Hallowe’en Story: The Silk Road

The Escapades

by Jenny Brigalow

The sky was bright with diamante light and a silvery moon.  A sly breeze slid through a gap in the warped window frame.  A curtain flicked and brushed across Jack’s face. He sat bolt upright in bed, senses on red alert. A cry of dismay slipped through his teeth as blackness spread over the window pane. 

Inside his chest, his heart raced like a hot-rod. It was back! His teeth clenched at the sound of the moth’s frantic, desperate tap, tap, tap, tapping. On and on it went as the beast gyrated up and down. He felt as if its wings were in his head brushing across his brain. It drove him mental. Completely crackers. Then his mind conjured up his father’s gun. A flush of relief rippled through him. Of course. He would shoot the shite.

The moth froze. Jack observed it nervously. Was it his imagination…

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Hallowe’en Series: A Family Ghost

The Escapades

by Louise Forster

ghostA true story.

Cross my heart … and stuff.

Our robust, Mediterranean brother in-law, Jon, died of pancreatic cancer. A long and excruciatingly painful death.

A loveable man with a huge heart and short fuse. He used to fire up when his immediate family did hot-headed stupid things. He had a strong sense of right and wrong and his siblings, aunts and uncles, even his mother would cop it at times. He protected his wife, my sister in-law, from a lot of the squabbling and no one dared say a word against her. He was always gentle and loveable towards us, his in-laws. He’d greet our girls, arms out wide ready to give them a tight hug with, “G’day Tiger. Who luvs ya baby.” They will always remember him with a soft smile and a warm heart.

After the funeral, we spent few days taking a relaxing…

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Hallowe’en Series: Alison Stuart’s Soldier and Spy

The Escapades

by Alison Stuart

When you are next stuck in a traffic jam on Queens Road in Melbourne and find yourself looking at this old Victorian mansion (now part of a hotel), spare a thought for Albert whose restless spirit is still causing mayhem (by all accounts).

So, you ask, who is Albert? Settle down, pour yourself a stiff drink and listen to the sad tale of Netherby’s last resident.


Netherby House c1999 The orderly room was to the right of the front door, officers mess to the left

 “Netherby” House, in Queens Road, Melbourne is one of the few remaining Victorian mansions that once lined that street. The building has a chequered history having been variously a private residence, a maternity hospital, ASIO headquarters and since the 1960s had been the home of the Australian Army’s Headquarters 3rd Training Group.  

When I was a young pay clerk (Army…

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The Dropping Out Book Launch and Other Disasters

Danielle de Valera


Sitting here waiting for my son and his wife and kids to wake up. They leave to return to the UK today. I hadn’t seen my son for ten years, and I’d never seen my grandchildren, who are nine and five. They’ve been here for three weeks, on and off when they weren’t exploring the countryside in their rented campervan, and it’s going to be a wrench, I know.

I sit here sipping coffee, trying to fortify myself for the ordeal to come. Fortunately, my daughter, who’s up from Melbourne, will be here until Monday, so I won’t have to lose them all at once.

Attachment. The Buddhist masters have always talked of the evils of attachment. Not that it’s evil in itself, but that it causes us humans so much pain from loss, or even the fear of it. But then, I wonder, how would we care properly for…

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Hallowe’en Series: Cathleen Ross’s Special Permission

The Escapades

by Cathleen Ross

Once a year, I go on tour with the eminent historical writer Alison Weir. A few years ago we visited Twekesbury Abbey, where the guide for our party said he and his daughter often saw ghosts in the Abbey, notably one who occupied the pulpit preaching. 

Although Alison’s tours are fast paced, we are allowed free time to explore the Abbey. I’m psychic and although I normally keep my senses reigned in, I relax on vacation and decided to sit at the back of the Abbey and open my third eye.

It didn’t take long when I heard a spectral male voice say, “You do not have jurisdiction here.”

I couldn’t see who was speaking. Sometimes I get an image, sometimes not. I did however recognise the voice of authority. I humbly explained I was a visitor and could I see back into the past to…

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Hallowe’en Series: Ghosts Among Us

The Escapades

This Hallowe’en, we asked our authors – have you ever had an encounter with ‘the other side’?  Their stories will thrill and chill you!

by Eva Scott

The Ghost of Eldritch Farm

Many summers ago I got a job renovating an Elizabethan era farmhouse in the Sussex countryside. The house had been added to over the centuries but the main part retained the distinctive uneven Tudor beams of its heritage. My job was to paint the small bedrooms on the upper floor and cut in the beams. While I painted shades of lilac and primrose on the walls I’d stop once in a while to take in the bucolic view out of the tiny window.

The fields were full of horses, which the farm specialized in breeding, and a vast quantity of rabbits. The eccentric brother and sister who owned the farm, Walter and Meredith, refused to allow the rabbits to…

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