They Still Haunt Me


WP Daily Prompt asks: List three books that have had an impact on you. Why?

My 5th grade teacher used to give out prizes if you scored enough high points on our Spelling Tests- you got extra points if you scored better on the final test then the pre-test and you got bonus points if you got the hard words which were always brain benders.

One month I was nailing those bonus points so I had enough to be awarded  three books of my choice at the book fair that was coming up.

The librarian who ran the book fair knew about my love of all books ghostly, so she recommended this book:

After I read  ” Ghosts I Have Been ” I started to write stories where the hero was a girl-in fact, I started to write more girls as the lead characters all across the board. Nowadays that’s no big thing, but  when I won this book back in 1975  women ( and that included my Mom ) had only been allowed to open their own bank accounts  since 1974 so these were less then enlightened times- even in the world of make believe.


When I used to babysit I had a pretty good work ethic going on. I had this routine where I played board games with the kids, let them watch a show on tv before bedtime and I even read to them.

I never raided the fridge, used the phone and shut the tv off after the kids went to bed.

Back then nobody thought twice about hiring 12 year olds to babysit their kids, but it was a different world back then.  The practical side to this schedule was that if I had a routine my little charges didn’t have time to figure out I was maybe only a couple of years older then some of them and it kept them from acting up.


One night I had forgotten to bring my homework and something to read after,  so I pulled one off of the shelf next to the tv  and read it.

I think I noticed it because of the title ( I liked the name ).

That night I read ” Carrie ” by Stephen King and the next day I went out and bought my own copy of Carrie as well as King’s new book called ” Salem’s Lot “.

Funny note- I  bought my first two Stephen King books a week after I got ” Ghosts I Have Been. ” and I’ve wanted to be a writer like them ever since.

My Mom and Dad and his cousin went to see this scary movie that had people freaking out in the theatres.

My parents and my Dad’s cousin  went because they were caught up in the hype and the next morning I asked if people had run out of the theater screaming for a Priest and my Dad looked really disgusted- ” No. ” he told me.

Take my word on this- my Dad and his Cousin probably only went because they wanted to see people freaking out. I’m from that kind of family.

Is it true the girl in the movie peed on the floor?

” Yeah. ” My Dad said.

I laughed. ” Really? She peed on the floor? ”

My Dad tried to save the moment and steer me away from talking about pee. ” Well. Yes. She was telling an astronaut he was going to die in Space. ”

” While she was peeing on the floor? ”

I went into hysterics.

In my defense I was like 11 years old at the time.

” Can I see ” The Exorcist? ” I asked my parents after I pulled myself together.

This is what my Mom said. ” Not if you’re going to just sit there and laugh through the entire thing. How would that look? ”

When my Mom said no like that I knew better then to push the point, so I went and bought the book.

So there you have it, three books that had an impact on me and every fall around Halloween I read them again.

I’ll bet you didn’t see that coming ( wink ).

Leave a Reply