I've decided to include one of my old cheesy horror stories for Halloween. It's called Creeping Jesus. One reader in the past described it as "almost Blyton-esque retro-style, but with a much darker ending". Another wrote on Authonomy:
"I liked Creeping Jesus, freaky and quite scary. There is an edginess to this one, the terror of being locked in there, gives me the shivers. I can smell the mustiness of the museum, a real sense of place. I hope you will upload more soon, please let me know if you do."
The story was written many years ago. I was in a writing group and we went to Aberystwyth Museum with the challenge to write something, based on anything that we found inspirational in the museum, then to submit it to the museum's World Book Day competition. The competition requested "mystery, spooky phenomena and terror". This was my entry. Once I had explored the Bowen Gallery the idea came fully formed, and I sat and wrote the whole thing out in one go. If you go to the museum you should find many elements from the story, including one that is unexpected but real.
Update, 19th February 2014 - I have put the story on Smashwords instead - more information here.
Addendum: In my letter which accompanied the submission I wrote the following:
"the story is actually aimed at kids (maybe 9-11 years?). The story might seem a bit harsh but hopefully it thereby captures an element of real horror. I think it is more likely to upset parents than kids themselves. It may need some details checking - I referred to an iron-age exhibit, but it might actually be stone- or bronze-age, I couldn’t find a plaque to go with it. [...] For a real scare, kids could hear the story then go into the Bowen Gallery; then someone could turn the lights out (and maybe move one of the dummies?) Or perhaps that is too cruel. My nephew loves creepy things like that, but maybe other kids would be scared. Many thanks for your time in the museum, it is a wonderful place."
Perhaps it is clear in retrospect why I didn't win...