOR SLAMS)

Oh, shit!

RAMON: I got it, I got it, I got it.

Everybody, okay, everybody just shut up.

CHUCK: Oh, no. It's the old lady and the dog!

RUTH: (MUFFLED) Tommy, stop it, okay?

Just let them out.

(BANGS ON DOOR)

CHUCK: (MUFFLED) Ruth, is that you?

Will you open the door?

(CACKLES)

Joke's over. If you don't open it...

AUGGIE: You can't do this! Come on!

...I'll tell the Chief.

(BREATHES SHAKILY)

Why would you do that?

AUGGIE: This isn't funny! Tommy, come on.

It's my little brother.

Please.

AUGGIE: Open the damn door!

(SOFTLY) Open it.

CHUCK: Ruth! Down here. Let us out!

(SCREAMS)

You're trash anyway.

CHUCK: Tommy, I'm sorry about the burning shit, man.

I hope you find a way out.

Good?

(PANTING) Yeah.

(SCREAMS) Get it off me!

AUGGIE: Oh, you're fine!

No! Get it off, get it off me! Get it off me!

RAMON: Hey!

(DOOR RATTLING)

Get it off me! Get it off me!

You're fine. I got it, I got it. It's fine.

Something's bit me!

RAMON: Hey, can you help me with this?

AUGGIE: The spiders are gone.

RUTH: Thank you.

Jesus, Auggie. Okay, you're such a horndog.

Can you lose your stiffy for a second

and help us get out of here?

Not funny! There's a lady present.

Ladies... present.

RAMON: Come on, come on! You gotta push harder.

Come on.

(CHUCK GRUNTS)

(SOFTLY) Sarah Bellows, tell me a story.

Tell me a story.

Sarah Bellows, tell me a story.

CHUCK: Wait, wait, wait. I hear something.

Someone's here.

He came back.

(DOOR BANGING)

RUTH: Tommy!

CHUCK: You got...

AUGGIE: We're sorry, we're real sorry.

RUTH: Thank you!

CHUCK: I... I take back everything I ever said, man.

AUGGIE: Sorry, man!

(BANGING ON DOOR)

RUTH: Tommy, please!

(DOOR LOCK CLICKS)

CHUCK: Ruth, why would you date a psychopath like that?

RUTH: Better than fishing for turds.

AUGGIE: So, who unlocked it?

RAMON: Who cares? Let's just get out of here.

RUTH: Nice Pierrot costume.

AUGGIE: Thank you.

See?

RAMON: Well, that was fun.

RAMON: Shit!

STELLA: I'm really sorry about all of this.

RAMON: Why did he do this?

CHUCK: This is low,

even for Tommy,

like "farting in my milk carton

"and making me drink it" kind-of-low.

It was the fifth grade.

It was ninth.

I can try and scrounge up something to help.

I got it. It's fine, thank you, though.

I'll just stay here until the morning.

Get it into a shop.

We have a sofa in the basement.

You're welcome to use it.

Hey, look, I really don't want any trouble.

We'll just have to be gone before Dad gets up.

(INDISTINCT TV CHATTER)

MAN ON TV: An AM/FM stereo table radio with auto...

(DOOR CLOSES)

Sam's pet turns out to be a sewer rat?

You've got some demons.

It's not finished yet.

I used to love these as a kid. You collect them?

Oh, I've read every single issue.

Cover to cover.

You know, if you're serious about being a writer,

you can't do it here.

You gotta move to the city.

I couldn't leave my dad.

Uh, the, uh...

basement is downstairs.

Yeah, that's usually where they are.

(EXHALES)

(STELLA READS)

(WIND WHISTLES)

(ENGINE REVVING)

(DOG BARKING IN DISTANCE)

MRS. MILNER: Tommy Milner.

It's late! Are you drunk again?

It's Halloween.

MRS. MILNER: You were supposed to deliver eggs to the Wolvertons.

Now?

MRS. MILNER: Now!

(CHICKENS CLUCKING)

What?

(CHICKENS SQUAWKING)

This is bullshit.

(WIND WHOOSHING)

STELLA: "Tommy hated that scarecrow all his life.

"He took the eggs and left for the last time."

Tommy...

(WIND WHISTLING)

Eat shit, Harold.

(KICKS)

(CROW CAWS)

(STALKS RUSTLING)

(GRUNTS)

(CREAKING)

(GRUNTS)

Mom!

(GASPS)

(GRUNTS)

(GROANS)

(GASPING)

(GRUNTS)

(GROANING)

Mom!

