Do you believe in ghosts?
If you do, you are not alone! I believe in ghosts, and all over
Britain, there are places where, if you are lucky (or perhaps unlucky),
you may see a ghost!!
by Mary Denman
The Tower of London.... a very haunted place !
Do ghosts really exist? There are lots
of people who say that they do; and I am one of them.
Many of Britain's ancient castles have
ghosts. One of the most famous "haunted
castles" in England is actually the Tower of London .
During the Tower's long history, many
men and women were thrown into its dark dungeons, or executed
gates! Among the most famous was Lady Jane Grey, Queen of England in
the year 1554.
Jane was just 17 when she became Queen,
on July 9th 1554; however, at the same time another woman, Mary,
thought that she ought to be Queen. Mary's supporters were stronger
than Jane's, and within
Jane was sent to the Tower of London. On 19th July
poor Jane had her head cut off outside the Tower!
Since then, it is said that the ghost of
Lady Jane Grey wanders through the rooms and corridors of the Tower of
Other ghosts are not so famous. The
village of Prestbury, in Gloucestershire, is reputed
to be one of
the most haunted villages in England.
Many villagers have heard - and some say
they have seen - the "headless horseman" who rides
village on December 31st! People say that he was a soldier who fought
in the English Civil War, in the 17th century.
In the same village, in an old cottage,
there is a ghost known as the "spinette
player". Sometimes at night, people hear the sound of someone playing
this old musical instrument. The music always comes from a room that is
These are just some of Britain's
well-known ghosts; but there are lots of less-known ghosts too. I know;
I have encountered
one of them.
My own ghost story - The hands
Several years ago, I went to stay with
some friends who lived in an old house in the country. I had not told
them I was
coming, and when I arrived, they already had other visitors.
," said my friend Ella. "You can sleep in the small guest
room. We don't
often use it, but you'll be all right for one night."
As we said goodnight, Ella added. "Oh,
and please, lock the door before you go to bed. Otherwise
open by itself."
Well I locked the door, lay down in bed,
and went to sleep. During the night, I slept badly; I didn't really
know if I was asleep or awake. But suddenly, I knew I was awake. Hands
were touching my face. I tried to push them away, but there was
nothing. I found the light switch, and put on the light. There was no
one in the room.
"It was just a dream," I thought. And I
went back to sleep.
When I woke up next morning, I got
another surprise. The door, which I had shut and locked, was open!
During breakfast, I told Ella about my strange dream, and about the
"You too!" she replied. "Yes, I know.
that's why we don't often use that bedroom. It's the blind
"What blind lady?" I asked.
"Well, you see, many years ago, the
people who lived here had a daughter who was blind. That was her
bedroom. She died when she was about 30. And since then, she has kept
coming back to her room. She always feels the sheets, before getting
into bed. Several visitors have had the same experience..... But she
was a lovely girl. She has never hurt anyone."
I felt the skin on the back of my neck
go cold.... Since then, I have always believed in ghosts!
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This article has been deliberately enriched with as many irregular
verbs as possible.
Note the two cases in which the past
participle is used: a) with the present perfect, and b) with passives.
Where ideas are expressed with
can your pupils rephrase them
using active structures? This should oblige them to use the preterite
in most cases. For example:
Have students imagine an interview between the writer and a journalist.
Or just discuss the question of ghosts. Do they really exist?
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Originally published in Horizon magazine.
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