This story was originally written about 20 years ago and is (very) loosely based on some actual events. My Mother’s family is from an extremely small community in East Tennessee called Everton. Theirs is a very religious (and superstitious) rural area where people still believe the spirit realm is highly intertwined with our own.
When I was growing up, there was an old lodging house down the road from my grandparents home. It was a very old, two story dwelling and oddly painted flat black. My grandmother and great grandmother told me many stories about how that old lodging house was haunted (and they had witnessed supernatural things there, with their own eyes).
At the time, it was owned by a strange family that never turned off any of the lights. The rumor was that they were afraid to sleep with the lights off (because of the restless spirits that inhabited the house). Many times in my youth, I would look out the window (in the middle of the night) and see that creepy old black house with every single light on, just as my grandparent’s claimed.
I once worked up the courage to ask one of the kids why his family lived there, if it was ‘that way’. The boy justified things by saying that: ‘we don’t bother them, and ‘they’ don’t bother us! I was stunned that someone openly agreed to cohabit with angry spirits and that affidavit really added to my imagination about the place. Many times I marveled at how frightened I would be to live in a place that I believed to be haunted. I no longer believe in such things but I do not doubt that they did. That is the inspiration for the story.
Unlike my characters (I used my cousin’s names) we never had the nerve to sneak up to the porch and peer in. I always walked on the opposite side of the street when I passed it and I never went near it at night…😉