Sunday, 12 May 2013

May Monster Madness #2 - The Woman In Black

This is my second post for the  May Monster Madness Blog Hop.

I've written, or rather, raved about The Woman In Black before on this blog, under Hammer's The Woman In Black and from that post, it is pretty obvious I am a big, big fan of this story in all its forms, book, stage play, TV adaptation and movie. However, today I want to concentrate of The Woman In Black, herself, Jenette Humprhey, who, to me, is a brilliantly terrifying monster.

For those who don't know the ghost story, here's a quick précis. Arthur Kipps, a young solicitor, is sent by his firm from London to an isolated coastal town, Crithin Gifford, in order to settle estate of one Mrs Drablow. Mrs Drablow lived alone in an even more remote old house, Eel Marsh House, which is only accessible by a causeway across a treacherous marsh when the tide is out. What no-one will tell Arthur and he has to discover for himself is that the old lady was haunted by her sister, Jenette Humphrey, who died after her son, who was taken away from her by the Drablows, drowned in the marshland that surrounds Eel Marsh House.

From that initial description, you could be mistaken in thinking that the audience will then have sympathy for Jenette, variably a suicide, or the victim of wasting away slowly, depending on the adaptation of the story. However, you could not be more wrong.

Jenette is a monster in every sense of the word. Her hatred and bitterness have destroyed all trace of humanity that once resided within her, leaving a ghost vengeful against the whole world. She preys on children, the innocent, willing them to their deaths and taking their souls as her own. And even being reunited with her own son, as Arthur risks his life to do in the Hammer adaptation, will not soothe her bitterness, or her want for murder.

A ghost and incorporeal she may be, but Jenette's will is enough to create accidents and drive the young to gruesome demises. Her darkness has taken over Eel Marsh House, a lonely, terrifying place, but what is worse, she is not confined to its walls. She can appear anywhere at any time and take what she wants.

A once beautiful and wayward woman, whose only crime was to have a child out of wedlock in Victorian England, Jenette has become a creature of haunting horror. The Woman In Black is the monster used to frighten children to bed, only in Crithin Gifford she is real.

Woman In Black Links:

On another note: I'm an author, and I have dabbled in a few horror stories if you're interested. :)

When Darkness Beckons
This is a two story horror anthology created for All Hallows Read 2012.

Catcher of Souls by Natasha Duncan-Drake (that's me :))
When Miles sets foot inside The King James pub he knows instantly there is a disembodied soul in residence. The question is, is the soul responsible for the deaths that have happened on the site or were they just accidents. It's Miles' job to catch troublesome lost souls, but when danger strikes he might just be too late.

Some Things Are Stranger... by Sophie Duncan
Life is weird enough for Jake being a werewolf on the run from The Pagan Dawn, ruthless hunters determined to wipe out all 'paranormal scum'. His luck runs out when he is ambushed after a Halloween party and, badly injured, he dives into the shadows of an abandoned warehouse with his pursuers on his heels. Yet, Jake discovers that he is not alone and his encounter with a goofy hobo, who talks about the place being haunted, teaches him that all strangeness is relative.

Book of Darkness
An anthology of six short horror stories.

Sleep Of The Damned by Natasha Duncan-Drake
How would you cope if you discovered your bed was haunted?
BFF by Sophie Duncan
New school, new best friend, but Karen discovers that Debbie has dark secrets.
Just One Day by Sophie Duncan
The house was a bargain and Georgie loves it, so she's not going to listen to the strange warning from the estate agent that for one day every year it is haunted.
The Crosses We Bear by Natasha Duncan-Drake
Shitty hotel, shitty team bonding weekend, but Lyle gets more than he bargained for when he removes the cross from above his bed.
Queen Of My World by Sophie Duncan
Alfred doesn't like people very much, but he knows how to use them to get what he wants and he wants Lissy.
Dead Not Dying by Natasha Duncan-Drake
Jo loves her cat, Tigger, but when he comes back from near death, Jo eventually realises that it might actually have been death itself.

