Ministry of Evil: Short Story Based on a Personal Experience

Updated on May 21, 2019
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Ann loves to write stories & poems & is always eager to meet challenges issued by other hubbers or herself, to exceed her comfort zone.

Ministry of Evil: Short Story

She shot to wakefulness. A touch? No one beside her. A noise?

The windows rattled against the wind. Troubling thoughts swirling in her dreams now pervaded her consciousness.

Slowly they came to her. Through the unopened window they floated, came to look upon her as she was lying there. Some just stared before departing into the mist. Some smiled as though welcoming her to the rôle of tending the chapel and graveyard. Some hardly looked but she sensed the duty of each greeting.

Sarah reckoned about thirty of them, a regular parade passing above her and back out the window; she sensed they were curious to meet her. They calmed her. The initial shock brought no fear. A longer pause and, with surprising disappointment, she decided it was over.



A shriek of air! Splintering glass tore her soul, cut off her breath. Wrenched from the opening, the window smacked into the wall, metal on stone. A rushing wraith screeched to a halt above her, its face distorted with rage, pain and a desire to threaten. An inch away, narrowed eyes pierced into hers, blood-veined, jagged-yellow. Stench from its gaping mouth infused her breath. The rasping screech continued to assault her ears.

Dust-dry dregs of soil and stone peppered the words reaching from a scaled throat.

“Leave! You are not worthy… not doing your job… you besmirch this sacred ground… my ground. Leave… before the worst happens to you!”

Fear reached her bones. Sarah scrambled to the top of the bed; no escape. Now blood oozed from the hard eyes which held hers. The body was twisted, deformed. Impossible to look away. The abomination shape-shifted; horns grew from its head, the hands were bone, the head a skull. Loose clothes covered a dark space, a hole where dwelt the devil himself.

Seemingly from afar, Sarah heard her own drawn-out scream, “Help!”


With a wrenching shriek, the seeping spectre fled the room.

The windows and glass repaired themselves or so it seemed until Sarah felt the soothing blanket of spirits who comforted her. They did not need words; their actions and expressions sufficed. They had responded to her call.

One settled her pillow and her covers.

One cooled her brow.

A third passed hands across her eyes, a passage to instant slumber.

Seemingly Peaceful Graveyard.....

Headstones in the Grass
Headstones in the Grass | Source

Fall to Hell

The morning light woke her. She shivered with the vague memory of a nightmare, tinged with a sense of support.

She needed to clean inside the chapel, then mow the grass in the graveyard.

The cleaning done, she turned to the grass around the lines of stones. Many of the graves were tended by existing family. Others were mossed and tilted by time, some overgrown with neglect.

The mower buzzing, Sarah was lost in her musings. She finished; the air stilled.

A growing sense of being watched, of unpleasant tingling crawling up her spine, of vicious eyes boring into her soul, made her faint and she fell towards a newly dug grave and pitched over the side.

Damp and Despair

Her nightmare reappeared from the earth beside her; a twisted form crouched, a menacing leer captured her gaze and would not let go. Distant screams from below the dank soil froze her blood; death approached.

Sarah was aware of traffic passing by beyond the graveyard. People were walking across the road. She lay there and nobody could see her, no one would help her. Was this her fate? Was she to die here in this hole to hell? What had she done? Why was this creature condemning her? Rotting compost, rank earth and dark death filled her nostrils. Her skin was cold beneath the blue sky.

Maybe her best wasn’t good enough. Maybe it was her fault. She had two children, the family had lost everything and had ended up in this chapel house with a low rent in exchange for cleaning and tending to the house and grounds.

The house was damp, had dry rot, and one child had a chest infection as a result. Sarah had to feed the visiting minister every other Sunday. He had to eat alone at a small table in the sitting room as half of the house, where the dining room was situated, was unfit for habitation. It was humiliating. Her husband had complained but nothing was done and he lacked the guts to insist. Sarah had long lost her self-esteem and confidence, had no fight left in her, betrayed and defeated.

Panic siezed again, wave after wave, until she felt overcome. The fiend sensed his victory at hand. A ragged finger stretched towards her eyes, ready to tear at them and send her to eternal darkness. Foul air mixed with dirt on her lips, she succumbed to the inevitable. If this grave had been dug for her then so be it, but, please God, let it be quick before this pain that had begun twisting her body penetrated to her soul. Her skin shrivelled in shock.


Spirit Saviours

Once more, the spirits were there. She was lifted with gentleness, placed on the cool, soft grass, warmed and tended until she could stand. Not a soul was beside her when she regained control of her senses. Aware only of that supportive blanket soothing her, she returned indoors and sat rocking herself.

Emerging from her slumber, she realised it was time to collect the children from school. She glanced out of the window over to the graveyard.

A group surrounded the fresh hole she had fallen into. She recognised the faces as her welcome party from the previous night, though they were hazy in the daylight.

Something was going on. Barely believing what she saw, Sarah witnessed the seizing of a body, deformed and frenzied. She felt the chill on the air from where she stood, despite the summer sun.

Recognition of the face which had terrified her held her in suspense, such that she could not budge. But the face was afraid; though still resisting with its evil eye and charred skin, it’s power was diminished. Without malice, the throng dragged it down, firmly, until it was emprisoned by their determined hands. It remained so for a few seconds. Then, with shocking speed and force, they hurled it into the sticky void of the newly-dug grave. A piercing, vengeful shriek scraped the air, then evaporated to nothing.

Demon Disposed

Earth from the dig returned to the hole of its own accord. Grass grew afresh. The grave didn’t exist. Where it had been, a slab of stone fastened itself above the grass. The spirits withdrew, heads bowed, faces solemn.

Sarah thanked them from her heart and received recognition with gratitude. She knew they would be her guardians in this place.

The evil troubled her no more.

Some weeks later, the story reached her that a long-previous minister had given false evidence and had a boy hanged for stealing from the communion plate, whereas he had committed the crime himself.


Origins of this Story

This is based on an experience of mine, when I did indeed tend a graveyard and chapel. The ‘minister’ who held sway there was not a pleasant character and did not treat us well. His successor was the opposite, thank goodness.

I think he was embittered by his physical condition and took it out on others; I was not one of the congregation, so perhaps that was why, though I find that a strange attitude for a supposed spiritual leader.

His fate was probably not as I narrate it above but I think he deserved some sort of retribution. At the time I needed kindness and understanding, not animosity and criticism. Being unhappy there, fortunately I did not stay long.

I was grateful to those spirits who did indeed come to ‘inspect’ me on the first night I slept there, in a dream I suppose although it seemed utterly real and to this day I believe it was meant that way. That was the only time I ‘saw’ them, unlike my portrayal of the above!

Religious Attitudes

Followers of most religions are kind, sympathetic people who want to help and who spread fellowship and a community spirit. I experienced a closed community there, some of whom were lovely but many who were stuck in their traditions and couldn’t see beyond them. They became bigoted and thereby antagonistic. I suffered because of it, though I tried to be pleasant to all.

Whether we belong to a religion or not, we belong to some sort of community and all of us need help, understanding and love.

Have you ever had a ghostly experience?

Was it...

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Your ghostly experience...

was it...

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Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Ann Carr


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      • annart profile imageAUTHOR

        Ann Carr 

        2 days ago from SW England

        Thank you Cheryl. I appreciate you reading and leaving your kind comment.


      • Cheryl E Preston profile image

        Cheryl E Preston 

        2 days ago from Roanoke

        Very engaging story that holds the attention of the reader

      • annart profile imageAUTHOR

        Ann Carr 

        4 days ago from SW England

        Thank you, Priya, for your kind comment. Much appreciated.


      • Pria Dinesh profile image

        Priya Dinesh 

        5 days ago from Bangalore

        Who knew scary could be this fun?! Brilliant work Ann. I regret not coming across this masterpiece earlier

      • annart profile imageAUTHOR

        Ann Carr 

        2 months ago from SW England

        Thank you Verlie. Actually, the place in the story really was where I had the 'visit' from the graveyard inhabitants! Thank goodness they were benign. The rest is fiction but also based on a minister there at the time.

        Yes, visitations from dear ones are profound and comforting.

        Glad you enjoyed the read.


      • snakeslane profile image

        Verlie Burroughs 

        2 months ago from Canada

        Ann, This is so frighteningly vivid. I like how you placed the story in a real time and place where one could easily imagine feeling overwhelmed by evil spirits. I'm not sure if I have ever experienced seeing a ghost, but nightmares and dreams have conjured up lots of scary 'entities' also benign spirits, and sometimes blessed visitations and visions of people close to me who passed away, which is always a profound experience. Good write!

