a hair rising story

my grand ma always had a morbid fascination with cemeteries.
Summer holidays were spent at her place and i grew up on a cocktail of ghost stories, walking dead and superstition about almost every life occurrence. Most of the Sundays, after a visit to the small village church, we always ended up in the cemetery. My grand mother knew every stone and inscription by heart and the stories of most of the people laying under it. I walked beside her, my hand gripping hers, drinking avidly every one of her words, my imagination galloping away and making me trembling with delight. I must say that many a night i did wake up in a sweat emerging from a nightmare where the dead were popping out of the ground and coming to take me away
One day, during the week my grandmother decided to visit an old friend of her in a neighboring village. We walked for some time, along a quiet country road and soon we could see the small church tower and village houses huddled around it like some sheep and their shepherd.
Her friend lived in a lovely cottage with roses climbing on the walls and flowers everywhere you looked. After a cup of tea and a piece of delicious apple cake, the two ladies decided to go for a little walk. And if it went by their conversation we were heading straight for the cemetery.
The cemetery was surrounded by low walls and i could see the tomb stones sticking out like bad teeth in an ogre’s mouth. It was a very old cemetery. Some stones were broken and had fallen helplessly sideways. some were so old it was impossible to read any name. I stopped in front of a lovely granite slab with an angel standing on it, little arms up in the air ready to fly away. A weird cord sticking out from the ground was attached to a small metal pole and at the end of the cord was a bell.
I was a curious child and calling out to grandma asked her the meaning of the bell.
she stared at it and sighing she answered:" i tell you a story to night and you will understand the bell’s presence"
To tell you the truth i would have loved to hear the story here and now but i respected my grandmother;s wishes and silently walked back behind her counting the minutes till the evening.
And the night came very slowly. After the washing up and the tea brewing and the pillows arranged comfortably on the sofa, grandma sat smiling and doing what she did best. Telling me a hair rising story.
the story began like so!
Grandma had a friend, a young woman working as a seamstress in another village some kilometers from her place.
Every evening she would come back on her bicycle and had to pedal past the cemetery on her way home.
One night, it was summer and the moon was full. The air was scented with the midnight jasmine growing along the hedge. Her friend coming back from work heard weird noises like muffled cries and knocks. She stopped and realized that the noises came exactly from inside the cemetery. She got really frightened and flew down the road to her house. When she told her parents they laughed at her and said it must have been some animals digging a burrow. Somehow she felt uncomfortable with that explanation and she decided to go and visit the police the next day. They listened to her and decided to investigate. It came out that a young man who died from convulsions some days ago had just been buried the same day she heard those awful noises. The young man’s parents were asked it the police could check the coffin to see if everything was alright.
So they dug the the coffin out and when they lifted the lid a terrible spectacle appeared to them. The poor young man was higgledy- piggledy inside the coffin and had scratched the wood until his nails were bloody. He suffocated to death. they came to late. So now thats why you see those little bells tied to a cord going in the ground. The other end get attached to the hand of the deceased inside the coffin and if by any mistake they wake up, they can ring the bell. Thats where the expression"saved by the bell" comes from!
i sure felt much better afterwards. and by the way i think i opt more for a cremation than a bell!!

a hair rising story


Woody Point, Australia

  • Artist
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

10% off

for joining the Redbubble mailing list

Receive exclusive deals and awesome artist news and content right to your inbox. Free for your convenience.