Written winter 1994

A Ghost Story

By Alan Nolan

Do you believe in ghosts or are you a sceptic like me? well maybe by the time you have read my strange story you might change your mind.

I was travelling back from a business conference in Scotland the journey home being about four hundred miles, but I was determined to make it back without stopping off at a hotel for the night.

I had made the trip back many times before and driving back my mind would slip into auto pilot not concentrating on the road but thinking of home, and jane my loved one.

Down the picturesque Scottish Lowlands and over the border to England I would keep reminding myself on far I had come and how far it was to home, clocking up the miles mentally and wishing time would speed up, visualising seeing the car pulling into the drive of my home.

It had been a long day, I was exhausted and the only thing keeping me wake was constant squeaking of the windscreen wipers on the windscreen and the gentle pitter-patter of the rain.

My eyelids felt like lead as I fought hard to retain consciousness I could fell myself falling asleep at the wheel, then suddenly I would jerk upright the car swerving from lane to lane, fighting with the steering wheel I would eventually control the car back into a straight line. Its no use I thought to myself I had better find a Hotel and rest for the night.

A sign post on the Motorway indicated their was a junction two miles further on, so I decided I would turn off and head for one of the small towns. On leaving the motorway I noticed a sign saying Whitewell three miles, driving along the road I suddenly noticed that a fog was beginning to appear it was getting thicker and thicker until it felt like the car was not moving at all and I had slowed down to a crawling pace. Then suddenly a light appeared, a dim gloomy light flickering on and off, has I drew closer I could see the small buildings strutting out of the fog, at last a town I thought.

Slowly driving through the town I constantly looked from left to right looking for an Inn or Hotel, If this was Whitwelll it was not really a town more like a village by the size of it I wondered if it would have a Hotel, if not a hotel then maybe by chance an Inn with accommodation. The houses in the village seemed extremely old, lights flickered inside the dwellings like old gas lamps, shadows moved slowly across the light like ghosts and streams of smoke spiralled from their chimneys to be devoured in the fog. The weird thing about this place was the lack of activity it was only nine O'clock and their was not a soul in sight - no drunks in the street no adolescents hanging round - maybe I am too use to suburban life I thought.

There was a store on my left and the lights where on so I pulled over and got out of the car, I walked over and opened the door, a bell clanged and then a musty smell stunned my senses the lighting was very poor in the shop and an old women sat curled up behind the counter with an enormous black cat slumped in her lap, as I approached her she shifted the cat from her knee and stood to attention like an old Chelsea Soldier she looked me over curiously then said "cold isn't it young man" I replied " and foggy" Its always cold and foggy in these parts, now what can I do for you" " she said do you know if the there's a Hotel or Inn in the village" I said There's only the Old Raven Inn at the bottom of the main street you can't miss its got a large sign hanging from it roof "oh! cheers I said "and then turned away, suddenly I remember I had no cigarettes I turned round swiftly to ask her for some but to my suprise she had vanished thatís queer I thought never mind l will get some at the Inn, I returned to my car and slowly drove off.

Obviously the Main street was this street and right at the end stood the Raven Inn ' what a gloomy old place it was' it looked like it had been drawn-back through time from the seventeenth century and dumped here in this street. The lights where on, so atleast it was open I pulled the large oak door open and walked in, to my suprise the inside was very cosy the reception desk was empty but a room to the left, which must have been the bar was alive with laughter and people talking, I could see shadows of people dancing and hear music being played as I drew closer to the desk a tall slender, dark haired women appeared from the room.

"Good evening Sir she said"and flickered her large eyebrows it was unbelievable, but I felt very attracted to her and even blushed, pulling myself together,"I replied would you by chance have a room for the night", "of course Sir double or single" still quite red in the face I said "single" she handed me a large key and ,said "Its room number six Sir straight up the stairs and second on the left I turned away from her to walk up the stairs and had this strange feeling she was staring at me all the time, I turned round to ask her if I could pay my bill in the morning and as I turned she suddenly said "Its alright sir you can pay your bill in the Morning" amazing I thought this women must be telepathic, "Oh! by the way Sir where having a party in the bar if you like to join us fell welcome to come down","that sounds like fun I might just pop in for a while"I said and with that I turned away and continued climbing the stairs.

The room was very old fashion but looked comfortable, an open fire with three large logs on the fire burned fiercely, I collapsed on the bed totally exhausted and lay there gazing at the ceiling.

The party must have been in full swing because the noise was getting louder, I thought about the attractive women on the reception desk and then thought of my own wife back at home. Oh god ! I better ring Jane up she will be worried sick, I sprung from the bed and quickly shot down the stairs.

The telephone where is it ! suddenly I realised it was all quiet, no music, no people I rung the bell on the reception and waited after ten silent minutes had passed I began to fell very distraught and angry.There was not a soul about I checked the bar no one there and then what must have been the kitchen no one there either.

I decided it was pointless running around this seemingly empty Inn like a crazy madman and frustrated returned to bed. Back in the room I lay my head on the pillow and totally drained fell to sleep.

I was just falling into deep sleep when I was awoken by the sound of the bedroom door creaking . It was completely dark and as the door opened I could just make out the shadow of a women. I reached over to turn on the bedside lamp and as the dim light spread across the room the figure and features of my mysterious nightcaller become visible. It was the tall dark women whom I had spoken to on the reception desk. I was totally shocked and just lay there staring at her for she was completely naked, she made no sound but simply walked straight over to the bed and climbed in. Without a word or explanation she just started to make love to me.

The next morning, I woke up alone, still dressed and very confused by what I thought was some locals playing a prank on a city boy, my body ached as I pulled myself from the bed and my neck was swollen. On examining it I noticed two very small punctures in the skin but just thought that the women was a bit of an animal. I stormed down stairs wobbling and swaying the reception was empty and so I checked all the rooms in the Inn, the place was totally deserted.

I left a cheque for fifty pounds on the reception desk, which I thought was over generous and left with the intention of returning on my next conference to give the owner a piece of my mind. I then returned to the motorway and headed for home. Two weeks later, I was on my way back from Scotland and I decided to revisit Whitwell but to my astonishment I could not find the village and an attendant at a local garage in the next village to where I thought Whitwell was roughly situated had never heard of the place.

The strange thing about my story is, now I am a Vampire.

THE END