All posts tagged ghosts

Halloween Adventure Story – Haunted House

Published October 31, 2014 by ElisaChristy

The house stands apart from all the others. There are places where the roof has fallen away and stories circulate of crying being heard from the house even though no-one has lived there since Victorian times. You have just been dared to go inside and bring back something from the house as proof. The front door is unlocked, because there is no lock left on it. Inside there is a grand hallway, everything is covered in dust and cobwebs. There is a huge central staircase in front of you, a doorway to your right leads into what was probably called the drawing room and to your left are stairs down to what you hope is a basement kitchen.

Do you want to:

1A) Go up the stairs – You start to walk up the stairs, nearly every one creaks beneath your feet. You would put your hand on the banister, but it is so covered with cobwebs and dust you think better of it. One of the stairs you have already passed creaks again behind you, as if someone is following you up the stair. Do you:

1B) Go into the drawing room – You push open the door to the drawing room. There is a fireplace in front of you, and for a moment you think you can see a fire burning there, but you blink and it is gone, it was probably just the glare from the sun outside the window anyway. There is a mantelpiece with a mirror stood on top of it, a table with old champagne glasses on it, covered in dust like everything else and an old dusty book on one of the sofas. Do you:

1C) Go down to the (hopefully) kitchen – You walk down the concrete stairs to what you hope is a kitchen. There is no light down here. So you don’t know when you have reached the last step and you fall down. You think you hear a slight laugh as you pick yourself back up, but you put it down to paranoia and continue into the room. You lean against the wall and lean against the light switch. A bare bulb comes on in the gloom and you find you really are in an old kitchen. Do you:

1A) Go up the stairs 

2A) Stop and turn round – You stop and spin back round expecting to see one of your friends who dared you standing there, but there is just an empty stair. You hear a sweep of movement from up on the landing also behind you and spin back round that way, but once again you are all alone. You continue up the stairs onto the landing and try to ope  the door directly in front of you, but it is locked. You try another and after a moment the door swings open onto a bedroom, you walk through and the door slams shut behind you. You try and open it again but it is jammed, the only way out is to climb through the window. Do you:

2B) Ignore it and carrying on going upYou continue walking up the stairs but every time you walk up one stair you hear another creak behind you, but you continue to ignore it and carry on. When you reach the landing, you see something rush past you out of the corner of your eye towards a door at the end of the corridor. Do you:

2C) Turn round but carry on walking up the stairs backwards at the same time – You turn round, but carry on waling up the stairs backwards so if there is anything there, you can distance yourself from it. There is nothing there, but trying to walk up the stairs backwards you trip and fall back down the stairs. One of the stairs gives way and you fall down inside. You can hear footsteps above you. Do you:

2A) Stop and turn round

3A) Search the room before leaving for your proof – You open the drawer in the bedside table. The only thing inside seems to be a kind of telescope. You look through it and find it is actually a kaleidoscope. You shake it and look through it again expecting to see a different pattern but when you look through it again it spells out the word “run”. You drop the kaleidoscope and see a woman standing in front of you reaching out for it. You try to run towards the door, but somehow the woman gets there first and blocks it. She places her hand on your face and you see the patterns of the kaleidoscope in your eyes as you faint. You wake up when your friends come into the house to look for you. The woman and the kaleidoscope are nowhere to be seen and your friends think you’re lying because you failed the dare.

3B) Leave without proof – You start to climb out of the window. You cut your hand on the window frame and fall down onto the ground, but you don’t hurt yourself too badly. You are in the garden at the back of the house. There is a tree nearby, you go over to it and find a piece of paper placed inside the tree. You open it up. There are strange inscriptions on one side of the paper, on the other is a message saying “if you find this, please place it back inside the heart for all our sakes.” You shrug and put it in your pocket before climbing over the wall. You go out the front to find your friends, but you think you can hear crying coming from inside the house. Maybe you shouldn’t have taken the letter after all.

3C) Keep trying to open the door because you don’t really want to climb out the window – You try opening the door but it’s jammed shut. You think you can hear the clicking of the door handle as you try to turn it, but when you stop, the noise continues. It’s coming from the bedside table. You open up the drawer and find a kaleidoscope inside. You look through it and see the patterns but as you take it away from your eyes, you see a crying woman sat on the bed beside you. She also has a kaleidoscope that looks very much like yours. She is crying to herself “Empty, it’s empty now and will be forever.” The woman turns, noticing you for the first time. “Please.” she says. “Find the letter, put it back in my heart. In the tree outside, please.” The woman looks so upset and pitiful that you decide to get the letter. You climb through the window into the garden and find a very strange letter in the tree. There is only one way back into the house now and that is through a basement door. The door leads into a larder. There is a small silver thing on one of the shelves. You pick it up and see that it is a largish heart-shaped locket. You place the letter inside. The woman appears in front of you “Thank you” she says as she fades away. The locket is no longer in your hand. You leave the house without proof and your friends don’t believe you when you tell them what happened.

2B) Ignore it and carrying on going up

3D) Go to the door at the end of the corridor – You walk towards the door you saw the something go towards. You think you can hear crying coming from inside, but when you open the door you can see no-one. Instead written in what appears to be blood is the words “Give me back my heart” on the wall. You run out of the house to find your friends and they all come in with you, but the writing is gone.

3E) Deliberately go to another door – You deliberately go to another door, than the one you saw the something go into. You walk into a small bedroom, and start looking for something to take as proof, but the door slams behind you and something turns the key so you are locked in. You scream for your friends, but nobody hears you. You are still stuck in that room.

3F) Peek over the banister on the landing to see if anyone is down in the hallway – You look down over the banister to see if you can see whoever was following you. You see what appears to be a maid, you call to her and ask her name, but when she turns to you, you see there is blood on her apron. She smiles and more blood drips down her front from her mouth. You scream. Your friends come running in, but the maid has disappeared.

2C) Turn round but carry on walking up the stairs backwards at the same time

3G) Assume it’s your friends come to help because they heard the crash and shout for help – You shout for help, but the footsteps keep going past, you can see shadows running past in the light coming through the hole, but no-one seems to be listening to you, until you hear something behind you. You turn and try to squint through the faint light coming in through the top of the hole. A mouse runs past you and they run over a key on the floor. You pick the key up and put your arm out in front of you to find the wall and hopefully a door that the key fits into. You find one, the door to the cupboard under the stairs has a lock on this side. You turn the key and come back out into the hallway. The footsteps on the stairs stop abruptly. You put the key in your pocket and leave the house. You tell your friends what happened and someone else gets dared to go inside, but they come back out again saying there is no hole in the stairs, so you were lying; but the key is still in your pocket.

3H) Attempt to climb out the hole yourself – You start to climb up out of the hole yourself and feel someone take your hand to try and haul you up. You panic and lose your footing, falling back into the hole. You land on something soft, but you scream when you realise it is the body of a person. It is this scream rather than the sound of you falling through the floor that brings your friends in. They see the body, the police are called and the body is identified as Miss Leslie Patrick, a maid who worked in the house until she went missing seventy years ago.

3I) Try and break through the wall of the stairs so you can walk out that way – You figure that if you could fall through the floor, then you should be able to fall through the wall as well and try to push against it. You manage to break the wall, but with the wall gone, the stairs also give way and debris lands on top of you knocking you out. You awake in the hospital with no proof of your dare.

1B) Go into the drawing room

2D) Look in the mirror – You look in the mirror on the mantelpiece. There is someone standing behind you, but when you turn there is no-one there. You look back at the mirror where you can clearly see a woman standing right behind you. She holds her hand out to your neck and you feel her breath on you, you spin round again and there is still no-one there. Looking back at the mirror another time you now see only yourself staring back at you. Do you:

2F) Pick up the book – You pick up the book and flick through it, all the pages are blank as you go through to the end of the book, but when you flick through it the other way there are words that you can’t quite read. Do you:

2E) Pick up a champagne glass – You pick up one of the glasses on the table, it knocks against the other, the clang echoing around the room. You notice a faint crack along the stem of the glass, but decide to take it out anyway. As you walk towards the door, the crack in the stem seems to be getting bigger, until the glass suddenly shatters in your hand. Do you:

2D) Look in the mirror

3J) Run out of the house without proof – You run out of the house without taking any proof with you. You try to explain to your friends about what you saw in the mirror, but they refuse to believe you. At least you didn’t get killed by the mirror ghost though.

3K) Pick up the mirror and smash it so you won’t see the woman again – That was probably a bad idea. Instead of the woman disappearing as you thought, you can now clearly see the woman standing in front of you, screaming very loudly. Your friends rush in having heard the scream and they can see the woman too. The screaming woman rushes towards you and rushes through you before disappearing. When you return home you find a large burn mark on your chest. Your friends all have matching marks on their chests too.

3L) Say out loud if there is anyone in the room who wants to talk to you, they should do so now – A knocking sound starts to come from the wall, but you can’t understand it. You say that whatever is trying to speak to you should knock once for yes and twice for no and you’ll ask questions. You ask whether what is speaking to you is the woman in the mirror. One knock. You ask whether they used to live in this house. One knock. You ask whether you can take something from the house as proof of your dare. Two knocks. You say please. Two knocks. You ask whether there is anything you can do to help the ghost. Two knocks. You apologise and say goodbye. Two knocks. You ignore it and go to leave the room. The knocking continues on the wall. When you reach the door you realise it is locked. You ask whether they are going to hurt you and or kill you. One knock.

2E) Pick up a champagne glass

3M) Try and pick up the pieces of the glass – You bend down to pick up the pieces of glass from the floor. As you try to pick them up, they seem to keep cracking and breaking whenever you touch them. You decide to leave them on the floor and leave the house after all. You walk past the broken glass on the floor, but as you walk away, you hear something behind you. You turn back round, all the shards of glass are floating in the air and pointing towards you like daggers. You start running towards the front door and try to wrench it back open in time, but you end up being pinned against it by the glass shards.

3N) Pick up one piece of glass and leave the others – You pick up the biggest shard of glass from the floor, as your proof. You hold it over your shoulder like a weapon in case you need to use it and start to make your way back towards the door. As you walk you hear a shaking sound behind you like someone’s knocked a chandelier. Before you have time to turn back round, all the shards of glass from the floor rush towards the shard in your hand and reattach themselves into a glass. Around your hand. You go outside but none of your friends can get the glass off and it doesn’t seem to be smashing as it did the last time. You go the rest of your life with a champagne glass built around your hand by supernatural forces.

3O) Find something for your hand which is now bleeding from the glass – You look around for something to put against you hand to stop the bleeding. In the corner you see what looks like a piece of paper tucked into the floorboards. You lift it up. It says “Hide the heart and stop this madness, she must never know.” You put it against your cut, but you start to notice that it doesn’t seem to be stopping the blood flow, but increasing it. You take the paper away. The blood flowing from the cut on your hand is black like ink, while the ink on the page is red. Your blood has been taken over by the ink on the page. You go the rest of your life with ink in place of your blood like an octopus but without the useful extra arms.

2F) Pick up the book

3P) Try and read a page out loud – You start to try and figure out some of the letters and say them out loud, as you do the sky outside the window starts to turn dark, it goes as dark as night and then somehow manages to get even darker. Then a bright red flash goes across the window and you hear a crack that seems to come from the ground and…is that the sound of horses’ hooves? You think to yourself. It is. You have bought about the apocalypse. Well done you.

