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Eleven forty-seven. Already the train was slowing into Exeter station and my options were dwindling to a big fat nothing. As the platform approached, I wondered for the millionth time if I’d made a huge mistake in coming here. Uncle Jack hadn’t sounded exactly welcoming on the phone. But I’d been so determined to get away from Mum and Paul the four-eyed pillock that I hadn’t let it worry me. Now was another matter. I hoped I’d imagined the coldness in his voice when I’d said I needed somewhere to stay. Forget butterflies in my stomach – they’d turned into giant carnivorous moths.

About the book

The Skull in the Wood is the exciting debut novel from SCBWI Undiscovered Voices Competition 2012 winner Sandra Greaves.

In Old Scratch Wood on Dartmoor, quarrelling cousins Matt and Tilda find a buried skull. And from that moment black things begin to happen. Birds and animals turn bad, and there are rumours of the return of an ancient curse known as the gabbleratchet. But what can Matt and Tilda do to stop it …?

This chilling, nail-biting ghost story, set in the wild landscape of Dartmoor, thrillingly blends the supernatural with contemporary children’s voices.

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Press reviews

“Deliciously spooky...”


“Sandra Greaves builds the tension masterfully...”


“Readers of a nervous disposition could find it terrifying at points – but the suspense is worth it ... there’s an underlying psychology I found quite powerful.”


Author notes

'I had this image of a bird skull in my head and it wouldn’t go away – what if it was buried on Dartmoor, waiting to be found? It probably helped that our house is full of strange skulls. And antlers. And one or two ancient stuffed birds in glass cases, with weird black eyes …'


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