A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: The Skeleton Key

I am not into horror films, but one sticks with me, because it has such an incredible twist at the end that makes me ponder the realities we invent for ourselves.

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Happy Hauntings: The Magic of Walt Disney’s Haunted Mansion

“When hinges creak in doorless chambers, and strange and frightening sounds echo through the halls. Whenever candlelights flicker, where the air is deathly still — that is the time when ghosts are present, practicing their terror with ghoulish delight!”

Many years ago in the Victorian Era, the Louisiana located Gracey Mansion was alive with parties and guests, with love and hope. Wealthy landowner Edward Gracey was in love with Elizabeth Henshaw and asked her hand in marriage. At a grand fete Gracey proposes and Elizabeth sends a note with her response, apparently rebuffing a love he thought they shared. Finding her body after she takes her life with poison throws him into turmoil. He ultimately decides he cannot face life without her, and hangs himself in his garden atrium. And so the Gracey manor fell into disrepair, until a hundred years later when a descendant of the Gracey family who desires to sell the home contact a couple involved in Real Estate, Mr. and Mrs. Evers. Their own marriage is on some rocky ground due to long work hours, Mr. and Mrs. Evers along with their two children, stop at the house on the way out of town for vacation.

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The Fear of Voiceless Ghosts and the Hunger for Reconciliation—“The Bonesetter’s Daughter” by Amy Tan

What if a little girl could get a better childhood through silence? What if she could get attention, affection, gifts and praise beyond her imagination for following one rule: don’t speak a single word? At a crucial moment, this seemed to be a very real option for six-year-old Ruth Young in The Bonesetter’s Daughter.

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Haunted by the Past: The Do’s and Don’ts of Writing Fictional Trauma

Halloween is a time for hauntings.

This month, we dig out our favorite scary movies to watch, transfixed, as angry mummies, homicidal circus clowns, demonic babies, psychotic dolls, and their ilk chase our intrepid herores all over God’s green earth. It’s no fun, being stalked by a supernatural Super-Freak. But you know what’s even worse? Being stalked by your own memories.

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The Second Mrs. de Winter

“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.”

The second Mrs. de Winter opens the mysterious novel of Rebecca with that single, dramatic line. Over the years, readers have drawn parallels between the novels Rebecca and Jane Eyre, another romantic gothic tale of an innocent young woman and a worldly older man. Similarly, the man’s first wife casts a shadow over the young woman, and haunts her. A masterful estate acts as a background character, but in my opinion, that is where the parallels end. Du Maurier insisted Rebecca was the study in jealousy, inspired by her own feelings of her husband’s first love. The second Mrs. de Winter is not Jane Eyre… she is far more complex and enigmatic than we give her credit for. There is a darkness within her.

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The Dark Prince

He lost everything in one night… his mother, brother, and father’s support. All that’s left was a memory of thorns that saved young prince of Ancrath from death, but forever robbed him of everything else. He’ll become a prince, then king, and finally the emperor of thorns. But at the end he’ll meet with his main nightmare, who follows in his wake and who has something to ask Jorg Ancrath, Lord of Thorns…

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