Please join me in welcoming author Catherine Cavendish, who is my guest on the blog today.
She has a haunting tale to share with us.
Take it away Cat!
The Lake Crescent Haunting
In my novel, Saving Grace Devine, a young girl is drowned, but her spirit returns to haunt the lakeside where she met her untimely end. She seeks help from the living, to help her cross over to the afterlife.
From my research, it would appear that my fictional Grace is not alone. Many people have reported seeing ghosts of drowned girls who are all apparently earthbound – searching for something, or someone. In need of help from the living to help them join the world of spirit.
Lake Crescent is an attractive resort in the Olympic National Park in the far northwest of Washington State. The account which follows concerns not an innocent young girl, but a mature woman of not especially tender disposition. Hallie Illingworth was a 36 year old hard drinking waitress in the local bar cum brothel, then called the Singer Tavern. She was attractive and married for the third time, but her current husband was a womanising, cruel and violent thug, who thought nothing of hitting his wife in full view of everyone in the bar. Not that Hallie didn’t retaliate. She was quite capable of throwing a few punches herself at anyone who upset her.
But however unsympathetic her personality might be, she didn’t deserve what happened to her. One cold December night, she disappeared. Her body wasn’t discovered until four years later by which time, a curious chemical process had occurred. The waters of Lake Crescent are so high in alkali that a process of saponification had taken place, converting the fats in her body to a kind of soap. The water was so cold that the body had been refrigerated in its icy depths.
When a pair of fishermen spotted a recognisably female body bobbing up and down on the surface, they dragged her to the shore only to discover, to their horror, that her flesh just slipped off her bones like soap. We can only imagine their reaction!
She had to be identified by a distinctive upper dental plate which a dentist recognised. He had made it for her some years before.
Hallie had been savagely beaten and bound with rope, affixed with weights. There was little doubt as to the identity of her murderer. Her husband, Monty, had gone to live in Long Beach California with a woman with whom he’d been conducting an affair before Hallie died. He was tried, convicted and imprisoned. He served nine years and was paroled in 1951. In 1976, he died in California.
Monty Illingworth on trial
Had justice been done? Well, it appears it certainly hadn’t been done enough for poor Hallie.
She is still said to haunt the lodge and surrounding areas, clattering up and down the stairs, banging doors in the dead of night. She is said to cause lights to flicker and music volume to go up and down apparently by itself. Some people have claimed to see her – pale, translucent and glowing faintly as she drifts along the shore, and over the water.
Here’s a flavour of Saving Grace Devine:
Can the living help the dead…and at what cost?
When Alex Fletcher finds a painting of a drowned girl, she’s unnerved. When the girl in the painting opens her eyes, she is terrified. And when the girl appears to her as an apparition and begs her for help, Alex can’t refuse.
But as she digs further into Grace’s past, she is embroiled in supernatural forces she cannot control, and a timeslip back to 1912 brings her face to face with the man who killed Grace, and the demonic spirit of his long-dead mother. With such nightmarish forces stacked against her, Alex’s options are few. Somehow she must save Grace, but to do so, she must pay an unimaginable price.
You can find Saving Grace Devine here:
Barnes and Noble
And other online retailers
Other books by Catherine Cavendish include:
And are currently available – or soon will be – from:
Catherine Cavendish Amazon page
Catherine Cavendish lives with a long-suffering husband and ‘trainee’ black cat in North Wales. Her home is in a building dating back to the mid-18th century, which is haunted by a friendly ghost, who announces her presence by footsteps, switching lights on and strange phenomena involving the washing machine and the TV. Cat has written a number of published horror novellas, short stories, and novels, frequently reflecting her twin loves of history and horror and often containing more than a dash of the dark and Gothic. When not slaving over a hot computer, she enjoys wandering around Neolithic stone circles and visiting old haunted houses.
You can connect with Cat here:
Thanks to Catherine Cavendish for dropping by and sharing her haunting tale! Be sure to check out her novels. And maybe sleep with the lights on…