Ghost stories in the Meeting House, 31/10/08

The Meeting House is dark except for a circle of tiny candles on the floor. Ghostly music plays in the background. We are all introduced and nibble on spidery chocolate cake (only slightly squashed). Then we begin.First is ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ by Charlotte Gilman, a tragic tale of a young woman’s confinement and her descent into psychosis.

Next comes ‘Mono’s and Daimono’s’ by Edward Bulwer. Every single detail is beautifully described in this atmospheric tale, making it feel like you’re there amongst the ‘burning sands…vast deserts…and the enormous woods of Africa, where human step never trod’.

After this, a few real life tales of the supernatural, such as the story of an old woman who would have been crushed under a falling chimney if it hadn’t been for a few well timed knocks on her door.

Then, we have a story of two brothers by Chris Harrison, where one of them ends up at the bottom of a cliff with all his bones broken, the other with blood on his hands and a bloodied stone that never dries.

Finally, we round off the evening with an urban legend. A young woman keeps seeing a dancing clown at the end of her garden, which her neighbour never sees. After hearing unknown voices several times at night, she eventually goes upstairs to check on her children and finds them dead. Racing back down she calls the police and her neighbour, desperate to find this ‘dancing clown’.

When the police arrive later, the young woman has a bullet in her head; the children are still dead in their beds. So why couldn’t the neighbour see the clown in the garden? Because it was dancing in her reflection…

We all sit there, terrified. But then the lights come back on, the candles are blown out and reality sets in once again. It was a wonderful evening, all the readers were great and it was lots of fun. But I’m still glad Halloween only happens once a year!

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