The Cornwall Ghost Story

This is a novel which opens with a family of four arriving in Cornwall for a two-week summer vacation. They have rented out a quaint cottage for their time on the Cornish coastline. I actually came up with the idea for this story from one of my favourite childhood holidays when we also rented a cottage for a summer holiday in Cornwall. However, other than the amazing weather we experienced throughout our stay there is little in common between real events and the fictional. We certainly never came across any ghosts while we were there!

When the Noble family arrive at the cottage they have a look around and Fiona, the wife of Alan and mother to Tony and Sarah, discovers an old journal hidden away in a dressing table drawer. This is located in their bedroom. Before long Fiona settles down to read some of the journal and discovers it was written in 1805 by a young woman called Esmeralda Avine. At the time of her first entry she had been married to George for a short time. He was a naval officer and was often away on duty with the British Navy.

One night Fiona is awoken and is suddenly filled with feelings of great sadness. She cannot account for this. When she rises from her bed she notices a letter resting on the dressing table. When she starts to read it she discovers it is an official looking notice from the British Navy with their seal on it. As she reads this letter she finds it brings bad news about George. It turns out he has been lost at sea. Apparently his ship capsized off the coast of Spain. Some of the crew were recovered but George was not. The letter offers Esmeralda the condolences of the navy. As Fiona reads the letter she looks into the mirror in front of her and finds not her own reflection resting there but the image of a beautiful young woman. She realises this must be the mysterious Esmeralda.

From this moment on Fiona acts under the influence of Esmeralda’s ghost who wants her to find out what happened to her George. Fiona then receives a series of visions which revolve around George and precisely what did happen when his ship capsized. A fascinating story soon builds up in front of Fiona making her realise not all is as it seems.

About halfway through their holiday the Nobles visit a seaside resort whose main attraction is a series of caves, one of which is called The Sweetheart’s cave. It is given this name from a romance in the 17th century between a man and woman from different sections of the class divide. James is from the upper classes and Emily is very much the working classes. She is, in fact, a servant girl. But James has fallen in love with her and asks her to marry him despite the fact this will mean he will be cut off from his family who are appalled by this proceeding.

The story goes that James and Emily would secretly meet each other in this cave and that it became a special place for them. However, one day Emily slipped on the rocks and despite James’s most desperate efforts she drowned. He could not live without his true love and sank to the bottom of the ocean himself.

However, it soon transpires that this is not the true story. It has been passed down through the generations but Fiona comes to see that a major cover up has been involved. It was not an unfortunate accident and suicide: it was much more sinister than that which involved at its heart political intrigue.

Shortly after the Nobles visited The Sweetheart’s cave Fiona starts receiving more visions although this time it surrounds the lives of James and Emily. So she now has two mysteries to solve: what happened to George and what became of James and Emily.

So, my novel splits itself up into these two engaging tales as Fiona acts as an investigator into these two historical mysteries. She endures much heartache and sorrow as she follows the events which lead up to the uncovering of these mysteries. Throughout it all she gives an ongoing report to her husband as to what is transpiring.

Fiona’s family become disturbed by her behaviour throughout their holiday. She seems distracted on many occasions when they have gone for day trips in the car. Instead of enjoying these adventures with her loved ones she is haunted by all she is uncovering, first about George, and then James and Emily. Indeed, she manages to frighten the children on more than one occasion which unsettles everyone.

But Fiona has been charged with a mission to perform. She has to help Esmeralda in her quest to find out what truly happened to her husband. And then she has to unearth the true facts behind the deaths of James and Emily. Their story has to come out in the same way as George’s does. It will take Fiona right up to the end of her holiday to find the answers she is after and even then it will not be over. Esmeralda will see to that.

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