Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Thursday's Children 10/4/12 Haunted by Houses

Last week I blogged about how knowing where a character lives can help both reader and writer gain understanding of that character's psyche. Or how outer world can reflect or influence inner world. In most of my stories I have the character in mind BEFORE I figure out where they reside.

But sometimes it's the house itself that sets off the spark. At this time of year I am especially susceptible to dwellings with a certain...vibe (read that word as Vincent Price might, if he wasn't dead, or maybe as if he was dead, but had decided to visit).

Here are some of those places. They haunt my imagination, begging for their own story.

The home below belongs to one of my best friends from college.
It's a fascinating house with an interesting history and even its own name...
Rhododendron Hall.
Has a nice Gothic ring to it, don't you think?
I know it's really hard to see the actual house in this atmospheric photo, but it's very cool, trust me.

Photo Courtesy of Craig Comeau

You might live right in the middle of a swarming hive of stories without even realizing it.
Are there any haunted houses in your town?
Or houses with intriguing backstories?

This ode to weathered shingles is in my town.
It actually got resided this summer and looks hideously new and raw,
but the salt air will fix that quickly enough.
Rumor has it that this house appeared in the opening of the "Dark Shadows" tv show,
recently reinvented by two of my creative heroes, Tim Burton and Johnny Depp.
Clinging to the granite cliffs the way it does, I would imagine that on stormy nights the crashing waves must make the whole place tremble.

Below is the Captain Nathaniel Lord Mansion built in 1812,
from money made in his ship-building business.
He died before he ever got to live here.
The Lord family lived here until 1927. It is now an inn.
Somewhere in the middle it was also an old ladies' retirement home.
It is also in my town and apparently a ghost is a permanent resident.
She wears a nightgown and is sometimes seen in The Lincoln Bedroom.
It was known as The Wisteria Room
until someone pointed out that wisteria means "remembrance of the dead".
She's also been known to climb the stairs to the eight-sided cupola.
Some think she is Mrs. Captain Lord. Apparently she gave a honeymooning couple quite a fright.
I could write a story about them. Or about her.

Captain Lord Mansion

And then there are dwellings that suggest inhabitants who might, or might not, be fully human.
They might be squatty, hairy, and not very nice.
Especially if the sun went down while you lost your way in the corn maze nearby.

Husk Wigwam
Though it is teepee shaped it's covered in cornhusks. I took this photo at a PYO apple orchard.

This week I hope you'll join our Thursday's Children bloghop. 
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Thursday's Children

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  1. Those houses are absolutely amazing! I can definitely imagine the people that might live there - and their stories. Though, I have to admit that I'm cringing at the thought od residing that seaside house!

  2. Yes, plenty of story fodder in these parts :) Thanks for commenting and joining us. Off to check out your post!

  3. Wow, I love the spooky houses. Each one inspires a haunting tale.

  4. I love spooky houses too (obviously). Tx for stopping by, hope you join us some week.

  5. Another interesting post, and love the photos. The grand old Victorian hotel where I work is rumored to be haunted, and I consider myself fortunate not to have seen any ghosts myself. Apparently they tend to play with the chairs and will turn them upside down or move them while guests are sleeping. Guests have also told us they've lost clothing while sleeping (but we often wonder if that might have anything to do with alchohol consumption).

    Edith Wharton was a master at creating settings which reflected the character's emotional state. Du Maurier created settings which effected the characters' psychological state (Rebecca, for instance). That seems to work both ways.

  6. P.S. Forgot to sign in first. It's Little Bitty :)

    1. Hi Little Bitty ;-)
      Yes, I love Edith and Daphne (probably Daphne more though). My post the week before was about that very thing-how homes can both reflect and affect characters. Thanks for popping by!