I’ve just come back from a weeks holiday (had soon much fun!), and wanted to post a quick note about the inspiration for my next book, The Demonic.
Whilst the story is original, some of the back story revealed is based on real life events that happened in my home town.
In 1682, there was a farm know was Brass Farm (after the Brass family, who owned it). One evening, the parents went to a neighbours (in those days, neighbours tended to be miles away) for the evening, leaving their three children – the oldest, a boy, and two younger sisters – at home.
There was a farm-hand who worked there; Andrew Mills, who was seen as a little slow, but harmless. But on this night, the town of Ferryhill was to see a different side to Andrew.
The parents returned home in the early hours the morning, to find their three children slaughtered. Reports about Andrew vary – some say he fled, but was tracked down, others say he was simply sat outside when the parents returned home, mumbling about how sorry he was.
His testimony tells of how ‘something’ visited him. Some monstrous entity, that got inside of his head and demanded he kill the children. Fearing it was The Devil, he took up his axe and chased the two eldest to the mill. They locked themselves inside, but he forced his way in, breaking the middle child’s arm as he did. Once inside, he set about them with the axe, concentrating on the head and upper body (and cutting their throats to stop their noise!).
He then tracked down the youngest girl, who was hiding under her bed. She pleaded with him to spare her life. It seemed to work. He set down the axe and left. But Andrew Mills recounted how the demon visited him again on the landing, telling him; ‘Go back, thou hateful wretch, resume thy cursed knife, I long to view more blood, spare not the young ones life.’
And so Andrew returned and, as he put it, dashed her brains out.
He was tried and executed, hung in a gib for all to watch him die.
To the end, he claimed to be under the possession of a demon (or, more precisely, The Devil), who made him do it.
The only thing that remains of Brass Farm is the mill where the oldest two children were killed. I’ve actually been up to it myself, and as kids we all said that if you ran around it anticlockwise, thirteen times, on the stroke of midnight on Halloween (or New Years Eve, depending on who told it), Andrew Mills would re-appear and reenact his heinous crimes – this time on whoever called him back.
Not that this ever happened… yet 🙂
But even so, it is interesting to see how such a great source of inspiration can be right there on the doorstep, if you just look hard enough.
So, whilst names and places will be changed (Ferryhill has become Bishops Hill), this was the inspiration for my upcoming book. And I just thought it was an interesting story to share with you all.
Of course, if you can’t wait for The Demonic, you can always pick up my first book, Horror in the Woods:
And, if you enjoy it, reviews on Amazon and Goodreads are a massive help to me, and would be hugely appreciated.
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