“Great party,” said Jane, swaying a little under the influence of cherry eyeball punch and trying to make out Ryan’s face in the ghoulish green light.

“Yes,” agreed Ryan, “I thought a graveyard on a windswept hill would be perfect for a Halloween rave; no neighbours to disturb and out of the way of the Covid-police. That building over there, whatever it is, is topped with finials, so it’s been perfect for draping the lights. Well done with your costume. I love your pale make-up and white dress. Very spooky.”

“Thanks. I’m local, and parties are rare events round these parts. I could dance all night with that crowd of wizards and warlocks over there. My husband’s not keen on dancing. Look at him over there, Humph by name and Humph by nature. I expect he’s moaning about how the place is so overgrown, with all these thistles and long grasses amongst the gravestones. Tomorrow, he’ll be telling the vicar to get the parishioners on the job.”

“Really? -er – I thought the church looked disused, but you must know if you’re local. “

“Does it?…I must admit it is a while since I’ve been in. Don’t worry, he’s probably moved on to brown-nosing about some scheme or other. Between you and me, he’s always flashed too much cash about on self-indulgent projects; says it’s about raising his profile, for posterity I suspect with the amount he’s spent!”

As the party came to a close, and the witches and oversized human pumpkins walked off down the hill, followed by Ryan and helpers struggling to carry the heavy music system, no one noticed that one couple did not leave. As they moved out from behind the long-decommissioned church, the man breathed a sigh of relief, but his wife’s wistful gaze followed the line of torches down the hill.

Blowing out a tealight that had been left inside one of the shell-shaped niches of their mausoleum, Jane and Humfrey Hopper stepped underneath the arched vault, and lay down on their two stone slabs for another 270 years.

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary (@carrie-oleary)
1 year ago

Interesting ghost story Susan. I wonder what they thought of modern day music and dress?!

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary (@carrie-oleary)
1 year ago
Reply to  Susan Dawson

I wonder what the world will be like in another 270 years. Just out of interest, is there any reason for the 270 years?

Fuji
Fuji (@fuji)
1 year ago

I always look forward to your new stories, Susan, because I know I’m bound to learn something interesting and historic! Sure enough, I looked up Jane and Humphrey Hopper and their mausoleum on the hill, and it’s an actual place just as I suspected. You’ve brought these real people to life in an unforgettable way. I think you’re right, Jane could totally get into 21st century doings. Humphrey, probably not. Next time, in 2290, maybe she can stick around for a while when he goes back!

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Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe (@eric-radcliffe)
1 year ago

Hi Susan, I enjoyed your story. The horror is in the chatty dialogue and the unexpected ending. I read the comment by Fuji, and the Mausoleum of Jane and Humphrey Hopper. Be very careful on Halloween night, just in case you didn’t get their permission!

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof (@christer-norrlof)
1 year ago

After having read your story the first time, I was wondering about it and started to search for facts behind the names. That’s when I discovered that your story has an historical and geographical background. I saw beautiful photos on the net of what you described, including the two characters and the mausoleum. You did a great job using them in your Halloween story with an intriguing and surprising outcome! Thank you!

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Katy Bizi
Katy Bizi (@katy-bizi)
1 year ago

Congratulations on your well-written story. If I have to be honest, I did cry out in fear by the end of the story. It has the spooky tone that was needed but you have set the scary bar to another level!

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
10 months ago

Hello, Susan. It is a very nice scary story, as I always expected from you. I almost fell off of my chair. I think I cannot go there at night alone. Well done.

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