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Frighteningly Good Writers Win Halloween Competiton

Our Horror Writing Competition tasked students with creating terrifying tales, how did they do?

Competitions and Extra-curricular projects are a fantastic way of inspiring students to show off their skills and develop their interests in the name of friendly competition. Halloween created the perfect opportunity for our in-house writers to enter the Horror Writing Competition.

The brief was simple; create a spine-chilling piece of writing to i

The winners were both pleased to have won, with Year 7, Leo, commenting; "I got the idea from my Mum; it was a fun thing to do and I spent my Saturday afternoon writing my story. I'm really pleased that I won!"

Jess, our Key Stage 4 winner, said; "I was inspired by the murder-mystery books I read; I wanted to write something short but scary." She added; "I'm so happy that I won." English and Media teacher, Mr Pateman, was impressed with the amount of entries and the quality of the submissions. He said: "I have been so impressed by the quality of the stories that have been submitted for the Horror Writing Competition. Some have been creepy, some have been funny but all have been excellent and it was an incredibly tough choice for my Year 13 Literature students to choose their two winners."

"Leo's entry was filled with suspense and I loved how he based his story on his school day - it was very funny and relatable! Jess's entry was so haunting and I loved the clever clues she drip fed throughout the entire narrative. Again, a massive well done from me to the two winners and a huge thank you and well done to all who got involved."

The Halloween Curse Of Tupton Hall School - Leo (Year 7)

“Wake up. Wake up, Leo!”  I heard my mum’s voice say.  I looked at my clock and it was six thirty in the morning.  Time to get up and get ready for school!

The date was 31st October 2022 - Halloween… and it was still very dark outside.  I got ready and went downstairs for breakfast and my mum said there was a weather warning of severe fog and mist - good timing for Halloween and trick or treating later!

As I arrived at school, I struggled to see one step in front of me because the fog was so thick and grey – it was actually quite creepy!  As I eventually found my way to school, I walked into the building and noticed there was a circle of teachers stood together - they very still and very quiet. 

I could see one of them was Mr Edwards.  I walked over and said “Morning, Sir.”

He slowly turned around and, to my shock, it wasn’t the same Mr Edwards that I’d remembered from before half term.  His eyes were bloodshot, his skin was paler than pale – his entire flesh was white and grey.  His cheeks were sunken and there was a skeleton-like appearance to the shape and bones in his face.  He stared at me. He didn’t speak. He just stared. 

Nervously, I said, “Great make up, sir.” Mr Edwards then slowly smiled in a very creepy and eerie way, and, as he did, I caught a glimpse of his blood-stained teeth. I took a sharp intake of breath and stepped back. 

Mr Edwards whispered to me, “Thank you Leo. I’ll see you in the gym in ten minutes for PE”. 

I took more slow steps backwards and I looked around fearfully at the other teachers who were also in the circle. There was Miss Williams, Mr Hardingham, Mr Cull and Miss Gill and they all had the same spooky, skeletal, Halloween make up as Mr Edwards. 

I hurried to the toilets and quickly messaged my mum to tell her all the teachers had turned into some kind of zombie.  She replied almost immediately and joked that all grown-ups look like zombies on a Monday morning.  What she didn’t know, however, was this wasn’t a joke…

Once changed into my PE kit, I walked to the gym to bizarrely find the same group of teachers who were in the circle stood waiting for my class.  Suddenly and inexplicably, I heard a voice inside my head: “Lock the doors once they’re all in.” 

Who said that? I wondered.  I recognised that voice. 

Suddenly, I heard it again, louder this time - it was Mr Hardingham!  Why could I hear Mr Hardingham’s voice in my head?

I then heard someone reply, “Lock them now, before they can escape!” 

I started sweating, my heart dropping to my stomach.  Why could I hear the teacher’s voices in my head and why when I looked around nobody else seemingly could?  Why did nobody else think that this was all a bit too strange? 

I started to panic but I then thought to myself: it’s Halloween, they’re playing a trick on me and I just had to go with it. It’s just a prank. That’s what’s happening here.

As I studied the teachers a little further, however, I couldn’t help but think that they’d been possessed in some kind of way.  Mr Edwards seemed to be the leader and he was the only one who spoke out loud.  I quickly realised that we were in serious trouble and this was no joke - the teachers were actually locking us in! And not one of the zombie teachers was blinking – they just stared intensely with a look of hunger in their eyes. 

Mr Edwards told the class that we were going to play a ‘fun’ game of Deathly Dodgeball.  Whoever the teachers hit, we then had to go and stand in their zombie circle. 

I knew I had to survive this - I had to escape and alert the rest of the school.  So, I stared straight into Mr Edwards’s eyes, got on my toes and under my breath I said, “Game on.”

In quick succession, all of my classmates were hit with the ball except for me.  I was the winner but I knew that I still had to get out of this gym.  All of the doors were locked… so, what was my plan? Where could I go? What could I do to get out of here?

Slowly, ominously, all of the teachers stood together in a line and slowly crept towards me, their hands and fingers in a twitching in a sickening and almost hungry motion.  I walked slowly backwards, terrified, until my back was suddenly against the door.  I looked around the gym, panicking, breathing heavily, looking for a way out. 

Mr Edwards reached his arm out, preparing to grab me, flashing his red bloodstained teeth, and then… I suddenly heard my mum’s voice?

