TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — Three BCPS students won the Baltimore County Public Library’s Library’s Tales of the Dead Short Horror Story Contest, officials announced Monday.

Polly Sloan, a seventh-grader at Parkville Middle School, won first place for “The Letters From No One,” a story about a man receiving mysterious and frightening letters predicting his imminent death. Nicholas Krabitz, a fifth-grader at Westchester Elementary, won second place for “Ghost In The Graveyard,” a story of a young teen discovering the truth about his father’s murder. Lucy Bray, a seventh-grader at Dumbarton Middle School, won third place for “Victim,” a story that tells of a harrowing incident and the eerie aftermath.

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The contest began in August after the Baltimore County Public Library challenged writers to write original horror stories with a “Ghosts in the Graveyard” them with the contest being split into two categories, “over 21” and “under 21.”

The first-place winners in each category are father and daughter. Polly Sloan’s father, David Sloan, took first place in the “over 21” category for “A Hole at the Edge of the Woods,” a story about a young fox whose curiosity gets the better of him on Halloween night.

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“My daughter and I really enjoyed this challenge and had fun trying our best to out-write and out-scare each other,” said winner David Sloan. “Storytelling is an important part of our family identity, so we look forward to more challenges like this to inspire our creativity.”

The contest began in 2016 and was inspired by an 1816 ghost story challenge that led to the creation of Frankenstein’s monster.

The young winners will receive a prize package including a 2021 “A Toast Among Ghosts” T-shirt and gift card. “Over 21” winners received VIP tickets to A Toast Among Ghosts, the Foundation for Baltimore County Public Library’s annual Poe-themed outdoor festival.

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All winning stories will be published on the Foundation for Baltimore County Public Library’s website.

CBS Baltimore Staff