We issued the challenge—write your spookiest story. Authors Joel Sutherland and Angela Misri carefully reviewed all the entries.

Here is the winning entry by 12-year-old Avery.

I heard a scratch at the door. I don’t usually get scared when my parents go out, but my  stomach was in a hard knot knot making me feel anxious. I went to open the door but when I  did, there was nothing there. I closed the door and locked it. Click.  

Even with the door locked, the anxiety stayed. I turned around to walk through the hallway  when all the lights turned off. I grabbed my phone from my pocket and turned on the flashlight  mode. I flashed it around and saw a shadow lurking across the hallway.  

My heart started pounding like an elephant’s stomp. I felt like I needed to run. I turned back  towards the door, unlocked it with shaky hands, opened it and all I saw was pitch black.  

My phone light turned off and then every light in the house turned on. I looked out the window  and everything was back to normal, but when I turned to walk across the hallway I saw it…