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Grave's End: A True Ghost Story Kindle Edition

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About the Author

Elaine Mercado is a wife and mother of two daughters, registered nurse, Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, and entrepreneur.  She holds a license as an LPN and as a registered nurse. Mercado has worked in the health care field for over nine years as a medical-surgical registered nurse and registered nurse in Brooklyn, New York’s Coney Island hospital emergency room.  

During her tenure as an emergency room nurse, Mercado developed an interest in the psychological aspects of patient care and thus, began studying the mind, body, and spirit connection. At the same time, Mercado began to focus on paranormal phenomena.  For over fifteen years, she has studied and attended numerous lectures and workshops on types of hauntings and the current theories behind them.  Mercado, a locally published writer, has also written for The Brooklyn Baron and The Nursing Spectrum.   

She is an American Heart Association Certified CPR Instructor, and operates a business with her second husband called Learning For Life, offering CPR training to hospital and hotel personnel.  Mercado still lives in Gravesend with her family.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

In the early fall of l982 my husband and I were on our way to look at what was apparently the last affordable house in Brooklyn, New York. We'd been house-hunting for over a year and were very anxious to settle into a home of our own.

At this point in time we were still living in a three-room apartment with our two daughters. Our landlord was extremely frugal with the heat, and we were growing tired of huddling in our living room near a portable heater. We were willing to look at virtually any house within our price range, but we had only a small sum of money available for a down payment. Real-estate agents took us from house to house, showing us lovely homes that, unfortunately, required substantial deposits.

We thought we were permanently stymied until we noticed this one house on their listing. It had been there for over two years, but no one had attempted to show it to us.

"It's too old and too much trouble," one of the brokers said, barely looking up at us, "although you might actually be able to afford this one." The sarcasm in her voice was duly noted. However, we were undaunted by her negative description of the house. We wanted to see it.

So, there we were, full of anticipation, parking our car on this very ordinary block. I was in a very "up" mood that day, partly because I had hopes this would be "the" house, partly because it was fall. September and October had always been my favorite months. The smell of cool air and the vision of trees painted in glowing hues of orange and red and yellow signaled the upcoming holiday season. This particular block had many trees, all colored so vibrantly that the whole area had a beautiful orange cast to it. Newly fallen leaves were gathered in bunches near most of the houses and they crunched beneath our feet as we walked to our latest prospect. I thought of pumpkin pie and chestnuts, and my heart leapt at the thought that perhaps, at last, we had found a house we could actually purchase. Maybe we could even spend Christmas there. I had to stop myself from skipping toward our destination.

As we were walking down the street, I noticed an unusual tree. Not only were its leaves a strikingly colored mixture of orange and red, but it appeared to be almost caressing the house in front of which it was planted. Its trunk was tilted toward the house, with almost no branches extending toward the street. Its branches and foliage sprung out like long arms, almost protectively. When we realized this was the tree in front of the house we were to look at, I felt an unusual sense of peace. I was, without obvious reason, very glad this wonderful, strong tree would be part of the package. I didn't know then that this house, indeed, needed whatever protection it could get.

The house itself was one of those big, old, fat houses; the kind they simply don't build anymore. It was whitish-gray with dark green trim, and rather dingy looking.

In retrospect I could imagine someone describing it as "spooky" looking, but "spooky" was the last thing on our minds. The front yard, not very large, was unkempt. Weeds were growing along the chainlink fence that surrounded it. The four entrance steps were made out of weather-beaten, cracked cement. The wrought-iron railing attached to these steps was rusted and peeling. The front windows, many small ones separated by strips of rotting wood, were nearly opaque with dirt.

For a brief moment, my husband and I looked at each other, wondering if this was such a good idea after all, but we knew our financial situation, and neither one of us wanted to spend another winter with our not-so-friendly landlord. So we took a deep breath and rang the doorbell, half expecting it not to work. To our surprise, we were greeted by a rather pleasant, if somewhat cool, middle-aged couple. They smiled as they brought us up to the second floor of this grand old house.

As we walked up the stairs we were wondering what would be the problem this time. We'd seen so many houses that we developed a knee-jerk reaction of not getting our hopes up. It was hard not to think that, even if the price was right, there would be something terribly wrong. Perhaps there were combative neighbors, or mud in the cellar, or exposed sewer pipes in the kitchen. We'd seen it all by this time. To our surprise, this couple mentioned only one dominant problem¿the elderly couple living downstairs. They refused to leave.

