There was a young girl named Josephine who was habitually late for Sunday morning mass at her local church. She always forgot to set her alarm and wouldn’t wake up in time. Finally, she got tired of her parents telling her off and decided she would never be late for mass again.
One Sunday morning, Josephine woke up at midnight. Unaware of what time it was, she thought she had overslept again and jumped out of bed. She quickly got dressed and ran out the door without ever looking at the clock.
It was still dark outside, but it usually was dark at that time of year. It was very quiet and there was nobody else on the street. The only sound she could hear was the noise of her own footsteps on the pavement as she hurried towards the church.
When she heard the church bell ring, she quickened her pace and took a shortcut through the cemetery. She got to the church just as the service was about to begin. She found a seat and took a look around.
Much to her surprise, she didn’t recognize anyone. The church was filled with people she had never seen before. They were all staring straight ahead and an eerie silence hung over the gathering. When the priest came out to celebrate mass, Josephine realized he was a stranger too.
The priest told the congregation to pray for the soul of a young girl named Francoise who had died the night before. Josephine was shocked. She knew Francoise and she had never even heard that the poor girl was ill. Something was radically wrong. She began to feel very uneasy.
She looked around again and, as her eyes began to adjust to the dim light, she saw someone she knew. There was an old woman sitting at the back of the church. Josephine’s heart sank when she remembered the old woman had died the year before.
Looking towards the front of the church, she saw that some of the people sitting there looked very strange. Their skin seemed to be pearly white. One of them turned his head and Josephine discovered to her horror that he was nothing but a skeleton in a suit. Just a skull and some bones.
“This is a mass for the dead,” thought Josephine. “Everybody here is dead, except me. It’s a spectre’s mass.”
SHe noticed that some of them were staring at her. Their eyes were filled with anger. It was clear to her that she had no business being there.
Suddenly, she felt a tap on her shoulder. Nervously, she turned around and found her grandfather standing in the row behind her. He had been dead for three years. There was a worried look on his face. He leaned towards her and whispered in her ear.
“Leave right now, while you still can,” he hissed. “You don’t belong here.”
Josephine immediately grabbed her coat and walked quickly toward the door. She heard hollow footsteps echoing behind her and glanced back. The dead were rising out of their seats and following her. Their faces were twisted in fury and hate.
Josephine was terrified and she dashed to the door, a pack of shrieking ghosts snapping at her heels. She felt skeletal hands grabbing at her, trying to stop her leaving. She twisted and turned, struggling to free herself from their grasp. Her coat was ripped off and her hat was snatched from her head, just as she managed to slip out the door.
Screaming and crying and almost out of her mind with fear, Josephine ran all the way home and told her parents what had happened. Later that day, someone came to the house holding what was left of Josephine’s coat and hat. They had been found in the cemetery, torn to shreds.