North York Moors goblins inspire Ryedale author Ian Johnson

Author Ian Johnson reads a passage from his new book The Witcher Keys to pupils at Malton School. Inset – the cover of the book

Author Ian Johnson reads a passage from his new book The Witcher Keys to pupils at Malton School. Inset – the cover of the book

First published in Books

A NOVEL inspired by goblins living on the North York Moors has been written by a Ryedale author.

Ian Johnson, who lives in Barton-le-Street, decided to write The Witcher Keys following a strange experience nine years ago.

A civil engineer, Ian was part of a construction team working in an isolated location on the moors.

He said: “We watched helplessly as a large house became gradually and inexplicably uninhabitable.

“With an unusually oppressive feeling inside and the entire roof charged with 60 volts of static electricity for weeks on end, anyone trying unsuccessfully to sleep there quickly suffered from acute headaches, nausea and depression.”

Ian said that after exhaustive tests using sensitive monitoring equipment detected nothing abnormal, consultant geomancers from Derbyshire discovered three ley lines crossing at a single point, directly below the property.

“This was a rare occurance in itself, but they also uncovered an even more curious and disturbing problem,” he said.

“A horde of highly- agitated elementals – small, goblin or imp-like creatures, in this particular case – were encamped in trees close by, furious that the trickle of spring water supplying a drinking trough at their main meeting place had been thoughtlessly diverted and determined to take their revenge.”

Ian said that in support of this startling revelation, there were other independent sightings, with grown men even coming to blows over them.

“Needless to say, the water supply was quickly restored and thankfully the appeased elementals dispersed soon afterwards, allowing the house to return to normal,” he said.

“I started my research soon afterwards, and the rest was a challenge but utterly fascinating.”

Ian said The Witcher Keys was set in Farndale and Rosedale and had taken five years of his spare time to write.

“It was always in the back of my mind to write a novel and the curious events on the moor really spurred me and gave me the inspiration,” he said.

“I have also always really loved the moors and this book is also a tribute to the landscape.”

The Witcher Keys is available from Hoppers in Malton and Amazon.

Ian will be signing copies at Waterstones in York on November 24.

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