Staying at the Thurber House has been very inspirational. Some of the stories James Thurber wrote were based on things that actually happened in this house—including “The Night The Ghost Got In.” Many people who have worked here have had their own ghost encounter. Since my second novel is about a haunted house, I expected that I would too.
But I didn’t. I slept undisturbed. I heard no thumps. I felt no brush of cobwebs. Now as a writer I've learned that you can’t always wait for inspiration to pay you a visit. Sometimes you must be brave and go look for it. Especially if it is something disturbing.
So one night, that’s what I did.
I waited until dark. I turned off all the lights. With only the faint glow of my cell phone, I crept down the same stairs where James Thurber had heard the thumps almost a hundred years ago. All my senses were alert. But I didn’t see or feel anything. And then, as I turned the corner and stood upon the bottom step, I saw something glowing beneath the dining room floorboards.
I gasped and grabbed the newel post. I seemed to see the light pulse. Or maybe I was the one who was trembling.
When I leaned closer to take this photograph, I realized what it was. Someone had left the light on in the basement.
There was a logical explanation. And yet nothing could have persuaded me to go down there to turn off that light.