Tales of Terror


Read the short story The Landlady by Roald Dahl.

1. What is the fate of the Billy?

2. Throughout the story, what sort of clues does Dahl give about the landlady?


Read the short story Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl.

1. Why does Mary hit her husband with the leg of lamb?

2. Why does Mary go to the shops?

3. ‘Lamb to the Slaughter’ uses black humour and a macabre tone.  Do you agree?


Read The Monkey’s Paw by WW Jacobs.

1. Where does the monkey’s paw come from and what can it do?

2. The moral of The Monkey’s Paw is ‘be careful what  you wish for’. Discuss.


Read the short story Cold Reading by Alan Moore.

1. How is ‘Cold Reading’ different from a traditional horror story? Consider how the narrator describes the neighbourhood that he visits.

2. How do you feel about the narrator by the end of the story? Explain your opinion using quotes throughout your response.

3. The story has a twist ending. What clues does Moore put throughout the first half of the story so this twist works?

4. Why is Ricky lured to the house? Support your answer with quotes.

5. Define the following words: superimpose, lacklustre, haggard, gormless. Use each of the words in a sentence of your own.


When you receive short answer questions on a text in English, it’s an opportunity for you to respond to the themes, ideas and issues in a text. You should treat these questions as an opportunity to develop your literacy skills. Your answers should be detailed and thoughtful.

A well-answered question is very structured. In the opening sentence, you should provide a succinct answer to the question. After you have answered the question, go on to provide greater detail, discussing the question in detail and exploring possible responses to the question. A good response will use short and relevant quotations—textual evidence—to support the discussion.

Using Textual Evidence. When answering short questions on a text, you will need to use textual evidence. The best way to do this is by incorporating short, direct quotations from the text into your own sentences. Quotes should always be surrounded by quotation marks. You can use either single or double quotation marks but don’t use both, e.g. Extinction is Forever features a race of “mackerel coloured, sea-dwelling” creatures that descended from humankind.

Introduce longer quotes using a colon, e.g. Extinction is Forever is a science-fiction story because it features mutated, other-worldly creatures like Vanya: “…a scaly mutant, mackerel-coloured, sea-dwelling creature.”

Always make sure quotes are short and appropriate to your discussion.

Using ellipses. An ellipsis can be used to shorten quotes: “Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy…no animal must ever tyrannise over his own kind.”

Where do I put a full stop? When using quotations, students often ask whether they should put a full stop inside or outside the quotation marks. If the quotation has a full stop at the end and that’s where you want to end the sentence, then the full stop goes inside the quotation marks.

e.g. Stephen is stranded in the future, “the only one of his kind.”

If the quotation doesn’t include a full stop and you want to end a sentence, then the full stop goes outside the quotation mark.

e.g. Professor Goddard had “waited all afternoon”.

Only punctuation that appeared in the original quoted material should be included inside the quotation marks. Otherwise, punctuation is placed outside the closing quotation mark.