The Curse of Darkmoon Castle
When a London journalist is asked by her boss to write an exclusive report on a good-looking, aristocratic bachelor, she does not hesitate. As soon as she arrives at Darkmoon Castle, however, she realises there is something strange about the estate. In her dreams, the heroine is chased by two figures: the ghost of the erstwhile lover of a former lord of the castle and a skeletal monster that turns out to be the spirit of the aristocrats jealous brother. Refusing to be intimidated, the journalist uses her deductive powers to solve the mystery and her place in it. The handsome owner of Darkmoon castle may be more to her than just an interview after all...
Author: M. Gregory Paerm
Illustration: istockphoto.com/arne thaysen
ca. 212 Pages
Horror story set in rural England; Darkmoon Castle is the fateful centre of a love story that spans several centuries; misfortune and curses in the 18th century; redemption and a happy ending in the 21st century.
18th and 21st century
London and Cornwall
7 male and 3 female roles
Female main character
Angela Blackwell (21st century), an attractive journalist with long, flowing hair; works for a small London newspaper; is asked to interview the handsome, aristocratic bachelor Alistair Bloodworth and thereby spend three days at his estate, Darkmoon Castle, in order to write an exclusive story about him; is suddenly afflicted by dreams and visions which become increasingly significant; both Kathleen Montgomery and Roderick Bloodworth appear in those dreams; due to her physical resemblance to Kathleen, she suspects that she is connected to the castle’s dark history in a fateful way; since she has fallen in love with Alistair, she stays at the castle and tracks down the secret of the Bloodworth family; in the end the curse is broken, and Angela and Alistair become a couple.
Male main character
Alistair Bloodworth (21st century), an attractive yuppie of about 40; computer tycoon and one of Great Britain’s most influential businessmen; does not divulge information to Angela about the mysterious events at the castle; falls in love with her and needs to get together with her to break the curse on the Bloodworths, which he succeeds in doing at the end.
Elfin floating woman
Kathleen Montgomery (18th century), very beautiful young woman, slender, long hair; uncanny resemblance to Angela Blackwell; had a secret affair with William Bloodworth in the 18th century; threw herself from the cliffs because of grief when she had to watch William being pushed over the cliffs by his jealous brother, Roderick; her remains were not found; appears to Angela several times as a figure of light seeking help, or as an elfin floating woman in a dark-blue dress.
Ancestor of the male main character
William Bloodworth (18th century), Alistair’s ancestor and brother of Roderick Bloodworth; the son of Anthony Bloodworth; had an affair with Kathleen Montgomery against his father’s will in the 18th century; was pushed off the cliffs and killed by his own brother.
Brother of the ancestor of the male main character
Roderick Bloodworth (18th-21st century), William Bloodworth' brother; second son of Anthony Bloodworth; unattractive: skull with sunken eyes and pale skin; thus no luck with women; is laughed at because of his ugliness; was in love with Kathleen and emotionally suffered from his brother’s relationship with her; wanted to bewitch Kathleen and force her to love him using supernatural power; one stormy night Roderick pushes William over the cliffs; he is then cursed by his father, Anthony, to wander restlessly at Darkmoon Castle for all time; appears to Angela as a fearsome monster.
Father of the ancestor of the male main character
Sir Anthony Bloodworth (18th century), father of William and Roderick Bloodworth; arrogant aristocrat, but a righteous man; is against the relationship between William and Kathleen because she is a commoner, but would not have willed Kathleen's death for anything in the world; the death of his beloved son William breaks his heart; curses his murderous son Roderick before he dies himself for having taken the couple’s lives.
Great-great grandfather of the male main character
James Bloodworth (18th century), Anthony Bloodworth' brother; Alistair’s great-great-great grandfather; adopts Darkmoon Castle after the death of his brother; small role.
Chief of Police
Peter Carter (21st century), Police Chief of Darkmoon; red hair and red chin-beard; a little plump; at first appears uninterested in Angela's research on the haunted Darkmoon Castle; surprisingly comes to Angela’s help at the end, but is bitten by Roderick and bleeds to death.
Boss of the female main character
Mr Bill Harrolds (21st century), Angela’s newspaper boss; about 40 but acts older; plump, full beard; sedate English dandy; always struggling for the survival of his small daily newspaper due to the tough competition of the large London newspapers.
