Halloween Cats (or Wait Till Martin Comes) is a scary story for kids about a man who encounters three black cats in a haunted house. It is based on an old African-American folktale and is also known as “Three Black Cats”, “The Haunted House” or “Wait Till Emmett Comes”. Versions of this story have appeared in Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and Spooky Stories for a Dark and Stormy Night.
On Halloween night, an old man was out walking when he got caught in a storm. It was raining very heavily, so he started looking for shelter. Soon he came to a rundown house that was reputed to be haunted.
Terrified of ghosts, the old man was reluctant to go into the house, but the storm was getting worse. He reached the house just as the thunder and lightning began. He knocked on the door, but no one answered.
By now the rain was pouring down, thunder was booming, and lightning was flashing. He tried the door and found it was unlocked.
He went inside and found the house was completely empty. There was a large room which contained a fireplace that filled one wall. There was wood laid for a fire and a big pile of old newspapers.
He tossed the wood into the fireplace, threw in some rolled up newspaper and laid a match to it. It made a nice fire and he soon fell asleep from the warmth it gave off.
Suddenly, he was awakened by strange noises. Looking around, he saw a huge black cat sitting near him. It stared at him for a while, then began purring.
“That’s a nice cat”, he thought and dozed off again.
When he opened his eyes again, there was a second cat in the room. But this one was even bigger. It stared at him for a while, then it turned to the first cat and asked, “Shall we do it now?”
“No”, said the other cat. “Let’s wait till Martin comes.”
“Halloween… Talking cats… I must be dreaming,” thought the old man.
He closed his eyes again. Then he took another look. Now there was a third cat in the room, and this one was enormous. It looked the old man over for a while, then it turned to the other cats and asked, “Shall we do it now?”
“No,” said the others. “Let’s wait till martin comes.”
Hearing that, the old man sprang out of his chair and screamed, “When Martin comes, tell him I couldn’t wait!”
With that, he jumped through the window and ran off down the road.