A young couple in Manchester took the family car and went to a dance. The girl wore a long evening dress and high heels, so she didn’t drive. They came back from the dance through the country; it was about midnight. The engine of the car was not right; it was weak. Suddenly, the engine stopped and the boy drove the car off the road and stopped the car on the grass at the edge of a wood.
There was silence and it was very dark. They were frightened so they put the car radio on and listened to some music. Suddenly a news reader came on the radio. He said, a crazy criminal had escaped from a prison. He was very dangerous.
They were frightened again! Then the boy said he must go to the next village and telephone his parents (This was before the days of mobile phones). The girl said, “I can’t walk out there. I’ve got high heeled shoes on!
The boy said, “OK, you stay here in the car!”
She said, “I can’t stay here! There’s a crazy criminal about!”
So the boy said, “Come with me then!”
So the boy said, “Stay in the car and lie down on the floor, at the back. I will cover you with a blanket.” So that is what she did. And he said, ‘I will knock on the roof three times when I come back…and you will know it is me!”
She waited and she heard strange noises in the wood and around the car. She thought it was cats or rats or something.
Then she heard: Knock! Knock! Knock! Knock! Knock! And the knocking continued! So, she didn’t move. She stayed silently under the blanket for hours. The knocking continued! Then daylight came. She heard loud voices. She looked out and saw a policewoman’s face! She got out of the car. The policewoman put her arm around her shoulder and said, “Don’t look back!” But she did and there was her boyfriend, hanging by the neck, from a big tree above the car, his feet knocking, slowly, on the roof of the car!
This is an awful story. I dont tell it anymore to school students. But I did for a year or two and it was extremely successful in the sense of gripping them! But my own daugher Timea who is twelve, as I write, is frightened by herself in her own bedroom so I have now got a more responsible attitude to telling stories to children. Incidentally I have never told Timea such stories.
So my suggestion is that you dont tell it to young secondary school students…maybe students of 17 or 18 and over, if you can cope with it yourself.