The Marsters House
Shroud Hill. That's what the locals call it; the tall, skinny, shadowy hill that looms up above the village. It is one of the most feared locations in the entire area, many of the locals won't go anywhere near it. And, perched on the top of Shroud Hill, like a sharpened claw at the end on a crooked finger, sits the Marsters House, centerpiece of the Marsters estate.
Shroud Hill is ancient. It was there long before the first village, the first sign of civilization. Many rumors persist about the hill; the oldest one tells of a secret sect of powerful monks who broke away from their church to form their own dark congregation. It's said that they decided there was more power and glory to be had in worshipping demons than worshipping the lord, and so they gathered together deep inside of Shroud Hill, which was riddled with natural tunnels and caverns. They made the catacombs their worshipping grounds, and many say that evil, unspeakable rituals were performed inside the belly of Shroud Hill. The catacombs also became the burial place for the monks, whose bones would be added to the tunnel's walls after they died. These, along with the many bones of their sacrificial victims, were said the form gruesome bone-covered walls in many of the tunnels and caverns inside the hill, making it in essence one giant tomb. Hence the name the locals gave it- Shroud Hill.
The sect was said to live inside the hill for many, many years... growing more powerful and spreading their practices and their numbers as the years went by. Eventually, the village was settled down below. The edges of the town reached just to the shadow of Shroud Hill; fear and superstition prevented the townspeople from building anything on the hill, or even too close to it. Still, there were many unexplained disappearances, animal mutations, and rumors of black magic throughout the village's history.
In 1873, a tall, thin, and silent stranger appeared in the village; his name was Alexander Marsters, an he was extremely wealthy businessman. He was looking to purchase a large plot of land on which to begin construction of an estate for his future family. He was especially interested in Shroud Hill and the land that surrounded it. Many of the locals tried to dissuade him from the idea. Some thought he was crazy; others thought he had darker intentions in mind. Either way, Alexander was a man of iron will who always got what he wanted. The arrangements were made, and the work began on what would eventually become the Marsters House and grounds.
The construction of the house itself took 4 years, due to a series of accidents, disasters, injuries, and even deaths. Alexander was hard-pressed to find any local workers for the construction crews, despite offering good wages. He had to ship many of the workers in from other parishes, and even then, many of them left the job after only days on Shroud Hill. Some just disappeared overnight. Others left after claiming to see horrible, demonic things at the site. However, despite the problems and delays, Alexander steadfastly pressed on with the work on his estate, methodically demolishing every roadblock that arose in it's construction until it was complete in 1877. He then moved in with his young bride LilyAnne soon afterward, and their only child Drusilla was born in the house. The house itself was quite lovely; built in ornately detailed Victorian Gothic style, with meticulously elaborate gardens and even a greenhouse on the grounds. It should have been a grand home for a well-to-do family. Instead, it was home to mystery, sadness, and shadows. All the members of the Marsters died mysterious and gruesome deaths on Shroud Hill, and were buried there as well, in the family burial grounds behind the house. They weren't the only ones; a nanny, a coachman, and a construction worker also lost their lives there, as well as the countless victims of the evil sect whose bones were still rumored to be entombed in the catacombs below.
The Marsters House still stands with proud, dark elegance atop Shroud Hill, the locals still shun the area, and countless ghosts are said to haunt both hill and house to this very day.