Ghost Stories

The Handshake

Spooky North Carolina by S.E. SchlosserAn excerpt from Spooky North Carolina

retold by S.E. Schlosser 

Polly was the sweetest, prettiest girl in Goldsboro, yes sir.  All the local boys were chasing her, and quite a number of the fellows from the surrounding countryside were too.  All the girls were jealous of Polly ‘cause they didn’t have no sweethearts to take them to the local dances.  They all wanted Polly to choose her man so things could go back to normal.  But Polly was picky.  None of the local boys suited her, and neither did the fellows from the back country.  

     Then one day, George Dean came home from university, and Polly was smitten.  Polly completely dropped all her other beaus when George came courting, and it wasn't long before George proposed and Polly accepted. 

Polly started making preparations for the wedding and shopping for items to fill her new home.   George wasn’t too interested in all the fripperies and wedding details.  He left the womenfolk to get on with it and started spending time down at the pool hall with some of his buddies.  And that’s where he met Helene, the owner’s saucy daughter.  She had bold black eyes and ruby red lips, and a bad-girl air that fascinated George.  He spent more and more time at the pool hall, and less and less time with Polly, who finally noticed in spite of all the hustle and bustle. 

     Of course, Polly was furious.  She immediately  confronted George with the story, and he couldn’t deny it.  Suddenly, George had to toe the mark.  His pool-hall visits were over, and he spent every free hour he wasn’t at work by her side.  That didn’t sit well with George, but his family backed Polly up, so he  went along with it. 

     The day of the wedding dawned clear and bright.  The guests filled the sanctuary, and the pastor and the best man waited patiently in the ante-chamber for the arrival of the groom.  But George didn’t come.  Eventually, they went searching for the missing bridegroom, and found out he'd left town with Helene an hour before the wedding.  With dread, Polly’s mother went to tell her daughter what had happened.  Polly, all bright and shining and lovely in her long white dress and soft wedding veil, turned pale when her mother broke the news.  Then she stiffened, grabbing her left arm as a sudden pain ripped through it.   She was dead from a massive heart attack long before she hit the floor. 

     A few days later, Polly was buried in the churchyard, still wearing her white wedding dress and veil.  The whole town came to the funeral and wept at the passing of such a beautiful young girl.   George and Helene, who had spent the week happily honeymooning in the Outer Banks, arrived home at the very moment that the black-clad crowd exited the churchyard.  Their arrival caused a commotion.  The minister had to pull Polly’s father off George before he killed him.  And both George and Helene’s family disowned the couple right there in the street in front of everyone.  The couple fled town in disgrace. 

    Time passed, and eventually the scandal was forgotten.  Until the day George’s father passed away.  It was rumored that he was to be buried in the local churchyard just a few plots away from the girl who had almost become his daughter.  Suddenly, the story of Polly's jilting was revived and folks wondered aloud if George would dare attend his father's funeral.  But George was too clever for them.  He waited at an inn outside of town until it was dark, and then he went to the churchyard to pay his last respects to his father. 

      As he unburdened himself at his father’s graveside, George heard a sweet female voice calling his name.  “George.  Sweetheart.”  George looked up in sudden hope.  Was that his mother, come to forgive him?  Then he saw, rising up from a grassy mound under a spreading oak tree, a figure in a long white gown and a soft veil.  Her eyes and her lips were yellow flames beneath the veil, and the rotted wedding dress glowed with a white-yellow light.  It was Polly. 

      George’s body stiffened, shudders of fear coursing up and down his arms and legs.  He put a shaking hand to his mouth and staggered backward, the other hand outstretched out ward off the specter floating toward him.  The spectral bride cackled with angry laughter and swooped forward until its hand closed over George’s outstretched one in a terrible parody of a handshake.  The grip of the spectral bride was so cold it burned the skin, and so hard that the bones crunched as it squeezed.  “Come along into the church, George,” the glowing bride whispered.  Through the veil, George could see maggots crawling in and out of Polly’s flaming eye sockets. 

    “Nooo!  Polly, no!”  George screamed in terror, but he could not wrench his hand free.  The ghost dragged him step by halting step toward the front door of the church.  His hand was a red-hot agony of pain, though the rest of his body was shaking with cold. 

      “No!” George gave a final cry of despair and wrenched again at his hand.  And suddenly, he was free.  The spectral bride gave a roar of rage as George ran pell-mell down the church lane and out into the street. 

     “You’re mine, George Dean!  If not in this world, than in the next,” the spectral bride howled after him. 

     By the time George reached his room, the fiery pain in his hand and arm was seeping through his entire body.  He rang desperately for the house maid and begged her to send for a doctor.  Then he fell into bed and stared at his hand, which was black and withered, as if it had been scorched long ago by a fire.  Black and red streaks were climbing up his arm so fast he could almost see them move. 

