Goosebumps Author is Lynn Rae writes contemporary romance. She’s published with Musa and Sweet Cravings Publishers. Her paranormal story was a workplace incident.
Let’s Not Play Hangman
The following is a true story.
I used to work as a museum director in a medium sized town in Ohio. My work took place in a historic house with an addition we used for exhibits. The place was under constant renovation and the sound of saws and hammers and a fine coating of sawdust and sanded plaster were everywhere, so whenever someone invited me to go out and visit another site, I was happy to leave the building for a few hours.
On this day, I was lucky enough to get a behind-the scenes tour of a nearby castle. Yep, that’s right, a stone castle with a tower and tapestries right in the middle of the Midwest. The director was leading us around and since we were all in the public history field, we spent much of the tour bemoaning how difficult it is to care for old properties with limited funds. We were in an upstairs corridor not included in the public tour and the director stopped at a heavy wooden door.
“We don’t go in here much, it’s full of stuff,” he explained as he laid his hand on the knob. Every museum has such rooms; a catch-all for the bulky items that don’t fit with the period of the house. I wanted to see it to compare to the ones I had back at my museum; if it was really messy, I wouldn’t have to feel too bad about my disaster zones. Then again, if it was wonderfully organized on gleaming metal shelves, I would shrink with shame.
He opened the door and we entered the long, high ceilinged room illuminated by numerous windows. There was a lot of furniture, a lot of boxes filled with mysterious items, but before I could really take a look, my throat closed off. Completely tight and painfully obstructed. I tried to swallow and coughed harshly. Once I started to cough, I couldn’t stop and it wasn’t the sort of cough that would clear out an obstruction. It was a weak hacking that didn’t alleviate my distress. I finally waved my hand and stepped back out of the room into the hallway so my choking and gagging sounds wouldn’t disturb anyone else on the tour. Within seconds, the constriction was gone and I was breathing easier.
Soon enough, everyone emerged from the room because once you’ve seen one sprung horsehair sofa, you’ve seen them all. I assured everyone I was fine even though I was very confused at why I’d had such a reaction.
“Are you allergic to dust?” The house director asked and I told him no. I’d worked in museums for years and you don’t hold those sorts of jobs if you have any sensitivity to grime. I explained it was like someone sudden grabbed my throat and I’d never experienced such a sensation before. He went pale and closed the door to the room with a firm click.
“I probably shouldn’t say this, but years ago, someone hung himself in that room.”
Here’s the funny thing; as soon as he told me that I felt completely fine. Everyone else on the tour gaped and expressed horror, but I was happy there was a paranormal explanation. I love working in museums, so if I’d sudden developed an allergy to dust, I’d have had to find a new line of work. Ghosts I can deal with.
Copyright 2013 © by Lynn Rae Used with permission.
James Winchester is content with his predictable small town life. He lives alone, helps out at his family farm, and doesn’t miss an ice cream social. His life is so neat and ordered he could use one of his accounting spreadsheets to chart his upcoming years.
Evelyn Prentiss’s world is in chaos. She’s returned to her home town twenty years after leaving and the transition isn’t as smooth as she’d anticipated. Her home needs renovated, her parents are once again too hands-on, and she only has the summer months to settle in before she starts her new teaching job.
In an effort to be a good neighbor, James finds himself stopping by Evelyn’s house more and more to help with her endless to-do list. When a mystery from their past resurfaces and opens old wounds, the two find comfort in each other. And so much more.