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The Ghost Watcher is an audio-book produced by Big Finish Productions. It was released in July 2008.
“Look into the light and try to deny what you see... I dare you.”
As Maggie Evans leaves the Windcliff Institute, she begins to build a new life for herself away from the Collins family. But when an enigmatic stranger arrives in town, searching for phantoms, Maggie finds herself plunged into a world of intrigue and danger. What is the Ghost Watcher’s secret, and what is the true cost of his gift to the people of Collinsport?
November 2nd, All Souls Day. Nathan Hawkins, better known as The Ghost Watcher, arrives in Collinsport by train.
Maggie Evans has just been released from Windcliff Sanitarium for the second time. Elizabeth Collins Stoddard informs Maggie that her services as David’s governess are no longer required. To ensure her silence about the Collins family Maggie is given the deeds to the Collinsport Inn, Elizabeth’s way of giving her former employee a new start in life.
From the moment Nathan enters the Collinsport Inn, Maggie observes from his appearance that Nathan is no ordinary man. He tells her he has come to Collinsport to find the ghosts; it’s his life’s work.
Upon his request Maggie shows Nathan some of the sights of the town. They end up at the Blue Whale. Inside Nathan immediately informs her that ten people died there, he can sense their auras, but none of them recent. Encountering Barnabas Collins, Nathan alludes to Barnabas’ vampiric nature and cautions Maggie not to trust Barnabas. Sensing the contempt, of the rest of the people present, towards Maggie, Nathan gives a speech about how he can see the ghosts and that he intends to make sure that they will too.
The next day at the Collinsport General Store, Mrs Haggardy lectures Maggie about Nathan’s behaviour. Back at the Inn, Carolyn Stoddard pays Maggie a visit and they discuss Nathan. Carolyn advises Maggie to be careful of this mysterious stranger. At the end of that day Nathan appears and asks Maggie to join him on a stroll. He takes her to Eagle Hill Cemetery, and informs her that they’re ghost hunting. After waiting a while they observe little glowing orbs dancing about and hear their laughter. Nathan believes that what they are seeing are the dreams of the dead. Maggie steps on a twig causing it to snap, the sound of which causes the lights to disappear. Maggie senses something cold on the back of her neck, something dangerous. As they walk back to the Inn, Nathan encourages to look deeper beyond the literal truth to the ecstatic truth, that a few simple words could change both of their lives forever.
The next morning the people of Collinsport wake to find a gift waiting for them on their doorsteps. Clear glass jars filled with swirling white energy, Maggie recognizes the jars from Nathan’s room. Each include a note reading:
- Dear Recipient, Please accept this humble gift with my sincere compliments. Inside is proof, proof of your fear but vindication of their hopes. It contains a spirit specially gathered with methods of my own devising. This is someone very dear to you whom I won’t say because you will of course know instantly. The question you face is not whether you believe this enough to accept it, but whether you have the courage to discount the possibility. Look into the light and try to deny what you see. I dare you. Or embrace your lost loved one and feel the joy that they bring. With my most sincere of wishes. Yours Nathan Hawkins – The Ghost Watcher.
Although initially skeptical, the townsfolk of Collinsport take the offerings into they’re homes and believe it to be their loved ones returned to them. Visiting the General Store, Maggie notices Mrs Haggardy’s jar proudly on display. Back at the Inn, she finds Nathan grinning from ear to ear. He gives Maggie one of the jars, that of her father, annoyed she throws it causing the container to smash. She instructs him to leave her alone.
A week passes and Maggie doesn’t see Nathan again. Whilst out walking she senses a flicker of something and hears a voice cautioning:
- The price must be paid.
Two days later Jim Harty is found wandering around the dock babbling out of his mind about dead hands clawing into his home, his jar having now disappeared. Authorities dismiss a second report as a prowler. The next morning Carolyn arrives at the Inn wanting to know if Nathan is still in residence and insinuates to Maggie that this is a vendetta on Maggie’s part for her recent dismissal from Collinwood. Another week passes and more mysterious reports come in.
Returning to Eagle Hill in the hope of finding Nathan, Maggie observes the glowing orbs again. However this time they look more distinct, shapes of people can be made out that look unnatural and demonic that howl in agony. A ragged billowing creature resembling an old woman leads Maggie to Widows Hill. It tells her that she is the first of the widow’s that jumped off the cliff, that Nathan has stolen things that must be reclaimed and that Maggie can save Nathan from himself.
Maggie goes to the General Store and steals Mrs Haggardy's jar that still contains one of the orbs. Once back at the Inn Maggie waits for the creatures to reclaim this orb. She senses them approaching with trepidation. At that moment Nathan bursts through the door causing Maggie to drop the jar smashing to the floor. They make their escape together dodging the tatted shapes of the spectres. Taking refuge in a wooden shack at the Collinsport docks, Maggie tells Nathan that she read his journal, and realizes that he is what the spectres are after, that he has been pretending to be the Nathan Hawkins of legend. The creatures can be heard outside scratching at the shack. Nathan realizes that he is a ghost without a name. He implores Maggie to name him so he can be set free. She names him Samuel after her father. He moves to join the spectral hoard, she tells him to know that he is remembered and that she loves him. A white pure light bathes them, Nathan dissolves away into the glow.
Maggie doesn’t know what she saw that night. The literal truth is that she saw some light, the ecstatic truth being that she saw something better, a better peaceful place. The next evening Maggie walks to Widows Hill and places flowers on the ground for the widow. She wonders if Nathan was ever real at all.
Background information and notes
- Included at the end of this release is a trailer for Clothes of Sand.
- Writer and producer Stuart Manning confirmed on his blog that in 1971 Quentin leaves Collinsport in mysterious circumstances; Maggie returns from Windcliff during the summer and is dismissed as David's governess; David Collins sent to boarding school; Nathan Hawkins arrives in November.