(CHOKING)

Help me!

Mom!

(RETCHING)

(CHOKING)

(COUGHS)

(CHOKING AND GAGGING)

(GRUNTING)

(STIFLED RETCHING)

TURNER: Oh, my God.

Will you look at this?

I thought you were going to be on your way, stranger?

I'm trying.

Whew.

You know, no one's seen this high school kid

named Tommy Milner since last night.

Witnesses say he got into a fight

at the drive-in.

Milner didn't do this to your car,

did he?

I never got your name.

RAMON: Ramon.

Rodriguez.

TURNER: Look, I think it'd be a good idea

if you stuck around for a few days.

Comprende?

Rodriguez.

STELLA: It wasn't there before.

The red ink was wet.

And it did feel like blood. It was thicker than ink.

AUGGIE: How could you eat that?

Do you know how many body parts are in there? Seven!

I read it in a magazine.

Cool. He turns into a scarecrow?

Fresh twist.

That's not a twist.

I told you, the story, it...

Uh, it just appeared.

Tommy didn't even show up to school.

It's like he just disappeared.

Everyone knew he was eager to go shoot some commies.

Maybe he just, I don't know, left early?

There was that room...

AUGGIE: Just drop it.

Nah, tell me.

In the house, when I was hiding,

the room was old. I mean new. Perfect,

like when they lived there, and I saw this...

this old lady and this dog

and they were just staring at me

with this look...

AUGGIE: Listen to yourselves.

Nothing happened to us in that house

except for what Tommy did to us.

If he's gone,

good riddance.

We should never have gone there,

we should never have taken the book.

You let a ghost story get into your heads.

That's all it is.

(CROWS CAWING)

STELLA: I'm worried.

Tommy wasn't at school.

His name was in the book.

I mean, there's no way it's actually connected, right?

Yeah, of course it's not.

(INDISTINCT RADIO CHATTER)

(GASPS)

RAMON: Stella, I can't get mixed up with the police.

I have to see it.

(WIND WHISTLING)

STELLA: It's what Tommy was wearing last night.

Okay, what if this is Tommy,

and what happens in the book

is exactly what's happened for real?

Stop trying to scare me.

It's just a scarecrow.

BOY: Did you hear about Tommy?

GIRL: He's missing.

(INDISTINCT CHATTER)

STELLA: (SIGHS) Here's your book back.

(RATTLING)

You're home late.

Picked up another shift?

You have to?

Can't say no.

There's food in the fridge.

Did you always work this much?

Even when Mom was here?

Heard the Milner boy didn't come home.

Eh, everybody's been talking about it.

Please just come straight home next few days, okay?

Yep.

RUTH: Ow.

You got enough zit paint on there?

It's a spider bite, you butt-pimple.

A spider...

Ah, damn it, my banana!

(SIGHS)

(KNOCK ON DOOR)

I thought you were leaving?

Hope you're hungry.

Oh, I'm starving. Thanks.

You know, I can't stop thinking

about Tommy's disappearance.

There has to be some...

(GASPS SOFTLY)

Where did you get that?

It was just here on your bookshelf.

No, I... I was just here. It wasn't.

I took this back to the house.

What?

How is it getting... How is it back here again?

(GASPS)

What's happening?

What the hell!

How does that work?

But we've got to make it stop!

RAMON: "A mother was digging at the edge of the garden

"when she saw a big toe. 'It looks nice and plump,'

"she said, 'I'll put it in the stew...'"

What kind of story is that?

What...

Auggie.

Auggie!

(ON WALKIE) Pick up!

Auggie!

AUGGIE: No, there's nothing here.

(OBJECTS SHUFFLING)

I told you, I mean, the least you could have done

was go to the store before you and Jeff took off

for the weekend.

No, I'm not gonna call him "Dad."

Okay, I'm eating the stew.

The stew in the fridge?

Yeah, well someone made it.

Okay, I'll see you when you get back. Love you.

STELLA: (OVER WALKIE) Auggie, pick up!

Hey, I'm eating.

STELLA: Auggie!

Stella!

Auggie, do not eat anything.

Listen, you're in the next story!

Whatever you do, do not eat anything!

Har-har. Very funny.

Did Chuck put you up to this?

Auggie, this isn't a joke.

Okay, the story is writing itself right now.

I don't know how or why, but I'm reading it right here.

"A sound scared him. It was a voice.

"And it called out, 'Who took my toe?'"

It's a corpse looking for her missing toe.

Yeah, I know this story.

My dad used to tell me this story.

