Okay…okay… Firstly there is no It’s girl Friday today.
Incy Black, author of the fast and furious and fabulous Hard To Hold
has launched a wonderful new feature
Sorry…that’s not what it’s called. It’s called
Writers/Books that ignite that ‘something’ in me…
So, yeah I am blowing my own trumpet cos it’s damned good of Ince to do this and help me out when I’ve been kinda snowed under. I’m also going to be having a kind of week of Girl Friday on the themes, settings, characters of my own books, kicking off with a Scottish themed week on Monday for His Judas Bride,
That’s what you think…. What kind of hero, what kind of heroine, how action leads to reaction and drives the plot forward, etc, etc, etc, so for today we are giving It’s Girl Friday a miss and welcoming the lovely Catherine Cavendish….get off her neck…
Let me tell you all you fans of horror, it’s a cracker. Right up the street of those who like that little bit of past mystery with their horror. Ooh, got the chills already.
So here she is. Par excellence. With a very special creepy blog post.
The Blue Girl of Poole Mill’s Bridge
By Catherine Cavendish
‘In my new novel, Saving Grace Devine, a young girl is drowned, but her spirit returns to haunt the lakeside where she met her untimely end. She seeks help from the living, to help her cross over to the afterlife.
From my research, it would appear that my fictional Grace is not alone. Many people have reported seeing ghosts of drowned girls who are all apparently earthbound. Searching for something, or someone. In need of help from the living to help them join the world of spirit.
So it is with this account – that of the mysterious and frightening Blue Girl of Poole Mill’s Bridge.
Situated in Forsyth County, Georgia, Poole Mill’s Bridge is set in a delightful location and is one of the few remaining lattice work covered bridges. There are a number of stories relating to hauntings there but that of the Blue Girl is probably the most persistent.
Back in the 1930s, on a burning hot day, a young family – mother, father and nine year old daughter -decided to take a picnic there. Enticed by the cool water, the little girl ran down to the creek to paddle. She ignored the calls of her mother to be careful and, what none of them realized was that recent heavy rain had made the creek much deeper than it looked. The child kicked off her shoes and socks and jumped into the water. Her screams sent her parents running down to the water but the strong current was already sweeping her away, into imminent danger.
In those days, a water wheel operated a grist mill there and the little girl was swept straight towards it. Her father dived in and, although he was a strong swimmer, he could not save her. He grabbed at the big blue bow on the back of her dress just seconds too late, as she was swept under the mighty wheel. Even the efforts of the mill workers weren’t enough to save her. They retrieved her lifeless body – her face as blue as the bow on her dress. The devastated couple left with her and never returned to the county. No one knew their names.
News of the tragedy spread quickly and soon strange stories began to emerge. People reported seeing a young girl dressed in her Sunday best in a pretty dress with a large blue bow. They would see her at the bridge, totally dry – except for dripping wet hair. Then she would vanish.
Years went by and a Vietnam veteran named Chuck Morse, down on his luck, happened to be sitting in a bar, when he got into conversation with a World War II veteran who showed him a large gold nugget he said his grandson had found up at Poole’s Bridge. Chuck could barely believe his eyes. By the size of it, the nugget must be worth thousands of dollars. When his companion told him there was allegedly much more where that came from, Chuck didn’t need any greater motivation. He wasn’t even deterred when the older man told him that the new park built on that site meant daylight digging was impossible without getting caught and that, at nighttime, people tended to leave it well alone. “Why?” Chuck asked.
The man told him of a friend of his – BJ Corliss – who had been up near Poole Mill’s Bridge and had seen a young girl, dressed in her Sunday best dress, not a wrinkle on it, but with wet hair. As he approached her, she vanished. Then she sprang up again not ten feet away from him. He saw the bluish tinge to her skin and ran for his life. Chuck had heard stories of the Blue Girl since his childhood. He wasn’t about to believe in such fairy stories. He laughed, paid the tab and left. The older man was insistent – BJ had told him no amount of gold would ever tempt him to dig there after dark.
Chuck started for home. An old man’s wild stories. Impossibly large gold nuggets. Couldn’t be real, could it? But if there was just one slim chance it was, his whole life could transform overnight. All he had to do was go up to Poole Mill’s Bridge and dig there. After dark. Then he’d find out one way or another.
Back home, he thrust pickaxe, shovel and any other tools he might need into the back of his old truck and drove off up to Poole Mill. First he had to find the remains of the now long-demolished grist mill – and the old millstone. He stepped over heavy stones, tripped and slipped into the cold water, bashing his leg against a rock. In pain and anger, he threw the heavy stone out onto the bank. Then he retrieved the flashlight he had dropped when he fell, and shone it into the water. Something glittered. But it wasn’t a gold nugget. He picked up a small, heart-shaped gold locket that must have lain buried under the stone that had injured him. As he examined it, his flashlight suddenly went out.
But behind him a strange glow he thought at first was moonlight, grew stronger. Then he heard a sound that chilled his blood. Tiny footsteps splashing in the water. He whirled around and saw the girl, glowing blue, dressed in her Sunday dress with her wet hair. He cried out in terror. “Please God, help me!”
The girl stared at him, her eyes sad and filled with longing. He realized he was rubbing the locket.
It’s hers. She wants it back, he thought. His fear almost paralysed him but, with a great effort, he held it out to her. She came closer and took it from him. Then she smiled. And vanished.
Despite his injured leg, Chuck raced up the hill and back to his truck. He never returned to dig for the gold. Plenty of others have – but no one has reported seeing the Blue Girl since. It seems that her locket was her only remaining link with her family. It must have come adrift during her terrible accident. Now she has been reunited with it, her reason for haunting is over.
But still those who have heard Chuck’s story won’t venture up there after dark.
Here’s a flavour of Saving Grace Devine:
Can the living help the dead…and at what cost?
When Alex Fletcher finds a painting of a drowned girl, she’s unnerved. When the girl in the painting opens her eyes, she is terrified. And when the girl appears to her as an apparition and begs her for help, Alex can’t refuse.
But as she digs further into Grace’s past, she is embroiled in supernatural forces she cannot control, and a timeslip back to 1912 brings her face to face with the man who killed Grace and the demonic spirit of his long-dead mother. With such nightmarish forces stacked against her, Alex’s options are few. Somehow she must save Grace, but to do so, she must pay an unimaginable price.
You can find Saving Grace Devine in all usual ebook formats here:
and in paperback here:
About the author
Catherine Cavendish is joint winner of the Samhain Gothic Horror Anthology competition 2013. Her winning novella – Linden Manor – is now available in all digital formats and the print anthology will be published in October. She is the author of a number of paranormal horror and Gothic horror novellas and short stories. . Her novel, Saving Grace Devine, has just been published by Samhain Publishing.
She lives with a longsuffering husband in North Wales. Her home is in a building dating back to the mid-18th century which is haunted by a friendly ghost, who announces her presence by footsteps, switching lights on and strange phenomena involving the washing machine and the TV.
When not slaving over a hot computer, Cat enjoys wandering around Neolithic stone circles and visiting old haunted houses.
You can connect with Cat here: