Friday, October 26, 2018

Damned by the Ancients by Catherine Cavendish

Talented dark fantasy / thriller / horror author, Catherine Cavendish, is always welcome on my blog. I love her books - they're spooky but so well written and easy to read, even if you do keep the light on at night for a few days. I'm so happy to announce that "Damned by the Ancients" (book 3 in the series "Nemesis of the Gods") has just been launched.  You can get your copy here. (I've got mine and I'll be reviewing it soon). In the meantime, over to Catherine:

The Many Ghosts of Penrhyn Old Hall

In my novel, Damned by the Ancients, the magnificent house inhabited by the Mortimer family is haunted by the evil and long dead former owner, Dr. Emeryk Quintillus. Dead he might be, but he is certainly not resting in peace. Quintillus knows a new family has moved in and he has designs on them. Ones which will terrify and threaten their lives and souls.

Wales has a well-deserved reputation as a land of myths and legends. It is also a ghost-hunter’s paradise, with so many haunted locations to choose from. Today, I am focusing my attention on Penrhyn Old Hall near Llandudno. This is now a public house and restaurant, proud of its ghostly heritage – so much so that it holds regular paranormal evenings.

The Hall gets its first mention in 1327 although these days, most of the building dates from Tudor times. It has a number of ghosts who wander its rooms and corridors.

In a room above the Baronial Hall, a monk has been seen on a number of occasions. He also ventures out into the passage. A young girl haunts the stairway. She is a descendant of the Pugh family who owned the house in the 16th century. They were a strict Catholic family who harboured renegade priests during times of persecution of the Catholic clergy and faith. In the Tudor bar, the fireplace hides a priest hole where they would have hidden when suspicious soldiers arrived. At one point, Robert Pugh and a priest named William Davies fled for their lives to the nearby headland known as the Little Orme. They lived in a cave there and smuggled in a printing press. Here they could print Catholic literature. Their cave home was raided in 1587 but they managed to evade capture, finally being caught in Holyhead in 1592. Pugh escaped but Davies was convicted of being a Catholic priest and was hanged, drawn and quartered. Many years later, a withered hand was discovered in a hidden case at Penrhyn Old Hall. It is presumed to be that of William Davies – maybe he is the one who haunts the upstairs room?

Given such firm Catholic convictions, imagine then the family’s distress on finding out that one of the daughters wanted to marry a Protestant. Worse than that she planned to elope with him, knowing her family’s displeasure. Even worse than that. She was pregnant. Clearly she had to be stopped. Her sisters did so – by killing her. No wonder she hasn’t left.

In the seating area of the Function Room, sits a young man in a perpetually foul mood who reacts badly if disturbed, while on the dance floor is a soldier who was injured and unable to return to the war. He is not happy about it.

Beside a fireplace in the Tudor Bar, an old lady sits, then stands and ascends the stairs.

Also in residence in the restaurant, is the ghost of a mischievous boy who sprinkles salt on the tables. He is only one of a number of mischievous child spirits who like to cause a little mayhem.
A paranormal investigation revealed the presence of a woman who stated that she lived there between 1750 and 1800, having arrived at the Hall when she became pregnant. According to the investigators, she didn’t appear to realise she was dead and appeared scared of two other ghosts alleged to have been in the room with her.

Outside the Hall, a lost and shadowy figure moves about so, all in all, you get a lot of ghosts for your money at Penrhyn Old Hall. You can find out more about this amazing building here. One thing is for sure, with all this activity, you’re never alone - even if the room you are standing in appears empty.
 Thankfully it appears the ghosts of Penrhyn Old Hall are mostly benevolent and pose no threat to anyone – as long as you don’t interfere with them. The same cannot be said for Emeryk Quintillus…


Vienna, 1908

Gabriele Ziegler is a young art student who becomes infatuated with charismatic archeologist Dr. Emeryk Quintillus. Only too late does she realize his true designs on her. He is obsessed with resurrecting Cleopatra and has retained the famed artist Gustav Klimt to render Gabriele as the Queen of the Nile, using ashes from Cleopatra’s mummy mixed with the paint. The result is a lifelike portrait emitting an aura of unholy evil . . .

Vienna, 2018

The Mortimer family has moved into Quintillus’s former home, Villa Dürnstein. In its basement they find an original Klimt masterpiece—a portrait of Cleopatra art scholars never knew existed. But that’s not all that resides within the villa’s vault. Nine-year-old Heidi Mortimer tells her parents that a strange man lives there.

Quintillus’s desire to be with Cleopatra transcends death. His spirit will not rest until he has brought her back from the netherworld. Even if he has to sacrifice the soul of a child . . .

Damned by the Ancients is available from:

About the author:

Following a varied career in sales, advertising and career guidance, Catherine Cavendish is now the full-time author of a number of paranormal, ghostly and Gothic horror novels, novellas and short stories. Cat’s novels include the Nemesis of the Gods trilogy - Wrath of the Ancients, Waking the Ancients and Damned by the Ancients, plus The Devil’s Serenade, The Pendle Curse and Saving Grace Devine.

Her novellas include Linden Manor, Cold Revenge, Miss Abigail’s Room, The Demons of Cambian Street, Dark Avenging Angel, The Devil Inside Her, and The Second Wife.

She lives with her long-suffering husband, and a black cat who has never forgotten that her species used to be worshipped in ancient Egypt. She sees no reason why that practice should not continue. Cat and her family divide their time between Liverpool and a 260-year-old haunted apartment in North Wales.

You can connect with Cat here:


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