It scared me so much as a kid, but...

Am I not supposed to wait for someone to say that

'cause I don't hear anything.

Listen, we're reading it right here.

"And then the voice grew louder:

"'Who took my toe?'"

AUGGIE: I'm all alone.

There's no voice.

Yeah, well, there has to be a voice.

You're the only one saying it.

STELLA: Auggie!

Auggie!

Oh, no, Auggie, pick up.

Auggie, don't eat anything.

(CRUNCHING)

(GAGS)

Auggie!

Oh, God!

RAMON: Auggie. Auggie?

(FOOTSTEPS APPROACHING)

STELLA: Auggie? Come on, Auggie, pick up!

(WHISPERS) Did you hear that?

(STAMMERS) Hear what? I don't hear anything.

(WHISPERS) There was a toe in the stew. A freaking toe.

What does the book say happens next?

STELLA: "August got very scared.

"But he thought, 'It doesn't know where I am.

"'It'll never find me...'"

How does the book know that?

And then he heard the voice again...

(EERIE VOICE) Who...

took...

my...

Toe.

(GRUNTS)

Auggie, just get out of the house!

STELLA: He's only a couple of blocks away!

(BREATHING RAGGEDLY)

(FAINT FOOTSTEPS)

(FLOORBOARD CREAKING)

(FOOTSTEPS)

(RASPY BREATHING)

(GASPS)

(EERIE VOICE) Who...

took...

my...

toe?

(BREATH TREMBLING)

Come on, come on.

(GASPING)

(DOORKNOB RATTLES)

(WHIMPERS QUIETLY)

(DOOR CREAKING)

(YELPS)

(SCREECHES)

(SCREAMS)

(GASPING)

(GRUNTING)

(SCREAMING)

STELLA: Auggie?

Auggie!

Auggie!

OFFICER: Tommy! Tommy Milner!

RADIO DJ: And as if this year

hasn't been grim enough already,

we have a disappearance on our hands, friends.

Our own Tommy Milner,

right here, in little Mill Valley.

(TRAIN HORN BLARING IN DISTANCE)

STELLA: I was the one that found the book.

I took it home.

This is not your fault.

You know, (SNIFFLES)

I caused

every single bad thing that happened in my life.

(SNIFFLING)

My mom leaving.

And now Auggie.

None of that is true.

(CAR APPROACHING)

Sorry we're late. Ruth ran out of zit paint.

I swear, if you weren't so stressful to deal with

in the first place, I wouldn't have zits.

CHUCK: What's so urgent?

Where's Auggie?

Auggie's gone.

RAMON: Another story was written.

Right in front of our eyes.

I don't get it.

What is this?

This is a stale joke.

Halloween's over.

Where the hell is Auggie?

We don't know.

His parents are traveling, and he's just gone.

What do you mean you don't know?

Okay, well, then let's find him!

STELLA: I don't think he's coming back.

First...

CHUCK: I knew something happened.

STELLA: ...Tommy disappeared.

CHUCK: Saw that old lady...

And then now Auggie.

They had their stories in the book,

and it happens every night.

Jesus, he ate a toe?

You don't read the book.

The book reads you.

I'm afraid that we woke something up.

That the same thing is going to happen to all of us.

We were all in that house.

No, this isn't real, okay?

Stories can't hurt you.

Sarah Bellows is a myth,

and even if she's not, she's dead.

We need to go to the police.

STELLA: No, we can't.

They know what Tommy did to Ramon's car

and they think that he had...

Auggie! We need to find Auggie.

Not going to the police.

They'll never believe a word I say.

Well, then we'll make them believe.

By the time that they make sense of everything,

we're all going to be dead.

CHUCK: No, no, no.

If... If we can't go to the police, what do we do?

Just sit and wait for our story to be written?

There's gotta be some way to stop a witch.

Well, I don't believe any of it.

I gotta go. My musical's tonight,

and I'm not falling for another one

of your dumb Halloween pranks.

STELLA: It's not a prank, Ruth.

CHUCK: Ruth, please, don't go.

I know you want to be a writer, Stella,

but this prank is sick.

CHUCK: No!

CHUCK: Ruthie! Ruthie, stop.

STELLA: Do you really think this is going to work?

It worked in Salem.

(FIRE CRACKLING)

(YELLS) Why? Why won't you burn?

I hate you! I hate you. I hate you. God damn it!

This is... This is why I don't read books!

STELLA: We know we can't burn or destroy it,

but how much do we actually know about Sarah Bellows?

