Funayūrei – Avenging Ghosts of the Sea

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My latest novella – Dark Avenging Angel – is, as its title suggests, concerned with revenge. In this case, revenge of the most demonic kind. We’ve all heard the old adage, “Be careful what you wish for…” Jane learns the truth of this in graphic ways.

Avenging angels and demons abound in the traditions and folklore of people all over the world. From Japan comes the tradition of the Funayūrei.

These are vengeful ghosts of people who have died at sea in shipwrecks and are hellbent on ensuring they take others with them. They appear on board ships and fishing boats and, according to legend, they will often request a special type of ladle known as a hishaku. If their request is granted, the Funayūrei will turn the ladle over and water will start to pour into the boat until it sinks.

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In addition to appearing individually on board a vessel, there are, it appears, whole ghost ships full of them. They are more numerous at sea but there have been reports of them in rivers, inland swamp areas and lakes.

They are more often seen on rainy days and nights, or when there is either a new or a full moon. Stormy and foggy nights also seem to attract them. They don’t just sink boats either. They have been known to cause them to run aground or become wedged on a reef. They have also been known to cause a ship’s compass to malfunction, leading to tragedy and loss of life. In the past, in an attempt to avoid shipwrecks in bad weather, people would light a bonfire on land to warn sailors. But the Funayūrei are capable of lighting fires at sea, deceiving all who sail that day, or night.

They have been exorcised, appeased with offerings of incense, flowers and rice. Sometimes they go away, but not for long. Frequently they return, and each time they succeed in their mission, a new generation of Funayūrei is born.

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Now, to give you a taste of Dark Avenging Angel, here’s the blurb:

Don’t hurt Jane. You may live to regret it.

Bullied by her abusive father, Jane always felt different. Then the lonely child found a friend in a mysterious dark lady who offers her protection—a lady she calls her “angel”. But that protection carries a terrible price, one to be paid with the souls of those Jane chooses to suffer a hideous and eternal fate.

When Jane refuses to name another victim, the angel reveals her most terrifying side. Payment must be made in full—one way or the other.

And here’s a brief extract:

Something had woken me from a deep sleep troubled by my recurring nightmare in which I was in a wood, being chased by some unimaginable horror. I never saw its face, assuming it even had one. But I knew if I didn’t find sanctuary, it would kill me. I had just made it into the strange little house that always appeared in the clearing, when my eyes opened and I gasped at the white, smiling face looking down at me.

That night, my angel seemed different somehow.

Oh, she looked the same. Same black cloak, but this time it shimmered and I wanted to touch it. I was sure it would feel soft as velvet under my fingers.

She put her finger to her lips and stroked my hair. Her touch was like a gentle breeze in summertime. My eyes wanted to close, but I forced them to stay open.

I knew I mustn’t speak out loud, but I could still whisper. “I wish I knew your name. Who are you? Please will you tell me?”

She continued to smile. Her lips moved, but the answering voice I heard was again in my head. Do not be afraid, child. It is not yet time, but soon you will have the power to avenge yourself on those who have done you harm. Look for me in the shadows and I will be there, taking account.

I understood nothing of what she said. But, from somewhere, a calm I had never felt before emerged and wrapped itself around me.

I blinked in the darkness as she faded from sight.

Then I closed my eyes and slept. I never had that nightmare again after that night. But what if I’d known what was ahead for me?

Some things are better off left in the dark.

You can find Dark Avenging Angel here:

Samhain Publishing

Barnes and Noble 




About the author:

Following a varied career in sales, advertising and career guidance, Cat is now the full time author of a number of paranormal, ghostly and Gothic horror novels, novellas and short stories. She was the 2013 joint winner of the Samhain Gothic Horror Anthology Competition, with Linden Manor, which features in the anthology What Waits in the Shadows.  Her novels, The Pendle Curse and Saving Grace Devine are also published by Samhain. Her latest novella – Dark Avenging Angel – will be followed by her next novel – The Devil’s Serenade – in April 2016

You can connect with Cat here:

Catherine Cavendish





Thanks, Catherine for the great post and congratulations on your new release, Dark Avenging Angel!



  1. Shehanne Moore

    There’s something about the sea and ships and ghostly happenings anyway, but this was new to me and nicely spine tingling too x

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