Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sherlock Holmes Meets Peretti/Dekker: No Ghosts Need Apply

     For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Ephesians 6:12

We all know that infamous line: “No ghosts need apply.” The Great Detective did not want to get mixed up with business potentially involving “vampires”. Since that line was published in 1924, however, there has been no end of stories forcing Holmes to deal with the paranormal. From battling Count Dracula to being half-fairy himself and defying the queen of fairies to going back in time to witness both the Crucifixion and the risen Christ, Sherlock Holmes, with his staunch heroism and vast intellect, has found himself a magnet for the supernatural.

Stories, both published and fanfiction, have made Holmes deal with ghosts, whether debunking their reality or being forced to admit it. But… what if the ghosts Holmes is hired to investigate… are not human, either living or dead? What if they were something much more powerful?

Recently, I was looking over an old Christmas present from my grandma: Haunted Castles of Britain and Ireland. Once, last summer, I had the vague idea to write a short story in which Holmes debunked the reality of ghosts in one of England’s documented haunted castles. This time, however, I had a bigger idea.

What if ghosts are real, but not actually the spirits of dead humans? What if they’re actually demons? What if they were causing people to die or go insane in the late 1890s in a particular area, and what if Holmes figured out the truth?

Well, you get something that’s a cross between Sherlock Holmes and the works of acclaimed Christian authors Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker, known for their tales of spiritual warfare.

It’s a wild idea, I know, but I have a page’s worth of story outline, including some fairly thought-out, mentally-constructed scenes. One such is a rather intense moment when Holmes, Watson, and Lestrade witness a man actually being possessed by a demon—need I say that even Holmes is left shaken? Anyway, it’s an idea that I really like, and it’s going on my list of future Sherlockian novels. Which reminds me: next time, I’ll have to draw up a list for you all, complete with storylines and a tentative schedule. This will include the novel ideas you’ve seen in various posts in the past as well as quite a few novel ideas you haven’t seen before. The length will probably shock you—for that matter, it’ll probably shock me!

     Watson glanced over his shoulder at Holmes, and smiled. Sherlock Holmes was now standing, head thrown back, arms flung wide as if to touch the sky.

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