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Posts Tagged ‘Skegness Library’

Ghostly Goings On

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

In support of my brilliant local library in Skegness, I recently held a HALLOWEEN STORIES BY CANDLELIGHT event. Basically, it was me acting out some classic ghost and horror stories, including MR James’ terrific chiller ‘Oh Whistle and I’ll Come To You, My Lad’ and ‘Some Children Wander By Mistake’ by modern master of the macabre, John Connolly. I also penned an exclusive Halloween story of my own for the event, a mysterious piece which only makes sense when you hear or read the very last word of the story! I called it ‘Turn Her Face to the Wall’.

Anyway, the evening went really well. There were props and atmospheric lighting and some very creepy introductory music for each story. I’d also arranged for a few surprises to take place during the tales, with librarian Sarah suddenly appearing at key moments in some spooky and really rather gruesome disguises! Another terrific librarian Sue had her  cameo at the end of ‘Some Children…’ when she suddenly sprang from nowhere in a very freaky clown mask! It was great fun, especially when one of the kids in the audience jumped so high he almost landed in his mum’s lap!

But one thing still puzzles me. Towards the beginning of the evening, before the audience had arrived, librarian Ben took a photo of the empty stage area. Imagine our surprise when, viewing the photos at a later date, this strange figure seemed to have appeared out of nowhere. You see, even ghosts enjoy being spooked at Halloween!

Oh Whistle and I’ll Come to You…

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

MR James (1862-1936) is widely acknowledged as the master of the English ghost story. His tales of the macabre are not of the in-your-face, blood, guts and gore variety (although he didn’t write exclusively about creeping spirits and ancient revenants – his stories are, in fact, laced with demons and horrors of a more visceral nature). James has been a big influence on my work. I love the subtlety of his storytelling and the sheer weight of history and antiquity with which he dusts his tales.

For one week you can hear me read a brief, abridged extract from one of James’ most famous ghost stories, ‘Oh Whistle and I’ll Come to You.’ All you have to do is follow this link and click ten minutes into the programme.

You can also hear me talk briefly about how I got into writing and the HALLOWEEN STORIES BY CANDLELIGHT event which will be taking place on Thursday 25th October at Skegness Library. The reading is a little rushed as I had to get it all in before the traffic report! If you are intrigued by what you’ve heard I would thoroughly recommend picking up one of MR James’ collections. Details about the author can be found here.

The picture, by the way, comes from the BBC’s adaptation of ‘Oh Whistle’, starring Michael Hordern as the crusty, fussy Professor Parkins – a man haunted by the thing in the empty bed… Details of that wonderful interpretation can be found here