les blog posts écrits par les étudiants au centre de formation 'English Connection Vannes'

Ghost Stories 3

Here are the last two ghost stories from my lycée students. I think you'll agree that they are full of imagination!

The Ghost Ship by Addie

About ten years ago I was sailing with my family around the little islands next to the coast of Brittany, not far from Brest.
We’d been sailing all day long and we were feeling a bit ill as the sea had been choppy. There were some huge waves, a terrible wind and the sky was so threatening. I was half crying and half singing to try to keep up some hope that we would safely get back from this place.
We couldn’t see any coast on the horizon, so I was terrified. It was starting to get dark and the temperature dropped. I felt an icy shiver and suddenly the atmosphere totally changed. Darkness settled around us and a spooky noise rose from the mast. It was rattling and creaking in a strange way until we heard a BANG and a chain fell down onto the cockpit. No-one said anything. Were we in a weird dream? I don’t know – but I had seen it! A poltergeist was floating next to the flag and it was wearing a chain on its feet. I don’t remember what happened next, but I know that we entered into fog and the apparition disappeared.

The Portal by Léa

During my friend’s vacation back in 2014, Catherine had the most terrific experience that she’ll never forget.
The story began when her parents decided to have a trip in Britain. They searched and found numerous places to visit but the first place that caught their attention was quite particular. It was a haunted house known also as an ancient hotel located in a small village. For some reason her parents were attracted to this place because of the ghost story that had made it famous, so they reserved and paid extra to visit the off-limits rooms and chambers. Everyone was really excited.
The day that they had been waiting for finally came. They were already prepared to go. The flight took five hours, landing at 1pm local time. Then, they took a train to get to the village. After leaving some luggage in the hotel room, they went directly to the haunted house. When Catherine and her family arrived, there was a guide who led the way and showed them the rooms which had horrible “decorations”. There was one room covered with bloody hand prints. At the end of the tour he told them the mysterious story of the haunted hotel…
So the story began during the period of black magic. The hotel had already been built and it welcomed all kinds of guests, both human and animal, but the current owner said that he believed there were also demons, witches and other ghostly beings. The house itself is said to have been the location of many sinister happenings, such as child sacrifice, suicide, murder and dark magic rituals. That’s why the house is the creepiest place people have ever visited. Thus, there was a rumour which said that the hotel has a secret portal which allowed the souls of dead people to travel to another dimension or just to another hotel around the whole world.
After the visit, the family went back to their hotel. They had dinner and went back to their rooms. Catherine shared a room with her little sister. Catherine had a shower, and when she came out of the bathroom her sister said, “Come and meet my new friend”. Catherine thought her sister was trying to scare her because they had just been to a haunted house, so she said, “Please stop being ridiculous. I’m tired, let’s go to sleep … and tell me something real next time!”
Her sister replied, “It wasn’t a joke at all.” Then she turned her head and said, “Can you show her what you can do?” Suddenly, all the lights went off. Then Catherine heard a footstep and a young woman’s voice whispered, “Believe it now?”
Catherine was so shocked she couldn’t even scream. Her sister was being very weird. Then she remembered the guide had said that the portal could lead souls to another dimension .. or another hotel!
Well, we will never know what really happened. There is a huge distance between imagination and reality.

Ghost stories 2

Here are two more ghost stories written by my B2 lycée group.

Tap, tap, tap… Miaow! By Marie

Not long ago I read a book by François René de Châteaubriand. He was a writer of romantic novels, but in his book “Mémoir d’autre tombe” there are some very spooky chapters. One of them is about ghosts, and it’s very scary!

The author talks about the castle where he spent his childhood: the castle of Combourg. In the countryside around the castle there is a legend that tells the story of of Count Malo de Coëtquen who lost a leg in a tragic battle many years ago. Châteaubriand wrote that every night he looked under his bed to see if the ghost of the Count was there. He was scared because every night he heard the the sound of Malo de Coëtquen’s wooden leg. He heard the tap, tap of the leg on the stony ground and he shivered with fear. He was paralysed by this noise and another strange sort of mewing. He thought that the Count was not alone, he was accompanied by the ghost of a cat which had terrible yellow eyes.

