ghost story picture

I woke suddenly, the hairs on the back of my neck bristling. The room was dark, and silent, apart from the drone of the hotel’s ancient air-conditioning unit. But something had woken me, and I sensed it in the room. I peered intently into the gloom, just able to make out the outline of the television, the desk, and in the corner the small settee where I’d thrown my briefcase and overcoat.

Then I heard it, the rattling of what sounded like chains, coming from the cupboard on my right. I quickly reached over to the wall next to my bed and flicked the switch, flooding the room with a piercing light that hurt my eyes.

The noise stopped.

My heart pounding, I threw off the covers, got out of bed, and walked slowly towards the cupboard. I opened the door.


I near jumped out of my skin. Before me hovered a little old man dressed in a flowing white robe and holding a chain in his hands. His whole body was pale white, and translucent, and I could make out the grain of the cupboard wall behind him.

“I’m sorry,” he continued. “I seem to have woken you with my rattling, but I had no choice – it is the rattling hour.”

“W—w-what…,” I stammered. “What are you?”

He smiled. “Ah, yes. I am a departed spirit, a ghost if you like, who, for reasons unknown have been condemned to while my hours away in this cupboard.”

I stood, speechless. A ghost. A real ghost. In my room. Was I even awake?
I decided to phone the hotel reception. The ghost watched as I ran to the phone and dialled.

“Yes, sir?” said a tired voice on the other end.

“Hello,” I replied. “Could you send someone up to my room please?”

“Sir? It is 3am in the morning. Is this an emergency?”

“Yes, there is someone in my cupboard, a ghost.”

The line was silent for a moment, but then the voice continued, “A ghost, sir?”

“Yes, dammit,” I shouted. “A ghost, a spirit, call it what you like, and it has been rattling chains in my cupboard.”

“Sir, there is no need to shout. I will send someone up shortly. Will there be anything else?”

“No,” I replied, apologetic. “Thank you.” I hung up.

“They won’t do anything,” said the ghost behind me. I turned to find him inspecting his long nails.

“Why not?” I replied.

“Because they think you’re drunk.”

“I haven’t had a drop to drink.”

“They don’t know that. I suggest you close the cupboard door and try to go back to sleep. I’m done rattling for tonight.”