Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Inspiration Shows Up When You Least Expect It

I went on a holiday with my partner, Tina this past week. It's the first time we've been away--just the two of us--in three years.

It was a wonderful rejuvenating trip.

We traveled a couple hours north of Boston to the Maine an old B&B in Ogunquit right on the beach near the Marginal Way (if you know the's one of the most beautiful beaches in New England). It was a stunning break.

Anyway...we checked into the B&B....and I went to unlock the door to our room and the brass key snapped. As you can imagine, I was a little embarrassed as I went back down two flights of stairs to the front desk.

The hostess, Louise, just laughed and quickly had a replacement key and the lock to our room fixed. She patted me on the shoulder (as I was obviously put-out at breaking the key) and said:

"Don't worry about it. The ghost is just upset."

Well, I love a good ghost story--but as a born and raised New Yorker, I'm a bit skeptical when it comes to the 'real thing.'

"What ghost?" I asked.

Our lovely hostess grabbed a book from the shelf (Haunted Inns of New England) and pointed out a story about the very B&B I was standing in.

"Interesting," I said trying not to be the cynic I am, "But why is the ghost upset?"

"The B&B has been sold to make condos."

She was really sweet and I spent a few more minutes chatting with Louise, then went back upstairs to open up our room and unpack, focusing not on the ghost or the broken key, but on five glorious days alone with my baby.

That evening, we had a beautiful dinner, a lovely walk on the beach and spent some time stargazing. About 2 AM, T and I were woken by the banging of the handicap elevator in the back of the building. It went on for thirty minutes or so, then stopped.

The next morning we came downstairs for breakfast.

"Did you guys hear the elevator last night?" asked Louise as one might ask about the weather.

"Yes," I said. "What was that all about?"

"The ghost," she said simply

"Oh, c'mon!" I said.

That's when the elevator repairman came around the corner. "I'll be damned if I can find anything wrong, Louise."

Our hostess just smiled at me.

I admit it. I got caught up in the moment. I asked to hear more for a budding Ghost Story short that had been percolating since...well...since the repair guy couldn't find anything wrong with the elevator.

She agreed to speak to me later that afternoon.

Tina and I had breakfast, then decided the walk the Marginal Way to Perkin's Cove...a two mile or so stroll along the ocean. During our walk we came across a run down mansion overlooking the water. The second part of my embryonic tale began to take form.

Both Tina and I wanted to get a closer look at this old run down estate and snuck onto the property for a look-see. The house was well in need of repair, with rotting wooden beams, plants growing inside and all manner of decaying smells about the place.

In other words, I'd found my setting for my ghost story.

The discussion with Louise later gave me all sorts of information from the condo conversion this fall to the various 'intriguing' happenings at the B&B.

To add to Louise's stories, a few other inexplicable things happened during out stay. The main computer for the B&B, for example, died while the reservation system was being updated to clear out the entry's post the start of the condo conversion this fall. The door to an adjoining room's porch locked by itself while the residents were outside enjoying the evening. The sound of running footsteps were heard one evening on the back staircase...but the staircase was locked. The outdoor lights of the Inn randomly switched on an off, yet had no problems when the electrician arrived. The oven randomly turned on an off one morning during breakfast....

I could go on.

So I now have a Work In Progress. A Ghost Story set in a sleepy town in Maine.

I think I'll keep the lights on tonight.


Sharla said...

Love a good ghost story!!! Awesome.

Leah Petersen said...

Sounds like fun. And did Tina appreciate the literary detour on her vacation?

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