Trick or Terror
Futurama created by Matt Groening. Developed by Matt Groening and David X.
Cohen. Owned by 20th Century Fox Film Corporation. Used without permission.
It was a cool but comfortable October 31st for New New York in the year 3003.
By the docks, the staff of the small but infamous delivery company Planet Express
were preparing for their annual Halloween party. Intern Amy Wong and LaBarbara,
wife of accountant Hermes Conrad, were setting up decorations. Dr. Zoidberg, lobster-like
staff physician, was preparing the apples for bobbing. Hermes was watching Zoidberg
to make sure he was not eating any of them. The owner, Professor Farnsworth, had
retired to his bedroom; his weak heart kept him out of the night's festivities.
In the locker room, two of the crew of the firms delivery ship was dressing
in the costumes they had chosen. Philip Fry, the last proven relative of Farnsworth
with the exception of the Professors clone/son Cubert, had decided on a
student wizard like Harry Potter while his robot friend and shipmate Bender had
a jet cockpit attached to his chest and wings on his back to emulate the character
Starscream from "Transformers".
"Your costume is so cool, Bender!" congratulated Fry, "those
jet attachments look almost real!"
Bender tapped one of his wings, which made a surprising metal sound.
"'Almost'? They are real. I stole these parts from a kiddie ride at Space
Just then, they heard a familiar voice behind them.
They turned around and saw their one-eyed captain, Turanga Leela, in an unlikely
costume. She was dressed as the fun-loving space pirate Ryoko from the anime "Tenchi
Muyo!" She had a low-cut shirt with red-trimmings with the front and back
coming to the floor, a red sash around her waist, red leggings, a padded gray
shoulder and an orange one as well. Her hair was down and dyed cyan and she wore
a red earring on her left ear.
"Wow!" said Fry, "you look hot!"
"Um, thanks," responded Leela, sounding a bit uncomfortable.
"It's good, even if you didn't go all the way with the hair," observed
Bender, "but why dress as a fictional pirate who wanted 'quality time' with
the main character?"
"Someone once said, 'one should pick a costume that is in direct contrast
with their own personality'," answered Leela, "and I figured this was
as much a contrast a space captain could pick."
"You got that right," quipped Bender, "at least Ryoko would
know how to party!"
Fry chuckled at that until Leela gave him a mean look.
Not knowing almost anyone outside of work would probably make most office
parties rather dull, but Planet Express was always an exception. Zoidberg would
hunt down candy scraps while Amy would be caught in the strings for the witch
prop. In the past few years, Bender would drown himself in the punch and be disappointed
learning it wasnt alcoholic, Leela would try to outdo herself with pumpkin
carving, and Fry would enthusiastically greet trick-or-treaters. The Professor
would go to bed early, due to his weak heart.
A couple of things were different this year, however. Leela was making the
punch from a recipe her sewer mutant mother gave her, Bender was giving the treats,
and Fry was given the task of pumpkin carving. They had decided to try each other's
job this Halloween.
Hermes was double-checking all of this before his trip home to help his son
Dwight with his own candy hunt. Each year, Dwight seemed more and more annoyed
with his father's presence. Hermes never saw anything wrong with inspecting the
candy on the spot.
"See you next month," announced Hermes as he walked out of the door.
Leela seemed almost giddy with her punch. This was her first chance to use
a family recipe and she hoped to do it justice.
As for Fry, he was not doing very well, he never liked pumpkin carving. However,
he wanted to prove to Leela and himself that he could do a good job with it. He
had forgotten it was such messy work, however, and he tried hard not to cut himself.
His design was hard to choose; Leela would always pick a more frightful image
each year. His own was based on a monster movie he recently saw: "The Horror
from Andromeda"! He still wondered how the special effects and the monster
looked so real. Fry eventually got it done on time and put in an illumination
stick to light it up in a creepy orange glow. His job done, Fry decided to see
"Hey, Leela. Wow, this punch looks spooky! You did a good job,"
observed Fry, looking what appeared to be white foam designed to look like fog.
"Um, actually, Fry. I haven't done anything to it. It's been doing that
since I made it. I dont know why. I followed my mother's recipe exactly...except
I used fresh ingredients."
"Oh. Okay if I have a taste?"
"Sorry, Fry, but we only have a handful of cups and I don't want your
finger in it."
"Awww!" Fry pouted, "I never get to have fun!"
In the following hour, the trick-or-treaters began to arrive: Tinny Tim, Bret
Blob, the three-eared girl, Albert, Cory, etc. Bender met them with his usual
"Here's your candy. Now get outta here!"
Amy was resting in a chair. She had worn herself out getting untangled. She
decided to look at the mail. It was left on the small table in front of her. There
wasn't much there, just fliers, coupons, ...and an invitation?
"Hey, guys!" Amy called, "check this out!"
