Something Was Wrong

[Culture ★]4e39d7be59c30kkj_large_medium


(P1) One morning, John Sullivan found himself walking along a street downtown. He could not explain what he was doing there, or how he got there, or where he had been earlier. He didn’t even know what time it was.

(P2) He saw a woman walking toward him and stopped her. “I’m afraid I forgot my watch,” he said, and smiled. “Can you please tell me the time?” When she saw him, she screamed and ran.

(P3) The he noticed that other people were afraid of him. When they saw him coming, they flattened themselves against a building, or ran across the street to stay out of his way. “There must be something wrong with me,” John thought. “I’d better go home.”

(P4) He hailed a taxi, but the driver took one look at him and sped away. “This is crazy!” he said to himself.

(P5) John did not understand what was going on, and it scared him. “Maybe someone at home can come and pick me up.” he thought.

(P6) He found a telephone and called home, expecting his wife to answer. Instead, a strange voice answered. “Is Mrs. Sullivan there?” he asked. “I’m sorry, she isn’t,” the voice said. “Her husband died a few days ago in a horrible car crash, she’s at his funeral.”


WORDS: 211


VOCABULARY: downtown, notice, flatten, expect, crash


If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Do you enjoy listening to or reading scary stories?
  3. Share the scariest story you know.
  4. Are you scared of ghosts? Why or why not?


  1. What did John Sullivan try to do?
  2. What were other people’s reaction?
  3. What did the strange voice over the phone say?
  4. What do you think happened?


What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • walk along (P1)
  • stay out of someone’s way (P3)
  • I’d better … (P3)
  • speed away (P4)

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