Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Things buried in the garden?

What would you do if you found a skull buried in your garden?
In my historical novel, The Old Cape House, that's exactly what present day Nancy Caldwell finds at the bottom of an old root cellar behind her barn. As the story unfolds, in alternating chapters between the 18th and 21st centuries, Nancy unearths other clues and connections that  link her land to the Cape Cod legend of the pirate Black Sam Bellamy and Maria Hallett.

The scariest thing I ever found on our property in Brewster was this gun. At first, I thought it was real; it felt heavy and looked deadly. After a few minutes of staring at it, I proceeded to slowly walk into the house, gently carrying it in the palm of my hand. Upon closer inspection and a quick search on Google, I realized, with relief, it was only a toy gun from the 40s or 50s. I immediately pictured a little boy playing outside, probably dropping the gun in the dirt, and then forgetting about it. The whole thing was so strange to me because I'd dug in that spot several times over the years and had never found anything.

Photo courtesy of Heather Struna

Our house was built in 1890 and from the moment I stepped across its threshold, I only sensed good things about it. But that's not always been the case with me as far as other houses. When we were looking to settle on the Cape, we visited several sites for purchase. One house on Route 6A in Barnstable was very different. As soon as I walked inside, I turned around and walked right out. I couldn't explain, at the time, why I had such foreboding feelings, all I knew was that I wanted to leave. Years later, when an article appeared in the Cape Cod Times about haunted houses on Cape Cod, that same house was designated as officially haunted!

Another time during the early years of our arrival on Cape Cod, I was gardening out back and found under ten inches of dirt a pattern of red bricks. It sparked my imagination and that unusual find was the beginning of my story of The Old Cape House.

I love to visit cemeteries – but only in the daytime. The Cape has wonderful ancient cemeteries scattered along old roads and main thoroughfares. This is the Cove Burying Ground in Eastham, located on Route 6 eastbound. Some of the graves date from 1605. Notice the power of nature as a tree grows around the old fence line.

And now to the contest... Here's how to win an ebook of The Old Cape House

Post a comment or send me an email.
Tell me in a few sentences about your most unusual Halloween experience.
I would prefer it to be true. After all, I think a true – real life weird experience is one of THE most frightening things that anyone could have. To be scared by a movie, book or television show is nothing compared to reality!

On October 31, at midnight, the contest closes and I'll email the winner an ebook of The Old Cape House!

If your entry doesn't get picked, you can always purchase the ebook or paperback on
Amazon  The Old Cape House

Barnes & Noble, The Old Cape House

Happy Halloween!


  1. So glad you bought the house that isn't haunted...although I can't say my parents were as wise! I wrote about my Scariest Halloween Ever on the CapeWomenOnline blog so swing by and check it out. I warn you - it really IS a TRUE story and one that still haunts me today...

  2. I live in a haunted Cape Cod house, although it's not an historic house. Built in the 1960's, I confirmed with a neighbor that yes, the owner died peacefully in his bed here in the house. And never left. He doesn't open and close doors as much as he used to - or maybe it's because we deadbolt the basement door now! In any event, he was never a "bad" ghost, more like a grandfatherly figure watching the kids.

    Happy Halloween!

  3. We live in a haunted house in Nashua, NH. Were friends with your daughter Annie and she loves our house. We have a spirit of a boy and a girl and a woman in black that only stays in my daughters room and a old woman in white that walks the halls every night peeking in on the kids and then walking again in the hall. We hear footsteps in the attic and hallway and have heard singing and talking as well. We also have taken photos where stuff has shown up.

  4. Okay, that's scary. You win! Email me Jess for the details on your winning a copy of The Old Cape House!