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The Marshmallow Ghosts

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   Author:  Priscilla and Otto Friedrich
Copyright Date:  1960
Publisher:  Lothrop, Lee & Shepard; Young Readers Press
Pagination:  38 p.
Dedication:  for Vicky and Lumpy
     It was four o’clock on the afternoon of October 31st. And what a bleak, gray afternoon it was! The wind whined and tugged at the fast cars rushing along the super-highway, and the cars shuddered and hissed as they sped past the turn-off to Doomsday Park, a little development on the outskirts of town.
     Soon a baleful orange moon would rise over the brand new houses and for the first time they would know what Halloween was like. They were going to be haunted!

     On the corner of Willow Wand Lane and Moonbeam Road stood a deserted ranch house. It had been the model house at Doomsday Park. And so many people had come to look at it that by now the poor house was quite shabby.
     The ranch houses next door and down the street were copies of this

house. But they were neat and well cared for. They were happy and noisy with parents and children, dogs and cats, canaries and T.V. sets, doll buggies and tricycles.
     But no one at all wanted to live in the model house—no one but a family of ghosts.
     There were four ghosts haunting that deserted house—Lady Esther and her young niece and nephews, James, Joyce and Shawn. This particular afternoon found them all in the laundry room. Lady Esther was worried and excited.
     “There you sit in your laundry baskets!” she wailed at the little ghosts. “Exhausted after one little spin in the dryer! What would you do if you had to wash in freezing water the way we had to, back in Ireland? Why don’t you get up and practice your gliding? Our first Halloween in America and not one of you really knows how to glide gracefully!”
     “But the dryer has made us so very nice and fluffy,” said Joyce. “I look like silver moonlight shining through a mist. I look like a pale—”
     “Never mind what you look like,” interrupted Lady Esther. “It’s the way you act that is important. I don’t know what’s going to become of you if you can’t learn to handle yourself like a proper ghost. All of you—you clomp about like truck drivers!”
     Lady Esther, more upset than ever, sat down and began a long lament for the country they had left a few months ago. “Oh, if we could only go back home to Ireland where we belong,” she moaned. “Back to Castle Shenanigan, that lovely wicked fortress by the sea. Oh, why, why, why did we ever leave?”
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