ghosts in the burbs

A blog about the people who live in Wellesley, MA and the ghosts (and monsters) who haunt them.

aa7f36ff27fedfb629be6fb8bc2bd9cbRegularly on the podcast I write short stories for listeners who support Ghosts in the Burbs at the $10 tier level on Patreon. These stories always appear at the end of the podcast episodes. Here’s a sample of the most recent set of stories. Listen to the podcast for more of these fun horror stories, and head over to Patreon for more information.


Welcome back to the Ghosts in the Burbs Patreon Donor stories. I’ll release these extra episodes bi-weekly until Lilith’s story is complete.

But before we get to this week’s story I’d like to offer a million thanks to Lexi, Amanda Perkins, Tara Bates, Ozge Bird, Ellen Casey, Rachel Burlage, Amy Hopper, Stephanie Mosier, Murphy Williams, Ewa MykyntynRuth Virkus, Kristen Jennings, Christie, Katlyn Callaghan, Jocelyn M. Thomas for their generous support on Patreon. Without it, this podcast wouldn’t exist. If you haven’t yet head over to check out Ghosts in the Burbs on Patreon where each patron tier carries with it a small token of my thanks. The following patrons, Karen Langhofer, Allison Smith, and Winter Amoura, chose the $10 per month tier so that I might create a spooky story just for them.


Theirs is a tale of revenge. You don’t want to mess with Wellesley moms…




Karen Langhofer and Winter Amoura lounged in Karen’s immaculate sun room. The plantation shutters allowed in plenty of light while still concealing the space from prying eyes.

“I’m still not sure about that lantern,” Karen said referring to the massive fixture above their heads.

Winter shrugged. She found the lighting rather predictable or at least too on-trend for her taste. The whole room in fact looked like it had walked out of Pinterest. She said, “I think it looks great,” then sipped her iced coffee. It was the only thing she intended to consume that day and she wanted to enjoy every last sip. “I do love those chairs, are they new?”

“No, I just had them recovered,” Karen replied in a bored voice.

The women both turned towards the doorway at the sound approaching footsteps. Moments later Allison Smith rushed into the room.

“Where have you been?” Karen hissed.

“I had a doubles match,” Allison replied, smoothing her perfect ponytail.

“Did you lock the door behind you?” Karen demanded.

“Of course.”

“I told you I have to be somewhere at eleven,” Karen snapped.

“Well, then let’s get to it,” Winter said, interrupting her friend’s bickering.

“Did everyone bring their assigned items?” Karen asked, arching an expertly shaped eyebrow despite the Botox fighting against it.

Winter adjusted her Gucci sunglasses to keep her long shiny hair back from her face, then pulled a small package from her Goyard tote. “I had such a hard time finding the red and black string,” she commented.

“And I have a hard time understanding why we have to listen to you complain about gathering ingredients every time we’re dealing with something that doesn’t involve you,” Karen sniped.

Allison dug in her Louis Vuitton Neverfull. “I need a smaller bag,” she whined. “Oh, here it is.” She pulled out a small vile of liquid and a plastic baggie and placed them on the table in front of her.

The women took a moment to be sure they had everything they needed. Then Karen struck a match and lit the red candle that sat on the custom white lacquered coffee table. She placed the lit candle in the center of a black bowl then carefully poured a glass of spring water into that bowl. The women held their arms out and held each other’s hands, forming a circle around the centerpiece.

Without a word they each focused their intention on the flame, quietling their minds and bringing themselves fully into the present moment.

After a short time the women let their hands drop to the table top. Karen asked, “Alright, what is this little fucker’s name again?”

“Benjamin Rupert Tussle, the third” Allison said.

Winter snorted.

“His mother will tell anyone who listens that it’s a ‘family name,’” Allison replied.

“Dumbass,” Karen breathed. “As if ‘the third’ didn’t spell that out for everyone.” She checked her notes and held out a hand. Allison carefully withdrew a single blond hair from her ziplock bag.

“I can’t forget to go to Roche Bros. today,” Winter said, “We’re out of garage bags.”

“Focus,” Karen said quietly. With the single blond hair resting in the palm of her hand she closed her eyes. Her friends followed suit.

She lead them in a brief chant, then commanded, “State the offense.”

Allison spoke. “Benjamin Rupert Tussle, age seven of Woodlawn Avenue in Wellesley, Massachusetts has offended my daughter and caused her emotional and physical pain.”

“Do you accuse him,” Winter intoned.

“I do,” Allison stated firmly. “Does the coven wish to intervene?”

“We do,” Winter and Karen replied as one.

Then Karen demanded, “List his crimes.”

“On Monday, February 4, 2019 the year of our master, in front of a group of classmates the boy told my daughter that she was pudgy and called her Miss Piggy. The following Wednesday, February 6th, he threw a snowball at the back of my daughter’s head and called her a ‘loser with no friends’ and this past Friday, February 22nd, the boy, with two friends in tow, approached my daughter (who was innocently swinging on the swing set) and asked her why she was such a weirdo.” Allison’s voice broke in telling the last offense and she took a deep breath to gather herself.

Karen held the boy’s hair between two fingers. She said, “We believe what is put out comes back to us threefold. Benjamin Rupert Tussle the third sent hurt to Allison’s daughter and he will get hurt in return.” She placed the hair into the flame and the three women watched it sizzle. Karen nodded to Winter.

Winter took the black and red string she’d had such a hard time locating and began to carefully wrap it around the candle three times. “We bind Benjamin Rupert Tussle from causing Allison’s daughter any more harm.”

Allison uncorked a vile of vinegar and poured it into the bowl then used an unsharpened number two pencil to stir the concoction.

Once complete the women held out their hands to each other again. Again they closed their eyes and lasered their focus. Opening her eyes, Karen said, “It is done.” Then the three women leaned forward and blew out the candle together.

Smiling, Allison said, “I feel better already.”

Their task complete, the coven dispersed.

Across town, Benjamin Rupert Tussle, the third climbed the ladder to the tipity-top of the playground structure. “Come on loser,” he called down to a classmate far below. “What are you a baby?” In a sing song voice he yelled, “Vincent is a cry baby!”

He should have been paying less attention to the cautious boy below and kept his eye on the ladder. For a screw on the top rung had rusted and was just about ready to give way.

Benjamin Rupert Tussle’s luck was about to run out.


This has been Ghosts in the Burbs. Head over to Ghosts in the for all the links. Goodnight, sleep tight, and don’t forget your night light.

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