Benjamin Halley was born on February 19, 1827, Jeremiah and Susan’s first and only child. Susan Halley died just a few days after Benjamin was born. His father was sympathetic. Jeremiah’s own mother, Rebecca, died when he was only one. And his own father, George Halley, was only three when his mother passed away. The Halley men were all only children raised by single fathers, and Benjamin was going to continue this trend.
As a young man Benjamin was shy and sensitive. But, like most of the Halleys, he was brilliant and driven. He attended Harvard and had his own businesses by the time he was 22. His father, Jeremiah, passed away when Benjamin was only 25, leaving his vast holdings and business to his only son.
It wasn’t just the huge Halley wealth that Benjamin inherited. He grew even more like his father.
He decided to try to heal the old wounds of the extended family and married Dorothy Bradford, treating the intelligent woman as an equal. He also brought in some of the Hawkins to work in his house. Everything seem to be going well.
But then tragedy struck.
In 1853 the first daughter in over 100 years of the existence of the Halley Branch was born to Dorothy. Months later the child, Elizabeth, Dorothy and Bernard Hawkins all died in an unexplained fire.
Over the next quarter of a century, Benjamin became more and more desperate. His fortune began to slip, his reputation with it. He remarried twice, the second time to a black Hawkins, Margret.
In 1873 Margret gave Benjamin the long awaited heir, but the mother and son passed away the next day.
Benjamin died in 1875, a broken man. His reputation destroyed, rumors flying, he was not mourned.
But his reputation grew even more evil after his death. Strange things seemed to happen in the Halley crypt of the Hawkins Mausoleum. A deep cold flowed from the crypt. Actually, the cold didn’t flow out, the crypt sucked the warmth, and everything else, in. Even people were drawn in by the cold void pulling at them.
Tales of a short, stocky man, very powerful in appearance, prowling the mausoleum at night emerged.
Was the spirit of Benjamin stalking his tomb?
Trevor had experienced the Halley crypt first hand as a child but could only remember the terror. Was it Benjamin down there? And did he have anything to do with the vision of a girl or woman on a slab covered only by a funeral shroud that Trevor couldn’t shake? (Author’s note – no matter the answers to those questions, the mystery goes far, far beyond Benjamin…)
An evil 300 years in the making. A trap set 150 years in the past.
The day should have been a normal “family day” at the Hawkins’ Mausoleum, but a premonition followed Trevor into the crypt. To make matters worse, he couldn’t shake his morning vision of a dead woman draped in a funeral-shroud.
After rescuing a girl trapped in the tomb, repressed memories forced him to reevaluate everything. Was his extended family a cult with roots going back to America’s colonial past? Was the evil Benjamin Halley still stalking his tomb after 150 years? Was there any truth to the Power described by the family’s patriarch, Miles Hawkins?
Trevor realized that he was being manipulated and drawn into a trap set in the 19th century, and feared that everyone around him had already been ensnared. Who could he trust? The members of his own family’s Branch, The Bradford’s, like his cousins Bill or Stan? Perhaps members of the Hawkins Branch, such as the beautiful but jaded Amelie? The one Branch he knew not to trust was the extinct Halley Branch.
But the Halley’s were the ones who were welcoming him with open, if dead, arms.
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