Inheriting a castle came as a surprise for Christine. Admittedly, she’d known that her reclusive aunt lived in one, but she’d never expected to visit, let alone end up owning it. Still, as the last surviving member of her family, she’d inherited everything. Flying to England, she’d driven several hours out into the country to meet with her deceased aunt’s solicitor for the reading of the will. Afterward, she’d signed the paperwork transferring ownership of the castle, its grounds and accepted the keys. Then, after getting directions, Christine set out to see her new home.

The castle controlled a mountain pass on the Scottish border and dated back to the early fourteenth century’s Anglo-Scottish wars. Ominous and foreboding, the castle loomed over the landscape. Why on earth did my aunt live here? She had the family’s money, holdings in over twenty countries and still decided to live here, in this remote castle.

Stopping outside the main gate, Christine got out of her car and walked up to the gate. The sky was ominous, the sound of thunder and lightning growing steadily closer. After several false tries, she finally found the right key on the massive key ring to unlock the gate and drove her rental car into the courtyard just as it started to rain.

By the time Christine parked near the castle’s keep, the rain was coming down in torrents. Collecting her suitcase from the back seat, Christine ran toward the keep’s entrance, desperately hoping she’d find the right key before she was soaking wet. Christine tried over a dozen keys standing in the downpour before managing to unlock the heavy oak doors. Soaked to the skin, she finally dragged her suitcase inside, closing and locking the heavy doors behind her.

Following the solicitor’s directions, Christine found her way up to the second floor and her aunt’s study, a magnificent book-lined room that thankfully contained a large stone fireplace. Lighting the fireplace, Christine headed down the hall in search of one of the guest rooms for a hot shower and to change into some much-needed dry clothes.

Returning to the study, after a short side trip to the kitchens for a bottle of wine and a glass, Christine curled up in one of the overstuffed leather chairs by the fireplace with her glass of wine. The sound of the rain pelting the study’s windows as she contemplated her newfound wealth. Two weeks ago, she’d been a para-legal barely able to pay her rent, now a multi-millionaire living in a historic English castle.

Pausing to throw another log onto the fire, Christine refilled her wine glass and walked over to one of the nearby bookcases to look for something interesting to read. On the second shelf, she found an intriguing title, “The Dark History of Eagleview Castle.” A profoundly fascinating book since the author was her late aunt. Eagerly returning to her chair by the fireplace, she opened the book.

It was almost midnight when she finished the part of the book documenting the castle’s early years. It read like something out of a gothic horror novel. The first Lord of the castle was a sadistic monster who sent his men riding out in the Scottish countryside at night to abduct pretty peasant women for his dungeon, where he’d torture them to death for his amusement. Hundreds of women went to their gruesome deaths within his torture chamber before word of his activities finally reached London. Hearing this, the king ordered the castle Lord’s execution, with his corpse entombed in a hidden grave somewhere deep within the castle dungeons.

A cold shiver of masochistic delight passed through me at the thought of all those women dying in agony merely for the castle Lord’s sadistic entertainment. Overcome with curiosity. I decided to pay a late-night visit to the dungeons. Stopping at the kitchens, I rummaged around the pantry shelves until I found a candle and some matches, and lighting the candle, carried that massive keyring crossed the castle’s great room to where a short side corridor ended with a locked doorway that led to the dungeons below.

The curving steps leading down to the dungeon were steeper and went deep into the earth beneath the castle, utterly treacherous in high heels with a single candle for illumination. I was seriously thinking about turning back and returning in the morning with a flashlight and a pair of more sensible shoes when the candle’s weak flickering light revealed the floor at the bottom of the steps.

Walking through the dungeon’s open double doorway with its large wooden doors having rotted and collapsed into ruin ages ago. I felt disappointed with what I saw as I explored the chamber, dozens of barbaric instruments of cruel torture all unfortunately ravaged by the passage of time within the cool, damp confines of the dungeon. Standing there, next to what appeared to have once been a horrifyingly brutal medieval rack, I tried to imagine how utterly terrifying this place must have been back in its day.

Frustrated and vowing to return in the morning, I turned to go back upstairs, wondering what it would take to recreate all of the dungeon’s diabolic instruments of unspeakable torture and death. I’ll have to make some discrete inquires with the BDSM dungeon owners I’ve known in the Chicago area. Perhaps, someone there will be able to refer me to a knowledgeable, fiendishly creative provider.

After all, not every submissive, hard-core masochist gets to inherit a medieval castle, one with a perilously promising, authentic dungeon torture chamber.

Twelve months later, in the darkest depths of Eagleview Castle’s newly renovated dungeons...