This is a scary story written by P7 pupils of St Gabriel’s Primary School, Prestonpans. They wrote it before the summer and the pupils are now at high school. It is reproduced here with the children’s agreement for Hallowe’en.

It was one of a number of stories written by their class, who were encouraged to explore their creative writing by their then teacher Mr Andrew. I have edited it for publication here, but I have attempted to keep the story as close to the original as possible, and the story itself is completely the idea of the children.

IN PRESTONPANS, there lived two nine-year-old children called Max and Lily.

One day, they went on a bike ride to Preston Tower for a picnic. When they got there they laid a chequered blanket down on the grass, opened their basket and began to eat.

They were about to leave after eating their food when they saw a robin perched on a nearby branch. It seemed friendly and the children fed the wee bird some of their leftovers.

The robin then flew to a nearby abandoned cottage. The children were intrigued and followed the robin to investigate the cottage.

They couldn’t remember noticing it before and they were wandering around it peering inside through small a gap in the wall. They couldn’t see where the robin had gone. They should have just left it but curiosity got the better of them and they searched for a way in. They were anxious to find out what had happened to the robin.

But there was no way in, as the entrance and windows were blocked. So they clambered up the cottage wall, the bricks crumbling under their feet.

Tired and exhausted, they finally reached where they thought the robin had landed.

They found an opening which led to a dark passage. Despite being a bit scared, Max and Lily decided to investigate and walked down the passage. It was dimly lit by small gaps in the wall that let in narrow beams of light. At the end, there was a staircase. They huddled together as they walked.

Then all of a sudden, the floorboard behind them collapsed.

Now in fear and panic, they dashed up the steps of the dilapidated staircase into the attic.

From the corner of the attic, they could just make out a small black figure running towards them.

They thought they had seen the robin but it was something much worse. “Mouse!” screamed Lily. Then they heard a glass shatter – smash!

They were now terrified and they sat in pitch darkness. The only light they had was the light that was seeping through the bricks in the walls.

As they sat in fear, they realised they needed to come up with a plan to escape. They searched the cottage for a way out.

As Lily investigated around the room, she tripped over a rug that seemed to have something poking upwards. She called out for Max and he came rushing down the stairs.

As Max kneeled down to take a closer look, Lily revealed what looked like a trapdoor.

Astonished, the children pulled the handle.

It led to a tunnel which was flooded with candlelight. Who lit the candles? Max and Lily wondered if whoever had lit the candles knew they were there.

They entered the candlelit tunnel and one step at a time they cautiously moved forward.

Then, slam! The trapdoor shut behind them and they jumped in fear. This was all too much for them to handle, they were desperate to get out.

Then Max heard a soft but evil whisper: “Please stay, I’m lonely.”

In terror, he pulled out his phone and pressed 999 but it instantly shut off. “Please stay,” said the voice, now sounding child-like.

“Help!” screamed Max and Lily through the gaps in the wall, but help never came.

Then they heard something on the floorboards above.

“There must be something up there,” said Lily. “I guess the only way out is to follow the candlelight.”

So they ventured further down the candlelit passageway.

As the pair made their way through the tunnel, they could just make out what looked like a white figure approaching, who had a terrifying grin with sharp teeth.

Max and Lily’s hearts beat uncontrollably as they sprinted away from this terrifying image and as they did so all the candles blew out, throwing the children into complete darkness.

Was this thing still there? The friends sat together in the darkness breathing heavily, in shock and terror.

Suddenly, in the darkness, icy fingers gripped Lily’s arms.

“Was that you?’’ asked Lily. “No,” replied Max.

All at once, the candles lit up again. Max and Lily turned round and saw a horrifying face: “Arghhhhhhh!”

They woke in the sunlight. “What?” said Max, confused. “What just happened ?” added Lily.

“It must have been a bad dream,” said Max. “But both of us had the same dream, how is that possible?”

“We had better go,” they said.

As they were about to leave, they saw a robin. They turned and looked at each other with a smirk on their faces and a chill in their bones.