© Alan Richardson 2020
Rebecca, who organised this picnic in a cemetery, is telling her friends about its history
REBECCA This cemetery isn’t famed for the notable, but for the notorious.
JENNA Notorious. In what way notorious?
REBECCA Not far from here, there once stood a Victorian jail where they hanged condemned murderers then buried them in a plot of land beside the jail. Later, they built a new prison further away. The old jail was demolished and replaced by a building to house government departments.
JENNA I don’t like where this is going. What happened to the buried murderers?
REBECCA Most were left underneath the car park of the new building. But some were relocated if relatives could meet the cost of
MARIANNE No prizes for guessing where?
REBECCA Only a few.
JENNA Any’s too many.
REBECCA And some were really infamous, like a certain Captain Lynch, who regularly sailed the world.
SUE Don’t tell me… a girl in every port?
REBECCCA You got it. But during one shore leave, he found his mistress entertaining another man. In a frenzy, he drew his cutlass…
JENNA Spare us the details.
REBECCA By the time the murder was discovered, he’d sailed to his next port of call. They say he totally lost his mind. At the next port, he made sure his mistress there would never betray him. And it was a very long voyage home with numerous ports… and mistresses. When he got home, his last victim was his wife. But this time, he was seen emerging from the bedroom with his blood-
MARIANNE Horrible man.
REBECCA Not just men. We have Mabel O’Brien. She distilled her own gin and gifted bottles to her neighbours.
SUE That was nice of her.
REBECCA Laced with poison. There was also…
JENNA No more, thank you.
REBECCA As a result, it won’t surprise you to know that this cemetery is reputedly haunted.
JENNA Now she tells us.
REBECCA Only reputedly. Which is an absolute gold mine for the guides who lead the ghost and ghoul tours here every night. I’m
surprised we haven’t seen one yet. I’ve met them before. You should see their costumes and make-
and top hat who looks like Count Dracula.
SUE Wouldn’t mind bumping into him.
REBECCA There’s a girl who dresses like a Halloween witch. You know, pointy hat and broomstick.
MARIANNE That must come in handy here in the autumn.
JENNA How? Oh… sweeping up the leaves.