There’s something wrong with Ashburn House…
The ancient building has been the subject of rumours for close to a century. Its owner, Edith, refused to let guests inside and rarely visited the nearby town.
Following Edith’s death, her sole surviving relative, Adrienne, inherits the property. Adrienne’s only possessions are a suitcase of luggage, twenty dollars, and her pet cat. Ashburn House is a lifeline she can’t afford to refuse.
Adrienne doesn’t believe in ghosts, but it’s hard to ignore the unease that grows as she explores her new home. Strange messages have been etched into the wallpaper, an old grave is hidden in the forest behind the house, and eerie portraits in the upstairs hall seem to watch her every movement.
As she uncovers more of the house’s secrets, Adrienne begins to believe the whispered rumours about Ashburn may hold more truth than she ever suspected. The building has a bleak and grisly past, and as she chases the threads of a decades-old mystery, Adrienne realises she’s become the prey to something deeply unnatural and intensely resentful.
Only one thing is certain: Ashburn’s dead are not at rest.
Could you survive a week in a haunted house?
Mara is the daughter of spiritualists. Her childhood was filled with séances, scam mediums and talk of ghostly presences.
When Mara finally left her family’s home, she vowed she would never allow superstition or false religion into her life again. Now she’s ready to start over with her fiancé, Neil, in a world based on rationality and facts.
But her past isn’t ready to let her go just yet.
Mara and Neil purchase Blackwood House, a derelict property outside of town. They’re warned about strange occurrences in the crumbling building. Doors open by themselves, voices whisper in the night, bloody handprints appear on the walls, and cold spots linger in the basement, where the house’s original owner was murdered.
But Blackwood was dirt-cheap and came with a large plot of overgrown land. Mara loves her new home, and disregards the warnings.
Because ghosts aren’t real…
Some houses breathe…
Elle is thrilled to spend a month minding the beautiful Gillespie property. More than an hour’s drive from the nearest town and surrounded by forests, the aging mansion is ideal for someone seeking solitude.
But things start to go very wrong, very quickly.
Elle discovers a crumbling graveyard nestled in the woods. It contains a generation of the house’s residents, all with an identical year of death.
Scratching in the walls… slamming doors… whispers in the night… a locked room…
As Elle explores deeper into the house, she begins to unravel the property’s dark and dangerous history. At its centre is Jonathan Gillespie, a tyrannical cult leader and the house’s original owner.
And as Elle soon learns – just because he’s dead, doesn’t mean he’s gone…
Keep the door locked…
A week’s visit to the remote Harob Lake cabin couldn’t have come at a better time for Sam.
She’s battling artist’s block ahead of a major gallery exhibition. Staying at Harob Lake is her final, desperate attempt to paint the collection that could save her floundering career. It seems perfect: no neighbours, no phone, no distractions.
But the dream retreat disintegrates into a nightmare when Sam discovers she’s being stalked.
A tall, strange man stands on the edge of her dock, staring intently into the swirling waters below. He starts to follow her. He disables her car. He destroys her only way to communicate with the outside world.
And Sam is beginning to suspect he’s responsible for the series of disappearances from a nearby hiking trail.
Stranded at Harob Lake, Sam realises she’s become the prey in the hunter’s deadliest game…
When Jenine finds an abandoned Polaroid camera in a lighthouse, she takes a photo for fun. But there’s something very, very wrong with the picture: it contains ghosts.
Jenine and her best friend, Bree, realise the camera is capable of capturing the dead. But with each new photo taken, the spectres become more aware and more alert, and begin stalking the friends. Desperate, they seek the help of a paranormal researcher. But his news isn’t good: they’ve meddled with a supernatural power far beyond their control, and the ghosts won’t stop… not until Jenine and Bree are dead.
Sophie’s world is shattered when disaster bankrupts her family. She’s still reeling from the news when she’s offered an unexpected solution: Mr Argenton, a wealthy stranger, asks for her hand in marriage.
