Base Spirits

Rated 4.80/5 based on 5 reviews
In 1605, a Yorkshire nobleman's murderous rampage leaves a family shattered. The killer suffers a tortuous execution as his house is forever tarnished by blood and possessed by anguished spirits.

On vacation, an unhappy modern couple unwittingly awaken a dark history. Clara is forced back in time to bear witness to the tragic saga, and Scott is overtaken by malevolent echoes.

Only one survives. More
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  • Category: Fiction » Horror » Ghost
  • Words: 76,270
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 9780987770332
About Ruth Barrett

Ruth Barrett was born in Pointe Claire, Quebec and grew up in Barrie, Ontario. She attended Trent University in Peterborough where she studied English Literature, and began her love affair with the United Kingdom during an exchange year at the University of Leeds. After earning her B.A., Ruth returned to England and studied Classical Drama at the prestigious London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA).

In her years pursuing an acting career in Toronto, Ruth performed onstage, in television and radio, and eventually specialized in voice-over work-- most notably as the voice of ‘Creakie’ (a domineering little blue monster!) in the Treehouse TV show, WEE 3.

Always a storyteller, Ruth honed her skills as a writer through further training at George Brown College, and the Humber School for Writers correspondence program under the enthusiastic mentorship of Booker Prize-winning author, Peter Carey. Ruth went on to publish several short stories in anthologies and literary journals, earning a few awards and a Toronto Arts Council grant along the way.

In her ‘day job,’ Ruth applies her background in both writing and television as a writer of descriptive narrative TV and film scripts for the visually impaired and blind. In April 2011, Ruth was tasked with co-narrating the royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton with the CBC and the Accessible Channel in a six-hour marathon of live improvised description.

These days, Ruth resides in the beautiful town of Stratford, Ontario-- home of the world-famous Stratford Shakespeare Festival.

Learn more about Ruth Barrett


Base Spirits Trailer
A spooky glimpse into the dark and terrifying tale of a murderous spirit and the hapless guests trapped inside Calverley Old Hall...

Reviews of Base Spirits by Ruth Barrett

Craig Williams reviewed on July 18, 2012

Ms. Barrett weaves a finely crafted tale of human darkness that combines well researched history with an unflinching gaze at abuse that we today often try to believe is a thing of the past. The historical portion of this tale could have come from the lurid headlines of today's newspapers.
The author has caught well the dark voices of madness in this ghost story. A real page turner.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
T.J. Reed reviewed on July 18, 2012

This book was amazing. Very well written and kept me turning the pages one after the other. The characters were very well built and made me feel like I was there in the story. Moving past how well it was written, the setting for the story was just creepy. It really made me feel like all the dread and misfortune that was going on in the story was something I had lived through. Amazing!!
(reviewed the day of purchase)
carolyn williams reviewed on July 17, 2012
(no rating)
This isn't a book to be read at night - so realistic, such a marvellously eerie setting and story - that it will keep you up and reading until the end! And then have you turning the lights on. Best to set aside a day and curl into a chair with a cup of tea and simply immerse yourself in this wonderful tale that twists and turns between reality and imagination. The author's love of Shakespearean times, her knowledge of history and her understanding of the human spirit resound in every word she writes. A superb read and a book I was very sorry to finish.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Yvonne Hertzberger reviewed on July 14, 2012

Ruth Barrett has crafted a tale that keeps the reader imprisoned within the pages well past bedtime. Her characters are fully developed and believable. She shows an in depth understanding of the position of women in both our modern and Jacobean societies. Her use of imagery and language will appeal to well rounded readers - easy enough not to make us keep a dictionary beside us but rich enough that we feel nourished.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
James Garcia Jr. reviewed on July 14, 2012

I had a very interesting reading experience with this book because for much of the experience, I found myself completely uncomfortable and disarmed. "Base Spirits" was written through the points of view of two very interesting women, both suffering through spousal abuse or at least domineering husbands. It was uncomfortable subject matter, and there were seemingly only a few really likable characters in the whole thing. Half way through, I found myself wanting to quit. Why didn't I? I kept going for two reasons: the potential of finding out what would happen and because Ruth Barrett is a brilliant author.

I was not very happy with Barrett there for a while, and I want to strongly caution you. The book begins with the execution of Calverley in 1605 for his terrible crimes against his family. We are told of how he had killed his children. Later, as Clara supernaturally relives those terrible events, we actually get to "see" him do it. In Horror Fiction, there are times when children have been murdered, but few authors actually show it to you. Barrett was very brave to take this step. As a parent, I didn't appreciate those horrible moments, but I got through them.

Barrett writes with beautiful prose and she nailed everything that was required of an author doing a period piece. That's what got me through the unsavory subject matter of abuse, as well as the murder of those beautiful children. When Clara and her husband were in present day, we were there with them. It was present day; anyone could pull that off! More importantly, however, when Clara began seeing through Lady Calverley's eyes, Barrett was able to fully transport us there, too. She nailed the culture, the dress, the language, the pacing, the lifestyles - everything! I found myself thoroughly impressed with Barrett here, and am convinced that no one but a master could have pulled that off.

Ultimately, that is why I will be back for Barrett's future works.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Stephen Ayres reviewed on Nov. 16, 2011

By grounding Base Spirits in actual past events, Ruth Barrett lends her story a credibility which permeates through the centuries and into the modern day telling of an already troubled relationships’ final days. It’s this mix of fact and fiction which Barrett expertly intertwines to create an imaginative, engaging story. The reader is compelled to not simply observe from afar, but to take this terrifying, supernatural journey along with Clara Ravenscroft and Scott Atkinson – the married couple at the centre of the story - as they unwittingly explore the darkest depths of the human condition.

Her obvious love and understanding of Shakespearean times adds yet another layer of authenticity to Barrett’s narrative, transporting the reader from the opening passages and holding us in her grasp through the centuries and back again. Like the historical events which reverberate so horrifically into the lives of Clara and Scott, Base Spirits stays with the reader long after the final pages are consumed and the bedside light extinguished, lingering in the dark, just on the edge of our senses. Base Spirits is an excellent read and achievement, marking a highly promising start to this exciting new authors’ arrival on the literary landscape.
(reviewed 80 days after purchase)

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