Domini Mortum

By Paul Holbrook

A supernatural murder mystery novel set in late Victorian London.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Pluckley - Investigating the Investigators Part 2


As part of my extensive research for Domini Mortum, the next film I watched was an investigation into the many ghosts of Pluckley by the ambitiously and unfortunately named Lord of Quim. 

Called ‘The Legends of Pluckley Village’, it starts well enough, with lots of the Pluckley ghosts and stories mentioned (including The Devils Bush, which appears in Domini Mortum).  However after 4 minutes the any hint of deep insights into the history and prevalence of ghosts in the village is lost as we join ‘Mr Quim’ for a night time trip into ‘The Screaming Woods’.

The Screaming Woods appear in Domini Mortum although only briefly during Edward Higgins’s ghost tour of Pluckley.  These woods were originally called the Dering Woods, and most of the local people still refer to them as that. The nickname of the "The Screaming Woods" came about because, at night, it is said you can still hear the screams of the numerous lost people who, unable to get out, eventually died.

It is supposedly an eerie experience to walk these muddy paths through the skeletal trees, especially when it is getting dark and the journey is made even spookier by the knowledge that many lone travellers who have come this way have been scared almost to death by sudden loud, agonising screams from deep within the woods which sends the birds scattering from the tree tops. 

The Screaming Woods are like a huge buzzing magnet for ghost hunters and paranormal ‘experts’, who are mysteriously drawn there in a desperate attempt to make contact with those residing upon the ‘other side’ and ‘The Quimster’ is no exception.

He bravely enters this gateway to the underworld with camera in hand and attempts to capture on film anything remotely ghostly.  But do the dead come to visit him?

Well, unfortunately not, what follows for the rest of the video is The Quimeister’s whispered voice as he listens to what I can only assume are birds roosting, badgers snuffling and squirrels sat in the branches, gently tending to their nuts.

Eventually ‘Old Quimmy’ feels the icy cold touch of the dead creeping into his bones and in fine English tradition he ‘legs it’.

As Edward Higgins says in the Domini Mortum;

“We do not have time to enter the ‘Screaming Woods’ this evening, Samuel, which is a terrible shame as it is an experience to be savoured.  The eldritch howls of the long and recent dead can be heard throughout the night, and it is a brave man who dares enter.  Few have tried and they left in such terrible states that they ended their days unable to speak of what they saw, most were placed in asylums, gibbering wrecks of men, hollow of mind and bereft of soul.”

I can only assume that, after his personally terrifying but ultimately disappointing experience, Lord Quim now resides in such an institution. 

Thanks, Lord of Quim, you made a brave effort and have no doubt paid the price.


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