Scary Stories

to Tell in the Dark

Ella Danas

Aaron Kelly's Bones

Aaron Kelly was dead. They bought him a coffin and had a funeral and buried him. But that night, he got out of his coffin, and he came home. His family was sitting around the fire when he walked in. He sat down next to his widow, and he said, "What's going on? You all act like somebody died. Who's dead?" His widow said, "You are." "I don't feel dead," he said. "I feel fine." "You don't look fine," his widow said. "You look dead. You'd better get back to the grave where you belong." "I'm not going back to the grave until I feel dead," he said. Since Aaron wouldn't go back, his widow couldn't collect his life insurance. Without that, she couldn't pay for the coffin. And the undertaker said he would take it back. Aaron didn't care. He just sat by the fire rocking in a chair and warming his hands and feet. But his joints were dry and his back was stiff, and every time he moved, he creaked and cracked. One night, the best fiddler in town came to court the widow. Since Aaron was dead, the fiddler wanted to marry her. The two of them sat on one side of the fire, and Aaron sat on the other side, creaking and cracking. "How long do we have to put up with this dead corpse?" the widow asked. "Something must be done," the fiddler said. "This isn't very jolly," Aaron said. "Let's dance!" The fiddler got out his fiddle and began to play. Aaron stretched himself, shook himself, got up, took a step or two, and began to dance. With his old bones rattling, and his yellow teeth snapping, and his bald head wagging, and his arms flip-flopping, around and around he went. With his long legs clicking, and his kneebones knocking, he skipped and pranced around the room. How that dead man danced! But pretty soon a bone worked loose and fell to the floor. "Look at that!" said the fiddler. "Play faster!" said the widow. The fiddler played faster. Crickety-crack, down and back, the dead man went hopping, and his dry bones kept dropping, this way, that way, the pieces just kept poppping. "Play, man! Play!" cried the widow. The fiddler fiddled, and dead Aaron danced. Then Aaron fell apart, collapsed into a piles of bones--all except his bald headbone that grinned at the fiddler, cracked its teeth, and kept dancing. "Look at that!" groaned the fiddler. "Play louder!" cried the widow. "Ho, ho!" said the headbone. "Ain't we having fun!" The fiddler couldn't stand it. "Widow," he said, "I'm going home," and he never came back. The family gathered up Aaron's bones and put them back in the coffin. They mixed them up so he couldn't fit them together. After that, Aaron stayed in his grave. But his widow never did get married again. Aaron had seen to that.

The Hook

The Haunted House