When Jane hadn’t come home from trick or treating by ten PM, her mom Stella sent a group text to all of the other sixth-grade parents about their children’s whereabouts. The response was frightening. Several of the other parents were worried about their children. Some parents had texted her with a similar concern.
One of the texts that Stella received was puzzling. The message from the children’s drama teacher Joe Fuller simply read, “The horror.” Attempts to contact him by phone and email got no response. Stella next texted the parents to meet at her house to find out what had happened to Mr. Fuller and the children.
Several of the parents did go to Stella and her husband Ted’s house and carpooled over to Fuller’s house. When they got there, his car was in the driveway, the lights were on, and the door was open. After knocking and ringing the doorbell several times, the group decided to go in. When they did, they heard jangling, staccato music from the basement. They found a dark, empty room there.
After a few minutes of discomfort, glowing demons in all shapes and sizes rushed into the room screaming. The lights came on, revealing creatures from hell with horns, claws, and mottled skin. One man fainted; two women tripped over each other and fell on the floor. The parents joined the screaming.
After bedlam died down, the demons started laughing. The students took off their costumes and greeted the adults. Jane was the ghoul, sometimes incorrectly identified as a zombie. Tommy Johnson, who was tall for his age, performed on stilts to become a misshapen giant.
Joe Fuller came out of the same door from which the demons had appeared and said, “Happy Halloween! Is everyone OK? You probably want an explanation. When the drama class was choosing a production for this year, Jane suggested we do something for Halloween. After kicking it around, we came up with this idea. I got a deal on costumes from a friend of mine. How do you like these monsters?”
The reaction was mixed. Some parents, like Stella and Ted, despite being worried and scared, took it as good fun. On the way home, Ted told Jane, you aren’t our little girl anymore, you’re our little ghoul now. A small contingent tried unsuccessfully to get Mr. Fuller fired, but all the students supported him, and he was a popular teacher. Another faction consisted of the parents who didn’t keep track of their children. They didn’t know about the Halloween show.