4 characters. 4F; 9 pages in length. Approximately 5-10 minutes running time. A ghost story for teens written by Elizabeth Rapoza.

The Spook In My Tent is a light-hearted ghost story. Something or someone is haunting Melissa’s tent. Her good friend, Maggy, has agreed to spend the night for a backyard camp-out…and ghost hunt. Melissa’s sister, Jane, joins them in another tent but is skeptical. When noises are heard and the campers are all awakened, they finally get the opportunity to meet the ghost named Emmeline. Her story is a cautionary tale about reckless behavior and its unfortunate consequence. This short play for teens is a great addition to your next Halloween production!

Elizabeth Rapoza first began writing plays for and with children over 30 years ago. All of Liz Rapoza’s plays are kid and audience tested, some many times over. Her youth play, “Perstephanie Goes Underground” won the Boston Public Schools Short Play Development Award. Her adult radio comedy “The Amazing Adventures of Pajamazon” was a winner in Mae West Fest of Seattle’s search for the Ultimate Female Protagonist. Her plays have also been performed at such venues as SlamBoston and the Factory Theater Boston. In addition, Liz is also a professional actor, dancer, musician, vocalist, puppeteer/puppet constructor and costumer. She has taught college theater courses since 2003. Liz currently teaches at Cape Cod Community College and the Zeiterion Theater, New Bedford, Ma.

Excerpt from the play:

CAST OF CHARACTERS

MELISSA: (f) Haunted camper
MAGGY: (f) Melissa’s friend
JANE: (f) Melissa’s older sister
EMMELINE: (f) The ghost

SETS AND COSTUMES:
The play takes place during a backyard camp-out. Perfect for this play would be those pop-up half tents which people use at the beach or events to create shade. A simple solution would be to hang blankets or sheets over a clothesline to create a tent-like atmosphere.

Props needed: battery operated camping lanterns; sleeping bags, pillows; sound recorder device; flashlights.

Costumes for Melissa, Maggy and Jane would be appropriate camping sleepwear. Emmeline is a ghost from the past. Any period clothing would work.

NOTES:

  • This play contains several ghostly effects including: eerie lighting, tents shaking and the option of sad music. These effects can be simply made by flashing house or stage lights, having a hidden person shake the tent and recorded music.
  • There is also a ghost sound recording that is played back at the end of the play. This tape has the voices of Maggy, Melissa and Jane, but Emmeline’s voice comes through as the sound of wind only. This should be recorded ahead of time. The voice recorder function on a smart phone suffices. A Bluetooth device can be used for amplification.

(Two tents are set up in the backyard near some woods; JANE is in one, closed-up, tent. MELISSA and MAGGY enter)

MELISSA
Thanks for coming, Maggy. So far, you’re the only one who believes me.

MAGGY
No sweat. I’m psyched to hear some ghosts. I’m going to try and record some EVPs.

MELISSA
What’s that?

MAGGY
Electronic voice phenomena. It’s big on ghost hunter shows.

MELISSA
That will be so cool if you do. My mom totally does not believe in ghosts. She says “It’s all in your imagination”.

MAGGY
If I get a good recording, she’ll have no choice but to believe you. What about your sister? Does she believe in the ghost? Has she heard anything?

MELISSA
She says she hasn’t.

MAGGY
Did you ever think that maybe it’s her?

MELISSA
Her what?

MAGGY
Trying to scare you? Pretending to be a ghost? My brother is always pulling stuff like that on me.

MELISSA
Hmm…No. I hadn’t thought of that. You could be right. Let’s ask her right now. (Yelling loudly) Jane!!

JANE
(Poking her head out of her tent) Pipe down, knucklehead! You’ll wake the dead yelling like that!

MAGGY
Hi, Jane.

JANE
Hey, Maggy. What’s up? Wait, don’t tell me – you’re scared already. That’s too bad because you’re not sleeping in my tent again Melissa.

MELISSA
I don’t want to sleep in your stinky tent. I just want to know where you were last night right before I turned off the lanterns.

JANE
Oh, I get it. You think I’ve been making the supposed ghost noises.

MAGGY
Why not? My creepy brother is always doing stuff like that to me.

JANE
Well, that’s him. It’s not me. There’s no way I’d go crawling around the woods at night just to scare my little sister. Are you nuts?

MELISSA
No, I’m not! And that’s what I’m trying to prove. That’s why Maggy is staying over and we’re going to try and record the ghost…if it shows up.

JANE
Look Missy, we’re close to the woods so you could be hearing some kind of night bird or animal of some kind. We’re also not that far from houses so you could also be hearing people talking or their TV’s.

MAGGY
It could be, but just in case, stay in your tent if you hear anything. We don’t want you to scare off the ghost.

JANE
I’m going to scare a ghost!? That’s a good one. (To MAGGY) What makes you the ghost expert anyway?

MAGGY
I read a lot of books about true ghost encounters. And I watch ghost hunter shows on TV.

JANE
Okay. Fine. Whatever. I’m going to bed. Happy ghost hunting. (Returns to her tent)

(MELISSA and MAGGY go into the other tent, leaving the front flap open; They get into their sleeping bags and turn off the lights)

MELISSA
Good night, Mags. Thanks again for doing this.

MAGGY
That’s what BFFs are for. Good night, Melissa.

(Suddenly there are three loud knocks from behind the tent)

MELISSA
Did you hear that?!

MAGGY
(Sleepily) Huh? What?

(Three more knocks sound)

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