Five Years of Fears

The Frederick Dreamcatcher’s newest issue is full of spooky stories that will keep you on the edge of your seat


Owen Etter

The fourth anniversary of the Frederick Dreamcatcher was published on Halloween. This issue marks the largest issue of the Dreamcatcher yet.

Elicia Ramu, Editor

“October has always been a special month for the Dreamcatcher” Brandon Coon who is head of many things at Frederick High School said. For the Frederick Dreamcatcher, October is not only the fun and spooky season that consists of Halloween but it is also the month where the Dreamcatcher can celebrate their creation. This year the Dreamcatcher is celebrating five years of being around with their latest issue 5 Years Of Fears. This Halloween issue is full of spooky scary stories that will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the whole story. With an amazing storyline and interesting stories, 5 Years Of Fears has to be one of the best issues yet. 

The whole idea that came to develop the Dreamcatcher was actually a cool process. The idea itself came from Frederick Great Wood Middle School while Mr. Coon was working there before he transferred to Frederick High School. 

“I was in charge of the gifted program and they chose to put out a literary magazine as their passion project and it was such a great way to feature the good work the students were already doing and I was really excited to do it here and to feature the Frederick writers on the public stage,” Mr. Coon said while talking about the Dreamcatcher and how it was created. 

The Dreamcatcher is not just about writing though, Although it seems like the dreamcatcher is all about writing Frederick has found multiple ways to make it so that it’s not all about writing. The Dreamcatcher features writers throughout the writing, drawings, and amazing photos all done by members of the Frederick Community. It’s amazing to be able to flip through a page of the book and see all the different things that the Dream catcher has to offer. Along with that, the dream catcher is a huge success when it comes to who contributes to the Dreamcatcher. 

“ We’ve had over one hundred different contributors in the past five years for student writing, student art, and student photography. “ Coon said when asked about how many contributors occurred and how popular the Dreamcatcher itself is. 

5 Years of Fears holds many amazing stories within it including our three winners from the first competition held slaying their horror stories and making them amazing to read and enjoy. With the first place being given to Junior Lydia Traxler and her bone-chilling story “Tapping on Glass”, second place going to Senior going to Maxwell Holt and his suspense-filled story “Trespassers” and third place going to sophomore Gabriella Lyles and her thrilling story “The Figure Living in the Corner” Congratulations to all of the winners your stories were incredible and were very spooky and entertaining. 

“I think that it’s awesome that we have such a diverse group of students that contribute to the contest but by and large we see more entries within our horror contest than any other contest,” Coon told us when asked about how many people enter into the contests and how he feels about the diversity within the contestants. Even with this Horror contest, the Dreamcatcher had gotten over twenty entries all amazing and outstanding and all diverse and coming from a ton of different students within the school. It was truly amazing to see the difference between writers and personalities. 

Although we’re not sure if we will be able to have print copies handed out right away the one thing that the Dreamcatcher committee does know is that the dreamcatcher will still go on and we will not cease publication because we want to lift people’s spirits with our issues and the writing inside rather than bring them down. So to say the least the Dreamcatcher will always be around to lift your spirits when needed. We’ve been around for five years now and we plan to stick around. Help us celebrate being around for five years by reading our newest issue 5 years of Fears I promise it’s an amazing issue with some spectacular stories that will keep you on the edge of your seat. 


Want a Preview of the Dreamcatcher’s latest issue? Take a look at this:


“We don’t have a choice anymore. So go on, pick one.”

 Jenna hesitantly took a straw from Dr. Wilmore’s hand, just as all the other nurses had. Of course, Jenna wasn’t an actual nurse yet—she had passed her RN tests last semester and was just volunteering until school started back up in the fall. She shouldn’t be here, but she was qualified enough and it was an emergency. The hospital needed all the help they could get.

 She opened her palm. Short straw.

 “Sorry, Jenna. You’re on 113 duty.”

Room 113 was the most notorious room in the Angels of Mercy hospital ER. No patient that went in ever came out.

There was no explanation for how a single room in a brand-new, $100 million hospital became a death sentence for every emergency patient that wound up in the room. The vents were checked for mold spores and other disease vectors. The ventilators and monitors were swapped out with other rooms three different times. The room’s single electrical outlet was even checked by three different electricians for faulty wiring. No fault could be found in the room. In fact, with its immaculately scrubbed walls and its beautifully polished floors, it was the cleanest room in the hospital.

Yet every patient that was housed in Room 113 was dead by the next morning. Machines, IVs, everything would work properly yet each patient suffered from cardiac arrest sometime during the night, like clockwork. Even patients that were on the mend would die if moved into the room.

The hospital settled on a simple solution—no patient would go into Room 113. The hospital was new, after all, and with room to grow. It would be years before they were at capacity, and by then, maybe whatever hoodoo had been going on in the room would have vanished. And if not, it would surely be the problem of some other hospital administrator and nursing team.

But that was before the pandemic.

Cases exploded overnight at Angels of Mercy, with several prominent citizens and nearly an entire nursing home needing emergency hospitalization for difficulty breathing. Every bed had a patient and there were scores of people  spilling into the waiting room. Someone would have to go into Room 113.

The unlucky candidate was Gary McDaniels. He was seventy-three, ran the local hardware store, and had no preexisting conditions. He was the head of the volunteer firefighters and was generally in good health.  The virus had hit his lungs, so he needed to be put on a ventilator but was otherwise expected to survive. To ensure he did, Dr. Wilmore made all the nurses draw straws. The lucky nurse who got the short straw had to stay up all night and watch Mr. McDaniels to make sure he lived until dawn.

And that nurse was Jenna.

“Good luck, kid,” Head Nurse Marilyn said before heading off for her rounds. “You know, with all the craziness tonight, just sitting in a room watching one patient is a pretty sweet gig.”

“It doesn’t feel like a sweet gig,” Jenna mattered.

“I’m sure everything will be… well, you’ll do your best,” Marilyn said.