Idioms: Ghost Stories

Look out for idioms used throughout the text highlighted in bold   Following on from the Halloween blog earlier this week and in preparation for the SGI Halloween party, I thought it would be interesting to start my class with a scary theme today, so I asked my students if they had ever seen a ghost. It was certainly a far cry from what I would usually ask e.g. “Did you have a nice evening / weekend?” and it did help break the ice for some newer students. Unsurprisingly, not many students believe in or had seen a ghost. However, here are a few of the stories from the ones who had: Student 1: When I was 12 years old, I went on a camping trip with my school that was in the middle of nowhere. We were told to keep an eye out for 10 ghosts (fake ones), which the school had set up around the area. But I counted 11. The extra one was real. I remember it clearly; it was of an old man’s head with a long white beard, and it was on top of a hill. He was smiling at me so I wasn’t scared, and there was a bright light coming from behind him. Nobody else saw it, but I will always remember his kind smile. Student 2: My parents and I were driving along a country road one night. I was in the back seat sleeping like a log when I was suddenly awoken by my dad braking hard followed by a loud thud. He and my mother were panicking because they said that a little girl had appeared on the road out of the blue and they had hit her. They got out of the car but there was nothing – no child and no damage to the car. At first I thought they were pulling my leg but I could see that they were both scared stiff. So I never saw the ghost but I believe that they did. I later found out that a girl was run over about 10 years before and that her ghost can now be seen quite often. Student 3: I never saw one, but did feel the presence. When I was at school I had a friend who lived in a house which was haunted. He had a pet bird that would go crazy during the night, like someone was rattling its cage. Also his dog would always look up at the ceiling, like it could hear someone walking in the attic. I always took what he said with a pinch of salt until I stayed over one night. His parents were out and we were playing computer games when his dog started barking loudly towards the kitchen. Nobody was in there, but then all of sudden we heard footsteps coming from above. At that point we both felt cold, like someone had walked passed us who was made of ice. That was the one and only time I stayed at his place. Personally, I’ve never seen a ghost and I’m a very sceptical person. That doesn’t mean I don’t believe these students, but I do think that there’s a perfectly logical explanation for these incidents. I love horror and ghost films, so seeing a ghost would actually make my day – as the saying goes seeing is believing! If you’ve ever seen a ghost, please tell us the story in the comments section below.


To be a far cry from something
be completely different from something
Break the ice
make people relaxed in a new situation
In the middle of nowhere
a long way from towns, villages or houses
To keep an eye out for something/somebody
watch for someone/thing to appear
Sleep like a log
sleep very well
Out of the blue
completely unexpected
Pull someone’s leg
tell somebody something that isn’t true as a joke
To be scared stiff
so frightened that you can’t move
To take something with a pinch of salt
not believe something to be true or accurate
Make someone’s day
make somebody extremely happy

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