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Haunted house (Dave Allen) (Ireland)
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Dave Allen tells about the time when they dared him to spend the night in the house of the gravedigger. The house was empty because he had died of terror in his own bed... and Dave was too drunk to refuse the dare, so he went in and this is what happened.

Folks, about the unknown.

I, many years ago, was rather foolish and we were in the west coast of Ireland, and we were in a barn, we'd had a couple of drinks and somebody started to talk about the unknown, the spirit world, and the conversation came up about the gravedigger’s house, and the locals started to tell us about it.

And this gravedigger was found in his bed dead with terrible marks upon his neck and his eyes wide open. And the doctor said that the marks had nothing to do with his death but that the man had died of fright. And I scoffed, foolishly, and I came about with a few more drinks and everything else. Then I accepted a dare or a bet that I would stay the night in the cottage beside the graveyard, and I went there. And we agreed that the door would be locked and I would stay in there till fresh light. And I was locked in. And I don't know really what happens but I think a great deal of fear is in one's mind.

It was dank, it was cold. The effects of the booze began to wear off and I began to think “what in the name of God are you doing?”. And I felt… I don't know what it was. It was an instinct. It was, it was something stronger than me, pulled me towards this bed where this man had died.

And I was drawn. I fought against it, but I was drawn nearer and nearer to this bed. And I was told, somehow I’m ordered to sit on that bed. I didn't want to, and I did, and an unnatural drowsiness came over me. And I became very sleepy and I laid down, knowing full well that I shouldn't. And I went to sleep. A limbo sleep.

And I woke, what time? I have no idea. The candle had burned down. It was black. It was cold. And I felt a presence. I was completely sober by then and utterly terrified. The heckles in the back of my neck had begun to rise. I was paralyzed by a presence of fear and I felt something on my chest begin to move. It crept slowly up my chest and I couldn't move.

It came closer and closer to my throat. I gathered all my willpower as this thing came closer, near. And I grabbed it, and I was wet and cold. And I bit it. Aaah, I screamed with pain.

And that is how I lost my finger.

FOLKS= /fəʊks/ (colloquial) You people, friends.

THE UNKNOWN= The world of spirits.

BARN= The kind of big wooden building you find on a farm to keep animals, hay, tools, machinery, etc.

A COUPLE OF DRINKS= A few drinks. Literally two, but often used to mean "a few" (2, 4, 9?)

CAME UP= When a topic comes up in a conversation it means that people start talking about it.

GRAVEDIGGER= The person who digs holes on the ground in a cemetery to bury the coffins (the box where a dead person is).

THE LOCALS= Local people. People living in that village, city, area or country.

UPON= (formal or poetic) On.

WIDE OPEN= Totally open.

HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH= If XX has nothing to do with YY that means that XX and YY are not related, they are two things completely different. But if YY has something to do with XX, that means that those things have something in common or that there is some kind of relationship between them.


SCOFF= To express derision, to laugh at it because you think it's a stupid thing.

I CAME ABOUT WITH= (informal) I decided (to have)...

A DARE= A challenge.

GRAVEYARD= Cemetery.


DANK= Unpleasantly damp and cold.

BOOZE= Alcoholic drinks.

WEAR OFF= Lose intensity.

WHAT IN THE NAME OF GOD...?= An emphatic and formal form of "What?"

DRAWN= Attracted, pulled, taken (by force).

DROWSINESS= Sleepiness (the act of feeling sleepy)

CAME OVER ME= If something comes over you, you have that idea or that feeling.

FULL WELL= Perfectly well.

A LIMBO SLEEP= A very deep deep sleep (not a common expression)

A PRESENCE= A person who you feel is there but you can't see because it is an invisible spirit.

SOBER= Not drunk.

UTTERLY= Completely.

HECKLES= Hairs at your nape (uncommon usage).

CREPT (creep-crept-crept)= Move slowly with many legs, like a spider or other insects.

WILLPOWER= The ability to control yourself and decide your actions.

GRAB= Capture, take (usually with your hand).

BIT (bite-bit-bit)= To cut with your teeth.


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