“Wake up, wake up Leo! You’re going to be late for school!” my mum shouted.

I opened my eyes and breathed a huge sigh of relief.  Thank god for that - it was only a dream!  I laughed to myself and got ready for school, wiping the sleep out of my eyes, relieved I was still alive. 

As I left the house, my mum shouted after me, “Be careful - it’s really foggy!”  I glanced at her, a little stunned, experiencing a sudden flashback to my dream. I shrugged this off and headed off anyway.

As I arrived in school, however, I looked up to see a circle of teachers, the same teachers as in my dream.  The hairs on the back of my neck stood to attention -- my whole body went cold.  Blood pumping through my entire body, I walked over to the back of Mr Edwards and said, cautiously, “Morning, Sir?”

Mr Edwards slowly turned around to look at me and, with a blood-stained smile, he replied, “Are you ready for a game of Deathly Dodgeball, Leo?”

Grandma’s Storeroom - Jess (Year 9)

The room was plunged into total darkness except for the flickering flame of the solitary candle that licked the air. Victoria held the candle aloft, throwing light over the grey walls and her three friends. On the walls, there was a large painting of a long dead relative that hung proudly in an ornate, metallic frame. It was a painting of a woman – beautiful, with long, flowing hair and elbow high gloves.

Suddenly, there was a CRASH from somewhere within the room and the four girls spun around and yelped slightly with nervous excitement.

The year was 1923 and the four friends were spending the night at Charlotte’s grandma’s ancient house. Victoria, Suzanne and Binny had convinced Charlotte to assist them in snooping round the storeroom, a room Grandma had always forbidden. She knew it wasn’t a good idea but her friends had insisted.

The girls approached the noise nervously, their shaky breaths audible in the stillness, and they were relieved to find that it was just a pile of boxes that had fallen over, spewing their golden contents onto the floor.

It wasn’t that they believed in the supernatural - but there was something about this room that sent chills down Charlotte’s spine. Something about it that caused Suzanne to scratch the back of her hand - a habit she had adopted recently when she was feeling nervous. As a result, the skin on the back of Suzanne’s hand was constantly red raw and flaking. Binny slapped Suzanne's hand away.

Suddenly, from somewhere else in the room, they could hear a faint: drip, drip, drip.

The girls tentatively tiptoed towards the sound, nervous giggles between them once more. The four girls traced the ceiling with their eyes to where puddle was gathering in the corner.

Drip, drip, drip went the roof. Scratch, scratch, scratch went Suzanne's nails.

The tension and nervous apprehension was terrifying yet exciting – that is, until the sudden clacking of an ancient cane cut through their excitement like a knife.

“It's Grandma!” hissed Charlotte, “Hide!”

The four girls scrambled over each other, extinguishing the candle in the process. As Victoria dived under a rotting desk, the room was swallowed completely by darkness.

A tiny slither of light illuminated the walls and then the golden frame of the painting the girls had seen as they first entered. Grandma could be heard wheezing as she scanned the room, the candlelight slowly creeping from one side to the other. Charlotte and Binny held their breath and, after what felt like an eternity, the door slammed shut and Grandma clacked, clacked, clacked away.

The absence of light caused Binny to leap from her hiding place, “Let's go!" She whimpered. Binny and Charlotte agreed quickly and made for the door.

“Wait, where's Suzanne?” Victoria whispered, panicking slightly.

“She probably still hiding.” Binny suggested.

Nodding in agreement and certain the Binny would creep out of the room by herself eventually, the three girls swiftly groped for handle. But, as a chink of light from the doorway lit up the grey walls, Victoria’s eyes were drawn once more to the painting of the long dead woman on the wall. She couldn’t help but think she'd seen a flicker of movement from the woman's red raw hands, hands that seemed to look like they were covered in scratches and sores. Strange, she thought to herself - I could have sworn the woman was wearing gloves when we came in.

Dismissing the thought as build-up of adrenaline, she made her way out the door, her eyes lingering on the painting until Binny’s voice snapped her back to Earth.

“Did you hear that?” Binny asked, head angled towards the corner of the pitch black room.

“Bins, you aren't funny.” Charlotte fixed her with a stare.

“No, I swear, I...” Binny shook her head suddenly. “Never mind. It’s nothing.”

But as the girls retired to bed, a thought played on Victoria’s mind. Charlotte’s grandma was convinced Suzanne had just gone home - but, her things were still on the bed. Reluctant to answer any more of grandma’s awkward questions about where they'd been that night, however, the three girls decided to go to bed and search for Suzanne in the light of the next morning.

In the silence of the night, however, Victoria's curiosity got the better of her.

“Binny?” she whispered into the darkness.

“Mmh?” grunted Binny.

“What was that noise you heard earlier? You said you’d heard something?” Victoria asked the darkness.

Binny took a few moments to reply. “I think it was a kind of scratching noise. Why?”

“No reason.” She said, a silky, floaty feeling emerging in her gut. “Don’t worry about it. Good night.”

“Night.” mumbled the two other girls as a sleepy haze drifted over the room.

But Victoria lay awake, thinking.

A scratching noise.

The painting with the woman with the red raw hands.

Suzanne’s disappearance…


Victoria didn't sleep at all that night.