Hallowe’en drama: all fall down!

This spooky story is set towards the end of  my restless twenties, a period where I earned my living as an adult education teacher. Here, I learn with my students that many an episode in this life of ours lacks a rational explanation….

Fly-by-Night....

Fly-by-Night….

Ever on the move, I had just given up a full time post as a college lecturer in scenic Wiltshire, England, UK,  to “be a writer”, returning to my native island to do so. However, living with my parents, a mutually unsatisfactory arrangement, was followed by my moving to a small Scottish town that autumn to live with a poet friend who had a creative writing fellowship at the local university. Sharing her house, I hoped, would provide an appropriate creative stimulus. It certainly provided more than a few hangovers!

With my usual facility for obtaining employment in those days, I soon had several part-time teaching jobs including a few hours a week teaching drama, having acquired such experience “on the hoof” in my last full-time job, officially teaching English to A level students. The new drama teacher had failed to turn up at the beginning of term, and my head of department assigned me the job thus:

“You seem the dramatic type, Anne. I’m sure you’d love a weekly Drama class….”

Back then, education was a much more laid back and less regulated pursuit than it is now!

Hallowe’en that year thus found me teaching a Thursday twilight drama class from 4.30 to 6.00 pm in Dundee College of Commerce, a fairly new brick and glass building situated on a hill with stunning views across the River Tay’s estuary. The drama studio was a great space to work in: a clear light empty area with polished wood floors and a couple of heavy, six or seven foot high wooden stage sets free standing at the back wall.

I was sitting in a circle on the floor on the opposite side of the studio, with a class of lively young women in their late teens – working with them was exhilarating and fun. Through the huge picture window we could see the city of Dundee spread out below us, the local river, the ‘silvery Tay’, catching late glimmers of waning light. Outside was a clear night with a hint of autumnal frost. Inside, the studio was quiet, warm and low lit.

Hallowe'en

Hallowe’en

It being Hallowe’en, I decided to set aside our usual programme, asking them if they would like to tell spooky stories instead. They enthusiastically agreed. I no longer recall what order we worked in, nor what the stories were. Most of the girls had a strange tale to tell, then it was over to me.

“Go on, Miss, tell us one of yours !”

I can no longer remember whether I told them one of the chilling stories  handed down by my mother from her side of the family, or whether it was one of my own experiences. But I do recall with vivid clarity what occurred next. At the climax of my creepy tale, both the stage sets fell forward, clattering onto the bare floor of the studio with a deafening crash…..

After we had recovered somewhat from our shock and fright, the students and I went over to examine the stage sets. With some difficulty, since they were heavy and hard to manoeuvre, we restored them to upright positions. They were perfectly stable. There was absolutely no reason why they should have fallen over, none at all. There had been no vibrations, or wind. It was not possible for someone to have come into the studio without our noticing. Had anyone been hiding in the studio and pushed the stage sets over, they could not have got out without being seen.

Subdued and silent, we left to go home in a tight little group, furtively glancing behind us until we reached the comfort of the well-lit streets. I would be willing to bet that none of those present with me that night have ever forgotten it!

******

Do you have a spooky story you’d like to share during this Hallowe’en week? Do leave as a comment – should the spirits move you…

******

To read more of my ‘weird’ experiences, check out my recently updated memoir “Wisps from the Dazzling Darkness : an open-minded take on paranormal experience” 

wisps-from-the-dazzling-darkness#2

700 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2015
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

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8 responses to “Hallowe’en drama: all fall down!

  1. great story, and i am sure that it will forever live and be shared by those students.

    there’s a clock in the church tower here in this cowboy town, and it never seems to hve the right time. one day around 2:20, the bells started ringing – i think for six o’clock, and i said to a friend, ‘you’d think they’d fix that clock.’ we both gazed up at the clock, and both of its hands started spinning frontwards and backwards fo several seconds. my friend calmly stated, ‘i never doubted that you were a witch.’

    he later told me that he thought someone was in the tower repairing the clock, but it did feel quite eerie!!

    i hope that others share stories

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been sitting here thinking and thinking — surely, if I had a spooky story to share, I wouldn’t have to think so hard! But I’ll ponder it later tonight, and see if something emerges: perhaps in my dreams, or on waking.

    Your tale certainly is a good one. Firmly grounded in reality, and yet…?

    Like

    • Well, Linda, I must admit to finding it hard to believe that someone of your extensive travels and rich life experience hasn’t at some point encountered The Uncanny! Go on, keep scanning those braincells and report back…

      Like

  3. I enjoyed your spooky tale, Anne. I could picture the setting and the screams from the girls when the props fell over. One of my creepy stories took place in New Orleans when I participated in a Paranormal Investigation of a haunted house. There was no electricity in the house and so we used flashlights to find our way around. In one of the rooms my legs suddenly went ice cold up to my knees…a telling sign that a spirit had joined us. Our instrument readings also went crazy. After a conversation with this former “resident” I excused myself and started up the stairs to the second floor. When my feet hit the landing at the top, the energy was heavy with negative energy. Something bad had happened on that floor. I felt strongly that someone had been held captive in the closet. As our team stood chatting by the stairs, I put my hand on the stair railing and immediately felt the touch of a young woman’s hand on mine as she rushed by me and passed through the body of one of our team members who burst into tears. She obviously felt the emotions of the female spirit passing through her body as she ran down the stairs. Later when we shared our impressions with the psychic who organized the visit, she confirmed that indeed young women had been help captive in that house, sometimes locked in the closet.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oooh…that is a real chiller, Bev! As you know, I have had a fair range of paranormal experiences myself, but I wouldn’t be brave enough to go looking for them…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well, I spent the day thinking, and all I could come up with is this tiny list: I saw a UFO on the Pennsylvania turnpike in 1964 (along with about 40 others), I’ve seen Old Man Bailey with his lantern on the Texas prairie, searching for his whiskey, and I once had a conversation with a friend several years dead. That was pretty cool. We sat on a riverbank talking, and finally, when there was nothing more to say, she bid me adieu, stepped into the river-which-became-a-grave, and was gone.

    I don’t know if those qualify as spooky — I think part of the problem is that I don’t think of them as such. But, it’s the best I’ve got!

    Like

  6. Well, Linda, I use the term ‘spooky’ to fit the Hallowe’en vibe.

    But there is a profound ‘otherness’ to certain encounters – such as the one you describe with your dead friend – which appear to be between us and those who may inhabit different levels of reality from the one in which we think we are participating most of the time. I, too, have had encounters with people who I later found out were dead when they ‘appeared’ to me – reluctant encounters, since I find ‘ordinary’ life complex enough without having to deal with anything beyond our normal ken.

    Perhaps you should expand on the three intriguing snippets you mention, and produce your own Hallowe’en contribution?

    Like

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