A Paranormal Library – House of Spirits & Whispers
October 7, 2011
I would like to preface my review by stating that I have purchased all the books I review for the public. I am in no way being paid for my reviews, but I am sharing my favorite paranormal books for your reading pleasure. The opinions expressed in these books do not always reflect my own personal opinion, but I do find these topics fascinating. Your purchases of these books do not monetarily benefit me, nor do I gain points with your readership or purchase. I am sure, however, that the authors do enjoy your patronage. Happy reading Dreamers!
This disclaimer is in reference of my use of the word “paranormal.” My use of the word “paranormal” refers to anything that is not normal, be it ghosts, conspiracy theories or aliens. If the topic is not part of conventional beliefs, then it is paranormal. So please do not bombard me with comments about how something is or is not paranormal.
House of Spirits & Whispers: The True Story of a Haunted House by Annie Wilder
Annie Wilder lives in Minnesota in her spooky Victorian house that is featured in this novel. She has been featured on numerous paranormal programs such as Coast to Coast AM and numerous television programs regarding her spooky house. She has also written another book, which I have already read and will produce another review on it, and has written several articles regarding her experiences living in her house. She still lives with her many cats.
When it came to this author, I read her books backwards. As I was looking for books from The Paranormal Podcast, I came across the book Spirits out of Time, which is the second book in Annie Wilder’s series of her haunted life. I read that book with absolute interest because my family as well has had a history of ghost stories with in our family. I may share some with you all when I review the next book. When I finally caught up to The Paranormal Podcast’s discussion on Annie’s book, I realized that I may have gotten the author correct, but I did not read the first book in the series. So this led me to House of Spirits & Whispers: The True Story of a Haunted House, a surprisingly quick read for those interested in a house full of ghosts, cats, astral projection and ghost cats…yes, I did say “ghost cats!”
House of Spirits & Whispers start like any other “true” account of a haunted house.* Annie was shopping around for a larger house to accommodate her growing family and many cats (by many, I think she had three about this time). She had been shopping for quite some time, and happened to come across this old Victorian mansion that had been falling into some disrepair after its former owner had passed away in the house. Upon her first tour of the house, she noticed that the old mansion had been split into three different houses, complete with three kitchens and bathrooms. Upon asking if these changes were reversible, she learned that the old owner had done this remodel to make more money on the house, but after a while everyone moved out, he couldn’t keep people in the house, his wife died, and then he died as well. It was love at first light for Annie; she knew this was the house of her dreams, but it was also well beyond her means. She did put a bid in, along with another couple, their bid won, but a few days later, the realtor told Annie that she had the house since the couple pulled out their bid.
For the first few weeks, Annie, her family and her then boyfriend were all busy redoing the house, taking apart walls that were placed to create the three apartments, dismantled kitchens and they started to repaint walls and move their furniture in. In those weeks no one started to notice the fact that the house was haunted. There those feelings of being watched, but nothing further than that. It wasn’t until the cats moved in that they started noticing something was amiss in the house.
The cats would spend their time playing an invisible game, and at one point, one cat would stand on its hind legs (an action the cat never used to do before the move) as if it thought it were human. This wasn’t an isolated incident either, there would be several other times the cat would recreate this action. That’s about the time the family started noticing the apparitions.
Annie goes on to discuss the different apparitions in her house, including the presence of the last owner of the house, Leon. She would see his apparition several times in the house. She came to understand that he was here in the house because it was something he held dear to him, and he protected house from anything remotely evil. One story stood out to me most though, and that was of Annie and her cat Sugar Plum. Apparently when Sugar Plum goes to clean herself, she is so loud that you could sometimes hear her from the other rooms in the house. This one night, Annie would tell Sugar Plum to quit licking, the cat would stop for a few seconds, and in true stubborn cat fashion, she would start over again with vengeance. Annie finally got up to yell at Sugar, because the cat was keeping her up, and from the furnace a loud, deep voice yelled “SUUUGARRR STOP!” Annie and the cats looked at the furnace and Annie promptly went to sleep, scared. I’m sorry, but when some inanimate object yells at my cat to stop doing something, neither I nor the cats will be sleeping in that house. I would be driving to my mother’s house to sleep with my cats.
While many reviewers felt that this book was underwhelming, I do agree with them on some part, because we really never did find out why the house would be an ideal candidate to be haunted, just hypothesis after hypothesis. Also, Annie could never really figure out who some of the souls were that haunted the house. She also set up the book towards a climactic ending, but even then, she just sets the bar high to be let down again. While these negatives seem bad, they really were not, I’m a cat lover myself, and I enjoyed the book for the different experiences that did happen, some of them were so spooky that I fell asleep with my lights on, much to the chagrin of the boyfriend. He wasn’t too pleased with the book based on that effect.
The book was very enjoyable, but I was a bit upset at the fact that some of the pictures she took were not displayed in the pages, and if they were, the Nook version did not show them. Although, on her website I discovered that she in fact did post EVPs** (Electronic Voice Phenomena) with the research team she had come investigate her home. Check them out here.
The Oracle of Dreams
*I use “true” to distinguish the fact that some authors do in fact fabricate their experiences in their haunted house. I’m not saying that Annie’s experiences are false or fabricated in any way, but this is the same model used in many haunted house stories. Doubt me? Just watch A Haunting on the Discovery Channel or purchase the series from Discovery.com, a good 90% of these stories start the exact same way.
**Electronic Voice Phenomena is the result of recording sounds that are not directly heard by the human ear. With basic recorders or sensitive microphones, a paranormal investigator can hear sounds, they did not directly hear, that answered their questions, or sounds of someone or something talking.