Thursday, August 27, 2009

Do I Really Want to Know?

So what's your ultimate haunted house? Could it be Hill House as dreamed up by Shirley Jackson? How about Hell House from the movie of the same name, or maybe even the Overlook Hotel?

Here's mine: it's the house I grew up in on the north side of Chicago. If you had looked at it while my family lived there, you'd never have guessed it was haunted. My parents had terrific taste in decorating and the interior of the house was warmly furnished and inviting, with the deep blue carpeting and the furniture arranged to encourage conversation, whether from the depths of the sofas in the living room, or around the huge family table in the dining room. There was light, there was laughter, and there were lots of friendly people.

Unfortunately, there was also SOMETHING ELSE in that house and if I ever get the nerve up, I plan to research the history of the place and find out what went on there before we ever moved in. What could have happened there, to leave the echoes of a baby crying, of furniture moving in distant rooms, or the cold disturbances that swept past us all at will, caressing with chilly fingers and leaving goosebumps and an uneasy shudder or two in its wake? I have already made a couple of tentative forays into finding out who lived there and when and what happened to them. Given some time and some energy, I hope to unearth the entire story. After all, there's got to be some kind of reason for that bricked-up room in the garage...

Any how, let's you and me swap stories! You tell me about your haunted house, and I'll tell you a little bit about mine. But just a little. I know there's a huge, huge story in there someplace, and when I learn it, well, y'all will learn about it, too.

Be sure to order my new story "Hunting Spirits" at Quake!

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