I've been fascinated with the supernatural from a very young age, largely because of the house in which I grew up. It wasn't a classic haunted house with creaking floors and shadowy corners. By British standards, it wasn't even that old--maybe sixty or seventy years. It was small, nondescript, no different from the other houses in our quiet neighborhood. But it was a house with a presence, one still felt there to this day, and too many things happened over the years for us not to notice that something strange was going on…
Is somebody there?
If our house was haunted, then it was haunted upstairs. The atmosphere downstairs was no different from any family home. It was busy, noisy, the place where we all hung out. But the atmosphere upstairs was very different and the change palpable from the moment you set foot on the stairs. Upstairs was still, expectant, and simmered with this air as if someone was up there, waiting quietly for you to join them, even when the house was empty. This sense was sometimes so strong that you could feel it downstairs. Whatever was up there would strengthen for a few eerie moments, and all eyes would turn to the ceiling until the moment just as quickly passed. Even when alone in the house, upstairs never felt completely uninhabited.
It comes from the closet, stupid!
There was a small closet in the corner of my parents’ bedroom, but it wasn't until after my younger brother was born that we realized that the closet might be connected to this presence. My brother was reaching the age where he’d almost outgrown his crib. Over several nights, he awoke screaming about a woman in the room and was found standing in his crib, staring at the closet in the corner. On other nights, we awoke to the sound of his giggles, his attention again fixed on the closet. It was only then that my mum confessed that my brother hadn't been the first to encounter the woman. The same thing had happened to my sister when she’d been about the same age.
Candles and Light
The lights upstairs behaved oddly in our house, even when no fault in the electrics could be found. The light in the bathroom was the worst. It would switch on at the strangest times--middle of the night, ten o’clock in the morning… There was no pattern. I was alone in the house one evening, used the bathroom to shower, switched off the light, and then headed downstairs to watch TV. When I returned to the bathroom an hour later, the light was back on. It happened to all of us at one time or another.
A similar thing would happen with my sister’s candles. She’d return home after an evening out to find the tea lights burning on her shelves, the wax barely melted as if they’d been only recently lit. Many times she awoke in the night to find the same candles burning, often three or four at a time. Perhaps the presence in our house didn't like the darkness.
Some of the experiences in our house could be explained as a child’s imagination, like the day one of my dolls appeared to smile at me revealing a line of bright white teeth. Or the night I awoke to find an androgynous, featureless black form standing in my bedroom doorway. But much of what went on at the house still goes on today, years after there’s been a child at home. We say it’s the lady who lives in the closet. Maybe one day she might again step from her hiding place and reveal herself to the next generation in our family as she did to my brother and sister…
Author: Sara Walsh
Publisher: Simon Pulse, 496 Pages (August 28th, 2012)
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis: Mia is torn between two guys—and two worlds—in this epic, romantic fantasy. Mysterious lights have flickered above Crownsville for as long as Mia can remember. And as far as she’s concerned, that’s about the only interesting thing to happen in her small town.
That is, until Sol arrives. Mia’s not one to fall for just any guy, but she can’t get Sol—or the brilliant tattoo on his back—out of her mind.
Then Mia’s brother goes missing, and Mia’s convinced that Sol knows more than he’s sharing. But getting closer to Sol means reevaluating everything Mia once believed to be true. Because Sol’s not who Mia thought he was—and neither is she.
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Sara, you are awesome! Thanks for writing this post. It was creepy reading it because I know those feelings all too well. My house here can be pretty creepy at times and my in-laws house in the UK tends to have some weird things happen there too. PS - any news on The Dark Light Two? *fingers crossed*
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