At five minutes to 11 pm on Halloween night Max Snyder pulled into the remote research facility were he worked the 11 pm to 7 am graveyard shift. The isolated research facility consisted of a number of buildings scattered across open fields and woods on a 30 acre property in Chester, New Jersey. Max parked in front of Building #1 and headed in to relieve the security guard on duty Jimmy Wales.
“Hey, Jimmy. Happy Halloween!”
“Max! It’s all set up! Just wait and see.”
“What’s set up Jimmy?”
“The prank I told you I was going to pull on Old George””
Old George was balding and out of shape George Johnson the night shift cleaner at the research facility. George was a postal worker during the day and moonlighted working for the company who owned the research facility at night because he had two kids in college.
“What was the prank again?” Max asked.
“I put a white sheet over a broom like a ghost and rigged it so when George opens up his maintenance closet in the Main Building to put his stuff away the ghost will fly out the door.”
Jimmy laughed as he imagined the look on George’s face as he opened the maintenance door. George’s shift lasted until midnight but George would put all his stuff away around 11 in the Main Building and then drive down to building #1 and hang out with Max until midnight.
“OK Jimmy, good one but George has a heart problem.”
“Ah, he’ll be all right and besides it’s Halloween.”
As soon as Jimmy left Max hopped into the security SUV and sped over the the main building where George was. Just as Max entered the building he heard a loud scream and knew he was too late to warn George.
Max peaked around the corner and saw George with his back against the wall right across from the maintenance closet door. On the ground in front of George was the broom with a sheet over it.
“George you OK?” Max asked as he tried to conceal his smile as George shot him a look of disgust and picked up the sheet and broom and threw them back into the closet.
“Not funny Max. Not funny at all. You know I got a heart problem. Almost gave me a heart attack.”
“I didn’t do it George, Jimmy just told me he rigged it up earlier and I was coming to warn you.”
“That idiot” George said, “I’ll get him back tomorrow.”
Max headed back to building #1 and shortly after George drove up. George would usually hang out with Max in building #1 and watch TV with him until midnight and the two of them had become good friends. Getting to know George had taught Max a lot about America especially what it was like to be black in America before Civil Rights.
George told Max that growing up he had experienced some racism in New Jersey but when he joined the army and was stationed in the South he had been segregated and not allowed to eat in certain places. That was a shock to George and equally a shock to Max when George told him about it.
Even more shocking was when George told Max how he knew when a new cop was hired in Chester. Chester was a white town and every time they hired a new cop he would sooner or later see George driving home in his old beat up station wagon and seeing a black man in Chester late at night would pull him over. George would then ask the cop to call his supervisor and the supervisor would tell the newbie to leave Old George alone – he was just going home from work.
Tonight though George just honked his horn as he got to Building #1 and Max went to the door.
“Heading home early tonight. It’s Halloween and no Supervisor is showing up tonight.”
Max laughed, “OK George, don’t let any ghosts get you on the way home.”
“Ha ha, very funny. Going to get that SOB tomorrow. Happy Halloween Max.”
“You too George.”
George drove the 1/2 mile out to the main road and turned right down the deserted street. There was no moon out this dark Halloween night and George had not gone a mile when he spotted something white out in the field to the left of him. Something white and moving.
George laughed to himself and said he was seeing things after the stunt Jimmy had pulled but as he looked to the left again he could still see something white up ahead of him. And whatever it was it was moving fast and heading for the road ahead of him. “
“Holy hell! What is that?”
George slowed his station wagon down and the white object suddenly veered and started heading straight for George.
“Mother of God what is that? If that’s you Jimmy Wales pulling another stunt on me I’ll run you right over.”
The white object moved closer and George could now see more clearly. It was a white figure like a ghost on a horse and it looked short like it had no head.
“Oh my God! It’s the headless horseman.”
George started sweating and his heart started beating rapidly. He sped up and the ghost veered again to intercept him. George got his cell phone out and called Max.
“Max there’s a ghost on a horse chasing me out here!”
“What? Very funny George but Jimmy pulled that stunt not me.”
“I’m not kidding Max – it’s heading right for me!”
Max could tell in George’s tone that he was serious.
“Be right there George!”
Max ran out and jumped into the security SUV and zoomed down the road towards George.
