So this year’s theme is “mysteries” in honor of Agatha Christie’s novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles turning 100 years old. To really have this theme be present I decided to review a mystery every month…somehow and ideally connecting it to Jane Austen.
Mystery, you say?
In January, I wasn’t sure what to do when I received a goblin in my mailbox.
It turned out to be a a mysterious package from The Mysterious Package Company.
So the first package seemed to be saying that there is something wrong with 27 East Heath Road. The architect, Henry Griggs, had been going crazy trying to finish building the house, after his wife died-using all his money. He even felt as if something was there making him continue, something altering his plans, something controlling him. The house was almost complete, but Griggs has descended into some kind of madness. He ends up putting his daughter in an orphanage and Griggs disappears, presumed dead.
Then in the second package, the house is sold to Dr. Elliot, a physician who likes to experiment on himself with his tinctures.
He has a strange patient, Beth Siggers (could it be ElizaBeth Griggs?) who acts off in his home. He also starts seeing something in his mirror. He died from overdose…or murder?
Then the house was bought by magician’s assistant, Héléne Ashworth and her magician husband The Great Goodyear, Claude Goodyear. They found out about it from her friend, Lilibeth. Helene loves the house, espechially the conservatory as she can grow all her plants. But then strange things happen-other plants are being planted, she starts having trouble remembering, she feels a presence in the house, and she thinks she sees something. She starts searching and dies of fright…or was she murdered?
So now for the third package.
This didn’t come with too many things:
- A wooden box that says Elise Face Cosmetiques (the company Héléne Ashworth ordered her stage makeup from)
- A demon mask
- An article “Haunted Hampstead Heath House of Horror!” from Grime News
- A letter from Elizabeth Griggs
- A “bloody” hatpin
- Three photographs
- The blueprints to Griggs’ Estate
So when I got this package the first thing I had to look at was what was in the box-the big thing under the letter and photographs. It was this big, creepy, demon mask thing.
Since then I have put it back in its box as I have no clue what to do with it. It is teriffying.
Like 1/4 of me wanted to put it on, but the other 3/4 was terrified that if I did my face would change like in that one Twilight Zone episode, “The Masks”.
So creepy. Put it back in the box!
The letter is from Elizabeth Griggs written to her dead father July 29, 1897
Elizabeth Griggs has finally come into her inheritance and has purchased the one thing she has always wanted, the Griggs Estate. It turns out my suspicions were right! She admits that she created these other personas-Beth Spriggs, Lilibet, the “psychic” Mrs. Alizbeta Divak to protect herself. Now Elizabeth is finally herself and has her home.
Elizabeth shares that she was the one who saw the goblin first and received a letter from it, but her father figured out the clues to decoding it. (So the thing must have already been there-the thing that possessed her father.)
Elizabeth loves being in the house although there were a ton of changes made to it after she was sent to the orphanage and she enjoys every minute of rediscovering “her old friend”.
The newspaper is an article about another murder in the Griggs estate. It was published September 13, 1987.
Last month London was scandalized by two mysterious and bloody deaths, Miss Elizabeth Griggs (24) was putting on her evening dress when a hideous man in a devilish mask and tattered nightshirt came crashing through the mirror.
Elizabeth had been in the middle of setting her hat and instinctively took the hatpin (that’s where the hatpin comes from!!!) and stabbed him in the throat, but even though she attacked him his body falling forward caused her to crash into the fireplace mantle and she died.
As Henry Griggs lay dying he croaked out “Lizzy! It is you!” (So I Was right, he was hiding in the house all along.)
But even though the two are dead and gone there are still some strange noises, banging, ghastly cries, etc. (It lives!)
The blueprints are fascinating as the estate is huge with all kinds of secret hatches and passageways, and the secret language I need to decode.
The first photograph is of a man in the mask I now own-Henry Griggs. With more secret writing on the back.
Hmm…what does it say?
The second is of a man dead in a car-the doctor, Dr Elliot! On the back it says:
“His last dose
Friday, February, 12 1892”
The third photograph is of a woman on the bed and a figure in the mirror. But if Griggs is taking the photograph-who’s in the mirror?
On the back it says:
She’ll snoop no more
Monday, January 18, 1897″
It’s Héléne, oh poor Héléne.
Okay, so at this point it is time to decode these messages. I must know the truth!
Mystery, you say?
I just spent three hours decoding this when I realize I did’t read all of Elizabeth’s letter. She has the decoder on the back! Ugh.
