Ghosts of Winterborne, by Mark Gatiss

A BBV Productions Video, released Nov 1996


(The full moon floats amidst fluffy clouds as we recap The Devil of Winterborne over scenes of a man in 17th Century garb being hung.)
PURCELL [OC]: If he is to find the true path,
the subject must take in the blood of a young man in his eighteenth year, extinguishing said youth's life in a special or holy place.
CHRISTIAN: For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten son, that we might not perish, but have eternal life.
GREATOREX: Farewell.
CHRISTIAN: It's really quite simple, but I don't expect you'll understand. You see, I am Isaac Greatorex.


(A young man with spectacles finds a hanging body.)
ANDREW: Christian.


CHRISTIAN: I told them on the scaffold I'd come back, and I have. Accept it.
(Andrew screams.)

[Outside the school]

MAX: All right, Andrew?
ANDREW: Oh, hiya, Max.
MAX: You okay? I heard about
ANDREW: No, I'm all right. I'm just a bit nervous about coming back.
MAX: You'll be all right. Tell us about it, when you feel like it. Have you seen the new Head?
MAX: See you later.


CHRISTIAN [memory]: Greatorex's lot had science and alchemy all mixed up. They had all kinds of theories. There was a lot of talk of sacrifices.
ANDREW [memory]: Why kill Mrs Taploe? You killed Luke!
(Christian jumping off the fence to the motorway.)
CHRISTIAN [memory]: Accept it.
ANDREW: I can't.


PATRICIA: How many of them were involved?
LIZ: The entire force, as far I can tell. Two days wasted, Patsy. Work wasted chasing a poltergeist that was some bloody copper's joke.

[Minister's office]

PATRICIA: You mustn't take it so personally, Liz.
LIZ: How can I not? PROBE never gets the support it needs. Not from the police, not from the department, not from Rutherford when he was here, and now not from
LIZ: I know you do what you can, Patsy, but. Sorry, I'm just tired.
PATRICIA: Anyway, I have some news for you about the Winterborne case.
LIZ: Purcell?
PATRICIA: No, the boy. The nephew?
LIZ: Oh, Christian.
PATRICIA: They found his body.
LIZ: Where? When?
PATRICIA: Earlier today, at the bridge by the motorway.
LIZ: After so long? I don't believe it.

[Headmaster's office]

(The portrait of Greatorex has been taken down off the wall.)
MARGARET: Hello, Andrew.
ANDREW: Mrs Taploe?
MARGARET: No. Mrs Taploe was my twin sister. My name's Margaret Wyndham. I'm the new Head. Take a seat. Now look, Andrew, the important thing is to get you back on your feet. You've important exams looming.
ANDREW: I'm fine.
MARGARET: If you need more time, anything at all, you have only to ask.
ANDREW: I'm fine. Honestly. It was my decision to come back here. I thought it best to try and confront things.

(Liz finds a post-it note on the drivers window of her car.)


LIZ: Are you sure the book's been stolen?
LIBRARIAN: Quite sure. It's impossible for it to have been mislaid. We have a very efficient system here at the archive, Miss Shaw.
LIZ: Yes, so I see. Well, this is a particularly important piece of evidence. Greatorex's grimoire is a unique work. Any student of the occult would give their eye-teeth for it.
LIBRARIAN: I am aware of that fact. We were very fortunate to get it after the trial.
LIZ: Oh yes, your lottery bid. Well, if it does turn up, you'll get in touch with me at once.

[Liz's home]

PATRICIA: Who on Earth would want to steal it?
LIZ [OC]: Anyone with an interest in the occult. Greatorex was an infamous witch. The book was his grimoire.
PATRICIA: His what?
LIZ: His grimoire. Book of spells. It's meant to possess tremendous powers.
PATRICIA: So what's next?
LIZ: Gavin Alan Purcell. Made an appointment to see him early tomorrow morning.
LIZ: He is Christian's next of kin.


(Andrew can't sleep, and is seeing things.)
ANDREW: Why me?
CHRISTIAN: We could live forever.
ANDREW: I can't stand this.
CHRISTIAN: Please, Andrew. You know what you have to do.
CHRISTIAN: The blood of a young man in his eighteenth year.
ANDREW: You must be joking.
CHRISTIAN: You have to, Andrew. You were important to me.
(Andrew looks across at the boys in the other bunk.)
CHRISTIAN: Take your pick.
ANDREW: Oh, if you think I'm going to
CHRISTIAN: My time is almost up.
(Christian gives Andrew a screwdriver.)
CHRISTIAN: Accept it. Accept it.
(Andrew takes it.)

[Interview room]

PURCELL: What's happened?
LIZ: They've found Christian's body, by the bridge.
PURCELL: Thank you for telling me. At least they can't pin that on me. Well, Doctor Shaw, this is a pleasure. I don't get many visitors. There's something else, isn't there?
LIZ: Mister Purcell, Greatorex's book of spells, it's been stolen.
PURCELL: Stolen?
LIZ: From a private archive. It was sold to them after your trial.
LIZ: Mister Purcell, you know Greatorex's works. Should we be expecting something, anything more?
PURCELL: I told you everything I knew. The book is immaterial. Christian, Christian thought he was Isaac Greatorex, and it's my fault he believed in his delusion.
LIZ: But it does seem rather odd that Christian's body's been found and the book stolen both more or less at the same time. You're the only person who might know if this has any significance nor not.
PURCELL: I see. You need me because of my special knowledge. Sorry, my arcane wisdom. Is that better? I'm afraid I can't help you, Doctor Shaw.
LIZ: Can't?
PURCELL: There's nothing mystical about me. I'm just guilty.
LIZ: Mister Purcell, please.
PURCELL: I took these tides of Men into my hands and wrote my will across the sky in stars.
LIZ: T E Lawrence?
PURCELL: He was a man of destiny, Doctor Shaw. Read the book. I have. Lots of time on my hands.
(Purcell stands to leave. Liz's mobile phone rings.)
LIZ: Hello, Doctor Shaw.


(Chugging beers by candlelight.)
MAX: I'm serious. He was some kind of pervert.
IAN: The Headmaster? I thought it was devil worship.
MAX: No, that's just an excuse.
(They try a seance.)
MAX: Is there anybody there? It was his nephew Christian who was doing it all, though. He thought he was the reincarnation of Isaac Greatorex.
IAN: Shit. Did you know him?
MAX: No. He's been dead two hundred years.
IAN: The nephew, you twat.
MAX: Christian? Yeah. But this all happened when we were on holiday. Is there anybody there? Isaac Greatorex, are you there? Answer! Shut up.
IAN: Sorry.
MAX: Isaac Greatorex, where are you?
ANDREW: What's going on?
IAN: Nothing.
ANDREW: What you doing?
MAX: It's just a joke, Andrew.
ANDREW: It's not funny.

[Headmaster's office]

LIZ: Poor Andrew. You must have given him quite a shock.
MARGARET: Two peas in a pod, I fear. Though I like to think I don't take so much sartorial inspiration from Margaret Rutherford, as did my late sister. Please take a seat.
LIZ: You wanted to see me about Andrew. How is he?
MARGARET: Actually, he seems to be settling in quite nicely. I'm afraid I must admit to a bit of subterfuge, Doctor Shaw.
LIZ: Excuse me?
MARGARET: I've read the police reports on what happened here. My sister's murder. But I couldn't help but feel I wasn't getting all the facts. And the involvement of your Preternatural Research Bureau augured something of an entirely different order. Am I right?
(The picture of Greatorex is back on the wall. Liz looks at it.)
MARGARET: That shows him when he was only twenty five. Already quite infamous, I believe. I've been doing some homework. You see, I wanted to know the full circumstances surrounding Barbara's death. I er, I miss her very much, and I don't think I can really accept she's gone till I know what happened here at Winterborne.
LIZ: Is that why you applied for the headship?
MARGARET: Yes. They snapped me up. I think they see my getting the job as sort of keeping it in the family. And they're all for a bit of stability after recent events, so
LIZ: I wonder if I could have a word with Andrew? The body of Mister Purcell's nephew was found yesterday and I think he'd like to know.


LIZ: Well, I hope this'll make things easier for you now.
ANDREW: Well, it might stop the nightmares.
LIZ: I'm sorry.
ANDREW: It's all right. Thanks for letting me know. Oh, I'd like you to have this. It was Luke's.
(A cross on a chain.)

(Whilst smoking in his prison cell.)
PURCELL [OC]: If he is to find the true path, the subject must imbibe the blood of a young man in his eighteenth year, extinguishing said youth's life in a special or holy place.
(Purcell takes a small book from under his pillow.)
PURCELL [OC]: The blood once thus imbibed will allow a formation of the matrix favoured by the Dark Ones, and facilitating temporary resurrection. Resurrection.

[School entrance]

(Andrew bumps into Margaret, making him drop his newspaper.)
ANDREW: Sorry, Miss.
MARGARET: I wish I had time to read a newspaper at this time of day, Andrew.
(She picks it up. Daily Express, headline Devil Teacher Purcell Goes Free.)
MARGARET: Everything all right?
ANDREW: Fine, fine.
MARGARET: Off you go, then.
(She gives him his newspaper back.)


LIZ: Hi.
PATRICIA: We lost.
LIZ: What?
PATRICIA: The appeal. Purcell. They let him go free. Lack of evidence.
LIZ: Shit.
PATRICIA: Oh, don't worry. We'll keep him shadowed night and day, until he makes a mistake.


(Lying in the grass with the discarded newspaper.)
MAX: You didn't really believe it all, did you?
IAN: Leave it, Max. He doesn't want to talk about it.
MAX: Sorry, I'm just curious.
IAN: You're telling me. So how come they let him off?
MAX: They must think there's not enough evidence to keep him in prison.
ANDREW: It was up in the attic.
MAX: What?
ANDREW: Where Purcell and his friends did most of it.
MAX: Where you saw the ghost?
ANDREW: Yes. Well, no. I thought it was. Christian.
MAX: It was only mad Georgie knew what was going on.
IAN: Is that the looney gardener I keep hearing about?
MAX: Yeah. I've not seen him since we got back.
ANDREW: Whole thing's been a bit weird for him, I suppose. Just stays in his cottage most of the time.
CHRISTIAN [memory]: Take your pick.
IAN: What have you got this afternoon?
MAX: Free till last period.
ANDREW: I've got nothing on.
MAX: You dirty git.
IAN: I've got McCann for maths all afternoon.
CHRISTIAN [memory]: Please, Andrew, you know what you have to do.
ANDREW [memory]: What?
CHRISTIAN [memory]: The blood of a young man in his eighteenth year.
MAX: The attic.
IAN: You don't want to go up there, do you?
MAX: Don't worry if you're not up to it.
ANDREW: I'm fine. Why not?

(Liz brings flowers to the grave of Reuben Shaw, 1919-1993.)


(Pushing door 3 open, holding a candle.)
MAX: You were saying?
MAX: You okay?
ANDREW: Yeah, yeah. Just the thought of what went on in here.
MAX: What about Greatorex? Where does he fit into it all?
ANDREW: Oh, I could tell you some stories.
(Purcell returns to Winterborne School. Andrew takes the screwdriver out of his pocket.)
MAX: What's that?
ANDREW: It's called the dagger of Asmodea.
MAX: Whose is it?
ANDREW: Nobody's. Christian wanted to kill me with it. Kill a boy in his eighteenth year. He thought he could bring Greatorex back by killing me and drinking my blood.
MAX: What are you doing with it? Andrew? Now I'm scared.
ANDREW: Are you, Max? Why? What are you scared of?
MAX: Nothing. It's just this place.
ANDREW: Well, good. That's what you wanted, isn't it? That's why you came up here. Look, Max, a ghost!
(Andrew throws a small suitcase at Max and laughs.)
MAX: Don't be stupid! I'm going.
ANDREW: Just a minute. Don't you want to hear about Greatorex?
MAX: No, not any more.
ANDREW: It'll only take a minute.
MAX: I'm not interested.
ANDREW: Shut your mouth and listen for a minute! God, you make me mad. Greatorex said that he would come back, live forever, one way or another.
MAX: Can we go now?
ANDREW: You're so rude, Max. And stupid. I didn't even want to come up here, you did. It's not my fault.
MAX: What isn't?
(Andrew knocks Max out with a suitcase. The church bells disturb Liz at the graveside. Purcell walks into the Headmaster's office. Andrew sterilises the dagger over the candle flame. Max is bound and gagged.)
ANDREW: Don't. Don't, Max. You'll only make things difficult. Oh, I won't. I won't. I, I
CHRISTIAN: If he is to find the true path, the subject must imbibe
ANDREW: I know, I know.
CHRISTIAN: The subject must imbibe the blood of a young man in his eighteenth year.
ANDREW + CHRISTIAN: Extinguishing said youth's life in a special or holy place. (Liz shudders) And the blood once thus imbibed will allow creation of the matrix favourable to the Dark Ones.
ANDREW: And precipitating partial resurrection.
(Purcell sits at his desk and smiles, then turns Margaret's photos to the desk. Max cries out as Andrew stabs him. Liz screams as she is throttled by Luke's cross. She manages to rip it off and throw it to the ground. Purcell gets up from his chair and rushes out as Andrew laps at Max's blood. Christian licks the blood from Andrew's face. Purcell bursts in.)
PURCELL: Christian.
(He goes over the Max's body and picks up the dagger.)
PURCELL: Resurrection.
(Max's body is removed by men in white bunny suits. Liz shows her ID and is admitted under the police tape.)
POLICEMAN: Andrew James Powell as previously discussed, see Regina versus G A Purcell. Seen in the morning by the new Head, through the window. Andrew and Max's room mate Ian Burgess left them together yesterday lunchtime, and now Andrew
LIZ: Has just disappeared.
POLICEMAN: As I was saying, suspect later identified as Gavin Alan Purcell was found at the crime scene in a state of some distress. The deceased, Max Rosenberg, had been forcibly restrained and tied to the rafters. Death is said to have occurred somewhere between two and three

[Headmaster's office]

MARGARET: What the hell was Purcell trying to do?
LIZ: Succeed where Christian failed. Kill an eighteen year old boy and drink his blood. That's the theory.
MARGARET: But what about Andrew? What's he doing with him?
LIZ: I don't think we should assume Purcell's done anything with him, should we? You said you'd been doing some research?
MARGARET: Well, yes, I've made quite a few trips to our more esoteric libraries. One in particular. The book, the grimoire, it's absolutely vital to Greatorex.
LIZ: Why?
MARGARET: Greatorex is the book.
LIZ: What?
MARGARET: It's made from his skin.
LIZ: His skin?
MARGARET: Yes, it's all in the archives. I've got it all here. (reads) Witches of his standing, his calibre, would have had to have flayed themselves, or part of themselves anyway, built up their knowledge, their grimoire, page by page. Corporeal reconstitution will fail lest the original host be recovered.
LIZ: The original host?
MARGARET: Greatorex's own body. He has to get the book back, otherwise he's lost.
LIZ: Then we have to find the book before Greatorex. If he gets hold of it, he'll be here forever.
(Margaret puts the grimoire on the desk.)
LIZ: You.
MARGARET: Please forgive me. I've been a fool. I wanted to do it all on my own, you see, for Barbara. And now a boy is dead. Not much of an avenging angel, am I?


PATRICIA: It's out of the question, Liz.
LIZ: Why?
PATRICIA: At the risk of sounding like Inspector Burke, this ceased to be a PROBE case the moment that boy's body was found.
LIZ: On the contrary, Patsy. It became a PROBE case. Please, you can't keep me away from Purcell, not now.

[Interview room]

LIZ: What happened to the boy?
PURCELL: I didn't kill him.
LIZ: I know that. The police don't.
PURCELL: It was my home. You must understand that. That's why I went back there.
LIZ: Listen, do you want to spend the rest of your
PURCELL: No, you listen! What I told you before, I meant it. There was nothing for me in the Greatorex legends. You know, you know why I was involved. But it's all changed. I saw him.
LIZ: Who?
PURCELL: Christian. He was there, in the attic with Andrew.
LIZ: So where's Andrew now?
PURCELL: I don't know. He vanished. You must understand. It's different. I felt it. It's all true. Greatorex has come back. I felt it, there in the attic. He's inside Christian. You've no idea what it's like to find out it's all true. Christian is dead. Greatorex is using him, controlling him so he'd carry out the planned sacrifice.
LIZ: When that didn't work, he manipulated Andrew. He needed him to do the sacrifice.
PURCELL: Christian, Greatorex has been rejuvenated. It's too late. The resurrection is almost complete.
LIZ: He still needs the book.
PURCELL: Yes, but there's nothing you can do. He's hidden himself.
LIZ: But you know the rituals, Purcell. You can stop him.
PURCELL: No, I can't. Don't you see? He knows. He wanted me to be found with that boy's body.
LIZ: There is still time to stop him.
LIZ: Yes, there is.

[Minister's Office]

(Well, it does have the same wallpaper.)
PATRICIA: Ah, there you are. How goes it?
LIZ: Slowly. Patsy, thanks.
PATRICIA: What, for putting Purcell in your custody? Don't thank me too soon. If anything goes wrong.
LIZ: That's what I meant. Thanks for sticking your neck out.
(Liz lights her pipe.)
PATRICIA: Something's worrying you, isn't it?
LIZ: Mmm. We've got the book, and with Purcell's knowledge of the rituals we might be able to make Greatorex manifest himself, like drinking salt water to
PATRICIA: Make yourself sick. But?
LIZ: I hate to admit it, but, I'm scared.

(Purcell is returned to Winterborne under police escort. He goes inside with Liz and Margaret.)


LIZ: Let's get started.
PURCELL: Remember, you're safe within the star.
LIZ: Just get on with it.
(They light candles and Purcell reads from Greatorex's book.)
PURCELL: Hominorium, clairmial, hellon, taal, vath, han, eon stella geath. Hagler.
(They approach an altar in front of a lovely stone fireplace, standing inside a large five-pointed star chalked on the floor.)
PURCELL: Tetragrammatan. Casoli, madolan, vestrol, raso, taprosol.
(He gestures to the women to kneel, and goes around the altar.)
PURCELL: I adjure thee, Emperor Lucifer, as the ancient of the strong living God, of his Beloved Son and of the Holy Ghost, and by the power of the great Adonai, Elihim, Ariel, Jehovah, to appear instantly, forcing thee to forsake thy hiding place, wheresoever it might be.
(He lights two candles on the altar.)
PURCELL: And warning thee that if thou didst not manifest this moment, I will straightway smite thee and all thy race with the blasting rod of Adonai, Elihim, Ariel, Jehovah. Bring forth thy servant. Bring him to us. Give up his spirit, that we all might see. Come to us, Isaac Greatorex!  I summon thee by Asmodeus, by God, by Thoth, by
(Thuds in the ceiling above.)
PURCELL: Come to me, Greatorex! Come to me!
PURCELL: Christian?
CHRISTIAN: Give me the book.
(Purcell clutches it to his chest and shakes his head.)
CHRISTIAN: The book.
PURCELL: Come to me, Greatorex. Come to me!
CHRISTIAN: It's just a game, Gavin. Please, give me the book.
(Purcell is compelled to offer the book. Liz grabs him.)
LIZ: No, Purcell. It's not Christian.
(Purcell shrugs her off and steps forward. Andrew with his bloodied mouth moves out from behind Christian. Purcell falls to his knees and offers the book. As soon as Christian touches it, the room is flooded with a bright light. After a few moments it fades, and Purcell stands, holding the book. Andrew is lying nearby. Isaac Greatorex speaks through Purcell.)
GREATOREX: Thou summoned me.
LIZ: Oh, my God. Greatorex.
MARGARET: You killed my sister. You monster!
GREATOREX: Time does not permit this folly. What is one life compared to dominion over death itself. The world shall once more be my wine press, and I shall drain it dry. I am complete. I am complete.
(Andrew begins to stir. Purcell/Greatorex kisses the skin covering his book and closes his eyes in ecstasy. Liz takes her candle and creeps towards him. He opens his eyes just before she leaves the star.)
GREATOREX: You would do well to fear me, woman. The wrath of Greatorex will be something to be seen. I shall suck out thy life blood, consume thy soul raw.
(He stops as his foot nearly crosses into the star, and laughs. Andrew jumps on his back. Liz grabs the book. Greatorex enters the star so Liz throws it to Margaret as he collapses in front of the altar.)
MARGARET: Now, the book. The book, by Asmodeus, and by Thoth.
(She places the pages over a candle and they catch fire.)
MARGARET: By hominorium I cast thee out.
(Purcell curls up in pain.)
PURCELL: Help me. Help me!
(The candles all go out. Liz wakes first to see that Purcell has become an ancient corpse in his 20th century clothes. She and Margaret check on Andrew.)


(Sitting on the steps of a folly. A church bell sounds over the roar of nearby traffic.)
ANDREW: It is over now, isn't it?
LIZ: Mmm.
ANDREW: You positive?
LIZ: As much as we can be. It will get better. You won't always think of things so bleakly. These are meant to be the happiest days of your life, you know.
ANDREW: Well, I'll get these exams out of the way, anyway.
LIZ: So you'll stay here at Winterborne?
ANDREW: Better the devil you know.
(Liz lights her pipe, taps Andrew's arm, makes a shush gesture and hands it to him. He takes a drag and starts coughing. She retrieves her pipe.)

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