Locals believe that Whernside Manor, in Dent, North Yorkshire, is haunted. Supposedly there are iron rings in the cellar where slaves were shackled. It is a historical fact that Edmund Sill, a local landowner and wealthy man from the mid-1700s dealt with slaves, and his brother John used them on his sugar plantation in Jamaica. It is also historical fact that in the 1980s, Whernside Manor was the National Caving and Fell Centre.
Enter Joe, Martin, Todd and Troy. Recent friends, twenty-something, they liked caving and following other adventurous pursuits. Their first visit to North Yorkshire goes wrong from the very start. Approaching the Manor in Joe’s Range Rover, they have an accident. Standing in the middle of the road is a black youth. An accident is unavoidable – except they can’t find the body.
What happens after that, follows tortuous paths through the jealousy, revenge and adventurous pursuits of the four lads. Read about their exploits underground as they explore the caverns of Yorkshire. Follow them as they meet Juba, a ghost who decides to assist Joe whenever he gets into difficulty.
And what of Nora, the busty barmaid at The Sun, who warns the boys of a cave called Ibbeth’s Peril?
Black Tom and his younger brother Juba are tricked into becoming slaves. Their sacred mission to deliver the Obeah of their gods to their fellow tribes-people in Jamaica is thwarted. Ibby, the cook at Edmund Sill’s Whitehouse Estate tries to help them. But an epidemic of smallpox sweeps the dale.
Will Juba’s condition be found out by the nosey Mary Tattlethwaite? Will Edmund’s mysterious secret parties be exposed for what they really are? What of the influence of the Sidesmen in the Dale? And how will Ibby react to being called a witch by them? Will she survive the witches’ trial?
What has Halley’s Comet to do with the story?