The real and imaginative adventures of Dennis Spielman

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Imaginary Adventures

The Ghost Child from the March of Flaming Skeletons

Three time-travelers visit a Halloween parade when a young spirit starts to cause mischief. 


A thousand people dressed as skeletons held tiki torches as they led a Halloween parade. The three time-travelers siblings blended in with the Saturday, October 24, 2009 audience with their own costumes. The one named Raven wore a silky red dress with a foam pumpkin over her head. The one named Gia dressed as the 1950s movie star Marilyn Monroe. The one named Slayer simply wore a hooded black robe.

“I can’t believe you had me change my form for this,” Slayer grumbled as they crossed their human arms. “Skeletons are on parade, and you wanted me to look human. My form would’ve been appropriate.”

“A floating transparent skeleton would’ve freaked people out,” Gia playfully reminded. 

Slayer put a thin piece of white paper in their mouth. “At least the candy is good.”

“That was a sticker you ate,” Raven corrected in a polite factual matter. 

Slayer shrugged. “I’ve never been much for this world anyway.”

Gia scanned the parade for something to change the subject. It had been a while since she spent time with them, and thought this parade would’ve been something they could all enjoy.

“Hey, look at the little skeleton,” Gia said, pointing at a little girl dancing in the street with the other marching skeletons. “Aren’t they just the—”

Gia’s jaw dropped as the child danced through the other people. People shivered, losing their balance, and some almost hit others with their torches.

“That’s a spirit,” Raven said in a matter-of-fact as she pulled out her tablet from her dress pocket that was much bigger on the inside. “It seems to be causing quite the disturbance.”

“Finally, some chaos!” Slayer cheered with hands raised high.

“No, no chaos and no watching how it all plays out,” Gia ordered. “We have to guide the spirit home.”

“Fine,” both Slayer and Raven grumbled.

The ghost child turned into the crowd of bystanders, skipping along through people. While Gia lost sight of the girl, she watched the movement of people shaking from a sudden chill and losing their balance. The three pressed against the crowd. 

“Where did she go?” Gia asked as they emerged out from the crowd. 

“Over there,” Raven alerted. She pointed to the girl standing in front of a couple heading to watch the parade. A man in his late 20s got one knee to talk to the girl on her level. “That human seems to be able to interact with the spirit.”

Gai squinted in thought. “Wait a second. I think I know him or, more specifically, who he will become.”

“What becomes of him?” Slayer questioned.

“His name is Geoff DeRoot, and he becomes a rather prominent paranormal researcher, but this isn’t his origin story. Not until the death of his fiancé drives him mad,” Gia explained as she started to sprint forward. “We can’t let him get introduced to ghosts just yet.”

“So, where are your grown-ups?” Geoff asked the spirit.

Before the spirit could answer, Gia stood beside them. 

“There you are!” Gia exclaimed to the spirit. “Come on, let’s get you home.” She looked at the couple and smiled. “Thank you.”

“No problem,” Geoff said as he stood back up and wrapped his arm around his girlfriend.

The girl smiled wide and held out her hand, which Gia took as best as possible to make it look like she was holding the spirit’s hand and not going through it. Raven and Slayer caught up with Gia. Together, they walked down the alleyway, where they parked their freestanding doors that allowed them to travel throughout time and space. 

Slayer opened his red wooden door, letting out a bright white light. “I’ll take this one where she belongs.” Before walking through the door, Slayer turned back and faced his siblings. “You know, watching the Halloween parade was kind of fun. I guess this world isn’t so bad.”

Gia smiled. Missioned accomplished. Slayer closed their door, and it blinked out of existence. Raven reached for the handle on her red metal door with a golden frame.

“It has been fun, Gia,” Raven thanked. “I should get back with Loki as I left him in the middle of an experiment.”

“What are you two up to this time?” Gia asked with a slightly accusatory tone. 

“We’re hosting a spaceship reality game show on Earth.”

“Oh. That sounds like fun! What year?”

“2020.”

“Yikes,” Gia chocked up. “I tend to avoid that year.”

