City Lights


Our Story of the Week is a scary story from the writer John Lee Langton.

John turned to writing later in life, first taking a creative writing evening course at a local college, and then following up a couple of years later with the prestigious Diploma in Creative writing from Kellogg College, the graduate college of The University of Oxford.

For us, Langton is one of the true masters of the short story. Instantly evocative of a time and place, his stories explore original themes and setting, and are a veritable pick and mix of genres.

In City Lights, Langton writes a spine-tingling, horror story that immediately draws you in. It’s getting out that’s the problem.


‘David had observed the long narrow room before. Late at night, sitting in his car at the traffic lights, he would look up at the building opposite. Each time, the room on the second floor attracted his attention. Its large windows were without curtains or blinds. Around the edge of its ceiling, hung strings of pink, yellow and green coloured lights, flashing in endless repetition. Pink, yellow, green, off. Pink, yellow, green, off. Jagged shadows jumped and chased each other across the walls before the room went black and the sequence started again. At the end of the room, closest to the traffic lights, the silhouette of a man’s head faced the wall. He seemed to be sitting and watching something. The room was apparently empty, except for the flashing lights, as if prepared for a Christmas party whose guests had not arrived yet.Read more…