I feel so dumb-no I feel like Julie when she didn’t read all the instructions in Jumanji.
Well at least I feel like an awesome decoder person.
So I put the quote of what came before the secret message, and then under in bold the decoded message.
“This property was transferred to City Bank, Threadneedle Street, Corner of Finch Lane to be liquidated forthwith.”
YOU CANNOT TAKE ONE AND NOT THE OTHER
NO. 324 Surname: Griggs Christian Name: Elizabeth Age: 7
School Attendance: Yes
Pecuniary Circumstances: Inheritance £250 donated as Fees
Date of Admittance: May 1881 Remarks: Trunk, Impertinent
SHE IS SAFE NOW IT CANNOT GET HER
Photograph of Elizabeth and her Father
“Last Day Together”
LAST DAY FOR THIS FACE (That must be referring to Mr. Griggs as he must have started wearing the mask after this.)
Deed of Land
“Received in full satisfaction by John W. Peterborough, City Bank Partner from Dr. W. Elliot Fifth day of November in the year of our Lord 1888 does give, grant, bargain, sell, and confirm the property of house, gardens, and environs of the entity of Lot 27 East Heath Road, Hampstead Heath, London, United Kingdom—unto the said Dr. Elliot.”
MY HOUSE, NONE OTHER WILL KEEP IT LONG (Uh, oh-that is not good.)
Baldwin’s Physician’s Guide
Extreme Desespoir Eufferfte Verzweifftung
HAVE I SEEN THIS FACE IN THE MIRROR?
The Chimes by Charles Dickens
“Monsters uncouth and wild, arise in premature, imperfect resurrection; the several parts and shapes of different things are joined and mixed by chance..”
“Haunt and hunt him…”
“Bleak his slumbers…”
this WITH Goblin sight…”
“…saw these creatures, not only among sleeping men but waking also…”
I SEE MYSELF EVERYWHERE
Dr. Elliot’s Tincture
You’ve got the right bottle, Doctor.
SWITCHED THEM (Oh, no! That’s how the doctor died!)
Are You Sure?
Elise Cosmetiques Label
You think to hide yourself from me?
THEIR LAST PERFORMANCE WILL BE MY GREATEST WORK (He must be talking about when he storms in their psychic reading and scares everyone.)
Griggs’ Estate Blueprints
There are a huge message and then a bunch of little ones. The big message:
THIS HOUSE TOOK MY WIFE, IT TOOK MY DAUGHTER, IT ENTRAPPED MY SOUL. WILL IT EVER LET ME REST?
Now to start with the rooms
PLUCK THEM OUT. POISON
THEY ENCROACH LIKE WEEDS
I AM WATCHING
MINE MINE MINE MINE MINE MINE MINE MINE MINE
Secret Room in Library
WHO IS THE ARCHITECT OF THIS MADNESS
IN THE WALLS, UNDER THE FLOOR, IN THE BETWEEN, BETWEEN THE SOUL AND THE STAIRCASE
THEY MUST NEVER FIND
Another Secret Room
DRIVE THEM OUT
The photograph of Henry Griggs
WHY DO THEY COME
You must act, again
I’VE WATCHED THEM ALL COME AND MADE THEM ALL GO
You have done well.
AM I A GHOST
Only you know what you are
I HAVE MADE MY OWN FACE
You are what you have become
AM I DANGEROUS
Dangerous? Oh Yes
I AM GRIGGS THE GRINNING GOBLIN THE LOATHSOME FIEND THE GRUESOME PHANTOM YOU AND I ARE ONE
THE ONE WHO COMES AND GOES IS IT MY DAUGHTER
She is the last
IF HER FACE LIES SHE WILL DIE LIKE THE REST
One way or the other, I will be free
And it is time to bring out the Demon mask again, *shudders*.
THEY SEE ME THROUGH YOU
If I was a Winchester I know what I would do with all this stuff:
Salt and burn it
But I on the hand will keep everything, because they are cool. Except for the demon mask, I need to find a new home for it.
For more from The Mysterious Package Company, go to An Insane Doctor, A Hysterical Herbalist, and Murder in a Magician’s Mansion + A Possible Persuasion Reference?
For more mysteries, go to Catherine Morland’s Reading List: House of Salt and Sorrows
For more haunted houses, go to They’re Coming for Me Now…And Then They’ll Come for You: House on Haunted Hill (1959)