Raven chuckled. “It’s been fruitful for us. Anyway, it was good to see you.”

The two exchanged hugs and left through their respective doors, disappearing without any fanfare as the first wave of parade participants crossed through the alley to the afterparty.  


This week’s short story was created in response to a writing challenge. The setting had to involve Halloween with a word limit of 800. Bonus points for using the following words: Candy, Leaves, Chill, and Pumpkin. Points for also using the sentence blocks, “Skeletons are on parade” and “I’ve never been much for this world anyway.”

Hope you enjoyed this story and all of the other spooky tales this month!

Story Artwork by Joemar Villarejo, Design Pickle. Get a discount off your first month of Design Pickle via this affiliate link, which full disclosure, I earn a small commission as a discount for me as well.

3×09 Voices in Shawnee

Sam and Geoff visit with Tanya McCoy, author of the new Haunted Shawnee book, for stories about the town. They discuss tales about the Aldridge Hotel, the ghosts roaming Shawnee’s train tracks, Oklahoma’s mining towns, and how to keep dark spirits from following.

Subscribe to new episodes of Tales Unveiled via Apple PodcastsGoogle PlaySpotifyStitcher, or anywhere you enjoy podcasts. New episodes on Fridays!

Tales Unveiled is a production of The Show Starts Now Studios and is produced by me, Dennis Spielman. The voice of Sam Saxton is Dennis Spielman. The voice of Professor Geoff DeRoot is Jeff Provine.

Thank you to Tanya McCoy for sharing stories with us so be sure to check out the book, Haunted Shawnee, for more stories.

If you love what we’re doing, want us to keep being artist owned and patron supported, click here. In return, you can get bonus content, including early access to other my other projects.

Behind the Scenes Commentary

In reality, I was the one who reached out to Tanya. Jeff, who is a co-author, told me they got some different stories compared to our Shawnee episode, specifically the Aldridge Hotel, that would be worth doing another episode. I agreed and set it up.

After we recorded, I picked Tanya’s brain about Mustang since we were there. I was surprised to learn that she has found a few around town. Most of them involve one building, but there were numerous stories there. We also talked about some other places, so I’m sure we’ll be visiting her again next season.

Emergency Alert

An emergency alert instructs everyone in an apartment building to leave their home.


Myles’ cellphone buzzed to life. This puzzled and vexed him because he always turned off his phone before live-streaming his gaming sessions. Since he wasn’t in the heat of a battle, he flipped over his phone with the intend to read the message before shutting it off. The message changed that plan.

“This is a nationwide emergency alert,” Myles read aloud to his hundreds of viewers. “Please stay calm, and follow instructions. Do not remain in your homes. I repeat, under no circumstances stay in your homes. Please stay calm and await further instructions.”

Myles checked and flipped the message to the camera.

“Which one of you is responsible for this?” he playfully accused.

He’d heard stories of other streamers being pranked or doxxed, which thankfully, hasn’t happened to him, but he has dealt with the sporadic racal insult from time to time. He watched the chat, waiting for the streaming delay to sync up, but no one responded. He looked at his viewer count and the number plummeted until it hit zero. He re-read the message again in a hushed tone to himself. With still no activity on his stream, he quit and stepped outside his apartment.

In the hallway, everyone was gathered together, confused. His neighbor across the hall, an elderly woman who lived by herself who preferred to be referred to as Ms. Johnson, walked up to Myles. She clung to her stroller as she showed her cellphone to Myles.

“Do you know anything about this?” Ms. Johnson inquired.

Myles took a look at the message. “No. I got the same message too.”

Ms. Johnson grumbled. “Anything about it on them Twitters?”

“Let me check,” he replied as he pulled out his phone. “Odd. I’m not getting wifi or a cell signal.”

“I’m going to listen to the warning,” Ms. Johnson announced as she made her way toward the elevator. “I didn’t get to be my age by ignoring warnings.”

The lights went out, leaving only the glow of the moonlight from the windows at the end of the hall and the emergency exit signs. Then one by one, each apartment was filled with a violent high-pitch scream. Everyone in the hallway covered their ears and some crouched in pain as the sound washed through each room like a wave. When the noise reached the end, it faded away.

