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The Ghost of Lunenburg Manor

A fire burning on the sea . . . icy fingers in the night . . . a dog that suddenly won't go near its master's bedroom . . . a host of strange characters with names like Black Dog, Henneyberry, and Roger Eliot-Stanton . . . These are the baffling ingredients of the spine-chilling mystery that begins when Professor Zinck invites Tom and his sister Liz to visit a haunted house.

Join the teen sleuths in the ancient hallways of Lunenburg Manor . . . if you dare.


Chapter 1

"It’s the ghost of the Young Teazer!"

       The old fisherman pointed a trembling finger at the fire across the sea.  "It’s come back, to haunt us all."

       A group of people stood on the wharf, gazing through the darkness at the blazing light.  The only sound came from waves washing against the rocky shore.

       A light wind carried the salty sea air to Tom Austen, a red-headed boy with many freckles, and his slim, dark-haired sister, Liz. "Who's this guy Teazer?" she asked the fisherman.

       "It's a ship, not a person. During the War of 1812 the Young Teazer was trapped here by the British navy. One of the men, knowing he was doomed to swing from an English yardarm, deliberately blew up his own vessel. They say it was terrible, how the sky exploded into flames and the crewmen screamed as they died."

       "But how can we be seeing the same ship?"

       "That's the strange thing. Exactly a year after it blew up, the Young Teazer came back as a ghost ship. People saw a ball of fire sail across this bay, then suddenly flare up in a silent explosion and disappear. Since then, many have told of seeing the Teazer light."

       Tom gasped in surprise. "It's gone! Did you see how it just vanished?"

       The fisherman nodded. "I'll be going home. We won't see the ghost ship again this night."

       The old man turned away, and most of the others followed. As they left, their faces were briefly lit by the headlights of a car that came speeding out of the night.

       "Here's Professor Zinck," said one of the people who remained, "but he's too late."

       A man with a large oval stomach and a large oval face came quickly along the wharf. Besides a nose of remarkable size, his face included heavy glasses and a goatee bristling with short, black hairs.

       "Have I missed it?"

       "Yes, and it’s a shame.  You could have written about the ghost ship in your next book, Professor."

       "Please tell me what happened."

       After hearing several descriptions, Professor Zinck shook his head.  "I’m sorry I missed it.  The light may have been a prank, but I can’t say for sure."

       Tom looked up at the big man.  "If you’re going to investigate, sir, my sister and I would like to help."

       But before the Professor could reply, a pretty woman with greying hair stepped forward.  "Now, Tom, there’s to be no detective work.  Your parents want you to have a nice, relaxing holiday."

       Professor Zinck gave her a puzzled look.  "What’s this all about, Shirley?"

       Smiling, she introduced Tom and Liz.  "Their parents have sent these two to my guest house for a holiday.  They thought a fishing village like Stonehurst would be perfect, because Tom and Liz couldn’t get mixed up in any mysteries."

       The Professor chuckled.  "There are lots of mysteries and strange events in Nova Scotia, but I guess I’d better not mention any."

       Liz gave him an encouraging smile.  "Won’t you tell us just one, Professor?  I’m sure that won’t hurt."

       Shirley gave Professor Zinck a warning look, but he chuckled again and pretended not to notice.  "Would you two like to visit a haunted house?"

       "Wow! You bet!"

       Shirley shook her head.  "I don’t think . . ."

       Professor Zinck laughed.  "Now then, Shirley, these kids can’t come to harm in my own home."

       Tom stared at him in amazement.  "You mean you live in a haunted house?"

       The Professor nodded.  "Come and meet my wife.  She’s actually seen the Lady in White who haunts Lunenburg Manor, where we live.  Perhaps you’d join us for supper tomorrow, and Annette can tell you her story."

       They walked along the wharf past piles of nets and the powerful smells of fish and salt, and stopped beside an expensive car.  In the driver’s seat was a woman who had hair and eyes black as the Professor’s.  Smiling warmly, she agreed to tell them about the Lady in White the next evening.

       "Are you frightened of ghosts?"

       "I’m not," Tom said, "but my sister is scared of vampires."

       "That’s a lie!" Liz protested.

       "Well, you’re superstitious.  That’s practically the same thing."

       "It is not!"

       Mrs. Zinck smiled at Liz.  "If you want superstitions, Nova Scotia is the place to be.  I’ve known hundreds since I was a child."

       Liz grinned, and turned to Shirley.  "I’ve heard some great ones here.  Like this morning, when Wade started singing at the table."

       "That boy!" Shirley said.  "I know he did it to tease me, but now someone’s life is threatened."

       Liz nodded.  "Sing at the table, sing at a funeral.  That’s what the superstition says."

       "Brrr," Shirley said, rubbing her hands nervously.  "Let’s all go to my place for coffee, and forget about singing at funerals."

       Everyone piled into the car for the short ride to "The Fisherman’s Home," which was the name of Shirley’s guest house.  As they drove, Tom looked at Professor Zinck.

       "What kind of books have you written?"

       "Collections of ghost stories and superstitions, tales of buried treasure and shipwrecks.  I love writing about the Maritimes because everyone here has a story to tell."

       "Did you say buried treasure?"

