Dave Allen - The Haunted House (for EFL)


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For upper intermediate EFL students. Watch the clip and do the activities

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  • See here for the clip http://efllecturer.blogspot.com/2011/06/dave-allen-haunted-house.html
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Dave Allen - The Haunted House (for EFL)

  1. 1. http://efllecturer.blogspot.com/2011/06/dave-allen-haunted-house.htmlThe Haunted CottageThe ghost story is told by Dave AllenDave Allen, was an Irish comedian who was verypopular in Great Britain, Australia, and Canada.Allen lost the top of his left index finger. Here heexplains how it happened in a long story, endingwith "something evil" attacking him in a dark and haunted cottage.1) Before you watchLook at these words from the story.The spirit world, a gravedigger, fright, a finger, a bet, a cottage, bit (bite)Can you guess what the story is going to be about?2) Watch the clipAnswer these questions;1. Where and when did this story take place?2. What was Dave’s attitude to stories of spirits?3. Dave accepted the dare or bet to stay in the cottage. Why do you think hedid this?4. Why did he feel afraid there?5. How did he lose his finger?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeNDkxnz2V0&feature=player_embedded
  2. 2. http://efllecturer.blogspot.com/2011/06/dave-allen-haunted-house.htmlRead the text to check your answers"... Many years ago I was rather foolish. We were in the west coast of Irelandand we were in a barn and wed had a couple of drinks and somebody startedto talk about the unknown and the spirit world.And the conversation came up about the gravediggers house and the localsstarted to tell us about it. This gravedigger was found in his bed, dead, withterrible marks on his neck and his eyes wide open. The doctor said the markshad nothing to do with his death but that the man had died of fright. And... Iscoffed, foolishly.And it came about with a few more drinks that I accepted a dare or a bet that Iwould stay the night in the cottage beside the graveyard. I went there and weagreed that the door would be locked and I would stay in there until first lightand I was locked in.I dont know really what happens but I think a great deal of fear is in onesmind. It was dank. It was cold. The effects of the booze began to wear off andI began to think, "What in the name of God are you doing here?" And I felt... Idont know what it was. It was an instinct. It was something stronger than mepulled me towards this bed where this man had died. And I was drawn... Ifought against it but I was drawn nearer and nearer to this bed. And I was toldsomehow or other to sit on that bed. I didnt want to... and I did. An unnaturaldrowsiness came over me and I became very sleepy... and I lay downknowing full well that I shouldnt... and I went to sleep. A limbo sleepI awoke. What time I have no idea. The candle had burnt down. It was black.It was cold and I felt a presence. I was completely sober by then and utterlyterrified. The hackles on the back of my neck had begun to rise. I wasparalysed by a presence of fear. I felt something on my chest begin to move.It crept slowly up my chest... and I couldnt move. It came closer and closer tomy throat. I gathered all my willpower... as this thing came closer... andnearer... and I grabbed it! And it was wet and cold and I bit it! Aaaaaagh!!! Iscreamed in pain!And that is how I lost my finger."
  3. 3. http://efllecturer.blogspot.com/2011/06/dave-allen-haunted-house.htmlAnswers1. Many years ago in the west coast of Ireland2. He scoffed. He didnt believe them3. He was drinking and maybe to prove the stories were rubbish4. The atmosphere (cold and dank) and his own thoughts - a great deal offear is in ones mind...5. He bit it off.3) Matching - Look at the text again.Can you match these words from the story with the definitions on the right. Ifyou are not sure look at the text and try and guess.The first is done for you.Words from the story Definitionsfoolish = stupid self-control, strengthbarn laughed at with contemptscoffed not drunkdank large building on a farmbooze pulleddrawn in obliviondrowsiness stupidlimbo took or grasped suddenlysober collected, brought togetherutterly completelyhackles hairscrept sleepinessgathered alcoholwillpower moved slowlygrabbed cool and humid
  4. 4. http://efllecturer.blogspot.com/2011/06/dave-allen-haunted-house.htmlAnswersfoolish stupidbarn large building on a farmscoffed laughed at with contemptdank cool and humidbooze alcoholdrawn pulleddrowsiness sleepinesslimbo in oblivionsober not drunkutterly completelyhackles hairscrept moved slowlygathered collected, brought togetherwillpower self-control, strengthgrabbed took or grasped suddenlyDave says “a great deal of fear is in ones mind”. • What vocabulary and expressions does he use to create an atmosphere of fear? • What tenses does he use?Answers • unknown, spirit, terrible, died of fright, dank, cold, an instinct, something stronger than me , drawn, fought against, unnatural drowsiness, very sleepy, limbo, black, a presence, utterly terrified, the hackles on the back of my neck, paralysed by a presence of fear, crept slowly, wet, bit , pain • Mostly past simple. Some past perfect (wed had... ), indirect speech (agreed that...) and direct speech
  5. 5. http://efllecturer.blogspot.com/2011/06/dave-allen-haunted-house.html4) Writing"A good storyteller never lets the facts get in the way."This story is an example of a "shaggy dog story" (a long story that ends in afunny way).Writing TaskWrite your own shaggy dog story. It can be another ghost story or a similarstory with some element of "fear" and tension. The end should be a simplecomic sentence which breaks the tension of the story and makes peoplelaugh.Look at Dave’s story to help you plan.Look at the paragraphs • How many paragraphs are there? • What is the function of each paragraph?AnswersParagraph1. Set the scene. Say when events happened. Describe the location.2. Introduce characters and story3. The story starts. Past Simple for narrative4. The story continues. Description of feelings and thoughts. Createatmosphere of fear.5. The story comes to a climax. Dave uses simpler and shorter sentences tocreate tension6. Final sentence. Punchline / joke - tension is broken / end of story
  6. 6. http://efllecturer.blogspot.com/2011/06/dave-allen-haunted-house.htmlTask Check - In your writing you should demonstrate you know how touseLanguage of narrative and story-telling; • Past tenses e.g. past perfect for describing the background to the situation • Simple past for narrating events • Past continuous for setting the scene • Adjectives for describing people and/or feelings • You can include some direct speechWhen you finish check your spelling, grammar and punctuation."Goodnight, thank you, and may your God go with you" - Dave Allen