The lights returned. Everyone’s cell phone dinged or buzzed with an alert. Myles pulled out his phone.

“It is safe to return,” Myles read out loud so Ms. Johnson could hear.

Myles returned to his apartment, leaving the door open as he carefully inspected his place for any damage. Nothing seemed out of place. He expected to find broken glass, but there was nothing wrong other than his clocks blinking 12:00. He returned to Ms. Johnson in the hallway.

“I’m going to go outside and see what’s going,” he informed his neighbor.

Myles took the three flights of stars down and rushed outside. The summer night breeze sent a calming chill over his skin. A short black woman in a police officer uniform commanded several other officers. As authoritative as she was, Myles felt she would be kind enough to explain the situation.

“Excuse me,” Myles interjected. “Is everything okay? What’s going on?”

The officer faced him. The name tag read Officer Mists.

“We’re handling the situation,” she calmly explained. “Are you hurt or anyone you know?”

“No, I’m fine and everyone on my floor seems to be okay. What’s going on?”

“Someone hacked the building’s system to scare everyone, including using the smoke alarms to make a high-pitch scream. If anyone is hurt or needs help, you come get me.”

“Will do,” Myles replied, feeling relieved.

Myles jogged back to the apartment as Office Mists turned to another officer.

“I told you that story would be an excellent cover,” Mists bragged.

“I didn’t deny it,” the other officer praised as he worked on his tablet. “The scans are showing the attack did kill three people, so we’re going to have to come up with explications for those too.”

“Damn,” Mists grumbled.

“I know. Who do this and why this apartment complex?”

Mists shrugged. “We were dispatched because of the non-terrestrial readings, so start there.”


This week’s short story was inspired by the following writing prompt: “This is a nationwide Emergency Alert. Please stay calm, and follow instructions. Do not remain in your homes. I repeat, under no circumstances stay in your homes. Please stay calm and await further instructions.”

With it being October, I focused on a prompt where I could tell a spooky and unsettling story. Hope you enjoyed it!

3×08 A Personal Ghost Tour of Fort Washita – Part 2

In this second installment of ghost stories about Fort Washita, Sam and Geoff hear tales about spirits at a bridge, the stickball post, an unsettling experience at a rendezvous event, and the cabin. 

The stickball post at Fort Washita - photo by Dennis Spielman

Tales Unveiled is a production of The Show Starts Now Studios and is produced by me, Dennis Spielman. The voice of Sam Saxton is Dennis Spielman. The voice of Professor Geoff DeRoot is Jeff Provine.

We want to thank Lori Hamilton for setting up interviews with Jim Argo, Michael Freeland, Ken Golden, and Brianna Teel.

If you love what we’re doing, want us to keep being artist owned and patron supported, click here. In return, you can get bonus content, including early access to my other works!

3×07 A Personal Ghost Tour of Fort Washita – Part 1

With Fort Washita closed and no plans for any ghost tours, Sam organizes an interview for storytellers to share their tales. In this first of two parts, hear the history of the fort and spooky tales involving the parade grounds, vanishing dogs, the west barracks, the blacksmith shop, and the spring-well head.

Subscribe to new episodes of Tales Unveiled via Apple PodcastsGoogle PlaySpotifyStitcher, or anywhere you enjoy podcasts so you don’t miss part two!

Fort Washita Visitor Center - photo by Dennis Spielman

Tales Unveiled is a production of The Show Starts Now Studios and is produced by me, Dennis Spielman. The voice of Sam Saxton is Dennis Spielman. The voice of Professor Geoff DeRoot is Jeff Provine.

We want to thank Lori Hamilton for setting up interviews with Jim Argo, Michael Freeland, Ken Golden, and Brianna Teel.

Behind the Scenes Commentary

For our interview session at Fort Washita, we got some spine-tingling stories from some amazing storytellers. The trip was worth the drive. With the original episode running over an hour, I decided to split this into two parts. I hope you enjoy this first part and stay tuned for more (or you can join me on Patreon and listen to part two right now).

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