When I first saw the spectre I was scared stiff. I didn’t know what was happening. I thought I was seeing things. I have lived in this solitary and dismal place for too long with only the dripping wet walls of jagged stone for company. I often thought I saw things in the deep black tunnel. When I saw and heard the spectre waving his arms and telling me to “look out” I didn’t know what to do. If I was to message up and down the line ‘danger, take care!’ the answer I would get back would be ‘ what danger, where’ and I would not know what danger, they would think I was mad and I would lose my job.
When the first crash happened after I had seen the spectre I didn’t know what to say, I knew something was going to happen but I didn’t know when and where. The crash was big and came just 6 hours after I had seen the spectre. 4 hours later the bodies of the dead and wounded were brought along through the tunnel over the spot where the figure had stood. A disagreeable shudder crept over me, but I did my best against it.
I spent months worrying if the spectre was going to come back and haunt me.
6 or 7 months passed and no sign of the spectre; then it came back. I was standing at the door, I looked towards the red light, and saw the spectre again. Instant fear came over me. I was worried that more people were about to die. I watched every train go in and out of the tunnel, to make sure nothing was wrong. The same day the spectre had come back to me I noticed at a carriage window on my side, what looked like a confusion of hands and heads, and something waved. I signalled to the driver to stop. He stopped about 150 yards on. I looked to see what I had seen, it was a beautiful young lady who had died instantaneously. She was brought and put in my hut. I was scared that the spectre would never leave me alone.
I was so jumpy whenever the bell went. Although it sounded different when the spectre sounded it, I still jumped. I am so worried what will happen if the spectre comes back. Who will be next to die or am I just being paranoid. Will anyone die or will the warning of ‘look out’ be enough. What will happen?
Mr Dickens must think I am mad, he said he doesn’t but if I were he, I would think I am mad. Mr Dickens made me think that this could be some kind of punishment for wasting my life. What could I have done if I hadn’t? Would my life be different if I had not messed about at college? I could have a well-respected job by know, instead I am being haunted by a spectre. Mr Dickens must have a good job, so why does he want to come and see me? Why does he keep coming back?
I decided to write about the signalman’s thoughts about the spectre because I think that is the most important aspect of the story.
In the second paragraph I tried to show his fear of the spectre and what it means and how it preyed on his mind. He wasn’t able to confide in any one else on the railway as he felt he had nothing he could say which didn’t expose him to ridicule. In this way the pressure built up.
Finally he starts to fear Mr Dickens and what Dickens thinks of him. The story leaves it unclear whether the signalman killed him self or how the accident occurred.
The signalman was influenced by his surroundings illustrated by the use of depressing words such as dismal, solitary and gloomy and this can’t have helped his state of mind.