I did not believe in ghosts’
Few attend Mrs Alice Drablow’s funeral, and not one blood relative amongst them. There are undertakers with shovels, of course, a local official who would rather be anywhere else, and one Mr Arthur Kipps, solicitor from London. He is to spend the night in Eel Marsh House, the place where the old recluse died amidst a sinking swamp, a blinding fog and a baleful mystery about which the townsfolk refuse to speak.
Young Mr Kipps expects a boring evening alone sorting out paperwork and searching for Mrs Drablow’s will. But when the high tide pens him in, what he finds – or rather what finds him – is something else entirely.
Susan Hill sets the scene perfectly in this vividly spooky tale.
From the biting wind to the haunted house set in the marsh, the reader cannot help but feel drawn to Eel House and Arthur Kipps . Even the language of the novel sets The Woman in Black apart from other ghost stories.
It is wonderfully atmospheric with a excellent plot, and although it was written in 1983, the setting will ensure that even 100 years from now readers then will get the same creepy intensity as we do now.
There is sadness, it is a tragic tale of a mothers love for her only child. It is about revenge and it is about how a community can keep the secrets of a tragedy.
It’s a great tale.