Authors: Grant Wilson Jason Hawes
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After surviving their own haunting experiences with the supernatural, these paranormal investigators are ready to beat ghosts at their own game.
MEET THE TEAM:
is the most sensitive member of the group. For years, she suffered from sleep deprivation, depression, and nightmares until she finally confronted the spirits that terrorized her. Now her vivid, often sinister, dreams verge on the psychic, allowing her to subconsciously work out problems and gain insights that prove valuable to her investigations.
is a psychologist who has been trying to find logical explanations for seemingly supernatural phenomena since he was a teenager. His intuition helps people deal with frightening and sometimes violent supernatural manifestations, and his expertise helps determine the emotional causes of their trauma.
is a writer who specializes in travel guides to haunted places. Since the night at Lowry House fifteen years ago, he’s been trying to convince Amber and Drew to help him write a book about their experience. His connections, wealth of knowledge about paranormal topics, and research skills are important assets to the team.
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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the authors’ imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2011 by Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson
is a registered trademark and service mark of Pilgrim Films and Television, Inc., in the United States and other foreign countries. The GHOST HUNTERS Logo © 2004 by Pilgrim Films and Television, Inc. All rights reserved.
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First Pocket Books paperback edition September 2011
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Author photograph © SyFy. Interior designed by Jacquelynne Hudson.
Manufactured in the United States of America
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ISBN 978-1-4516-1383-4 (ebook)
To Jody Hotchkiss, for his unwavering direction.
For my father, mother, and all my dearest friends who stood by me and believed in me as I explored the weird and wild depths of the paranormal.
For Marty Greenberg, patron saint of the short story and one of the last real gentlemen in publishing. You’ll be missed more than even you, with your prodigious imagination could’ve guessed.
Running down a
narrow dark corridor, trailing her fingers along the walls to guide her. Heart pounding in her chest, a frightened bird desperate to be free of its cage. Gasping for breath, throat closing up even though she hasn’t had an asthma attack in years, rivulets of sweat pouring down her face and neck, trailing along her spine and trickling between her breasts. She’s been running for what seems like forever . . . Running and running and running . . . How long
this damned hall, anyway?
She’s not even sure why she’s running.
from something? Is there someone pursuing her? She’d stop and turn around to look if she could, if for no other reason than to break the monotony of this endless flight, but she’s compelled to keep moving forward, and it seems there’s nothing she can do to change that. And so she runs . . .
She doesn’t know how much time has passed before she realizes that the distance between the walls is beginning to shrink. What do they say about the span of your outstretched arms—that it’s
as wide as you are tall? She’s a hair over five feet, and for the longest time, she’s run with her arms stretched out to the sides, her fingertips brushing across the walls’ smooth surfaces. But now her elbows are bent and her palms pressed almost flat against the walls, and they aren’t so smooth anymore. They’ve become rough and craggy, like stone, and they’re cold now, ice-cold.
With a stab of fear, she realizes that the walls are closing in on her, and she tells herself it’s ridiculous, that no one builds a house with a tapering corridor. Houses don’t
those kinds of things.
But she knows one house that does, or rather did, and much worse. But that was years ago, and it’s long gone. She can’t be back there now . . . can she?
A voice echoes in the air, hollow and distant, like a midnight wind blowing through a desolate canyon. A male voice, a familiar one, although she doesn’t recognize it.
You’re always there, Amber. You never left
Without warning, the walls rush inward as if propelled by unseen machinery. Amber draws in a breath to scream, but before she can release it, the pain hits, and everything goes black.
Amber Lozier became
aware of a sound hovering on the edge of her perception, but it took her several more seconds to put a name to it:
. Eyes still closed, she reached toward her nightstand and fumbled around until her fingers closed around
her cell. She brought it to her ear, flipped it open, and answered.
“’Lo,” she mumbled.
“Amber? Hi, this is Greg Daniels.”
Her stomach dropped at the sound of his voice, and her heart pounded in her ears. She sat up, flung the sweat-sodden sheet off her, and swung her legs over the side of the bed. A wave of dizziness came over her, and for a second, she considered flopping back onto the mattress, but she managed to ride it out and remain upright.
“Greg?” As soon as she said it, she felt like an idiot. After all, he’d just told her who he was. But she couldn’t bring herself to believe it. She hadn’t seen or heard from Greg Daniels since . . . since . . .
“Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten me.” His tone was teasing, but his voice held a bit of an edge, as if he were daring her to pretend she didn’t know who he was.
Memories danced at the edge of her consciousness, trying to get her attention. She ignored them, and they remained where they were. Formless shadows, like hazy shapes viewed out of the corner of your eye, indistinct and nonthreatening . . . as long as they behaved and kept their distance. She’d had a lot of practice at keeping her memories at bay over the years, and most of the time, she was successful. As long as she was awake. When she was asleep, well, that was a different story.
“Of course I remember you,” she said, well aware of the irony, considering how hard she was fighting
to remember. Her mouth and throat were dry, and the words came out soft and raspy. She’d kill for a drink of water, but a glance at the nightstand told her she’d forgotten to pour herself one. Several prescription medicine bottles sat atop the nightstand, and resting next to them was a black sleep mask she wore when it was too bright, even with the heavy curtain drawn across the room’s single window. The clock-radio display said it was 4:48, and for a moment, she didn’t know if it was morning or evening. Evening, she decided. Greg wouldn’t be calling if it was almost five in the morning.
With her free hand, she brushed sweat-matted blond hair off her forehead, the gesture a futile attempt to cudgel her cotton-wrapped brain into working.
“It’s been a long time,” she said. Banal and predictable, but at least it gave her something to say. She frowned as something occurred to her. “How did you get my number?”