"My uncle is one tough cookie," remarked the middle-aged man, his nephew, about the old gentleman inhabiting the first floor apartment. As he reached the top of the stairs, he continued, "My uncle and aunt have been living in this house for over forty years. They sold it to us a few years back and have been paying a nominal rent ever since. I guess he thought this arrangement would go on forever, but our children are grown now and my wife and I bought a house in Florida. We are anxious to leave but my uncle keeps scaring prospective buyers off by declining to move."

My husband and I certainly didn't like the sound of that.

In a few short moments, we found ourselves on the second floor, in the front living room, with windows overlooking the aforementioned beautiful tree. The decor was very bland, no pictures on the walls, no outstanding furniture. It looked like a 1950s motel room. Working our way toward the back of the house, we were introduced to the bathroom, which appeared relatively new. Green and white tiles gleamed at us, reflecting the light on the ceiling. Towels hung on the towel racks, but no pictures or designs of any sort adorned the walls. The shower curtains were, again, green and white, but with no distinguishing pattern. The bathroom was very clean, almost sanitary, but decorated with no imagination, no feeling.

Next to the bathroom was a dining area, connected to a kitchen. Dark wood cabinets dominated this room, and pink, painted-over paneling covered the walls. It wasn't a salmon pink or a "hot" pink, just a dull, almost beige pink, going from ceiling to floor. I could see the texture of the paneling showing through the paint and I wondered why anyone would impose such a nauseating color over wood. I figured I would never find curtains to match this unfortunate hue, but before I could get too upset about the dining room and kitchen, our hosts ushered us into what they termed "the playroom." There, in the back of the house, was a beautiful, spacious area, lined with double windows. It was huge.

"This was built only twenty years ago," the woman said, "and our children spent many hours happily at play here."

I must admit, it was bright and airy and pleasant. A sloped ceiling, punctuated with halogen lights, captured our interest. We imagined our own children playing under this wondrous roof.

Our excitement was palpable. That back room really piqued our interest. Our hosts then brought us up to the third floor and showed us their bedroom, located in the front of the house. It was the largest of the three rooms on that floor, but still it had a sort of restrictive quality to it. Thick, upholstery-like curtains hung on the front windows, almost completely obliterating the radiant sunshine coming through. The spread covering the queen-size bed was heavily quilted and shiny, and reminded me of unwanted afternoons spent at my grandmother's house. I could almost smell the mothballs.

The other two rooms were nearly claustrophobic in nature¿bedrooms housing the remnant memories of their now-moved-away children. The walls were devoid of decoration, except for a Charles Atlas photo cellophane-taped to one wall. Although there were still beds in each room, no pictures or shelves or toy chests were visible. No posters or telephones or any specific reminders were present. It was impossible to tell if a male or female child had occupied either of these rooms. And we didn't ask.

The rooms felt cold and dank. We kept focusing on that airy playroom on the second floor and assumed we could turn even this stark landscape into a warm habitat.

Although the atmosphere upstairs was less than desirable, it was certainly not enough to discourage us. We were finished with our tour when the wife said, "I'm sorry about my husband's aunt and uncle . . . you'd think they'd know better at their age."

"How bad can they be?" I remarked, not quite ready for her response.

"How bad? I'll tell you how bad. They intimidate everyone who comes to see this house. Especially his uncle. He's more than a 'tough cookie'¿he's nasty and impossible, and I'm getting sick and tired of it. I don't want to live in New York anymore." I could see her husband flinch at her candidness. She continued, "We've got this beautiful house in Florida that we can't move into, and he doesn't give a shit about it. If you can persuade him to move, more power to you. Even the real- estate broker has stopped sending people to see this house. I don't care if this makes us vulnerable to a lower sale price, I want out."

Her husband was clearly not happy with her outburst, but he remained silent, seemingly trying to be tolerant of her obvious frustration.

After a brief, but very pregnant, silence, I exclaimed, "Well, can we meet the ogres downstairs?"

I thought I was being cute, but it wasn't received very well, and I couldn't help but notice my husband's disapproving look. After a moment or two, our hosts took us downstairs, said their goodbyes, and left us alone at the first floor entrance. I suddenly felt frightened. I was anxious about meeting this man and felt my heart palpitate as my husband knocked on the door. I nearly expected Lurch to answer.

My husband looked at me a little strangely and asked if there was anything wrong.

"I'm scared," I said. "Aren't you?

"Hell, no," he replied. "We can probably get this house for less than we thought."

