‘The Secrets of Darkwood Manor’ by Loucia Richardson, Joe Tennant, Isabel Dickinson, Charlotte Burnett-Fisher, Bella Poulter and Sophie Pearson.

Students at Boroughbridge High School have spent our open evening on this first installment of a story set in the spooky Darkwood Manor…

Deep in the village of Darkwood, a dark secret was buried in the villagers’ minds. The small village was concealed from the rest of the world. The houses were large and rambling. Most of the residents were as old as the hills that loomed over the village. The shop windows were dusty and barred. Once, the place had been filled with life and joy; now, only darkness remained. There was one thing that stood out: a mansion on the edge of the village that no one had set foot in for many years.

That night, the night when it all began, deep snow covered the ground and beneath the thick layer, a little piece of silver glinted. It was a small leaflet, advertising something peculiar, something I believed might be connected  with the bizarre secrets this village refused to reveal.

£1000 pounds was what I read, but I had to look twice. £1000 pounds was right, and this it what it said:


For any person

who spends one

night at

Darkwood Manor

12:00 JUNE 25TH at THE DARK HORSE INN to enquire.

At the bottom, a legal disclaimer said something I couldn’t quite make out, for it was small and smudged. I liked the idea of learning more about the Darkwood secret, so I headed to The Dark Horse Pub.

Stepping over the threshold, casting a glance around me, I found an old, crippled man. Little did I know he was about to tell me the story of Darkwood Manor, a story which would change my life forever.


A lone swing creaked eerily by the shadowing tree. It stopped. Something moved in the bushes, but no one had been here for years.  The door, smothered in cobwebs, had its handle covered with ornate dragons heads. They scared me immensely and I gagged myself to stop screaming.  

Nervously, I knocked.

No-one answered, so I invited myself inside, curiously but with caution. On the walls of the hallway were what looked like family pictures, but it was a family like no other. They were like monsters, aliens, clowns and freaks. Their faces sent a cold shiver down my spine and all I could think of were those faces. I felt like they were there. It was as if they were right in front of me.

As I began to explore the rooms, I thought I could hear hollow voices through the house’s walls.

I had not entered one room in particular.

The room looked cosy and warm but felt deadly and cold. I took off my shoes and tried to relax, although I could not forget the things I had already seen. I wasn’t yet sure whether I was really going to immerse myself in this adventure of terror. I could feel my eyes growing heavy. I started to drift off to sleep. But as the clock struck three, I heard something from what seemed to be the depths of the house. At first, it was a slow, rumbling that built to a heavy, repetitive thud. I sat bolt upright and realised that the noise seemed to be getting closer.  Fear washed over me…

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