Ghost Stories and Shadows Online

Firstly, thank you, all of you (1036 people – amazing!) who entered the recent Goodreads Giveaway for Shadows of the Lost Child, my most recent novel. Congratulations to the lucky winners, your book will be winging its way towards you soon; and commiserations to those who didn’t.

But the good news is… the ebook version is now on SALE, and for a limited time, is Aleph's house in the novel Shadows of the Lost Childavailable at a reduced price: check it out here: (UK) & (U. States)

OR, via (all countries).

I hope you enjoy it. There’s a missing boot, and a mystery to solve and a girl called Alice who crosses time to meet a boy called Tom – and will there be a happy ending? You’ll just have to read it!

In the meantime, here are two ghost stories – not unfortunately, with happy endings, but of interest, especially if you’ve been to Warwickshire. Don’t go alone!

White Swan Hotel, Henley-in-Arden, 2010 by Alexander P. KappThe White Swan Hotel, Henley-in-Arden

Henley-in-Arden, not that far from Stratford-upon-Avon, is a small town, with one main High Street. On this street is the White Swan Hotel; the present building dates from around 1600, but there’s thought to have been an inn on this site since the 14th century. At one time the site was apparently a stopping point on the stage coach route between Birmingham and London.

The ghost was a woman called Virginia Black, who fell down the stairs, having quarrelled with a man in 1845. She may have been a ‘lady of the night’ and he may have been a client of hers. It’s said she roams the hotel’s corridor, lingering outside room 17…

In case you should visit the inn yourself, she hasn’t been seen for some time!

The inn was once the site of the local court, in the mid-late 19th century. The courtyard was used for public hangings, and a ghost was said to have lingered there for some years, after she was hung, for murder.

Charlecote Park, 2013 by Karen.stepanyan (Wikimedia Commons)Charlecote Park

Also not far from Stratford-upon-Avon, is Charlecote Park, now a National Trust property and open to visitors. The house itself is said to be haunted, but so is the lake, by the ghost of a woman, possibly a servant, who may have drowned herself there in the past.

According to the story, her shadowy figure drifts from the house to the site of the lake, throws herself in, then disappears. Oddly enough, there’s never a splash, or ripples on the water.

Shadows of the Lost Child (novel)


Get your own ghosts and shadows to take home with an ebook version of Shadows of the Lost Child;  now on SALE until Saturday 28 February. Available from Amazon at: (UK) & (U. States)


Article written by Ellie Stevenson, author.Ellie Stevenson, author

This article is copyrighted material. Brief extracts including a link to this site can be quoted but the article must not be reproduced in full anywhere without the author’s written permission.



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Pinterest, Photos and Gardens in Spring

Hidcote plant. Ellie Stevenson imagesPinterest is a wonderful resource.  It’s an online picture board, on which you can capture those images that tell your story (any story) and share them with the world. You can visit my Ship of Haunts Pinterest board here: the board gives insights into the novel as well as the themes behind the book, principally child migration, RMS Titanic and a number of other ships.

Because it’s spring, I thought we’d have a change from ghosts, and for this post, focus on gardens and plants instead. Gardening and plants are one of my loves and I’m always looking for new gardens to visit and enjoy. Hidcote Manor Garden, near Shakespeare’s home of Stratford-upon-Avon, was created by horticulturalist Lawrence Johnston, starting in 1907 and taking several decades, creating one of the country’s great Art & Crafts gardens.

Hidcote is a series of rooms, and each part of the garden holds something different. He intentionally made those areas close to the house formal in design and structure, with those further away more natural in appearance.

Johnston also developed another garden at Serre de la Madone in the south of France, where he retired, shortly after giving Hidcote to the National Trust in 1948. When he finally died he was buried in the small churchyard in Mickleton, not far from Hidcote. The word finally, is apt, because in 1914, he was so badly wounded he was laid out for burial.

In the Second World War, gardeners at Hidcote grew potatoes on the Great Lawn.

You can see my full Hidcote garden story on Pinterest (link at the end). Here are just a few tasters.

One of the walks at Hidcote. Ellie Stevenson images

Hidcote requires a lot of maintenance and has 12 full-time gardeners and two student gardeners, with support from 35 volunteers.

Hidcote Manor Garden. Ellie Stevenson images

Apart from the trees, there are a number of interesting buildings at Hidcote and in the nearby hamlet of Hidcote Bartrim. The manor house itself was built in 1664.

Flowers at Hidcote. Ellie Stevenson images

Hidcote wasn’t the best place to create one of the country’s greatest gardens. Its exposed position, high on a Cotswold hillside, meant it needed a lot of protection from the worst the weather could produce. But this didn’t stop Johnston. The first paying visitors arrived in 1949. That year, 1,160 people visited, today, the number is over 140,000.

One of the plants at Hidcote. Ellie Stevenson images

Many of the plants at Hidcote were collected on one of Johnston’s plant hunting trips. Plants are not labelled at Hidcote because the garden is presented much as it would have been in Johnston’s day.

Here’s the link to my Pinterest Hidcote page.

AND FINALLY… Keep checking in, because soon I’ll be sharing some exciting news. Ghosts coming up…

Find out more about Hidcote at:

Article written by Ellie Stevenson, author. Ellie Stevenson, author
This article is copyrighted material. Brief extracts including a link to this site can be quoted but the article must not be reproduced in full anywhere without the author’s written permission.

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Visit Hidcote Manor Garden and see the planting and garden rooms, with #thehauntedhistorian at