A HORROR writer from Clacton whose books have been read across the world has published his latest scary novel after eerily “living” with it for the past 18-months.

John D. Ashton was born and raised in Wakefield but has lived in Clacton for the past three years, having relocated to the town in 2016 to live with his girlfriend.

His self-published debut Crystal Castle, which came out in 2017, flirted with fantasy elements, while last year’s Hunter, was a more supernatural, hide-behind-your-cushion thriller.

With each new story, John has gradually flirted with a creepier and darker tone and his latest spooky literature, entitled Highden Manor, is a full-on horror story.

It follows a paranormal investigator and former police officer as they try to establish the cause of several unexplained deaths and disappearances.

As they move deeper inside a mysterious manor, however, the pair start to realise the frightening dangers from both the dead and the living, which they will have to try and escape.

Mr Ashton said: “I had always wanted to see the definitive haunted house film, and as I was never going to get involved in the movie business, I decided the next best thing to do was to write it.

“My goal with Highden Manor was to create a horror story that covered pretty much all the bases and didn’t hold back, and I like to think I succeeded.

“Not all of the horrors are supernatural, which I think helps keep things somewhat grounded in reality. But that also highlights the fact that humans are very much the same as the monsters we fear are lurking in our bedroom closets.”

Mr Ashton started work on his terrifying paperback around the same time his second novel Hunter, which was distributed in numerous countries, was being readied for publication.

During the 18-month period in which the author worked on the book, he would fully immerse himself in the genre by visiting haunted locations for inspiration and reference points.

He said: “I have lived with this story and these characters for quite a while now, but I knew it was time cut the strings and let it travel the world.

“There are some elements which aren’t fully explained, leaving readers to use their own imaginations a little, but then surely that is part of the joy of reading.

“Hunter sold physical and digital copies in numerous countries and I am hopeful Highden Manor can emulate that.”

Highden Manor is available now from Amazon for £5.99.