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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The House That Inspired a Ghost

Readers outside of Lumberton, North Carolina might think that Aunt Laurel's aging, rambling home in Vicki's Key was entirely the stuff of fiction. But those who live here in the town where Vicki's Key is set know it was inspired by a real home... and real ghosts.

The Caldwell House was built at the turn of the 20th century and remained in the Caldwell family for three generations. It fell into disrepair when the last resident passed away and was eventually sold to a family in California. Unfortunately, it continued to deteriorate and remained vacant for several years.

The lady who moved into the home for a short time reported hearing children's laughter on the second floor, even though no one was there in the house with her. She also reported taking her shoes off beside the bed each night, only to find they had been moved while she slept.

A local resident remembered driving past the house one dark and stormy night to see a person standing at the third floor window, watching him, although the house was empty at the time.

Others reported seeing a figure walk past the windows carrying an old-fashioned lantern that lit up the windows during the blackest of nights...

In Vicki's Key, when Vicki Boyd pulls up in front of the house to start her new job assisting the elderly woman who lives there, she is tempted to keep on driving - until the woman's charming Irish nephew, Dylan Maguire, talks her into staying.

But Vicki soon discovers Aunt Laurel has suffered a stroke and is confined to the third floor bedroom... And when the house starts to come alive with secrets long thought buried, Vicki questions her sanity - or is it something more that lurks there in the old, rambling home?

Vicki's Key is p.m.terrell's 13th published book. Released earlier this year, it is a nominee for the 2012 International Book Awards and the 2012 USA Best Book Award. It is the second book in the Black Swamp Mysteries series. The third, Secrets of a Dangerous Woman, is scheduled for release in the fall of 2012.


onespoiledcat said...

I think that house was a perfect inspiration for Vicki's Key and it made a spectacular cover as well. It's great that you were able to get an "inside tour" also. I should imagine that every time one of your fellow Lumbertonians passes that home they think of p.m.terrell's latest book!


p.m.terrell said...

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, Pam! Yes, I have heard from many Lumberton residents about this, especially on Facebook. The house recently was auctioned for $127,000 and the repairs are rumored to cost around $150,000 to $200,000. I am hoping someone gets it who will restore it to its original beauty. It's quite a home!