015 Speculative Fiction – Old
It was hard to get The Night House by Gillian Tindall out of my head. This was an unusual ghost story because the ghostly visions weren’t threatening the woman who was sensitive to them, they were a bit of a metaphorical warning that she should leave her unhappy marriage. This was refreshing, as I was starting to get quite annoyed at all these meek women in British horror dramas whose husbands disregard them as they seem to be slowly going mad (Fear on Fear stories mainly). Anne was the much younger wife of Charles, a higher flyer and man interested in antiques but not in starting a family. Anne is left in the Knight House, a converted girls’ school, on her own for most of the day. She starts hearing crying and, more appalling still, starts seeing buildings in the night that aren’t there. As I say, they don’t threaten her, but she starts to piece together the story of Caroline, a 16-year-old in the 1950s (I think) who falls in love with a boy, gets pregnant, but is unable to marry him. Again, it’s a play that’s understood the medium. It was recorded on location at a school in Bristol, which made for some lovely acoustics. It was broadcast in 1998 and starred Helen Shields, Helen Weaver, John Telfor, Faith Kennet, Susie Hugal, and Jonathan Bonnar. It was directed by Sara Davies.