(STELLA SIGHS)

CHUCK: Listen to this one:

"After Sarah hung herself,

"the Bellows family fired Sylvie Baptiste

"as she and her daughter, Lou Lou,

"were thought to be responsible

"for teaching her black magic."

If it's in the paper, it has to be true, right?

Is there a picture of Sarah?

No, just her name.

But, uh, I did find an ad for brain salt,

cures headaches and constipation.

Not sure why it didn't take off.

Auggie, Auggie would have loved that.

STELLA: My eyes are literally gonna start bleeding,

and we still have nothing on Sarah.

What year did she hang herself?

Uh...

1898.

In just one year, all her family members left.

What do you expect?

I mean, who wants to stick around with the name

that's synonymous with murdering kids?

Not stick around,

I mean gone.

Like, off the face of the earth.

Take the father, Deodat.

The cat owned a paper mill

and yet he leaves it without ever selling it?

No stories written about him,

not even a letter, just disappears.

(SOFTLY) Deodat...

Deodat.

I've seen that name.

"Deodat was a wealthy man who wanted to go hunting."

Give me another name.

Uh... One of their sons, Ephraim.

Ephraim Bellows.

Ephraim Bellows.

They didn't just leave the town.

They each have a story.

Why?

Oh, my God.

Oh, my God, it's happening again.

She's writing another story.

CHUCK: "The Red Spot"?

Why are you looking at me?

What?

Oh, shit! Oh, shit, it's me?

It... I'm gonna die?

I don't want to die! I even haven't had sex yet.

"One night, a spider crawled across

"a young girl's cheek and bit her."

Spider? I was the spider man! I'm...

Wait, "young girl"?

RAMON: "Went to the restroom."

It's not you. It's your sister.

Ruthie?

(INDISTINCT CHATTER)

STAGE MANAGER: (ON PA) Performers to stage in 20 minutes.

(EXCITED CHATTER)

(GIRLS GIGGLING)

Oh, honey, you need to do something about that.

(SIGHS)

(SOFTLY) Yeah.

(RUTH PANTING)

(DOOR OPENS)

(DOOR CLOSES)

(GASPING)

(MOANS)

(WHIMPERING)

(ALL PANTING)

(GIRLS GASP)

It's a different bathroom.

STELLA: Second floor!

RAMON: Okay.

(GASPS)

(EERIE VOICE WHISPERS) Ruth.

(MOANING)

(WHIMPERING)

(SCREAMS)

CHUCK: Move. Out of the way!

(GASPING)

(BREATHES HEAVILY)

(MOANS)

(GASPS)

(SCREAMING)

CHUCK: Ruth!

(RUTH SCREAMING)

Oh, my God, Ruth!

RUTH: Help me, help me! (SOBS)

RAMON: Ruth, I got you.

It's okay. It's okay. I got you.

RUTH: Help me, help me. Get them off!

Get them off! (SHRIEKING)

RAMON: Ruth, it's okay. It's okay. I got you.

Get them off!

RAMON: You're going to be okay, all right? It's okay.

Move, move, move!

(SHRIEKS)

CHUCK: You're okay. You're okay, you're okay, Ruthie.

Help! Somebody, get help, now!

CHUCK: You're okay, Ruthie, you're okay.

It's all finished.

Get them off, get them off.

They're all gone, Ruthie. They're all gone.

RUTH: Get them off me. Get them off. Get them off me.

(SCREAMING) Get them off me!

Ruthie, they're all gone,

they're all gone, they're all gone, okay?

Get them off me. (SOBBING)

You're okay.

Get them off me.

CHUCK: It's intense. I hope she's okay.

I saw her. Sarah was there.

She was controlling the entire thing.

My sister's gone.

We're next.

We're next.

You find it?

Louise Baptiste...

Lou Lou?

220 Goldshire Road.

(DOORBELL BUZZES)

CHUCK: I had this messed-up dream again.

I was trapped in the red room.

And there's that fat, pale lady who keeps whispering,

"This is an evil place.

"Run away while you still can."

I'm scared the witch is going to use it against me.

Hello.

Uh, does Lou Lou Baptiste live here still?

"I don't want to bomb anybody

"if it's not necessary to save..."

Tricky Dicky. That's no name for a president.

Mama, you got company!

STELLA: Lou Lou, can you hear us?

(KEY WINDING)

(MUSIC BOX PLAYING GENTLE MELODY)

You may be the next.

STELLA: Why do you say that?

Why, that's the song, girl.

Don't ever laugh as a hearse goes by

For you may be

The next to die

Sarah loved that song.