A few years ago some repair work was carried out on the castle and in a wall the mummified remains of a cat were found. After some historic research, it was discovered that in the middle ages people often immured black cats because they brought bad luck.
The current owner thinks that the ghost that Châteubriand heard is that of the cat found in the walls.
And she still feels the presence of these two strange phantoms.

Strange Things By Manon

I’m going to tell you a very strange story that happened to me a year ago.
It was a sunny day and my mum and my little brother had gone to the supermarket and I was alone at home in my bedroom when I heard a big noise, a muffled sound. I went downstairs but there was nothing weird, so I slumped on the sofa and switched on the TV to watch a romantic series. As I was watching it I felt that someone was watching me and suddenly I heard a huge noise – it sounded like pans. I went into the kitchen and discovered some pans on the floor. My eyes widened because I was alone. The door and all the windows were closed. I started having goose-bumps!
I really didn’t understand what was happening in my house, so I went back up to my bedroom. I was on my phone when I heard a “click”. You should know that there is an automatic lamp in the hall which turns itself on if someone passes, but only if someone passes. I opened my door and saw that the light was on. Then there was a SNAP and the light bulb burst! I screamed, grabbed my phone and ran out of the house.
Five minutes later my mum came back, and I know she didn’t really believe me.
The really strange thing is that my house is new; it isn’t an old manor or anything like that. And since that day I thought I’ve seen some shadows, some black shapes.
Maybe I’m crazy. Or maybe something is wrong with this house.

Lycée Group Ghost Stories 1

I asked my students who are in Première and Terminale to write a ghost story. For the next few weeks, I'll be publishing their stories. Here's the first two.

A sleepless night by Bénie

I woke up during the night at 3.33am, just like every night for the last few weeks. I had no idea of why I woke up nor why at 3.33 precisely, but something was sure – all this made me nervous, so I decided to go to the kitchen to get a drink of cold water. I walked in the hallway in the dark for a few seconds before opening the kitchen door and going in. I had barely gone five steps when my feet hit something which felt like a desk. But there was no desk here usually. I decided therefore to look for the switch to understand what had happened to me, but I couldn’t find it. Still in the dark, I was walking with my hands out in front of me and it was like I wasn’t in my kitchen at all. Everything seemed different and I started to panic. I wanted to turn round and go back to my room but it was impossible to find the door.

The atmosphere became heavy and it was at this moment that I heard the noise. It was the voice of a young woman. Then I saw her and my blood froze. She was staring at me with piercing eyes. She had white wavy hair and she was wearing a long white dress. On her wrist there was a watch which clearly showed the time: 3.33.

She walked towards me and I dared not move. When she arrived in front of me she handed me a brush and said, “Can you brush my hair?”
I didn’t answer, but I took the brush. She turned around and I started to brush her hair which was soft, but tangled. After a while, the apparition thanked me, took back her brush and disappeared. I forgot to have a drink. I walked back to my room mechanically, still in shock. Was this a dream? It had lasted nearly an hour.

I turned on my light and looked at myself in the mirror. That’s when I saw one white, wavy hair on my shoulder.

Never leave your children at home, by Solène

The story takes place in a house in a tiny town, next to a spooky forest. The family living in this house was a typical family consisting of mum, dad, a son and a daughter. One day, all of them left the house to go for a walk, except the lazy son who they left playing with his new toy outside, in front of the house.

After a while, he heard a noise coming from the forest. First he thought it was his family coming back, but the sound stopped. A few seconds later, it started again. It was like something was slowly coming towards him. Afraid, the boy went back into the house and double-locked himself inside. He let himself drop against the wall, overthinking what had made the noise.

After about 20 minutes, he decided to open the door. He got up slowly, put his hand on the handle, lowered it as softly as he could and abruptly opened the door. He stayed on the doorstep with his eyes closed for about a minute, but as nothing happened he carefully opened his eyes, fearing the worst. However, he found himself face to face with his smiling sister. She laughed at him, and the boy breathed a huge sigh of relief.

Sisters, eh!..... But what he didn’t see was the terrifying black shape disappearing at the edge of the spooky wood.

Fortunately, Unfortunately 2013

Yes, it's time for the collège (3ème) group to write a "Fortunately, Unfortunately" story.
Here are this year's efforts:

They could all have the same title: A Really Bad Day, although this was not intentional.

