The Real Haunted House That Made Me Love Horror

The Real Haunted House That Made Me Love Horror
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James’ parents are two of the most grounded people he’s ever known, so when they told him their old house was haunted he knew the story wasn’t just another spooky tale.

One day while poking around on a ‘haunted things’ forum, a post for a ghost story caught my eye. That story was “The Blood in the Walls by James G. Boswell.

“The Blood in the Walls” instantly drew me in. There was an originality to it, and an unexpected twist at the end, but also a familiarity, with a style reminding me of the great Alan Schwartz series, “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.”

The cover of the Alvin Schwartz book, "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark"
Image Credit: Scholastic

Remember these books? How many worldwide pairs of underwear did these ruin?

Reading through a few more of the stories I was impressed by the tone and creepiness of them. Being it October, what better time of year to read so creepy stories. James has been kind enough to tell us about the real haunted house which inspired his love of horror.

The Real Haunted House That Made Me Love Horror

Guest Post By James G. Boswell

Haunted houses are a staple of the horror genre, and tales that capture our imagination when we’re kids tend to stick with us when we get older. In my case, my parents’ stories about their experiences living in a haunted house fascinated me when I was young, and this led me to a lifelong love of horror. Now, I’m a horror writer who seeks to capture the same thrilling sense of dread the stories made me feel when I was a child.

The thing that made these accounts so compelling was the fact that my parents are down-to-earth people who aren’t the type to make things up. Whenever they recalled these events, their faces became somber and they spoke in serious tones without a hint of flippant inflection. The experience was even more unnerving for them because escape wasn’t an option as they were both just starting their careers. This meant they had no money to use to move somewhere else or additional support to provide another place to stay. When the situation became abnormal, they had no choice but to deal with it.

The bizarre pattern of events started small as with the prototypical haunted house story. First, a pair of scissors disappeared from a drawer and then reappeared in the refrigerator. Then, a nice pen vanished from a desktop and materialized inside a shoe. As time went on, other small, trivial things would also go missing and then show up in strange places.

Events escalated when my parents started to hear the floors creak at night as if someone was walking around, but nobody was ever there when they looked. One of these nights, they heard bumps in the attic which my dad attributed to mice, so he put out some mousetraps. The next morning, he discovered that all the traps had all been triggered, but there were no dead mice in any of them. A few days after that, my mom heard the kitchen cabinets opening and closing by themselves while she was in the next room. When she went to investigate, she saw that all the cabinets were closed as if nothing had happened at all.

Another time, my mom heard voices in the next room while she was at home by herself. As the voices grew louder and closer, she locked herself in the bedroom and called my dad at work for help. Once he was on his way, she crawled out the window and into the front yard. When he arrived, he searched the house and found no one there and nothing out of place.

Then, one snowy winter night, my parents were awakened by a loud banging sound that came from the back door. When my dad went to see what was happening, he found the door wide open even though he knew he’d locked it before they went to bed. A police officer came and searched the area, but he found no footprints in the snow, nor anyone else inside the house.

After a while, my mom got more clients for her accounting practice and my dad received a promotion at his management consulting firm, and together they made enough money to be able to move out. They’ve experienced nothing paranormal ever since. My dad later remembered that one of the house’s previous occupants was a very religious elderly woman who died there in her sleep. He speculated that her ghost was haunting them because she disapproved that they were living together unmarried.

I’ve driven past the place a few times as an adult, and it doesn’t appear to be malignant at all. It’s a simple, rundown, one-story home in a working-class neighborhood, and anyone passing by would never guess that a paranormal entity might occupy it. The lesson I take is that some things are even more frightening because of how mundane they can appear to be. This insight influences me as a writer to this day and is reflected in all the scary stories I create.

Visit James G. Boswell’s website to find more of his stories.

(Please check out the two links directly below)

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