A Ghost Story by Alex Shewan

A Ghost Story by Alex Shewan

She felt the tightness within her chest as she approached the Tudor Hall which loomed in front of her, ominous and unwelcoming. Why had she come? It was against her better judgement. She always trusted her gut; her instinct had served her so well in the past. She had always had that gift, that perception. She knew not to go against her inner feelings but this time there was a more powerful force. Something malevolent. Yet she could not resist its calling.

The Hall had its own energy, a reminder of its tragedy. She shivered and pulled her coat tighter. She stopped and looked up. The Tudor building loomed over her; she could feel its sadness. She had an affinity with this building yet she could not explain why. She feared it. It had been thirty years since she had last been here but it had never let her go. It held on to her mind – the tragedy, the despair. The evil. She refused to let it in but it had haunted her for her entire life. A power too strong for her. A power which would not let her go. A power which first engulfed her as a child…

                                                                              …

It was a beautiful day in spring – late April. The sun dominated the sky, the warmth encapsulated her. She was 10 years old and bewitched by the scene in front of her. The beautiful Tudor hall with its secrets and its terrifying past mesmerised her. She stood there, enraptured as she listened to the tales of the past. She felt at home here; an affinity as if this hall was a part of her soul, her being. She was transported back to the 1500s as she envisaged the inhabitants of the house. This was where she had to be. She felt it.

The group of chattering, exciting school children was eventually escorted to the imposing oak door and they were led into the impressive hallway. A hallway which took her breath away. As the guide spoke, she felt herself drifting. She felt she knew this building so well. It spoke to her and engulfed her. And she froze. The fear ran through her, the terror, the absolute sense of evil. The house was alive, its own being. Something was wrong. She couldn’t breathe, tears welled up in her eyes and streamed down her face. She screamed, petrified. “Sarah!” shouted her teacher. Sarah’s face burned. She hated the feeling of being singled out and the reprimand was too much. She looked at Mrs Clarke with a feeling so intense, she scared herself. A presence emerged inside her; a presence she didn’t recognise. Malevolent. Sarah closed her eyes and pulled herself back. She looked around at the others in the group and took in their sniggering faces. She wished she didn’t care but she did.

The group was led into a small, dark, unwelcoming room. Straight away, she felt it. The evil was intoxicating. Her instinct was to get out but the thought of facing Mrs Clarke’s wrath again prevented her. Sarah stood there, cold, breathless, frozen. She was torn between the present and somewhere else. An omniscient voice called her. A voice over which she had no control. A silent voice, but its power was overwhelming. She knew this voice. She knew this force. It felt part of her. It was part of her. Sarah listened to the story of the woman who had thrown her child out of the window and then hanged herself in this room. That was enough. The words faded as the room spun around her. She could hear the screams, she could feel the evil surrounding her, possessing her. Sarah ran for the door but it was locked from the outside. Surely, someone’s twisted idea of a joke? She felt the tightness around her throat, the life leaving her, her soul somewhere else. The evil, the malevolence. It was in the room. The twisted spirit which pulled at her. She fought and fought; it would not let her go. Its strength, its power. She felt the horror, the torment, a soul reaching out to her. She would not give in…

                                                                                   …

This memory had stayed with Sarah. This childhood memory which she had never been able to shake off; there was no escape from it. It tormented her dreams. It haunted her soul. Whatever happened in that room had been terrifyingly real? The Hall was somewhere she had vowed never to return to yet something had pulled her back. A feeling, an energy. Something she could not explain. Something unresolved. It was a memory which repeatedly returned to her and, eventually, it drew her back.

Sarah knew she had to face the torment which lay within her soul. Slowly, hesitantly, she made her way up the grand staircase towards the Red Room, the blood red velvet of the ancient carpet crunched underneath her feet. With each step, she felt herself transported to another time, her soul giving in to a supernatural presence. Its power unrelenting. She was losing herself once again. She fought its suffocating, oppressive strength. She could feel its determination to overpower her soul. Her energy was rapidly depleting, submitting to this malevolence. But she would not give in. She wanted to retreat, to run, to escape but she was beyond that.

