As it turns out, Red Eye horror author Mark Graham’s not only writes scary stuff, but lives it too. So, get cosy, get some snacks and dim the lights for an extra creepy and very real ghost story…
THE OTHER SIDE
Some memories are like autumn leaves; at first vibrant, graphic shapes full of colour, they slowly fade away, their skeletal remains finally crumbling to dust. They disappear and are forgotten. Others, like scars, remain vivid and raw. You can replay them any time you want because they never go away…
It was a long time ago and there was way too much to smoke, too much to drink, so I don’t remember everything about that weekend. But, hand on my heart, this is all true.
Maybe a dozen of us, including my close friend Andy and his older brother, Simon, ended up that Saturday at someone’s house; a bungalow on a nice, suburban street in a small town north of London. Playtime.
I don’t remember whose idea it was to have a séance, but we used to do them all the time. Evening was approaching and everyone was up for it because it would be a laugh.
Curtains were drawn, a large glass-topped coffee table cleared; letters were scrawled onto squares of paper, along with the words ‘YES’ and ‘NO’, and placed in a rough circle on the table. Someone chose a chunky, cut-glass, lead crystal whisky glass to use as the pointer. I remember picking it up and hefting it, wondering if a spirit would be able to shift something that heavy.
Then the lights were doused.
In the gloom we all gathered round the table, some people, those now not so keen on what we were doing, hanging back to watch. Cigarette smoke drifted lazily towards the dark ceiling as maybe seven or eight of us reached out and put our fingers onto the base of the upturned glass.
“Spirits, are you there?” somebody asked.
A few people giggled, stopping immediately the glass moved. And it moved fast. Too fast for any one member of the circle to have been responsible. The glass sped here and there, jabbing at letters that spelled out it was Andy and Simon’s Grandfather we had contacted, then angrily shoving at the word ‘NO’, again and again and again.
I don’t know why, but somebody said, their voice shaky, “Do you want anyone to leave the circle?”
The spirit got rid everyone, including Andy’s brother, Simon. Leaving just me and Andy looking at each other as the tension rose like cold mercury in the room.
I thought that was it. All over. But the glass jerked and began to move again, round and round, and I heard Andy say, “Gramps…Gramps I want you to appear, now!”
Right in front of me the lead crystal whisky glass shattered, there was a flash of light and cast on the wall behind Andy I saw the shadow of a tall, thin man wearing what looked like a top hat.
Then, total darkness. Chaos. Screams. And finally, light. Somebody switched on the lights. The coffee table was covered in tiny nuggets of glass. Andy, eyes wide and pale, stared ahead at nothing. I could hear my heart beating, ragged and fast.
I looked over at Simon. “Did you see…?”
He nodded. “You know what our Gramps was, what he did?” he asked. I shook my head. “He was an undertaker…”
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