While daylight brightens this Hallowed Eve, the six ghost stories that follow are transparent tales that cast no shadows .
While the sun shines, there could never be a Burning Island no Haunting Globes, no Phantom, Infant, no Hope House phantasm, no Corpse-Mother of the Forest, no Revenge of the Eaten Cats .
Not while the light lasts. But sunset today comes at 5:09 p.m.
A crackling campfire on a chilly night may seem inviting to some. But I feel no warmth when I picture that scene. Instead, I remember a night some 14 years ago, when my camp counselor terrorized us with this story that has haunted me ever since:
"They say a mother's love is stronger than death," she began, her somber face illuminated by the orange campfire's glow. "And I've lived through an experience that proves it.
"One summer, several years ago, quarts of milk began disappearing from the camp kitchen. Each night there were a dozen bottles in the refrigerator, but each morning only 11 remained.
"At first the cook thought it was some campers' prank and figured they'd soom tire of the game. But after a week of vanishing bottles, she decided to stop the theft.
"That night she put a chain through the refrigerator door handles and fastened it with a combination lock. But the next morning another bottle of milk was missing.
"The camp administrator decided one counselor would stay in the kitchen that night to see who was taking the milk. I was chosen. I brought a book, but it was boring and I soon fell asleep.
"I awoke just as the grandfather clock in the next room struck 3 a.m. The air smelled dank and cold, and a smoky, grayish-blue light was seeping under the back door and into the room.
"It formed a tight knot about the size of basketball, and grew brighter, practically blinding me with its intensity. It began moving toward the refrigerator.
"I tried to scream or run, but my muscles wouldn't respond. I stayed frozen in my chair, watching the light hover by the refrigerator. The combination lock moved right, then left, then opened.
"The chain released, the door opened, and a bottle of milk floated off the shelf. Then, as suddenly as it appeared, the light -- and the bottle of milk -- vanished. The chain and lock were back in place.
"The scream that had been locked in my throat was released. Everyone came running. But no one believed my story until late the next day when a group of campers who had been out on a nature hike rushed back into camp.
"They had been deep in the woods, along a little-traveled dirt road, when they heard a baby crying. They followed the noise and found a small blue car wrapped around a tree. The driver, a young woman, appeared to have died on impact -- which a later autopsy reported had been 10 days earlier.
"But a 3-month-old baby, who had been strapped in a car seat, was alive and well -- surrounded by 10 empty bottles of milk."