Another Writing Workshop with Horror Author Janine-Langley Wood at ELFM / Chapel FM Radio.
With Guest Writers: Zahra, Lynsey and Paul.
Question: What inspires a good ghost story?
Answer: Dig deep into your past, summon up the stories of your neighbourhood, reawaken the tales you and your friends used to tell with the single goal of scaring the crap out of each other, and often yourself, in the process. Or perhaps, as with two of my guests, you really did see or hear something that has mystified and troubled you ever since.
Next: Write it down and play with it. In other words, fictionalise it.
Where I grew up, over the hill from Fulneck Valley in Pudsey, there was a walled ginnel cutting through the high fields that the kids from our street would dare each other to go down at night. Locally, the path was known as ‘Bailey-Gallows’. During the day we’d traverse the length of it, no problem, after all it was a common short-cut to and from the valley that was our playground. But at night, the story was that if you did dare to venture that way, through the stone posts up past the old sycamore on the brow of the hill, you just might walk through the moonlit shadow of Bailey, the last man to be hanged on a gallows up there; and duck though you may, if he was in playful mood, the boots on his dead feet might just scrape your head as you passed.
Was it true? Is it still true? Probably not. But even the slightest rumour, a whisper, a yarn, becomes the seed that grows in the imaginations of children. We want to go on the Big Dipper, the huge Roller Coaster; we want the fear, we crave the thrill, though it prickles our spine and turns our adolescent knuckles white.
So what’s your story? The one you’d tell Around the Campfire? Think back.
Paste the link below into your browser and listen to the hair-raisers shared live on air by my three guest writers at ELFM during the 2017 ‘Writing on Air Festival’, followed by a reading from my novella in progress, ‘The Last Vow’.
Buckle up and enjoy the ride.