At the start of the month (March 1st) instead of a book launch for Cursed, a group of us got together online and shared ghost stories. This wasn’t just a random idea. The book is about people sharing ghost stories so the idea seemed apposite.
As most of you know, I do enjoy hearing true ghost stories so this meant I was involved in an evening of storytelling that titillated me from start to finish. There were competitions and prizes, humour and laughter, and lots of good, creepy scares.
Below is one of the stories that didn’t get read out. This was a piece I’d been sent from a friend on the internet and I have to admit, it did give me a tickle of unease.
We bought an old house, my boyfriend and I. He’s in charge of the construction: converting the kitchen into the master bedroom for instance, while I’m on wallpaper removal duty. The previous owner papered EVERY wall and CEILING! Removing it is brutal, but oddly satisfying. The best feeling is pulling off a long peel, similar to pulling off a long strip of skin when you’re peeling from a sunburn. I don’t know about you but I kinda make a game of peeling, on the hunt for the longest piece before it rips.
Under a corner section of paper in every room is a person’s name and a date. Curiosity got the best of me one night when I Googled one of the names and discovered the person was actually a missing person. Curiously, the date they went missing matched the date under the wallpaper.
The next day, I made a list of all the names and dates. Sure enough each name was for a missing person with dates to match. We notified the police who naturally sent out a crime scene team. I overhead one tech say “Yeah. It’s human.”
Human? I wondered. What’s human?
“Ma’am,” the technician called to me. “Where is the material you removed from the walls already? This isn’t wallpaper you were removing.”