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Author Topic: Advice needed: Haunted house story  (Read 1736 times)

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Offline BeorningTopic starter

Advice needed: Haunted house story
« on: February 07, 2012, 01:38:27 AM »
Right now, I'm trying to come up with some horror RP scenarios... One of my ideas is a "haunted old house" story. My problem is that I'm not sure whether I'm making it believeable enough?

The problem: I'd like this story to be set in the States... but I'm not from the States myself. And I'm wondering: are there really any old and abandoned houses standing around in the States? Or is it just a genre cliche? I'm asking, because I'm not sure whether an old house would be allowed to be standing - wouldn't it get, say, sold by the authorities to someone else? Or razed down? I'm not sure what's American law on abandoned property and the like...

Offline Hemingway

Re: Advice needed: Haunted house story
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2012, 08:38:23 AM »
I'm not from the US, either, and I don't know what the law states, but I do know there are plenty of creepy, abandoned places. I say "places" because it's not just abandoned houses, but entire towns that are largely abandoned - ghost towns! There's plenty of pictures on the internet, too, if you're looking for inspiration.

Offline Silverfyre

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Re: Advice needed: Haunted house story
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2012, 09:08:18 AM »
Well, I may not be originally from the States but I have lived here in the U.S. for a long time now.  And there are plenty of abandoned buildings around here for such hauntings to take place!  If you are not familiar with it, I'd recommend catching an episode or two of the show "Ghost Hunters".  They go to many different locations in the U.S. where "hauntings" take place and investigate them.  The show is a little hooky but it is fun to see the history of these old buildings and they do come up with some interesting finds.  Consider it research for your story!

Here's an example of one such location here in the States:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waverly_Hills_Sanatorium

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Re: Advice needed: Haunted house story
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2012, 10:21:09 AM »
Look up Centralia, Pennsylvania.  The town is the site of an underground coal fire that's still burning, and I remember reading that it was the inspiration for Silent Hill.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Advice needed: Haunted house story
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2012, 11:55:16 AM »
There's a story in the news right now about a man's body found in his home four years after his death.

That might give you some idea.


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Re: Advice needed: Haunted house story
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2012, 12:46:27 PM »
You can try to look up urban exploring pictures from the United States. They're awesome for inspiration: abandoned hospitals, schools...you name it. Just Google urban exploring or urbex and I'm sure you'll get plenty of results.

Offline Alysanthia

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Re: Advice needed: Haunted house story
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2012, 01:00:59 PM »
Like everyone said, google and search around for different places till one catches your fancy. There are so many places to pick from.  :)

I know in Texas they offer a nightly tours of the Alamo for people to experience a 'ghost hunt' and some colleges are starting to offer Paranormal research as a credited course. I recently read in the paper that one of the colleges in my area started to have such a class and the students would go out at night to investigate local places, mainly an old abandoned mental hospital that has a long history of strange things.

Offline Iniquitous

Re: Advice needed: Haunted house story
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2012, 01:34:09 PM »
This is from my old stomping grounds when I was a kid/teenager.

The Bell Witch House and Cave

Once I hit high school those of us brave enough would go down there at night, sneak onto the property and see if the stories were true. There's a hotel in Wisconsin Rapids, Wi that is haunted as well as a cemetery with reports of being haunted. Pennsylvania has a lot of places rumored to be haunted. You can also check out the Mansfield Prison in Mansfield, Ohio.

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Re: Advice needed: Haunted house story
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2012, 01:40:03 PM »
LiveJournal has a photo group called rural_ruin, if you just want pictures without a set story behind them.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2012, 01:41:39 PM by Oniya »

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: Advice needed: Haunted house story
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2012, 04:09:56 PM »
Thanks for all the information, people :) So, it looks like these kinds of places do exist...

I admit I find places like this hard to imagine. I can get a small house getting abandoned, but a whole hospital? Why would anybody a large building like that?

By the way: any ideas how to get a group of college-age people into such abandoned building?

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Advice needed: Haunted house story
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2012, 04:17:12 PM »
Frat/Sorority hazing, scavenger hunt, party, to name a few.

