In the heart of the city, tucked away in the back streets, stands a church. It is not a remarkable piece of architecture, nor is it particularly old. It is however, cursed.
The construction was completed and the church consecrated around 1900, and the parish priest, Mortimer Newman duly took up his duties.
We can leave the story of the church alone for 70 years or so, as like most other small churches it eventually closed. Priests came and went, the congregation dwindled, a pattern repeated up and down the country.
It had stood, a silent grey sentinel, falling into disuse around 1967. The doors were padlocked, the stained glass meshed over and the small graveyard left to grow wild. During the summer months children would play hide and seek in the tall grasses surrounding the scarred and weathered gravestones. In the winter, teenagers would meet there to smoke or other, more intimate, activities.
In 1972 the church made a macabre return to the consciousness of the locals. Sandra Cooper was a bright fourteen year old, bright that is for a gypsy child if one reads the local papers of the time. Those of Romany heritage have never been well treated, and were it not for the manner of her demise and the subsequent happenings, the case would have been very low priority.
On Friday 27th October at 6:15am Doris Knight left her house, as she had done everyday for the past 10 years. Before setting off to her job at a clothing manufacturer, she took her dog Samson for a walk. It was the same old routine, culminating with a loop around the church before setting off home.
This time though, Samson didn’t walk around the perimeter, he set off bounding through the dead grass and weeds, dragging Doris behind him. Doris had, according to her account to the police, shouted at the dog to no avail.
When Doris saw what had attracted Samson with such fervor she nearly fainted. Shreds of what was once a blue tartan print dress lay scattered amongst the gravestones and dead vegetation. Lying on the ground between two of the graves was the body of a young woman, her bowels and intestines forming a thick and clotted loop between her legs.