Denny’s life is starting to fall apart due to his obsession with a Christmas Eve ghost


By Sharon Boothroyd

‘Hello Denny! Good to see you again,’ Alan beamed. ‘It’s bitterly cold out, isn’t it?’
‘They reckon it’s going to be a white Christmas,’ Alan’s wife Frances said, as she reached for the hotel room key card. ‘Room thirteen. Here you are.’

Denny grabbed it and raced up the stairs. He wasn’t particularly bothered about a white Christmas. He had more important things on his mind…this year, he was determined to do it. He was going to photograph the Christmas ghost!

It was Christmas Eve. He’d booked into The Jardine Hotel and chosen room thirteen. After unpacking his case, Denny began to fetch his new set of fancy technical equipment from the car. Cameras, tablets, audio recorders, laptops, mobiles, microphones – he had the lot!

As he connected it all together, he recalled the first time he met Frances and Alan. It was when Denny and his wife, Sarah, had held their wedding reception here.
After the photos, meal, speeches and cake cutting, the couple had told them about the hotel’s resident ghost.

‘Whose ghost is it?’ Denny was intrigued.

‘Emily Mason’s,’ Frances said.

‘Go on,’ Denny said.

‘In 1846, on Christmas Eve, Emily, a young farm girl, was cruelly jilted at the altar. When it was clear that her fiance wasn’t arriving, she ran from the church…’

Denny cut in. ‘The church we’ve just got married in?’

Frances nodded. ‘But sadly, on her way home across the fields, she slipped in the mud, sank into the river and drowned. It had been raining heavily that day and her bridal gown helped drag her down.’

‘How awful,’ Sarah mumbled.

‘Why does she haunt The Jardine?’ Denny asked.

‘Part of it used to be the farm where she lived,’ Alan explained.

‘And now at the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve night, in room thirteen – that’s Emily’s bedroom – she returns to haunt her fiancé and sister,’ Frances concluded, as she drained her wine glass. ‘Sister?’ Denny was agog.

Alan nodded. ‘Her fiance ended up marrying Emily’s sister.’

‘Really? Tell me more…’

‘Come on Den, it’s time for our first dance,’ Sarah said, as she finally dragged her new husband away.

When the newlyweds arrived home from honeymoon, Denny set about tracking down Emily.

He felt strangely drawn to her. There was something eerie about discovering this tragedy of love and loss on his own wedding day…
After researching it online, he found the hotelier’s story to be absolutely true! He rushed to tell Sarah.

‘That doesn’t mean to say there is a ghost,’ she reasoned. ‘After all, we’ve only got Frances’ and Alan’s word. They haven’t any actual evidence of a ghost.’
‘True, but they haven’t tried to capture the evidence on camera. Just think Sarah! If I can manage to convince the public and press that Emily’s ghost exists, I could make a fortune!’

She sighed. ‘Oh Denny, please – just forget it.’

He slunk off to the kitchen to make coffee.
Sarah didn’t seem very enthusiastic about his new passion. Well, he thought, I’m going ahead with this project, no matter what!

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