Today on the blog, I have one of my writing buddies, Sarah Baker, who tells us all about her night in a haunted house.
Have you ever spent the night in a haunted house?
I was twelve and on holiday in France with my Aunt, Uncle and two cousins. We’d been in the car and on the motorway most of the day and had started to reach that level of finding each other really annoying when my uncle pulled the car onto an old, pot-holed road. He drove towards a huge, falling-apart house. It was three stories high, had so many windows I couldn’t count them all, and seemed to be half sagging, half lurching into the ground. This was where we’d spend our last night in France before catching the ferry home.
The house belonged to friends of my Aunt and Uncle. The man was tall, his wife was round and neither smiled. We children were instructed to play in the orchard until dinner was ready, but just as the adults went into the house, it was announced that there wasn’t enough room in the guesthouse for all of us, so my cousin Julia and I would have to stay in the big house.
You know that sound in a film that’s like a record being ripped off a turntable? That’s what I heard in my head. Stay in a big creepy house? Er, no thanks. But it was too late. By the time I’d opened my mouth, the adults had disappeared down a dark corridor. I looked at my cousins, they looked at me, and we ran outside.
It probably would’ve been alright, if my cousin hadn’t decided somewhere between playing tag in the garden and eating a really rich stew, that she wasn’t going to stay in the house with me. As we were shown into a small bedroom containing two ancient cots with pillows shaped like thin sausage rolls, folded blankets (no duvets!) and a really evil looking wardrobe, Julia announced that she had a really bad headache and would need to be with her mum, dad and sister. She raced off, but just as I decided to do the same, Armuth (the lady of the house) shut the bedroom door behind her and walked away. I was left with the sound of her footsteps echoing on the parquet floor and the wind whistling through the window shutters.
What happened next? Well I went exploring, of course. I started out looking for the bathroom and ended up fleeing from suits of armour, terrifying paintings of Armuth’s relatives that leered down from the walls, plenty of strange bumps and creaks and some out of tune dings from an old grandfather clock. Nearly all the doors I tried were locked, but I must have found the bedroom again because when I woke up I was on the cot and still in my clothes. Over breakfast my cousins asked Armuth if the house was haunted. With a glance at me she winked and said, “but, of course” and that’s how the idea was sown for Through the Mirror Door…
Sarah Baker is a children’s author. Her debut novel for 8-12 year olds, Through the Mirror Door, is available now at all good bookshops.