What makes a story a scary story- ?

Is it Gushing Blood, piles of twisted guts, sharp things going into someone’s head?


As the great Rod Serling said in the opening of his Twilight Zone episodes:

This Story Is For Your Consideration

( and this is a true story )

I ride one of those fancy pants commuter buses with the plus seats and tinted windows to Seattle and back up into the suburbs everyday. For the most part most people don’t read books on these buses- they ” Kindle ” they don’t jot notes to themselves on bookmarks or post- its ( ahem ) they IPAD or IPOD or whatever the hell it is they carry around with them and use for phones ( sometimes).

One day this guy I recognizefrom the homeless shelter across the street from where I work ( and I’m pretty sure I went to school with him- he is a couple of years older than me ) climbs into this safe, cool, ordered Universe takes a seat across the aisle from me and in cloud of fumes that came straight from a can of beer ( the kind you can by as singles ) he proceeded to pass out.

I go to my book, but I sneak peeks at Dave, or Kev or is his name Lance- to make sure he is breathing.

He is.

We’re about 10 minues out of Seattle when I look up because I hear snickering- and what I see suprises me- it was exactly like seeing a pair of hands shoot out from under the bed and yank some poor fool to meet a very messy and unhappy ending.

There are at least a half-dozen well-heeled suburbanites taking pictures of my former classmate passed out while riding a bus back into a town he belongs to as much as they do. And they’re not just taking the pictures- they’re showing them to each other, and they’re laughing now-not just snickering.

Okay- this is the part where you guys get to see the monster.

Is it Dave ( I think his name was Lance ), one of the ‘Burbanites or is it…

I reach down into my purse, pull up my sleek little Point and Click Cannon Sure Shot with the Memory card that holds A LOT of Pictures and hold it up.

N0body really notices-or maybe they just don’t care -until they notice who  is getting their picture taken as they are taking pictures of a passed out homeless guy on the bus.

” And I’ve got a blog-” the Monster says ” In fact I’ve got two…and lots of people read them”

That’s the kind of story I find scary.

You don’t know exactly who the monster is, or where it is or who it will strike first…but when it does


I Guess It Was A Secret

When I was about eight my family moved out of Seattle- they took me away from Greenlake, my friends Bonnie and Laurie who belived that when we grew  up we would   fight monsters, become Captains of our own spaceships  and if we were lucky move to Transylvania and get little castles with cypts in our basements next door to each other.

I was not happy about this great big idea that was being forced on me by my parents.

So, just before we left Seattle for the wilds of Mountlake Terrace my Grandma’s sister told me a story about the place I was moving to. I guess she told it to me because she believed it would cheer me and a give me something to look forward to.

I wasn’t like other kids, as you may have guessed, so you couldn’t cheer me up the way you would cheer well, a normal kid up.

 My Grandmother’s family learned this little factoid about me started shortly after we had just moved from Hawaii. One day they took me  the zoo and we would saw these wild rabbits running around and I said out the blue – ” I’ll bet they catch those and feed them to the tigers .”

” A few years ago a plane crashed in Mountlake Terrace.”

I stopped hoping that Zombies would eat  the entire population of Terrace and thus save me from this awful fate long enough to say ” Really.”

” It was awful.”

I was all ears.

” There was a fire and…”

And this is where I sort of got some points wrong.

When my Granmother’s sister told me that a plane had crashed, just blocks away from my new house and that people had been ‘ lost’ I assumed it meant

” How come they never found it?”

” What?”

” The burning plane, how come they never found it?”

” What?”

” Are they all blind up there, couldn’t they see where it crashed?”

My Grandpa was helping to take boxes out to the moving truck and he told my Grandmother’s sister as he walked by “That girl’s brain is like a meat grinder. Anything you put into it is going to get turned into mush at the other end.”

I stopped and pictured it and found I really liked  the idea of having a meat grinder inside of my skull. When I was done turning that nifty picture around my head I was going to ask some more questions about the plane- but my Grandmother’s sister was gone- in fact she never had much to say to me after that day.

A week or two after moving to Terrace I hadn’t made many friends.

So pretty much friendless and with all of that free time on my hands I decided to go and look for the crashed plane that had been ‘ lost’.

I had this bag of snacks, a little notebook and a camera and every Saturday morning I started to go through the ‘woods’ that used to be around here looking for plane wreckage.

On one of my trips some of the neighbor kids  asked me where I was going and I told them. After that it became something we did in our spare time. I won’t fool you, I wasn’t fond of my new ‘friends’ who didn’t know about Space Ships or Monsters or grave robbing. But it was something fun to do in the days before Malls and Computer Games.

It was on one of our last trips mostly because  I had this great idea involving a Pirate Ship / Fort  and the search for the ” Burning Plane ” was drawing to a close that this guy who lived on the next block over asked what we were doing and I told him.

” Well. That’s about the most idiotic thing I’ve ever heard no planes have ever crashed around here. Ever. Let alone a burning plane.”

In fact, that wasn’t the only time I had heard that.

Every time  I told anyone what I was doing on Saturday Mornings a lot of older people seemed to go out of their way to tell an eight year old to grow up and quit looking for things that weren’t there.

No planes had ever, ever crashed in Terrace or anywhere near it I was told over and over again. I thought that the people who kept on insisting on that point were full of baloney and  in time I moved on to other ‘great ideas.’

But they must have worn me down because just about a month ago my husband asked me if I had seen the newspaper story about oh yes, a plane that crashed right here in Mountlake Terrace. Two people were killed ( lost ) on the ground and indeed a fire was involved.

I was stunned, ” You mean that was a true story?”

Here’s an interesting quote made 48 years later in from a story that the MLT News ran back in April

I never really heard anything about the crash anymore and so many people have moved or passed on and it was getting harder to verify the crash. Sometimes I would wonder if I really had witnessed the crash or was it a dream. I can still see it happen in my mind.


The thing of it is, less than 10 years after the crash when I turned up in Terrace- the burning plane was not only all but forgotten some people were insisting that the story was just that.

But let me tell you, if this kid who went hunting for Vampires and Zombies and burning planes was still around- she’d be all over this little story like ants crawling all over somebody buried up to their necks in sand and covered with honey.

Indeed she would be.