With only a week until Halloween, what better way to unwind than with some poltergeist activity? It’s my pleasure to welcome guest author Catherine Cavendish back to the blog today, who has such a tale to tell. And this prolific author has a new book out – Damned by the Ancients. Over to you for another haunting blog post, Cat…
The Poltergeist of Penny Lane
In my novel, Damned by the Ancients, the beautiful city of Vienna plays host to one of the deadliest of manifestations. Dr Emeryk Quintillus is pure evil personified, obsessed with his quest and prepared to go to any lengths to get what he wants. He haunts his former home, the Villa Dürnstein, and incites the anger of the ancient gods he has hitherto striven to cultivate.
In real life, any property – domesticate, commercial, rich or poor can become the target of manifestations; some evil, others mischievous.
And then there are the others. The ones that become active, wax and then wane.
Such a phenomenon is reputed to be found at Number 44 Penny Lane, Liverpool. Before I go into detail, yes, this is thePenny Lane of Beatles fame. The lyrics mention a number of businesses that could be found there at the time but, perhaps understandably, did not mention the alleged goings on at number 44 which began to be witnessed during the First World War.
But it may not have started there. During the 1890s, a number of witnesses reported seeing a white light surrounded by a blue aura, hovering over nearby Greenbank Road. This then moved to Penny Lane, glowing with an eerie luminescence. At the time, the vision was dismissed as a meteorological phenomenon. Yet, later that week horses, pulling an open landau, could not drag it up Penny Lane for a full half hour. Its wheels seemed to lock until suddenly they were released. Legends began to be created. Everything, it seemed, that went wrong locally could be blamed on The Witch of Penny Lane – even when the beer turned sour (in summer, with no refrigeration).
Fast forward then to the First World War and paranormal activity seems to have centred on Number 44. At this time, the building was a residential house but was unoccupied. Even so, a number of people reported hearing strange, loud noises, unexplained heavy footsteps and an unexplained voice all coming from the house. By 1930, the neighbours had to move out as the noises distressed them so much.
Like so much of the city of Liverpool, Penny Lane suffered a heavy toll of bombing during World War Two. By 1945, the house had been converted into a shop, was damaged severely and did not reopen. But yet again, neighbours were complaining of the terrible, unearthly noises issuing forth from it.
1971 saw the shop renovated and reopened as a print shop – Xerolith. But the owners received complaint after complaint that their premises, quiet and perfectly normal by day, became a very different place at night. Police were summoned on a number of occasions but could find no cause for the disruption.
The owners, Ken Shackman and John Hampton, mounted their own investigation and discovered a long history of hauntings, including a reported sighting by a neighbour who remembered when, as a child, she had seen a young woman with blonde hair suddenly materialise in front of her. The apparition then proceeded to comb her hair before disappearing. This was not, apparently, the only time this young woman was seen. Her appearance, combing her hair at a window in Number 44, had previously been reported by a Mrs Hales in 1955. At the time, there was no such person living above the shop. Other local shoppers at around that time had reported seeing a similar figure, who vanished before their eyes.
Shackman and Hampton were determined to solve the riddle of their haunted shop and, equipped with a tape recorder, mounted an all-night vigil. Things started off quietly enough until suddenly banging and shuffling started up and the walls shook. All of these sounds were recorded on tape.
The ghosts have grown quiet over recent years and the shop is now a Lettings Agency. But, as history tells us, simply because they are slumbering now doesn’t mean they won’t reawaken…
Unfortunately for the Mortimer family, that is exactly what is about to happen. Here’s what to expect from Damned by the Ancients:
INFINITY IN DEATH
Gabriele Ziegler is a young art student who becomes infatuated with charismatic archaeologist Dr. Emeryk Quintillus. Only too late does she realize his true designs on her. He is obsessed with resurrecting Cleopatra and has retained the famed artist Gustav Klimt to render Gabriele as the Queen of the Nile, using ashes from Cleopatra’s mummy mixed with the paint. The result is a lifelike portrait emitting an aura of unholy evil . . .
The Mortimer family has moved into Quintillus’s former home, Villa Dürnstein. In its basement they find an original Klimt masterpiece—a portrait of Cleopatra art scholars never knew existed. But that’s not all that resides within the villa’s vault. Nine-year-old Heidi Mortimer tells her parents that a strange man lives there.
Quintillus’s desire to be with Cleopatra transcends death. His spirit will not rest until he has brought her back from the netherworld. Even if he has to sacrifice the soul of a child
. . .
Damned by the Ancients is available from:
About the author:
Following a varied career in sales, advertising and career guidance, Catherine Cavendish is now the full-time author of a number of paranormal, ghostly and Gothic horror novels, novellas and short stories. Cat’s novels include the Nemesis of the Gods trilogy– Wrath of the Ancients, Waking the Ancients and Damned by the Ancients, plusThe Devil’s Serenade,The Pendle Curseand Saving Grace Devine.
Her novellas include Linden Manor, Cold Revenge, Miss Abigail’s Room, The Demons of Cambian Street, Dark Avenging Angel, The Devil Inside Her, andThe Second Wife
She lives with her long-suffering husband, and a black cat who has never forgotten that her species used to be worshipped in ancient Egypt. She sees no reason why that practice should not continue. Cat and her family divide their time between Liverpool and a 260-year-old haunted apartment in North Wales.
You can connect with Cat here: