“There was only one man—we’re a bit stretched, as you know,” said Cartwright. “The lighthouse keeper looked in on him every few days. Then, one day, the young man disappeared. When the keeper next returned, he looked high and low for him. He reported that the place was like the Marie Celeste—cup of tea half-empty on the galley table, some toast half-eaten. It looked as if the man had simply vanished.”Here is a tiny book (c. 5,000 words) from Midnight Press containing a ghost story. Ken Mackenzie has taken the classic setting of the spooky old lighthouse (off the Scottish coast, in this case), and set his tale during World War 2. This is interesting, as it had never occurred to me that during wartime lighthouses went dark - indeed, one priority was to stop German agents (or commandos) lighting them up. They would have been invaluable to bombers and of course any potential invaders.
Thus the keepers of this particular lighthouse have simply to sit tight, keep a lookout, and report anything unusual. It soon becomes clear that a lot of unusual things are happening - but not as a result of enemy action. A new recruit with a shady background arrives, and his behaviour soon causes concern to the incumbent, Reynolds. As the story unfolds the newcomer becomes more erratic, until eventually the authorities intervene. Then all is revealed, in a nice twist that nods to several classic ghostly tales.
If you like old-school supernatural fiction redolent of stormy seas and lonely isles, this is for you. 'The Keepers of the Lighthouse' is available for Kindle here.