At First I Was Afraid, I Was Petrified

After a sumptuous home cooked late Sunday lunch followed by a glass of wine or two, my friend Barbs & I decided to enjoy one of my Dad’s favourite strolls through our churchyard armed with a flask of hot chocolate freshly made by his own fair hand; after all what woman could fail to be impressed by a stroll amongst the dead followed by a cheap non alcoholic beverage. No doubt, it was these generous & small romantic gestures that had helped capture my mother’s heart!

This particular chilly winter’s afternoon we walked through the historic graveyard reading the inscriptions on all the old headstones. As we sauntered back to the main gate we were alarmed to realise that because it was Sunday, the churchyard had closed early and a fastened padlock hung around the gate which had been secured by the warden sometime earlier whilst we were otherwise occupied. Ironically Barbs, the original “horror flick chick” went into panic mode whilst the evening twilight started to draw in and as the image of the Michael Jackson Thriller video popped into my head, I had to suppress a fit of the giggles. My “I see Dead People” impersonation also failed to impress either. Both of us were regretting the decision not to bring our mobile phones with us and neither were we looking forward to unintentionally participating in our own episode of “Most Haunted”. We quickly established that all three entrance gates had been padlocked and we were well and truly imprisoned. As I had a dodgy knee I offered to hoist Barbs over the wall but as it was fairly high, it was unlikely that we would be able to climb our way to freedom so we settled down preparing ourselves for a rather chilly night amongst the headstones

Suddenly someone appropriately whistling “I will Survive” alerted us to the fact that we were no longer alone and on further investigation we realised that someone was stumbling home from the pub having taken a shortcut through the lane that ran alongside the cemetery. In desperation we tried to attract their attention before realising that it was Ernie the Turbo, one of my Dad’s allotment buddies, tight as a tick having consumed several lunchtime shandies in the Rose & Crown. As we tried to catch his attention over the wall, Ernie stopped whistling momentarily. We continued to call him but all to no avail and we realised that extreme measures were called for if we didn’t want to spend the rest of the night in the graveyard so I unsteadily hoisted Barbs a few feet in the air in order that he could see us. However, a terrified Ernie took off as if he was being pursued by the Living Dead when Barb’s pale face & torso slowly levitated over the top of the wall whilst chanting his name and looking no doubt like a supernatural apparition.

As luck would have it, our intrepid “hero” hightailed it to my parents’ house for alcoholic fortification whilst incoherently ranting that his dead mother’s ghost had manifested in the graveyard having promised on her deathbed to come back to haunt him should he ever become romantically involved with Maureen, the farmer’s widow; whom she considered most unsuitable owing to the fact that she always wore her trademark red lipstick. His late mother was somewhat of a harridan who had haunted in him life so it was no surprise to either of my parents that he thought that she would now come back to haunt him in death.

My Dad sensing that something was awry decided to take an evening stroll up to the churchyard himself and was able to alert the warden who was laughing so hard when he eventually liberated Zombie Girl and I from our ghostly confines, he could barely get the key in the padlock.

saturday 038

36 thoughts on “At First I Was Afraid, I Was Petrified

  1. This story is AMAZING! Did this happen recently? How far gone was Ernie that he mistook your friend for a ghost? Though I have to say if I saw a head floating above a cemetery wall I might have a similar reaction (even if I were sober).

    I actually got locked in once too, but not in a cemetery. It was along a path that runs along the waterfront/beach in my town. Part of the path is sometimes locked behind a gate. That day it was open and I decided to continue walking with my dog down it. When I turned back, the gate was locked. This was a really high chain-link fence and I was horrified to see I could not get out. I don’t think I had my phone either. Right along the path on the other side of the fence were some people working at an amusement park (the path bordered the amusement park) but they proved to be very unhelpful, telling me I’d have to wait for So-and-So to come unlock the gate and nobody seemed to know who had the keys. And they seemed to be in no mood to help me.

    So yeah, I had to CLIMB that damn chain-link fence to get out. It was super high and I’m still not sure to this day how I did it without falling (and luckily I wasn’t wearing a dress or a skirt that day!). Plus I was trying to do it so nobody would notice–amusement park workers and other people out for a walk on the boardwalk included. My dog is small enough that he was able to wiggle through the gap between the doors. But I remember him freaking out as he watched me climb and hovering near the gates because he was afraid I was leaving him behind.

    I’m glad you did not have to climb the fence! Or have to stay with the dead the entire night!

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  2. This happened last October but I wish we had been as lithe as you! The walls as you can see from the picture were a little on the high side for us and sadly gone are the days when we were sprite enough to hike over them

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  3. Poor Ernie! I can only imagine his fear when he thought he was being haunted. A wonderful adventure. Stephen King would be proud of you!!!

    “I love crime, I love mysteries, and I love ghosts.” Stephen King

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  4. You have captured me for good with this one Tink. ROFL…and if there were ever a day I needed to laugh, it’s this one. What a story and what a storyteller!

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  5. This is SO funny! I can just see this! I know how it can happen, too. My sister and I once got locked into the canyon with the old cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park when we stopped to take photos. We were too embarrassed to holler for a ranger. While she tinkered with the padlock, I followed the iron fence until I came to a tree I could climb to get over the fence. Then I ran back to razz my sister a little bit and snap a photo or two before revealing how I got out.

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