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Shadows & Mockery A Ghost StoryShadows & Mockery A Ghost Story

Austin Clark

  • Horror/Fantasy/SF
  • Historical Fiction

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Why I wrote this book

A few years ago an article in one of the daily newspapers (I forget which one) caught my eye, because it reported the intention to investigate Hampton Court Palace to establish whether the “Haunted” Gallery really might be haunted. Someone sought to explain why some visitors felt uncomfortable in the Gallery and, on more than one occasion, why something had caused visitors to collapse inexplicably.

What caught my eye was that the investigator was to be a psychologist from the same department of Psychological Medicine in which I had held a post-graduate position many years before. (That was misreported. He didn’t work in my old department.)

The investigation found nothing. I was disappointed because I live, with my wife and family, in a Tudor house of similar age to the Tudor parts of the palace, also reputedly haunted, and was looking forward to an explanation for our experiences.

But if I was disappointed, I was positively aggravated by the crass, banal explanations given for the experiences of the affected visitors. “Draughts of air” and “suggestibility” will not do. It certainly cannot explain what we (and others) have experienced in our own home. So — I rewrote the scientific investigation of the “Haunted” Gallery at Hampton Court Palace — and called it Shadows & Mockery.

This is a multi-layered tale: of love lost, and found; of a struggle between good and evil; and a modern slant — on ghosts. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.


London 1972. Are ghosts really haunting Hampton Court Palace? Dr. Simon Carlisle is commanded to find out. The Queen's Gallery at Hampton Court Palace is known as the 'Haunted' Gallery. Two visitors collapse there during a guided tour. One dies shortly afterwards, and the other remains too ill to describe what happened, until she commits suicide. A royal courtier is commanded to solve the problem. Sir Edmund Pemberley engages a young consultant psychiatrist who is researching the paranormal to investigate. He doubts that he will discover anything abnormal but, with his technician, Adrian, Simon Carlisle set up vigils in the gallery. Alice Charrington, the historical archivist to the royal palaces, is assigned to help - and Simon begins to fall in love. During the vigils they discover not only the ghost of a distraught young woman in Tudor dress, but must also confront an elemental force of evil - satanists are using the Palace. Abbot Assuntino Ginanneschi, from the Vatican, attempts an exorcism, but Alice is possessed then kidnapped. The Abbot, Professor Hutchinson, Simon, Adrian and Adrian's girlfriend, are a pitifully small force to confront the Satanists. and Simon's race to save Alice becomes an epic struggle between good and evil. Inexperienced ghost hunters and the Vatican's most experienced exorcist are pitted against ruthless Satanists led by a psychopath with only one ambition...will good prevail?

About the Author

Austin Clark Austin Clark was born in Lancaster and qualified in Medicine and Surgery at St. Thomas’s Hospital, London. He held a Medical post in the department of Psychological Medicine which features in Shadows & Mockery. He has spent many years Researching English Plantagenet and Tudor History. He lives in Wiltshire. Shadows & Mockery is his debut novel.

Book info

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224 pages


Austin Clark


Matador an imprint of Troubador Publishing

Publication date

20th June 2013

Author's Website