      • annart profile imageAUTHOR

        Ann Carr 

        3 months ago from SW England

        Thanks, manatita; it was certainly a powerful experience!

        Yes, love is the answer, that's for sure. That's why I never cease to be amazed that religion breeds so many who hate. Why is that?

        Hope your weekend is going swimmingly.


      • manatita44 profile image


        3 months ago from london

        No ghostly experience I can remember, no.

        A very powerful piece! Enjoyable.

        Actually, I also homed in on your holistic approach to love at the end. So refreshing and yes, coming from Christianity, I know what you mean. That is why I say with Bill and Eric that Love is a wise way to go. Funny thing, God's world. He made it quite colourful … colourful indeed!

      • annart profile imageAUTHOR

        Ann Carr 

        4 months ago from SW England

        Thank you Patricia! It did help a lot to air my feelings.

        Lovely to hear from you today; I've missed you. I have a few of yours to catch up on, I think.

        Much appreciated.


      • pstraubie48 profile image

        Patricia Scott 

        4 months ago from sunny Florida

        O so very scary----so glad that it is in your past and that telling it helped. Angels are on the way this morning to comfort you ps

      • annart profile imageAUTHOR

        Ann Carr 

        6 months ago from SW England

        Dream On: Sorry to give you goosebumps! I hope they disappear soon. Yes, that was a long time ago and it did me good to tell the story (albeit based on some fact). Thank you for the visit; much appreciated.


      • DREAM ON profile image

        DREAM ON 

        6 months ago

        I starting reading your story when it was almost dark. It didn't take long before I decided to put on all the lights. You gave me goosebumps now they are slowly going away. I am glad things are much better now. Thank you for sharing your experience.

      • annart profile imageAUTHOR

        Ann Carr 

        6 months ago from SW England

        Thanks, Genna. I'm glad you liked this and I appreciate that a writer of your standing has offered such praise; I'm so pleased!


      • annart profile imageAUTHOR

        Ann Carr 

        6 months ago from SW England

        William: Thank you for your generous comments and thanks also for following me - I will return the compliment asap. Just got back from a 3 week break so catching up on all sorts!


      • Genna East profile image

        Genna East 

        6 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

        Hello Ann...

        I can't believe I missed this -- a riveting tale right from the beginning. The fact that this was born from a personal experience makes it even more compelling . Excellent writing, Anne. :-)

      • lifegate profile image

        William Kovacic 

        7 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

        Wow, 'Ann! I don't know what to say. so very well written - and a frightening too. I'm glad you outlived your experience!

      • annart profile imageAUTHOR

        Ann Carr 

        8 months ago from SW England

        Thank you, Jackie. It can be disturbing but fortunately most of my life has been far more positive!

        I also like to delve into a dark story now and then and this one was therapeutic.

        I appreciate your support.


      • Jackie Lynnley profile image

        Jackie Lynnley 

        8 months ago from The Beautiful South

        So interesting, Ann. I too have had a spiritual incident or dream I felt quite true but nothing like this. It would be pretty terrifying and I don't think I would ever forget it either! Thanks for sharing it.

      • annart profile imageAUTHOR

        Ann Carr 

        8 months ago from SW England

        Thank you, Sarah.

      • profile image


        8 months ago

        I like it.

      • annart profile imageAUTHOR

        Ann Carr 

        8 months ago from SW England

        Thanks, Flourish! Glad you enjoyed this spooky tale. It's sad that he was like that but not pleasant being on the receiving end!

        Hope you had a great Christmas and that 2019 is all you wish for!


      • FlourishAnyway profile image


        8 months ago from USA

        You are an excellent storyteller and I’ve enjoyed reading both your tale and the comments. The minister apparently had an evil agenda and was likely embittering by his suffering and you somehow stood in the way of that. I hope he got what he deserved.

      • annart profile imageAUTHOR

        Ann Carr 

        8 months ago from SW England

        Thanks Chris!

        Now that's spooky - I would freak out if that happened to me!

        Good to see you. Happy Christmas!


      • cam8510 profile image

        Chris Mills 

        8 months ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

        Ann, If I had been lying in bed when I read this, I would have been hiding under the covers. Superb storytelling.

        My experience has happened repeatedly. I hear my name being called. That's it.

      • annart profile imageAUTHOR

        Ann Carr 

        8 months ago from SW England

        Thank you, Kim, for your super comment and compliment. I'm delighted you enjoyed this; it has been fermenting within for decades!


