Julie, Mal, and Ben were closing in on the crying sounds. They came to one of the bedrooms and heard distinct sobbing.
Julie reached out to knock on the door, but a white, transparent head came through the door.
"GHOST!" Mal cried out. Ben shrieked and fell on his behind.
The ghost was a weeping bride with a glowing red heart that was beating in the middle of her chest. She gasped in surprise seeing two humans and a skeleton.
"Oh! Sorry to startle you, Ma'am!" Julie said politely.
"Startle her?!" said Ben, getting up. "She startled us!"
"Just leave me alone!" the ghostly bride sobbed. She buried her face in her hands. "No one shouldn't bother with a worthless ghost like me!"
"Worthless?! Don't say that!" Julie skimmed through her book and found the ghost in one of the pages. "You must be Emily. You're famous!"
"Famous?" Emily said, holding back her tears. "Me?"
Julie nodded. "Yeah! You've been at the mansion longer than anyone!"
"Tell that to Constance!" Emily sniffled.
"Constance?" Julie found her page. "As in Constance Hatchaway?! The black widow bride?!"
"That's right! Ever since that witch moved in, she's taken over my hauting space in the attic! I was going to scare these two intruders up there! I had them going with my beating heart, but Constance pulled me through the wall and stole my scare!" Emily resumed her miserable crying.
"Oh, there, there." Julie cooed. "Don't be sad. You just need to stand up for yourself, Emily."
The trio jumped when they heard the familiar scream.
"I think that was Doug!" Mal said.
"That can't be good!" Ben said. The gang following the sounds of shrieks of terror. Emily followed them too.
Jane, Jay, Carlos, and Lonnie were running at full force back into the foyer. They stopped to regain their breath. Jay actually dropped to his knees.
"You alright, Jay?" asked Lonnie, kneeling beside her friend.
Jay said nothing. He just collected his breath.
'He must have been really scared.' Lonnie thought. "It's okay, Jay. I don't blame you. Those ghosts were pretty scary!"
Jay got back on his feet and gave Lonnie a defiant look. "I was not-"
"Cut the tough guy act out, will ya?" said Lonnie. "Being scared is nothing to be ashamed of."
"She's right." Jane said, nervously looking around and rubbing the goosebumps on her arms. "W-When you're terrified, it's impossible to keep it inside!"
Carlos spotted Doug and Evie running for their lives. "Yeah! Just ask them!"
"WE'VE GOT TO GET OUT OF HERE!" Doug shouted. "A GHOST BRIDE TRIED TO CUT MY HEAD OFF!"
"And her dress was hideous!" Evie shrieked.
Everyone turned to the Evil Queen's daughter.
"Really? Her dress? That's what terrified you back there?!" Doug questioned incredulously. "Not the big, sharp axe that'll hack us to pieces?!"
"Here comes the bride!"
All the kids screamed when they saw the axe-wielding bride gliding toward them.
And it wasn't just her.
The ghostly bride was accompanied by the several grim grinning ghosts from the ballroom.
Ben and Mal came downstairs. "Guys!" said Ben. "There are real ghosts in-" Je froze his words when they saw all the ghosts.
Ben spun around and screamed when he saw the ghoulish ghost of a sea captain soaked to the bone. His eyes were dull and sunken, his face waterlogged, and his nose quite drippy.
"C-Captain Culpepper Clyne?!" Ben stuttered.
The ghost nodded before letting out another phlegmy sneeze. Ben dodged the wad of bath water snot in time. The wall was splattered with slimy bath water.
"Ugh! Ghost snot!" Mal gagged.
The ghosts surrounded the humans. They were trapped.
"So, what shall we do with these foolish mortals?" asked a ghost carrying a hat box.
"LEAVE THEM ALONE!" a voice thundered through the room.
The ghosts and humans spun around to see Emily. The ghosts were taken back by the usually shy ghost's unusual outburst.
"These humans mean us no harm!" Emily said, her hands put confidently on her hips.
"She's right." Julie Skellington said, standing beside Emily.
The ghosts gasped in awe and immediately bowed before the young skeleton.
"The Pumpkin Princess!" the ghosts exclaimed.
"Please excuse us your grace!" said Constance, dropping her axe before bowing to Julie.
Julie raised her hand. "Forgive our intrusion, fellow spooks. I, Julie Skellington and my friends have come to request to have a Halloween party in our home. You can all be the ghosts of honor! You can haunt our guests for fun!"
"Haunt our guests?!" Ben said.
"That's not a bad idea! ACHOO!" said Captain Clyne.
"A real haunted house will bring in crowd and give everyone a good scare! I love it!" said the Hat box ghost.
"Alright, everyone! Let's get cracking! Our guests will be here tonight!" Julie said.
The ghosts for busy and began decorating faster than you can say 'boo'. Things came together better than the Auradonians expected.
"Something tells me you knew all these ghosts would take your side, didn't you?" Mal asked Julie.
"Of course!" Julie grinned. "We Skellingtons are considered royalty to ghosts. It's a cultural thing."
"You couldn't have mentioned this earlier?" said Evie.
"What? And spoil all the spooky good fun?!" Julie said joyfully. "You have to admit, you all had a good scare here at the haunted mansion."
The gang thought about it. It was fun. Scary, but fun. They smiled and voiced their agreements.
Night had fallen and all the Auradon Prep students and staff had arrived. They all screamed seeing all the ghosts. Thankfully, Julie was there to calm them down and explain everything.
The guests were still wary until some of the ghosts began playing in a band. Their fears dissipated and the party began. The guests were treated with friendly scares and ghastly greetings courtesy of the mansion ghosts.
Emily had just finished scaring away a couple of people with her ghostly wails. She smiled, proud of her successful spook.
The ghost turned and saw her rival, Constance. Instead of her her demented smile, she wore a friendly, non-threatening smile. "Not bad standing up for the humans. For a crybaby ghost, you're pretty tough."
"I am?!" Emily blinked her glowing eyes in surprise.
"You bet she is!" Julie said, putting a hand on Emily's shoulder. "She even spooked my friends pretty good without even trying! That's how frightening she can be!"
"Really?!" Constance was genuinely surprised. "I guess I was wrong about you, Emily."
"I'm sure you and Emily will make a great team haunting this house together!" Julie suggested.
The brides voiced their agreements and began haunting the guests together.
"Great job, Julie." Ben said, who saw the whole thing. "You've made this Halloween party a success."
"Anything for you guys. You're my friends." Julie said. "There's just one thing, Ben. How come you're not wearing a costume?"
To Julie's confusion, Ben smiled. "Don't need one."
At that moment, a few ghosts decided to sneak up on Ben. They came close, eager to scare the young king when Ben spun around and,
"ROOOOOOOOOOOOOOARRRRR!" Ben let out a thunderous, beastly roar. It sounded just as terryfing as his father back when he was a beast.
The ghosts screamed in terror and flew away.
Julie stared in awe! Ben, a human, just turned the tables on the ghosts!
"Sometimes it's okay to bring out your inner monster." Ben said with a shrug.
"That was AWESOME!" Julie squealed. "Very scary!"
"Yeah, who knew you had it in you?" Mal said. She was dressed as a vampire with a long, dark purple dress.
"I guess being with you brings out my wild side." Ben took Mal's hand. "How about a dance?"
Mal smiled and took the king's hand. "About time you asked."
As she watched her friends dance the night away, Julie was elated to see a job well done. "Another successful Halloween!"
One of the ghosts offered to dance with Julie and she happily agreed.
It was the best Halloween yet for Julie Skellington.