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The Story …
It was just a bed — an ordinary, albeit antique bed for the spare room. Until we learn that a hundred years earlier a woman called Rose, who practised in the occult and dark magic, slept in it. Now Rose’s unhappy spirit comes as part of the deal. Rose’s angry ghost comes with the bed.
Angela and Nathan are a young couple, married only two years before, both of them professionals. They’re happy and in love, although the pressures of modern life can be challenging some days. The antique bed is just right for the spare room in their expensive apartment.
Rose’s spirit doesn’t like happy marriages unless you’re prepared to wed the Devil.
Sleeping in the bed promises erotic dreams with perfect lovers — more passionate and daring than your wife, more considerate and satisfying than your husband. Before long, the dreams are much better than reality.
Three’s a crowd in any relationship, even when one person is already dead.
The BBC TV network airs a show called “Antiques Roadshow” (also seen here in Australia) where people are encouraged to dig out their old, dilapidated and often very boring rubbish from attics and basements for antiques experts to evaluate as a potentially hidden treasure. Of course, there is always one or two gems discovered each episode. A clay pot, a lost Rembrandt…
On one show somebody had dragged an entire bed, no less, to the roadshow for the producers to value. It was well over a hundred years old and the girl who owned it claimed the bed was the most comfortable thing she’d ever slept in.
No surprise, I couldn’t help immediately thinking about who else had slept in it during that century of dreams and nightmares, not to mention made love in it, been born in it, died in it… maybe even been murdered in it? A lot of spiritual and supernatural theory is based on a concept that we leave something behind when we die, particularly in spaces we frequent a lot — like our favourite room, the beloved garden or any other special place. We spend almost half our lives in bed, right?
So I looked at that ancient bed on the television and wondered what might happen, if someone really unhappy had died on or near that bed? Did the mattress soak up the misery? The hatred? The anger of dying? Could a bed be possessed with the enraged, evil spirit of someone who breathed their last in its warm, soft embrace?
It makes perfect sense to me.
If you’re reading this book lying in your bed, sweet dreams. Maybe leave the light on?
And this book includes a character used in one of my earlier books, called The Mirror of Madness. A woman named Isobel Gowdie, also known as the Auldearne witch who confessed in 1662, claimed she first met a “Man in Grey” on the downs and he baptised her that same evening in the local church. She described a witch’s Sabbath’s with a coven of thirteen women, and her power to transform herself into a hare or a cat. She had intercourse with demons and even the Devil himself. The sperm of the Devil was icy cold.
The “Man in Grey” continues today to be one of the many pseudonyms for the Devil.