The room faced her. She entered. Unwillingly. She was engulfed by the musty, ancient smell of the room. The smell of death. The torment, the pain, the suffering. The evil which remained. Unchanged. Dominant.

The mirror called her. She approached it with trepidation. Terror. As she looked into the glass, the emaciated image returned her stare. The evil within her reflected. What was this? She felt the vengeance of an unknown soul, filling her body, usurping her. An ethereal presence determined to return to where she belonged. And suddenly, she smiled at the image in the mirror. She was back. Her power was strong and vengeful. The barrier between the worlds would not stop her. This time she would be released. She put her hand to the marks on her neck. The marks of the rope. The noose which had brought about her death; and she would seek her vengeance.

Sarah fought. This was not her. This malevolent force was not her. She would not give in. This energy; this power. She screamed. Sarah knew what she had to do yet she was weak. The power inside her was strong, yet Sarah had a determination which was stronger. The screams pierced her head, the pain seared through her brain. Ancient memories which were not hers reverberated inside her consciousness. Images of the past blinded her. And suddenly she felt a child’s torment, its fear, its pain, its goodness rising inside her. A child’s lament which brought Sarah screaming to the present. A lament which was more powerful than any malevolence. She opened the drawer and reached for the paper knife. The bluntness of the blade would have to do. Yet Sarah’s power was also strong.

“You know me, Sarah. You have to let me live. You have no choice. If destroy me, you destroy yourself.” The voice reverberated in Sarah’s head. She felt the evil. It was powerful yet the child within her was stronger. The screams seared through her; she had to end it now. This was not her. It was an illusion. A deception. She would fight. She would not allow this malevolence was not going to break free. She felt the child rise within her. The child which gave her strength. And she screamed. Her hand seized the mirror, Blood streamed down her hands as the glass shattered. And there was silence. Peace.

Sarah lifted her face. She was outside, cherishing the coolness of the air, the freshness of the rain. She looked around her and picked herself up. There was a new strength inside her. And somewhere, an innocent soul had been set free. As she walked, the shadow of the Hall loomed behind her. She did not look back.

Alex Shewan


The Pioneer Whose Voice Was Silenced

The Pioneer Whose Voice Was Silenced

Dee Anderson is an immensely strong, inspirational and empowering woman who is currently leading an important campaign to bring justice to her mother, Sylvia Anderson and ensure that she receives the recognition for her work and creativity; recognition which rightfully belongs to Sylvia.

During her lifetime, as a result of a patriarchal system, Sylvia found herself omitted from the work and creations which she produced alongside her husband, Gerry Anderson. To this day, these productions are still referred to as being work by Gerry Anderson with no mention of co-creator, Sylvia.

Sylvia Anderson was a pioneer. She subverted the expectations of the time and achieved greatness through her intelligence and exceptional talent and creativity; greatness which was denied to so many women of the time. Yet, Sylvia fought this and leaves a legacy of work which has brought joy to generations of people all over the world. This is a woman who should be celebrated, not eradicated.. Sylvia contributed so much, not simply to the television productions, but to women throughout history. She was an icon and yet society has allowed her voice, her achievement and her legacy to be silenced.

Sylvia’s story is a significant one as these issues remain in society today. Worldwide, women are still being denied their voice and their due recognition which is a serious concern. In many ways, society’s attitudes towards women has progressed significantly. However, the fact that the debate still exists demonstrates that the problem remains endemic worldwide. Why, in 2021, are we still having this argument? Why should this argument exist at all? It would seem that, like Sylvia, women are still suffering the effects of a patriarchal system in which intolerance of women’s equality is still a factor. Why is women’s equality so important? It is important because the key word is equality. If equality does not exist for one section of society then how can equality exist at all? This is not a debate simply about Sylvia Anderson. It is not just about women. It is about society as a whole. No person has a right to deny anybody their voice. No person has a right to deny anybody their existence. No person has a right to take away a person’s identity. If we ignore Sylvia Anderson’s story, then we ignore the story of millions and this is simply not an option.

