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From the Introduction
It was a house filled with stories and secrets…
I sensed it from the moment I first stepped inside, into air so still and heavy it felt a hundred years old. Outside, the day was overcast, with the brisk, damp breeziness of late winter. Inside, in the dim light, I could feel the charged melancholy, clinging to faded draperies and lingering in worn carpets. Even the dust seemed to be watching and waiting as my long-suffering realtor and I made our way through the many rooms and unexpected turns of the century-old house, converted from a single-family home to a triplex decades before. We opened one door only to find another behind it. And what looked like a closet turned out to be a maid’s staircase, which turned a corner and ended.
But neither the occasional madhouse architecture nor the forlorn shabbiness that had descended upon the old house could hide its grandeur and beauty. Its high ceilings, hardwood floors, leaded-glass windows, open staircase, and four porches were glorious beyond anything I’d ever imagined I could afford, and with each unexplored room we encountered, I could feel my spirits rise. On my budget, any house I bought was bound to have some sort of shortcomings. By my standards, funky architecture and maybe even a resident ghost could hardly even be considered problems.
We had been instructed to enter by the back door. That’s the part of the house where the old man had lived. It was where he still lived. Turns out he was watching us that day too, silent and heavy as the air, bound to the earth and his former home.