Published at Sunday, February 17th, 2019 - 04:28:44 AM. House. By .
The Haunted Sallie House : There are a lot of haunted houses all around the world, and such structures really do spark the human imagination. For some people haunted houses are scientific anomalies which require scientific investigation, while others regard them as centers of paranormal activity that must be revered or even feared. Whatever the truth may be about haunted houses, its undeniable that many of them have terrifying reputations. Among the most notorious haunted houses in the world is the Sallie House. A lot of people in Atchison, Kansas believe that the Sallie house contains evil spirits, while others believe that the entities within are simply lost souls seeking help. Despite peoples opinions about the matter, the Sallie House has become one of the most important attractions of Atchison, Kansas and has been the subject of many TV documentaries. This simple 19th century house originally got its name due to the haunting of a little girl, who was later given the name Sallie. The couple who owned the house believed that the little girl was trying to warn them about the evil spirits which dwelt within the house. Due to the numerous sightings of the little girl, the haunted house became known to both local residents and investigators as the Sallie House. Over the years however, the house began to exhibit other hauntings besides that of the little girl. These hauntings lead observers to conclude that other entities may be inhabiting the house or perhaps some other force was at work within the area. People have always wondered about the entities which inhabit this house. Are they simple ghostly visitors, or are were they lost souls trapped within the house? Were they looking for help or were they just malevolent entities that seek to do harm on the houses human occupants. This is not an easy question to answer, but for those who seek clues to the nature of the Sallie House, its important to look at its long and interesting history. The History of the Sallie House The House that will later be known as the Sallie House was first built in 1867. The land on which it was built on was purchased by one Michael C. Finney, who moved in with his family to start a new life. Finney had a wife, two sons and daughter, and the house remained in the possession of the family until the death of Agnes and Charles Finney, both of whom were Finneys descendants, in 1939 and 1947 respectively. When the Agnes and Charles died, the house was rented out to various boarders. However, people never stayed long in the house and for whatever reason, there were few records on the people who stayed there. The only person who seemed to tolerate the houses peculiar characteristics was one Ethel Anderson, who lived in the house until the early 90s. After Ethel Anderson, Tony and Debra Pickman moved into the Finney home, and thats when the Sallie Houses notorious reputation began to become quite popular. Aside from Sallie appearing to Tony and Debra, numerous attacks were also carried out on anyone who lived inside the house or investigate its mysteries. Tony Pickman, for example, sustained several injuries back when he and his family owned the house in the early 90s, while investigators who visited the house reported sustaining minor injuries, such cuts and burns, during their stay. Whats most disturbing however, is the fact that investigators of house have endured cuts and burns while gathering paranormal data from the house. Although such attacks are usually directed at certain groups of people, it has lead a lot of people to believe in the hostile nature of house and the possibility of demonic presence within its walls. In addition to the attacks, visitors and witnesses also reported full bodied apparitions, flying objects, phantom furniture, sounds of strange animals, human voices and mysterious items appearing and disappearing at random points throughout the house. In addition to witness accounts, a surprisingly large amount of Electronic Voice Phenomenon was also recorded of strange voices from men, women and children, not to mention strange smells emanating from various areas around the house. These data is yet to be authenticated, but over the years a surprising amount of legends and theories has sprung up about the nature and secrets of the Sallie House. Investigations on the Sallie House The first major investigation on the Sallie House was carried out in the early 90s by the Television show, Sightings. Since that time, several psychics and paranormal investigators have attempted to uncover the secrets of the house. With them came technicians and other researchers who were also interested in learning about anomalies which occurred within the house. In addition to paranormal investigators, mainstream journalists, such as the Travel Channel, the History Channel and the Discovery Channel have also investigated the house to gather materials for their own shows and articles. Even Paramount Pictures visited the house in order to gather information for a movie adaptation. Those who have investigated the Sallie House have used a variety of equipment to determine the nature of the hauntings. Among the tools that were used were digital voice recorders, laser microphones, infrared video cameras, electromagnetic measuring devices, and even radiation meters. Those who were less inclined to use technical devices used Ouija boards, crystals, and pendulums to contact the unknown. These psychic devices were used by paranormal investigators and due to their findings and experiences, some of the psychics believe that demonic entities may be inhabiting the house. Other investigators incorporated ESP and other psychic phenomenon in their investigations. Given the frequent appearance of paranormal and supernatural activity in the house, various groups and investigators have begun using the area around the house as a kind of testing ground for paranormal experiments.