      • ocfireflies profile image


        8 months ago from North Carolina


        What a delicious and yet gruesome story. I found myself holding my breath. You are such a gifted writer. The way you took a personal experience and created art demonstrates again just how you are so incredibly talented.

        Blessings Always,


      • annart profile imageAUTHOR

        Ann Carr 

        9 months ago from SW England

        Very interesting, Doris. I've never heard of 'kundalini'. It sounds terrifying. I'm off to look it up!

        Thank you for reading and for your fascinating input.


      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James MizBejabbers 

        9 months ago from Beautiful South

        Ann, your story gives me the shivers, too, but then I've had the shivers all week. The nonspiritual kind that antibiotics usually eradicate. I did your poll and had to check "other". You asked for a comment on other. My experience was a kundalini episode in which a spirit of some kind tried to take advantage of me and take over my body. This happened twice while I was asleep, about two months apart. This slick-talking demon tried to convince me that I "would like it." I never saw it, but I felt it and heard it talking to me. I shut down the kundalini experiences and now allow them only under expert supervision.

        So the experience in your story, while more descriptively evil, is definitely different from the fright I experienced, but I was still terrified and felt helpless.

      • annart profile imageAUTHOR

        Ann Carr 

        9 months ago from SW England

        Thanks, manatita. I appreciate your comments.


      • manatita44 profile image


        9 months ago from london

        A bit scary, that one, but told very well. People in some places have a lot to tell and for them it's very real. I don't recall any, although I'm sure that some close to me have stories to tell. Perhaps it was your minister getting his just rewards. Ha ha.

      • annart profile imageAUTHOR

        Ann Carr 

        9 months ago from SW England

        Linda, sorry to give you the shivers too! It's pretty cold here, with strong gales which are buffeting the house as I type this. I don't like the wind!

        Thank you for reading and leaving such a super comment.


      • annart profile imageAUTHOR

        Ann Carr 

        9 months ago from SW England

        Sorry to give you the heeby-jeebies, bill! Thank you for such a great comment.

        Yes we always doubt such things but even when I think of it now, about 30 years later, it's as fresh as it was then and still seems so real - strange!

        Lovely to see you this evening; thanks for the visit, bill.


      • Carb Diva profile image

        Linda Lum 

        9 months ago from Washington State, USA

        Ann, you are a master of finding the precise words to convey your story. All of the senses are involved and the reader is pulled into the tale. You've given me shivers on this cold December morning.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        9 months ago from Olympia, WA

        I think I'll just steer clear of graveyards for awhile, thanks to this story. Sheez, Ann, start my weekend off with shivers why don't you?

        Loved this....excellent writing from an excellent writer. Have I had a spiritual experience? I believe so but then we always doubt that which we can't explain, don't we? :)

        Have a satisfying Saturday, my friend!


      • annart profile imageAUTHOR

        Ann Carr 

        9 months ago from SW England

        Thank you, Pamela. Glad it 'grabbed' you! It certainly does stick with me. This story is part of dealing with something I've only just managed to come to terms with, so its therapeutic. I appreciate your understanding and your support.


      • Pamela99 profile image

        Pamela Oglesby 

        9 months ago from Sunny Florida

        Thanks for writing this story based on an experience you actually had, and it left me feeling on the edge of my seat. I am glad you quickly left, but this is an experience I assume sticks with you forever.

      • annart profile imageAUTHOR

        Ann Carr 

        9 months ago from SW England

        In mediaeval times, penalties were harsh in society generally and many youngsters who stole to be able to survive received such a fate, sadly. That part of this particular story is fiction but the spirits visiting me, dream or not, was real.

        Thank you for your words, Mike; I like 'sprinkled with suspense'!


      • annart profile imageAUTHOR

        Ann Carr 

        9 months ago from SW England

        Thank you, John, for commenting so kindly. It was not a good time for me but the spirits were comforting and that was the good bit. I only have to think of them and I'm calm; a strange experience!

        I always appreciate your support.


      • mckbirdbks profile image


        9 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

        Hello Ann - What a tough religion. Hanged for stealing from the collection plate. Your story is a real eye opener. Very well written and sprinkled with suspense. Nice that spirits surrounded you and comforted you.

      • Jodah profile image

        John Hansen 

        9 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you for sharing this story Ann. What makes it all the more terrifying is that is based on an actual experience of yours. Vivid imagery and exemplary writing also made it a captivating read. Thank you.


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