Give us a story that's scary and you might just win $50

September 21, 2012
Photo illustration

A malevolent, talking clock. A witch's soul locked in an old book. A prisoner locked in poisoned chains. A young man with a frightening body-double.

These chilling characters haunted The Herald-Mail during the 2011 Scary Story Contest.

Who will star in this year's contest?

The Herald-Mail Lifestyle section invites readers to write original short stories for the 2012 Scary Story Contest. Entries will be accepted in one of three age categories — adults (ages 19 and older), teens (13 to 18) and children (12 and younger).

Each category winner will receive a classy certificate, be photographed and interviewed for the paper, and have his or her story published in the paper.

We also will select a grand prize-winning story — the best of the contest — which will earn its author $50.

The rules are pretty simple:

 All entries must be original. Stories must be signed by the author and state that the work is original and the sole property of the writer. We will accept electronic signatures.

 The contest is open to those who live in Washington County, Md.; Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties in West Virginia; and Franklin and Fulton counties in Pennsylvania. Herald-Mail employees and their families are not eligible.

 Stories must include the writer's name (real name; no pen names), plus the writer's city of residence, age and contest category.

 Stories must be no longer than 350 words.

 We will not publish work with graphic sex or violence.

 Submission deadline is Monday, Oct. 15, at 5 p.m. Submit stories by mail to "Lifestyle Scary Story Contest," The Herald-Mail, P.O. Box 439, Hagerstown, MD 21741. Or submit by email to with "Halloween story" in the subject line. Writers may also drop off the story in person at our front desk or fax the story to 301-741-0245; write "Scary Story Contest" at the top of the fax.

Judging will take place Tuesday, Oct. 16. Winners will be notified by Wednesday, Oct. 17, and must be available for a photo at our studio by Friday, Oct. 19.

For more information, call Chris Copley at 301-791-6177 or email

— Chris Copley, assistant Lifestyle editor

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