Living in a rat-infested warehouse, Jack ventures out into the London fog, where he is waylaid by Professor Stackpool, a phrenologist. Can he really read a person's character by examining their head? He claims Jack is a prime example! But at a public demonstration, he announces Jack is a typical London urchin, destined for a life of crime, and Jack revolts.
Benevolent Sir Lionel Petrie and his granddaughter, Olivia, are outraged. To prove Stackpool wrong, the kind judge gives Jack a job at his home. Olivia and Jack become great friends, but something sinister is going on—and Olivia is becoming gravely ill over and over again.
Someone is out to kill Jack, but who? And why? When tragedy suddenly strikes, Jack vows to save Olivia, and he is forced to enter the world of séances, ghosts, and ghouls. Will Jack live to bring Olivia back to her grandfather? Can they all survive the CURSE OF THE BODY SNATCHERS?
A creature screeched from somewhere inside the graveyard and I stopped and stood as still as I could. The hairs on the back of my neck prickled and I shivered, “Oh, God, please don’t let there be ghosts!”
I’m even more scared of ghouls than Danny was, which is saying a lot. All of us workhouse kids are scared of spirits. Those devils that were supposed to look after us saw to that. I reckon they thought it was part of our education. Especially that old villain, Ezra Keats, the workhouse master. He and his wife, the matron, were a couple of real bullies. He really liked to scare all of us kids, but especially the Moon boys, as they liked to call us.
My name is Jack Moon. Danny and I were orphans. Don’t know who our parents were. We never had a family life, you see. The St. George-the-Martyr Workhouse in Southwark was our home for most of our lives, apart from a spell in the Totfields House of Correction. I wouldn’t wish either of them on my worst enemy. That was why we ran away a year ago and lived on the streets, my little brother and me.
In fact, ‘brother’, was not strictly true, for we were not related by blood. Both of us had been foundlings, abandoned children taken into the care of the St. George-the-Martyr Parish on the same night. They told us there had been a full moon then, so that was the name they gave us both. Danny was about a couple of years younger than me, but they had kept us together, as they often did workhouse kids. We had slept in neighboring beds in the boys’ dormitory, ate beside one another in the refectory and sat together in the workhouse school. During work sessions we always worked together. We had been as close as brothers ever since, which was why I used to think of him as my little brother. I felt that I had to look out for him.
And then. Danny died. Before he did, he made me promise that I’d bury him near Kitty, the woman inmate at the workhouse who had been the nearest thing to a mother that either of us ever had. How could I refuse?