Pre-Intermediate Reading Exercise

Aunt Helen's House - Reading Comprehension Multiple Choice

After reading the text, choose the best answer.

I'm going to tell you about my Aunt Helen's house. It's not her main house, that's in the city. No, this house is by the lake. There was a small town by the lake called Miller's Ford, but all the people moved away when the fishing and mining stopped about sixty years ago. But the houses stayed, of course. My Aunt Helen uses that house as a vacation home and she goes there for a few weeks every year to relax.

But staying in that house isn't a relaxing experience. I think the house is haunted! I think there's a ghost there from many many years ago. Helen says I'm silly and that I've got an over-active imagination. But there are many things that happen in that house that cannot be easily explained.

One day, shortly after getting up, I went to find my Aunt Helen to say "good morning" and I heard her talking in a room that she usually never uses. I think it used to be the nursery of the house when Miller's Ford was a busy town in the 19th Century. I listened at the door and could hear Helen reading something out, or perhaps she was dictating a letter. I couldn't hear any other person in the room with her so it wasn't a normal conversation. I didn't want to disturb my aunt, so I went back downstairs and went to make breakfast in the kitchen, which I ate on the porch that overlooked the lake. It was a beautiful sunny morning. Half an hour later, I heard my aunt's car arriving. She had been to the local store to buy some bread and milk. I couldn't believe it!

"What are you looking so shocked for?" she asked me.

"I thought you were in the old nursery, working on your letters, Auntie," I replied.

"I never go in that room," she said. "I haven't been in that room for fifteen years."

A few other things like that happened over the next few visits I made to that house and I grew to dislike it very much. Then, one day in my local library, I found a story in an old newspaper with the title "The Constant Babysitter". The story was that a baby had died in one of the houses by the lake at Miller's Ford and the babysitter was blamed, a woman of 37 who was a family friend and had offered to look after the baby. But she spent all her time in the kitchen writing her letters and didn't know that someone had climbed in the baby's window and taken her. The baby was never found. The woman killed herself through depression after the baby's disappearance and local people then said her ghost stayed very close to where the baby was left by the parents - in the nursery.

I never went back to that house, despite my Aunt Helen's many invitations.

1. The narrator describes the house where her aunt lives all year.



2. Why did the people leave Miller's Ford

    the lake flooded

    the haunted house

    the economy

3. Aunt Helen also believes there's something "strange" in the house.



4. Why was the narrator looking for Aunt Helen?

    to tell her about the nursery

    to have breakfast

    to greet her

5. Why did the narrator think it wasn't a "normal conversation"?

    she heard only one person

    the people were shouting

    the voices were strange

6. What did Aunt Helen say about the nursery?

    she didn't like to use it

    that she never used it

    the room was locked

7. Who took the baby in the story?

    a friend of the babysitter

    the babysitter

    nobody knows

8. Why does the ghost probably stay in the nursery?

    it feels guilty about what happened

    because of the lake view

    she jumped from that window

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