All Hallow's Evil

A John Seraph Mystery - #0.5

by C.G. Eberle

Before Family Ties, before Family Plots, John Seraph was an ordinary college student at Buffalo State College, until Halloween night when he came face-to-face with the Headless Rider of Buffalo State College. Now John needs to stop the Rider before he kills.

* Pumpkin image featured in cover art is used courtesy of Adam Smith @ - Check out his amazing work!


Friday, October 31st


My name’s John Seraph and sometimes my life feels like a schizophrenic, bucking bronco. I’m a student at Buffalo State College in Buffalo, NY, where I’m earning my B.A. in English Education, but I sometimes wonder if that’s what destiny has in store for me.  The campus was being terrorized and a professor was marked for death. Amazingly I somehow saved Professor Crosby and stopped the Headless Rider, who’d been ‘haunting’ the college grounds. You may have heard some bits and pieces from the news, or rumors from some who were there, let me tell you what actually happened, the true story.

* * * *

Today was Halloween and the college hosted a Safe-Hands Halloween Fair which was a safe alternative to trick-or-treating in the streets. Kids could go through the different levels of the school’s Student Union where they could trick-or-treat, get their faces painted, visit the ‘haunted maze’, pig out at a pizza party held in the cafeteria, and take part in the scavenger hunt held in the Barnes & Noble bookstore. Student volunteers staffed the fair and we earned extra credit for certain classes, I can’t speak for the others, but I always feel pretty good doing something for kids.

It seemed everyone on campus was looking forward to the fair, which had been a major change, because for the past four weeks most folks were on edge due to a number of attacks that had taken place all over the campus grounds. Now I’m good at hiding my emotions when I have to, keeping my cards close to the vest. But I admit I was feeling pretty anxious myself too.

After my second class I left school early because volunteers who lived off campus were given a pass to cut their afternoon classes to prepare for the fair.

My two bedroom apartment is in the Irish neighborhood of South Buffalo, and although technically part of the Queen City, the area feels like its own little suburb. Normally I check my mail box and answering machine, then settle in for the night, unless I’m doing something. As soon as I arrived home I ran inside the back door of my building and into my place, tossed my school bag on my love seat then I headed into my small kitchen, two steps off the dining area.

I tossed a turkey dinner into the microwave, brought out a couple cans Diet Mountain Dew, then changed into my costume. A minute later I emerged from my bedroom partially dressed. I’d finish dressing after I ate. No way would I take a chance with gravy and cranberry sauce staining my rental. I usually watched the news as I ate dinner but since it was earlier than normal I was forced to watch Jerry Springer, not quite the same thing.

Before you ask, I live alone, don’t have any roommates, and I’m not especially close to my family, but that’s a story for another day.

After dinner, I finished dressing, except for my cape and mask. I’d put them on once I returned to school since was impossible to drive with the mask on my face. I arrived at five-to-five and parked in the small student lot behind the library, just like every other time then I walked over to the student union.

The sun started to vanish and the sky became a gold and scarlet tapestry on sapphire. Temperatures started to drop a few weeks before and it had been cool all day. Clouds were supposed to roll in later, but there wasn’t any sign of them.

The decorators did an amazing job in the student union. Orange and black streamers hung from the brick walls, Halloween colored balloons were arranged as bouquets in the furnished areas, and they were tied down to sand filled party favors. Halloween Mylar balloons were placed throughout the cafeteria and the sitting areas, as well as the bookstore. Paper images of witches, ghosts, Jack O’ Lanterns, vampires, and haunted houses were taped to the pillars and doors, but most amazing of all was the haunted maze.

Students and staff set it up in the nearly abandoned recreation center, the job took us nearly a week to finish, but it was worth the effort. The center had been a video arcade years ago then it closed down. Nowadays it was normally an unused, empty space. There were five sections making up the maze. We had a cave with a dragon that moved and roared over a skeleton, a haunted barn that had a scarecrow running around, a pyramid tomb with a mummy, a castle and vampire, and a forest with a werewolf. Kids could walk through the entrance, follow a winding path, with its twists and turns, smoke machines, pulsating strobe lights, sound effects, and inside volunteers were dressed up as maniacs and monsters, all with one goal in mind, scare the begeezus out of visitors.

"All Hallow's Evil" by C. G. Eberle


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Holiday - Halloween

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