By Alvin Schwartz
"The White Satin Evening Gown" is the twenty-first story included in the book Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. A poor girl is invited to a dance. She cannot afford a new dress but is able to rent one. While she is dancing with her date, she starts to feel sick and asks him to take her home. She gets into bed and the next morning she is dead...
A young man invited a young woman to a formal dance. But she was very poor, and she could not afford to buy the evening gown she needed for such an occasion.
"Maybe you can rent a dress," her mother said. So she went to a pawnshop not far from where she lived. There she found a white satin evening gown in her size. She looked lovely in it, and she was able to rent it for very little.
When she arrived at the dance with her friend, she was so attractive, everyone wanted to meet her. She danced again and again and was having a wonderful time. But then she began to feel dizzy and faint, and she asked her friend to take her home. "I think I have danced too much," she told him.
When she got home, she lay down on her bed. The next morning her mother found that her daughter had died. The doctor did not understand what had caused her death. So he had the coroner perform an autopsy.
The coroner found that she had been poisoned by embalming fluid. It had stopped her blood from flowing. There were traces of the fluid on her dress. He decided it had entered her skin when she perspired while she was dancing.
The pawnbroker said he bought the dress from an undertaker's helper. It had been used in a funeral for another young woman, and the helper had stolen it just before she was buried.
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