Haunted Houses: A Learner Journey
Elizabeth Scarefellow has recently inherited a stately family home from a distant relative. She decides to move from her flat in the city out to the remote estate, before she makes up her mind whether to sell it, as she has always wanted to live in a more rural area. Although she did not know this relative, she is excited and hopeful that she will have a chance to live life at a different pace. Elizabeth is a learning technologist and has arranged to work from her new home. This “learner” journey will document how Elizabeth navigates her strange new surroundings.
Week One: Excited Apprehension
When Elizabeth arrives at Bloodmore House, the front door is already open. She has a ring of rusty skeleton keys given to her by her late cousin’s solicitor, which she spends several hours trying out on the various wings and cupboards. Only one door won’t seem to open, though she can see through the keyhole that the room beyond is painted a deep crimson red. When Elizabeth sets up her desk and checks in at work, she reminds a user who cannot access a Collaborate room that they need to enable third-party cookies. Elizabeth makes a note to pick up groceries.
Week Two: Confusion
Bloodmore has mice, or some other kind of infestation, which is causing a strange sound in the walls in the middle of the night. The pitter-pattering of feet is almost like faint whispers. Elizabeth has managed to tidy up the house, and unpack her possessions, but the noises are confounding. The animal specialist cannot find any trace of rodents, and Elizabeth can’t think what else might be causing the problem. Meanwhile, she helps a member of teaching staff learn how to produce and edit an automated transcript of a lecture recording.
Week Three: Frustration
The whispers in the walls of Bloodmore are getting louder and more insistent, and Elizabeth can hardly sleep. When a friend comes to visit, they cannot hear a thing. Elizabeth still cannot get into the red room. Elizabeth’s father tells her it’s probably only the wind, and she’s so used to city noises that the sound is unfamiliar. Angry and frustrated, Elizabeth wonders why nobody believes her, and she helps a student submit a paper via Turnitin, advising them to clear their cache first.
Week 4: Fear
Something is terribly wrong at Bloodmore. Elizabeth has heard sounds of crashing all night, the whispering transformed into a terrible shrieking. Running through the darkened halls, she tries to phone for help but she has very little service so deep into the woods. She leaves Bloodmore, driving away in her slippers. She hopes she won’t have to miss work, as the following morning she will be leading a training session on tips for teaching in hybrid classrooms.
Week 5: Relief
Elizabeth has solved the mystery of Bloodmore. When she returned to the house in daylight, she noticed the doormat displaced. Perhaps she kicked it in her rush to leave. There is a key beneath, and it opens the red room, into which a pipe has burst. It is this pipe which has been making the terrible whispering sound! Fortunately, insurance will cover the damage, and within a month or two Elizabeth feels more at home than ever settled into Bloodmore. She doesn’t witness anything else unusual, except for students and teachers using unsupported browsers to access their course materials. All is well for Elizabeth and Bloodmore. For now.