Thursday, 30 August 2012

More tales of terror with a regional flavour

Well, the final proof for TERROR TALES OF EAST ANGLIA has been checked, and is now winging its way to the printers as we speak. And given the quality of some of the stories in there, I’m hopeful that it will be at least as successful as those others that have gone before it – TERROR TALES OF THE LAKE DISTRICT and TERROR TALES OF THE COTSWOLDS.

As usual, the book is packed with original spine-chilling material from a cast of old reliables as well as a few newcomers, plus a couple of classic reprints and a hatful of those macabre myths so prevalent in the eastern region. In short, we’re offering another motley assortment of varied, hair-raising horror, covering everything from marsh-monsters to vengeful spectres, from ancient curses (with a distinctly modern twist) to killer brutes enflamed by supernatural rage.

But of course none of these books would be possible without the crafty connivance of the geographical regions in which they are located. I chose these places, the Lake District first, the Cotswolds second, now East Anglia (and others to follow) not just because they are notable for their natural beauty and picturesque scenery, but because they boast deep, dark histories filled with reports of ghosts, ghouls, witches, battles and bloodshed.

Only last weekend I was traversing the leafy flatlands of East Anglia, to sample some of its secrets. All were given up with alarming ease. For every Flatford Mill, where John Constable honed his miraculous art, there is a pile of rubble which was once a spooky old building notorious for its ghosts, like BORLEY RECTORY (pictured above, with some idiot standing in front of it). For every quaint country manse, there is a lonesome church of the type MR James would have enjoyed, with menacing Latin incantations inscribed over its ancient entryways. For every verdant vista, there is a stark reminder of darker days, such as the Caxton Gibbet (pictured near the top). For every charming shadow-clock, there is an eerie lump of stonework, usually mist-shrouded and forgotten by time, but covered with demonic carvings (such as that pictured below, at Dedham).

For every … but no, we could go on indefinitely, and frankly I haven't got space even for most of the photos I took. Better perhaps to leave it there and just say that for further installments of East Anglian mystery and terror, keep checking back here for updates or pop over to GRAY FRIAR PRESS, where TERROR TALES OF EAST ANGLIA will be available for pre-order in the very near future.

Thanks for the pictures to Eleanor Finch and (for the gibbet) to Andrew Dunn.

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