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Thread: Writing about a haunted house, it's past is missing

  1. #1
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    Writing about a haunted house, it's past is missing

    Greetings, after a long dormancy, I have returned with a new author brand. I was getting that together and now have found one.

    I live in a haunted house which is located in Minnesota. The homeowner, which is my manager/mother has nicknamed the house Proud Land. I am currently working on the novel based upon the paranormal log I have started.

    We have searched for years about the house's history/past, but have came up empty. We went to our Anoka County government center, Anoka County historical library, city hall etc. They are only able to go back to 1959 from the city hall and government center. Many documents we found out were lost. However through the city hall's information and a neighbor's mother told us the house had been vacant for 12 to 15 years. Throughout from 1959, the house has been vacant and previous homeowners has never stayed more than a year in the house (from a year, month, weeks and even days), because due to the house's activity. Neighbors are unwilling to share about the house's legends/past/history previous owners really. I researched and found out there was a fire in the city hall, losing most of its records and documents. We do not know who built the house, when it was built or anything. We do not know what dark past the house had. Due to the house's dark/negative and bizarre activity, we believe something dark happened. When searching for ourselves, nothing comes up. On the property information, it says the estimate date is 1910. So not even Anoka County knows when the house was built. I wished to include the house's past in the novel, but this has been difficult.

    We have contacted many local and non-local paranormal teams and they have never been able to find anything. We have information though already about the history of Columbia Heights, which is not much, but enough for the book. There are next door neighbors who has been in the neighborhood since 1952, but they are unwilling to share information about previous owners or any dark things. They have even given us false information. They are just unfriendly neighbors. We have recently contacted Dead Files, TAPS, Ghost Adventures etc. to see if they can pull up something.
    Last edited by TikaaniM; 11-11-2015 at 12:01 PM.

  2. #2
    Vaguely Bananas Fruitbat's Avatar
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    I know this doesn't satisfy your desire to know about the history of the house, but since it's a novel, you could always use your log entries as the basis of a made up history. I'm a little confused since this is in the nonfiction section but you say you are writing a novel, which doesn't require true facts.

    As far as the history of the house, perhaps you could hunt down past homeowners of the neighboring houses and try to contact them. Or place an ad in the local paper requesting info. Also, you mention the historical section of the library, but is there a historical society there? Or a long running newspaper that would have records itself, aside from what's in the library? Also, around here anyway, there are some historical homes and such with historical items and stuff like framed news clippings. You never know what you might find there and they may have more info. Another idea is something like Ancestry.com, with their census records. I don't know if there's any way to find those listed by address rather than people's names, though. Not sure how deeply you've already researched, so I don't know if any of this is helpful. Good luck with it. Sounds interesting.
    Last edited by Fruitbat; 11-11-2015 at 01:50 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fruitbat View Post
    I know this doesn't satisfy your desire to know about the history of the house, but since it's a novel, you could always use your log entries as the basis of a made up history. I'm a little confused since this is in the nonfiction section but you say you are writing a novel, which doesn't require true facts.

    As far as the history of the house, perhaps you could hunt down past homeowners of the neighboring houses and try to contact them. Or place an ad in the local paper requesting info. Also, you mention the historical section of the library, but is there a historical society there? Or a long running newspaper that would have records itself, aside from what's in the library? Also, around here anyway, there are some historical homes and such with historical items and stuff like framed news clippings. You never know what you might find there and they may have more info. Another idea is something like Ancestry.com, with their census records. I don't know if there's any way to find those listed by address rather than people's names, though. Not sure how deeply you've already researched, so I don't know if any of this is helpful. Good luck with it. Sounds interesting.
    I am actually not going that route. Everything is written according to what actually happened. For this paranormal novel (nonfiction), I am writing all true facts about what happened. The log is actually a paranormal log of what everyone had experienced in the house. Nothing will be made up. I may have to write a sequel for if/when the history is finally found. I have already done that type of research, and we still could not contact previous owners or anything like that. We have extensively researched ourselves. We do have very few historical sites, and it never is related to anything we are searching for. Although humans have told us about cemeteries being dug up, moved and things like that, but nothing is related to the house.
    Last edited by TikaaniM; 11-11-2015 at 09:39 PM.

  4. #4
    Reading & Writing Bergerac's Avatar
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    By definition:
    Novel = fiction
    So there is no such thing as a nonfiction novel. Check your dictionary. An novel is define as "a fictitious prose narrative of book length".

    Perhaps you are intending to use fiction techniques, therefore you could call it "creative nonfiction".
    "I would die at the stake rather than change a semi-colon!"
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bergerac View Post
    By definition:
    Novel = fiction
    So there is no such thing as a nonfiction novel. Check your dictionary. An novel is define as "a fictitious prose narrative of book length".

    Perhaps you are intending to use fiction techniques, therefore you could call it "creative nonfiction".
    I really do not think it matters what I call my story. A book is better for you? No one has ever complained about if I call it a novel, book or a story. My manager also has a few words to say about this. This site has officially became like Facebook, another site I will not use for my projects. I am not going to post anymore or use this site's services for anything else. My manager may reply to this for she is actually offended by this. I have checked the dictionary and it really does not matter.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TikaaniM View Post
    I really do not think it matters what I call my story. A book is better for you? No one has ever complained about if I call it a novel, book or a story. My manager also has a few words to say about this. This site has officially became like Facebook, another site I will not use for my projects. I am not going to post anymore or use this site's services for anything else. My manager may reply to this for she is actually offended by this. I have checked the dictionary and it really does not matter.
    Whoa! I don't think anybody wanted to offend you or your manager, I'm sure. But, if being offended is what you are going to be anyway...well, I guess we can't really help that.

    About the house: I'm sure you've checked back issues of local newspapers from the 1950s. That's where I would look.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TikaaniM View Post
    I really do not think it matters what I call my story.
    Actually, it does matter when you are looking for publishers (unless you want to self-publish); and it also matters in how you market the book. Readers (like trade publishers) don't like to be misled, so if you market a book as nonfiction (which implies and actually requires that all of the reported events are true) and it turns out that all or some of the events have been fabricated, you set yourself up to a market backlash of potentially epic proportions. Which is why the concerned users in this forum are trying to help you by pointing out what constitutes nonfiction and what constitutes fiction. A novel is a fictional book, but - obviously - you can base your fictional book ( = the novel) on true events. This is done a lot. A "nonfictional novel," however, is am oxymoron and simply doesn't exist.
    This site has officially became like Facebook, another site I will not use for my projects.
    A devastating loss for this site, I'm sure. ;-)
    I am not going to post anymore or use this site's services for anything else.
    And dang those users who dedicate hours of their time and volunteer sharing their invaluable knowledge free of charge with other people...
    My manager may reply to this for she is actually offended by this.
    I will make sure to prepare some popcorn to share with the group as this ought to be fun to watch. :-)
    I have checked the dictionary and it really does not matter.
    Must not be a very good dictionary, as the distinction does, in fact, matter.
    Best of luck to you and much success in your writing endeavors.
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  8. #8
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    Many haunted houses have been called fraudulent cases or being exaggerated which is something we will not be accused of. I have tried this site again but has always found it similar to Yahoo Answers, which I do not like for similar answers. My manager will be replying to this post. After that, we will not post again.

    For reference, this book will not be using any fictional things. Not creative nonfiction. It is already a lot we want humans to believe Smile Dog and Slenderman haunts this house.

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    I have done research and already know that. I have spent hours and studied extensively about the field of writing. I know how to market this book. I am done with this site.
    Last edited by TikaaniM; 11-13-2015 at 05:50 AM.

  10. #10
    AW's resident Velociraptor ShaunHorton's Avatar
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    If it doesn't matter what we call it, why would you or your manager be offended? A writer is an artist of words. Every word has specific meanings and as writers, we need to know what words mean and use them correctly.

    Maybe instead of being offended yourselves, you should worry about whether readers will be offended when they pick up a "novel" and find something which is just dozens of accounts of events, and not an actual story.

    That's a derail though.

    As to your comment in the OP, have you tried searching the house on your own for clues? Try running a black light over walls to see if blood stains or something shows up? Dug through crawlspaces and attics? If the house hasn't been obviously renovated recently and you plan on doing some yourself, maybe knock on a few walls. In old enough houses they used to stuff wadded up newspaper in the walls as cheap insulation. That would at least give you a more solid idea on when it was built.

    For reference, this book will not be using any fictional things. Not creative nonfiction. It is already a lot we want humans to believe Smile Dog and Slenderman haunts this house.
    Whoa whoa whoa. You're claiming your house is haunted by creepypasta's? Oh. Okay. Well, good luck calling it non-fiction then.
    Last edited by ShaunHorton; 11-13-2015 at 05:59 AM.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scriptissima View Post
    Actually, it does matter when you are looking for publishers (unless you want to self-publish); and it also matters in how you market the book. Readers (like trade publishers) don't like to be misled, so if you market a book as nonfiction (which implies and actually requires that all of the reported events are true) and it turns out that all or some of the events have been fabricated, you set yourself up to a market backlash of potentially epic proportions. Which is why the concerned users in this forum are trying to help you by pointing out what constitutes nonfiction and what constitutes fiction. A novel is a fictional book, but - obviously - you can base your fictional book ( = the novel) on true events. This is done a lot. A "nonfictional novel," however, is am oxymoron and simply doesn't exist.

    A devastating loss for this site, I'm sure. ;-)

    And dang those users who dedicate hours of their time and volunteer sharing their invaluable knowledge free of charge with other people...

    I will make sure to prepare some popcorn to share with the group as this ought to be fun to watch. :-)

    Must not be a very good dictionary, as the distinction does, in fact, matter.
    Best of luck to you and much success in your writing endeavors.
    Look bitch this is her manager Kina Williams a well educated woman with 7 degrees and also the owner of the house so shut the fuck up. What's your educational background? On all accounts it appears that you're ignorant bitch with little to no knowledge of what you're referring to. I live this everyday and what we call it is accurate. Perhaps you need a hobby or require some additional education so go and get it you stupid bitch! Our computer is out due to a storm and won't be back on until Monday but believe me I will have my own account and will rebuttal to all who oppose or like our posts. And for you bitch have your information straight before you post.

  12. #12
    Lurking In The Corner... Michele AKA Twig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TikaaniM View Post
    Look bitch this is her manager Kina Williams a well educated woman with 7 degrees and also the owner of the house so shut the fuck up. What's your educational background? On all accounts it appears that you're ignorant bitch with little to no knowledge of what you're referring to. I live this everyday and what we call it is accurate. Perhaps you need a hobby or require some additional education so go and get it you stupid bitch! Our computer is out due to a storm and won't be back on until Monday but believe me I will have my own account and will rebuttal to all who oppose or like our posts. And for you bitch have your information straight before you post.
    Sad. Such anger isn't going to get you anywhere. Also, though I'm not a moderator, you stand a good chance of getting yourself banned from this site. I'm sure you won't feel any great loss (I know I won't) but it does give you bad reputation that could come back to haunt you. Remember, there are all sorts from the writing industry on this forum some just starting, other well established.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShaunHorton View Post
    If it doesn't matter what we call it, why would you or your manager be offended? A writer is an artist of words. Every word has specific meanings and as writers, we need to know what words mean and use them correctly.

    Maybe instead of being offended yourselves, you should worry about whether readers will be offended when they pick up a "novel" and find something which is just dozens of accounts of events, and not an actual story.

    That's a derail though.

    As to your comment in the OP, have you tried searching the house on your own for clues? Try running a black light over walls to see if blood stains or something shows up? Dug through crawlspaces and attics? If the house hasn't been obviously renovated recently and you plan on doing some yourself, maybe knock on a few walls. In old enough houses they used to stuff wadded up newspaper in the walls as cheap insulation. That would at least give you a more solid idea on when it was built.



    Whoa whoa whoa. You're claiming your house is haunted by creepypasta's? Oh. Okay. Well, good luck calling it non-fiction then.
    We have other spiritual beings in our home and that's why we call it non fiction. I hope this explains or clear up everyone's questions not that I have to explain myself to anyone. Our home has been haunted for years but I won't allow them to win. The reason why its offensive is because of the remarks. The storm last night took out our internet and most of the block and neighborhood. Its only one cell that works. Monday we will be able to answer all questions, thanks. Kina M Williams

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    I think that'll be quite enough.

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