The Priest, the Witch & the Poltergeist

Book Cover


19th Century

Barbara Wade Rose

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In 1850 a priest in a rural French village blames a male witch for the poltergeist haunting his parsonage. Half-crazed by noise, the priest beats the witch terribly, but he survives and sues the priest for assault. The only known trial in history with a witch as plaintiff follows. A true story.



Short Summary

Father Lariat has jailed his coven leader for naturopathy, so outsider Felix Thorel frightens the priest's two parsonage students with a 'hex' of strange words and electrostatic charges. The priest forces Thorel to apologize to the boys. Soon horrible noises erupt inside the parsonage walls.

Witnesses at trial (from true accounts) describe the poltergeist and how Thorel boasted of his power over the priest Jean Lariat. Lariat is found not guilty. Thorel escapes for Paris. Lariat's students are taken from the parsonage and that day, the poltergeist noises stop.


Story and trial: Normandy, 1850 and 1851. Prologue and epilogue: Paris, 1870.

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Overcoming Monster/Villain,Rebellion Against 'The One',Other,Internal Journey/Rebirth

Plot - Other Elements

Philosophical Questions,Twist,Meaningful Message

Mature Audience Themes

Information not completed

Main Character Details

Name: Thorel Felix

Age: 35

Gender: Male

Role: Antagonist

Key Traits: Underdog,Masculine,Uneducated,Romantic,Secretive,Lone Wolf,Unapologetic,Adventurous,Clumsy,Complex,Heroic,Blunt,Badass

Additional Character Details

Name: Father Jean Lariat

Age: 55

Gender: Male

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Crazy,Desperate,Religious,Educated,Insecure,Narcisstic,Power Hungry,Manipulative,Leader,Confident

Additional Character Details

Name: Eve Therigny

Age: 27

Gender: Female

Role: emotional

Key Traits: Aspiring,Badass,Criminal,Empathetic,Flexible,Underdog,Uneducated,Sexy,Selfless,Skillful,Outspoken,Romantic,Unapologetic

Additional Character Details

Name: Robert de Saint Victor

Age: 38

Gender: Male

Role: logical

Key Traits: Confident,Decisive,Gracious,Educated,Honorable,Leader,Masculine,Skillful,Visionary,Sophisticated

Development Pitch

The Return of Martin Guerre meets The Haunting of Hill House. The Priest, the Witch & the Poltergeist is unbelievable but true: an epic battle between opposites set against the backdrop of a poltergeist (historically the loudest on record) and the building of the French railway. For the audiobook the poltergeist roars the ever-growing, invasive noises of technology from then until modern times. A lonely mysterious male witch has the guts to take on the village's most revered leader after being beaten nearly to death. A young woman who works for the local scientist-seigneur discovers the dying witch near his cottage and, in nursing him back to health, falls in love with him and takes up his cause. A self-important priest regretting he was not chosen to work in Paris goes mad from noises that tear his household apart: one boy seems to become disturbed and the other joins the village gang. (This is not, by the way, a priest-abuse story.) The priest tries an exorcism. A Parisian marquis tries a seance. A dubious scientist-seigneur experiments and wonders about the paranormal. The priest becomes increasingly unhinged from the noise until beating the witch makes sense to him. There are great twists to the story: upon orders of the marquis the village men nail the walls of the parsonage to kill the poltergeist; the witch's legal revolt against the priest (the most modern of hexes), and finally, the disappearance of the poltergeist upon the boys' departure.

About The Author

Barbara Wade Rose is an award-winning journalist and the author of one biography, two novels based on true stories and one middle-grade children's novel.

Target Audiences

Age: 35,18-34,55+,35-54

Target Gender: Male,Universal

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: with a Publisher

Publisher: Booktrack PLC.

Year Published: 2012

Hard Copy Available