Read Harriett Online

Authors: Rebecca King

Tags: #thriller, #suspense, #mystery, #historical romance, #romantic mystery, #historical mystery, #mystery detective, #victorian romance, #victorian mystery



Tipton Hollow

Book One


Rebecca King


Hollow Series


Rebecca King

Copyright 2014 by Rebecca King

Smashwords Edition © Rebecca King 2014

Cover by Melody
Simmons at


























I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff at
the Black Country Living Museum for their assistance in researching
the Victorian detailing in this book. Inspiration for the psychic
circles came from tales of the new spiritualist religious movement
in the Victorian era. With a dash of romance and a lot of mystery,
the Tipton Hollow series was created as a brand new series of
adventures that are purely fictitious, but based on real-life
events that were reported in newspapers of the era.

people who want a full-blown romance, this may not be the series
for you. Tipton Hollow is a curious little village where gossips
run rife and nothing much happens that everyone doesn’t know about,
but I ask you this: if you were living in the Victorian period,
with no TV, radio or entertainment other than nights in the pub,
and you had read in the newspapers about the new religious movement
developing in London, in which people claimed they could talk to
the dead, wouldn’t you want to see for yourself whether it was
real? What could you have to lose, apart from spending an evening
in the dark with a group of friends asking for the dearly departed
to bring you messages?

For the
people in Tipton Hollow, their spiritual experiences bring an
entirely different set of circumstances that changes their lives in
a way that none of them could have ever expected. Carriage
accidents, kidnappings, haunting, curious messages, sinister
ramblings and dead bodies begin to emerge in these twisting tales
of spectral shenanigans that will leave you with not one but two
burning questions.

If you
died, would you want to come back and give a message to your loved

If so,
what would they be?

I have
sat in many psychic circles and have come away feeling thrilled,
deflated and uneasy about the messages I have received. I have sat
in the dark with a group of people and asked for loved ones to come
forward and I have received messages. But were these from the
dearly departed? Or was my understanding of the messages merely an
attempt to convince myself that my loved ones are still around

thing I have learned from being an author is that the imagination
can do wonderful things. Things you never

A word
of caution.

events in this book should not be copied at home. Any séances or
attempts to communicate through Ouija boards or dowsing should be
conducted with the help and guidance of a fully qualified,
professional medium who can ensure that the adequate protection is
put into place. After all, you wouldn’t want your invited guests to
stay with you now, would you?


The glass moved
slowly across the table in a large circle then stopped. Harriett
shared an amused glance with Constance, her friend and
co-conspirator. The first meeting of the Tipton Hollow Psychic
Circle was underway at last, but neither woman really knew what to
expect. Even through the darkness Harriett could see Constance roll
her large brown eyes and shake her head at Madame Humphries’ rather
theatrical incantation. They had agreed to hold a psychic circle
more out of curiosity than anything else but, now that their
‘clairvoyant’ for the evening, Madame Humphries, was in attendance,
it all seemed a rather ridiculous way to spend their

Is there anybody here with us?” The rather rotund lady
moaned. “Gather around us my friends, and bring us your

fought a smile as the psychic stared at the ceiling as though she
expected someone to drop into the room from the upper floor. Mr
Bentwhistle smothered a laugh around a cough. Harriett couldn’t
bring herself to look at him, but she could sense the mirth that
ran through him from the way his shoulders shook and a strange
gurgling noise emanated from his vicinity. He was either laughing
or having some sort of fit that nobody could see in the

Are you quite well, Mr Bentwhistle?” Harriett whispered out
of the corner of her mouth.

Yes, I am fine my dear.”


‘Psychic Circle’; for want of a better phrase, consisted of several
members of the relatively small village of Tipton Hollow; a rather
nondescript little village on the edge of Bodmin Moor, the
clairvoyant, Madame Humphries and her assistant, Miss
Hepplethwaite. Although psychics were all the rage in London at the
moment, none of the villagers had ever actually had the temerity,
or the means, to go and witness a psychic ‘demonstration’ for
themselves. However, the nearest major town, Great Tipton by the
Marshes, had recently received a new occupant; the rather
redoubtable Madame Humphries, who had ostensibly moved to the
country for a ‘quieter’ life. There were rumours that the recent
spate of arrests of fraudulent mediums had forced her move south to
avoid detection.

needs must and, with a shortage of psychic mediums in the vicinity,
Harriett and Constance had approached Madame Humphries to join them
for an evening of spiritual communication. To their surprise and
consternation, Madame Humphries had jumped at the chance to show
off her skills to the assembled group of amateur enthusiasts, who
now watched the proceedings with a mixture of nervousness and

people with whom Harriett had an acquaintance had been invited to
join and, for various reasons, were now at her dining table in the
‘circle’. The table was now occupied by Mr Montague, the owner of
the haberdashery, Miss Haversham, a rather forward spinster,
Gertrude Hepplethwaite, assistant to Madame Humphries. Upon her own
insistence, the parsimonious spinster of the village, Miss
Smethwick, was seated beside the great Madame Humphries. Harriett’s
Aunt Babette sat beside her and Harriett’s childhood friend,
Beatrice. Mrs Dalrymple, a matronly lady, Harriett’s
co-conspirator, Tuppence Dalrymple, Eloisa (new to the village),
Constance, Mrs Bobbington, Mr Bentwhistle, and Harriett, completed
the table

So far
though, it was turning out to be a rather mediocre evening where
nothing much had happened. The glass had jolted and juddered its
way across the table and had yet to provide much of interest to the
point that most people were starting to look rather

smothered a yawn and bit back a sigh of impatience. Her arm ached
from having to hold her finger on the glass and there was barely
enough room for twelve fingers on the goblet. Nevertheless, she was
loath to break contact with the glassware for fear of being
reprimanded by Madame Humphries again.

Please gather around us my friends. We humbly ask you to
bring messages from our loved ones. Please move the glass and spell
out your messages for us?” The hope in Madame’s voice was plain to
hear and Harriett wondered what the woman would do if the glass
continued to randomly move this way and that without actually doing
anything useful.

peered through the darkness at the small white pieces of paper that
contained the letters of the alphabet, along with a Yes and No,
that had been placed in a wide circle in the centre of the table.
The room was so dark that it was difficult to see the dark scrawl
written on the white paper. How spirits were supposed to be able to
see them she couldn’t quite understand. She could only hope that
they had better eye sight, or the ability to see in the

shifted awkwardly in her seat, clearly as bored as everyone else.
Harriett shared a smile with her friend, which immediately left her
face when the warning cough from Madame Humphries drew her
attention. She felt like a small child being warned by mother to
eat her greens. She felt, rather than saw, Mr Montague smother a
chuckle beside her and fought her smile of defiance with a bit

We are all concentrating for you my dears,” came the pointed
warning. “Use our energies to come closer to us.”

Doesn’t sound like they can hear you,” Mr Bentwhistle
interrupted dryly.

Of course they can hear us,” Madame Humphries snapped. “They
aren’t circus performers you know. They don’t perform on demand. It
takes time and energy for them to come forward. Everyone

chastised, the table returned their attention to the glass. The
front parlour of Harriett’s house was well furnished; opulent in a
way that befitted one of Tipton Hollow’s most successful
businessmen, yet not ostentatious. Nevertheless, the heavy draped
curtains did little to diminish the sound of the wind howling
around the house. Rain pelted a relentless fury against the window
panes with a determination that made Harriett glad that she had
decided to have the first ‘circle’ in her front parlour instead of
someone else’s. On a purely selfish note, at least she didn’t have
to go out when they were finished; and she could only hope they
were going to be finished sometime soon. She couldn’t see the clock
on the mantle through the gloom, but it felt as though they had
been sitting around the large dining table for hours. She shifted a
little in her seat and turned her attention back to the

Good friends, please gather around us on this day,” Madame
boomed even louder, as though shouting would make the dead hear

jumped at the loud cry. Her heart hammered in her throat and she
rolled her eyes through the gloom at nobody in particular. She
could hardly see anything in the almost claustrophobic gloom, yet
Madame seemed to see everything; at least that is what it felt

attention was drawn back to the table when the glass began to move.
Harriett scowled at the object beneath her finger and wondered who
was pushing it. The smooth glide across the highly waxed table-top
had an energy behind it that felt as though someone was moving it
on purpose. She wondered whether someone else had grown bored too
and had decided to move things along a little so they could draw
the evening to a halt. A strange, deflated feeling began to creep
through her and she wondered how Tuppence would feel if the circle
didn’t come up with a message for her. Having lost her uncle
recently, Tuppence was the only one of Harriett’s friends who had
really wanted a message from the great beyond.

Thank you, my friends,” Madame Humphries moaned. “Try and
keep the glass moving and give us your message.”

twisted in her seat and mumbled an apology to Mr Montague as she
inelegantly leaned across him in order to keep her finger on the
glass as it moved across the table toward Madame Humphries. She bit
back a smile at the sight of Constance, who was practically lying
on the table, and Tuppence, who was leaning sideways in her seat to
be able to fit neatly between Constance and Mrs Dalrymple, whose
horrified gazes were transfixed on the glass. Madame Humphries
began to mumble the Lord’s prayer.

Other books

Lucky Streak by Carly Phillips
Alone by Lisa Gardner
The Scions of Shannara by Terry Brooks
Pedro Páramo by Juan Rulfo
Honey Harlot by Christianna Brand
Travelers by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
The Cat Who Walks Through Walls by Robert A Heinlein
Gift Horse by Bonnie Bryant Copyright 2016 - 2024