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Night Stalks the Mansion: A True Story of One Family's Ghostly Adventure Kindle Edition
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I have to agree that there wasn't anything "super scary" in this book (although if I had experienced any of what occured for that length of time, I wouldn't have stayed.) During their two year stay in the mansion on Plum Lane, the Cameron family experienced hearing footsteps in the house and at night what sounded like a man walking up the gravel driveway, doors opening, movement of doorknobs (and putred odors in their bedroom.) When they had family visit there were some other ghostly shinnanigans going on as well.
At one point they find out an elderly black gentlemen, Enoch, had been living in their barn (I found this odd, especially given the fact that they did venture out onto the property.) Apparently he had worked in the mansion when he was young. Harold Cameron befreinds the man and hires him to help his wife Dorothy around the house. Eventually with much prodding, Harold gets Enoch to tell him the history of the property. This part was interesting. A truly tragic and sad past, certainly would explain why these spirits would remain, (if you believe in this sort of phenomena.)
Although the book was mildly entertaining... something about the family was off. Their reaction through the entire ordeal was strange, they were entirely too calm about the matter. Actually, their reactions to most of what happened, ghostly or not, were odd. There were times the story would go completely off topic and it was distracting. There was also an issue with the format, some sentences had large spaces between words. Nothing major but worth mentioning. I realize this was written some time ago, so that might have something to do with these issues.
That being said, there was an interesting note at the end, an update of sorts about what has happened to the mansion and the property over the years.
There were some good tid bits throughout the story.. but overall, it fell flat for me.
I got a kick out of the 1950's lifestyle (he is so proud of his wife's concerns with the kitchen and keeping the house clean).
It was not frightening at all, but more mysterious...almost gothic with the story unearthed.
I find part of the legend associated with the haunting not entirely credible. Without leaving a spoiler, if the man who was attributed with the long ago crime actually did it, he must have been insane given the prejudices of the time. I wonder if he wasn't unjustly accused. That has certainly happened countless times.
Anyway, a wonderful, wonderful read.
Shortly after World War II ended, a business man with a large family needs to rent a property immediately in order to accommodate his hasty job transfer to Wynne, Pennsylvania. What he and his family are able to find is a large old mansion with an extensive property, and a past.
The paperback that I received was a reissue of a story that originally published in the late seventies, and even at that point, the occurrences had been experienced some time ago. My off-the-cuff-guess based on how the characters spoke to one another would that the events of this book took place in the mid-to-late 1950's. This results in a unique read that is a bit like the cast of 'Leave it to Beaver' or 'Ozzie and Harriet' having to spend two years of their lives raising a family in haunted house. It's not a bad thing at all, and I felt that it created a type of charm when reading their reactions to the experiences. That may seem difficult to visualize, but when reading the book, it should make more sense. These aren't people who scream and toss their hands up at every little creak of a floor board - they are rational, try to find the cause, and weather it with a bit of wry humor.
The book is from the patriarch's perspective, and he coauthored the novel with an acquaintance of his. This works well because, much of the activities he was privy to first hand, and since he was the primary handler of renting the estate, his experiences with obtaining the property also help cement the fact that something with this house isn't quite right.
The other characters in the book are fleshed out sufficiently and given their own unique personalities that shine through the narrative. His wife and brother in particular command their own presence in the book. The dialogue flows well, if a bit 'old school', and scenarios seem plausible even within the realm of the paranormal.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick read, and had a great plot that featured plenty of intrigue, side-mysteries (apart from the main plot) that didn't distract the reader but instead enhanced the readers' understanding of the main plot's going's on. What is even more fun (for me at least) is being able to search online for more pics and info on the mansion itself. My impression of the novel and story itself is that I can 'see' these evens unfold in my mind - the whole book plays out almost perfectly as a movie (I think that the transition of this book to the screen would be a screenwriter's dream come true!).
I hope you enjoy it like I did.
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