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Night Lights

David McVey

an iScot Short Story

‘OLD BUILDINGS aren’t scary after dark,’ said Aileen. ‘At least, no scarier than they are during the day.’

Everyone nodded. Aileen should know, after all; hadn’t she worked for the National Trust for Scotland? If any one of us had trod the supposedly haunted corridors of historic mansions, by day and by night, it was her.

We’d all piled into the coffee shop after work. It was Friday and we finished at four. Already it was nearly dark, in that November hiatus between Guy Fawkes and the first office Christmas parties. Someone had pointed across the street to some gloomily lit Georgian New Town houses, now the offices of lawyers and architects and accountants, and suggested how creepy they must be after hours. This had sparked discussion about the spookiness of older houses, and how much spookier they must be in the dark of the season.

Jack Holmes, usually one of the chattier people in our team, had said little during this discussion, but after Aileen had spoken, he nodded and said, ‘Aileen’s right. Older houses certainly have atmospheres but there’s nothing especially threatening about them after hours. No, it’s modern buildings that can be genuinely frightening at night.’

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The award winning iScot Magazine issue number 58 is now available to download.