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Raw Head and Bloody Bones: A Ghost Story Gone Wrong

Updated on March 6, 2015
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Jules Corriere is a playwright and theater director, having written over 40 plays, one of them performing at the Kennedy Center in D.C.

A Story From Southwest Georgia

Uncle Charlie used to visit us during the summer. He'd help with farming after the school term. He was a lot of fun. He had fun with us to, except for the time I almost killed him.

But a bag of candy was on the line. And besides, I didn't know it was him at the time. See, Daddy had just gotten home and gave each of us kids, there were three of us, and he gave each of us a bag of candy. We never got candy hardly at all except maybe Christmas, but a crop came in better than he expected and he splurged. He must have bought us each a whole nickel's worth. You could get a 6 inch bag filled to the top for a nickel in them days.

Daddy told us we could eat it all up that night, or save it and make it last all weekend. It was up to us. We were well into the bags when Mama came in and saw one big sticky mess. She told us to go upstairs right then and take a bath.

I couldn't take any chances of anyone else sneaking a piece of my candy, so I hid my bag real good before heading to the tub.

Mama had to finish fixing dinner and she asked Uncle Charlie to keep us entertained until she was done. Well, Mama never knew how her baby brother entertained us. She would have had a fit. Ghost stories were next. Uncle Charlie always told scary stories. The worst was Raw Head and Bloody Bones.

"Raw Head and Bloody Bones is coming to get you." I don't know where that story come from. Half the time I think he made them up as he went along. But he always told us "Raw Head and Bloody Bones" and it terrified us plenty.

We'd finished our baths and went to dry off. Meanwhile, Uncle Charlie's fixing to scare us good. He gets a sheet to make like a ghost, and gets some paper and crinkled it to make like crackling bones. Then he comes from around the corner-the corner exactly where I hid my candy.

We See This Ghost Coming At Us and Yelling

"I'm Raw Head And Bloody Bones!"

"Raw Head and Bloody Bones is comin' to get you!"

Well, my brothers screamed. And they tried to pull me away from the dreaded Raw Head and Bloody Bones. They pleaded, "Please, come on, Can't you hear his crackling bones?"

But it didn't sound like crackling bones to me. It sounded like my bag of candy. Suddenly, I wasn't so afraid of Raw Head and Bloody Bones anymore. Not if he was getting into my bag of candy. My brother hollered, "Come on, Riley! Raw head's Gonna Get You!"

And I said, "He's not gonna get me, and he sure ain't gonna get my candy!"

The Ghost moved closer, chanting, "I'm Raw Head and Bloody Bones!"

Just then, I picked up a piece of coal by the fire, and pitched it at his head like a big league champ.

"I'm Raw Head! I'm Raw Head!"


"OW! I'm bleeding! I'm bleeding! Vera, get me outta this thing. That youngun has killed me!"

He pulled the sheet off of his head, and that's when I saw it was uncle Charlie. Mama comes running in and asks him what he was doing.

"They thought I was Raw Head and Bloody Bones"

Mama tells him, "Well, you wasn't when you started this game, but you sure are now!"

I'm still suspicious. He was right near my candy after all. So I ask him, "Where's my candy?"

"I don't have candy, I have a concussion."

Mama says, "You were scaring the boys? Serves you right."

"But Vera, I'm bleeding"

Mama says to him, "A little. I believe I woulda laughed myself silly if you bled to death."


So Mama says to me, "Don't you have something to tell your Uncle Charlie?"

I look him over a good minute and say, "I reckon it's a good thing you didn't have my candy." And I drop the other chunk of coal to the ground.

I nailed him good. He took that scar with him to the grave. I did feel bad about it, once I knew he didn't have my candy. It was a shame. That was the last time we ever heard Raw Head and Bloody Bones. That was a good story.

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      cmadden 4 years ago

      "I reckon it's a good thing you didn't have my candy." Love that!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      HHHH - I laughed out loud when you hit him with the coal!

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image

      hntrssthmpsn 5 years ago

      Raw head and bloody bones... I totally remember that. I don't remember where I heard it, but I remember finding the name so chilling... and I still kind of get a little tingle in the old spine at the sight of it!