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The Call of the Sea is a case that creates very mixed emotions in my readers and listeners.
In very simple terms, this is a story of a tragic romance. A loss of innocence tale where two people are brought together and torn apart. The aspects of awkward teenage romance are likely to strike a cord for many. And the setting - the classic British seaside holiday - is also likely to resonate; I myself used to holiday in the same location.
But there’s a much darker way to view this story. Normally, when I introduce one of my cases, I ask my audience to consider whether what they’re hearing could possibly be true.
For this case, the more alarming thing to consider, is what might have occurred if this story isn’t true.
I’m not alone in having investigated this account – it has been investigated by the police too. There are those who believe a terrible crime has taken place. And they’re not wrong to consider that – blaming an incident on a ghost is never going to pass muster with the authorities. Or the family of a victim.
Having spent so much time talking to the subject, getting to know him, albeit for a short period, I find it hard to believe he would do something so terrible. Yet, to accept his story is true would mean accepting that powerful supernatural forces exist. That wouldn’t stand up in court. And it’s something I struggle to accept fully.
It makes it very difficult to know which side to come down upon. Some no doubt will say that the most obvious explanation is the most likely. But having spent so much time hearing and investigating similar accounts, I’m not so sure that everything can be so clear cut.