These fact or fiction pages are for anyone who wishes to delve deeper into the Harker Chronicles and discover the truths surrounding these popular works of fiction. They are best enjoyed once you’ve read the books but if you can’t help yourself then dive in. But don’t worry, there are no plot spoilers contained within, just some interesting truths that might come as a surprise. Enjoy.
New Fact or fiction will be coming, especially for my new book ‘The Last Judgement’, so keep an eye on my Facebook/Twitter feed for updates.
FACT or FICTION?
The three secrets of Fatima are real.
(TRUE) In 1917 three Portuguese child shepherds had a number of apparitions of the Virgin Mary whilst tending to their herd. One of the children, Lucia de Jesus Rosa dos Santos, was so affected by the event that she later became a Portuguese Catholic Carmelite nun, becoming known as Lucia of Fatima. These visions included a vision of hell and its lake of fire. The prophetic warning of the Second World War. And the shooting of Pope John Paul II (although this last reveal has always been up for much debate). These ‘Three Secrets of Fatima’, as they became known, were shrouded in secrecy by the Catholic Church for many years because of their supposed consequences and were kept hidden from the public for decades. As to why they were hidden is still a mystery to this day.
Blackwater insane asylum is a real asylum for the criminally insane.
(FALSE). That said it must be highlighted that this menacingly sinister facility, hidden away from society amongst the Yorkshire hills, was based on a couple of very real facilities located around the United Kingdom. The most well-known of these is Broadmoor Hospital which housed a number of notably infamous patients including Kenneth Erskine aka the Stockwell Strangler, Gangland boss Ronnie Kray and Peter Sutcliffe better known as the Yorkshire Ripper. Blackwater may be from the imaginations of author R.D.Shah but the individuals housed within its walls have as black a souls as any of the real life twisted killers and serial rapists who inhabit the darkest recesses of human nature… if they have souls that is.
The Skoptsy really existed.
(TRUE) The Skoptsy were a quasi-Christiane sect that received much condemnation from the Russian Orthodox Church. The bizarre cult emerged in the late 18th century and reached the height of its popularity and power by the early part of the 20th century. Given their belief that the immaculate conception of Jesus Christ was in itself a doctrine to be followed the Skoptsy took to banning any and all sexual activity and both castration and breast removal (amongst other painful practices) was commonplace. Given the lack of children or new blood to fill its ranks the sect instead took to recruitment and remarkably, at its height, it had amassed over 100,00 believers. The group was so despised by both the Church and the Russian state that its members were persecuted mercilessly and as such it’s not surprising that the numerous followers began to fade away from public life.
Where did they go?
Nobody knows for sure. What we do know is that under the oppressive machine that was the Soviet Union their way of life had completely disappeared by the mid-20th century… or perhaps the Skoptsy found another way to survive and thrive away from its oppressors.