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Horror in the Dells

Stuart Barlow

After their teacher takes the 'Super Sleuths' and their classmates to the nearby dells as a stimulus for a creative writing project, the Sleuths become intrigued by something Ms Salmon told them. Something about a mysterious plume of smoke rising from the dells at midnight on Halloween and what it might portend. Although Ms Salmon only wanted to get their creative juices flowing for the story they were to write, the Super Sleuths decide that they must go and investigate, that very evening, the 31st of October. Halloween!
Little does any of them know what fate awaits them, on the stroke of midnight, in the pitch-black, misty, creepy dells, a far different place by night than day. Jess, Andrew, Richard, Sophie and Kelly must dig deep to face and escape the horrors they encounter. Will they get away or be forever lost in this dismal half-world between their reality and the horror in the dells?

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I am a former primary school teacher from Rochdale whose passion and speciality was promoting imagina-tive writing, with an emphasis placed firmly on the joy of the written word, for ten- and eleven-year-old children.

Horror in the Dells is the product of the stimulus I provided pupils with during my time in years five and six. To create the setting for this story, I would take my class into the adjacent dells and once there we would create a fantasy world of witches, goblins and other gruesome creatures which fired the children's imaginations and expanded their vocabulary, the end product of which was the creation of some wonderful writing, which they were invariably proud of.
My other novellas are based on stories I created to use as starting points in order to excite pupils' imagina-tions and stimulate an enthusiasm to not only write, but to enjoy the experience.
My other passion involves an interest in the evolution of recreation in the nineteenth century on which I wrote a thesis to successfully gain a PhD from Man-chester University.