Leeds schoolboy claims top prize in YEP’s Scary Story competition

Joe Reynier.
Joe Reynier.
Have your say

HUNDREDS of talented young writers have put pen to paper for the YEP’s Scary Story Competition.

We’ve been overwhelmed by the response this year, and judges did struggle to choose just one winner.



However, after much deliberation, 11-year-old Joe Reynier from Burley-in-Wharfedale has been selected as the lucky winner.

The runner up, who has also bagged some Halloween prizes, was Owen Cartwright.

Speaking about his success, Joe said: “I was really excited when I found out that I’d won.

“I like to read and I like scary Halloween stories.

“Halloween is one of my favourite times of year.”

Speaking about his dream job, Joe, who attends St Mary’s Catholic High School in Menston, added: “I’d like to start writing scary books to encourage other children to read more.”

Joe won family tickets to Lightwater Valley and Yorkshire Wildlife Park, as well as some Halloween treats.

Here’s Joe’s winning story:

...Nothing, but a shadow loomed ahead of him, its skeletal fingers scraping the wall it had cast into darkness. Cautiously, he tiptoed around the corner, brushing past a skeleton decoration as he went.

A dead king was his costume for Hallowe’en, but it wasn’t very realistic. What Sam saw was a huge, towering oak tree dominating the small amount of dead grass around him. Peculiar, he was sure he would have seen it before; he knew these alleys like the back of his hand. Abruptly, the tree swivelled round, revealing grotesque features, rough and out of place. It spoke like fingers scraping a blackboard, “Sir, I have awaited you for years, welcome.” Reluctantly, he stumbled towards a hole leading underground that had appeared under the tree.

Lost for words, Sam strained to take in the sight. Next to him, an enormous cockroach scuttled past, bearing pincers twice the size of Sam. Behind that an unnerving scene revealed itself. It was Leeds, but it wasn’t Leeds. The city was infested with Hallowe’en ghouls. He went past a derelict, neglected centre of some sort- Trinity! The run -down sign clearly stated the once treasured shopping centre’s name. But how could that be? How does this link to Sam? All these questions circled his head causing a whirlpool of despair.

“Sir, you must be crowned as king of this nation shortly. This way please your majesty.” A skeleton was ready to drive him to be crowned. However, this skeleton wasn’t like the ones that you see as decorations, its insides, glistening with blood showed organs and lungs working with a repulsive heart pumping blood to non-existent muscles, meaning it just spilled out onto the seat letting out a sickening smell.

After a short journey, Dracula whispered, “Sir, Hell will be splendid to rule…”