It was Thursday, and it was the Halloween day. The class that we prepared was all around scary things…
We started our class as usual. We did the “Fire at will” activity and then we went on to talk about spooky things. We wanted to know if our students had any “paranormal” experience and we were very surprised to learn that most of them had… and some of them were really scary and inexplicable.
We told them a story about weird things that had happened in our lives and they had to try and guess if the story was true or false.
Then, in groups, we made them prepare a mind map of different things dealing with halloween, from the Jack-o’-lantern to the Trick or Treat or the Pumpkin Pie. Once all their groups had created their own mind map, they had to explain what they had learned to the rest of the group. This way, they all ended up knowing the origin of these traditions. The students did a wonderful job.
After that, we had a story in which a young boy was contacted by a blind man who swore that knew the kid… from a previous life.
Then we celebrated Miren’s birthday with all the things that she brought to the class: cheese, cold-cuts, olives, mini-toasts, coke… it was fantastic!
While we were finishing the birthday celebration, we told a last terror story. In this case, the title was The Experiment and it was written by M. R. James. It was a quite scary story that held the tension of all the class until the very end.
And suddenly, just in that moment when we were all getting ready to leave, when we were all packing the things to go home. Just after 10 o’clock and with the fear of the happenings in the story still resounding in our minds, the lights went off. It was like if the souls that we mentioned in the story had awakened and had came for us. The students thought that it was a trick and that we were trying to pull their legs, but it wasn’t.
In the pitch darkness we tried to feel our way to the mobile phones (that were still on the table). When we found it we turned on their flashlights, but instead of reassuring us and giving us confidence it made it all look spookier. We went for the door and through the first long corridor wondering if somebody had entered the empty building. Then, after crossing the two doors that separate us from the long corridor, we pointed the flashlight trying to light the whole length of the passageway… it seemed empty. We waited a second in silence to try to hear any kind of sound… we heard nothing.
That was the moment when we committed the biggest mistake… we asked: “Hello!?”. Everybody knows that, in horror movies, that question always precedes the murder. We were wise enough, though, to constrain ourselves of asking the second question that might had gotten us killed: “Is anybody there!?”.
Little by little we crossed the long and narrow path that separated us from the fuse box. We could only see the shard of light that came from our phone and we could only hear the empty sounds of our steps mixed with our uneasy breathing. We arrived to the corner where we had to turn to the fuse box and we slowly pointed our improvised torch towards the hallway just to see that it was empty. Nobody was there.
The fuse box was ok. All the switches were in the correct position. With goosebumps we went back to the classroom, this time walking faster. We told the students what had happened and we all rushed to finish packing and to leave as fast as we could. We were really uneasy.
Why did the lights go off? We don’t know and we might never know.
* Images in this post are photos taken from http://flickr.com/eltpics by @dfogarty, @twomet, @vickyloras used under a CC Attribution Non-Commercial license, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/