3Q) Take the book and leave – You pick the book up and go to leave, thinking it will make sufficiently interesting proof for your friends. You get to the front door and walk out without much problem, but as soon as you cross the threshold of the door, you hear the pages of the book rustling. You look down. The book has grown legs. Eight of them, like a spider. You scream and drop the book. The book scuttles back into the house and even closes the door after it. As your friends also witnessed this, you all decide to run away and never go back to the house again.

3R) Rip a page out of the book and leave – You rip out a page of the book, the ripping sound seems strange, it could be mistaken for the rumble of thunder instead, but you look outside and the sky looks bright blue. Very bright blue, Unnaturally blue. and the sky is moving like waves. It almost looks as if the sea and the sky have swopped places. They have. The sea comes crashing back down to Earth all at once crushing you and drowning your friends and leaving an empty void above where the sky used to be.

1C) Go down to the (hopefully) kitchen

2G) Start going through the cupboards to find your proof so you can leave You open one cupboard and find some hand painted plates, you take one of these down and go to leave, but the shelf in the cupboard suddenly gives way and the plates all fall down onto the counter smashing into pieces. The crash from this echoes around the room and it sounds for a second almost as if someone is screaming, but you continue up the stairs. Halfway up the light goes out and you feel something grab your ankle as you trip on the stairs. Do you:

2H) Open the door to the larder to find your proof – There is no food in the larder, just a lot of cobwebs, but in the corner you think you see something shining. You move towards it. It’s stuck in the wall. Do you:

2I) Open the drawers to find your proof – You find various kinds of cutlery in the drawers. You pick up a fork, thinking that will do as proof, but as you go to put the fork in your pocket, the drawer slams shut, shaking all the cutlery inside like chains. Do you:

2G) Start going through the cupboards to find your proof so you can leave

3S) Scream – The something screams back. The grip on your ankle loosens and you clamber up the stairs in your hurry to get out. You wrench open the door to the kitchen, and turn to take a look at the something, in the light coming through the open door, but there is nothing there, as if there never really was.

3T) Use the plate to hit at whatever has hold of your leg – You hit where you assume the something is with the plate. The plate hits against the solid air and breaks, but the something doesn’t let go of you. In fact, you start to be dragged back down into the darkened kitchen, and it seems like you’re being dragged for longer than the amount of stairs should allow as you are dragged deeper and deeper down into the earth.

3U) Try to keep climbing up the stairs – You try to keep going up the stairs with the something holding onto your ankle, you manage to get to the door and pull it open, you limp through. In the light of the main hallway you look round, but you can’t see anything that might be attached to your ankle, but you can feel it like hands gripping you. You limp to the front door and out to meet your friends, they all stare and point behind you, but you still can’t see anything there. You never do.

2H) Open the door to the larder to find your proof

3V) Leave it and find something else – You decide to leave it and find something easier to move, but as soon as you have made that decision, the door closes behind you, leaving you in darkness. Darkness except for the thing stuck in the wall, which seems to be shining even in the dark. You go to pull it out the wall, but it’s hot and burns your fingers. The door opens again and you walk back out. You decide to leave before you get stuck in anywhere else. When you reach your friends outside you show them the burn on your hand. It’s heart-shaped. Your friends are suitably impressed.

3W) Try and prise it out of the wall – You try and prise it out of the wall with your fingers, but all you succeed in doing is cutting your fingers on the surprisingly sharp edge. Your blood drips down the side of the shining object and drips inside. You see now, it is a heart-shaped locket. Once the blood has dripped inside the locket, your own heart turns to metal, killing you. You join the other ghosts in the house, which there seem to be rather a lot of.

3X) Move closer to see what it is before you take it – You move closer and see that it is a heart-shaped locket, that has somehow become embedded in the wall. You try to move it, but cannot. A piece of paper flutters down in front of you, but you can’t see where it could possibly have come from. The paper reads: “if you find this, please place it back inside the heart for all our sakes.” You slot the piece of paper in through the gap of the heart locket, which immediately dislodges itself from the wall and falls into your hands. You take the locket as your proof and no-one ever hears crying from the house again.

