The Nursery Files and Bump in the Night's Halloween Night Challenge

As they did in 2014, The Nursery Files and Bump in the Night are again teaming up to present you a joint Halloween challenge. The Third requirement will determine which site your story will be hosted on (though if you pick c, it will be cross-posted at both).

This year's challenge will be to take a given first paragraph and then make the story your own. We've left it vague enough for the setting to be anywhere from a haunted house (or church, or hospital or...) that's being investigated to the character's own home. Let's see what you do with the prompt!

Requirement #1

This is the opening paragraph to your story, though it's somewhat incomplete.

Although the sun had set quite a while ago, there were still children out trick or treating, and they could be heard yelling in the distance. There were no children in sight at the [insert a place, or a structural feature such as a door, gate, or path etc.] [insert a character] stood before. The evening was already chilly, but that's not what made [character] shiver. Nor was it the guttering pumpkin near the [insert object] that had been carved too soon and was already spotted with a mold that gave it a sinister appearance. Instead, it was an eerie wail of a baby nearby that made the hair stand up on the back of [character's] neck.

Remove the brackets and replace them with the word/s or character that fits best for your story

Note: if you'd like to write a first-person story, feel free to change the [character] blanks to I, me, and my

Requirement #2

The setting of your story should begin on night of October 31, of any year. You may continue the story into November if you wish, but please begin it on Halloween.

Requirement #3

You can take this one of three directions:

a. Continue the story and make a child (age 0-19) a significant character in your story. He or she need not be the main character, but they need to merit more than a brief mention.

Note II: the crying baby mentioned in the opening paragraph can be this child character if you'd like

b. Continue the story and include at least one of the following supernatural beings in your story (must actually be the entity, not a decoration or person in costume)

  • ghost
  • witch
  • werewolf or other shape-shifter
  • zombie
  • vampire
  • bigfoot/yeti
  • demon
  • monster
  • an alien
  • a fae creature (elf, fairy, banshee, goblin, troll, ogre etc.)
  • human(or humanish a la Tooms) murderer
  • human with psychic powers
  • Note III: the crying baby mentioned in the opening paragraph can be this supernatural entity if you'd like

    c. Continue the story, including a child as a significant character and one of the supernatural beings listed in option b.

    When you submit your story, please let us know if you chose a, b, or c

    As always, you are welcome to write a casefile and/or crossover story

    Requirement #4

    Mention the challenge somewhere in the notes of your story, and remember to let us know about it!

    Please submit stories by midnight on October 30th. If you post at A03,, on a website or blog/tumbler you own, you may submit a link to a work in progress.
    Otherwise, please e-mail completed fics only to or

    Challenge Fics

    Over the River and Through the Woods by Faerax

    The Eternal Bonds Between Mother and Child - a Halloween Tale by Neoxphile

    All past Halloween challenges on both Bump In The Night and The Nursery Files reopen every fall. If this year's challenge doesn't grab you, consider penning a fic for one or more of the past challenges linked below.

    Nursery Files Bump In The Night
  • This Halloween Challenge
  • Halloween Crossover Challenge
  • Picture It Challenge, Halloween Edition
  • Halloween Trick Challenge
  • Halloween 2008 Given Line Challenge
  • Halloween 2007 List Challenge
  • Kid Resurrection Halloween Challenge
  • Supernatural Beings Crossover Challenge
  • Arouse or Amuse Challenge
  • Braaaiiiiins Challenge
  • Scared Stiff Challenge (R/NC-17)
  • Scary Title Challenge
  • Ghost At the Party Challenge
  • This Halloween Challenge
  • Haunt This Place Challenge

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