Denys Val Baker (ed.) - Haunted Travellers (William Kimber, 1985)
Denys Val Baker - Introduction
Rosalind Wade - Doubled Crossing J. C. Trewin - Station Cab Fred Urquhart - The Saracen's Stick Chris Simons - All in the Mind R. Chetwynd-Hayes - The Labyrinth Edgar Allan Poe - A Descent Into the Maelström Patricia Daly - The Day Trip Mary Williams - Poor Kate Lanyon Jones - The Coastguard Derek Stanford - A Trip to the Forest Meg Buxton - The Lerryn-Brown Line Denys Val Baker - Voice from the Past A. L. Barker - Lost Journey
Blurb: 'But safer to stay at home' - so runs the song, and certainly the travellers in this new anthology of ghost stories would have agreed with it. For when they left their own hearthsides they had some strange encounters indeed, finding that their journeys ended not in lovers' meetings but in something rather different.
This is undoubtedly an assembly of remarkable stories with contributions from ....
More West Country tales of the supernatural plus an incongruous public domain Poe.
Denys Val Baker - Voice from the Past: Keen amateur archaeologists William Hocking and Samuel Leddra finally get to visit Castle Pednolva ... and wish they hadn't. Inexplicably, the academics are thrown back two thousand years to relive past lives as warrior guards of a Celt fortress. Initially friendly, their charges grow increasingly suspicious and hostile toward them. With no pencil and paper available for centuries to come, William the once-librarian, takes a flint, carves details of their miserable plight on a slab for posterity.
Chris Simons - All in the Mind: Driving home in the early hours from Lands End to Penzance, narrator's car stalls in Towednack village. As she waits for temperamental vehicle to right itself, a phantom woman in white manifests in the passenger seat. The stranger's eyes betray a deep hatred of the driver - but why, and who is she?
The motor comes back to life. On reaching Nancledra, the unwelcome guest vanishes just as suddenly as she appeared, but narrator can't forget the incident. She breaks up with her lover, suffers a nervous breakdown and falls out with all her female friends, suspecting one of them must be the original of the apparition.
Mary Williams - Poor Kate: (Where Phantoms Stir, 1976) . Astonishing that a deadly bore of a woman like Kate Pettigale should have landed a catch like Robin Clees. More outrageous still that she should reportedly run off with a lover within a mere six months of the wedding! Five years on, our narrator, Jane, meets Kate at Pendillon station. Together they board an unscheduled train to Coldbrook, Kate cheerfully insistent she show Jane the "Gorgeous place at Roselynne", where she will soon be setting up home with her lovely fiancée, .... Robin Clees. Jane wonders if the woman is confused, suffering from amnesia, mad, in denial, or possibly even hallucinating?
On reaching Roselynne, it is immediately apparent that things aren't as they should be. The "gorgeous place" is a dust-laden, decaying mausoleum of a mansion, its garden similarly neglected. And there, directly beneath a rotting apple tree, the key to the mystery ....
R. Chetwynd-Hayes - The Labyrinth: (The Elemental, 1974). A witch, a werewolf, and a mansion on Dartmoor with an insatiable appetite for the life-essence of unwary travellers. Commented upon on earlier thread, which is a mercy as I've little inclination for a reunion.
I really enjoyed Meg Buxton's "The Lerryn-Brown Line". Hilary Lerryn-Brown has just sold her shipping line in order to stave off a possible nervous breakdown. "On the right side of forty and (with) the rest of her life to do as she likes, she decides to visit Cornwall where her ancestors came from. After a tiring day of driving, she decides to spend the night at the Lanrose Abbey Hotel.
The staff seem a bit shocked at her arrival, but not as big as the shock in store for Hilary herself....
A. L. Barker's "Lost Journey" wasn't bad either. The unnamed narrator meets Gerda Charles and her attractive young companion around the fifth of November, and thinks she'd make a first-rate Guy Fawkes. Gerda is a double amputee, pushed around in "an orange box on wheels". To put it mildly, she's not much to look at, and her personality doesn't make up for it. But one can certainly say she doesn't look her age. Hoping for some rumpy-pumpy with companion Lalla, UN foolishly does not put as much distance as possible between them and himself.
Val Baker's Voices from the Past and Fred Urquhart's "The Saracen's Stick" were also top-notch....