The Haunting By Terri Simpson

I sat in the back of my geography class and listened to music. I hate geography but lucky for me, Mrs Simmons was out on maternity leave and the sub teacher was fashionably late. I sat there and had to take my earphones out because the music combined with the barking noise of the classroom was giving me a migraine. Just before my head could explode, the teacher stumbled into the room.

I noticed that he was almost as transparent as a ghost. He sat at the aged desk and put his hands in front of him with his palms facing upwards. He said his name was Mr Hawght but he pronounced it as 'Haunt' which I thought was a little ironic. Mr Hawght petrified me and his resemblance to a ghost was playing on my nerves. After he told us his name; the teacher just sat there. I noticed a faint glow emanating from his upturned palms. A second later, the lights went out..

It went black and it was like time just froze. A deafening silence filled the room and it made me want to scream, but my body wouldn't move. I noticed that someone was talking and I listened as hard as I could. I heard a male voice droning on in some language that I couldn't understand. "Hine Exacta Farida Alomar In-Canto" continued the voice. I had the strangest feeling that Mr Hawght was the man chanting, and it would turn out that I was correct. The chanting stopped abruptly and the room was filled with a chilling wind. Then it was like someone pressed play on the world again and the room exploded with noise like nothing happened. Was I was the only one who noticed?

When I finally escaped the clutches of school, I plugged in my earphones once again. It was a full moon,  my least favourite time of the month which added to the eeriness. I crunched my way through the leaves on my way to the cemetery as the wind slapped my face. I worked as a part time caretaker there with my gran. The cemetery was also where my granddad was buried.

I could barely hear my music at this point because my ears were so numb. I decided to give up and take my earphones out. I walked for about five more minutes and then the prickling sensation running down my spine told me that I was being watched. I turned around but couldn't see anyone. I turned back, and just as I started to walk again, I heard a raspy voice in my head.

"Elizabeth Sinclair, you have betrayed so many people!" The voice made my stomach contract and my whole body shiver. I continued walking but I don't know why because I was trying to run. My legs were moving of their own accord and I couldn't make them go any faster. I was being steered towards the creepy back gates of the cemetery.

I gained control of my limbs again but I was already in the gate so I decided to just go in that way. I also wanted to know why I was being forced this way instead of the front gates which were much less terrifying. As I walked along the gravel path, I heard the crunching of the tiny stones beneath my feet; I smelt the earth and a burning smell that definitely wasn't natural.

I traced the smell to a minuscule fire in the centre of the cemetery. It was right next to my granddad's grave so I wondered if my gran had lit it. I quickly discarded this thought when I noticed that the fire burned with purple flames instead of orange. When I approached the flames, I expected to feel warmth but instead I felt an icy cold that I imagined is what death felt like.

I looked up at the inky black night sky and noticed that there was a full moon and it had reached the top of its apex. It cast an eerie, evening glow that seemed to reach into every nook and cranny. It lifted the fog that had gathered and after a few seconds the whole cemetery was illuminated, hundreds of ghostly figures materialised out of nowhere.

I looked around at every face and I gasped as I saw that my gran was being held down by a young man. I only recognised two other figures, one was my granddad who was also being held down and the other was Mr Hawght, the substitute teacher. I finally clicked on to why he looked so much like a ghost; it was because he was one! He must be able to change his physical appearance so he looked like a living person.

I tried to run to my grandparents but for the second time today, I couldn't move. Mr Hawght stood in front of me and he was chanting again. I heard his voice in my head once again and this time I knew it was him.

"Elizabeth Sinclair, this is to be your punishment for not honouring the dead!" he bellowed. I figured out that the incantation he did in the class was allowing him to talk to me telepathically.

To my surprise, everyone around him flinched at his voice and I realised that he wasn't talking to me in my head, he was talking normally. I was really angry at what he said to me and I felt like punching him.

"WHAT!? HOW COULD I HAVE NOT HONOURED THE DEAD!?" I screamed.

I heard my granddad speak, "Lizzie, he means you haven't gone to any funerals. So now you will be able to see the spirits or ghosts as you call them, of the deceased. " He explained.

Everyone has a phobia but I unluckily have two, one of them being the supernatural and the other being losing someone. Now I was being telepathically invaded by a ghost and I was being punished for not going to the funerals of people I have lost. Did he expect me to just get over my biggest fears? Well I couldn't do that.

Mr Hawght didn't need to hold me in place, I was held there by utter fear. This was impossible, I willed these ghosts to go away.

Then my granddad spoke again, he answered my question before I even thought of it.

"We can only appear during a full moon," he told me.

I had an idea, I didn't think it would work but it was worth a shot. Without warning,  I took out my phone and turned on the torch. To my surprise, it worked. The beam acted as a temporary sun and the ghosts evaporated before my eyes. I didn't want to say goodbye to my granddad again, but it was too late, he was already gone.

I had become my worst fear, I had become supernatural.