Ghostly Inspiration

The comments I get most about my novel Gifted is that it’s scary, gives people goosebumps, and makes them wonder about the true existence of ghosts.

For those that haven’t read it (shameless plug alert – you really should.), Gifted is essentially about a haunted house. The spirits play with the current residents and it starts to get deadly as they unravel the history of the house. It’s a ghost story with a bunch of mystery and suspense thrown in.

I intended to make the story scary but I didn’t think it would end up being terrifying for some people. Why? Because the majority of the things that occurred in Sage Manor, happened to me and my family. I love seeing the blood drain from their faces when I tell people that. It’s
usually followed by a “Really?” and I just nod.

I was about twelve when we lived in the haunted house. We didn’t know it when we moved in. To us, it was just another house in the town, like every other one in the street. However after only a few days, we knew something was up. It was the little things at first – footsteps, lights
flickering, doors banging. We tried to find a rational explanation for everything and disregard it as a wild imagination.

But it got worse. The phone would ring and nobody would be there, things would move by themself, pictures would jump off the wall, and we would hear voices. Then we started to see things. The ghosts would sometimes appear as just a flash of lightening on the wall or a reflection in the
window, or sometimes just a full on person.

Over time, we could identify each ghost based on what they did, how they appeared, and where in the house they were. There was the lady in white who preferred my bedroom (thanks for that, Lady), the man in black who
hung out in the living room, and the old man who preferred the kitchen/garage area. I’m sure there were more but these were the most predominant.

We could have been seeing things, but the crazy thing was that my mother, sister, and I all saw the same things. We would compare notes and our experiences would be the same. At times, we would all see the same thing at the same time (sceptics, please explain this).

In the end, we had no choice except to sleep in the living room together each night. My sister and I both refused to sleep in our bedrooms on our own so our battle weary mother joined us. Anywhere we went in the house at night, we went in pairs. We were terrified about what could happen.

While the spirits never directly hurt us, they sure gave me enough heart attacks to take ten years off my life. You were constantly on high alert, just waiting for the next thing to happen. Hopefully this altered state is justly reflected in the novel. I know I’ll never forget it.

We moved out of the house after about eighteen months and our next house was quiet – thankfully. I was grateful for the experience afterwards, I did get a whole book out of it after all.

1 Comment

  • Babus Ahmed
    16 Jan 2013

    I found Gifted scary, but good scary. It was the thought of this malevolent, evil, powerful spirit that made it scarey. I also found the discussion about spirits and religion between and Blair very interesting.

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