Agatha Lumley (21st century), old lady who lives in Darkmoon; small stature, snow-white hair, old, wrinkled face, green eyes; her ancestor was a housekeeper for the Bloodworth family; likes to drink red wine in the Darkmoon pub; sweet and kind; gives Angela valuable information on her fateful entanglement in Darkmoon Castle’s history; is lonely and tells ghost and witchcraft stories to every tourist in the pub; not taken seriously by the villagers.
Cat of the female main character
Mr Bean (21st century), Angela's cat in her London apartment.
ExtractAngela woke up from a restless sleep. The memory of her dream stuck to her like cobwebs. She turned around in bed and saw that sunlight filled her room; the pale vapour of the moon and the ghostly light’s glow were gone. It was a beautiful day in Cornwall with a light full of soft clarity, known to have attracted big city landscape painters to this region for centuries.
She noticed that she was still wrapped in the towel from the evening before. So, it was just a dream again. She thought about the painting in the corridor of the ancestors’ gallery. If she had, in fact, sleepwalked, it would still be there. She decided to return to the gallery and search the dark area of the passage, even if it was against Alistair’s will.
Angela rubbed the sleep and the last remnants of her dream from her eyes and got up. She went to the big door leading to the veranda. The landscape looked as if it was a soft-focus – not really misty, but not brilliantly clear either, as Cornwall was known to be on a fine day. The mildness of the flat landscape was not discernable. Only further out, at the bend of the coastline, did she see the rugged cliffs that had proved fatal to many flocks of sheep and farmers, especially on days like these, when it was easy to misjudge the distance to the precipice – and the consequences were fatal!
Or if you pushed someone off, Angela thought. She remembered the sound coming from the washbasin last night. It was a wailing sound which seemed to come from the castle’s depths. Now today, when a little bit of daylight proved to be enough to suppress anxious thoughts, Angela pushed this memory into the realms of her exaggerated imagination.
Nevertheless, she felt the urge to go to the washbasin in the bathroom. What would she find there? she thought, amused by her fear. She got up and went to the bathroom – not to listen to the sound, but to freshen up and get dressed.
Last night’s water was still in the tub. Of course, I did not drain it. She stopped thoughtfully for a moment. But that means I really left the bathroom in the dark because I saw a light.
She walked further into the bathroom and could smell the gentle scent of lavender in the water. With one hand she reached for the light switch and pressed it a few times. The ceiling light went on and off again. But I did not turn it off. It must be defective. But it was certainly not the light bulb that went last night.
A feeling of uneasiness overcame her and she walked up to the washbasin. Carefully, she bent over it and, with her head slightly askew, listened for noises. There was nothing to be heard. Relieved, she straightened up again.
Then she suddenly heard a crunching noise. Angela froze, her eyes dilated and she clenched her fists. Oh no, what now? What sort of nightmare is about to happen again? She pressed her nails into her palms to make sure that she was awake. She smelled the bath oil, felt the cool tiled floor beneath her bare feet and heard the blood pounding in her ears.
She leaned towards the drain and thought she heard a whisper, just very softly, like a breath of wind. Yet it was definitely there.
It is only the old pipes. These are sounds that an old castle makes, nothing special. No reason to believe in ghosts and spirits.
She turned on the tap to wash her face. Blood ran over her hands.
The young woman’s scream echoed throughout the castle.
Alistair was in the library and put an ancient tome back carefully into the heavy bookcase, from which he had just selected some data on his family for Angela. Then he walked casually to his desk and had a sip of the strong black coffee he had made for himself. He waited until Angela’s scream died away.
“There is no reason to get hysterical yet,” he said softly to himself, “You are still safe.”
He put the cup on the table and left the library to check on Angela. He wanted to make her stay at Darkmoon Castle as enjoyable as possible.
Smiling to himself, he went to the upper floor to explain to Angela what she had just seen. Angela retreated from the washbasin, screaming and staring at her bloodstained hands in horror. She could not believe what she was seeing. Calm down! she told herself. It is not blood. She put her hands closer to her face and sniffed at the red substance on her fingers. It gave off the heavy, intense smell of blood.
