Pupils bewitched by horror story re-enactment
Photo: Author William Hussey, left, re-enacts a witchhunt with three pupils during his talk and slideshow at Farringdon Community Sports College, Sunderland
Tales of witchcraft and wickedness proved a frighteningly good treat for schoolchildren when an author came to visit.
William Hussey, who has just released his first teenage horror book, Witchfinder: Dawn of the Demontide, visited Red House Academy and Farrindgon Community College schools.
The author was there to perform a reading of his new work and re-enact the trial of a woman suspected of witchcraft.
Year 7 children were also told about the 17th century witchfinder general Matthew Hopkins, who was responsible for sending more than 150 people to their deaths in just under two years.
William then asked three of his keen audience to help him act out a typical witchcraft trial, in which defendants were tortured if it was thought they were guilty of dabbling in the dark arts.
William, who is set to bring out the second book in his trilogy of fiction novels next January, also offered tips to budding scribes on how they can improve their chances of becoming writers.
He said: “I have really enjoyed doing these talks as the kids are always quite bold with the questions they ask. Some of the plots of the original witchfinder films always seem a bit simplistic and inaccurate to me.
“For instance, we never actually burnt witches in England, but they did in Scotland.
“I like doing the book readings because I don’t think children read too much anymore.
“I think if parents don’t read to their kids they are doing them a disservice.”
Bill Hussey, a former solicitor from Skegness, is in the middle of a tour to promote his work.
He added: “I’ve always loved making up stories to see where they take me. I always remember the encouragement I got from an English teacher when I was young who saw a spark of something.”
18th March 2010