The others surrounded her as Amy read aloud: "'You are cordially invited
to the opening of the Shriek House, opening Oct. 31st. Invitation for four. Guaranteed
"A haunted house?" asked Bender.
"A real one?" asked a frightened Zoidberg.
"Zoidberg, it's just some sort of attraction, and a corny one at that,"
"Oh, can we go? Oh pleaseohpleaseohplease!" begged Fry like a child.
"Quit your Stimpy impersonation, Fry! We're too busy to go anyway,"
Bender was looking out the door as she said this.
"Actually, no," he said, "I think the rest of the neighborhood
kids were scared off by Fry's pumpkin."
"Yeah," said Fry, proud of himself, "I know it wasn't original,
but the horror from Andromeda was what I needed to top Leela's Jack-O-Lanterns!"
The others, except for Bender, looked disgusted.
"Fry! That movie was a documentary! It was about a botched first contact
situation from the early days of extraterrestrials coming to Earth."
Fry's face fell with realization.
"Well," said Leela, "I guess we could use a break. Would you
mind watching things here, Zoidberg?"
"I'm coming! I'm coming!" protested the doctor.
"Okay. Amy, do you mind watching the office?"
"No problem. I was going to play my game of 'DOOP IV' here after hours,
Leela didn't feel entirely comfortable. She didnt like going out in
New New York at night; no one did except Bender. Every time they were in town
together, she always kept her eye on Fry. Now, she had to take care of Zoidberg
On the other hand, it was nice to get out and it was a comfortable night.
Things felt okay. At least, thats what she felt like before she reached
The house itself, between two new buildings, was typical haunted house fair.
It looked authentically early 20th Century, very old, dilapidated, shutters hanging
off hinges, and radiating with a sense of dread.
"Odd. Either we're the last ones here or we're early."
"Good, we beat the crowd, Leela," said Bender.
"I have a bad feeling," said Fry, as he started to tremble.
"Yes, I haven't felt like this since I was learning survival skills as
a youth," said Zoidberg, "and I barely passed!"
It was times like this that Leela felt more like a babysitter than a captain.
"Fry, Zoidberg, there is no such thing as a haunted house! It's just
for laughs! Now, act like grown-ups for once and go greet our hosts!"
Fry swallowed the lump in his throat and went to the door with a trembling
Zoidberg behind him. He knocked the door and received no answer.
"Ah, well. No one's here. Let's head to the office before Nibbler eats
Leela sighed, went to the door, and opened it.
"The door is open. Well, let's go in."
They all entered, hoping for this to at least be entertaining. The room was
dark at first. Leela clapped, hoping the place had clapper candles. Nothing happened
at first. Suddenly, lights came on, but they were electric lamps, on small tables.
"Now, I'm worried," said Leela.
The lights were still dimmed. It was just bright enough to see the cobwebs
on antique, early 21st century furniture. Otherwise, there were still shadows
"I don't like this," said Fry, sounding nervous.
"Indeed. It may be as romantic as the inside of a whale, but it feels
creepy in a house!"
"Cram it, you two!" said Bender, pushing his way past them. "I'm
telling ya, I've been in worst places and I guarantee that nothing, I repeat,
nothing, can hurt me here!"
"What about us?" asked Leela.
"What about you?" answered Bender with a wave of his hand.
Suddenly, an eerie sound was heard.
"What was that?"
"Just the house settling."
"No, it sounded more like a voice..."
They paused just to make sure.
"You should not have come..." the house seemed to say.
"Aw! I knew we shouldn't have come here!" complained Bender.
"It's just a recording," explained Leela, "Remember, it's all
for fun, so let's enjoy ourselves."
The others muttered a kind of agreement and then moved on.
Amy felt bored. She didnt quite have the same passion for video games
as Fry had. She figured that she was bored because, aside from holding the proverbial
fort while the Professor slept, she had nothing to do. Then, she got an idea.
Amy found some black fabric in the storage closet, quickly cut them, and put
them on. She loved the new look. She had a generous amount of cleavage with dark
spikes coming from her dress in all directions. She also had a bit of leg showing.
She looked dangerous, mysterious, and sexy at the same time.
"I am Amelia, duchess of the night!" she declared.
She stretched herself on the couch and wished that her boyfriend Kif could
see her know. Nibbler, Leelas pet, came up to her, looking a bit confused.
Amy laughed and stroked his head. She decided to channel surf and see if there
were any horror movies on. She didnt like them much, but they were always
good for starting the mood, since in her pre-Kif years she would act scared and
wrap her arms around the male date next to her.
The stations were playing all the old films that never quite interested her:
The Crawling Hand II, The Creeping Terror IV , and Buff-Bot III: This Time It's
A Cyborg. She sighed, wondering if she should get back to her game. Then, she
got an idea. She went to her locker, opened it, and found a small bag. She wondered
why Bender never took it, but then realized he wouldnt be interested. It
was her private collection of adult horror films. She decided to put the meeting
room TV to good use.