It could also be a field trip for one of those paranormal courses the colleges are offering.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2012, 04:18:15 PM by Beguile's Mistress »

Offline Silverfyre

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Re: Advice needed: Haunted house story
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2012, 05:40:22 PM »
That or they just want to explore such a place.  It's rather common around here for "ghost hunting" outings amongst college aged folks.  Hell, I've done a couple.  They are quite fun if you do it safely.

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: Advice needed: Haunted house story
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2012, 07:17:50 AM »
Oh! Interesting :) What are people doing on such "ghost hunting" trips, exactly?

Offline Silverfyre

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Re: Advice needed: Haunted house story
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2012, 09:46:06 AM »
Looking for ghosts!  Here's a quick and dirty article on the subject:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost_hunting

Offline Mister Grimm

Re: Advice needed: Haunted house story
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2012, 06:51:27 PM »
In my area of the USA, the only real notable "haunted house/building" that I can think of (outside the obvious really popular and well known ones like: Amityville or Winchester Manor ) is the Kemper Center in my home town. The only reason it is still standing is because, despite being "haunted", a private, nonprofit organization focusing on preserving the historic nature of the site.

So that may be one way you can use in the RP scenario, but haunted houses don't always have to be abandoned either. Unless that is the aim you are going for. If so, if might be worth it to look into some of the laws that do exist and pick through them if you are interested in being super authentic in your perpetration.

Otherwise, if it is just for fun, going with a previously abandoned, but foreclosed and purchased house, might be an interesting route as well. Nothing makes for a good horror story setting than a rickety old house that is undergoing renovations, after all. 

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Re: Advice needed: Haunted house story
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2012, 06:57:54 PM »
If you can find it watch "House of Bones."  I recorded it and watched it yesterday and it is really scary and spooky and good. ;D

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Re: Advice needed: Haunted house story
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2012, 07:44:43 PM »
Oh yeah - my college dorm building was a hospital during the Civil War.  There was a tunnel dug from that building to our science center, which served as the morgue.  I know the tunnel existed, because the floor of my closet sounded hollow, compared to the rest of the floor.  The science center was also particularly cold, even during May Term.

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: Advice needed: Haunted house story
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2012, 12:56:35 AM »
Interesting, interesting... ;) If I set the story in a college dorm, I wouldn't even have to come up with any special reason for the characters to be there. Cool!

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: Advice needed: Haunted house story
« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2012, 01:51:57 AM »
Okay, so I have a question about college dorms in America: would it be believeable for a dorm not to be located the college campus?

Let's say that the people running the college realize they need more dorm space, because they want to have more students. So, they purchase a few old buildings around the town. And one of them happens to be haunted - so, when the students move in, things begin to happen...

Offline rachtan87

Re: Advice needed: Haunted house story
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2012, 03:42:29 AM »
That is totally believable. Where I went to school, we had off-campus housing. It was part of the school technically, but it wasn't located on the grounds of the campus.

Offline Silverfyre

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Re: Advice needed: Haunted house story
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2012, 12:39:44 PM »
I attended a college that had a collection of acquired, historical buildings that were converted over into college dorms.  They were built in the late 1800s and while they had been fully renovated, there was still some spooky stories surrounding them. I can totally see it happening.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Advice needed: Haunted house story
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2012, 12:44:53 PM »
Also, picture a fraternity or sorority haunted by malevolent spirits.  Servants are good fodder for abuse and become the manifestations that take over such buildings.

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: Advice needed: Haunted house story
« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2012, 01:40:26 PM »
Wait. Servants? In a fraternity / sorority house?

Offline Silverfyre

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Re: Advice needed: Haunted house story
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2012, 02:21:16 PM »
She went to a very interesting college.

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Re: Advice needed: Haunted house story
« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2012, 02:55:40 PM »
Wait. Servants? In a fraternity / sorority house?
Servants of former occupants, private owners of the house, before it became a frat house.  Imagine a degenerate old man abusing and murdering his female servants; a housekeeper who was his lover and had a daughter by him that she hid from him.  He then finds the daughter, takes her and kills her.  The housekeeper plots murder and suicide and because she maybe a practitioner of dark arts (voodoo?) traps his soul and hers in the house.

She went to a very interesting college.
Would that it were so.