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The Curse of Ravenscourt

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The Curse of Ravenscourt is a Historical Character Mystery that is part of Samantha's books.

Characters

From the Central Series

Introduced

Chapter By Chapter Summary

Chapter One: Fear at First Sight

The book opens with Samantha and Nellie looking in their house for Jenny, and it is explained that the family is going to stay in a hotel while their house is renovated. Samantha and Nellie find Jenny, who seems scared to leave the house, and Nellie seems nervous too, to be staying at Ravenscourt Hotel, but Samantha thinks it has something to do with how the girls have just settled into their new life. As it turns out, they have good reason to be nervous. When they arrive at Ravenscourt, Nellie seems visibly shaken. When Samantha asks her what's wrong, she points darkly to the stone raven on the building and says, "I've seen ravens like that before. They always bring bad luck."

Chapter Two: Above the Trees

Chapter Three: Cursed

Chapter Four: A Warning

Chapter Five: Sudden Departure

Chapter Six: A Dangerous Journey

Chapter Seven: Clues From the Past

Chapter Eight: A Familiar Face

Chapter Nine: Crash

Chapter Ten: A Midnight Visit

Chapter Eleven: Footsteps

Chapter Twelve: The Raven Flies

Chapter Thirteen: Detective Work

Chapter Fourteen: A Surprise Announcement

Looking Back

Discusses people's views on spiritualism and fears of technological advances in the turn of the century. Topics include:

  • Fascination with mysteries and the supernatural
  • Popular mysteries people might have read, such as the Sherlock Holmes novels
  • How dishonest people took advantage of people's beliefs with the supernatural
  • Kate and Maggie Fox, who played an important role in the spiritualism movement and popularized seances
  • How ghost shows were performed, using a combination of actors and trick lighting -- these were usually performed by actors who wanted to show the audience how they were being taken advantage by fraudsters preying on their fears or beliefs
  • How elevators were seen as a public anxiety and used only for freight, even with the invention of the safety elevator by Samantha's time
  • The development of taller buildings and skyscrapers, with the advent of the safety elevator -- in newer buildings with elevators, upper story apartments commanded a high premium due to the dramatic views of the city and distance from ground-level street noise
  • How property owners dealt with the number 13 in taller buildings -- some owners played around with the numbering system such as labeling the first floor "Ground" and the second floor "First", other owners simply omitted the number 13 altogether

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