We have her book.

LOU LOU: You found her book? Give it here.

(MUSIC BOX STOPS PLAYING)

I give her this.

I feel so sorry for that girl,

sitting down there in the darkness all by herself.

Did your mom ever teach her anything?

Teach her?

Black magic?

(LOU LOU CHUCKLES)

LOU LOU: No.

There is no magic, child.

There is only rage.

Then how is she still writing the stories?

Stories hurt.

Stories heal.

Do you know what you have done?

Done what?

You shouldn't have taken the book.

You made her angry.

"The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out..."

She gets this way sometimes.

Look, I need to know.

Another time. I need to settle her down.

No, we need to know. I need to know.

She told the doctors everything she knew

at the hospital where that disturbed girl hung herself.

But I... I thought...

Everyone always said Sarah hanged herself in the house.

CLAIRE: You weren't there. Mama was.

(LOU LOU SINGING INDISTINCTLY)

The hospitals have records.

Records of Sarah.

Then what are we still doing here? Let's go.

RADIO DJ: It's election day, folks,

so let your voice be heard.

Say no to the war! Say no to Vietnam.

Say no to sending our children to die.

STELLA: Excuse me.

We need to see the records of a former patient.

We don't give out patient records.

Well, uh,

I mean,

she died about 100 years ago.

I'm sure she or anybody else

probably doesn't care, you know.

Why do you kids wanna look at old patient files for?

Uh, for a school assignment

on, uh...

psychological human studies.

CHUCK: Yes, the studies.

Mmm-hmm.

DOCTOR: I think they put the files

from the old hospital in the red room.

Red room?

NURSE: Six weeks processing time.

At most.

Need a pen?

CHUCK: So much for that.

(INDISTINCT CHATTER)

Come on!

No.

(GRUNTS)

We are not going to the red room!

No, we are going to the red room.

No, I'm not.

Yes.

No. I'm not doing it.

(MUTTERS)

WOMAN: (ON PA) Dr. Kaufmann to telephone, please.

Dr. Kaufmann.

CHUCK: I told you about my dream. I don't want to go.

So, it isn't actually red. You're fine.

It is called the red room, okay?

Who said it had to be red?

Uh-uh. Count me out.

Okay. Just... stay here.

Be quick. It'll be fine.

(GROANS)

Just don't get caught.

(ELEVATOR BELL DINGS)

(DOORKNOB RATTLES)

(INDISTINCT CHATTER)

ORDERLY: George Foreman.

He's going to be the world champion in '73.

Hey, you know where you're going?

Oh, God. Oh, God, oh, God, oh, God.

ORDERLY: Hey, you there.

You're not supposed to be here.

Hey! Stop!

(BOTH PANTING)

The R.E.D. room.

(SWITCH CLICKS)

RAMON: Admittance records, psychological exams,

what she ate...

STELLA: This is... everything.

She was admitted by her own family.

Says here that she was suffering

from achromasia-albinism.

They put her in her basement because she was different.

Here, her supervising doctor was...

Dr. Ephraim Bellows.

Her own brother?

(SOFTLY) Yeah.

Jesus! They tortured her.

Look, electroshock,

isolation therapy,

lateral cerebral diathermia treatment.

What about this thing?

What is this?

I've seen one of these before.

It's a wax cylinder.

They used them to make recordings before LPs.

So, does that mean we're going to get to hear Sarah?

(PANTING)

ORDERLY: He went this way.

Sound the alarm!

EPHRAIM: (ON EDIPHONE) You're going to tell the truth now.

Aren't you, Sarah?

SARAH: (WEAKLY) I didn't hurt the children.

I didn't.

Ephraim...

EPHRAIM: That isn't the truth, is it?

SARAH: (TEARFULLY) I didn't do it.

I didn't hurt...

(ELECTRICITY CRACKLING)

(SARAH SCREAMING)

(CRACKLING STOPS)

EPHRAIM: Tell the truth, Sarah.

SARAH: (SOBS) I'm your sister...

EPHRAIM: You poisoned those children.

SARAH: No. No.

I tried...

I tried to save them.

But nobody listened.

I didn't want them hurt, but you wouldn't let me out.

EPHRAIM: Sarah...

(ELECTRICITY CRACKLING)

(SARAH SCREAMING)

(CRACKLING STOPS)

EPHRAIM: Tell the truth.

She doesn't know what she did.

SARAH: It was the water.

EPHRAIM: We went over this, Sarah.

SARAH: (SOBS) The water.

EPHRAIM: There's nothing wrong with the water.

