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October Newsletter “The Ghost of Melody Woods”

Hello All, I thought with Halloween upon us I would share this with you. I have another story I will share too this weekend also.

I remember one Halloween night many years ago that has haunted me ever since.

I was staying in my Uncle Dan’s house in Clonfert, County Galway for all soul’s night. Not a night to be out in the dark you might think and rightly so.

The was no trick or treating back then, certainly not in that part of the country at least. So for the occasion my Uncle Dan decided to bring us all to the pictures in Banagher.

With anticipation of a great night, my uncle, my cousins and I climbed on our bicycles and headed into the night. I’m not going to spend time writing about the movie, as it is irrelevant to the story and to what happened later that night.

After the picture show while my Uncle was enjoying a well-earned bottle of stout in Liston’s pub we treated ourselves to a feed of chips, the likes of which I haven’t tasted since.When my uncle, slightly tipsy and very happy in himself joined us, we finished our chips and lemonade, mounted our bikes and headed home. The sky was as black as a tomb in a long-deserted graveyard and the night had turned chilly.

We sang as we cycled along, to frighten away whatever may be hiding in the ditches by the side of the road, little furry things mostly. We were anxious not to fall to far behind Uncle Dan as we cycled on through the darkness.

After a few miles we approached,” Melody Woods,” although, not a big wood by any means, there was something ominous and foreboding about it, as it contained, according to legend, an ancient burial mound at its centre and strange sounds were reported to be heard emanating from there in the dead of night.

We cycled on..

As we approached the woods, I suddenly became aware of someone or something heavy jumping on the back carrier of my bike, I shouted at the others “to stop messin”. I thought one of them had mounted and was playing games with me, but they all denied this.

I became aware that I was falling behind the others. They could see I was labouring to keep up with them but no one seemed to know what was happening to me. The weight grew heavier and heavier and I felt a breath on the back of my neck that was as cold as the dead and smelling of.... Grave clay.

As we passed the woods, I was by now sweating badly with the strain and terror at whatever was holding me back, because something was. Something unholy was in my presence on the rear carrier of my bike.

This lasted for several terrifying minutes, or longer, maybe.

I was going to die, I thought!

Just as I was about to lose momentum and fall to the ground in a dead faint, the screech of an owl broke the silence and at that moment the weight lifted and was gone, as suddenly as it had arrived.

As I gradually drew a breath and recovered some of my courage and composure, I became aware of the fact, that neither my uncle or my cousins had seen or heard anything unusual. They even denied hearing the screech of the owl.

After that, no one was able to keep up with me as I shot down the road, tears streaming down my ashen face.

Later in the comfort of my bed, staring at the ceiling, I wondered what that unholy thing was all about and why it picked me for its haunting on that Halloween night long, long ago.

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