This was strange; they had been walking in the house for a while now and had
yet to meet anyone. Leela began to wonder if their invitation was a prank. However,
the voice they heard implied that there was a recording still working.
"I'm going up that creepy stairway to see if anyone's up there. Anyone
coming with me?"
"Sorry, Leela," said Fry, "but I have another bad feeling about
"Yes," agreed Zoidberg with fear, "they look only slightly
more sturdy than my last few operations!"
"Wait I minute," realized Fry, "Wasn't I the one who had your
"Okay, I'll go," interrupted Bender, "anything to get past
these two wusses!"
"Okay, you two wait down here, then."
So, Leela and Bender went upstairs and made it half way... when Bender fell
through the stairs!
"Mercy on his tracia!"
Leela, a bit in shock, leaned down and looked into the darkness. She activated
a recently installed flashlight on her wrist-communicator, but she did not see
"Bender! Can you hear me?"
"I'm going down after him. You two try to find a door to a basement,
assuming that's where we'll be."
They nodded and she jumped into the hole
"Are we going to look for the basement now?" asked Fry after Leela
"No, Let's look for the kitchen first," suggested Zoidberg.
Bender had no idea where he was. All he knew was that hands that did not feel
human or robotic were dragging him. It was something he barely felt and yet was
strong enough to pull him. He started to realize what it could be when he saw
a frightful image in front of him.
"Wait! Take my friends! A human sacrifice actually counts for most of
Leela landed on her feet and look around for Bender. She looked around with
her flashlight and started to feel some dread. She shook it off, telling herself
it was just paranoia. Then, she heard a noise.
"Bender, is that you?"
No answer. She figured she imagined it.
She looked around some more and heard the noise again.
"All right, Bender! Quit trying to scare me!
Again it was quiet, until she heard the same voice from earlier as a low pitch
That's not Bender, thought Leela who was now not just worried for Bender,
but for herself as well.
Then she heard a sound behind her. She quickly turned and saw something that
made her gasp. She thought of how she did not believe her own eye before she felt
something dragging her away.
Amy was bored again, but she wasnt so certain why. Adult films had always
perked her interest before. Maybe her relationship with Kif was weakening her
affection for pornography. She stopped her tape and started flipping channels
again. She figured that there had to be something good on. And if there wasnt,
she could always practice some javin. As she channel surfed, she noticed something
odd. They now had the same ghost movie on every channel. Odd, it seemed to be
nothing more than a familiar ghostly face. Then, the lights in the room gave out,
except for the TV. Something was wrong. Then, she heard a laugh, an oddly familiar
laugh. Two thoughts struck her. The first one scared her and the other horrified
her, but they would at least explain to her what was going on.
The kitchen was not at all impressive. It was covered in cobwebs, the faucet
was rusty, the canned goods in the pantry were years out of date and there was
no refrigerator. However, Zoidberg couldnt be happier.
He tried the faucet. Brown, heavy water came out of it.
"Exotic water? It's almost a buffet!"
"Uh, yeah, 'almost'. I'll go look for the others."
Fry walked down one creepy corridor to another. He felt more and more worried
as he went along. He had only been to a couple of haunted houses before as a child,
but they always seriously scared him. For the past few years, Leela had been protective
of him. This bothered him more than once, since it implied that he couldn't protect
himself, but he was really appreciative of it. She even saved his life...quite
often. Now, he felt rather alone and vulnerable without her. And than there was
Bender, exactly the kind of guy, or robot, that his parents warned him against
spending time with, but he was a better friend than he was given credit for. Fry
then shuddered, afraid that something happened to...no, he wouldn't think like
that. He always had a fantasy where he would rescue Leela and Bender from some
danger, but he never wanted it to involve the supernatural!
After several more turns leading him nowhere except into more darkness, Fry
was starting to think of getting Zoidberg or going to the office to get Amy for
help when he heard a familiar voice from a grating.
"Fry! Down here!"
Fry bent over and peeked into the grating. He saw the basement, where Leela
and Bender were chained to a wall.
"We're trapped, Fry! I'm chained and Bender's been deactivated!"
"What caught you?"
"I'm not sure, but it looked female and...familiar. If I didn't know
better, I would say this place really is haunted!"
Fry started to panic.
"Then I was right! We're doomed!"
"Fry! A ghost wouldn't know how to turn off a robot! Well, unless they
died less than forty years ago... Well, it still doesn't add up! Free us!"
"Hey, Doc!" called Fry, "over here!"
Zoidberg came, still eating out of a can.
"Can you slice open this grating and reach for their chains?"
"I can open the grating but my arms don't stretch like the robot, Fry!"
