By Ashley Lister
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On March 1st, 2021, I’ll be releasing Cursed, the third novella in my series of dark tales from Innsmouth. This is a fun little story that looks at the relationship between storytellers and the stories they tell. The characters in this particular novella are very focused on sharing stories of the supernatural, which is why I’m writing about it here today at Blackpool Horror Society.
Have you had an encounter the unexplained? Have you got a scary story that’s worth sharing? Is there a reason why you believe in the supernatural?
I have. But this is one told to me by a close friend:
When my sister Anne and I were kids, our family lived for awhile in a charming old farmhouse. We loved exploring its dusty corners and climbing the apple tree in the backyard. But our favourite thing was the ghost.
We called her Mother, because she seemed so kind and nurturing. Some mornings Anne and I would wake up, and on each of our nightstands, we’d find a cup that hadn’t been there the night before. Mother had left them there, worried that we’d get thirsty during the night and it seemed she just wanted to take care of us.
Amongst the house’s original furnishings was an antique wooden chair, which we kept against the back wall of the living room. Whenever we were preoccupied, watching TV or playing a game, Mother would inch that chair forward, across the room, toward us. Sometimes she’d manage to move it all the way to the centre of the room. We always felt sad putting it back against the wall because we knew Mother just wanted to be near us.
Years later, long after we’d moved out, I found an old newspaper article about the farmhouse’s original occupant, a widow. She’d murdered her two children by giving them each a cup of poisoned milk before bed. Then she’d hanged herself.
The article included a photo of the farmhouse’s living room, with a woman’s body hanging from a beam. Beneath her, knocked over, was that old wooden chair, placed exactly in the centre of the room.
This story has nothing to do with my novella except, it’s one of those scary personal anecdotes that will make it difficult for me to sleep on an evening: and that’s what I’m hoping to get from you.
I’m going to give away an electronic copy of Cursed to the best personal ghost story that someone shares in the comments section of this blog. If you have a scary true ghost story, I’d dearly love to hear it.
I should also add that Cursed is built on my fascination with the way people share their personal ghost stories. To celebrate this fact, on Monday March 1st, I’ll be hosting an online book launch/virtual event where I (and some friends and fellow writers) will be sharing our own personal ghost stories.
If you fancy joining us, either to share a ghost story or simply to listen, please drop me an email at email@example.com and I’ll happily send you an invite.
And, if you don’t fancy sharing a ghost story, but you’d still like to find out what happens in this book, you can pre-order a copy of Cursed on Amazon.