      George was unconscious when the doctor arrived, and the swelling was already extending into his chest and neck.  There was nothing the physician could do.  The injury was too severe and had spread too far.  Within two days, George was dead.   Polly had gotten her man at last. 

You can read more ghost stories in Spooky North Carolina, by S.E. Schlosser.


yeah this is scary i
not kidding i like it

i think this a great story not too scary but really funny lol

that was not good at all i read better gost stories in comedy books

not the best i've heard but its ok

YEAHUH polly got her mayun! go polly! rofl

the story was scary and intresting i really like it so much


That wasn't very scary at all. && what did the guy even die from. ?

what did he die of

yeah I f i was polly i would be like NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

george is gonna get it when he's in the spirit world

that was freaky but soooo kool

i love this story it's sad also! I would have killed him along time ago if I were Polly!

what is up pplz?? well anyway loved the story and I hope that u make more... oh and by the by... U SUCK GEORGE!!

he died of frost bite DUAH!!!!

here's an alternate ending!!!

"If not in this world then in the next!" Polly cried. George ran home. He died not long after his encounter with Polly.

In george's next life, he met the love of his life. A sweet beautiful girl named Polly. They married. At the wedding, after they both said,'I do' Polly said:I told you I'd have you in one life or another.

George was terrified. He remembered Polly at once!Ha ha ha ha ha!



That was really good i loved it

pretty cool story. yeah you go polly girl!! lol


ilove american folkore

i wonder wat happened to George in the after life

polly is like i dunno like beast at the end it was awesome with a side of agony it was great, its a newberry winner to me :D

not that scary but perfect for sleepover stories.

At the end it was sad!!!!!!!!!!!!:'(

OMG this is soooo scary!!!I live in goldsboro!!This stoory is sooo scary!!!!


it's ok i thought maby you could dod a lil better it will be good but it's good lol

YEAH POLLY! BOO GEORGE! What a jerk he was! I mean who does he think he is. Ditchin' his bride on their wedding day. I f I were Polly I would have haunted him down. NOT want him back.

thats a scary story?

wow that was creepy good one!...George deserved it tho after all he put Polly through...poor Polly!!! :(

real creepy lol

I thought it was hilarious! I finally got my man!

Yeah ! that was really a nice one...

he got wat was coming 2 him

Wat Polly did was gr8
this should only happen with guys like George

wow, i must say this was quite the story...ha ha i can pretty much relate to it.. well i'd definitly give this one 5 stars.!

good story

it wuz not scary. it was kind of like a romantic story.

well its not pollys fault its georges cuz he left her in the wedding day so to bad for him and go polly lmfao

hahaha take that George!!!!


thats what george gets for cheating on polly, and she got her revenge

Karma strikes yet again

this is aweeeeeesome

No, it wasn't scary. And that's the only comment I will leave ;]


it was scary but foolish Polly she should for more handsome one so that she could make him jelous

This is awesome!!!!
I love this story and Polly herself! Congrats Polly and at last she got her own man :')


Well, you can't exactly blame the girl lol.

it was good not too scary but good nd appropriat for before the kids go to sleep while camping

Um wow! Go Polly!!!!!!!!

Freaky, does seem very realistis though. As a personal ghost hunter myself I say this story isnt half bad.

not that scary not scary at all but good story

if i were george, i would go to my room and pullout my m16 and say: '' say hello to my little friend'' if she stands in front of the door:)


i think it is ok but it could have been more scary.i like the part when george dies.

Well, George kinda had that one coming.

Go Polly!! That guy was such a jerk!! lol!! :D I want more!!

I'd do the same thing if I was Polly! George Dean is a sorry cheater who deserved it!

its little fun and scary......

i love this story i bet she is ugly when she came back

it wasn't too scary that's wat made it cool

After I died, Polly forced me to marry her at the wedding chapel were she infected me with spreading frostbite.

This is a happy ending in my world.

well that was terrifying...

scary i got goosbumps. Awsome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I absolutely loved this story!

of my man left me, i'd do that to, to get him back. if i loved him that much.

Oh my gosh! its so scary! well... kinda.. i like the love story though XD

Love it

Wow !! just Wow !

I guess george died from an infection

Pretty good but not the best

i give it 1,000,000 stars baby!!

you go polly

Polly always wins...three cheers!

This is a weird story somebody tell me wat the man died of and polly go back to DEAD LOL

it was scary but i've heard better! xxx

he got what he desevered no girl should ever be treated in such a bad way

why does she still want Geogre in the first place???


I really like it! I hope George gets what he deserves!

ps not really that scarybut lol

It waz fine.

why did polly have to go :,(

omg this is so wierd but most of all sad. :[

hey but she did get the man!

Aigoo.....that's creepy!!!

Creepy...... but not that scary

Wow, that was so beautiful.

if i ever marry, im telling this story to my husband. :P

this story was great

I love that story! I thought it was terrific!

its kinda sweet that she loved him that much and sad.

This story makes me laugh hardly for some reason. O_O

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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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