"Okay, I'll help."
After easily cutting the grating with his strong pincers, Zoidberg found his
arm and head being squeezed into the grating by Fry.
"'His is bery uncomfortble, Phy!" he muttered through his squeezed
"It's okay. Can you see them and reach them?"
"Good! Free them!"
Zoidberg cut the chains of Fry's friends. That was half the trouble.
"I don't see an exit, Fry," said Leela.
"Then, we'll have to free Zoidberg after all. You push and I'll pull!"
The Planet Express crew decided to escape. They ran to the entrance, as much
as their now-acing bodies would let them, but they were blocked at the main door,
but not by something human.
It was an image. It was a rather ghastly image. It was a transparent, bluish,
face of an elderly woman with her hair down. They were all shocked, especially
Leela. She heard the reports, but she never believed in ghosts. Of course, the
events of the last few years have challenged her belief of a rational universe
in many ways.
"You are trapped!" declared the spirit in the same tone of voice
heard earlier, "Escape is impossible!"
Leela did a spinning kick at the surprised apparition. It dissolved into nothing
as Leela also kicked open the door.
"I guess escape _is_ possible. Let's motor," she said as they ran
They all ran as fast as they could to Planet Express until they got tired.
From that point, they just walked fast.
They felt calmer as they approached the dock.
"So," asked Fry, "what do you think that was?"
"It was a trick," said Leela, "a hologram and an electromagnet
"I wouldn't be so certain," said Zoidberg, "you humans have
abilities even I am uncertain of sometimes."
Leela and Fry stopped and looked at him funny. Then, they continued walking.
As they approached Planet Express, they noticed a strange glow from its approximate
location. Then, an unusually dressed female figure ran at them from the shadows.
Leela prepared herself.
"Stay back! I know Octurian kung-fu!"
"Leela! Guys! It's me!" said the figure in a familiar, but panicked
They recognized the figure when she got to them and was under a streetlight.
It was Amy in a strange costume.
"Amy! What happened to you?"
"I was just trying to get into the spirit of things..."
"Rats! I thought you were possessed or something."
"I'm not, but..."
She pointed at the Planet Express building. As they got closer, they realized
what she meant. A strange blue aura circled the building; similar to the one they
saw at the haunted house. It then started to take form, a very familiar form.
It was the form of Hubert J. Farnsworth!
"Good news, everyone! I have finally gone past my restricting, physical
"I think he died in his sleep."
"And now my mental superiority will dominate the universe! Hee hee hoo
They were now all in jaw-dropped shock, especially Leela.
I never believed in ghosts, thought Leela, but...I've seen stranger things
the past few years. I guess, as an orphan, I thought if ghosts existed, I would
see my parents again. But...that was before I learned they were still alive.
"I...I guess ghosts do exist!" she declared.
"Oh. Well, I guess I'm done!"
The ethereal head of the Professor dissolved, like the head back at the haunted
A very much alive, for him, Professor Farnsworth exited the observatory on
the top floor and looked down at his aghast employees.
"Well, well," he said smugly, "look who fell for the oldest
trick in the book!"
"Technically, yes! But my prank worked well, yes?"
"So, you had some kind of advanced hologram to project your head?"
"Well, I had help."
Then, on the same balcony, appeared Mom, the evil tycoon and the Professor's
"It was his idea and it sounded so good I just had to call a truce with
him!" she explained.
"So, you shook our belief systems and had us fear the worst for you for
a Halloween prank!"
"Pretty much, yes!"
About an hour and a half later, Fry, Bender, Leela, Zoidberg, and Amy were
relaxing in the company lounge.
"You're right, Amy," agreed Fry as he channel surfed, "There
really is nothing on. Nice outfit, by the way."
Leela felt some uneasiness at Fry's compliment to Amy. She decided to try
to change the subject.
"How long do you think we should let Mom and the Professor in the Angry
"Until they apologize," answered Bender, "or until they kill
each other. Or until the neighbors complain about what they're probably going
to do with each other while in that transparent dome on the roof."
Zoidberg entered the lounge holding a large tub of candy.
"The loss of the children that Fry's pumpkin scared off is Zoidberg's
gain!" he declared, "And Fry, I'll have that pumpkin as well."
The doctor happily helped himself to some punch.
"Mmmm! This is to die for, Leela! It tastes just like my great-grandmother's
"You're great-grandmother?" asked Leela, "my mother assured
this was a family recipe!"
"Decopodians such as myself shared recipes with the sewer mutants back
in the day. I think we have some similar tastes...although I hear they were dealing
with using what they had. I never believed that. Who wouldn't want punch this
Zoidberg poured cups for the others, but as he looked up, they were gone.
Usually, this would make him feel lonely and unwelcome. This time, however,
he felt thrilled.
"Hurray! More for Zoidberg! Happy Halloween to me!"