An envisioning . . .. Brightchester House far out on the Cornwall moor . . .. wind rustling as the birds screech and a strange sigh ascends to the nursery from the drawing room . . .

Oh to go back and be here.

Brightchester House and another of the grownups’ house parties . So much noise even the nursery rings with voices and shrieks.

Nurse nowhere to be seen. Down the stairs towards the drawing room instead where Mama must be. The flowers on the landing where they should be but the window seat not quite right. A favorite reading spot during the day but a strange white thing floating up. Like one of the sisters at the old convent where Grandmama liked to visit.

One of the haints in the old nurse’s stories it must be. An abbey the house having been before that mean king Henry got rid of them and gave it all away.  Not happy the nuns and their abbess must have been.

But funny. Them one only heard about. Not unhappy enough to wander out of their grave places into the house. No. Spirit rapping they must be doing like the little boy in Sunday school says his auntie does. A spirit rapping lady brought in from London to speak to them and that all too well.

Victorian spirit rapping. Undated photograph
Depiction of Victorian spirit wrapping. via and Used as cover art for the “Penguin Book of Ghost Stories” in 2010.


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