Northern Ireland Scene 2

Once they've dried off, Ashlie and Stephen explore a bit more of Northern Ireland's heritage and, like so many places in the UK, that means... ghosts!


Before you watch

Think about the following questions:

  • Do you believe in ghosts?
  • Are ghost stories popular in your country?
  • What kinds of places do ghosts live?

Now, watch Stephen and Ashlie as they go in search of Northern Irish ghosts.



Ashlie: Right, we can have a couple of hours here before we have to head off to our hotel.

Stephen: We’re here in Northern Ireland to learn how to surf and Ashlie’s insisting we also take time to see the sights.

Ashlie: We are at Dunluce Castle. It’s famous because it’s supposed to have its own ghosts.

Stephen: Come on – let’s go see if we can find a ghost.


Ashlie: Stephen, look! It says here that part of the castle fell into the sea during a terrible storm. All the cooks drowned except for a young kitchen boy who survived.

Stephen: Scary story, but what an interesting place. Here, give me that book. What’s the name of our hotel?

Ashlie: It’s the Ballygally Castle Hotel.

Stephen: The Ballygally Castle Hotel? Ballygally Castle is said to be one of the most haunted places in the area.

Ashlie: Come on, Stephen. We’ll be fine!


Ashlie: Hi there. We have a reservation for two rooms. The name is Walker.

Receptionist: Ah yes. How are you enjoying Northern Ireland? 

Stephen: Oh, it’s great. We’ve been surfing today and we went to a haunted castle, Dunluce. We didn’t see any ghosts, though.

Receptionist: Did you know we have ghosts here in the hotel?

Ashlie: Really?

Receptionist: Yes, we even have a Ghost Room you can visit. The man who built the castle here trapped his wife in one of the rooms and she escaped by jumping out of the window. People who visit the hotel say they hear strange noises and things move by themselves.

Ashlie: A Ghost Room! How do we get there?

Receptionist: You go down the corridor, turn left and up the spiral staircase.

Stephen: I thought the receptionist was joking when she said the hotel had a ghost. But they really do have a haunted room. How scary is that?

Ashlie: Oh Stephen, you’ll believe anything. But I do want to see this Ghost Room. Let’s have a look.

Stephen: I’m not sure about this, Ash.

Ashlie: Come on, you big baby!

Stephen: Hmm. I don’t like the look of this.

Ashlie: Look, it’s just an ordinary room. It’s a bit gloomy and the bed’s hard, but I would be happy to spend the night in here.

Stephen: Well, I wouldn’t! It’s cold and it’s creepy. Anyway, I’m going to my room to change before we eat.

Stephen: Whoooo!

Ashlie: Come on, Stephen, we don’t want to be late for dinner.

Stephen: Oh Ash! You’re so sensible sometimes.

Stephen: Oi! Wait for me...


Ashlie: Wasn’t that a lovely meal, Stephen? I am ready for bed – all that surfing. I’m exhausted. I’m going to sleep well tonight.

Stephen: Me too. But I’ve found all the ghost stories a bit scary. I feel a bit nervous about spending the night in this haunted hotel, don’t you?

Ashlie: All these ghost stories are absolute nonsense! I don’t believe in ghosts. How could you possibly believe that rubbish? Now, go to bed. 

Stephen: Ashlie – actually, your room isn’t that way.

Ashlie: What? 

Stephen: I had your room changed. You’re in the Ghost Room. I had all your stuff sent up there.

Ashlie: What?

Stephen: Well, you said all these stories were nonsense. You said you didn’t believe in ghosts. Go on, Ash – spend a night in the Ghost Room. You’re not scared, are you?

Ashlie: No. I’ll sleep like a log. Goodnight.

Stephen: Goodnight. Don’t get scared!

Ashlie: All this talk about ghosts has got me thinking the hotel is haunted! I’m as bad as Stephen! I hope he’s OK.

Task 1

Task 2

Task 3

Stephen says to Ashlie: "I had your room changed.
Stephen didn’t change Ash’s room himself, but he asked someone else (the hotel receptionist) to do it.
We use this structure (have + object + past participle) to talk about asking other people to do things for us.


Task 4

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Submitted by arashjahanbakht on Tue, 13/09/2022 - 13:56


I'm wondering what the difference is between "very" and "quite" when we want to say how extreme an adjective is in British English. Must we use the adverb "quite" like the way we use the adverb "very" only for low-degree adjectives like bad, good, beautiful, small, etc, or we can use it for high-degree adjectives like wonderful, terrible, gorgeous, tiny, etc?

Hello arashjahanbakht,

'quite' and 'very' are both used with gradable adjectives and not with non-gradable adjectives. If you follow the link, you'll see a more complete explanation, and if you have any more questions, please don't hesitate to ask us on that page.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Profile picture for user fidaasiddig

Submitted by fidaasiddig on Thu, 03/10/2019 - 05:42

Hello Ashlie’s insisting we also take time to see the sights, why it's not Ashlie insist to take time and see the sights I didn't get the structure of the sentence
Profile picture for user Kirk Moore

Submitted by Kirk Moore on Thu, 03/10/2019 - 07:17

In reply to by fidaasiddig


Hello fidaasiddig

'insist' is usually followed by a clause beginning with 'that' or with the preposition 'on' plus a verb in the '-ing' form. For example, 'Ashlie insists (that) we take time to see the sights' or 'Ashlie insists on taking time to see the sights'.

The word 'that' is often left out in informal speaking, which is why you don't hear Ashlie say it in the video.

You can learn a bit more about this on our Verbs followed by the '-ing' form and Verbs followed by the infinitive pages.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Profile picture for user Kostya B

Submitted by Kostya B on Sun, 16/09/2018 - 11:37

I am absolutely do not belive in ghosts although my grandmother had told me that when she was young her attacked by one I imagine that ghosts could live somewhere in abandoned places.

Submitted by Yshc on Wed, 02/05/2018 - 09:40

Hello, Team! I have a grammary question about "have smth done" structure. As I understood we use: - "had smth done" - when we speak about the past; - "be having smth done" - when we speak about the present; - "be having smth done" or "will have smth done" - when we speak about the future; And we never use "have smth done" or "has smth done", except when it follows a modal, e.g. "should have smth done". I mean, there's no situation, when we may say "I have my hair cut". Am I correct?

Hello Yshc,

The tense usage with this structure is the same as with any verb. Thus, if you want to talk about something in progress at the time of speaking then the present continuous is appropriate (I'm having my house painted at the moment), while if you want to talk about something which is generally or typically true then the present simple is the normal option (I have the garden tidied once a month). As you can see from the last example, have something done is quite normal if the context requires it.

As I said, the verb forms used with this structure are no different from any other structure. You can use  going to as well as will, you can use present continuous forms for arrangements and so on.



The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you! Everything is easy:) It looks like I confused myself:)