Six Ghost Stories Teacher’s notes LEVEL 3

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Teacher’s notes LEVEL 3
Six Ghost Stories
S.H. Burton
Story 1 Room 7: Mr Saunders is driving back to London
when he has a problem with the lights on his car. A
mechanic in a village tells him that his car can’t be repaired
until the next morning. Saunders finds a hotel but the
manager, Mr Richards, tells him there are no rooms
available. Mrs Richards intervenes and says that room 7
is free, although Mr Richards seems uncomfortable about
this. Mr Saunders has dinner and retires to bed. Later he
is awoken by a light shining from a chair in the room. He
sees an old man sitting in the chair looking at him, who
says, ‘I never knew, but you do’ and disappears. The next
morning, he notices a picture on the wall that is exactly
like the man he saw. Mrs Richards tells him it is Mr
Richards’s father who died in room 7 five years ago. She
also says some visitors thought the room was haunted but
that she didn’t believe them. Mr Saunders leaves the hotel
half convinced he has seen a ghost.
Story 2 Mrs Wood Comes Home: A man called Bill goes
to spend a few days with his friends, Jack and Annie, in
the quiet town of Porchester. On the first night, they talk
about Mrs Wood, a strange, rude old woman who owns
the house opposite. Jack hates the woman, but Annie
has often tried to help her. Bill mentions that he thought
he had seen someone looking out of the window of Mrs
Wood’s house on his previous visits and Annie tells him
that Mrs Wood is now living in Australia. That night Bill
is convinced he sees Mrs Wood looking at him through
her window. He takes a photo of her house. The next
morning Jack tells Bill that Mrs Wood had sworn to get
him and his wife out of their house. Bill returns home and
a postman delivers his developed photos. In his photo of
Mrs Wood’s house there is an old woman looking out of
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the window. At that moment Jack runs into the room.
He tells Bill that Mrs Wood died in Australia the day Bill
arrived at his house and that the previous night Annie had
answered a knock at the door. He had heard her say ‘Mrs
Wood, you’ve come home’ before she died on the spot
from fear.
Story 3 A Ghost in the Garden: Henry and Joan
Chapman buy a house in the country for their retirement.
They move into the 200-year-old house called Samways.
Father Barnes, the village priest, tells them the history of
their house. It was built by Elijah Samways, who lived
there with his servant. Mr Chapman wants to cut down
a tall tree in the garden, but the priest suggests he just
cuts a few branches. One windy night, Mrs Chapman is
woken by a knocking at the bedroom window, and when
she pulls the curtains back sees the face of an old man.
Later, the priest explains that it was probably the ghost of
Robert Forester, Elijah’s servant, who was hanged from the
same tree for a crime he did not commit. The priest then
puts his cross in the ground near the tree in order to bring
peace to the ghost.
Story 4 Roger Wingate’s New Car: Roger buys a
second-hand car and while driving it, he hears a woman’s
voice telling him to turn right at some traffic lights. He
tells his friend, Bill, who is a journalist. Bill asks him to
make a tape recording of the voice. When Bill hears the
voice on the tape, it brings back memories. They go out
in the car together and Roger turns right when the voice
tells him to. They are driving along a quiet street when
suddenly a young woman runs out in front of the car.
Roger turns to avoid hitting her and crashes into a tree.
Roger thinks he has hit the woman but when they get out
the woman has disappeared. Bill had recognised the girl.
A year previously, she had been run over and killed in the
exact spot, and by the car that Roger had recently bought.
Story 5 A Friend of the Family: Cecily and Frederic
Frobisher reluctantly agree to allow Isobel, the teenage
daughter of friends, to stay with them while her parents
are in Canada. Before Isobel arrives, Cecily has a
frightening dream about an old woman. When she arrives,
Isobel behaves strangely and seems happy to spend most of
her time alone in her room. Cecily becomes very nervous
and her husband, a writer, finds it impossible to write in
his library because he keeps hearing an old woman’s voice.
One night, Isobel tells them about her grandmother, who
once lived in the Frobisher’s house and died in it, and
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Six Ghost Stories
had promised that one day the house would belong to
Isobel. Cecily and Frederic hear voices in Isobel’s room
and Cecily decides to leave the house the following day. In
the morning, Isobel has disappeared and the library door
is locked. Frederic calls the police and a doctor and they
discover the dead body of an old woman in the library.
Who is it? Isobel or her grandmother?
Story 6 A Birthday Card for Mrs Rogers: Mrs Emily
Rogers lives at 91, Church Road. On her birthday, she
expects a card from her son in America, but the postman
has nothing for her. He feels sorry for the old woman, so
he buys a birthday card and takes it back to her house. He
is knocking on the door when a neighbour tells him that
no one has lived at number 91 since Mrs Rogers’ death
a year ago. She died on her birthday from the shock of
hearing news of her son’s death in a car crash in America.
What are ghosts?
Ghosts, or rather ghost stories, have been with us for
centuries. The ancient Greeks and the Romans, famous
writers such as Shakespeare and Dickens, and hundreds
of modern day writers and filmmakers have included
them in their works. But what exactly are they and what
do they look like? The traditional image of a ghost is that
of a shadowy, translucent shape which appears every now
and then in a specific place. They are thought to be the
tormented soul of some unfortunate individual who met
their death in strange or horrific circumstances such as
murder or a tragic accident. Another theory is that they
are images some people see of a parallel world that exists
alongside our own, and occasionally these two worlds
connect and we have a brief glimpse of the other world.
