The newest episode of our Narratives Series is the story of the Dyatlov Incident. We’ll hear a real English horror story, full of mystery, death and science. Of course, it’s full of English too, and since we are “The Home of Online English”, we have made just for you an English listening quiz.

OK, the Dyatlov Incident was actually Russian (not English), but it has been told in many different languages as a real-life horror story. Our favourite version is by the amazing people at AtlasObscura. (Their website is very cool, with strange stories and images from around the world. It’s like travelling with your phone.)

Also: a warning! This page is not for kids and it’s definitely not for the squeamish…

practice fce listening part 2


Understanding an English horror story

You will do best in today’s listening quiz if you can understand the past tense well.
Our recent video talked all about it. Why not take a look?

You can download the picture and learn lots more information on our page here.


The Dyatlov incident

Our story takes us to the Ural mountains in Russia, around 60 years ago. It involves death, government conspiracies, scientific theories and, of course, mystery. Here is the Atlas Obscura video, around 5 minutes long, with all the details! Enjoy!

To do the Listening Quiz, scroll below the video first and study the questions there.

The Listening Quiz

Here are the questions you need to answer. Study them carefully and watch the video below.

Answer questions [1] to [7] by writing NO MORE THAN 3 WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER in each gap.

Winter 1959: 9 students go camping

  • hiking through the Ural mountains to Kholat Syakhl, known locally as [1] Death Mountain
  • all members of the group were [2]_________________
  • leader, Igor Dyatlov – confident, knew how to survive in [3]________________.

Search & rescue mission

  • group didn’t appear 10 days after expected – a [4]___________ sent to search for them
  • some dead bodies found, scattered near their tent, which had been cut open from [5]___________

First 5 bodies – in disarray:

  • some hikers not wearing [6]_____________ – others nearly naked
  • 2 students seemed to have started a campfire and burnt their hands
  • no other people or animals nearby
  • other bodies found after [7]_____________


exercise 2
Now listen to the rest of the video here and answer questions [8] to [12].

Case opened and closed quickly

  • government claimed the hikers died from [8]________________ causes
  • bodies slightly radioactive
  • bright lights seen in the sky on the night

Possible explanations

  • killed by hunters in the area
  • radioactive bodies caused by government [9]_________________ 

Scientific theories

  • haunted buildings could be connected to infrasound (frequencies just below our [10]_____________)
  • Dyatlov believed he had heard an [11]_______________
  • hikers ran – some fell down the mountain
  • orange skin, grey hair – caused by mummification
  • crushed chest caused by snow compression


  • [12] ______________ killed them
  • the wind drove them mad

Listen to the video and answer questions 1-12.

We advise you to pause the video a couple of times, because it is long and it may be difficult to answer the questions together.

Play the video from the start for about 34 seconds. You will hear the example (0).