Almost paralysed with fear, she approached the washbasin again. A jet of blood still gushed out of the tap. She quickly closed it, grabbed a fresh towel, and cleaned herself as best as she could.
“My goodness,” she said aloud. “This isn’t possible, it is...”
“...copper,” Alistair finished her sentence. He came into the bathroom. “I should have warned you. The old copper pipes discolour the water to a blood-red colour, especially if they are not used for some time. There have not been any guests in this room for quite a while. The filter at Darkmoon Castle’s fountain may be contaminated. This sort of thing happened in the past.”
Alistair was casually leaning against the bathroom door to give Angela the impression that everything was in order. “Good morning by the way.”
The young reporter looked at him, stunned, “Copper? This is copper, but it smells like...”
“Blood, I know,” Alistair said and stepped toward her. He smiled, “Copper is like that, have you never noticed that? They smell alike.”
Angela blinked. “No,” she stammered, looking at her fingers. She smelled them again, “I have never noticed that before. However, I seldom smell blood in my job.”
Alistair went to the washbasin and turned on the tap. The water was still a reddish brown, but slowly took on the normal colour of water.
“The light here in the bathroom also does not assist matters. Did it go off briefly yesterday?”
“Yes,” Angela confirmed. “I was sitting in the bathtub and heard...” She stopped, choosing not to tell Alistair about the whining moans.
“A groan, yes, yes. That’s also from the old pipes. I really should have told you about them. Most ghost stories from ancient castles are based on such simple, easily explained phenomena. Did you also feel a breeze?”
“No,” Angela replied. Then she remembered the moment when she had entered the castle.
“Sometimes there is a draft here, because there are cracks and crevices everywhere in the old doors and walls. That is also often mistaken as the presence of ghosts.” The water was now colourless again as it should have been. “You see? It is only the copper content, and it no longer smells of blood.”
Angela went to the tap.
“I suggest that you wash your hands immediately. I will bring you new towels and a fresh robe right now.”
The lord of the castle disappeared before she could answer. She stood there, perplexed.
I acted like a little child. He must think that I am a total idiot. She washed her hands and dried them with the towel she still had wrapped around her body. There is always a logical explanation for everything, she thought and left the bathroom. She turned off the light and closed the door behind her.
She did not hear the wailing voice behind her, whispering her name distinctly, not to be confused with the groans of old copper pipes, “Angela...”
Frequency of appearance
We have summarised all personalisation options for this book here. We also listed the Frequency of appearance for the respective details. You do not need to fill in all options – you can also use the defaults.
|Female main character|
|The heroine's first name is (21st century)||664 x|
|The heroine’s surname is (21st century)||22 x|
|The heroine’s hair colour is||19 x|
|The heroine’s eye colour is||8 x|
|The heroine’s perfume is||1 x|
|The heroine’s favourite colour is||12 x|
|Male main character|
|The hero's first name is (21st century)||366 x|
|The surname of the cursed family and thus of the hero and his ancestors is||79 x|
|The hero’s eye colour is||12 x|
|The hero’s after-shave is||3 x|
|Elfin floating woman|
|The heroine is the reborn (heroine’s first name in the 18th century)||132 x|
|The heroine is the reborn (heroine’s surname in the 18th century)||12 x|
|Ancestor of the male main character|
|The first name of the hero's ancestor is (18th century)||57 x|
|Brother of the ancestor of the male main character|
|The first name of the hero's accursed brother is (18th +21st century)||79 x|
|Father of the ancestor of the male main character|
|The first name of the two brothers' father is (18th century)||24 x|
|Great-great grandfather of the male main character|
|The first name of the two brothers' uncle is (18th century)||5 x|
|Chief of Police|
|The police inspector's first name (male) is (21st century)||10 x|
|The police inspector’s surname (male) is (21st century)||30 x|
|Boss of the female main character|
|The first name of the heroine's boss (male) is (21st century)||5 x|
|The surname of the heroine's boss (male) is (21st century)||15 x|
|The old lady's first name is (21st century)||4 x|
|The old lady’s surname is (21st century)||46 x|
|Cat of the female main character|
|The heroine’s cat is called (21st century)||4 x|
|The coat colour of the heroine’s cat is||1 x|
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