PJ here. Don’t forget to jump on over to my website this week for my Halloween YA Blog Party. Look for the and click. It will take you to my prize page where you’ll leave your name and e-mail address so I can contact you about redeeming your prize. You’ll also find links to other authors at the party who have some pretty cool treats, too. Grown-up teens welcomed.
On to Spooky Week here at the Scribes. Please welcome our guest–a woman who spent ten years of her life living with ghosts and lived to tell the tale. Welcome Andrea!
I am the eldest daughter of Roger & Carolyn Perron. I have four sisters: Nancy, Christine, Cynthia and April. My birthdate: October 10, 1958…the only one of five siblings to be born in Rhode Island. I was just two months old when my parents bought our first home in Willimantic, Connecticut, where all my sisters came into the world. A burgeoning family required more space so we bought a larger home in Cumberland, R.I. when I was six.
Living in a suburb of Providence proved disquieting. After six years my mother decided her girls required a place in the country in which to grow and thrive. In June of 1970 she found a glorious farm, then she and my father moved mountains to buy what was known as the old Arnold Estate; two-hundred acres of land with a big barn and a farmhouse; plenty of space to spread out and explore Nature.
It was the perfect place to raise a family, according to the owner, though he failed to disclose a crucial element of the experience he endured as an occupant. The day we moved in, he told my father: “…leave the lights on at night.” A rather cryptic message.
For almost a decade our family lived among the dead. There we came to understand that we are not alone and there is something beyond mortal existence. In HOUSE OF DARKNESS HOUSE OF LIGHT, the story is told. Here is only a glimpse of what you’ll find in its pages.
During those final desperate moments of her life, was she frightened by her own intentions or steadfast in her resolve? How could a woman of such advanced age climb a rickety ladder to the hayloft of the barn and reach over to a beam from which to suspend a rope? Had life become so intolerable to the beleaguered soul, a drastic measure appeared to be her only option for retreat? Perhaps she was ill and had suffered too long in her own wrinkled skin. What measure of pain prompts the notion to deliberately end a precious life? Had she carried her woes up the ladder or had she made peace with the concept, as well as with her Creator? Did she believe the decision was her own privileged one to make or did she suspect she risked punishment from a God who reserves such judgments as His own, unforgiving of those who take matters into mortal hands?
One thing is known for certain; far more than a century ago,
Mrs. John Arnold claimed her own life at the age of ninety-three and was discovered, cold and gray, stiff as the wood on which she was found dangling from the rafters of an ancient barn. Now, suspended in the ether just as surely as she was hanging from the unraveling end of a makeshift noose, her immortality lives on as the stuff of legend and folklore; a mystery from the ages…for the ages. She may have considered it her only escape and yet, truth be told, there was no escape for her spirit. Whether as an act of eternal damnation for an ill-conceived exit from mortal existence, or as the consequence of a premature departure, she lingers still, remaining in the place where she once lived out her life…then died.
This woman is not alone. There are others…many others…who share her fate; what some may describe as a fate worse than death. Perhaps she is the one who tucked the girls in at night, the one who loved them well and tenderly kissed their foreheads and smelled of flowers and fruit. It was a presence of comfort and caring; one who never meant to frighten or disturb youngsters in their own beds. Instead, she was a light in the darkness of night; someone to watch over them. It was this presence which tempered their fear. In the framework of an inexplicable existence for a family dwelling in a house alive with death, it was a welcome presence, a protective influence in an otherwise scary place. She was not the only one.
Johnny Arnold, presumably a relative, made the same dire decision to take his own life in the eaves of the house where he remains. As gentle a soul as the elderly woman, he made his presence known to all. He was an omnipresent spirit from the day they arrived at the farm, there to greet them in the shadow of a doorway, one cast as a figment from another dimension. Leaning back into his perpetual pose, watching, no doubt wondering about a sudden changing of the guard, he too would soon become a familiar part of the landscape. And then there was Bathsheba…a God-forsaken soul.
Consider this a proper introduction to but a few of the many who dwell among the living in a house revealing just as many secrets. It took time for the mortals involved; decades to realize, ultimately, they were glad to meet them. What they learned was well worth it, though it cannot be simply stated as in the final analysis because this subject will be subject to analysis for the rest of their natural born lives. The lone fear remaining among them is a potential for an unwelcome postmortem return to the house they abandoned so long ago as each will eventually, inevitably enter the realm of supernatural life at the threshold of death’s door: a fear of being drawn home again, there to resolve the questions left unanswered during mortal existence; drawing each of them back to their place in the country, as it had done in life…perhaps with purpose and reason.
“Nothing in the entire universe ever perishes, believe me, but things vary, and adopt a
new form. The phrase ‘being born’ is used for beginning to be something different from
what one was before, while ‘dying’ means ceasing to be the same. Though this thing may
pass into that, and that into this, yet the sums of things remain unchanged.” Ovid
What do you think readers? Are you a believer yet?
Andrea Perron can be found in the following locations:
The Direct link for the book “House of Darkness House of Light”