All’s quiet at the Playhouse for the moment; quiet … but by no means still. What dreams (or nightmares) stand at the threshold, ready to be received?
From the society pages of The Hallowyck Chronicle:
‘So it would seem that the house on Mourning Point is no longer abandoned – with the rumored return of Mrs. Tansy Undercrypt and Mrs. Arabella Dreadpenny, the former Redde-Chapel sisters, late last week after a number of years abroad. Personal calls to the house by day went unanswered, but many in Hallowyck report seeing lamps lit at the mansion after dark and the occasional strain of music and faint laughter drifting downhill toward the town. Calling cards left in welcome at the address have received very formal and gracious notes of thanks from Mrs. Undercrypt, written with care on exquisite French vellum.
Mourning Point House – frequently called Mourning Playhouse because of its ornate, fanciful architecture reminiscent of a doll’s house – was the scene of a grisly tragedy for the sisters as children. Their father, the well-known Dr. Dorian Redde-Chapel, fell into a prolonged fit of hysteria brought about by a mysterious brain fever. Mad with hallucinations, Dr. Redde-Chapel savagely murdered his wife, Eugenia, and his two young sons, Halsom and Theodor, with a kindling axe from the fireplace. Alerted by neighbors who heard the screams of Eugenia, the police apprehended the raving doctor before his daughters met the same horrible end. Dorian Redde-Chapel was heard to shout something about his girls “lurking in the shadows” and “disappearing into the walls” as they led him away. Shortly after his incarceration, Dr. Redde-Chapel hung himself with one of his calf garters in his cell.
Tansy and Arabella were given to the care of their maternal aunt, the late Mrs. Beatrice Perroult of Halifax.
Tragedy would touch the girls again in their married lives.
Tansy Redde-Chapel married noted composer and occult historian Mortimer Undercrypt of Darkenning Lodge at the age of eighteen. After thirteen blissful years of traveling at the side of her husband and assisting him in his vast research projects, Mr. Undercrypt vanished. Although the most recent rumors claim that Undercrypt has been spotted emerging from a hermitage in the forests of Romania, local magistrates maintain that Mortimer Undercrypt met some foul but inconclusive end nearly nine years ago and have awarded his wife a substantial widow’s pension from his holdings.
Arabella Redde-Chapel married Lord Duxon Dreadpenny of South Isle at the age of nineteen and settled in to the task of running his palatial estate at Greymere. As his second wife, Arabella did not receive the title of “Lady Dreadpenny”, but accepted the more conventional “Mrs. Dreadpenny”. After fifteen happy years of country life, Lord Dreadpenny did not return from his afternoon constitutional on a dreary day in March. Grey Lake was dredged, but no body was ever recovered from its depths or the surrounding forest. Eventually, Lord Duxon was legally declared deceased and Arabella inherited both his lands and his full assets.
Let us hope that the return of the Redde-Chapel sisters to Hallowyck is a happy one; with such losses behind them, surely the future of Mourning Playhouse will be as bright as the sun.’