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September 18, 2023

The Vile One

By Amanda Summerbell

Analise Murray's Diary: November 3, 1894

I could hear them again last night, traipsing about outside as I lay in bed, unable to move. It pains me, the helplessness that comes with sunset, as though once darkness sets in, it brings with it a paralyzing fear that causes our breath to still, our limbs to immobilize. For this occurs each night that I hear their cackling and chanting. I've told Nora each morning but she pats my shoulder and says she will do what she can. What wickedness is afoot in the streets of Pemberton, England!

If only I had the nerve to go out, to tell them to leave! Till then they will continue to torment me!

Nora says that my lack of sleep is obvious. The shock on her face was evident before she uttered a word. She made me lie down, though sleep still would not come.

I am weakened from lack of sleep. My muscles feel as though I have lifted a building. Nora came in at ten this morning to find me in a pitiable state, for such was my fatigue that I was reduced to tears. She took action immediately, giving me some sort of yellow pill and pulling the covers up to my chin.

"Sleep now, Miss Analise," I heard her murmuring as I drifted off into blessed rest. It was nine o'clock in the evening when I woke to find her, my wonderful nurse, reading by the fireplace.

"Nora," I said.

"Feeling better, Miss Analise? I've got soup for you, darling."

So grateful am I for that wonderfully attentive woman. I ate the entire bowl of soup and fell back to sleep, not to be awakened by them.

Analise Murray's Diary: November 4, 1894

Somehow, they are getting into my house. I found a bottle of ale in the kitchen. Neither Nora nor I partake in the consumption of spirits of any kind, so where would it come from? I worry when Nora does not stay the night.


One of them came into my room. I lay in bed, half asleep, and heard the scraping of the rocker. As quickly as I dared, before fear utterly seized me, I lit the candle to find her in my room. She did not appear as one caught in the act of trespassing, rather, she stood up straight, hands on her hips almost triumphant.

The anger at having my home invaded was instantly replaced by terror when she brushed the raven hair back from her face to reveal soulless, coal black eyes and a cruel grin which pierced through my very soul. She stood, watching over me until, at last, I found words.

"What are you doing in my house? What have you taken?"

"Nay, I want nothing with your house!" she shrieked, her voice like spikes to my ears. She then took a step closer to the bed, revealing long, yellowed nails extending from unnaturally thin fingers as she waved a hand about the bedroom. "I am after more than this!"

"What do you want with me then?" I asked, instantly regretting the question.

The grin widened on her hideous face as she bent down over me. "You are what I want, and you I shall have!" she answered. "All in good time, Analise Murray."

With that she turned, her black cloak blowing out from behind, and in an instant she was gone. Was she an apparition? I am unable this night to discern anything from the brief but terrifying encounter.

Indeed, I lay in bed pondering the scene for hours, deeply troubled, beginning to wonder if I had dreamt it, but I know in my heart that the very real fear I have did not come from a dream.

Analise Murray's Diary: November 8, 1894

Strange winds have been blowing today and I feel ill at ease. Nora brought my knitting supplies to the bed with a nod, encouraging me to start a new project. She knows how my pastime calms my nerves, but that was many moons ago. I am now so consumed with the strange occurrences around my home that I cannot do anything. Still, to save her feelings I did try, only to fail miserably. I opted instead for a book by the fire in my living room, savoring the warmth of my throw over me and the delicious tea as I listened to the cold winds howling outside. I am amazed at the power of such wind and unnerved by its eerie whistling. The only good out of it all be that it is keeping them away tonight, or at least masking the sounds of their rituals.


The one that came to me before was back last night! I could again feel her presence in my room, close to where I lay. My eyes were closed, for, I was in a state of half-sleep, when her hot breath blew across my face. It was offensive to the nose, no doubt due to the rotting teeth I spied upon opening my eyes. Her persistence indicates that she is the strongest of them all, bold enough to enter my house now twice. I peered into her black eyes which were all the more ominous by candlelight and prayed aloud, clutching the cross that hangs around my neck.

"Fool!" she heckled, wild laughter escaping her lips. "Prayer cannot help you. In the end it is I that will have your soul, Analise!"

I could only continue to pray, attempting to shut out the depraved voice. She must be a demon, with all the talk of wanting my soul. Dear God!

Pemberton Weekly: November 10, 1894

Growing reports of strange occurrences in the nearby woods have many residents ill at ease. Sightings include unexplained bonfires, chanting and more recently, a woman clad in a dark dress or cloak roaming about.

Two area children, ages six and eight, encountered the being which has been rubbed the 'Pemberton Witch' near the homes of Blaine Ellesby and Calista Alderage. According to the witnesses, the woman ducked into the alley behind the two homes around 9:30 p.m. after attempting to abduct them. Both escaped unharmed.

Local authorities are asking that any future sightings of the Pemberton Witch be reported to them immediately.

Analise Murray's Diary: November 14, 1894

The voices are dwindling. A strange observation for me to make, but with the passing of these sleepless nights I have heard less of them, which confirms my fear that the vile one is the leader. Is she disposing of the others, as she plans to do with me? What have I to do with it all?

