Inversion Reading Comprehension. A Haunted House

Study inversion, cleft sentences and some dramatic vocabulary in context with this advanced English reading comprehension ghost story with an interactive exercise. This reading comprehension exercise is part of a lesson about inversion and cleft sentences in our  Advanced English course. There are grammar exercises to practise inversion here and the reading comprehension exercises for this text are here.

The House

Deep in the heart of the forest, nestled amongst the trees and the shadows, stood an old house. Abandoned for many years, it had become a place of legend, a cursed and haunted relic of a bygone age. Over the years, many people had tried to enter the house, but they all ran away in terror, fleeing from the horrors that lurked within. The locals whispered that the house was cursed, and that those who entered would never leave.

One dark and stormy night, a brave young man found himself faced with the haunted house. As he approached the front door, he felt a chill run down his spine. Slowly, he pushed open the door and stepped inside. The room was dark and foreboding, filled with shadows that danced and flickered in the dim light. Cobwebs hung from the ceiling, and dust covered every surface.

No sooner had he entered, than he heard a loud creaking noise. Turning around, he saw that the door had shut behind him. Panic set in, and he realized that he was trapped. “What have I done?” he thought to himself. “Why did I ever think this was a good idea?” Suddenly, the room grew colder, and he heard a faint whisper. “Welcome home” it said. He turned around, but no one was there. “Who’s there?” he called out, but there was no answer. Feeling brave, he decided to explore the house further. As he walked down the corridor, he saw a shadowy figure at the end of the hall. He tried to run, but his legs wouldn’t move. Frozen with fear, he watched as the figure slowly approached him. Never had he felt so scared in all his life. In a flash, the figure disappeared, and the young man was left alone. “What is going on?” he thought. “Why is this house haunted?” Little did he know, there was a dark secret lurking within the walls of the house, a secret that had been buried for many years. Suddenly, he heard a loud crash, and the lights went out. He was plunged into darkness, and he felt something cold touch his shoulder. He turned around, but again, there was no one there. “This is it,” he thought. “This is the end.” Shaken and scared, the young man made his way to the front door. As he reached for the handle, it turned by itself, and the door swung open. He stumbled outside and collapsed on the ground, gasping for breath. Never before had he felt so relieved to be alive. As he lay there, he was filled with relief that he had narrowly escaped the haunted house. He would never forget the terror he had experienced, and he hoped that he would never return. Little did he know, the house was far from finished with him.

He ran through the forest, consumed with the drive for self preservation, to get as far as he could from the wretched house. After running for what seemed like an eternity through the fog filled forest he at last reached a clearing. Pushing forwards towards the light, he saw a structure looming in the distance. As the mists around him cleared the structure cam into full view. There stood the house. Devastated, he fell to his knees. “How could this be?” he asked himself. He stood, reached for the door and crossed the threshold. as he entered, he heard the voice again. “Welcome home” it repeated. Lurking in the shadows, there stood the dark figure, the source of his terror. As it approached, its face came into focus. He saw, staring back at him, his own face. Tired-looking, long dead eyes and pallid skin, yet unmistakably his own face. It was only then that he remembered that he had lived through this sequence a thousand times before, always with the same finality. From this never-ending madness there would be no escape, for he was, now and forever, home.

Now answer the questions below.

More great horror related resources from Onlearn English


Which of the bold words in the text are each of these definitions describing? Answer each question with one word.