Written by: Clara M. Miller
Published by: Xlibris
Echoes of a Haunting is the memoir of a haunted house, as experienced by the author herself and her family. Along the way, we learn a bit about how haunted houses are handled in the modern era, as well as how neighbors reacted to their publicity, and how the disturbances eventually contributed to (but did not cause) the dissolution of the family.
Presented in the form of a diary, the story begins in July of 1970, when Miller and her family move into a new house in the country. There are already some whiffs of trouble within the family, but the first sign that there might be something wrong with the house is the infestation of bees, filling the entire house–an odd thing for bees to do, to say the least. Nearly as soon as the family moves in, they start to experience strange noises, bad luck, dying pets, UFO sightings, and so forth. The problems seemed, for the most part, centered around, but not restricted to, one room in the house.
[ad#longpost]What is interesting about this tale is that it both is and is not what you would expect from the typical “haunted house” true story. We do not get closets full of pink foam, blood running down walls, children speaking in tongues, and so on, but we do get a disturbed nuclear family with adolescents and a looming divorce. If you are not predisposed to believe in ghosts, the consider this a tale of stress and even telekinesis gone very wrong.
The writer’s prose style is very conversational. She digresses and loses the track of her tale in several places. For the most part, this suits the very personal, immediate style of the book, making what she suffered seem even more real to her, but at other times, it just gets confusing, as she starts to explain a day, loses track, and then never goes back to her original idea.
Given that the bulk of the book takes place in the 1970s, I wonder how Miller’s experiences would have been different today. I fear that her neighbors would have been all too happy about her hauntings, wanting to capitalize upon them for their own fame. Ghosts and other such gothic things are rather trendy now, and Miller’s misfortunes might have made her an overnight star in the less savory parts of the occult-loving communities.
In short, even if you do not believe that the house itself was disturbed, Echoes of a Haunting is a very interesting and enjoyable book to read. If you don’t believe in specters and so forth, then this book is unlikely to convince you, though doing so is not Miller’s expressed purpose. Few of the instances in this book cannot be explained by far simpler things, like bad luck, marital stress, and so on, but on the other hand, if you are at all open to the possibility of the Unexplained World, then this book should please you for its directness; the tale is straight from the horse’s mouth, as it were. If you like ghost tales and true stories, then certainly give it a read.