I grew up a few kilometres away from Waikopua Creek in what is today known as Whitford, and consider the New Zealand bushlands and rural existence very evocative of Lovecraftian horror: beautiful, but also isolating and impenetrable. “The Woman In The Hill” takes place in the landscape of Whitford and Turanga, in a time when that isolation would have been much more pronounced than it is today. For the sake of accuracy, the original New Zealand language and spelling has been maintained in this letter.
The Woman in the Hill
by Tamsyn Muir
November 11, 1907
Elm Cottage, Turanga
Waikopua Creek, New Zealand
This is the last time I intend ever to write to you. Though you may take this letter as a freak or crank, I ask that you reconsider how likely it is that I would write such madness—that is, unless I knew it were the truth. In my need to convince you I will lay out the events using only fact—what I saw with my own eyes and have subsequently acted upon based on rational belief—and at the last, pray to God you believe me.
I know you heard the gossip and the insinuation surrounding my young friend Elizabeth W–. I will emphasise again her workaday nature and good common sense, not at all given to the morbid or fantastic, the model of a farmer’s wife. This concerns last April, when she had been recently married and had moved to the property opposite the old Broomfield slip. Regarding my silence on the scandal that surrounded her afterward, I may only defend myself by saying I thought it none of my business to relate. (Continue Reading…)