If it weren't for his attitude, I would have gone home. ...

Product Details

  • File Size: 1666 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Publications; 1st edition (May 8, 2001)
  • Publication Date: May 8, 2001
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001YQF1ZS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,121 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Phillips on February 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
Over the years I have read enough ghost books to fill a small library, most of which are the familiar collections of several stories written by one author. Many of these writers are old pros and have a very polished writing style; sometimes a little too polished and detached in fact. Elaine Mercado is a new writer and sometimes it shows, but her candor and vulnerability is a refreshing change for the fans of this type of book. It is also nice to hear the story from the point of view of the person who experienced the haunting rather than a third party interviewer.

The story begins as the author and her husband purchase a new home and move in. Almost from the outset the family begins to feel as if they are being watched and things escalate from there. All of the family is effected but the author and her eldest daughter seem to get the brunt of the storm. A storm that only intensifies as time goes on. To add to the problem, this is a family that does not particularly believe in any form of life after death and so they must also deal with what is happening in relation to their beliefs. After finally coming to terms with this conundrum they begin to seek help and find it in the form of famous Parapsychologist Hans Holzer. Dr. Holzer is very familiar to anyone who is partial to this type of book and I have several of his books in my own library. In many ways this is like one of Dr. Holzer's books except with a much more detailed description of the haunting before Holzer arrives on the scene. This is a ghost story that portrays in detail the haunting much more so than the investigation. I like it!

This is a book that you will read very quickly because the author does a very nice job of making you wonder what is going to happen next.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Silas McJoad on April 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
"Grave's End" is a terrific ghost story along the lines of "The Amityville Horror". The main difference is that the author doesn't seem to be trying to sell the reader a sack of banana oil. I must say I got quite a few shivers while reading this book. The author creates a sense of verisimilitude and genuine warmth about her family and close friends, all of whom slowly begin to experience very creepy and occasionally downright terrifying events in a century old house in Brooklyn. There is a sympathetic cast of characters, the central character being the protagonist's teenaged daughter who claims to see strange unearthy things in the house. At first she is not believed. That is, until all hell breaks loose.
What I like is that there is a satisfying resolution to the story yet there are still questions about whether or not the "experts" who examine the house really know what they are doing. Elaine Mercado simply describes her family's experiences during thirteen years of living in a supposedly haunted house without padding the book with a lot of spiritual hokum. The book moves very fast- I read it in one night.
Some books in this genre read as though the author has simply seen too many horror movies. "Grave's End" reads like a genuine journey into the realm of the supernatural. It somewhat reminded me of the movie "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" in that the protagonist expressed no interest or desire to have these kinds of supernatural experiences until they started to happen.
A great book; the best of the "true ghost story" books I have read in twenty years. I can't wait to see the movie.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By André Mattar on May 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
When Elaine Mercado and her first husband bought their home in Brooklyn, N. Y., in 1982, they had no idea that they and their two young daughters were embarking on a thirteen-year nightmare. Within a few days of moving in, Elaine and her older daughter began to experience the sensation of being watched. Then came scratching noises and weird smells, followed by voices whispering, maniacal laughter, shadowy figures scurrying along baseboards, and small balls of light bouncing along the ceilings. From the beginning of the haunting, "suffocating dreams" were experienced by everyone except the younger daughter. These eventually accelerated to physical aggression directed at Elaine and both the girls. This book is the true story of how one family tried to cope with living in a haunted house. It also describes how, with the help of parapsychologist Dr. Hans Holzer and medium Marisa Anderson, the family discovered the tragic and heartbreaking secrets buried in the house at Grave's End. This is the best true ghost story book I've ever read. After you reading this one, you won't be able to turn-off the lights of your bedroom when you go bed. In spite of Elaine doesn't be a professional writer ( she is a nurse ), she did a good work here. Whether you are the kind of person that like to be frightened or barely like to read a good ghost story, you should read this one. You won't be disappointed. Good reading !!!
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
....but dont' read it a night. I was floored on how good this books is. When I heard it was a real life haunting, I had to get it, and I'm sure as hell glad I did.
This is the story of Elaine Mercado and her experiences in her haunted house, and how it efected her family.
I couldn't read this book at night b/c it was so scary. I have to give Elaine a lot of credit, I'd have been out of that house so fast...
Here are some of the things that Elaine and her family had to face...
Voices...knocking....poundings....being pushed into her bad at night, and couldn't move.
If you love real life ghost stories, then you must get this book.
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