I’m feeling nostalgic today. Remembering times when things ‘seemed’ simpler. I’m positive they weren’t but in retrospect, they certainly seemed that way.
A decade or so ago I worked in an office and one of the few souls there who I honestly felt was a friend used to share his life experiences regularly. It seemed that the funnier or stranger a story was, the more we were pulled into it. He used to toss his hands in the air at the end and say, “You can’t make this stuff up.”
We all understood what he meant. No matter how odd life can be at times, truth (it seemed) was stranger than fiction.
I have no doubt the honesty and veracity of his many stories, but I’ll admit that many might seem far fetched to those who didn’t personally know the storyteller.
And that leads me into the real subject of this post…
As I said, I was feeling nostalgic today. I made the mistake of checking my author rank and to get myself out of the depression, I checked some of the reviews…just to see some of the feedback. I ran across a glowing review for Whispers and in it, the reviewer made the comment, “Stallcup did an excellent job of researching thus making the haunting more real.”
That statement made me smile. I was instantly returned to the time we lived in our previous house…a house that was most definitely haunted. There was little ‘research’ put into Whispers…no, it was more like using life experiences and putting a twist on them in order to use those experiences in a story.
Now, to those of you who don’t believe in haunted houses…I really don’t care. I didn’t believe they were real until I experienced it myself. Even then, it took me a while to admit that what was happening, was truly happening.
I remember trying to tell my father in law about the haunt and he stopped me. “I don’t believe in that stuff and you’ll never convince me that it’s happening.” I asked why and he stated that it “Went against his beliefs and what the Bible says.”
Okay. I can respect that. I told him as much. Then I told him what was going on and you could see him visibly pale. He finally admitted that the physical things had no logical explanation, but he refused to believe it was a spirit. A demon perhaps. Well, thanks a lot pops for upping the stress levels to maximum.
To those who are chomping at the bit, wanting to know ‘what kind of things’ actually was going on…I’ll give you a taste. Whatever ‘it’ was, it had seemed to focus on my youngest son. Slamming doors. Stomping across the upstairs floor. Throwing things. Pushing him in the shower. Scratching down the middle of his back (and yes, drawing blood) where he couldn’t possibly reach. Yelling at him (and his friend) to ‘get out’ of his room. Scratches along the inside of the wall (and when we accessed the space to put rat poison, there was ZERO sign of vermin). Shadows crossing the loft. Electronic things going off and on on their own.
But the activity that convinced me…the first thing I observed? A Dora the Explorer floatie.
We had shut down the pool and the kids brought their toys in. The kids were scattered to the winds for the night and our best friends came over for dinner. We stayed up late and were playing a board game in the dining room when the Dora floatie (that I had earlier tossed upstairs into the girls’ room…I saw it bounce off the bed and hit the far wall) floated OVER the railing then slowly lowered itself and settled gently into my wife’s recliner.
Meh, big deal, right?
My best friend is a heat and air guy. In fact, he had just installed a new unit in our house. When the floatie was slowly dropping straight down into my wife’s chair, his wife grabbed my wrist and pointed, “DO YOU SEE THAT BLANKETY-BLANK FLOATIE?!”
Her husband and Jess both had their backs to the living room and didn’t see it, but Holly and I had a front row seat. Her husband picked it up. “It’s cold. The air conditioner must have blown it down.”
“Dude, you installed that unit. Do you really think it blows hard enough to blow it out of the girls room and over the rail?”
I carried it to the top of the stairs and dropped it. It swished to the side and slid into the couch. We tried again, dropping it on edge (even though that wasn’t how it came down) and again, it swooshed to the side. I tried twice more and never could get it to fall straight down…but when it fell, it was easily two to three times faster than what Holly and I saw.
Time went by, my son was harassed and I eventually called our states version of Ghost Hunters…who drove out and had all of their brand new equipment fail at exactly the same time. Although their things would be moved around and they saw and heard some strange things, they couldn’t get it on tape, so it was ‘unprovable’. A second group came out to simply observe. I explained to them that whatever it was didn’t always participate, but since they had ‘minimum’ activity, they declared the house clear and removed the residence from their list.
I had made a few comments on an internet forum and got the standard questions about burial grounds, murders in the house, etc…none applied. Eventually, we moved and the activity stopped. The family who moved into the house were friends of ours and although the wife was informed and ‘looked forward’ to coexisting with whatever it was…she soon refused to stay in the house alone. Whatever it was, she felt it was evil. Duh. Pretty sure we told you that.
Anyway, long story short…there wasn’t really a whole lot of research put into Whispers. But I’m glad it seemed accurate to those who have experience in the field.
For those of you who haven’t ‘experienced’ Whispers yet, let me know. I’ve got a few audio codes left that I’ll trade you in exchange for an honest review. Aaron Shook did a helluva job bringing this story to life!