Ghosts are not always represented as human or animal
forms. Poltergeists are natural forces such as electricity
which seem to be controlled by a being that is intent on
communicating something. Of course we can never know
their true nature because we can never know if they exist
at all.
Famous Ghosts
A considerable number of people do believe in ghosts and
have documented and photographed what they consider
to be proof of their existence. Below is a list of the most
The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall: She was first seen in
1835. She was wearing a brown satin dress and had only
black empty sockets for eyes. She was photographed in
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The Wicked Lady Howard: She is one of England’s most
famous ghosts. The story goes that she rides out every
night in a coach made from the bones of her four dead
The House in Amityville: This house became famous
in the mid seventies when the residents told the media
about some bizarre happenings. They said the walls were
dripping blood, there were flying pigs and an infestation
of flies in the attic.
Ghosts on film
Ghosts have played a major part in many films. The most
notable are the following:
The Others (2001): A woman and her two children live
in a big house. The children are convinced that the house
is haunted but the mother refuses to believe. In the end, it
is the mother and her two children who are the ghosts.
The Sixth Sense (1999): A man dies at the beginning of
the film but the audience is led to believe he has recovered
from his injuries. He sees and talks to dead people. The
movie is famous for its unexpected ending.
Ghost (1990): In this love story, a murdered lover returns
to warn his girlfriend about impending danger.
The Shining (1980): A writer, living with his family in a
deserted hotel, descends into violent madness after seeing
and speaking to several ghosts.
Discussion activities
Before reading
1 Discuss: Put students in small groups and ask them
to talk about films they have seen that have ghosts
as their main theme. Do you like these types of films?
Do you think they are frightening?
Story 1 Room 7
While reading (p. 4, after ‘Who are you?’)
2 Role play: Put the students in pairs and tell them
one is Mr Saunders and the other is the man in the
chair. The first student writes a list of questions he
wants to ask the man. For example: How old are you?
What happened to you? Why are you in room 7? Do you
know Mr and Mrs Richards? The second student writes
notes about himself. Then the first student asks his
After reading
3 Write and guess: Put students in pairs and ask them
to choose a short paragraph from Story 1. Tell then
to write it again, making five changes to words in the
text. Students then read out their paragraphs to the
other students, who have to identify the mistakes.
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Story 2 Mrs Wood Comes Home
While reading (p. 9, after ‘In the house across the
4 Group work: Put the students in small groups and
ask them to talk about their neighbours. Do you like
your neighbours? Do you see your neighbours often?
Do you help your neighbours? Do they do anything
that makes you angry? Then widen the discussion to
neighbours in general and ask the students to think
of things neighbours could do to make them angry.
After reading
5 Draw: Put the students in pairs and ask one to look
at the illustration on page 8 and one to look at the
illustration on page 13. One student then describes
the illustration to their partner who has to draw it.
Then they reverse roles. How accurate are the
Story 3 A Ghost in the Garden
Before reading
6 Guess: Put the students in pairs and ask them to
guess the answers to theses questions: Is the ghost a
man or a woman? Is the ghost friendly or unfriendly?
Is the ghost old or young? Does the ghost hurt anyone?
What does he or she look like? How did the ‘ghost’ die?
While reading (p. 18, after ‘I’m very interested in
7 Discuss: The people in the book like gardening. Ask
the students to think about things people like doing
in their free time. Put them on the board and add
some of your own. Then ask students, in small
groups, to discuss the activities they like doing in
their free time.
After reading
8 Write, ask and answer: Write ‘When did the
Chapmans move into Samways House? ’ on the board
and elicit the answer (In the late spring). Now tell
students to write similar questions about Story 3.
Students then mingle as a group, asking and
answering each other’s questions.
Story 4 Roger Wingate’s New Car
While reading (The drawing on p. 33.)
After reading
10 Pair work: Write the following words on the board:
garage, traffic lights, radio, tape recorder, young girl, tree,
newspaper. Ask the students to talk and write in pairs
to say how these words were used in Story 4.
Story 5 A Friend of the Family
Before reading
11 Write: Ask the students to write down all the words
they can think of that can be used to describe what a
person looks like physically and what their personality
is like. Put them on the board. Then students write a
short description of one of their friends or family and
read it out to their partners.
Story 6 A Birthday Card for Mrs Rogers
While reading (p. 53, after ‘He’s never forgotten
12 Discuss: Put the students in small groups and ask
them to talk about something important that they’ve
forgotten. This could be someone’s birthday or
another important date, or your keys, mobile, wallet,
After reading
13 Research and write: Divide the students into groups
of three and ask each group to look for information
on the Internet about one of the following films: The
Sixth Sense, The Others, Ghost. Tell them to write a
brief summary of the movie. Then put the students
into different groups of three and ask them to read
out their summaries to each other. Then tell them to
discuss which of the movies they think is the best and
Extra activities
14 Game: Put the students into small groups and ask
them to write ten questions about any part of the
book. When they’ve finished each group reads out
their questions and the other groups have to write
their answers on a piece of paper. The group with
the most correct answers wins.
Vocabulary activities
For the Word list and vocabulary activities, go to
9 Game: Put the students in small groups and ask them
to make a list of all the things they can see in the
drawing. The group with the longest list wins.
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