Hello once again my friends. Many apologies for my inactivity on this site for the past week or so. I needed some time to recharge my batteries but now I have returned with renewed energy and I am looking forward to telling you a little more about my published novel The Lady in Red. If you have read my other posts about this novel you will already know the story begins in the early nineteenth century and the activities of two bodysnatchers who decide to ‘lend a helping hand to death.’ Then one of these bodysnatchers returns in the modern day as a ghost.
I thought it might be a good idea to focus my attention in this blog on one particular aspect of the storyline. Namely demon possession. This is a theme which has been placed under the microscope in a number of horror movies and novels in the past. In my novel there are children involved who are taken over by the malicious spirit of Jack Farley, the murderer from the 1830s.
I have always been fascinated by the idea of a person being consumed by a spirit and having no knowledge of what he has been up to throughout this possession. It is a disturbing phenomena, one that in most cases can only be rectified by an exorcism. One of the most famous (or should that be infamous?) examples of this can be found in the book and the film entitled The Exorcist. Very much a horror classic in both mediums and one to chill anyone’s blood.
I suppose when constructing my demon possessions (there are more than one) I would have had The Exorcist in the back of my mind. But this was only one model amongst many others which would have inspired me to write my own disturbing scenes. However, in most of these possessions it seems to be the Devil himself who has taken an unholy control over some poor unsuspecting individual. This is not so in my own interpretation of this grisly theme. As I say it is the spirit of Jack Farley who takes up residence inside the bodies of his unfortunate child victims.
In my novel there are three school friends who all have the misfortune to find this evil spirit inside them. The first boy thus affected is young Paul Stanley who is very much the main character of the novel. All of the ghostly episodes run through him. Later on his two good chums Stephen Carr and Alan Johns find themselves under the controlling influence of Farley’s sinister ghost.
In Paul’s case, the possession of his body causes him to act in a most uncharacteristic manner which places his friendship of the other two boys in serious jeopardy. It also results in him having to appear in front of the headmaster at his school to explain his actions. The possession of Stephen Carr, meanwhile if of a far more serious order while the one which comes over Alan Johns heralds in the book’s grand finale.
I enjoyed writing about these possessions and I believe they work well as an example of Jack Farley’s dangerous intent. He is not a spirit to be trifled with and can come at his victims from a variety of directions and in different forms. He is certainly able to frighten the boys I have mentioned. They are not the only children who become aware of his evil intent. Paul’s sisters Clare and Toni also fall under his spell, although this comes in a very different way but it is not less frightening for that.
As I have stated in previous blogs, ever since I first began writing full-length horror fiction I have placed children in the firing line. Young children, when placed in these perilous circumstances, seem to lend themselves to suspenseful horror fiction. There has always been, to my mind, a greater element of danger about them when placed in these positions than when adults find themselves in similar situations. They are innocent and have yet to take on board the evils of the world. When the supernatural comes calling, with all of the dark connotations that can bring to a young person’s life, a reader can really feel for these children and follow their footsteps with even more trepidation than if they were grown ups. Well, that has always been my take on the situation, anyway, and it is something I have carried through in three of my horror novels to date.
Please note if you would like to find out more about my novel The Lady in Red you can check my other blogs on this book in the ‘My Books’ section of the site. Additionally you can browse through my home page in the bottom part of the page where there is a brief outline of the book as well as a link where you can order a copy of the novel.