The Anniston Star received more than 300 entries in our 27th annual Ghostwriters story and art contest for kids. Read on - if you dare for - this year's winning stories. (Beware of creepy clowns.)

Elementary Division (K-4th grade)

One night I was walking down the street and I heard a noise in an alley. It sounded like someone was scraping a chalkboard with their nails. So around the block I hid in the bushes in front of someone’s apartment. I waited for about 30 minutes in silence.

One night, I was going down the road when I saw a large, dark figure. I stopped my go-cart and walked slowly towards the figure. The big figure turned out to be a knight on his horse. The knight was covered in armor.

It was a dark and scary night and I was getting ready for bed when I heard a noise. I didn’t think anything of it until I kept hearing the strange noise.

Middle School Division (5th-8th grade)

I felt such sorrow as I listened to the screams of the Victims – the victims of The Shock. I stared through the tiny hole in the boarded window, watching the many poor people outside.

She felt each bony finger as the hand tightened on her neck, trapping the scream so desperately trying to escape. She struggled to lash out, but heavy chains held her fast against the wall.

Over the rolling hills of Gettysburg lay many souls of the dead. The living spirits of many men, Union and Confederate. At the beginning of the war, we all knew life was not guaranteed. If you wanted to live, you would fight like it. From the first gunshot to the last, you would fight hard.

High School Division (9th-12th grade)

Mommy told me not to play with the new game I got in the market. She says I’m not supposed to talk to my sister this way, that she was gone. I didn’t believe her. She’s my sister, so why can’t I talk to her? It’s not fair.

“Please fasten your seat belts,” the flight attendant’s voice crackled over the plane’s speakers. I looked at my sister and mumbled, “There must be some turbulence from the storm.”

“You figured it out again, I see.” The voice seemed to emanate from everywhere and nowhere at the same time. “Let’s just get this over with,” the voice continued. “I’m very busy.”

Growing up, as a child I saw the world in a completely different way than how I see it now. I thought I spent my entire childhood being the person I was.

My parents love weird stuff. Our curtains are bright yellow with lavender tassels. Our couch looks like a giant seashell. Mom plants poisonous weeds instead of flowers. We celebrate Hanukkah instead of Christmas, but we’re not even Jewish. That’s just how they are.