Back in September of 2016, prolific pulp horror author Guy N Smith handed out an exclusive chapbook entitled ‘The Haunting Of Pocklington’s Walk’ to all of those who attended that year’s annual fan convention.  Each one of these short chapbooks was hand signed by Smith on the inside of the cover page.

DLS Synopsis:
Charles and Celia Weale had gone to see the solicitor Mr Pottenbury about the house.  Number four, Pocklington’s Walk had been in Pottenbury’s family for generations.  But now it was time the old property was sold.  In fact, it hadn’t been lived in for quite a while and needed some repairs doing.  But once that was done, Pottenbury was sure it would make quite a lovely family home.

They were just wrapping up the sale when the Weale’s eight-year-old son, Ben, began playing up.  He’d started pointing at a picture of an old man sitting atop the solicitor’s desk.  And the boy seemed to have had quite a fright from the picture.  But a solicitor’s appointment was neither the time nor the place for an eight-year-old’s silly business.  So Charles had demanded Ben sit still and be done with it.

Shortly after the meeting the Weale family moved into the property.  But it wasn’t long before strange things started happening in their new home.  Strange noises that could be heard emanating from the cellar.  Before long Celia had decided there had been too many doors banging shut on their own and ornaments falling down for her liking.  There was definitely something decidedly wrong with Number Four Pocklington’s Walk…

DLS Review:
The main draw of this short tale is undoubtedly because its roots are within Guy’s own ancestry, a story that was related by his great-grandfather (Charles Weale) and then re-told by the succeeding generations.  Whether true or not, the tale is certainly a creepy one – and undoubtedly a story that has inspired the writer over his many years of writing.  In fact, prior to the publication of this chapbook, Guy had already penned a short based on this very story entitled ‘Pocklington’s Walk’ which later appeared in his ‘Horror Shorts - 2nd Collection’ (2001).

Due to the short page count, Smith spends very little time setting the scene or establishing the handful of characters before the strange goings on start happening in their new family home.  Surprisingly, even here Smith doesn’t spend much time with describing the odd happenings, preferring instead to zero in on the spectral vision that’s to follow.

Knowing that the story is supposedly true adds a whole further degree of ‘spooky unease’ to the tale.  Yeah, it’s textbook haunted house stuff.  All relatively run-of-the-mill as far as that goes.  But it’s the air of truthfulness to it, the fact that it’s a story that’s been passed down through the generations of this author’s family, that’s what makes it all work so well.

Finally, the old sepia photo on the front cover of the chapbook is of Guy’s great-grandfather - Charles Weale.  Again, it’s a nice personal touch that only further enhances the haunting charm of the piece.

The chapbook runs for a total of 8 pages.

© DLS Reviews


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