The Haunted Barn
Reading Comprehension Activity

Sophie and her brother, Jackson, think their barn is haunted. They are surprised when they find what has been spooking them in the barn!

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Passage

“Will you go to the barn with me to get Susie?” Sophie asked her brother, Jackson. “I left her in there today when we were playing in the hay loft.”

“No. Can’t you see, I’m riding my bike!” Jackson said as he circled around her on his bicycle.

“Please. It will be dark in there and I can’t reach the lightswitch.”

“No. Go get it yourself. Don’t be a baby,” Jackson said as he rode the other direction down the driveway.

“I’m not a baby!” Sophie said before turning and walking toward the barn.

“Don’t let the ghosts get you!” Jackson called over his shoulder.

Sophie hurried to the barn. It was close to dark and even though she wasn’t really afraid of the dark, she didn’t really like walking in it either. Especially to the barn. The barn was old and bats lived in the top of the hay loft. That was where Sophie was going, to the loft. She left her favorite baby doll, Susie, in the barn. Sophie slept with her every night and she just couldn’t leave her in the barn all by herself. She walked faster. The barn would be really dark by now. 

She looked into the sky. She could already see stars. She walked even faster. There was a long grassy hill that led up to the hay loft. It was big enough to drive a tractor on and steep enough to slide down in the winter. Sophie walked up the hill and looked ahead to the sliding barn door. It was open a little. All she had to do was push it open a bit more and then go inside and find her doll. She remembered where she left her, so it wouldn’t take long. Sophie put both her hands on the barn door and gave it a hard push. It moved enough that she could squeeze through. She stepped inside the barn in total darkness. She looked toward the lightswitch but could not see it. She wished she was taller. She waited a moment for her eyes to adjust to the dark. “There is nothing to be afraid of,” she said. She took a couple of steps into the barn toward the spot where her and Jackson had been playing.

Then, something made a noise. Sophie stopped walking and stood still. She heard it again. Something was moving in the hay. She thought about what Jackson had said about ghosts. Something squeaked. Or cried. She couldn’t tell. She looked up to where the hay was stacked high. And two green eyes looked back at her!

Sophie turned and ran from the barn as fast as she could. She was running so fast that she fell down the hill. “Jackson! Jackson!” Sophie called out as she scrambled to her feet. “Ghosts! I saw ghosts!” she shouted.

Jackson pedaled up to her on his bike. “What are you talking about?” he asked.

“I saw ghosts! They had green eyes that glowed in the dark!” Sophie shouted.

“No you didn’t. I was just kidding about ghosts. There’s no such thing as ghosts,” Jackson said as he put the kickstand down on his bike.

“Yes there are! I saw them! They looked right at me with their spooky eyes!” Sophie said, pointing at the barn.

“Come on. Let’s go back in. It was probably a bat or something,” he said as he walked toward the barn.

Sophie walked close behind him. She could feel her heart pounding against her chest. She reached out and grabbed the bottom of Jackson’s shirt so she could stay close.

Jackson pushed the barn door open and stepped inside. 

“Stop right here!” Sophie said. “It was up there.” She pointed to the top of the hay.

They stood still and listened. At first, they heard nothing. And then, a loud crying noise. Jackson and Sophie looked at each other, both of their eyes opened wide. “What was that?” Jackson asked.

“Ghosts,” Sophie whispered.

Jackson inched toward the lightswitch and Sophie held to the back of his shirt. Both of them watched the spot where the noise came from as they moved. Just before Jackson reached the lightswitch, there it was! Two green eyes! Jackson flipped the light switch. “I saw the spooky eyes!” he said just as the lights came on. 

They stood together, afraid to move, both of them staring up at the haystack.

“I think I hear something moving,” Jackson said.

“Me too,” Sophie answered.

Then they both saw it! It came from behind a hay bale and looked down at them, blinking its big green eyes. And then meowed.

“A cat!” they both said at once. 

“Here kitty. Here kitty, kitty,” Sophie said as she walked toward the hay.

It meowed again and took a few steps toward them. “It’s just a kitten,” Jackson said. “Not very old at all.”

The black kitten made its way down the hay bales and walked toward Jackson and Sophie as she kept calling it. “Look! she likes us!” Sophie said. She kneeled down and the kitten came to her, meowing as it walked the last few steps.”

“It’s probably hungry! Let’s take it up to the house and get it something to eat,” Jackson said.

Sophie scooped the kitten up and held it against her. “She’s purring!” Sophie said as she rubbed the kitten’s head. “I think you are right. She is hungry! Let’s go feed her.”

They started walking toward the barn door but Sophie stopped abruptly. “Wait! I forgot to get Susie! Look. She’s right over there. Will you get her?”

“No. You get the doll and I’ll hold the cat.” Jackson said.

Sophie gave the kitten to Jackson and picked up her doll. “Since you are carrying her to the house, I get to name her,” she said.

Jackson walked over to the lightswitch and flipped it off. They walked out of the barn and down the grassy hill. It was dark now and a full moon was in the sky. “What are you going to name her?”

Sophie thought for a moment. “I have the perfect name,” she said as they walked toward the house.

“What?” Jackson asked.

“Spooky!” Sophie said.

They laughed all the way to the house.

Comprehension Questions
Answers

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