03 October 2010

Haunted Halloween: Tricia Rayburn

When I was in high school, my mom, sister, and I lived in the old farmhouse my mom had grown up in. It was a lovely home with far more space than we could fill, and when we first moved in, I had my pick of bedrooms. The first floor had three bedrooms, two of which my mom and sister chose for their own. I could’ve easily taken the third, which was the biggest of the bunch, but I was a teenager who’d spent much of her childhood sharing a room—so I opted for the second floor.

In theory, this was a great idea. The second floor had a huge bedroom, a sizable bathroom, and a large common space. There was a door at the base of the stairwell that I could close whenever I was on the phone or had friends over. Best of all, I had the whole floor to myself, which was a luxury of space and privacy I’d never experienced.

This luxury, however, was slightly flawed. For one thing, the ancient upstairs plumbing didn’t work so I still had to trek downstairs to use the bathroom. Not the worst thing in the world. A bit more challenging was all the stuff. Again, this was my mother’s family’s house, and while the first floor had been empty when we moved in, remnants of their time there filled the second floor. The bedroom was packed with old furniture and its big closet used for storage, so that room was always closed off. The broken bathroom was also used for storage and closed off. My room was set up in the common space, which was spacious and great, but which also had dark closets and secret crawlspaces stuffed with old dolls, board games, and military uniforms.

During the day, having the second floor to myself was the best thing ever. I loved doing my homework, talking on the phone, and hanging out with my friends there. But at night, when it was dark, the old-house creaks and groans were louder, and I was alone, with my mom and sister ALL the way downstairs, my imagination often got the best of me. Because there were so many spaces that went unused, I’d lie in bed and wonder if the spaces really were unused…or if certain ghosts or spirits were hanging out and enjoying free reign. But I loved the space enough that—with the help of a nightlight—I always managed to fall asleep. Plus, as my mom said, if there WERE ghosts or spirits up there, they were nice ones.

And then one night, I woke up abruptly from a very deep sleep. I wasn’t sure why and immediately rolled back over and closed my eyes…but then I heard soft, rhythmic tapping. Like heels clicking across a wood floor. The tapping grew louder, then softer, then louder, then softer, like someone was pacing back and forth. Somehow, I dared to open my eyes. When I didn’t see anyone, I yanked the blanket over my head and tried to think about something, anything else. Eventually, the tapping stopped and I fell asleep.

The next morning, I woke up, went downstairs to shower, and returned upstairs to get dressed and ready for school. The memory of the tapping was uncomfortable but dull, the way nightmares usually are in the safe light of day.

But then I opened my closet to find an outfit.

And found a huge, sharp knife instead.

It was on the floor, just sitting there like that’s where it should’ve been. Only, of course, there was no reason for a knife to be on the floor of my closet. There’d never been one there before. On top of which, I didn’t recognize it; wherever the knife had come from, our kitchen utensil drawer wasn’t it.

My mom and sister certainly hadn’t put the knife there, and we never figured out who—or what—did. For a time, I was tempted to move to the empty bedroom downstairs. But then one day, a silver dollar mysteriously appeared in a canister of pennies—and only pennies—I kept near my bed. When no one claimed responsibility for a second time, I decided that the ghosts, spirits, or whatever had apologized for totally freaking me out, and I stayed put.

But I did get a bigger, brighter nightlight. Because the ghosts might’ve been nice…but they were still moody.

Title: Siren

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Vanessa Sands is afraid of everything—the dark, heights, the ocean—but her fearless older sister, Justine, has always been there to coach her through every challenge. That is, until Justine goes cliff-diving one night near the family’s vacation house in Maine, and her lifeless body washes up on shore the next day.

Though her parents hope that they’ll be able to find closure back in Boston, Vanessa can’t help feeling that her sister’s death wasn’t an accident. After discovering that Justine was keeping a lot of secrets, Vanessa returns to Winter Harbor, hoping that Justine’s boyfriend might know more. But Caleb has been missing since Justine’s death.

Soon, it’s not just Vanessa who’s afraid. All of Winter Harbor is abuzz with anxiety when another body washes ashore, and panic sets in when the small town becomes host to a string of fatal, water-related accidents in which all the victims are found, horrifically, grinning from ear to ear.

Vanessa turns to Caleb’s brother, Simon, for help, and begins to find herself drawn to him. As the pair try to understand the sudden rash of creepy drownings, Vanessa uncovers a secret that threatens her new romance—and will change her life forever.

A seductive paranormal romance full of unexpected twists, Siren is certain to make a big summer splash.

Available Now from Egmont!

Order online: Amazon | Borders | Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository

About the Author:

Tricia Rayburn is the author of the Maggie Bean books, Ruby's Slippers and the (super spooky!) Siren trilogy. Visit her online at www.triciarayburn.com and www.triciarayburn.blogspot.com.

You can also find Tricia on Twitter: @triciarayburn

Thank you so much for taking the time to share this True Scary Story with us Tricia!!

