From the barmaid who brought you Sauvignon when you asked for Pinot…”

A couple of years back, I made a horror film.

Now, that probably sounds a bit fancy, however, there was no cast, no script, and I was rapidly running out of time before the Halloween Movie Night. As it happens, I spoke to a handful of friends, after a drink or two, and asked them if they knew any ghost stories.


Everyone knows a few ghost stories.

The first of my buddies was Merv, my friendly local goat farmer. He has a very distinctive voice and Poppy (miniature dachshund, total princess) is so utterly devoted to him that she barely needs to hear the opening words, “Well, sweetheart…” before she starts squealing at the TV.

The best bit, without question, was when my friend Sam started telling stories. She must have told four or five in a row, local legends, pub ghosts and such, and she finished with the line, “And that’s the end of my ghost stories.”

However, during the course of a cigarette, she remembered another one. I fired up the camera, and we started again. It probably looked like I’d edited it for comedy value:

“And that’s the end of my ghost stories… There was another time…”

When my mother was a nurse at Bart’s, there was a lady who used to come in sometimes. She was an older lady, prickly tempered, didn’t speak much English beyond swear words, and she was homeless. This would have been sometime in the ’60s, so homelessness was rare, at least – as far as I’ve been told.

Anyway, the nurses used to bring her in to the hospital sometimes, and give her a good meal, a bath and a bed. She’d swear at them and usually disappear after a night or two because she didn’t really want to be around all those sick people. At least, that was how the nurses interpreted her facial expressions.

As they didn’t know her name, they just referred to her as ‘The White Lady’ because when she’d first appeared, she was wearing a white overcoat. Nobody knew a thing about her, but The White Lady came in to Bart’s for years after she died. I don’t know why I find that reassuring.

Scary stairs to the loft

As you were.