I was going on my holidays to Guadeloupe.
Unfortunately, the plane was cancelled, there were some terrorists.
Fortunately, everyone was safe and sound.
Unfortunately, the terrorists hijacked the plane.
Fortunately, the passengers could take another plane.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t a pilot.
Fortunately, a man on the plane was a pilot.
Unfortunately, there was some turbulence.
Fortunately, they had almost arrived at the destination.
Unfortunately, the plane couldn’t land because the runway was flooded.

By Maureen & Eva

I was going to school.
Unfortunately, I missed my bus.
Fotunately, my dad took me by car.
Unfortunately, his car broke down.
Fortunately, he repaired the car.
Unfortunately, I forgot my book.
Fortunately, the teacher was absent.
Unfortunately, she was replaced.
Fortunately, my friend lent me a book.
Unfortunately, it was the wrong one.
Fortunately, there was a fire drill, so I didn't need the book.

By Yann & Valentin

I went to eat at a restaurant.
Unfortunately, my car didn’t have any petrol.
Fortunately, I had a bike.
Unfortunately, I didn’t find the restaurant.
Fortunately, I had a sandwich in my bag.
Unfortunately, my sandwich fell into a puddle.
Fortunately, I found a baker’s.
Unfortunately, they didn’t have a sandwich.
Fortunately, I was on a diet.
Unfortunately, I stopped last week.
Fortnately, I bought a tart and a croissant.

by Blandine & Inès

Hello from the Ukraine!

A few days ago I received an e-mail from a student called Sabina in the Ukraine.

This is what she wrote:

Hello, Bronwen.

My name is Sabina. I'm from Eastern part of Ukraine. Today I've been surfing the Internet in search some more information about FCE testing (which I am going to pass this June). And I reached your article "How to write a story". I found your material really useful and incredibly interesting either for my preparation or to my hobby in creating stories.

As for me, I want to pass FCE test because I'd like to have some reward in such field of study as language. Also it means for me a symbolic point in English which gives me a start, an opportunity to pass DELF/DALF exams in near future.

Thank you for sharing an experience in this exam.

Yours faithfully,

Thank you for such a lovely e-mail, Sabina, and good luck with your exams!

Anyone else want to say "hello" from another part of the world?

You can now also say "hello" by going to our (very) new Facebook page.


So, what did you do at the weekend? 2

Rennes Air Show 2010

Rennes airshow 2010

BC: What did you do at the weekend Romain?

Romain:I went to Rennes airport to see an air show which commemorated The Battle of Britain from World War 2.

BC:Did you have a good time?

Romain:Oh, yes, it was great! It was really beautiful watching the planes moving in the sky, in 3D, in freedom.

 Red Arrows at Rennes

BC:What sort of planes did they have there?

Romain:There were old war planes, such as the Spitfire, the Zero and the Messerschmitt. There were also acrobatic demonstrations by the Rennes aero club instructor and the French Air Force acrobatics team. They had old planes such as the DC-3, and Air Force planes such as the TBM 200 and the Rafale.

BC:As the air show was to commemorate The Battle of Britain, were there any other British planes there, apart from the Spitfire?

Romain: Yes, the famous Red Arrows were there! They are considered to be the best aeronautical acrobatic team in the world so it was an honour to see them. During the demonstration one of the pilots stayed down to explain the different acrobatic figures, and as the Red Arrows came in front of us he said through the microphone: “Ladies and Gentlemen, we are proud to present THE ENGLISH RED ARROWS!”

Red Arrows Rennes air show

BC: You took some very good pictures too, I see.

Romain: Yes, I took a lot of photos. It was a wonderful day out which I’ll never forget and I’d like to thank all the demonstrators who took part. One day, I hope that I’ll be on the other side of the barrier – because I really love flying too and my aim is to become a professional pilot.

BC: Thanks for telling us about your weekend, Romain - and I hope your dream of becoming a pilot comes true!

To have a little taste of the Rennes Air Show which took place on 25th & 26th September 2010, click on the link below. The Red Arrows performance comes at the end of the clip. It's certainly worth watching.

Historical note: The Battle of Britain was the name given to the air campaign (Luftwaffe against the Royal Air Force) which took place over the English Channel and the Home Counties (Surrey, Sussex, Kent) between 10th July & 31st October 1940. For more information about this decisive battle, click on the link below: