A short story for learners of English. We hope you enjoy it!
Hello everyone! I’m Old Jack. I travel around the world searching for interesting ghost stories. It is almost Halloween, so I have decided to share a special story with you. I hope you enjoy it.
Around fifty years ago, when I was about twenty years old, I visited London. I stayed with my friend, Richard, for a weekend. We had a great time. I lived in the north of England, so I couldn’t go to London often. I was very excited. We went sightseeing, and drank beer every night.
On my last night in London, Richard said, “I’ll take you to an interesting pub. It has a ghost. You like ghosts, don’t you?”
“Oh yes!” I said. “I have been interested in ghosts since I was a young boy. Let’s go!”
We walked to the pub from Richard’s house. It was a cold night in late October, just before Halloween. We were very glad when we arrived at the pub and saw a nice warm fire, and a friendly landlord waiting to serve us beer.
We sat at the bar and talked to the landlord, the owner of the pub.
“Richard tells me you have a ghost,” I said.
“Oh, yes. We do,” said the landlord. “I’ll tell you about it.”
“Please do! I said.
“Well, we have to go back a hundred years,” said the landlord. “This pub was a very popular pub then. It had many customers. But one day, something terrible happened. It was late at night, and the pub was closing. The last customers left the pub. They were drunk and happy. The landlord locked the door and started to count the money.
“Then he heard a noise. Knock knock. Someone was knocking on the door.
“‘We are closed!’ he shouted. But the knocking sound did not stop. Knock knock. Knock knock.
“‘Who is it?’ shouted the landlord.
“‘It’s John! I think I left my coat!’ said a voice.
“The landlord went to the door and unlocked it. But it wasn’t John. It was a different man. The man pushed the landlord into the pub and closed the door. ‘The money!’ he shouted. ‘Give me the money!’
“The landlord tried to fight him, but the man was very strong. He pulled the mirror from the wall above the fire, and smashed it over the landlord’s head. The broken glass from the mirror cut the landlord’s face and neck, and he died. The robber took the landlord’s body to the cellar under the pub, and locked the cellar door. Then, he took all the money and some bottles of whisky, and ran away.
“The next day, many people came to the pub, but they couldn’t find the landlord. The police came, and finally they found the landlord’s body in the cellar.”
“Did they catch the robber?” I asked.
“Yes, they did,” said the landlord. “He was a man from the other side of London. He had robbed many other pubs and shops. The police had been looking for him for a long time. When the police caught him, he cried and said, ‘I didn’t want to kill him! I just wanted the money! I’m sorry!’ A few weeks later, he was hanged.”
“So who is the ghost in here? Is it the landlord, or the robber? Or both?” I asked.
“I think both the men are here. I haven’t seen them, but I hear strange things,” said the landlord. “When I go to the cellar to get more beer, I sometimes hear a strange sound. It sounds like someone is pulling something heavy across the floor. But there is no one there! I live upstairs. Sometimes, late at night when I am in bed, I hear men’s voices. They are fighting. And I hear the sound of breaking glass. But when I come down here, no one is there.”
“That sounds scary,” I said.
“That sounds stupid!”
I turned around and saw a man with a glass of whisky in his hand. His face was very red. He looked quite drunk.
“I don’t believe any of that!” he said. “I don’t believe in ghosts! What a stupid story!”
Just then, the lights went out! The pub became very dark! We couldn’t see anything!
Everyone started talking. “What is it?” “Is it a power cut?” “It’s dark! I can’t see anything!”
Then, we heard a very loud CRASH!!!
Some people started shouting. Some were screaming.
Then, suddenly, the lights came on. The mirror from the wall was now on the floor. It was broken into many small pieces around the man with the red face. Everyone was quiet. We all looked at the man. We couldn’t believe it.
Then the landlord asked the man, “Are you OK? Are you cut?”
The man shook his head. “No, but my neck hurts.”
We looked at his neck. There were rope marks around his neck. He was too shocked to talk. He picked up his coat and walked out of the pub.
We all helped to clean up the glass on the floor. The landlord gave us all free whisky.
We all talked about the mirror and the lights, but no one could understand it. In that pub, there were people who believed in ghosts and people who didn’t believe in ghosts. But by the end of the night, I think everyone believed.
Old Jack has written five books of ghost stories. You can find more information about his books here. Old Jack’s Ghost Stories