Ready for a long, spooky night

Brian McNeill prepares some creepy material for the Victorian Ghost Stories evening at Larnach...
Brian McNeill prepares some creepy material for the Victorian Ghost Stories evening at Larnach Castle tomorrow. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Sometimes the imagination is more effective than the latest special effects at furnishing ghost stories.

That is why storyteller Brian McNeill says there will be no spooky artificial sights or sounds added tomorrow night, when about 70 people celebrate the longest night of 2017 by listening to Victorian ghost stories at Larnach Castle.

``There won't be any special effects - at least, none that we've arranged.''

He said the longest night of the year at Larnach Castle was an excellent setting to tell ghost stories.

``It's a very intimate experience.

``The intention is to give the traditional picture of an old house and a group of guests sitting around a fire and candlelight, and you've got a storyteller sitting there, reading classic ghost stories to them.''

It was a formula that had proven successful for the past seven years, and this year's sold-out sessions were no exception, he said.

The stories being read were by authors including Saki (Hector Hugh Munro), Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Lewis Carroll and Algernon Blackwood.

Mr McNeill said he would also share some of the personal experiences of Larnach Castle staff, who had witnessed ``uncanny goings-on'' over the years.

And if the readings were not enough to give visitors the jitters, he said there would be a torchlight tour of the castle to end the evening.

``Larnach Castle at night is actually quite an eerie place - especially if it's cold and wet outside, a bit of thunder and lightning - it all adds to the atmosphere.

``It will be a spine-tingling evening.''

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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