“Taverel Manor” is a mysterious and chilling sequel to “Skull-Face” by Robert E. Howard. The story, left unfinished by Howard and later completed by Richard A. Lupoff, delves into the eerie occurrences at the titular manor following the unsettling disappearance of Sir Haldred Taverel, weaving a tale of sinister forces and dark secrets. Featuring Stephen Costigan (not Sailor Steve Costigan).

The story blends elements of horror, mystery, and supernatural to explore the dark legacy of a haunted estate and the fate of its troubled inheritors. The story weaves a complex tapestry of fear, betrayal, and hidden motives against the backdrop of a cursed lineage.


Chapter 1: Sir Haldred Taverel, recently ascended to affluence and the proprietorship of the ancient Taverel Manor on the northern coast, awakens from a nightmarish vision featuring a grotesque, yellow-faced figure. Struggling with a sense of deep unease compounded by the eerie ambiance of the manor and its sole servant, the mysterious and slightly familiar Lo Kung, Sir Haldred reflects on his abrupt inheritance of the manor following a relative’s death. The manor, reputed to be haunted, only intensifies his discomfort, particularly with Lo Kung’s odd behaviors and unsettling presence.

During a restless night, Sir Haldred thinks he sees a figure with a yellow face, differing from Lo Kung, and decides to investigate the manor. While exploring the dark corridors, he discovers the body of Lo Kung, gruesomely murdered. Sir Haldred is then confronted by an unseen, possibly non-human presence in the manor, leading to a nerve-wracking chase that culminates in his encounter with a horrific idol in a secluded part of the manor, which causes him to scream in terror, ending the chapter with his fate uncertain.

Chapter 2: The Haunted Manor This chapter introduces new characters discussing the strange happenings at Taverel Manor. A young woman, Marjory Harper, who was engaged to Sir Haldred, seeks help from John Gordon of the British Secret Service due to her desperation over Haldred’s mysterious disappearance. With Scotland Yard baffled and having abandoned the case, Gordon, alongside Stephen Costigan, decides to investigate, motivated by his long-standing friendship with the Harper family.

The narrative details the sinister history of the manor, which includes previous owners meeting unexplained and often fatal ends. The current occupant, Mr. Thomas Hammerby, appears under mysterious circumstances with a claim to the manor based on a financial deal with the absent and disreputable Joseph Taverel, a suspected murderer.


  • Sir Haldred Taverel: The main protagonist, a young nobleman recently come into wealth, troubled by supernatural occurrences at his new estate.
  • Lo Kung: The enigmatic servant at Taverel Manor, whose mysterious demeanor and sudden violent death add to the manor’s eerie atmosphere.
  • John Gordon: A British Secret Service agent drawn into the investigation of Sir Haldred’s disappearance due to his connections with Haldred’s fiancée.
  • Marjory Harper: Sir Haldred’s fiancée, deeply distressed by his disappearance and seeking help to uncover the truth.
  • Stephen Costigan: An associate of John Gordon, helping investigate the strange occurrences at the manor.
  • Mr. Thomas Hammerby: The current occupant of the manor, whose possession of the estate is based on a dubious financial arrangement with Joseph Taverel.
  • Joseph Taverel: A previous claimant to the estate, now a fugitive due to criminal activities, whose past actions continue to impact events at the manor.

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