This week’s episode of Tales Told When the Windows Rattle features a supernatural story set on the Cornish coast during November. “Tremewen Grange” (1867) follows a pretty basic pattern: man visits Cornwall, man goes out for a smoke on a stormy night, man witnesses a creepy phantom face, man learns who died the next morning. Still, this piece is perfect for fireside storytelling, I think. In fact, it’s framed as exactly that — a story told to an eager group of listeners gathered around a cheery hearth in winter.
Here on the Great Plains of North America, we have a saying: “This ain’t my first rodeo.” It basically means “Yes, I’m familiar with that concept.” In Cornwall, they might have a variation on it: “This ain’t my first haunting.” The British county is steeped in Celtic tradition and rich in ghostlore. If listening to “Tremewen Grange” sparks your interest for more, one place to start is Bottrell’s Traditions and Hearthside Stories of West Cornwall (1873). “The I’an’s Ghosts” (p. 122) or “A Legend of Pargwarra” (p. 149) — or “The Slighted Damsel of Gwinear” (p. 229) or “A Ghostly Ship’s Bell” (p. 277) — might keep the Halloween mood moody while setting the stage for some Yuletide ghost stories to come.
You can find my reading of “Tremewen Grange” at the Tales Told YouTube Channel, where I hope you’ll consider subscribing. Otherwise, you can pull up a chair right here in the Tales Told rec room, where along with the video, you also have the option to listen to or download an audio-only version.