The Village of Ghosts
I didn’t have much to put down… He said,
‘You wouldn’t get much with that.’
I’d wanted to buy a cottage while
The housing market was flat.
With prices as low as they’d ever been
I thought I’d be in with a chance,
‘Unless you go to that rustic show
The village of Experance.’
‘The place has been empty for thirty years
With cottages up for a song,
There is no power, no place for a shower,’
But I thought I couldn’t go wrong.
He drove me out to the village green,
Each garden was choked with weeds,
I’d buy most anything, sight unseen,
As long as it suited my needs.
I picked one out with the roof intact
And the walls preserved with lime,
Some of the window panes were cracked,
I could fix them anytime.
The rooms were small, but overall
It would suit me down to a ’T’,
I didn’t have anyone in my life.
I was single, young and free.
I brought what furniture I had left
And settled it down inside,
Then spent a week with a cleaning brush.
It was just a question of pride.
I finally had my home sweet home
But lit with a paraffin lamp,
The water I drew from a well out back,
The walls were a trifle damp.
There wasn’t another soul to be seen
They’d all moved away, or died.
I felt a little bit lonely there
But I walked the countryside.
I checked each cottage, the ancient hall
And the church, way down in the dell.
Someone had painted a cross on the door
And underlined it with ‘Hell’.
One night I listened and heard a step
Out there on the path outside,
Got up and walked to the window, and
Out there was a beautiful bride.
She stood uncertain, unveiled her face.
Her make-up was streaked with tears.
But when I opened the cottage door
The woman had disappeared.
I saw the groom on the following day
He stood by the next cottage down,
I waved, and thought he would look my way
But all that he did was frown.
He turned and entered the cottage door
But it didn’t creak, or slam,
And when I looked, the weeds on the floor
Said empty, no sign of the man.
One night, I heard a sound in the hall
Like music and shuffling feet,
So wandered down, and stood by the wall
While lights shone out in the street,
But when I entered, the place was grim
And shrouded in silence and gloom.
I stood there shivering, on my own.
It felt like the depths of a tomb.
At night, I finally started to dream
And I saw the bride in her lace.
She came and tapped on my window pane
With tears streaming down her face,
‘You have to come, a man with a gun,
Has shattered my wedding dream,’
I tossed and turned, until I awoke
Then pondered on what I’d seen.
One Sunday late, and fully awake
I wandered down to the church,
And by the time that I stood outside
I could hear the wedding march.
I pushed the door and it swung out wide
As I entered there in the gloom,
Then heard the sound of a pistol shot
That echoed across that room.
And just for a moment, they were there,
The spectres of what had been,
The wedding party standing in shock
As I looked at that terrible scene.
A shape ran past me, out at the door
As the bride let out a cry,
And there the groom lay dead on the floor
With blood running out of his eye.
It faded then, and I was alone
In this dreadful church in the dell,
Where someone had painted a bright red cross
And underlined it with ‘Hell’.
A curse must have come on the village that night
When the villagers all had cried,
For all that was left were the ghosts of death
From the night that the bridegroom died.