Ghost Stories

Black Magic

Excerpt from Spooky Massachusetts

Retold by S.E. Schlosser 

Mad Henry was a hermit who lived alone in a decrepit mansion at the edge of town.  Rumors were rife about the wild-eyed man.  Some folks said that he was a magician who called upon the powers of darkness to wreck havoc upon his neighbors.  Others called him a mad doctor who could restore life to foul corpses from the local cemetery.  No respectable citizen in town had anything to do with Mad Henry

Then one year a new family moved to town with a lovely daughter, Rachel, who caught Mad Henry’s eye. He showered the maiden with gifts—goblets of pure gold, necklaces of pearl, and a pot of daisies that never dropped a single petal. Despite the gifts, Rachael fell in love with another, Geoffrey, a handsome young man just home from university. A week after meeting they eloped, leaving behind a stunned Mad Henry.

When Rachael and Geoffrey returned from the elopement, they threw a big ball and invited everyone in town. While Rachel was waltzing with her father, she heard a  clap of thunder. Lightning flashed again and again. Suddenly, the double doors blew open and a breeze whirled in, bringing with it the smell of dead, decaying things. Mad Henry loomed in the doorway, pupils gleaming red with anger. He was followed by the grotesque figures of the dead, who came marching two by two into the room. Their eye sockets glowed with blue fire as they surrounded the room.
Two of the corpses captured Geoffrey and threw him down at the feet of their lord. Red eyes gleaming, Mad Henry drew a silver-bladed knife and casually cut the bridegroom’s throat from ear to ear. Rachel screamed and ran forward, pushing through the foul, stinking corpses of the dead, and flung herself upon her dying husband.

“Kill us both,” she cried desperately.

But Mad Henry  plucked the lass out of the pool of blood surrounding her dead husband and carried her out into the thundering night. Behind him, the army of the dead turned from the grizzly scene and followed their master. The sounds of thunder and lightning faded away as the alchemist and his dead companions disappeared into the dark night.

Geoffrey’s father and Rachael’s father gathered a small mob and followed the evil hermit, intent upon saving Rachel.  When they searched Mad Henry’s house, they found it completely empty save for a light, which shone from a series of mysterious globes that bobbed near the ceiling of each room. Mad Henry had vanished.

Search parties scoured the countryside for days, but turned up nothing. Geoffrey was buried in the local cemetery, and the dance hall was torn down. No one in town spoke about what had happened, and no one dared imagine what had become of poor Rachel.

A year to the day after the ball, a timid knock sounded upon the door of Rachael’s parents’ home. When her father opened it, he saw a gaunt, gray figure on the stoop. Her eyes were dull with exhaustion and pain. It was Rachel! Her tongue had been cut out so she couldn’t speak.  But when she produced a knife from her tattered garments—the knife with a silver blade that they had last seen in the hands of Mad Henry— the gleam of satisfaction in Rachel’s eyes told them that the streaks of blood that coated the knife were those of Mad Henry. That night, Rachel died in her sleep with a peaceful smile upon her ravaged face.


great story

poor mad henry i love necromacy

wow thats an awesome story!!!!!!

Don't hold it in! Tell us more!

that was soooo sad and scary at the same time i almost ran out of the room!!

that was so sad!! omg i wana here more though!! make a sequal!!!


aaaahhhh saaadd storyy;"( but skaaaryy;"//

Im a springfield, ma resident and I came across this story in a book and decided to do some diggin around. If any one has any more information on what the story is based on please feel free to contact me via email

The ending was nothing I'd expected

this was sad but interesting story to know

Omg so creepy wow at least she died to be wit her love again stil way to detailed

cute happy ending .. !!

Impressed - this is good!

this story was amazing i loved the end

Did she kill mad henry???

Black Magic was scary yet satisfing ate the same time. I wonder what Mad Henry was. Witch, Wicka, Wizard, Worlock, Troll, Demon, Vampire, Eros (Cupid), or just plain LOVE Crazy

wow!!amazing!nice....sad + scary

omg. this story is amazingly scary!! i loved it! and i aggree, there should so be a sequal(:

awesome story!!! but its kind of sad though T^T

Amazing story Mad Henry

cool i really want some more detail omg lol ^_^

,.,.how did rachel killed mad henry,.?,.,.nonsense,.,.incomplete.,.,

I liked it

A Summery:

1.Wirdo falls in love with rachel,

2.She loves some other guy,

3.He kills other guy and tortures her.

