My paranormal erotic romance book An Unexpected Guest is a ghost story. I based the book on a haunted bed and breakfast on Maryland's Eastern Shore. This B&B dates back to the Revolutionary War, and it sits on a river. I had heard about it several years earlier, and after much planning finally stayed there when I was in town for a theater stage crew convention. The story behind the haunting is as follows: British soldiers came up the river and proceeded to set the small town on fire, destroying most of it. Soldiers threw torches on the porch of this B&B, which was originally a brothel. The proprietress swept the torches off the porch with her broom. She made a deal with the soldiers. She would house them, feed them, and allow them to use her services as long as they didn't burn the place down. They agreed, and this B&B was allowed to stand whilst homes around it burned to the ground. The haunting involves the ghost of the proprietress wandering the halls in the dead of night, checking on her clientele and the women to make sure everyone was comfortable. There have been other sightings as well. The B&B itself is absolutely beautiful, decorated in Victorian splendor. It includes a lovely bar and discounted dinners every Friday night. The rooms are beautiful, spacious, and very homey in that Victorian style I liked very much.
The first time I stayed it was off-season in mid-winter. I was in a room overlooking the river. What a view! I enjoyed a delicious meal and the company of a man I met in the bar. He came to the B&B several times per month to enjoy dinner when in town on business. No, I did not take him to bed, although he was very handsome. At the time I was not married. We ate dinner together. That night I slept well until about 3 am when I heard a party going on in the room next to me. There was a lot of noise. I managed to go back to sleep. At about 4:30 am I heard heavy footsteps walking up and down the hallway. I immediately thought of the ghost of the proprietress stalking the halls checking on everyone and went back to sleep. I wondered whys she wore combat boots, since her footsteps were very loud and heavy. I felt very safe, secure, and comfortable. Not the least bit scared.
The next day, when I went down for breakfast, I told the clerk about the party and the footsteps. She told me I couldn't have heard anything because I had been alone in the building all night. Yeeeahhh!!!!! The party! The footsteps! None of it could have happened!!!
Of course, I had to return. :)
The second time I stayed I was with my husband. While we slept, someone turned on the overhead light in the middle of the night. I was a very light sleeper and I snapped awake the moment the light turned on. He snored away next to me. I was far too tired to get up and turn off the light, so I went back to sleep. When I woke up shortly before dawn, the light was out. I asked my husband later about the light and he said he had turned it off before going to bed. He didn't get up during the night at all.
So who turned on the light? And who later turned it off?
I heard those footsteps in the hallway again, and felt as safe as I did the first time. No party this time, though. At least this time there were other guests in the place. I wasn't alone in the building again.
So there you have it. I had my own ghostly experiences. Granted, I think there were perfectly natural explanations for what I heard. The kitchen was downstairs right off my room and noise from clean-up could have carried up the stairs. I could have mistaken those noises for a party. It's also likely my husband simply forgot he didn't turn off the overhead light. But I like to think I had ghostly experiences both times I stayed.
Here is an eerie excerpt from "An Unexpected Guest". Enjoy!
When she reached the top of the stairs, she walked into the hallway. A small ball of light floated out of the Blacklight Room, sped down the hall, and took a sharp right turn out of her line of vision. Curious, Annie walked down the length of the hall. Her footsteps against the wood sounded loud in the unusual silence that engulfed her. She followed the trail of the ball of light, and turned right at the end of the hallway. The door to the Bridal Suite was a few feet in front of her.
She saw no light. What was it, and where did it come from?
Why did the air around her seem so cold?
Annie shivered. Why was she shaking? There was nothing to be afraid of. It was only a ball of light. It was probably caused by static electricity.
Stop it, Annie. You're being silly. There is nothing to be afraid of.
A moan came from the other side of the door. Annie wasn't sure if she actually heard it. She craned her neck, and listened closely. A woman sobbed from somewhere inside the room.
"Help me! Please, help me I can't breathe. I can't catch my breath."
Annie knocked on the door.
"Hello? Are you okay in there?"
"I can't breathe!"
Annie knocked again, but heard no reply. The cold around the door intensified so much that Annie's teeth chattered. Her breath came from her lips in gusts. She saw the mist from her breath in front of her face.
She turned and ran to her room. She was so nervous that she had difficulty fitting her key in the lock.
Her room was warm, much warmer than the hallway. She placed the paperwork on her bed. Her skittishness settled somewhat, and she walked into the hallway and locked her door.
She looked around. The hallway was preternaturally quiet. She could not shake the unsettling feeling that she was being watched.
Don't be foolish, There is no one up here. You're alone on the second floor.
All she wanted to do was to get out of there, run downstairs, and surround herself with live people. Shoving the thought of ghosts from her head, she rubbed her arms with her hands to ward off the goosebumps. She needed to find Ruth. What if someone in that room needed help? The woman crying in that room sounded like she needed a doctor. Annie bolted down the hallway and down the stairs without looking behind her. She was afraid of what she might see.