“Ghoulies and Ghosties and long legged beasties and things that go bump in the night”
Write a story in which a person who does not believe in their existence has second thoughts.
The little village of Sparrows Hill was at the foot of the mountain called The Giant’s Seat. Some folks say the mountain was used as a resting place for giants coming up from the south to the north. On top of this eerie mountain was a castle, which had been built there because of the view that was obtained from on top of the mountain. Legend has it that the castle was haunted, but, of course, there was at least on disbeliever of this legend.
Tommy Thomas was one such person. He lived in a cottage by himself, although he had many friends in the village. In the pub, The Giant’s Arms, he often boasted of how he was not afraid of ghosts because he believed they did not exist. One evening, when he was drunk out of his mind, he made a bet that he would spend a night in the castle.
The next morning, when he was sober, he packed some things into a rucksack and prepared for the ling hike to the castle. He didn’t have any regrets about his bet because even when he was sober he believed that ghosts did not exist.
It took him a good to hours to get to the castle, and when he got there, the first thing he did was to look for a suitable place to bed down. The rooms were full of cobwebs and dust, but it’s only natural for a house that is haunted to have cobwebs and dust. He found a suitable place, where it wasn’t draughty, but there was a conveniently close window. He unrolled his sleeping bag, and, in doing so, heard a noise from behind him. He thought about it but just dismissed it from hos mind as rats. His next job was to search through the house to make sure none of his friends had come up to try and frighten him. This job done he returned to his sleeping bag only to see the shape of someone lying in it. He ran up to it and pulled back the cover, but there was nothing there!
“You won’t find me in bed, Tommy Thomas,” said a voice. Tommy wheeled round and saw nothing! He sat staring and slowly a figure appeared. It was a court jester! Tommy was stunned, he wanted to speak, but he couldn’t.
“I am James. James the Jester. I have been watching you Tommy, and I am disappointed with you. Fancy not believing in me and my kind.”
“You and your kind? You mean to say there are more of you?” said Tommy.
“Quite so. I’ll introduce you to a few later, but first I will explain who I am. I had to be executed for making a bad joke. I can’t remember what it was, I’ve made so many. It was during the reign of Richard the First. Not much of a reign, more of a heavy thunderstorm. Anyway, as soon as you were born, I was assigned by head office – there’s no bodies there, just heads – assigned by head office to follow you around, and now is as good a time as any to show myself to you!”
“So, in actual fact, every mortal has a ghost following them around?” queried Tommy.
“That’s true. The more important the mortal, the more important the ghost. Now how would you like to meet some of your friends’ ghosts?” asked James.
“I’d like that very much.”
“Right, I’ll call them. Harry, could you come here?”
And right in front of Tommy appeared Harry.
“This is Harry the Howler. Go on Harry, give us one of yer howls.”
“Wonderful. You know Tommy, you don’t hear howls like that often,” said James.
Harry disappeared and in his place was a lady ghost. “This is Lisa the Moaner, but we call her Moaner Lisa, but that’s another story.”
The next couple of hours were taken up with Tommy being shown all different kinds of ghosts with name like: Harry the Hairless, Headless Herbert, Peter the Poltergeist, Spencer the Spectacled Spectre, One Legged Larry, Nivesan Fawkes (a descendant of Guy Fawkes), Brenda the Banshee, Reginald Pepys (“But it’s not his fault,” as James put in) and many more, each with a different talent.
In the morning, Tommy packed up his things and strolled down the path, back to the village. He was greeted by his friends, but now he imagined their ghosts closely behind them. He did not speak to anyone until that evening, when he was in the pub and he was asked “Do you still not believe in ghosts?”
To which Tommy replied with “Oh, I believe in them all right, but I am still not afraid of them, and I have yet to meet one that scared!”
And with that last remark, he left the villagers of Sparrows Hill wondering what had happened to him up at the castle.
(c) M. Robert Gibson
First written 1976-11-11
Don’t forget, it was written by a schoolboy.
It is published here for purely selfish vanity reasons.