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Ghosts Galore

by Fiona Glass

Let me get this straight. You’re making a programme about haunted houses and you don’t believe in ghosts?

Cash-strapped artist Adam Price is the owner of Greystones Hall, an ancient manor house he shares with a plethora of ghosts. He adores the place, but life is a constant battle to pay the bills and he’s lonely, too, following the death of his beloved grandfather two years earlier.

Lonely, that is, until the Ghosts Galore crew offer to film an episode at Greystones Hall. Adam’s a bit dubious about letting them loose in his home, but allows himself to be persuaded by the fee they’ll be paying him. Led by handsome producer Carl, dotty medium Stella and pleasant-but-nondescript historian Guy, they fill the house with wiring, cameras, lights and people. But when filming starts, things soon go wrong. The crew turn out to be using dodgy tricks. Carl refuses to believe in ghosts in spite of all the evidence to the contrary. And Stella stirs up a new and malevolent spirit, more dangerous than any that have been known at Greystones Hall before, who seems to have a violent dislike of Adam’s art.

As Carl and Stella disappear and the local vicar is powerless to help, Adam turns to Guy—who has a secret of his own—for help. Together they must solve a centuries-old mystery involving lost paintings, a priest hole, and a death that might have caused all the negative energy in the house. But that’s not all the pair discover, on a night of adventure that also brings unexpected romance...


ADAM WAS IN THE LIBRARY staring at his tax return when the phone rang. It was a task he loathed, and put off every minute that he could. Figures danced before his eyes; repairs and heating and maintenance warring with a meagre allowance from his grandfather’s trust fund and a few injections of cash from the sale of some of his art. Time after time, the bills and invoices won. Running a place like Greystones didn’t come cheap. And he was no magician when it came to accounts.

His eyes strayed to the nearest window—a Gothic affair with a pointed top—and the view of the garden it gave. He could be out there now, painting the early tulips or the new shoots on the larch, not stuck indoors on a rare and beautiful day. But there’d been a letter in the post yesterday, with an official-looking header and some threatening red ink. It was, all too probably, the tax return or bust.


He scribbled some numbers on a bit of scrap paper and blanched. Was that even possible? Oh, hang on, he’d got the decimal point in the wrong place. Well, that helped. A bit. ‛Why we chose to live in a draughty, falling-down-round-our-ears place like this instead of a nice, easy to maintain modern house...’ He glanced at the portrait of his grandfather that hung in pride of place over the mantelpiece. The eyes were as kind as ever, but there seemed to be a rueful expression on the old man’s face. An expression that said Not much I could do about that. Which was true, since Gramps had inherited Greystones Hall from his father, and his father’s father before that, all the way back to some improbable date not long after the Normans had first marched into the local area. And he had to admit it was a wonderful place to live. Just... an extravagance he could barely afford.

More jottings. More staring into space. Space that became books, since the library was stuffed with them. Everything from archaic journals bound in red calf to flashy novels, and even a biography or two. He’d been reading one earlier, about Johnny Depp, who was pictured on the cover with a pony-tail and full Caribbean-pirate face paint. Adam was a sucker for paint, of any variety. He was a sucker for pony-tails. He was a sucker, if he was honest, for Johnny Depp. Just think if the man was here now, with a cutlass and a blunderbuss and that secretly-amused smirk. He could keep Adam company, regale him with rum and tales of derring-do and the high seas. Hell, he could even fill in this blasted tax return...

The phone shrilled, jerking him back to reality. And a glimmer of hope, that it might be a friend he could chat to for a while to put off the horrors of household finance. Although with his luck it was more likely to be double-glazing, or someone telling him his nearest and dearest had just been involved in a horrific accident. Bastards. His eyes strayed to Gramps’s portrait again, even as he lifted the receiver of the old-fashioned, land-line phone that kept Greystones connected to the outside world. ‛Hello?’

‛Mr Price? Adam Price? This is Angelica from Angelic Productions, the makers of the hit TV show Ghosts Galore. I don't know if you've heard of us?’

Not salesmen or ambulance chasers, then. But equally, not a mate. Still, the interruption wasn’t exactly an unwelcome one. He leaned back in his chair. ‛Um, I’m not sure...’

‛Oh good,’ said the voice, which was female, deep, and thoroughly in control. ‛In that case I don’t need to explain. Shall I say we’ll see you on the twenty-seventh?’

‛Erm, yes. I mean no.’ Adam tried, somewhat desperately, to collect his scattered thoughts. Had the woman just said ghosts? The transition from Johnny Depp to the otherworld was not a happy one. ‛What d’you mean, see me?’

The voice gained an edge of impatience. ‛I mean we’ll be coming out to film on the twenty-seventh.’

He wound the archaic phone cord round one finger, then unwound it again. ‛Right. Er, film what, precisely?’

‛I see I shall have to explain after all. Mr Price, the Ghosts Galore crew spends the weekend at a haunted property and films the results. The programme goes out on the Paranormal Channel at 9 pm on Mondays and Thursdays and our ratings are excellent.’ The impatience was turning to the hurt of an abandoned dog and Adam, kind-hearted to a fault, hurried to appease.

‛I’m sure they are. Ghost stories are always popul–’

‛We have it on the very best authority,’ the voice continued as though it hadn’t even heard, ‛that your property, Greystones Hall, is one of the most haunted houses in England. Isn’t that right, Mr Price?’

‛Er, well, I suppose...’ Adam chewed the edge of a finger nail, and mentally cursed an old school friend who’d written something about the house for a national magazine. She’d had his best interests at heart, or so she said. What she hadn’t thought to mention was strange phone calls from angels and hordes of television people coming to film the place.

‛Splendid. We’d like to come and film your ghosts on the weekend of the twenty-seventh to the twenty-ninth next month. If that’s all right with you.’

The voice didn’t leave much room for negotiation, but Adam baulked at the idea of allowing his beautiful peaceful home to be overrun by cameras and clipboards and people yelling ‘cut’. ‛I’m really not sure that’s...’

‛We will pay, of course,’ the voice added.

Adam closed his mouth again.


About the Author

When she isn't being a pane in the glass, Fiona writes darkly humorous paranormal romance, often featuring gay characters and almost always with a twist in the tail. Her short stories have been published in anthologies and magazines including Mslexia, Paragraph Planet, and The Library of Rejected Beauty. Her books include m/m paranormal romances 'December Roses' and 'Trench Warfare' and m/m vampire romance 'Echoes of Blood' - all available on Kindle.

Fiona lives in a slate cottage within stone-throwing distance (never a good idea in Glass houses...) of England's largest lake with her husband, several pot plants and a vast collection of books. She enjoys history, gardening and photography, and rarely has her nose far from the pages of a book - or a cup of tea.