Writing Haunted House Stories - Building Atmosphere Through Setting : Atmosphere strikes your character with unease. Consider the houses that might be in your neighborhood. You know the one: Its the house that pedestrians cross the street to avoid. Its the house that high school students dare to spend a night, beyond the creaking doors to warily explore the strange whimpers within its indefinable shadows. Even though nothing tangible has actually occurred, your characters are afraid. This fear comes from the atmosphere: The setting that surrounds your house and your characters. Atmosphere is the mood, and that mood should haunt your readers long after the story is over. So where do you begin? Creating a haunted house story is a frightening and daunting task. To make things easier on yourself, establish the date and time from the beginning of your story. If you write a prologue, begin the story with your date and time or, at the very least, give hints to the decade. Perhaps your character is listening to Disco Inferno just before a psychopath sets the house on fire. Perhaps your character is trembling in the shadows, her bonnet is drenched with perspiration and shes praying for her lantern to stay lit long enough to be rescued. This not only establishes your setting, but also gives you a chance to add a bit of dimension and foreshadowing to your story. Haunt Your Readers Using the Correct Word Using the right word can also establish the setting in your haunted house story. Consider this sentence: Beverly Harris walked into the house. Not very creative at all. Theres barely a setting and the action is not very descriptive at all. Lets try another set of words: Beverly, overwhelmed with incipient danger, crept through the doorway. Better. Crept is a stronger description than the word walked. This is an acceptable description that readers would more likely enjoy. But couldnt we write this sentence in fewer and more ominous words? I think we can: The house consumed her. Ominous, descriptive and simple. This causes the reader to feel discomforted; therefore, empathetic which should be your goal as a writer. To make your readers feel what your characters are feeling. Location, Location, Location Your haunted house is a character just like the rest of your cast. It should have a personality. It should draw your characters into it, much like a protagonist is hunting for a villain. It should have a personality and a history. Your protagonist wants something and your house wants something too. So what kind of personality does your house have? Consider the location. It could be a bayou mansion decorated in a French-Creole, or maybe its a simple two-story cabin in Washington State like in Stephen Kings Alan Wake. Perhaps its even more classical such as a fortified castle located on top of a sheer cliff above a sleepy village. Each of these houses should reflect its geographical location, and its personality should be revealed through the protagonists perspective. If your house could speak, would it have an accent? How would you show that? The décor? The architecture? The location of your haunted house defines its personality. Let it speak. Let it lure your protagonist back into its swampy tendrils. Other ways to give your house a personality through the setting is by re-establishing the environment according to how people speak in their geographical region. People in the Deep South speak differently to each other in Miami and people in Miami speak differently than people in Montana. People gossip about each other and every person has a different perspective on life. Apply that to your haunted house. No matter the geographical location, your house has a back-story and people will gossip about it. What they say and how they say it can reveal more of your houses personality. Each time your character hears a story, his or her perspective will change. For example, The Infinite written by Douglas Clegg, some of the characters that stay in the Nightmare House see it as just an ordinary house at first. Once they begin to hear the strange stories, the paranoia begins to take over and pretty soon the house takes on a more sinister appearance. No, it doesnt physically change. What changes is the characters perception of the house. Your house is another character that deserves to be gossiped about. Everyone has secrets; your haunted house does too. Originality is Vital There are already a number of haunted house movies and books that take place in all kinds of environments all over the world. There are literally hundreds if not thousands that take place in a haunted cabin in the middle of the woods. In order for your horror story to survive the cutthroat competition, it must be unique. It must bring something new to a concept that has been done over and over again. Being unique is vital for your story to survive. Creative writers must be flexible. Instead of a haunted cabin in the woodsy Canadian mountains, perhaps your story is about a haunted floating home in the Puget Sound. Or maybe consider moving your cliché southern plantation to the sunny beachfront tropics of Africa surrounded with palm trees, monkeys and deadly spiders as big as a coconut. Originality doesnt have to be that extreme either. Perhaps your setting is in the Colonial American suburbs of Massachusetts but the architecture is ultra-modern. One last thing to consider when choosing an original setting for your haunted house story is the lighting and ambience. Remember that the farther your house is to the equator, the more drastic your hours of day and night become. A haunted house located in lowest parts of South America, for example, will spend at least a full month in total darkness in the winter and a full month of total daylight in the summer. Enter If You Dare H.P. Lovecraft was a master at building atmosphere through setting. He used the description of the landscapes and neighborhoods to give the reader an ominous feeling long before his character even approaches the house. Take this example from The Picture in the House: ... They climb to the moonlit towers of ruined Rhine castles and falter down black-cobwebbed steps beneath the scattered stones of forgotten cities... The haunted wood and the desolate mountains [are] shrines, and they linger around the sinister monoliths of uninhabited islands... But the true epicure in the terrible and unutterable ghastliness is the chief end and justification of existence, esteems most of all the ancient, lonely farmhouses of backwoods New England... Their strength, solitude, grotesqueness and ignorance combine to form the perfect portion of the hideous. This paints a very sophisticated picture using carefully chosen adjectives and a forward approach. Although H.P. Lovecraft has surpassed the expectation of horror in its finest excellence, award winning author Joe Schreiber writes a more literal description of the Round House in one of his most bone-chilling haunted house stories: No Doors, No Windows: ... It was sparse and plain and narrow, with a curved concrete floor and smooth, almost circular black walls that didnt look as though theyd been painted black but were somehow sculpted out of naturally black material-some substance that literally absorbed light. There were no doors and no windows. Although the passageway appeared to be straight, there was definitely some bend to it, some winding quality just outside the lighters glow. Both of these excellent examples describe the haunted house using atmosphere and setting in different ways. They work well because of the strong word choice and vivid, unnatural descriptions that go beyond the details of how someone would usually describe a house. Joe Schreiber didnt just blatantly say: The room was round. Instead, he painted a picture so vivid that the reader simply got a sense that this room was unnatural and no sane person would enter it -especially if he only possessed a lighter. When is a haunted house not a haunted house? A haunted house isnt always necessarily a house. It can be an apartment or a condo on the beach. Sometimes its a cemetery where spirits of the dead live, work and haunt like in Neil Gaimans novel, The Graveyard Book. Haunted factories, sanitariums, junkyards, prisons, schools, caves and even sewers could all potentially be haunted house stories. All the same rules apply.
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