       "That’s right.  Pirates used to put into Nova Scotia before heading for Europe.  Pieces of eight and other treasures have been dug up, and some say that Captain Kidd’s wealth may be buried at the bottom of Oak Island’s Money Pit."

       "I’ve heard of Oak Island," Liz said.  "Isn’t it near here?"

       He nodded.  "Why don’t we visit the Money Pit together on Tuesday?  I don’t know if Kidd’s gold is actually down there, but it’s still a bizarre place to see."

       "That would be great!"

       Bright lights shone from the windows of "The Fisherman’s Home" as Mrs. Zinck parked the car.  Everyone walked toward the front door except Shirley and Liz, who disappeared around the corner of the house.

       "Brother!" Tom said.  "Liz is getting impossible."

       "Where have they gone?"

       "When we left for the wharf earlier tonight, we went out the back door.  So Shirley and Liz are going in by the same door, to avoid bad luck."

       "Maybe you should too," Mrs. Zinck suggested.

       "I’m not superstitious!" Pulling open the front door, Tom stepped inside and turned to Mrs. Zinck.  "You see?  The ceiling didn’t fall on my head."

       "That’s not how superstitions work, Tom.  Let’s just hope you haven’t jinxed yourself, or someone else."

       "No way."  Tossing his jacket at a chair, Tom went into the living room where two men were reading.  One was Shirley’s husband, Carl Goulden, who stood up to greet the Zincks, and the other was a paying guest named Roger Eliot-Stanton.  Tall and bony, he had refused to answer any of Tom’s questions and often spent long hours locked in his room.

       "Hey, Mr. Eliot-Stanton!" Tom exclaimed.  "You should have seen the ghost ship!  The sky exploded into flames, and you could almost hear the screams of the dying crewmen!"

       Lamplight shadowed the deep hollows of Roger Eliot-Stanton’s face as he looked up from his book.  "There are no ghosts," he said, and then left the room just as Liz walked in.

       "What a party-pooper that guy is," she said.  "Maybe it’s his funeral we’ll be singing at."

       When Carl had finished making the coffee, he smiled at Professor Zinck.  "Would you work the ouija board with us?"

       "A ouija board!" Liz jumped up from her chair.  "May I try it?  Please, Carl!  I’m sure I can summon spirits."

       "I don’t know, Liz."

       "Please!  What’s wrong with a ouija board?"

       Carl smiled.  "O.K., you can give it a try."

       As he lit some candles, Shirley went to get their children, Carla, Holli and Todd.  "A big group helps summon the spirits," she explained.  "Luckily Wade isn’t here, or he’d make fun of us all."

       Liz sat down at the ouija board, opposite Shirley  "Spirit of the past," Shirley chanted, "are you with us?  Answer yes."

       All eyes watched the board in the yellow candlelight.  Somewhere in the house a clock ticked, and Tom was aware of the wind sighing through the trees, but there was no other sound.  Seconds passed into minutes and then, with a terrible crash, the outside door flew open.

       Shouts and screams were heard, then someone reached for the light switch.  In the doorway stood the Gouldens’ teenaged son, Wade, his face shining with sweat.

       "Hey, everyone!" he said in an excited voice.  "I just heard about the ghost ship!  I ran all the way to the wharf, but it was gone.  What was it like?"

       Carl gave him an irritated look.  "You’ve just scared everyone half to death, Wade."

       "Sorry, Dad.  Say, is it true you saw the ghost of the Young Teazer?"

       "It’s possible."

       Wade grinned at Tom.  "Hey, man, I’m surprised to see you sitting around.  Why haven’t you started your investigation of the Teazer light?"

       "There are no ghosts," Tom said, trying to sound as haughty as Roger Eliot-Stanton.

       Professor Zinck finished his coffee with a quick swallow.  "It’s getting late, my dear," he said to his wife.

       She smiled at Tom and Liz.  "I’ll look forward to telling you about the Lady in White.  My husband doesn’t drive, so I’ll pick you up tomorrow."

       "Thanks, Mrs. Zinck.  We can’t wait to see your haunted house!" 

       After helping to clean up the kitchen, Tom went to his bedroom in the back of the house.  For a while he sat at the open window, listening to the wind sweeping through the woods, then got into bed and lay with his eyes on the dark ceiling.

       What was the mysterious light out at sea?  If it really was a ghost ship, had it appeared as a warning to beware of strangers?  As for strangers, why had Professor Zinck been so quick to invite Tom and Liz to visit his haunted house, and even take them to Oak Island?  Maybe an ancient curse hung over Lunenburg Manor, a curse that required the sacrifice of young blood.

       Sighing deeply, Tom rolled over in bed.  They’d been fools to accept an invitation from a stranger who could secretly be anything, even a vampire.  With a shudder, he pictured the Zincks in the doorway of Lunenburg Manor, fangs glistening and black capes swirling as werewolves howled somewhere in the night.

       Tom sighed again, and tried to think of a happier subject.  As he began to drift into sleep, images of ghost ships and vampires loomed in his mind.  Then, without warning, he felt icy fingers touch his neck.

What else do Tom and Liz find out about the Young Teazer and what other mysteries do they figure out?  Click Buy Eric's Books  to get your copy of this great story!

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THE GHOST OF LUNENBURG MANOR. Copyright 2012 by Eric Hamilton Wilson
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