The ghost was right in the road in front of George now and it let out a horrific scream and George instantly felt a terrible tightness in his chest. He lost control of his station wagon and it veered into a ditch and rolled over into the road and skidded about 20 feet on its roof before stopping.
Max saw tail lights moving erratically and crazily in front of him and heard the station wagon sliding upside down along the road. He also saw something white moving fast away from the road off to the right. It did look like a ghost to Max.
As Max saw the overturned station wagon he immediately called 911 and reported an accident and said they needed an ambulance. Max put his emergency lights on and stopped the vehicle just behind the station wagon and yelled for George.
As Max ran up he was startled to see another vehicle parked in front of the station wagon and a man dressed like a vampire was pulling George from the station wagon.
“I’m a doctor,” the vampire stranger said. “This man has had a heart attack and he’s not breathing.”
The doctor immediately began giving George CPR. The whole scene was surreal for Max. His friend lying in the road not breathing from a heart attack after crashing his car while seeing a ghost on a horse on Halloween. Max noticed the doctor’s car was a Lamborghini and the license plate said “Frick” on it.
Max could hear the police sirens and ambulance from the town now as they headed out to the scene.
“He’s coming around,” the vampire dressed doctor said.
“Who are you?”
“I’m Dr. Frederick Stiles, neurosurgeon normally but vampire tonight for a party. Call me Frick.”
“Is George going to be OK?”
“I think he will be now. I hear an ambulance.”
Max heard it too and he ran back to move the SUV out of the way just as the ambulance arrived.
When Max ran back up the paramedics were loading George onto a stretcher and he was conscious. Doctor Frederick Stiles the vampire was nowhere to be seen.
“Where did that guy go?” George asked groggily.
“What guy?” the two paramedics said in unison.
“The doctor dressed like a vampire.”
The paramedics looked at each other but Max said, “Doctor Frederick Stiles, he was here a minute ago and he revived George. Said his name was Frick and he was at a party dressed like a vampire.”
“I didn’t see anybody and there’s no car here. Where’d he come from?” one of the paramedics asked.
Max looked around but the Lamborghini was gone. “He had a Lamborghini and the license plate said Frick on it.”
“Doesn’t matter,” the other paramedic said, “let’s get George to the hospital.”
The paramedics loaded Old George into the ambulance and took off for Morristown Memorial Hospital.
The next day Max went to the hospital to see George. He was resting well in bed with all kinds of wires hooked up to him but he looked good as his wife Anita stood by.
“Hi Anita,” Max said. “George how you doing?”
“Pretty good Max. You hear what happened?”
“You had a heart attack.”
“No, I mean about the ghost on a horse.”
“Unbelievable,” Anita said. “Listen to this Max.”
“Well some nut job from Greystone got loose last night,” George said. “He used to be a jockey before he went crazy and last night he took a sheet with him and ran into a farmer’s field and jumped on a horse and put the sheet over his head. That was the ghost I saw.”
Greystone was a local mental institution.
“You’re kidding,” Max replied.
“Nope, cops told me they caught him ridding down Main Street in Mendham this morning.”
“Yeah. Also weird because I asked a nurse today about that doctor last night – Frederick Stiles or Frick for short. She shot me the dirtiest look I ever saw when I said he helped me last night while dressed like a vampire.”
“Yeah that was weird too. And how he just sort of disappeared with his Lamborghini.”
A nurse then came to check on George and introduced herself as Shelly.
After she finished checking George out, Max said, “Hey Shelly do you know Dr. Frederick Stiles. Said he was a neurosurgeon and he drives a Lamborghini that says Frick on the plates.”
“What?” Shelly said and she was clearly annoyed and her face was red.
“Yeah,” Max said, “Dr. Stiles. He helped George out last night. Pulled him from the car and revived him with CPR. Said he was a neurosurgeon coming home from a party and to call him Frick.”
All the color from Shelly’s face disappeared. She stumbled back into a chair and said “How did you know all that?”
“Know all what?”
“All about Frick Stiles?”
“I told you he stopped at the accident last night and revived George.”
“That’s impossible,” Shelly said emphatically. “Frick Stiles, Dr. Frederick Stiles was a neurosurgeon at this hospital but he was killed one year ago last night on Halloween by a drunk driver as he was driving home to Chester from a Halloween party in his Lamborghini while dressed as a vampire.”
“What?” Max said in surprise as George started moaning as the tightness in his chest returned.