Here are some fascinating tidbits I came across:
In Deane House in Calgary, Canada, there is a bloodstain in the attic that reappears no matter how many times it has been washed. The stain resides in a closet that won’t stay locked, despite the staff’s repeated attempts to lock it.
When centuries-old Leap Castle was renovated in the early 1920s, a walled-up dungeon was discovered, littered with human bones. The castle is not only reportedly haunted by a long list of spirits, but also by a demon-like creature called an elemental that is small, gray, and “smells like a corpse”.
Borley Rectory has been termed “the most haunted house in England.” Until it was destroyed by fire in 1939, the house was subject to a series of paranormal investigations and media stories – which reported ghostly sightings, knockings, writings on the walls, and objects being thrown. It has been hotly debated for decades afterward whether these phenomena were real or fake.
I didn’t use a haunted castle in The Haunting of Maddy Clare – though there is a decidedly creepy barn. But ghosts have always fascinated me. I have never encountered one myself. Is it possible to prove their existence? If so, why would one person remain to haunt after death, and not another person? What makes a ghost wish to haunt a place, and what might make a ghost leave?
Answering these questions is one of the great pleasures of writing ghost stories. I set my heroine, Sarah Piper, a girl working for a temp agency, on an unexpected path to meet a very real ghost – and to learn a lot more than she bargained for. I hope readers enjoy it!