As a firm believer in the existence of ghostly presences, Dean regularly combed the press for the most haunted house, inn or abbey in order to go off for a weekend searching for spooks. On his return he regaled anyone prepared to listen with what his partner, Mandy, called his ectoplasmic claptrap.

Sadly for her the most haunted castle in the country was only a short distance away and,  as he had saved this one up for his birthday treat, she was obliged to agree to stay a night in a bedroom there and join a group of enthusiasts who were hoping for a spine-tingling evening with the paranormal.

With the equipment for the detective work set up, a nervous looking group were given a tour, which described historic sightings through the centuries of an ill-fated Jacobean lady in white. Later, all assembled in the stone staircase, they were told to take care, as spirits can attach themselves to individuals. Ridiculous, thought Mandy, just wanting to get the evening over with. A tense half hour followed as ears pricked up and goosebumps raged every time there was a creak from the Victorian heating pipes or a whisper of wind that posed as the rustle of a silk dress. Soon anticipation turned to boredom as the EMF meter failed to register a single change in electromagnetic energy.

It was hard to relax in the chilly, dismal bedroom but, with no roaming ghouls showing up in the moonlight, Mandy, and eventually even Dean, who had initially been on high alert, did manage to sleep.

Mandy was glad to leave behind the dusty tapestries and dark velvet drapes and refused to battle with the temperamental plumbing in the accommodation’s facilities. It was a relief to be back in their ultra-modern apartment, where she was looking forward to luxuriating in a warm power shower.

Entering the bathroom and switching on the bright LED lights, she looked over to the mirror and screamed. Staring back at her was the pale drawn face and dishevelled platinum blond locks of a woman in white.

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1 year ago

A slow, steady build to a startling conclusion. Love the English castle/paranormal elements and the contrasting modern “sensible” living (or so it may seem!). 

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

You’ve hit a nerve with this one, Susan; I have a real phobia about mirrors and look in them as little as possible… it’s not only my own scary face I’m afraid to see looking back at me. Great story telling.

1 year ago

Susan, this story is great. Just the right amount of old English castles and ghosts, and the end really was frightening! But best of all is the picture! I know you usually use your own photographs, so tell us the story of this one. Great work with both story and photo.

Reply to  Susan Dawson
1 year ago

That’s not really a disappointment, Susan. Using photoshop is itself an art form, and the end result is spectacular. I also saw the broomstick picture – how cool is that! Broomstick Flying lessons at Harry Potter castle – wow. Oh to be in England.

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

There are some fantastic castles in Northumberland. We took the children to Alnwick castle when they were waiting for their Hogwarts letters to arrive. I lost count of the number of times we went to Warkworth Castle when I was growing up ?

Sandra James
Sandra James(@sandra-james)
1 year ago

I avoid my mirror because it is simply too honest but that is preferable to Mandy’s view! Great progression through the story and I love the expression ‘ectoplasmic claptrap’.

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

Indeed, a spirit did attach itself to Mandy, although she didn’t believe in its existence! Or maybe it did so because she didn’t care about ghosts, as some kind of revenge. A well told story, Susan!

Dipayan Chakrabarti
Dipayan Chakrabarti(@dipayan-chakrabarti)
1 year ago

Mandy is described as being possessed by an evil spirit at the end of the story which is shocking and scary. Awesome!

Greene M Wills
Greene M Wills(@greene-m-wills)
1 year ago

“Most Haunted” at its best, Susan! I loved the prep around ghost haunting expedition and the disappointment stemming from that. However, the image agnostic Mandy sees in the mirror can turn one’s blood to ice! Mirrors are also so effective when narrating a tale of terror! Great story! ? 

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago

You make my muscles tremble with fear, Susan. Awesome. Using a mirror is very effective way to make your story even more haunted. Good job.

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