A sceptic ghost hunter searching for the truth - is there really life after death? .
Elizabeth Sends Her Love
A thick fog descended blanketing the surrounding countryside so densely that Tom couldn’t see more than inches in front, as he stepped from the car to retrieve his overnight bag; and equipment from the boot. He stood for a moment surveying the gloomy-looking manor house. No welcoming light seemed to show from within; Tom hefted his gear and strode to the door. He was about to drop his bag so he could knock when the door opened a slender woman stood outlined in the light from within.
“Miss Eleanor Chingley?” Tom said enquiringly
“Yes, and you must be Tom Cherry, the ghost hunter,” Eleanor answered.
“Yes, pleased to meet you miss Chingley I was a little surprised to hear from you. I hadn’t realised I had achieved such notoriety,” Tom said.
“Oh but you have, I have done my research into your background, that is why I asked for you,” Eleanor replied, ushering Tom into the spacious sitting room.
Tom looked around as he set his equipment down; the room was a spacious sitting come dining room, with a large dining table stood in the centre. On a side wall, a hearth with a log fire burned. At the opposite end from the entrance, a balconied stairway led to an overlooking landing, and several doors could be seen on the far wall. Other furnishings, were sparsely placed around the room, and two exits besides the entrance led from the sitting room.
“Well, I’ll show you to your room first, Tom so that you can freshen up then we can have dinner, oh and call me Eleanor,” she said, smiling.
“Thank you ah… Eleanor,” Tom answered for the first time he took a good look at his hostess as she led him to his room.
Tom guessed her age somewhere between forty and fifty, she had brunette shoulder-length hair, blue eyes and wore a creamy white full-length sleeveless gown, that gently hugged her figure; there was a look of melancholy about her. He was surprised when he returned downstairs to see the dining table set and the meal ready and waiting; he hadn’t seen or heard any servants or helpers.
“So where shall I set up my equipment Eleanor?” Tom asked as he set his knife and fork down on the empty plate. The meal had been excellent, and he already thanked her for it; he couldn’t remember when he last had such a good meal.
“Oh in here will be fine I’m sure Tom,” Eleanor replied with a smile that made her look all the more charming.
“What kind of manifestation is it you have been having, I mean, is it rattling chains, noises apparitions that sort of thing? Tom asked he couldn’t quite keep the scepticism from his voice; he hoped Eleanor hadn’t noticed she was a very gracious hostess and charming company.
In the five years, Tom had been doing this job; he never once came across a real haunting all could be, explained. Tom hoped that if he could at least find one valid case that there was life beyond death, then the loss of his wife through cancer would be less painful for him to bear. Tom no longer held any hope of finding proof of any kind. He realised Eleanor hadn’t answered but seemed to be studying him with a sad, almost sympathetic expression as if she understood what he was thinking.
“I think I will leave you to decide that for yourself Tom, all I will tell you is it happens every year about this time,” Eleanor finally answered. She rose from the table, and Tom followed suit.
“I will leave you to set up your equipment and bid you a goodnight Tom,” Eleanor concluded she turned and headed towards the stairs.
“Goodnight Eleanor and thank you again for a lovely evening I trust you will sleep well,” Tom called. Eleanor strode up the stairs turning she smiled at him then, without another word she entered the far room on the landing. Tom busily set his equipment up around the room which included cameras, motion detectors, temperature reading equipment, light-sensitive and infrared equipment; when all was ready. Tom turned off the lights and made himself comfortable in an armchair and waited. Tom listened to the creak of timbers and the tell-tale sounds of small rodents scurrying about outside; an owl hooted in the night. All seemed normal listening to these familiar sounds; he struggled to keep his eyes open fitfully dozing and starting awake at the slightest sound until eventually falling into a deep sleep. He woke with a start, grey light filtered through the curtains; he felt stiff and cold standing he rubbed his hands and knees to get the stiffness out; his watch said seven-fifteen a.m.
Then Tom finally noticed his surroundings; his equipment was still there and working, but nothing else seemed the same. The room was dusty and cold the dining table bare; the furnishings old and no sign of any recent fire in the hearth. Tom checked the other rooms all were empty and didn't look used for years going upstairs he checked his room his bag still where he had left it. Finally, he checked Eleanor’s room that to was dusty and empty. Back in the sitting room, Tom examined his equipment; the cameras showed nothing but an empty house. Tom surmised nothing would show because, by the time he had set it up, it was already too late. It was then he noticed the piece of paper on the table where he had sat the night before. On it in elegant handwriting were the words.
“Elizabeth sends her love.”
Tom wiped a tear from, his eye overcome with emotions both sadness and a kind of elation at last he had proof. As he drove onto the motorway, Tom considered returning to the old manor house next year; after all, Eleanor was such good company, and maybe he would have another message from his wife.