"I don't like him and I don't care to talk about him or any other boy in this class. They're ridiculous. This is a waste of time!"

Anne pushed her food back into her basket and stomped away. She went to her desk, pulled her magazine out, and went to the cloak room to eat by herself.

She was glad she had the magazine to read. Each time she borrowed a magazine from Gilbert's father, she brought it to school with her- she didn't like to leave them at home for Marilla to find, because she didn't think Marilla would approve of the content. They were usually strange, foolish stories- and sometimes scary.

She settled down with her magazine and tried to ignore everyone else. After a few minutes, Diana approached her, followed by Ruby.

Anne slowly looked up at them.

"Hi," Ruby said timidly.

"Hi," Anne answered.

"We want to come eat with you," Diana said. "Can we? Josie's got nothing to talk about except boys. And we don't care about that, do we, Ruby?"

Ruby shook her head, but Anne could tell she was clearly being cajoled into it.

Diana sat down, and then motioned for Ruby to as well.

Ruby glanced over at Josie, but then she sat down next to Diana, sighing.

"What have you got there?" Diana asked pleasantly.

"Oh," Anne said, sitting up and being excited to share with them. "Tales of the Mystifying. It's a fascinating publication. Every issue is full of stories about strange and mysterious things."

"Like what?" Ruby said, sounding a bit nervous.

"I only just got this one," Anne explained. "So I've just barely started it. I've only read two of the stories so far. But they're astonishing."

"Astonishing?" Diana said with a bit of excitement. "Well, do share, Anne! What are they about?"

Anne began, "The first one is about Abraham Lincoln. He was the president of the United States years and years ago."

"Oh," Ruby said, sounding let down. "An article about a president doesn't sound all that exciting."

"Oh, but it is!" Anne exclaimed. "Listen to this-" She gripped the magazine and read from it excitedly. "Ward Hill Lamon, who was a good friend of Mr. Lincoln, recalled that the president had a strange dream foretelling his death-"

Diana and Ruby looked at each other. Diana felt sturdy enough to hear a spooky story, but she had no such confidence in Ruby.

Anne continued reading: "In the spring of 1865, the president awoke from an eerie dream in which he had been wandering through the White House- that's where their president lives," she stopped to explain to the girls. "A great big white house someplace- anyway, listen to this: as he wandered alone through the White House, he heard sobs echoing through the vast, empty halls. Then, he came to the East Room, where he found a catafalque-" She paused again, to tell the girls, "I didn't know what that was, either, but it explains it later on in the article. A catafalque is something they put on a coffin of a distinguished person lying in state."

Ruby didn't know what it meant to "lie in state", but she wasn't sure she wanted to know, not when the word "coffin" had come before it.

Anne excitedly continued, "When he finally found a guard, he asked the man…" she trailed off, delighting in the suspense.

"What did he ask?" Ruby whispered.

"Who is dead in the White House?" Anne said, looking at them, finding the story to be delicious.

Ruby shivered.

Diana spoke up. "It wasn't something that really happened to him, remember."

Anne went on, "The guard told him, 'The president. The president was killed. By an assassin."

Diana looked back and forth from Anne to Ruby. "This was just a dream he had, Ruby."

Anne looked up at them. "Yes, it was all a dream. But then…only days later, he was shot to death at the theatre by an assassin!"

Ruby hugged her arms.

Diana looked over at Ruby. "Anne, maybe you better go on to the next story. That one doesn't have eerie dreams in it, does it?"

"No," Anne said. "That one's even better! It's a story about two little sisters who became famous and toured the country."

Diana was relieved. "Good, that sounds like a better story. Ruby, you'd like a story about two sisters who traveled, being famous. Were they musicians, Anne?"

"Oh, no," Anne said. "They were famous for having visions of spirits. This was in New York. Their names were Kate and Maggie. They lived in an old house and they began to hear strange noises in their bedroom."

Anne was enjoying the story, but she knew that late at night she would likely regret reading it. Ruby and Diana might not wait till nighttime to regret it, they'd go ahead and regret it right now.

"Kate and Maggie said that there had been a traveling peddler," Anne began to explain.

"My mother always says not to speak to peddlers you meet on the road," Ruby said timidly.

"Well, they didn't speak to him," Anne explained. "He was dead already when they first saw him. He was a spirit, tapping on their bedroom walls."

Diana cleared her throat. "How did they become famous, Anne?" she asked, hoping for a brighter end to the story.

"Word began to spread. Lots of people wanted to watch them try to communicate with the dead."

"My mother says trying to communicate with spirits is a sin," Ruby whispered. "And it says so in the Bible."

"They were not communicating with anyone," Diana said firmly. "Because there was nothing there. I'm sure the girls made the whole thing up. They must have had very active imaginations." Diana was trying to send Anne a signal with her eyes, but Anne didn't catch onto it.

"They found the skeleton of a man later," Anne said mysteriously. "It was found hidden behind a wall in their home. Everyone said it was the peddler. He was tapping on their bedroom walls because he couldn't rest. His spirit was destined to stay on this earth until his body was properly laid to rest."

"See, there's a picture," Anne said, handing the magazine to them.

Ruby took it, and looked hesitantly at the illustration of the two little girls holding a seance. She looked at Diana. "Do you believe in ghosts, Diana?"

"No!" Diana said, although she wasn't really all that sure. But she felt it her duty to protect Ruby.

"I'm not so sure anymore…" Ruby said, her voice quavering.

Diana sighed. "Ruby, there's no such thing as ghosts. Anne, tell her there's no such thing as ghosts!"

"There's no such thing as ghosts." Anne repeated dutifully.

"Thank you," Diana said to her.

"There are demons, though," Anne announced.

"Anne," Diana groaned. "You are not helping!"

"Well, there are," Anne said. "The Bible talks about lots of demons. In fact I just read the other day, in the book of Matthew, about that man who's just chock full of demons. He lived in the tombs," Anne said, making her voice sound spooky for the word 'tombs'.

Ruby stared at her with big eyes.

Anne went on, "And they chained him up because he was so evil, all full of demons. But he broke right out of the chains because the demons gave him power. Well, Jesus came along, and when he asked for their names, eerie voices come echoing out of the man's body, all at once, saying…We Are Legion," Anne finished dramatically.

Ruby began to cry.

"Anne!" Diana exclaimed. "You are not endearing yourself to Ruby this way!"

"Oh… Well, don't worry, Ruby, it ended all right. Jesus drove the demons out of the man and into a bunch of pigs instead, and they ran into the water and drowned…" Anne frowned and said unhappily, "I suppose it was a good ending for the possessed, but I thought it was extremely unfair to the poor pigs."

Ruby shut the magazine quickly. "I don't want to look at this anymore."

But then she looked closer at the back cover. There, at the bottom, written in faded ink, was the name John Blythe.

Ruby frowned. "Where did you get this, Anne?"

"Oh, someone gave it to me," Anne said vaguely.