That's why you're here.

SARAH: The mill.

It was the mercury from the mill.

You poisoned the wa...

(ELECTRICITY CRACKLING)

(SARAH SCREAMING)

She didn't do it.

It was her family.

EPHRAIM: Sarah,

are you still here?

SARAH: (IN EERIE TONE) I'll tell you.

I'll tell you what you want to hear.

EPHRAIM: And what's that?

(STATIC CRACKLES)

(WAX CYLINDER SPINS MECHANICALLY)

SARAH: Charlie had a dream of a red room...

EPHRAIM: Charlie?

The R.E.D. room.

EPHRAIM: Charlie who?

Chuck.

SARAH: In his dream,

a woman with a pale face,

black eyes,

and long black hair

slipped silently into his room.

SARAH: (WHISPERS) She leaned over and whispered,

"This is an evil place.

"Run away while you still can."

(GASPING)

(ALARM BLARING)

(ELECTRICITY BUZZING)

(SCREAMS)

(ALARM CONTINUES BLARING)

That's not good.

Chuck!

(ALARM CONTINUES BLARING)

CHUCK: Help!

(ELECTRICITY CRACKLES)

Help! Somebody, help!

(ALARM CONTINUES BLARING)

(MOANING SOFTLY)

(ALARM CONTINUES BLARING)

(PANTING)

Help! Please, somebody, help.

(ALARM CONTINUES BLARING)

Help. Help!

Somebody, help!

Come on!

(DOORKNOB RATTLING)

(GASPING)

(PANTING)

(WHIMPERING)

(CHUCK CONTINUES WHIMPERING)

(CHUCK WHEEZING)

(MOANS SOFTLY)

STELLA: Chuck! Chuck, where are you?

RAMON: Chuck!

Where is he?

He should be right here.

Chuck? Chuck?

(BREATHES SHAKILY)

STELLA: Chuck.

NURSE: So,

where's your little friend?

MAN: (ON TV) News coverage of election night '68 continues.

(PHONE RINGS)

Stella?

STELLA: Dad.

Are you okay? Where are you?

Stella?

(VOICE BREAKING) I'm afraid I'm gonna die, Dad.

Aw, sweetie, don't say that.

Tell me what's wrong. Tell me what I can do.

Can't do anything about it.

I can't do anything about it.

No, no. You gotta help me out here, sweetie.

Tell me where you are. I will get there right away.

I don't care what you're going through, just tell me, please.

If I go missing...

Missing?

If you can't find me...

Find you where?

Stella?

I didn't leave you.

I would never do that to you.

I don't understand

what you're talking about, Stella, leave me?

Why would you leave me?

Is someone there with you? Do...

Please just listen to me, sweetie.

It's not your fault, Stella.

It's not your fault she left.

Everyone said it was because of me.

Oh, no, please, please, please listen to me.

It's not your fault she left.

It was never, ever about you. It was about her.

I don't know, somewhere deep down inside, she just...

felt trapped or something, I don't know, I...

It's complicated.

I wish I had answers for you, sweetie,

but I just don't and I'm so sorry.

(SNIFFLES)

I love you, Dad. I gotta go.

It's not your fault, Stella. Please don't hang up, sweetie.

I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I gotta go.

I'm telling you, it wasn't your...

So? Is your dad going to come pick you up?

Oh, Stella, what's going on?

I need answers from you right now.

Understand?

Richard Nixon is still holding at 43 and Humphrey 35,

but, uh, Wallace has come up one point.

What about my call?

Rules don't apply to draft dodgers.

You think I wouldn't find out?

Ramon Morales.

You're gonna do your duty to this country

one way or the other.

I can help you if you tell us about your missing friends.

Told you everything we know.

(CHUCKLES) Oh, yeah, right.

Sarah Bellows' book.

The stories write themselves and it all comes alive.

We can't find any bodies.

Yeah, I know.

It's hard to believe.

We saved Ruth at school.

I mean, we stopped her from getting killed.

Ruth Steinberg?

That's who you're talking about?

You didn't save anyone.

She's stuck in the nuthouse for the rest of her life.

Get out of here, Stella. You're free to go.

You're so much better than this draft dodger.

Come on, what would your father say?

I'm not leaving.

Since you're not going to 'Nam,

maybe a night behind bars will loosen those lips of yours.

Come on, Hobbs.

(LOCK CLICKS)

Go home, dig out that 10 bucks

you're gonna owe me when Nixon wins,

and, uh, I'll close up here.

HOBBS: All right, have a good night.

