Holly Trinity and the Ghosts of York – Introduction

She was considering calling it a night when she heard a crash from upstairs. Mira picked her way through the clutter and peered up the stairwell, the light from above casting inky shadows. She fancied for a moment that she could hear singing.

It is a well-known fact among travel companies and tour guides that York has more ghost stories than any other city in Europe. None of them take place in second-hand book shops and none of them were believed by Mira Chaudhri.

Welcome to the world of Holly Trinity and the Ghosts of York, a world I have spent the last few years bringing to life.

It all began with the city. Everyone rolls their eyes when a writer says “The city is like another character in the story”, but York really is a bit of a character, a Great British eccentric with house numbers. It’s a funny sort of place. A place where Viking re-enactors prowl the same city streets as hen nights from Sunderland and unexplained flocks of geese. A place that birthed Guy Fawkes and hanged Dick Turpin. A place where hidden passageways lead you to who knows where and a ghost story can be told on every corner. We really do have more ghost stories than any other city in Europe. We also have streets called Nether Hornpot and Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate. You can’t tell me that’s normal.

If you’re looking for a story to tell, you couldn’t ask for better inspiration. It doesn’t take much to nudge a city like York into becoming something else, something other. To wonder where the tour guide really learned all those ghost stories, why the geese all seem to know something we don’t, and, most importantly, what is under that trapdoor? Holly knows. Holly usually knows…kirsten-drew-goceAOi0sqY-unsplash - filter Dutch 2

York became the place I called home, in a house which I am legally forbidden from using for the selling of fried fish. (Again, why? How many perished in the great haddock blaze of 1853? I bet Holly knows.) I’ve spent years loving this place, and all the while nudging it. Nudging every bit of it to see what might live underneath. Then one day, I decided to let the city nudge back. To take all those ‘what ifs?’ and make them into a weirder ‘and then…’ To tell a story in the supernatural underbelly that was quite obviously lurking just out of sight, waiting to unleash its horrors and wonders on us all.

But York was just a thing I had to hand. A city is only a place until it has people, and this city needed one kind of person in particular. One of the things I’d noticed about York is that it’s so clearly been designed for a hero. It’s full of ancient ramparts to look out over, towering rooftops to leap from, Gothic frontages to pose dramatically beside, and menacing dark alleys to venture into. Down these mean snickleways, a woman must walk…

Next: meet the heroes of York’s supernatural underworld…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s