The Watermelons is a funny scary story about an old man who accepts a dare to stay the night in a haunted house. It is based on an old African-American folktale known as “Never Mind Them Watermelons”, “Ain’t Nobody Here But Me And You” or “Racing a Ghost”.
There was an old man named Sam who said he didn’t believe in ghosts, didn’t believe in haunts and didn’t believe in haunted houses. One day, Sam’s best friend made a bet with him. He said he’d give Old Sam a whole wagonload of watermelons if he would spend the night in a certain empty house down the road.
Everyone in town knew the old empty house was haunted, but Old Sam just laughed whenever folks talked about it. Everyone also knew that Sam loved nothing more in the world than eating watermelons. He accepted the dare at once.
“Sure, I’ll sleep there”, said Sam. So he picked up his matches and tobacco and set out. He went into the house and lit his pipe. He sat in a chair and began to read his paper. As he read the newspaper, Sam whistled a lively little tune.
Suddenly, he heard a creaking sound coming from the rafters. Old Sam looked up and saw a little creature with glowing red eyes, a long fork tail and two horns watching him. Sam’s heart nearly stopped with fright.
The creature jumped from the rafters and sat down beside him.
“There’s nobody here but you and me tonight,” it hissed.
Sam leaped to his feet.
“Ain’t gonna be nobody but you in a minute”, said Sam as he jumped out the window and ran off down the road as fast as his old legs would carry him.
But it wasn’t long before he heard the sound of running feet behind him, and the demonic creature caught up with him.
“You’re running pretty fast for an old man,” hissed the creature.
“Oh, I can run much faster than this!” yelled Sam.
He took off like a bolt of lightning, leaving the creature far behind. As he ran past his friend’s house, he screamed out “Never mind them watermelons!”
Old Sam ran all the way home and hid under his bed. When he finally worked up the courage to come out, he was a firm believer in ghosts and spooks. He refused to go anywhere near the old empty house, but he still loved watermelons.