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Ministry of Evil: Short Story Based on a Personal Experience


Ann loves to write stories and poems and is always eager to meet challenges issued by other writers 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

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?

Your ghostly experience...

© 2018 Ann Carr


Ann Carr (author) from SW England on February 09, 2020:

Hello Dolores! Yes it's impossible to know isn't it. I appreciate you stopping by and adding your input. Good to see you.


Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on February 09, 2020:

Great scary story. I always though living in a small graveyard cottage would be lovely but you've made it sound so unpleasant. We can't know if those helpful guardian spirits who visit in dreams are real or figments of our imagination, but the result is the same. I have certainly had troublesome thoughts calmed by dream visitors.

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on February 01, 2020:

Thanks, Mel! Sorry I made you nervous!

I wasn't worried about it at all, even when the spirits 'visited' me but the minister was not a pleasant person, hence this hub. I feel I've done myself justice against him now!

Thanks for reading and for your comment. Much appreciated.


Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on January 30, 2020:

I don't think I could sleep in a chapel house that had graves attached. Just the thought of it would creep me out too much to sleep.

A family member just walked down and made me leap out of my seat while I was finishing your story. I guess you achieved the desired effect. Great work!

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on January 25, 2020:

Thank you, Shauna, for your kind comments and valuable input. Thank you, too, for following me; I'm honoured.

Your experiences are fascinating. What a sad story concerning your first love. His love for you must have been deep for that to happen.

I think some are more in tune with the spiritual world than others. I understand you not being frightened by the young boy, as I felt those supportive spirits of mine were calming and curious.

Apparently my father and his mother had similar spiritual experiences so maybe it's hereditary.

Fortunately, I am no longer affected by the memory of that 'spirit' in my story. I think I finally laid it to rest by writing about it - very therapeutic!

Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment in length.


Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on January 25, 2020:

Ann, this story is chilling. The fact that is was spurred by real events makes it even more so. I do believe you had guardian angels speaking to you and guiding your next move: to leave.

I think there's a real message here regarding the effects on our psyche as the result of disdainful treatment by others. Sometimes the effects are deep and long-lasting.

I've had two encounters with spirits that I clearly remember. The first came in the form of a dream, but I know it was an actual encounter. I was a sophomore in high school and began dating our star track runner, a senior. His name was Ken Santarcangelo. He died suddenly of viral pneumonia. He had gotten up in the middle of the night to go downstairs and take his meds. As he was descending the stairs, he took his last breath and fell to the bottom. Everyone was devastated by his death.

A few months after he passed, I "dreamed" I was on the school bus. When we came to his pick up spot, he boarded the bus and sat in front of me. He was wearing his track uniform. His skin was ashen and I seemed to be the only one who could see him. He turned around and spoke to me: "Shauna, I came back to say goodbye. I never had the chance and I'm sorry". With that, I awakened, facing the way I was in the "dream". After that, I never dreamed of him again. To this day (I'm now almost 63) I carry his year book picture in my wallet. He was my first love. We never had a chance.

My second sighting was several years ago when I was married to my second husband. He told me of a brother who was born before he was, but died shortly after being born. Several times, during the day, I'd get a glimpse of an adorable dark-haired little boy peering at me from around corners in the house. He'd be gone when I turned to get full sight. Although he was about five years-old, I felt in my heart it was Rex's deceased brother. He wasn't scary at all, just mischievous and playful.

This story is well-written, Ann. I hope you're no longer taunted by this particular demon. I suspect your guardian angels will continue to keep him at bay.

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on January 13, 2020:

I'm glad to hear that your experience was a good one, Denise. I have had out of body experiences but they were benevolent too.

Thanks for reading and commenting.


Denise McGill from Fresno CA on January 10, 2020:

A very haunting memory and terrifying. I've gratefully only had one such experience and it was benevolent and calming.



Ann Carr (author) from SW England on December 15, 2019:

Thank you Luis. I replied just now but it's not showing up so I'm trying again.

Yes, I will read your articles as I get notification. Am just going through on catch-up as I've been away.


Ann Carr (author) from SW England on December 15, 2019:

Hello Demas! Good to see you. Thank you for reading and commenting.

It's a strange experience, isn't it?!


Demas W Jasper from Today's America and The World Beyond on December 14, 2019:

I had an out-of-body dream that in large part came true and remains vivid to this day, as does yours.

Luis G Asuncion from City of San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan, Philippines on November 22, 2019:

Love to read more of your articles. You can read my articles too.

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on November 22, 2019:

Thank you, Luis, for your visit and your kind comments.


Luis G Asuncion from City of San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan, Philippines on November 21, 2019:

Ministry of evil is so cool. I do believe that if we will die, there are only two place to go, heaven or hell. Thanks for sharing.

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on October 09, 2019:

Yes, Patricia, it wasn't pleasant but writing this, after all this time, helped me to put it into perspective and deal with it at last.

Thank you for your comment and your support. I always appreciate your sending of angels and I hope yours are looking after you.


Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on October 09, 2019:

What an experience. I am only glad you are fine. Evil does exist sadly and sometimes we mortals are sucked into it never to return. Angels truly are headed your way. ps

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on September 15, 2019:

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


Cheryl E Preston from Roanoke on September 15, 2019:

Very engaging story that holds the attention of the reader

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on September 13, 2019:

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


Priya Dinesh from Bangalore on September 12, 2019:

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

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on July 17, 2019:

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.


Verlie Burroughs from Canada on July 17, 2019:

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!

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on May 26, 2019:

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 from london on May 22, 2019:

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!

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on May 15, 2019:

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.


Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on May 15, 2019:

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

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on March 08, 2019:

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 on March 07, 2019:

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.

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on February 24, 2019:

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!


Ann Carr (author) from SW England on February 24, 2019:

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 from Massachusetts, USA on February 23, 2019:

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. :-)

William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on February 12, 2019:

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

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on January 10, 2019:

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 from the beautiful south on January 08, 2019:

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.

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on January 04, 2019:

Thank you, Sarah.

Sarah on January 04, 2019:

I like it.

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on December 27, 2018:

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 from USA on December 26, 2018:

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.

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on December 25, 2018:

Thanks Chris!

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

Good to see you. Happy Christmas!


Chris Mills from Traverse City, MI on December 25, 2018:

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.

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on December 23, 2018:

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


ocfireflies from North Carolina on December 23, 2018:


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,


Ann Carr (author) from SW England on December 11, 2018:

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.


Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on December 10, 2018:

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.

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on December 09, 2018:

Thanks, manatita. I appreciate your comments.


manatita44 from london on December 09, 2018:

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.

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on December 08, 2018:

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.


Ann Carr (author) from SW England on December 08, 2018:

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.


Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on December 08, 2018:

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.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 08, 2018:

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!


Ann Carr (author) from SW England on December 08, 2018:

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.


Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on December 08, 2018:

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.

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on December 08, 2018:

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'!


Ann Carr (author) from SW England on December 08, 2018:

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 from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on December 07, 2018:

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.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on December 07, 2018:

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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