Check out Jessica's Haunted Halloween post with a book feature with Alyson Noel and Leah Cypess....and a giveaway for a signed copy of Radiance and bookmarks!

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  1. I think this is my favorite one so far! I love old houses, but crawlspaces freak me out so badly! I've probably watched one too many horror movies!


  2. In our house, no one sleeps in the basement, which does have a bathroom, bedroom, bar, living room, and laundry room (so it would be a nice space to have for yourself). But it's the freaky basement of an old house. I refuse to sleep there by myself in case an incident happens like the one in this post. How spooky!

    settle.nicole at gmail dot com

  3. Awe, old houses sound like such "fun". Great story.

    hauntingorchid (at) aol (dot) com

  4. I guess getting paid by ghosts might make their presence a little better but I would still be freaked out lol

    romancebookjunkiesdanielle at yahoo dot com

  5. Great story...pretty creepy!


  6. At my old house I had the entire downstairs to myself during the night. Sometimes the creaks and groans would get to me also but I never had any creepy experiences with knives and silver dollars appearing out of nowhere like you did. I probably would have made my parents move us out. :P

    nalynboni AT gmail DOT com

  7. October is awesome :) Thanks for the awesome giveaways!

    email: beautiful_molly (at) hotmail (dot) com

  8. CCRREEEEEPY! I loved Siren and am thrilled it's a trilogy:)


  9. Spooky, great story. Really sounds like a great house that must have a wonderful history behind it.

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  10. Why am I reading these before bed?! Oh yea cuz it sounded like a great idea at the time...now not so sure.

    Love the Siren cover!


  11. The story is very interesting and well thought. I was freaked out because while reading it, a mouse or something run at the ceiling making creepy sounds


  12. I'm very skeptical, but I still love reading ghost stories. This one was very fun!

  13. I'm very skeptical, but I still love reading ghost stories. This one was very fun!

  14. Whoa totally freaky :D

    I love the Siren cover can't wait to read it!


    Ashley's Bookshelf

  15. I'm loving the Haunted Halloween Comment Contest! Awesome posts, awesome prizes, and awesome blog hosts!

    Crazy Cat Lady

  16. Another good scary story. I love Halloween. Keep the good stories up!

  17. Why did I just read this at 10:00 at night?! I should have known better! I hate true life scary stores and scary movies. It's a great story, it sure did give me goosebumps.


  18. Apologetic ghosts! What a cool story!

    Crazy Cat Lady

  19. I had a bad experience in a apartment I lived in, that wasn't that old. I am sure it was haunted,and not in a good way. I love old houses. At least you got some good experiences.

  20. Oooh that's creepy! I hate that my house groans at night too! it scares me so much sometimes! Thanks for the awesome tale!


  21. Oh my gosh!!!! THat's SO scary!!!!! I don't think that I'd be able to sleep in there : )

    Like someone else said, there's been one too many scary movie marathons at our house....

    The book looks great! It's on my TBR list, I'll have to look at Borders for it : )

  22. I would totally freak out if I saw a huge knife on my bedroom floor! I don't think I would have slept in that room after that incident haha :)

    sophiayunjin @ gmail .com

  23. Totally my fav. so far! I used to live in an old (as in my grandpa grew up there) farm house. Yeah, it made noises I don't want to think about! Farm houses are the best for scary stories except when your the only one on the second Floor. Tricia Rayburn and I have that in common.


  24. you have more courage than I do. I don't think I would have made it past my own imagination to reach the point where the mysterious stuff started appearing.

    jlynettes @ hotmail . com

  25. So scary. I could never sleep there! I'm just not that brave.


  26. Wow, creepy. My dad thinks we have a ghost because he hears things at night, like whishpers or something. And this one time my mom's friend said she thought she saw something... If we do have a ghost it's a nice one because it doesn't bother me. If I hear something at night I'm just like "Keep it down ok? I'm going to bed now" lol ;)

    linaramz at yahoo dot com

  27. Creepy.

    The cover here is awesome too, and a little eerie. But for me eerie is AWESOME!


  28. Loved the story! So perfectly eerie :)


  29. Oh my goodness I can't even fathom what I would do if that happened to me. I would have RAN out of that bedroom and moved downstairs!


  30. I think I would have cried if that had happened to me, haha. Old houses and me do not mix!


  31. I want to read this book badly..

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com


  32. This is so incredibly creepy, but in the best way. Ghosts seem like they can be so fickle...


  33. i just remembered i been meaning to read this one!

  34. Great story! Really loved reading it! I HATE getting up at night to creepy sounds!

    twilightforever.edward at gmail dot com

  35. Great story! And the book looks awesome too!


  36. Haha, sometimes spirits can be sweet too :)

    truthbetold004 at gmail dot com

  37. A knife...? Okay, that is terrifying. Not just spooky, but straight-up scary. I would've moved out that day--no, that minute! Makes a great story thought.

    I've been dying to read Siren for a while; it's in my TBR pile, waiting patiently for its turn. :)



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