4.she kills him and dies herself (probably due to the abuse)

yes! She kill him! lol. Its a very nice story

wow that was freakin cool and it sort of had a nice ending in a sick way...

great story ..short bt full of excitement..and the post which asked was he wicka {wicka has nothing to do with black magic and they worship only nature}

Omg I love that this was the first scary story that had a good ending

sweet scary akward and cool story


ohh come on was that it tell us some more

wow! thats a good story

I love it!! cute, sad, scary, and awsome!

This was one of the best stories I've read out of many. I loved it from the beginning to end. Interesting, sad and creepy all at the same time :-)

sad but cool but sad but cool

Why do these stories always involve a beautiful maiden

that was not that scary ive heard better ones

this was soooooo creepy
i was all alone when i read this and could not go to bed

dat wuz awsum it wuz interestin


Oh its so sad n romantic...Mad Henry is dumb

i love the story

awsome coolcoolcoolcoolawsome

wow that was scary

LOL cute, sad, sort of depressing till the end

lame i've heard better

I loved this story!! The ending was a little unexpected though!

wow. nice twist in the end.

good story more plzz!!!

good story it was. loved it.

poor henry murder was all he could turn to when his heart was broken

that story is gangsta i want to hear more

awesome....I really enjoy it....

So interesting and fearful.
Nice story

what a good story. can you continue it? :)

i liked it but it wasnt very scary

omg i m in shok i wish there was a video of it

cool story. is it real??

wow i wonder what the next BLACK MAGIC creepy stories will be, because i love this story

LOL;) thats a good story.. I wonder if Mad Henry really died!!!

that is the freakiest story ever!!!!!!!!!!!

cool story!
love it!!

I loved this story and I think that it was alright scary but not as good as axe murder hollowers or what ever it was called

*claps* nice story but one thing what did mad herny do to her anyways. How sad when she died i think she killed the mad herny becuse of what he did.

This story was very impressive

LOVE IT!!!!!! i heard a knock on the door and it scared the crap out of me!!!!!!


wow very impressive but not that scary

mad henry was a really bad person.... poor girl and man :(

This was a great story! The part where Rachel died with a smile on her face really creeped me out! I want to know more! Please add on!

this was a great story but really scary cause i had to read this with my friend we were both scared to death

i liked it,especally wen she killed him after the abuse & she died peacefully(part about her killing him wasn in this story but u can tell at the end)good story

that was an awesome story...

i loved the story but, how the heck did she die?

That's the saddest story ever!!!

creepy! Go mad henrey!

Um, good story, but it wasn't scary. At all. It was sad, and it was good literature, but I just can't find it as scary.

feel sorry for Geoffrey cuz he gets his throat cut man i can imagine him lying down with his head twitchin n blood spirtin out sad


That is like such an awsome story and it was scary 2 \(....:.:...)/
RAWR (scary monster ) do u c it?

I love this good scary story

wow all the stories are creepy


this is the best story Ive read in awhile. I'm very impressed with this story(:

Amazing short story!

i thought the hole begging was brill and exciting but the end was quiet bad *That night, Rachel died in her sleep with a peaceful smile upon her ravaged face.* that isn't a good sentance to end it i think somthing more gripping that will scare us so badly but other than that gr8 story!!!!

I loved this story(:!! Amazing.

I think it's amazing she stood up to him despite her injuries and the abuse. at least she died without pain. I bet she thought something like " I finally got revenge on the old g*t who ruined my life." . it was an amazing story. A really scary one.

Wow , I felt so sad and scare !!!!


i never read stuff on the internet like this kind of stuff but some of these stories are good, lol i just wanted to leave a comment, <3

i loved it

Whoaa. Wait so she killed Mad henery?! And did he cut off her tounge?? And why did he kill Geoffery??

I think it's amazing she stood up to him despite her injuries and the abuse. at least she died without pain. I bet she thought something like " I finally got revenge on the old g*t who ruined my life." . it was an amazing story. A really scary one.

i loved this storie almost peed my pants though


I was shivering after that!But that was the best Spooky Story so far......


