Ghosts and the Supernatural. Graig Du Theatre Players.

With the release of Guillermo del Torro's Crimson Peak in the cinemas, this reminded me of a number of conversations I had with different people about what subject matters they would like to see presented by the group. Surprisingly, the answer was supernatural and ghost stories. The majority said that they did not like anything explained. The whole point of being frightened by something that was atmospheric, which they emphasized, was that there is no rational explanation for fear. The film version of A Woman in Black came in for plenty of criticism as it was judged inferior to the television version adapted by Nigel Kneale of Quatermass fame.

The stories suggested for adaption included works by Charles Dickens, H. G. Wells, Richard Perceval, and Arthur Conan Doyle. The overriding favourite was The Monkey's Paw by W.W.Jacobs. Other stories mentioned included The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen, Rudyard Kipling's Mrs Bathurst and The Mark of the Beast, Thomas Hardy's Barbara of the House of Grebe, Amyas Northcote's Brickett Bottom, and Dennis Wheatley's The Haunting of Toby Jug. There is some merit in this suggestion as the book is one of his best and would adapt well to the stage. I would be in favour of adaptions of these stories once the theatre is established.

Another probable production would be one of my stories that is set in Wales. Mother's Blessing tells of the mysterious death of Charles Pritchard, anthropologist, at the G.W.R. Hotel, Cardiff.in June 1893. His death shocked his many colleagues at Oxford University. His widow, Maddy, wanted to protect her children from the hurtful rumours that circulated about his death. She knew what he was trying to achieve by making his last journey to the Rhondda to speak with Hector Matthews of Thrushcross Farm, Llwyncelyn.

Pritchard believed there was another reality that man could see if he rejected the materialism of this world. The creatures of myth, he reasoned,could then be seen: be they nature-sprites, brownies, fairies, or y tylwyth teg, the fair folk. They were also known as Bendith-y-mamu: mother's blessing. The word was used to avert kidnapping and the fulfilment of an ideal in Glamorgan.

Pritchard had met Hector Matthews the previous year. They had taken to each other instantly and Matthews understood what Pritchard sought. When Matthews showed him the meterorite he had retrieved from the Rhondda Stonehenge, Maerdy, Pritchard's descent to the perceived reality of the otherworld leads to madness and his death. . .

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