I have asked Nora to check all the doors and windows each evening before she departs. The vile one must be entering by other means! She is taking items, leaving ale -- her methods are strange but her intentions are all too clear, for she is slowly taking over my home.

Nora Dempsey's Letter to Charlene Whitby

Dear Sister,

I hope this letter finds you well. The distance between us gets more difficult with time. I am planning to visit as soon as the mistress gets to feeling better. There have been such strange things happening lately, and if I were a woman of superstition, I would say the house had a ghost. I arrive each morning to find the mistress in a state of panic. She hardly sleeps. Furniture is rearranged and at times turned over as though the house had been ransacked. The mistress looks pitiful and has taken on a cold which keeps her in bed.

My love to you and I shall write again when my plans are final.


Analise Murray's Diary: November 18, 1894

I am bedridden with a cold, more nervous than ever, should the vile one plan her attack at my weakest time. I have not ascertained how she gains entry into the house, which convinces me more than ever before that she is an evil spirit. Now that she is rid of the others, her strength grows. She will be coming for me soon, I can feel it. My greatest fear is how I will defend myself, especially in my weakened state.

Journal of Nora Dempsey: November 18, 1894

I have seen the one they call the Pemberton Witch. I was sitting on my sill last night, enjoying the reprieve from the incessant storms of late, but unable to sleep and missing my sister. It was nearing ten and the street was void of people as it would be at that hour. Suddenly I caught sight of a dark figure illuminated by the street lamp. It gave me a start! I could only make out a flowing dress or cloak which must have covered the head because I did not see hair, or facial features. I know in my heart this is the witch that has unnerved so many in the town. As quickly as she came, she vanished into the night.

I hesitate to mention my sighting to the mistress since she's been so ill; instead I shall be ever vigilant, continuing to ensure that we keep the doors and windows locked at all times.

Nora Dempsey's Letter to Charlene Whitby

My Dear Charlene,

I am writing with trembling hands to tell you of the events of last night. I stayed over at Miss Analise's house because I felt rather ill and thought it best to sleep in the guest room. Nearing midnight I was awakened by voices coming from the mistress's room. I crept into the hallway to listen and to my surprise, I distinctively heard two voices through the door. In recent years she has never received guests, and certainly not at that hour. The dialogue was as follows:

"It is time, Analise. You are not strong enough to defeat me."

"Get out of this house, you devil from Hell! Why do you torment me so?"

A laugh so evil filled the room; indeed, it permeated my body causing me to tremble.

"Why do I torment you? Do you not know who you are?"

The next sound I could make out was a shriek and the breaking of glass, and as fearful as I was, Charlene, I could no longer bear to stand outside that door. With all the courage I could muster I turned the knob to find Miss Analise in the bed, propped up on her pillows as I had seen her many a time, only on this night I noticed, draped around her shoulders and hanging off the bed, a long, black cloak.

"Miss Analise?" I said, approaching the bed with caution.

Her eyes, Charlene! They were always such a pretty blue but now bore steely hatred, making them appear as black as the cloak. A grin crept across her face and she said nothing -- I know my heart must have skipped a beat. Then, in the voice I heard through the door taunting the mistress, she said, "Analise is gone."

I backed out of the room, scarcely able to take my eyes off the hateful being that now occupied Miss Analise's bed, and surely her mind. Once down the hall I raced down the steps and out the front door, all the way home. I will not go back in that house.

I am packed up and ready to come visit you, if you will have me. I cannot bear to be in Pemberton right now.

Pemberton Weekly: November 25, 1894

The body of Ms. Nora Dempsey was found in front of her home yesterday morning. She was stabbed in the chest, apparently the prior evening. A formal inquest has been scheduled for the end of the week. According to a neighbor, Ms. Dempsey was the nurse to Analise Murray, also of Pemberton. Ms. Murray, who was not at home when police came to question her, is not considered a suspect as yet. Charlene Whitby, sister of the deceased, has been notified. More information will follow.

Article © Amanda Summerbell. All rights reserved.
Published on 2013-08-26
7 Reader Comments
03:42:44 AM
OMG!!!! Amanda, this is soo good. I cannot wait to read the next installment. You have such a freaky imagination.
12:06:59 AM
Awesome! I can't wait to read the next installment!
Lydia Manx
09:27:25 PM
Chilling and every word was a joy to read. Thanks again Amanda for bringing your tales to light - so to speak.
03:05:24 AM
This was the whole story but you guys are making me think that I need to write more!!
Tammy Brown
03:34:08 AM
Amanda I love your stories you are a amazing writer. Please tell me how I can get all your stories you have I want them all please.
Shelia Filbin
04:58:19 PM
Amanda this is really good. You have an amazing talent. I would like the links to your other stories. Please keep up the great work and keep putting these stories out for us to read. Thanks.
Deb King
03:20:03 AM
You're very talented, Amanda. Great story! It seems you put a lot of yourself in your writing. I agree that this should be a series. Thanks!
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