Rebecca Spencer had not been keen on moving to Arkansas. When her husband got a job as the Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities at the University of Arkansas, Monticello, however, she found the family planning a move. When they were scouting houses, Rebecca fell in love with an old Victorian mansion. She announced that she would move, as long as Mark bought her that house.
They bought the house. Shortly after moving in, it was time to rearrange some things. As Rebecca and Bronte were working in the living room, the power suddenly cut out on the vacuum. Rebecca was annoyed, right up to the point where she saw the record player begin spinning. It went faster, and faster, and faster. Rebecca went to investigate, but the record player stopped cold as she reached toward it. This did nothing to settle Bronte’s discomfort with the house.
Mark took the kids around the yard with the metal detector. Near an old rosebush, they found a penny from 1948, an old pill box, and a striking lipstick case. Rebecca had been working in the yard when she’d heard a woman’s voice say her name. Could there be a connection? What about the woman Rebecca had thought she’d seen?
Rebecca decided to have a yard sale. Her friend Destiney had some things she wanted to get rid of, and brought them over. While she was unloading the boxes, she kept asking Rebecca for some help. She kept not getting help. Just as Destiney was getting annoyed, Rebecca walked into the room from a completely different direction. Who had Destiney been asking for help?
Bronte was overwhelmed by the house. Too frightened to sleep, one night she heard the sound of ice clinking in a glass as someone walked down the hall. There was no one there. When she went back to bed, her fan shut off, and something began pressing the buttons, telling her, “I’m here.”
Reagan Dye, one of Mark’s students, house-sat. One rainy evening, the dog ran up the stairs behind her and disappeared into the darkness. When the attic door slammed shut (after she’d propped it open with a chair), Reagan freaked. When she ran down and saw a woman walking into Mark’s study? She bolted.
Rebecca found the story of Ladell Allen,who’d been the victim of a bad marriage and divorced in the 1920s. Her only child had died of pneumonia. Ladell herself had died in their house, but nobody would say how or why. Rebecca ordered the death certificate, just to see. She wanted to have a paranormal team come in, but Mark wanted to protect his academic reputation. Finally, he agreed.
Bess Maxwell’s paranormal investigation team was called in to investigate the house. As they were setting up for the night, Bess began smelling cigar smoke. When one of the other team members smelled it, they began checking everything to make sure the smell wasn’t coming from the upholstery. The smell disappeared just as quickly as it had appeared.
Bess’s team had been right on the verge of starting their investigation when sparks flew and the power went out to the house. A leafy branch from an otherwise healthy tree had been violently ripped from the trunk, falling and severing the power line at the transformer. Something did not want them investigating. Mark even began doubting his own skepticism about the paranormal. If a spirit could do that, what else could it do?
Rebecca called Mark home from work, as she heard a man’s footsteps in the attic. While Mark went upstairs, Rebecca smelled the strong odor of cigar smoke. A dark figure appeared before her, wearing what looked like a cowboy hat. The figure began to walk toward her.
In the attic, Mark had found nothing to account for the footsteps. A shadowy figure quietly pointed toward a floorboard in the attic. When he pried the board loose, he found a packet of letters. They were old love letters to Ladell from a man named Prentiss Savage. What piece of the puzzle was this?
The letters from Prentiss had been passionate, but Prentiss was not sure he could ever free himself of his marriage. Rebecca believed that Ladell, distraught over losing Prentiss, poisoned herself. Did someone else knowing Ladell’s story bring her peace? Only she knows.