I am honoured to be part of the WOW! Women of Writing Blog Tour for Amy S. Cutler’s paranormal romance A Shadow of Love.
Today Amy is visiting my blog to share her wonderful guest post on the story behind the haunted house in her novel.
The haunted house in A Shadow Love – a fictional story in a very real place
by Amy S Cutler
There is nothing quite like realizing that the house you are in is haunted. This realization came slowly for me, over years, since most of what I experienced came after using the Ouija, or watching a scary movie, or reading a scary book. It wasn’t until I was an adult did I realize it wasn’t just my overactive imagination.
My parents have an old farmhouse in upstate New York. It was mostly a weekend or summer house. Every weekend during the spring months when school was in session, my parents would pick my sister and I up at school and that is where we would spend the weekend, and then most of our summer. Even though I was always scared at night, sleeping with the light on, frozen many nights until the sun would rise and I could relax and get to sleep, I loved it there. Lots of woods to play in, adventures to be had on the quad.
There were a few little indicators that the house was haunted when I was young, like an indentation on the pillow in the bed next to me, a perfectly shaped head impression, like someone who wasn’t there was sleeping in my room. Footsteps coming up the stairs in the middle of the night. A woman softly calling out, “Amy …” to wake me from sleeping. Windows would fly open, the radio turned itself on, a rocking chair in the kitchen rocked on its own. I knew that ghosts existed, since I had seen the ghost of my dead dog many times in those days (that is a long story all on its own), but I could still chalk up most of what I heard and saw as my imagination. I liked scary stories, even as a child, so it wasn’t impossible to believe that I had invented all the scary stuff in my mind. Old houses creak, floors can be uneven, pillows can … well, pillows can’t smush themselves down.
It wasn’t until I was an adult, asleep in my room which was now the guest room, when I heard kittens crying downstairs. This was not alarming, because there were in fact the cutest kittens in the world right downstairs in the hallway next to my parents’ bedroom. After a while they got to be annoying, and so I was happy when I heard a woman – presumably my mom – shushing them back to sleep, saying, “shh, it’s okay, shh, time to sleep now.” Cooing to them until they drifted off.
The next morning, I said to her, “I was so happy when you got up with the kittens in the middle of the night.”
To this, I got a blank stare. She hadn’t gotten up, never even heard them.
It was that moment when I realized that all the subtle hints, the sounds and voices and creeks and bumps in the night were not my imagination at all. I had always known it, I suppose, but this was pretty concrete. Someone put those kittens to sleep, and it wasn’t my mother.
I talk to my parents about their house being haunted and they just shrug their shoulders, “they don’t bother us,” my dad will say.
I still love to visit my parents house, but I rarely sleep there. If I do, I leave a light on, look under the bed, and watch a movie on my laptop to cover any noises. When I set out to write a ghost story, I could think of no other more appropriate setting.
Of course, my own memories mix with the memories of my characters, so when I am there now, I am extra spooked. But my dad is right, they don’t bother anyone, not really, so I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Thank you Amy. I hope everyone enjoyed your post as much as I did.
Be sure to check out here for details of the whole blog tour at WOW.