August 6, 2013


Each Tuesday, rather than a POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAY, I'd like to both challenge you and lend a helping hand. I generate more speculative and teen story ideas than I can ever use. My family rolls its collective eyes when I say, "Hang on a second! I just have to write down this idea..." Here, I'll include the initial inspiration (quote, website, podcast, etc) and then a thought or two that came to mind. These will simply be seeds -- plant, nurture, fertilize, chemically treat, irradiate, test or stress them as you see fit. I only ask if you let me know if anything comes of them.

H Trope: Haunted Castle/Mansion
Current Event:

“No! Really! I saw the ghost!” said Enzo Solem. His wild hand waving came more from the passion of his French forebears than the stolid formality of his Norwegian. First generation from both sides, he’d been born and raised just north of the Twin Ports of Duluth and Superior.

He also had a wild passion for the paranormal.

Weayaya Aguirre sighed. Enzo was her best friend but sometimes he bugged the living daylights out of her. Shaking her head, she said, “Why can’t you just accept that the world is the world and that’s all there is?”

 He stared at her incredulously and exclaimed, “You work here, too! How can you say that? You’ve seen the apparitions just like I have!”

Shaking her head, Weayaya – Wee-ah to the rest of the staff at the Glensheen Mansion – said, “I’ve told you a dozen times that I don’t know what you saw that night. I saw some kind of heat shimmer from the furnace.”

“And I’ve told you two dozen times that I talked with Elizabeth Congdon!”

“A woman who’s been dead for half a century?”

“She’s not dead...” he scowled. “Exactly. Her spirit is trapped here because her son suffocated her under a pillow and then banged the night nurse over the head with a candlestick.” Wee-Ah sucked in her lower lip and bit it gently to keep from responding how she wanted to respond. He added, “All I’m asking is that you come with me tonight. It’s the night of June 26...”

“You want to see her ghost, right?”


Wee-Ah frowned and looked at him. This was not the answer she’d expected. “What?”

“I want to see the ghost of her daughter. Her son-in-law confessed to her murder and was sent to jail, getting out five years later. His ex-wife, Elizabeth Congdon’s sociopathic adopted daughter never gave him any of the money she inherited from her mother’s murder. He killed himself five years after his release from prison – though I’ve heard people whispering that Congdon’s daughter did him in.”

“So you want to see if the ghost of one of Congdon’s ex-son-in-laws comes back here?”

“Yep. Marjorie died in prison in 2022, five years before the fiftieth anniversary of her adoptive mother’s murder.”

“And you think that that is”

“It’s obvious! Marjorie-originally-Congdon is buried in the family plot.” Wee-Ah nodded. That much was true. “It’s now half a century after her mother’s murder by her second ex-husband Roger Caldwell.” Wee-Ah nodded, not even realizing she was encouraging him. He went on excitedly, “So I figure the psychic energy will be so powerful that not only will Roger’s ghost appear, so will Velma’s; her third husband Wally was murdered as well as his ex-wife; plus some old guy she defrauded of all his money in a nursing home in Arizona. His same was also Roger, though his last name was Sammis. Her first husband – with whom she’d had seven children – was Dick LeRoy and he died the same year she did – 2022. So it’s 2027, fifty years after someone murdered Elizabeth Congdon. I would say that Marjorie Congdon LeRoy Caldwell Hagen has some serious psychic reckoning coming.”

Wee-Ah found herself nodding in agreement before she could think things through. That was how she found herself kneeling in the bushes near the Congdon family stone marker in the Forest Hill Cemetery on this dark and stormy night, cold summer rain dribbling down the back of her hastily donned poncho.

Enzo leaned over to her and whispered, “It’s five minutes to midnight…”

Names: Sioux, Spanish; ♂ French, Norwegian

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