Ginger Nuts of Horror
I remember my first residential school trip was both exciting and terrifying. We went to Humphrey Head, a windswept pinnacle overlooking Morecambe Bay. It was a somewhat bleak place where a young girl’s imagination could run wild. Our headmistress, an imposing, authoritarian woman, announced that she was going to be reading a bedtime story to the girls' dormitory. Surprisingly, she chose "The Whitby Witches" by Robin Jarvis. I'd class this as a horror novel, and probably not something I would have chosen to read to a group of excited, nervous girls just before bedtime. Nevertheless I am indebted to her for introducing me to this book which still remains a firm favourite.
She stood next to my bed as she read, so I had the demon dog on the front cover staring at me. Now, I am terrified of large, black dogs; yet, when the trip was over, I found myself going into a bookshop to purchase a copy since she didn’t finish the story. I needed closure, mostly because I need to know that the black dog was defeated and unlikely to come after me. I devoured that book, its sequels and all the other books Jarvis had written as well, but nothing comes close in my heart to “The Whitby Witches”.
The illustrations were a particular attraction because they were drawn by the author himself. I'd been able to dismiss scary pictures before since they were merely someone else's interpretation of the story. Having illustration by the author though gave the pictures and the story a terrible veracity, as if Jarvis had seen them in real life and simply copied them down.
Chorlotte Bond has a special festive Gift for you all with her 13 for Christmas click here to read a special series of daily spooky stories for Christmas
Of Ravens and Writing Desks by Ed Kurtz