That was a GREAT story!!!!!!!!

really awesome

not so much ghostly but sad story. wonder what had happened to Rachael & how she killed henry

poor Rachel

Very good story!

love this story!!!!!
but what happened to the dead corpes??did she kill them to???

That was freaking creepy

this is a really good story. but i odnt understand why rachel dies in her sleep at the end. But im glad that mad henery is dead.

what a good story

OMG, I like can't belive that she had her tounge cut off!

its a good story

Loved it!!

I thought it was awesome! but guess what! i read this at midnight. i just posted this.

AWW!!!!! I didnt want Rachel or Gregory to die. Mad Henry was seriously love sick

it was awesome really i loved it


This is a sad story and all, but it isn't that scary....Sorry.

Awesome, very thrilling, I read these stories every night!

poor rachel kinda sucks to be her

OMG!!!! This is such an awesome story!

this story is interesthing

Boo. You should have made much more scarier.But it was totally AWESOME.

Nice and sad story

This story is really sad! It's amazing for my age (teen), and it has a wonderful moral of true love. This is definitely upon my favorites!


Woohoo go racheal it sux she died nd her husband I pictured his death in my hed nd sortof got sik to my stomach lol

I liked this one


awesome but it sould have ended with her and geoffrey finding eachother again in the after life

SO SCARY I NEARLLY PUNCHED MY COMPUTER!!!! AND CALLED THE POLICE!!! Nah just kidding! lol :D But it was scary!

I loved that story it totally rocked

great story sad scary

OK...that was a good one. I love it when the bad guys get what they deserve.


that was a awsome story!!!!!!


Well tell us more that was awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It gave me chills



AMAZING! I wish there could be novels with the creepiness and interest of that story! I'm a creep-freak and i love stories of that nature!

man that was 6 out of 10

this story was interesting buh not scary at all.

so i thought it was good but it needs more, like what acually happend to mad henry it lacks detail, but over all it was a beautifully written story and would make a good horror movie one day.

best story ever soo good but it was kind of scary but why did u stop at the good part?

wow that was crazy.. i didnt expect that for the ending..

cool story i love it

We all know she killed him, it told us! So sad and a little sweet too.

I wonder why he cut out her tongue?

OOOOOOhhhhh! kinda scary, kinda sad. OOOOOOhhhhh!

That's creepy and my name is Rachel
now I'm kinda scared

whoa!!! creepppyyyy...

that is scary tell us more

That was a good story.!

it was ok :[


That was an awsome story! i think the ending was grate.

I like your stories cause they don't have happy endings.

I loved it im a BIG fan of irony!!! that had me on the egde all the way until the end!

Not scary enough but good!

ahhh so sweet

That was sooooooooooooooooooooooo cool and scary. I want a SEQUAL!

OMG that is awesome revenge rules!!!!!

this is the greatest scary story EVER. it really got to me when i found out that it was about a girl named rachel because i am rachel.

Wow, really nice story. I love how Rachael got her revenge by killing Mad Henry in the end:) Plse write some morexD

i dont know about u guys but im kinda freaked out

Wow this story was both sad and wicked. Someone should write the story of how girl excaped.

it was amazing and we loved it

I wonder why it called black magic?

i love how it didnt end in,"and they were never seen again..."you actually know that henry died -_-

Nothing can kill true love, not even magic of any kind.

Ture love wins over all, even magic, even more so when it is black magic, this is something like a Romeo and Juliette story if you get right down to it. All that mattered was true love over it

Wow! That was the most awesome story that I have ever read with my auntie!

good story! wish there was more to it tho!

Wonderful story

Wonderful story

sad story....and sweet story


its really scaryyyy!!!!!!!!!!

its really scaryyyy!!!!!!!!!!

I liked it! :) it was a happy ending in my opinion, but it was really sad :(

wasnt sacry but good story.

:'( very scary !!!

i loved it
it's just so cool

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Schlosser, author of the Spooky Series

About the Author: S.E. Schlosser

S.E. Schlosser is the author of the Spooky Series by Globe Pequot Press, as well as the Ghost Stories deck by Random House.  She has been telling stories since she was a child, when games of "let's pretend" quickly built themselves into full-length tales acted out with friends. A graduate of both Houghton College and the Institute of Children's Literature, Sandy received her MLS from Rutgers University while working as a full-time music teacher and a freelance author. Read more

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