2I) Open the drawers to find your proof

3Y) Run up the stairs taking the fork anyway – You start to run up the stairs, but you trip halfway up and accidentally stab yourself with the fork in your pocket. You keep going. When you get outside you show your friends the cut made by the fork, but the fork itself is gone from your pocket and you lose the dare.

3Z) Put the fork back in the drawer – You open the door to try and put the fork back inside. As soon as you open the door the tiniest of inches, the cutlery inside the drawer starts attacking you. You end up pinned against the wall of the kitchen by a dozen knives, which have expertly avoided actually stabbing you and instead just stabbed your clothes. You hear a siren from the street outside, and the knives fall away leaving your clothes ruined, but at least it’s good proof for your dare.

3AA) Put the fork back on the counter top – You put the fork back on the counter top and turn to find something less angry to take with you. From behind you, you hear a strange metallic sliding sound. You turn back to find the fork has gone from the counter top, you look round but there’s nowhere the fork could have gone. You leave the kitchen and go towards the front door. In front of the door, you find the fork, which you now pick up and take with you, without any difficulty. Your dare is won, but you never find out how the fork got moved.


Books My Mother Gave Me: The Children of Green Knowe (L.M. Boston) Review

Published August 26, 2013 by ElisaChristy

This book is set around Christmas time, making it not the best thing to read during August, but there you go.

The book follows Toseland (Tolly) who is sent to live with his great grandmother at the house of Green Noah.

Due to the village being flooded, Tolly must row to the house, leaving him imagining he is on his way to the ark. There is a lot of religious symbolism in the book, such as a statue of Saint Christopher in the garden, but we are never shown them outside Tolly’s point of view, so they could be interpreted as his games of make believe. Or not. It is up to the reader to decide for themselves.

“It looked as if someone had been trying to draw her for a very long time and every line put in had made the face more like her.”

Tolly’s great grandmother is just as imaginative as he is, indulging him when he has imagined things and telling him stories about olden times.

Not much does happen in the book, it is mainly just Tolly’s life there and stories of the children who used to live there – the children of the title, who reside as ghosts now; although ‘ghosts’ is probably the wrong word for them. The children are not really displayed as ghosts as how can they be ghosts when it was their house once too? – the fact they are not seen as ghosts is the only reason I can think of for why I was not scared by this book as a child – the children are only ever portrayed as being there, in fact Tolly really wants to see them which takes some of the ‘ghostiness’ about them away.

” “Why do you live in a castle?” He said, looking round. “Why not? Castles were meant to live in.” “

While not a lot does happen in the book, the old stories Mrs Oldknow tells are important to the plot as she explains why the house is called Green Noah when it was once called Green Knowe. It involves a tree cursed by a gypsy after her son was sent to Australia for trying to steal a horse.

This makes the book unique as while the children (or ghosts) are not portrayed as frightening at any point; the cursed tree is. If anything the ghost children help Tolly when he wanders near the cursed tree during a storm.

“It was Tolly who sang alone, while, four hundred years ago, a baby went to sleep.”

The book allows you to make up your own mind whether you think it is all make believe or whether the castle really is full of ghosts. It is written well also. I distinctly remember hearing about Tolly being rowed to Green Noah for the first time, as the description of the floods and later on the snow is wonderful.

Although the central plot is covered in about five pages, it is a book you want to read, even if just to hear more about Tolly’s life there with the ghost children.

There were other books in this series, but this was the only one I ever had. When I was younger, I always assumed it was quite an old fashioned book, (it was published in 1954)and didn’t really ever read it myself after my mother stopped reading to me, but reading it again, I don’t think it should be set in the present or in any other time than it is and I’m quite tempted to try and find the others.