The Ghost of Deepwood Forest

A story by Olivia Willis Lawlor, age 13, Co Armagh

Pale summer moonlight shone down on to the trees, casting a ghostly shadow across them. The trees were thick and bare, and their branches sprawled outwards, obscuring sections of the sky. I jumped down from my tree and landed soundlessly. There was someone else in this forest. But who would want to come to Deepwoods? Were they here to hurt the forest? The animals? Or worse, visit the House?

I ignored my racing thoughts and sunk into the ground. (Due to being a ghost, I could pass through objects others could not.) I waited, my eyes just above a clump of moss. I was beginning to think I was just being paranoid, but then I heard it: footsteps. I glided through the leaves to try to find them. After a few minutes of searching, I found the human.

The human was tall, nearly tall enough to reach the branches, and was wearing some kind of protective suit. They didn’t seem like a threat, and they were probably a lost tourist, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that they had an ominous intent ...

I floated there, halfway in the ground, staring at the human. I was surprised when they started to walk towards me. They couldn’t see me, could they? After having no interaction with humans for almost 17 years now, I couldn’t remember if I was visible to them or not. I felt the panic rise in my ghostly body as they came nearer. But I shouldn’t have been worried. They walked past me, like every other living creature in the forest. I sighed with relief, until I noticed where they were going … toward the Deepwood House, the most haunted house in the country, according to the humans. This was bad.


Humans that have entered Deepwood House have never returned alive. The human was running at an alarming speed. “No. No. No. No. NO!” I thought wildly as I zoomed after them “Not the House!” I had gained a certain fondness for the old house, I’m not sure why, but it’s probably because it’s where I became this ghostly state. My body might still be there, after 17 years, if the insects haven’t gotten to it. I ignored this thought – I’d rather not think about my own death – and resumed my chase after the human.

The human was nearly there now. I frantically tried to put branches and logs in their way but they just jumped right over them. I tried to redirect them to a rabbit burrow (where I hoped they would fall) by using my control of the trees. But no, they kept on running. “What could they want so badly with the house?” I thought curiously. “Perhaps they are a burglar?” My mind was acting on its own accord now. “Maybe they want to destroy the h–” Panic and anxiety swallowed my thoughts as the human approached the gates to the house. “Nooo!” my mind yelled as the human pushed them open.

I threw stick after stick and stone after stone at the human and yet they still didn’t even notice. They walked up the messy cobbled path, the unkempt plants scratching and grabbing at their legs. There was nothing I could do. They were going to get in the house. Everything I had done in my 17 years as a ghost would be undone. Unless …

I still had one more trick up my sleeve. Fear.

I sunk down into the ground once again, and took control of the garden. I made the dead flowers open up to reveal large, vicious teeth, the trees stretch their long, skeletal branches over to the human. I made the grass grow up like blades and shatter the hanging lanterns, causing the garden to be plunged into darkness. I then rubbed my hands together, causing a small sphere of light to form there. I shattered the sphere with a loud, deafening crack and threw the delicate shards at the human. They caught the knife-sharp shards as if they were simply paper.

“Impossible!” I thought in disbelief.

“Well well, little ghost. You’ve had your games,” said the human, a grin forming on their face. They could see me! But how?!

“This house,” the human gestured at it with a smile, “it’s worth a lot of money, isn’t it? I’d say about a couple mil–” “You can’t have it!” I shouted. I froze. I had spoken. Although my voice had scratched badly with neglect, it had power in it, and the human had sensed that. Their face crumpled with fear and I knew I had an advantage now.

“You can’t have it!” I yelled again. “You have no right to be here in Deepwood!” Rain started to pour down from the heavens. “Never show your face here again, or I’ll haunt you, your family and everyone you’ve ever known!”

Lightning crashed down, lighting the area a ghostly white and throwing ominous shadows everywhere. Without a word, the human ran for their life.

As suddenly as it had appeared, the rain stopped as I floated back to my tree to think. I didn’t know I could speak ... and the human, would they return? Would they bring others next time? When they come back, I’ll be ready.

The next morning, I was awoken by a loud, metallic banging. The sun was filtering through the trees and, in one of its rays, was a large sign reading: WARNING. HAUNTED AREA. ENTER AT OWN RISK. I smiled to myself, no more crazy nights for me! And with that, I glided off into the forest to talk to the animals, knowing that Deepwood Forest and its House was safe.

For now ...