Gothic Horror Stories - 2nd Form English

'The street lamp opposite the house shone flickeringly on a quiet and deserted road...'

These are the eerie final words to The Monkey’s Paw by William W. Jacobs, the focus of the 2nd Form unit of work on gothic horror.

The supernatural short story, first published in 1902, focuses on three wishes granted to Mr White, the new owner of the monkey’s paw. All is not as it seems, however, as the wishes come with an enormous price for interfering with fate. It was up to the 2nd Form class to conclude the story’s unresolved ending, just after Mr White had made his third wish to bring his son back from the dead.

Some of the class chose to continue the horror angle, whereas others closed the story with a happy ending. Once they had finished writing, the class then read their endings aloud in front of a flickering fireplace (courtesy of the classroom projector!)

Below are extracts from Samuel Hopkins and Alfie Nugent who created two different endings to the tale using clues from the story:

Samuel: ‘There, on the footstep, was their son, Herbert White, without a scratch on him, dead. Mrs White screeched and started to sob. Mr White had just seen what he had done. He tried to speak, but he couldn’t. Tears rolled down his face. In despair, Mrs White held her formerly perfect son in her arms. “Help him” She screamed at her husband, but when she turned around she saw him holding up the monkey’s paw and saying, “I wish to be dead.”

Alfie: ‘…the man sprinted to the living room with the fire still roaring and prayed to find a way out, but all the doors locked on him leaving him with no escape, then, he turned around, only to see the crunched up face and body of his child. The wish may have brought him back to life, but that didn’t change his appearance because he still looked like he had been munched up by a machine.’

But what did happen when Mr White opened his front door? Did he manage to bring his son back from the dead? Who will have the monkey's paw next? Nobody knows...