Nighty-night, lovebirds.

I should've told you.

You must think I'm a coward, but...

I would never think that.

Two months ago they shipped my brother back from Vietnam

in pieces.

I'm so sorry.

Last week when I got my draft notice,

I couldn't.

They just send you there to die.

If the book reads me,

I'm afraid what it's going to say.

(THUNDER RUMBLES)

TURNER: There you go, boy.

Yeah, that's good, huh?

"Me Tie Dough-ty Walker"?

(ELECTRICITY BUZZING)

Who came up with all this sick stuff?

Is this you, Stella?

We didn't write the stories.

(THUNDER RUMBLES)

(ELECTRICITY CRACKLES)

(DOG WHINING)

(DOG GROWLING)

(THUNDER RUMBLES)

(LOW GROWLING)

(LOW GROWLING CONTINUES)

Trigger?

(TRIGGER GROWLS)

Wait, is there another story?

Please, you have to let us out!

Okay, if there's another story,

we are all gonna be in danger.

(GROWLING)

RAMON: Tell us what's happening!

STELLA: What's the story?

(GROWLING IN CADENCE)

STELLA: Please just listen to me, okay?

We're all going to die.

(TRIGGER GROWLING IN CADENCE)

(FAINT RUSTLING)

It's my turn.

STELLA: Okay, what happens in the story?

Just tell me which name is in the book.

Ramon.

(THUNDER CRASHES)

(BREATHES HEAVILY)

(TRIGGER GROWLING)

It's a campfire story.

It used to scare me to death.

(THUNDER CRASHES)

(WHIMPERS)

The Jangly Man is coming.

He's going to take me...

What's going on?

RAMON: He's going to say it. Listen.

Me tie dough-ty walker!

Are you shitting me?

(GASPING)

(GUN CLICKS)

(GROWLS)

(RATTLING)

Please, just let us out, please!

(BONES CRACKING)

(SNARLING)

(SNARLS)

(WHIMPERS)

JANGLY MAN: Me tie dough-ty walker!

(BREATHES SHAKILY)

(RUSTLING, SCRAPING)

(BOTH GASPING)

(GROANING)

Ramon!

Ramon.

STELLA: Oh, my God, Ramon.

Oh, my God, what is that?

(GROWLING)

Help. Help, please. Can someone hear me?

Keys.

RAMON: Hurry!

(GROWLING)

(GRUNTS)

(GRUNTING)

Coward!

STELLA: I got the keys.

Come on, come on, come on, come on.

Coward!

RAMON: Run! Go, go, go!

(CHEERING ON TV)

What are you waiting for?

Go to the house.

Tell her the truth.

That thing will follow me.

But the stories come true every time.

Then you better run fast.

Stop her and you'll stop this.

(GRUNTS)

(SNARLS)

(ENGINE REVVING)

(GASPS)

(TIRES SCREECHING)

(BREATHES HEAVILY)

(CAR ROOF THUDDING)

(JANGLY MAN GROWLING)

(ENGINE REVVING)

(TIRES SCREECHING)

(GROWLS IN PAIN)

(JANGLY MAN GROANING)

(CAR DOOR RATTLING)

(GRUNTING AND GROWLING)

(BONES CRACKING)

(GROANS)

(BODY THUDS)

(SCREECHING)

STELLA: Sarah!

Can you hear me?

God damn you! You have to stop telling these stories!

We didn't do anything to you!

We just want to help you! We know you're innocent!

We know you didn't poison the kids!

(TEARFULLY) But, please, you just have to stop telling the stories!

(CLOCK TICKING)

(YOU MAY BE NEXT PLAYS SOFTLY)

(FIRE CRACKLING)

Stella!

Where are you?

No, no, no, no.

Stella.

(GROWLING IN DISTANCE)

(GROWLING)

Stella!

(FOOTSTEPS RUNNING)

(GASPS)

(FOOTSTEPS FADE)

(THUNDER RUMBLING)

Hey, Stella!

(JANGLY MAN GROWLS)

DELANIE: She's out of her room again.

DEODAT: Boys? Sarah's out!

Find her now!

HAROLD: Sarah!

(CHANDELIER CLINKING)

(GROWLING)

(PANTING)

HAROLD: Sarah!

You leave that to me, Harold.

HAROLD: Sarah!

DEODAT: Sarah, where are you?

(DOOR CLOSES)

HAROLD: Sarah!

(BREATH TREMBLING)

(BREATHING SHAKILY)

GERTRUDE: I hear her.

(OPERATIC MUSIC PLAYING)

(BREATH TREMBLING)

She's here!

She's in here!

(WHIMPERS)

(SNARLS)

(BANGING ON DOOR)

(GASPING)

EPHRAIM: Sarah!

Where are you?

STELLA: Lou Lou.

(DOOR RATTLES)

(GROANS, PANTS)

DELANIE: Did you see Sarah?

YOUNG LOU LOU: (PANTS) No, ma'am.

HAROLD: She's lying.

DELANIE: You wouldn't lie, Lou Lou?

YOUNG LOU LOU: No, ma'am.

No, I didn't see Sarah.

No, Mr. Bellows, please, no!

Please, no!

(THUNDER RUMBLING)

You can't hide from us.

HAROLD: Got you!

No! No!

Help me! Help me!

STELLA: Help me!

Stella!

STELLA: Please! Help me!

Please, help me!

EPHRAIM: She's been telling everyone about the water.

DELANIE: What should we do with her?

Somebody, help me, please.

You're going to shut your ugly mouth or we're going to shut it for you.

Please, help me!

(JANGLY MAN GROWLING)

STELLA: Help me, please!

DEODAT: Going back where you belong.

STELLA: (SOBBING) Help me, please.

DELANIE: Be quiet or you know what you'll get.

Please. I'm not Sarah. Please!

Please let me go. Please...

Let me go.

Please, don't put me in here.

HAROLD: Try this again and we'll send you to the asylum.

STELLA: Please. Wait! Please?

DELANIE: You should have stayed in your room.

(SOBBING) Please. Please. Please.

I didn't do it.

DELANIE: You don't deserve the light.

(SWITCH CLICKS)

No!

I'm telling you, I'm telling you,

I'm not Sarah.

Please.

(MUFFLED THUD)

(CONTINUES SOBBING)

(SOFT TAPPING)

(SOBBING STOPS)

(SARAH BREATHING SHAKILY)

(CHAIR CREAKS)

(WHIMPERING SOFTLY)

(BOOK THUDS)

(YOU MAY BE NEXT PLAYS SOFTLY)

SARAH: (WHISPERS) Stella...

(GASPS)

I have another story

just for you.

(SNARLING)

Stella,

if you can hear me, wherever you are,

tell her the truth.

No.

It's time that you hear a story, Sarah.

You were a victim.

Now you've turned into a monster.

The one that they said you were.

Stella.

You took my friends.

Two of the people that I love most.

(PANTING)

Ramon!

(GROWLS)

RAMON: (MUFFLED) Stella!

(BREATH TREMBLING)

Are you going to take him, too?

What your family did to you,

what they said, that's on them.

But what you do,

this is on you, Sarah.

It's all on you.

(WHIMPERS SOFTLY)

I'll tell your story.

The real story, I'll tell the truth.

But the rage,

the rage has to stop, Sarah.

(GASPS)

Use your blood.

(STELLA GRUNTS)

Sarah Bellows was innocent.

She knew the truth,

and tried to stop them.

She was brave.

She was harmed and destroyed

by her own family.

By their greed,

and their lies

and their sins.

I'll tell your story.

(BREATHING SHAKILY)

You can let it go.

You can let it go, Sarah.

(SHRIEKING LOUDLY)

(GROWLS)

(GASPING)

(RUMBLING)

(RUMBLING STOPS)

(WHIMPERING)

(BREATHES HEAVILY)

(THUNDER RUMBLING)

(EXHALES SHARPLY)

STELLA: Stories hurt.

Stories heal.

If we repeat them often enough,

they become real.

They have that power.

They make us who we are.

RAMON: Stella.

STELLA: I'm just so happy you're okay.

STELLA: And if there's anything I learned from Sarah,

it's to never give up.

(TYPEWRITER DINGS)

I told Sarah's story exactly as I promised.

I wrote about the pale, lonely girl

who wrote stories in the dark.

And how she was turned into a monster by her family.

Some people believed me. Most didn't.

Because, like Sarah,

I was a lonely girl

who knew how to tell a good creepy story.

(INDISTINCT CHATTER)

Write me?

Every day.

See you around.

ARMY OFFICER: What's your name, kid?

RAMON: Ramon Morales.

STELLA: Stories can teach us to care.

They make us brave enough

to admit that we need each other.

Give us a home to go back to.

(SNIFFLES)

Chuck and Auggie are still gone,

but I know there is a way to bring them back

and that the secret is in the book.

And we won't stop...

until we find them.

(SEASON OF THE WITCH PLAYING)

The Description of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark