The Window is a scary story for kids. It is based on a tale called “Croglin Grange” from The Story of My Life by Augustus Hare. A version of this story appeared in Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz.
Many years ago, there was an old one-story house that stood at the top of a hill. The locals called it Croglin Grange and three young people lived there… A girl and her two brothers.
One hot Summer’s night, they were all sitting out on the verandah, enjoying the cool air. They watched the sun set and as the moon was rising over the trees, they decided to go to bed.
A few hours later, the girl was lying in bed, unable to sleep with the heat. She was gazing out the window, watching the moon move across the sky when something suddenly caught her eye. She saw two small lights moving through the woods near the graveyard at the bottom of the hill. They looked like the eyes of some strange animal, but she couldn’t make out what kind of animal it was.
She kept her eyes on the woods and then something stepped out of the shadows… something ghastly. It was coming up the hill towards the house. For a few minutes, she lost sight of it. Then she saw it coming across the lawn towards her window. It looked something like a man, and yet it didn’t.
As she watched it, the most uncontrollable horror seized her. She wanted to run from her room, but the door was right next to her window and she was afraid the creature would see her. She wanted to scream, but her tongue felt like it was glued to the roof of her mouth.
She rushed to the door, but before should could open the lock, she heard a scratch, scratch, scratch at the window. When she turned around, she saw a hideous shrunken brown face with flaming eyes glaring in at her. She tried to scream, but she was so frightened that she couldn’t make a sound.
The creature broke a pane of glass in the window. Then, it reached in with long bony fingers, unlocked the window, and crawled inside. The girl tried to escape, but the creature caught her by the hair. It dragged her over to the bed, then pulled back her head and sank its teeth into her throat. She let out a blood-curdling scream and fainted.
When her brothers heard her scream, they rushed to her room but they couldn’t get in because the door was locked. By the time they managed to break down the door, the creature was gone. Their sister was lying unconscious on the bed, bleeding from the wound in her neck.
While one of the brothers grabbed a towel and tried to stop the bleeding, the other took off after the creature and chased it down the hill. The thing fled through the moonlight, taking enormous strides and soon he lost sight of it near the graveyard. The brother went back to the house to see if he could help his sister.
The girl was scared and badly hurt, so they took her to hospital where her wound was disinfected. The doctor put a bandage around her neck and she had to stay in hospital for a few days. Gradually, the wound began to heal and the doctor said she was well enough to go home.
The brothers reported the incident to the police, but they couldn’t figure out what had happened. They said it was probably a lunatic who escaped from the local asylum.
The brothers didn’t want the girl to come back to the house and stay in the same room, but she insisted. “After all,” she said. “Lunatics don’t escape from the asylum every day.” But just in case, the brothers slept in the room across the hall and kept loaded pistols on their bedside tables.
The winter passed peacefully and happily, but one night, a couple of months later, the girl was awakened by a scratching sound at the window. When she opened her eyes, she saw the same hideous, brown, shrunken face staring in at her. This time, she screamed as loud as she could. She screamed with all her might and her brothers grabbed their pistols and came running.
The creature took off, but the brothers chased it down the hill. One of them took aim and fired a shot at it, hitting it in the leg. The creature fell over, but it got up and managed to limp over to the graveyard wall. The brothers watched as it scrambled over the wall and seemed to disappear into an old burial vault.
The next day, the girl and her brothers went down to the church and demanded that the priest open up the burial vault. Inside, there was a horrifying scene. The coffins had been broken open and bones and rotting flesh were scattered all over the floor. Only one the coffins had been left intact. When they opened it, there lay the same hideous, withered and shrivelled creature that had attacked the girl. When the priest examined the corpse, he found a bullet in its leg.
They did the only thing they knew of to rid themselves of a vampire. The priest built a roaring blaze outside the vault. Then, the brothers dragged out the shrunken body and tossed it on the flames. They watched the corpse burn until there was nothing left of it but ashes.