H.E. Bulstrode’s latest tale – ‘Old Crotchet’s Return: A Ghost Story’ - contains many of his trademark elements: a liberal sprinkling of the supernatural; a period setting; and a distinct vein of dry humour with a cutting satirical edge. Drawing upon the classic ghost story tradition as exemplified in the works of authors such as M.R. James and E.F. Benson, his storylines have frequently been compared to the likes of those encountered in 'Tales of the Unexpected' and 'The Twilight Zone'. However, the Bulstrodian world, as you will discover, is a realm unto itself, and quite distinct from either. He has also published two collections of ghost stories and uncanny fiction - ‘Anthology: Wry Out West’, and ‘Uncanny Tales from the English Shires’ – as well as a novel, ‘Upon Barden Moor: An Occult Mystery’.
The author's childhood and formative years were spent in the English West Country, a region in which reality and fantasy are frequently confused, and where what elsewhere would be taken as peculiar, regarded as nothing more than an everyday occurrence. Soaked in myth, folklore and, for a time, cider, his imagination eventually whirred into life and prompted him to pen, or at least to type, a number of understated tales of the uncanny, drawing upon his wry observations of esoteric subcultures and beliefs, and the rich store of lore that seems locked into the land itself.
What is it that you see there, ambling through the murk, seeking to ensnare the unwary? A village cunning man; a malignant Jacobean mannequin; a psychedelic Crowley wannabe; the sickle-wielding spirit of old Dorset; a pious guide emerging from the fabric of a venerable minster; a mediaeval animalistic heretic with a still beating heart? There are others, too, and they care not for what you think, or what you feel. Ghost stories, bizarre rites, and mental disintegration populate a world in which the living and the dead meet in an eternal present, and the author dares - the most horrific thing of all - to use adverbs where appropriate.
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