Our World Book Week celebrations got off to a flying start today with a visit from top teen author, William Hussey.

William gave four presentations.  He started and ended the day by delivering his Gothic Workshop and giving a haunting talk on the Gothic genre to groups of Year 9 students.  In the middle sessions he showcased a terrifying mock witch trial to all of our Year 7 and Year 8 students.

The Year 9 groups were given a brief history of the horror story and were given an overview of the history of Horror fiction, including the classics ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’. William then focused in on the classic novel ‘Dracula’, dispelling certain myths about vampires. The session ended with a quiz and the ultimate battle of Dracula v Van Helsing. Van Helsing won and Dracula was ‘staked’ to death in the middle of the college library!

The Year 7 and 8 students were immediately engaged by William’s presence, learning how he became interested in writing and the historical events surrounding witchcraft in Civil War Britain. Having been educated on the traditional instruments used by witchfinders of the time, including the terrifying bodkin, the students were ready for their very own witch trial. One unfortunate student was accused of being a witch – and with the help of two students nominated as ‘townsfolk’, the fate of the accused was delivered – guilty! The guilty verdict was sealed by the other 190 students in each year group.

William was happy to answer the many questions that students had at the end of each session and everyone involved enjoyed the entertaining and spine tingling workshops. Thank you William!