It is right and just that Sylvia should no longer be denied the recognition which belongs to her. In 1928, Virginia Woolf wrote, ‘I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.’ It is a sad reality that in 2021 this is still relevant. Let’s change this. It is time to give Sylvia, and all women, their voice and their rightful place in the world.

Alex Shewan

#JusticeForSylvia

www.sylviaanderson.co.uk
www.facebook.com/SylviaAnderson.FAB
https://twitter.com/fab_anderson


A new place to shop for little ones this Christmas !

A new place to shop for little ones this Christmas !

A new place to shop for little ones this Christmas !

Style My Kids products would make the perfect gifts for Christmas

At Style My Kid you will find a beautiful range of clothes, accessories and gifts for babies and little children often not found on the normal high street!

With stunning outfits, luxury kids play & home items and many unique and organic lines, it’s the perfect place to shop for awesome gifts this Christmas!

Style My Kid is a wonderful online retailer (run by 3 mums and a dad) with on trend, ‘offering on trend’, great quality products

ranging from newborn organic swaddles to best-selling zippy sleep suits

(loved by parents all over the world), to super fun soft play items and loads more.

They are proud to stock many trusted baby brands including the award winning ergoPouch sleepwear, Lulujo muslins & swaddle gift sets,

Scandi chic brand Fabelab and the colourful and fun Zoocchini collection of clothes and accessories – all of which have a passion for gorgeous,

organic and bamboo, child safe, sustainable items for little ones! 

SMK offer free delivery on all orders over £25 (in the UK) and get fantastic customer feedback for products and service.

Here are their top gifting products to make a very happy time for both kids and parents!

Here are their top gifting recommendations to make a very happy Christmas for both kids and parents!

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  • Lulujo Milestone 1st Year Bamboo Swaddle Blanket and Date Card Set –– Dream Come True Rainbow – £19.95. Perfect for new parents – lots of designs to choose from.
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  • Lulujo Milestone 1st Year Swaddle and Card Set for new parents – Dream Come True Rainbow – £19.95
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  • Kabode Organic Quilt and Duvet Bedding Set in Robot or Rainbow – Crib,Cot & Cot Bed sizes available – Prices from £34.95
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  • ergoPouch Organic 2.5 TOG Sleepbag Suit – Converts from sleeping bag to sleepsuit with legs using a very clever zip system! Available for children from 8 months to 6 years and in a choice of 3 colours – £62.95.

Perfect for toddlers who are walking, and pre-schoolers transitioning to a big bed.

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  • Potwells Long Hot Water Bottles – Dino/Zebra/Unicorn – £29.95 (currently on sale from £39.95)
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  • Fabelab Organic Big Buddy Large Huggable Toys – Measures 54cm long! From £39.95 & £44.95
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  • Zoocchini Oversized Hooded Creature Towels – Lion & Flamingo – £29.95
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  • Micador Easy Carry Portable Art Studio – £34.95
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  • Luxury Round Ball Pit Complete Set with 250 Balls – Safari Light Grey –  £125.00
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  • Zoocchini Sherman the Shark Set – Balaclava and matching Mittens – £17.95 & £11.95
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  • Luxury Cloud Foldable Foam Play Mat – Available in four colours – Grey, Pink, Blue & Graphite – £115.00
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  • Zippy Sleepsuits – Over 30 eye-catching, beautiful designs to choose from with double zip feature and both hand & feet cuffs – £12.95 each or in a bundle deal 2 for £24, 3 for £33, 4 for £44 etc.
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  • Zoocchini Wearable Hooded Animal Fleecy Blanket – Koala – £24.95 – Also in Bear, Dog, Fawn & Bunny!

Perfect stocking fillers –

  • Baby Wisp Glitter Headband – Pink, White & Gold – £8.95
  • Micador Jr Besties Marker Mates – Fairytale – £11.95
  • Micador Early Start Make & Play Kids Art Craft Set – Dino £5.95
  • Juddlies – Organic Baby Soft Rattle Comforter – Dog – £12.95

          Check out the full range available at www.stylemykid.com


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