My favorite campfire ghost story that's appropriate for all ages

A (Not So) Scary Ghost Story to Tell Around the Campfire

Editor's note: This is my favorite ghost story to tell around the campfire because you can tell it to kids. It's rather long here, but that's because I got carried away when writing it. You can certainly shorten it up. But make sure you set the scene! Also, I’d suggest inserting names of people you know (especially “Eddie”). Read all the way to the end!

The Creekmore Creature

Johhny and his younger sister Sally were walking home from the library late one night. The two were walking briskly down Main Street, but were still four blocks from home. The sun had set, and the street lamps had come on.

“Mom’s gonna kill us!” Johnny said aloud to no one in particular.

“It’s not our fault! We didn’t know it was so late!” Sally tried to help.

The wind was beginning to pick up, causing the jack o’lanterns on porches lining the street to flicker in laughter. It was the week of Halloween, and every house in town was decorated. Ghosts swayed from tree branches, witches peeked out from windows and giant spiders stood guard on front lawns.

“C’mon Sally, keep up!” Johnny demanded, as his sister trailed behind.

“You’re going too fast,” Sally whined.

They turned a corner and the wind picked up even harder, only now it was blowing directly at them. They buried their heads and trudged on.

Just then, a flash of lightning in the distance startled them. Johnny looked up just in time to see more lightning, off into the distance and high in the sky. Each burst of light illuminated a menacing thunderstorm that was blowing into town.

“We’d better hurry,” Johnny said, quickening their pace.

They heard the raindrops before they felt them, as the wind swept the stinging rain down the street and into their faces.

“Johnny, it’s hurting my face. I can’t keep my eyes open. Johnny. Johnny! Do something!” complained Sally.

Johnny looked around. It was one thing to be late, but it was another to be soaking wet. They were still three blocks away from home. If he was one street over, he could cut through backyards and they’d be home in no time.

They needed shelter, but there was none to be found. To their right was the Black River, and to their left, the direction of their home, was Creekmore Cemetery. It was encircled by a rusty wrought iron fence, with aged tombstones poking out from the grounds at odd angles.

If it was daytime Johnny might have chanced running through the cemetery, for it would be a brilliant shortcut. But not now; not at night. Strange sounds came from the cemetery at night, and no one in their right mind ever went into Creekmore Cemetery when the moon was out. Some people say they see someone, or something, moving about the graveyard at night. They say the spooky sounds come from it.

They call it the “Creekmore Creature.”

Suddenly, Johnny heard a loud clang. Looking up ahead, he saw the cemetery’s gate flinging back and forth in the wind. Another clang rung out as it struck the fence again. He looked to the left, down the path that led from the gate, and saw a dark stone building with a covered front porch. Shelter!

Setting his fears aside, Johnny had an idea.

“C’mon Sally. Let’s get under that porch and wait for the rain to stop,” Johnny said, hugging his sister close.

The two raced the rest of the way, bounded up the porch steps and came to a sliding stop in front of the front door.  Only the rain was still falling on them. They looked at each other incredulously, and then together looked up to see the porch roof was no longer there. Soaked to the bone, Johnny looked at Sally and saw her teeth chattering and tears gathering at the bottom of her eyes. He had to get her out of the rain.

“Let’s see if we can get inside,” he said, reaching out to the front doorknob. Slowly, he turned it, checking to see if it was unlocked. It was! He pushed the door, and it creaked loudly, but it swung open.

They stepped inside. It was dark. Only the flash of lightning shining through the windows allowed them short glimpses of, cobwebs, dust and furniture covered in sheets. Paintings on the wall showed unsmiling faces of elderly people, each seemingly casting stern looks of displeasure that children were trespassing in their home.

Johnny looked at Sally then and saw that besides her teeth chattering, she was also shivering. A short ways away, in what must have been the front parlor, he saw a large sheet that must have been draped over a sofa. Two sheets draped over what were undoubtedly chairs were on either side of it.

“C’mon,” he said to Sally, walking her over the couch. He sat her down, sending a plume of dust into the air. Johnny then grabbed the sheets off the two chairs, sat down beside Sally, wrapped themselves in the two sheets, and held her tight.

Outside the storm continued to rage. Lightning came more frequently, the wind was howling and the rain so fierce they couldn’t see more than a few feet out the windows.

“What are we gonna do?” Sally asked.

“It’ll be okay,” he said. “We’ll just wait for the storm to pass and then we’ll go home. Mom and Dad will understand.”

Johnny held her tighter. Slowly, they were able to warm a bit. They were wet, cold and tired, and he didn’t like being in Creekmore Cemetery at night, especially with the Creekmore Creature around. But at least they were under shelter. They would wait for the storm to pass, and then go home. It shouldn’t take long, he thought. But it did. The storm was relentless. He lost track of time. After a while, Sally fell asleep. Soon Johnny, too, fell asleep.

Johnny woke with a start. For a second, he forgot where he was. But then it came back to him. He looked around. The storm had passed and the full moon outside cast light inside.

Then he realized: Sally was gone.

And then he heard the faint sound of what he thought was someone moaning. Or maybe it was chanting. Whatever it was, it was coming from near the fireplace. He stood up and crept over to where the large stone fireplace. A sinister looking bear’s head loomed above the mantle.

He heard it again, only this time a little more clear. It definitely sounded like a person, or a something, that was chanting. A low, moaning sort of chanting. And it was coming from the floor! He took a few more steps, knelt down and found himself looking down at an iron grate in the floor. And then he heard the chanting again.

“Noooowwww I got youuuu wheeeerrre I waaaant yoouuu noowww I’m goooooonnnnna eeeaaat yooooouuu!”

It was the Creekmore Creature!

Johnny leaped to his feet and ran toward the door. He was nearly onto the front porch when he realized Sally was still inside. Then he thought Sally might be what the Creekmore Creature was going to eat! She could be tied up, sacred out of her mind while the Creekmore Creature was getting ready to eat her!

“Oh no!” he cried. He was tempted to run for help, but he knew there was not enough time. He turned on his heels and raced deeper into the home.

The sound came from the floor grate, he reminded himself. He remembered the time his dad was working on the furnace in the basement at their house, and he could hear him all the way up in his bedroom on the second floor. So that chanting he heard must have come from the basement, and that’s where Sally might be. With the Creekmore Creature about to eat her.

Through the front parlor was a long hallway, with several doors on either side. He crept cautiously, every now and then passing a floor grate. At each one he knelt down, and each time he would hear the Creekmore Creature chant again.

“Noooowwww I got youuuu wheeeerrre I waaaant yoouuu noowww I’m goooooonnnnna eeeaaat yooooouuu!”

As quietly as he could, Johnny opened each door, hoping to find steps leading to the basement. But each door only led into another room. The last door remaining was at the end of the hallway, and Johnny slowly, cautiously turned the knob and inched the door open. It moaned at his touch, and Johnny winced at the thought of being heard.

He poked his head through the open crack and looked down the steps, which led to another door. He could barely make it out, but Johnny saw the faint glimmer of light coming from the edges of the second door. And then he heard the Creekmore Creature chant again.

“Noooowwww I got youuuu wheeeerrre I waaaant yoouuu noowww I’m goooooonnnnna eeeaaat yooooouuu!”

It was louder than before, so loud he was convinced the Creekmore Creature – and Sally – was right behind the door.

As quietly as he could, Johnny walked down the steps. The wood groaned with each step, and Johnny was sure he would be heard and the Creekmore Creature would come bursting through the door.
But he made it all the way down and was now crouched behind the door. He put his hand on the knob and pressed his ear to the door.

“Noooowwww I got youuuu wheeeerrre I waaaant yoouuu noowww I’m goooooonnnnna eeeaaat yooooouuu!”

This is it, thought Johnny, Sally was about to be eaten! Without thinking, he threw open the door and stood ready to confront the Creekmore Creature.

The first thing he saw was Sally on the far side of the room. She was sitting in a chair, and staring with wide eyes at something behind a pillar, which could only be the Creekmore Creature. Johnny could make out glimpses of the Creature whenever he moved, and he realized he was big. Bigger than him.

“Noooowwww I got youuuu wheeeerrre I waaaant yoouuu noowww I’m goooooonnnnna eeeaaat yooooouuu!”

And then he heard Sally scream!


Johnny drew himself into a crouch and raced along the edge of the room so he could get a better view of the Creekmore Creature. With his back to the wall, he sidestepped inch by agonizing inch, never taking his eyes off the Creature.

The Creature kept turning, always keeping his back to Johnny. That back. He was grotesque. He was massive, bulging and pocked with bulbous sores with long black hairs poking out. The Creature had no shirt, but his pants were a dirty brown with stains on them. They ended just past his knees in tattered shreds. He had no socks and no shoes, and his feet were just as reviling as his back, with clumps of black hair on their tops and the long stringy toes ending with long yellow toenails.

Eventually Johnny reached the end of the wall and was wedged into the corner. Sally, who continued to be mesmerized by the Creature, was now to his right. And to his left was the Creature. A tiny lightbulb hung between the two, dangling from the ceiling rafters.

The Creature, his back still to Johnny, was fumbling with something out of sight. The sounds he made were grotesque. His head kept bobbing up and down, side to side, and his shoulders heaved as his arms were moving in deliberate motion. What the Creature doing Johnny could only guess at. Was he sharpening his carving knife? Was he preparing a side dish of varmint entrails? Was he pouring blood into a goblet, the better to wash down his meal of Sally?

Just then the Creature’s head motioned as if he had struck upon an idea, and he stopped moving. He slowly turned toward Sally, which also brought his face into view of Johnny for the first time.
His hideous scalp shown through its patchy, stringy dark hair. The one ear Johnny could see had a chunk taken out of it. His face was blotched with dark pimples and a wisp of whiskers. His eyes, tinged with yellow, seemed crazed, as its one eye darted uncontrollably. His huge nose ended with a large wart, out of which sprung a curly black hair.

And shoved up inside his nose was one of his long, gnarly fingers.

The Creature drew closer to Sally, who drew her head back instinctively.

He smiled viciously and slowly pulled his finger, joint by joint, out of his nose.

Finally free of the nose, the Creature held out his finger, its tip just inches in front of Sally.

And at the end of the Creature’s finger was the biggest, grossest, gooiest booger Johnny had ever seen. It was green and brown and red and yellow snot oozed from it, running down the his finger.

The Creature pulled his finger with the booger on it back to him. It was now inches from his own face. He turned his finger so he could get a better look at the booger, causing it to flop from one side to the other.

“Noooowwww I got youuuu wheeeerrre I waaaant yoouuu noowww I’m goooooonnnnna eeeaaat yooooouuu!”

And with that, the Creature stuck his booger finger into his mouth and slurped it clean.

It turns out the Creekmore Creature was really Eddie, the cemetery’s caretaker. He was a simple man with government plastic in his head and mostly harmless. He lived in the basement and only did his work at night, when people couldn’t see him and make fun of how he looked. He liked to hum while working. It was that sound people heard and, as people tend to do, which created the legend of the Creekmore Creature.

The moral of the story: Never shake Eddie’s hand.