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La legado vivo! Join me at author/filmmaker Ryan Lieske’s blog where i discuss my peculiar reading habits.
The Table of Contents for horror anthology ‘The Beauty of Death 2 – Death by Water‘ has been revealed, including my story ‘To Take The Water Down And Go To Sleep’.
Follow the link to see the full Table of Contents, which features Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell, and many, many admirable authors. I’m honoured to be part of such a wonderful line up of writers and their tales.
The book is edited by Alessandro Manzetti and Jodi Renée Lester and published (in print and digital) in October 2017 by Independent Legions Publishing.
Movie news: #TheStayMovie in Official Selection for #HalloweenFilmFestival 2017
Panic Button, “The best British horror in years” (Ain’t It Cool News), is re-released on Amazon Video and DVD in a newly remastered edition with new artwork from distributor Trinity Film, October 23rd 2017. (The DVD release includes an audio commentary and other special bonus features)
The Amazon #1 horror/thriller movie novelisation is also available.
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.
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:
And other online retailers
Other books by Catherine Cavendish include:
And are currently available – or soon will be – from:
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…
Major publisher Take Shobo will release a Japanese translation of my Bram Stoker Award® Nominated horror novel The Lamplighters in ebook and paperback.
I’m excited about the translation, and the potential for my work to reach new Japanese readers.
And I’d love to be a fly on the wall when the poor translators get to the part where [spoiler] uses a syringe to extract [spoiler]’s buttock fat, before injecting it into his [spoiler] so that he can [spoiler] [spoiler]’s eye socket… (Sigh)
I will post the release date and cover art when I have them!
Robin Hardy was a true original, and his 1973 film The Wicker Man is often and justifiably hailed as the finest British horror film ever made.
The story of the film’s conception is perhaps as fascinating as The Wicker Man itself, with a studio unsure of what it had on its hands butchering Hardy’s masterpiece in the process of its clumsy and half-hearted initial release.
My own personal obsession with Hardy’s work began when I saw (the theatrical version of) The Wicker Man at a special screening at Glastonbury’s Library of Avalon. A discussion followed the screening of the film about its pagan themes, and I was well and truly hooked.
Those were the early days of VHS video and I managed to track down an alternate cut of the film on a yellowy, fifth-generation pirate copy from Australia. This was later cleaned up using the best possible source materials and released on DVD as The Director’s Cut of the film.
Years later, with the advent of home-HD and the Blu-Ray format, The Wicker Man – The Final Cut arrived, providing a fitting epitaph to Robin Hardy’s life and career as he finally got to release the version of the film that he deemed closest to his original vision.
In 2011 I was very lucky to meet Robin Hardy, for a brief “Hello!”, in person at FrightFest, London. Mr Hardy was there to present the premiere of his sequel The Wicker Tree, adapted from his novel Cowboys For Christ. He was a true gentleman and eccentric – very warm and wickedly funny. (Read my capsule review of the rather wobbly, but joyously bonkers, sequel The Wicker Tree here.)
One unsung hero in the whole Wicker saga is Anthony Shaffer’s brilliant script, which really is one of a kind. The basic storyline was based on Ritual, a novel by David Pinner, which has recently been republished. The novelisation of the film (also written by Shaffer & Hardy) is well worth tracking down (a new edition was published by Tor in 2000) – with some lovely embellishments to the screen story, not least its haunting and ambiguous ending, it provides yet another version of The Wicker Man for us all to enjoy.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, it is time to “keep my appointment with The Wicker Man.”
R.I.P. Robin Hardy, 1929-2016