Castle of the Thousand Passions by Catherine Cavendish.
Castle of the Thousand Passions by Catherine Cavendish.
‘I have set a large part of Waking the Ancients in Vienna, Austria where many ghosts and restless spirits walk among the verdant parks and lavish palaces. But Austrian ghosts do not confine themselves to their nation’s imperial capital. They can be found in towns, cities, villages and the depths of the countryside all over this beautiful land.
Also known as Schloss Altenburg, Schloss Tausendlust (Castle of the Thousand Passions) was built in the second half of the 16th century by Alexander Rüdt von Khollenburg, although it is first mentioned as a farm in the earlier part of that century. It is likely there was an earlier medieval castle on the site but this has not been excavated and today the house is a private residence. It changed hands a number of times over the centuries, belonging to Adam Gabelkhofer in 1605 and passing to his daughter, who sold the estate in 1650 to Christof Rudolf Freiherr von Eibiswald. He gave it back a year later, unable to make a living from the small income supplied by winemaking.
The Haydegg family acquired it and sold it in 1740 and there were more changes of ownership until, in 1790, Anton Schellenbauer Alternberg acquired it. He hailed from Lower Austria and had acquired extreme wealth and a noble title. He also had a reputation for appalling cruelty to his farmers and labourers.
Official history states that he was caught in 1817, arrested and charged with fraud, and was stripped of his nobility, dying in detention in 1829.
But legends go further.
It is said that, one night, his abused workers decided enough was enough. They stormed the house and Schellenbauer hid in the closet. His valet told them where he could be found and they hauled him out. He had hidden from them for years, now they would have their revenge. Using four oxen, they set about tearing him limb from limb.
It is his ghost who, to this day, haunts the small castle. He is most frequently seen near that same closet, which contains a secret passageway or in the castle grounds. Especially on stormy nights.
Following the demise of Schellenbauer, the castle’s fortunes declined sharply. Lightning had destroyed the tower in 1825 and by 1878, most of the castle had fallen into ruin and it was used solely as a winery. It was eventually purchased by the Nyary family in 1903 and an inscription of 1911 above the family coat of arms, shows that major rebuilding began then, and included the construction of a bell tower, under which a chapel was built.
Today, following yet more extensive renovation under its current owners, its beautiful grounds are particularly noted for the magnificent magnolia trees, which bloom in spring. The castle lies on the hill between the villages of Hitzendorf and Berndorf and provides a delightful sight for passers-by.
As for the ghost, the current owners are keeping quiet.
The same cannot be said for Dr. Emeryk Quintillus…
Waking the Ancients
Legacy In Death
University student Lizzie Charters accompanies her mentor, Dr. Emeryk Quintillus, on the archeological dig to uncover Cleopatra’s tomb. Her presence is required for a ceremony conducted by the renowned professor to resurrect Cleopatra’s spirit—inside Lizzie’s body. Quintillus’s success is short-lived, as the Queen of the Nile dies soon after inhabiting her host, leaving Lizzie’s soul adrift . . .
Paula Bancroft’s husband just leased Villa Dürnstein, an estate once owned by Dr. Quintillus. Within the mansion are several paintings and numerous volumes dedicated to Cleopatra. But the archeologist’s interest in the Egyptian empress deviated from scholarly into supernatural, infusing the very foundations of his home with his dark fanaticism. And as inexplicable manifestations rattle Paula’s senses, threatening her very sanity, she uncovers the link between the villa, Quintillus, and a woman named Lizzie Charters.
And a ritual of dark magic that will consume her soul . . .
You can find Waking the Ancients here:
‘I have read all of Catherine Cavendish’s books. In addition to writing the kind of horror I love, she has a real knack for blending past and present. And this first part of this new series does not disappoint, opening and closing with the kind of spine-tingling bang where you just know that for her characters horror is everywhere and there’s no escaping it no matter how hard you run.
Pity poor sensible, not easily frightened, Adeline Ogilvie who not only has the misfortune to be a descendant of Cleopatra, but comes to realise there’s something nasty in the basement and that something might be the very person she’s related to. Then there’s Cleopatra’s one true love and it’s not the men history shows her to have been involved with either. Dr. Emeryk Quintillus will stop at nothing to resurrect his queen. And nothing will stop him.
That’s as many spoilers as I’m giving but I will add that not only does Catherine Cavendish effortlessly blend past and present, giving us all kinds of insights into ancient Egypt, her stomping ground for this book is early twentieth century Vienna, the coffee houses, the streets, the historical figures who graced them.
Bring on part two.’
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. 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: