THEATRE PLAY VERSION:
In the early 20th century, Authur Kipps, a young man who works for a solicitor, is sent to deal with the house of an elderly widow (Mrs Alice Drablow) who has just died. He attends the funeral as a representative, and, as Mrs Drablow's coffin is being lowered into its grave, Arthur turns to see a woman in black has appeared at his side. Her face is white, gaunt, and wasted,but he can see her body is still that of a less than middle aged woman. He turns to see if anyone else has seen her, but no one else has batted an eyelid, and the woman in black storms out, disappearing into a hole in the stage. As he travels he soon discovers that the house he has to deal with is on an island, which is surrounded by dangerous marshes, where people have died, and can only bereached when floods are at low tide, and "frets" which can come in an instant from a clear blue sky. Everytime he tries to talk about Mrs Drablow or her house, people go silent, or try to leave the room, or rapidly change the subject. He soon learns no one will talk about it, and suspects that something weird or unpleasent is going on at the house. But he doesn't believe in ghosts. The only way he canget there is by pony trap, and one of the locals, Mr Keckwick, takes him there. He's the only man that will. After Mr Keckwick has gone back to the mainland , Arthur doesn't go straight into the house...he goes round the back, to an old, disused graveyard, and the woman in black suddenly reappears. He suddenly realises that she has very cold eyes, which radiate hate, anger and...madness. Sheturns on her heel, away from Arthur, and starts away, back towards the marshes. He chases after her, but he can no longer see her...but he can see for miles, and there's no where she could possibly hide around there. He gives up his search, and feels for the key in his pocket before rushign in, and switching on the lights.
Later that evening, he hears something outside and, (stupidly) goes toinvestigate. The whole place is suddenyl shrouded in fog, and he hears the sound of a pony and trap approaching. He tries to find it, but can't see it, but hears more noises, worse noises. Theres the sound of horses protesting, but the driver telling then to go on, and then a slight sucking sound, and you can tell the trap has fallen into the marsh. A child scream, and so does a woman, but there is stillnothing to see. Frightened, he runs back into the house and tries to engross himself into his paperwork. But then something starts to make a thumping sound. It is a steady sound, but fast, and terrifying in its own way, chilling him (and the audience) to the bone. He follows the sound up a flight of stairs and discovers that it's coming from a room which can only be entered through a small door.He goes to open it but, wait the room is locked. He finds this strange, creepy. There is no bolt on the outside of the door, and no keyhole...so it can only be locked from the inside. But no one else is here! No one else can be here! Why would they? He'd only been here for a few hours yet he was creeped to the bone! And he had been planning to spend a couple of NIGHTS there? Staying over? Hah!Like hell...
He bangs and bangs on the door, but nothing happens and he leaves it, confused and scared, but still unsure whether or not he believes in ghosts (which kind of shows he's a bit of a div). He goes back to the mainland to collect his stuff so he can stay for the night, but asks whether he can have some company. He is told no, and asks why. "Because there are no young people here willingto take the job?"
"No one? No young man eager to earn a few extra pounds?" He is told firmly NO, and leaves it, wondering WHY there are no younger people around. He passes someone in the street, ah, a man (a rich landowner) he met on the train down here, who tell him that no one else goes there but MR Keckwick, and even he won't stay the night, so he can take the rich landowners dog, Spider....
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