Marrying Mr Argenton will restore her family’s fortunes and save them from scandal, but condemns Sophie to a life in Northwood, a vast and unnaturally dark mansion situated hours from civilisation.
Sophie struggles to adjust to her new position as mistress over the desolate house. Mr Argenton’s relatives are cold, and Mr Argenton himself is keeping secrets. Even worse, the house is more than it seems.
Mr Argenton’s young cousin, Elise, draws terrifying images. Doors slam. Inhuman figures slink through the forest surrounding the house. A piano plays in the middle of the night. Blood drips from the ceilings.
Sophie is inevitably pulled towards the terrifying truth: Northwood’s ancient halls are haunted by the family’s long-dead ancestors. The malevolent spirits—produced by grisly deaths—resent her intrusion into their home.
Trapped in Northwood and desperate for an escape, Sophie’s fate is further complicated as she finds herself irrevocably drawn to the tall, dark-eyed man she married. She suspects her feelings are returned, but Mr Argenton is hiding the truth about the house—and his secrets are so dangerous that they might just be unforgivable.
Sophie and Joseph’s escape from Northwood is short-lived. The beast survived, and attached itself to Joseph’s young cousin, Elise.
Garrett writes to beg for their help. Joseph and Sophie travel to meet him at Kensington, a long-abandoned mansion that overlooks a dead town.
The house offers a small hope: its original owner had dedicated her life to researching the monster that possesses Elise. Garrett hopes to find a way to kill the creature without harming his daughter.
But Kensington is a dangerous building. Once the carriage leaves, they’re trapped inside the collapsing walls and forced to confront the horrors within.
Shrouded figures stalk them. Whispers echo through the night. Unmarked graves dot the property.
And the dead are not as restful as they seem…
Slip into the realm of dead-eyed monsters, restless spirits and creeping shadows with this collection of fifteen horror stories.
Included in this volume…
Crypt: In 1965, a child went missing while he and his brother explored a disused cemetery. The brother insisted his death wasn’t an accident, and that something dark and dangerous lurked inside the crypt. More than fifty years later, Sara faces the gates to the abandoned graveyard, determined to solve the decades-old mystery.
The Watcher: Jasmine reluctantly accepted a dare to watch over a shadow-filled gully at midnight. Her job: to look for the bizarre creature that’s rumoured to live in the woods.
Crawlspace: When Erica discovers a door hidden behind the wallpaper in her new bedroom, she assumes it’s a small crawlspace. There’s nothing unusual about it… except for the quiet tapping noise she can hear late at night.
Plus twelve other chilling stories: Lights Out, Whose Woods These Are, The Mannequin, Sub Basement, The Mallory Haunting, Mirror Man, Cutty Street Lamp, Station 331, Dead Call, Lucy, Hitchhiker, and Mannering House.
They’re closer than you think…
A guard discovers an unusual lifeform on her remote moon outpost. She disregards protocol to investigate it, with catastrophic consequences.
The parasitic alien wears its victims’ skins and adopts their personalities. It’s a perfect disguise, and allows the creature to spread without being detected. By the time humanity realises it’s facing extinction, a third of its six hundred space stations have already gone dark.
As the alien’s ruthless progress collapses communication networks, wipes out defences, and leaves hundreds of stations to fend for themselves, a handful of remarkable individuals must find a way to battle the greatest threat the universe has ever encountered.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you might remember Bites: a series of limited-release short, creepy stories. They’ve been unavailable for the last year due to licensing restrictions, but as of today I’m finally able to publish them again! I combined the editions, revised them, and wrote an additional 20 stories for this…
Darcy Coates is an Amazon bestseller and award-winning author. She loves haunted houses, ancient graveyards, mysteries and suspense – and her books reflect all of these passions.
She lives on the Central Coast of Australia. When she’s not writing you can usually find her on a bushwalk, spending all day in the library or researching urban legends.
Darcy cohabitates with three cats and two humans. As much as she would like a fourth cat, she knows that would be treading dangerously close to crazy-cat-lady territory.
Contact her at: darcy (at) candlebreak (dot) com