Sacrifice of An Angel (The Haward Mysteries #1)
"Harry Potter (with grownups) meets Midsommer Murders with a magical version of C.S.I. thrown in for good measure." - Rob Drake

The body of a beautiful girl dressed in a ceremonial robe is found on a playground roundabout. Her throat has been ripped out and the roundabout has a bad case of perpetual motion. Is it a ritualistic, magical murder or a setup to distract from the real killer?
That is the question that faces twins, Theo and Remy Haward, detectives in the Sorcerous Crimes Task Force (SeCT), when they are called to the scene in the middle of the night. That and who could commit such an act. They must find the answers to these and other questions, all the while ensuring the general public finds out nothing about the magical world that co-exists with their own.
 Armed with their experience, their natural magical abilities and their complimentary instincts, Remy and Theo must identify the victim, follow the evidence and find the killer before anyone else dies.

Death In The Family (Heritage Is Deadly #1)

When coming of age means a taste for blood.

Tom Franklin has never really understood his midnight cravings for red meat, he has merely accepted them. His Harley Street doctor had always diagnosed his symptoms as a protein deficiency, aggravated by stress, particularly the dark dreams that haunt his subconscious. Yet, when his dreams and consequently his symptoms escalate, Tom's parents are forced to reveal the truth: he isn't human. Tom discovers that the nightmarish images of dark places and even darker instincts are in fact repressed memories of his early childhood, and he must face the wild heritage from his birth-father, a ruthless vampire known only as Raxos.

Realising his memories are his only hope of controlling his awakening instincts, Tom returns to, Coombedown, the sleepy, Cornish village in which he was born, unknowing that the night-breed in his veins will lead him into danger.

"Death In The Family" is a young adult, paranormal novel.


  1. I've seen the 1989 television production, the 2012 Hammer film, and read the book, and all I can say is that a zombie apocalypse is rainbows and puppies compared with 'The Woman in Black' when it comes to the creep factor for me!

    1. Oh, I so agree :) Thanks for replying.

  2. Wow she sounds like a peach! ;)
    Good luck with the books! They sound great! I love meeting fellow female horror authors! Though I'm really more YA and NA paranormal romance focused, I do dabble in horror and I freaking love it! I actually enjoy it more than writing the mushy lovey stuff, but still not sure I can't cut it with the greats in horror so for now I'm hanging back!
    Here's my MMM'S Carmen Jenner Author and Book Me!
    Happy Hopping! =D

    1. Great to meet you too. I'm more paranormal fantasy than horror as well. I have dipped my toe into horror, but, like you, I think I may not quite have the edge needed for full-blown horror. I do enjoy writing the odd horror though, and I'm a big fan of ghost stories, hence my love of TWIB.

  3. Oh my god she is freakin terrifying! Cool stop.
    Here's my day II MMM at Design du Jour.

  4. I have seen this on the West End and the latest movie adaptation, but not the book or the TV drama. I love the story though, so it's inevitable that I will. I'd say the move was a tiny bit of a let down, after the brilliant stage play. But I still enjoyed it. I think the ending differed though. I'd say to anyone to go see it, or read it.

    Great post. She was definitely a monster!

    Shah X

    1. The stage play is definitely the most terrifying version, I think because it's so immersive. The ending is different in every version I've seen/read and the start as well, but Susan Hill was involved in the recent movie adaptation, and I think they updated it well. She is working with Hammer on a sequel as well - I'm not sure how it will work, but I'll wait to see it before I cast judgement (it just won't be The Woman In Black).

  5. I love her creepy eyes... and classy hat.

  6. Creepy! Love the book. She is super wicked looking.

    1. I like both looks for TWIB, the Carlton one focused on the slow wasting away that killed her and her stare is biting, but her hidden face in the Hammer adaptation is chilling and gives me the shivers :).

  7. I've only seen the Hammer movie but I loved it and everyone else I've spoken to says that the book and the play are better and I simply *must* read/see them. Someday...

    1. I decided to read the book, finally, before the Hammer movie came out, because I wanted to find out how Susan Hill wrote it originally. Thanks to having a Kindle, I was granted instant gratification and downloaded it and read it in a day. And yes, the play is incredible and terrifying, a really great experience.

  8. I've seen so many horror movies that Hammer's Woman in Black didn't really do much for me. When they went through all the trouble to retrieve her son's body and bury it with her, I leaned over to my friends and said, "Isn't it sad that they're doing all this work and it's going to be completely worthless". I think it has a good concept, but was poorly executed.

    1. I thought the body recovery was an interesting twist, because it doesn't appear in the books. Knowing the ending already, I did know it would not be worth anything in the long run, but the encounter between Jenette and Arthur gives me the shivers even though I've seen it many times now. Each to their own, though, we don't all have to like the same things. :)


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