“They say my father was mad, so corrupted by evil and tainted by sin that he did what he did. I came home to find them all dead; their throats savagely cut. My sisters only five and eight were gone as well as my brother who was twelve. My mother too lay butchered in her marriage bed. The bed her children were born in…”
Young Rose Baines discovers the savage murders of her family by her mad, incestuous father.
She is plunged into a nightmare of hell and is incarcerated in two madhouses after which she is helped to obtain a position as governess at Blackstone House.
The house is located on haunted moorland. Nothing is as it seems for Blackstone House and its inhabitants have hideous secrets. There is unimaginable horror there but there is love too--love that comes at a terrible price.
The story is as haunting as it is terrifying and will remain with the reader long after its disturbing tale has been told.
The air was still and somewhat warm. Low clouds hugged the horizon. There was thunder too from somewhere far away. I would have preferred to see the moors in the sunshine, for the moody atmosphere made it look grimly forbidding. Yet I didn’t wish to spoil the children’s fun.
“When you walk to town, go along through there—you see at the bottom of that cliff, there’s an old footpath there—too, you can’t miss it.”
I made a mental note of it, although I didn’t know when I might go.
The children both held onto me. “Mind your step.”
I listened, as they had already frightened me as to the moor’s dangerous conditions.
“And the weather changes so quickly, too.” Simon’s voice was grave. “Sometimes an entire herd of sheep have been known to perish!”
Ada shook her head. “Not so many as that, Simon; don’t be such a liar!”
Simon looked angry. “It’s true, I know it is so.”
“Well,” I said. “Whether it is or isn’t, I’m certain I shall be very careful where I tread.”
Each of them, it seemed to me, was vying with the other for my attention. Ada pointed out rocks and brush and Simon spoke of yet more doom and gloom.
Suddenly, they began to pull me forward. “This is the most fantastic thing you will ever see! Oh do hurry, Miss Baines!” Ada was most impatient.
Simon tapped her. “She will see it in her own good time.”
“What is it, children? What do you wish me to see?”
They exchanged mysterious looks to further dramatize the situation.
“Yonder! Miss! Do you want to see the ancient stone of legend?”
“What legend is that, Simon?”
Ada spoke up. “The legend of Blackstone Moor!”
They began to drag me then toward a rocky mount. “Just in here.”
I was led through a narrow crevice. It quite reminded me of Stonehenge. I wondered what it could be and began to grow excited, too.
Suddenly we stopped as Simon pointed at a large flat rock. “There, that’s it!”
It looked like a ledge that had been deliberately laid down. I went to touch it but Ada warned me. “Touch it only if you dare!”
“I dare!” I cried. The surface was far smoother than I would have imagined.
“See how black it is, Miss?”
“Quite black!” I agreed.
Simon nodded. “It’s as black as the eternal night! And do you know why it’s black, Miss Baines? It’s black with blood!”
“Yes truly! It has blackened with blood and gore and innards and guts and things that soaked into the stone!”
“What a thing to say! Where did you hear such things?”
“I just know! Ada and I both know!”
I drew him aside. “Simon,” I chided. “You should know better. This is not something either of you should think about, but it’s worse for Ada since she’s younger than you. You ought to know that.”
He looked down. “I suppose, but Ada’s older than you think!”
“Is she indeed, well I don’t think it appropriate, alright?”
“Yes, Miss Baines.”
“I don’t think it’s a subject for children. Besides, it’s probably not true anyway.”
He was agreeing with me, yet there appeared across his face the most quizzical look. “But there were human sacrifices practiced on these moors once and all manner of dark rites, too. Many people died here.”
This was making me feel sick.
“Who told you this?”
“Don’t lie, Simon.”
“Someone I can’t say…” Ada was watching him wide-eyed. Clearly she didn’t want him to give me a name, but I continued to press him.
At last he cracked. “Dora! It was Dora! Do you feel better now?!”
“It’s not that I feel better, I just wanted to know who told you such things.”
Ada looked at me intently. “Please, you won’t have Dora punished, will you?”
“No, of course not, but whatever do you mean?”
Ada shook her head. “She might be severely punished, that’s all.”
She quite unsettled me with that. But then I took it to mean she might be sacked. “Well, I shall only speak to her then, alright?”
“Oh yes, Miss. Thank you, Miss.”
I took their hands then and we headed back to the house, the children walking just ahead of me, whispering.
And I watching their backs, wondering what they were saying.
The perfect opportunity to speak with Dora came about shortly before I turned in, when she came to ask me if I’d care for a hot chocolate.
I went straight to the point. “Dora, the children mentioned ritual sacrifices on the moor—it’s not true, is it?”
She began to cry. Clearly, I had upset her. “I am sorry! I never meant no harm!”
“I know you didn’t but in the future I’d ask you not to discuss serious matters like that with Ada or Simon. Children are children, after all.”
“I shan’t say no more, Miss! But please, don’t tell the mistress.”
“Of course I won’t.”
“Thank you, Miss.”
“I am amazed at this whole thing. Surely it is a fabrication.”
“Oh, but it is true, Miss Baines. So help me. Blackstone isn’t the ancient name. It used to be called Bloody Stone Moor because of all the sacrifices performed there, thousands over the centuries. It’s all true you see, all of it.”
I nodded and watched her leave. Here I was settled into my new position but already something evil had frightened me.
Was evil here, too? Would I be forever troubled by dark forces or would I eventually know peace?
I totally know what you're thinking CREEPY...Right???
This book bundles creepy and freaky all into one really interesting book. It takes you on a trip that has you questioning every character and wondering if any one is a good guy in the whole book. Trust me even the ones you think are helping are far from it. I mean poor Rose she thinks she can trust these people, but really who can she trust....the good Doc? the Dartons...the Vicar? The Gypsy?
I think the worst part of the whole book was the "children"....Not Ada or Simon...creepy little kids (LOL) I can handle, I'm talking about Eco's "children". Now, those still show up in my nightmares! Sometimes I even think the turkey vultures on the side of the road are going to morph into one of them and attack....yep I don't like the "children"!!!!
This story is beyond what one could imagine a nightmare of demons, vampires, and more. A must read for any one wanting more of a edgy tale.
~Buy your own copy~
I wrote my first story at age 8. It was sci-fi but as both my parents were sci-fi fanatics it wasn’t a surprise.
I continued to write however life got in the way as it often does, and it wasn’t until 2000 that I turned back to writing. I joined a local writer’s workshop and was greatly encouraged to keep up with my writing and to send things out.
Shortly afterwards, I was selected by Northwest Playwrights of England for further development but found I preferred fiction writing.
Widely published in horror and sci-fi anthologies, The House on Blackstone Moor is my first novel. It is a tale of vampirism, madness, obsession and devil worship.
Set in 19th Century Yorkshire, its locales include Victorian madhouses as well as barren, wind-swept Yorkshire moors. The story is a marriage of horror and gothic romance. I think it can best be described as being gothic paranormal romantic horror.
I suppose you could say I want to put the Goth back into Gothic.
Living in the area the novel is set in, was very beneficial. Also, as a great admirer of the Brontes and frequent visitor to the Bronte Parsonage in Haworth, I found myself nearly obsessed with recreating the gothic romantic narrative.
Having been employed in a hospital which had been historically a workhouse and asylum in Victorian times, I was able to add great realism to the depiction of the asylums as described in my novel.
The sequel, Unholy Testament, is the confession of a demon to the woman he loves. It is nearing the end
of its first draft and will be released shortly.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising*
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