The Haunting of Solomon House
by Marnie Vinge
(Blair Graves, #1)
Publication date: January 25th 2021
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Blair Graves’ father went missing seven years ago.
The legal death of her paranormal radio host father tilts her world sideways on its axis. When no will can be found, Blair is forced to adapt to a quickly shifting reality. One in which she’s forced to sell her family home.
When a historical fixer-upper catches her eye, she goes all in, hoping to escape her father’s legacy and the long shadow cast by his very public disappearance.
But when the house starts presenting more problems than just the creaks and groans associated with old age, Blair starts questioning what she knows about life, death, and what comes after.
When the very arrogant and handsome Cash Kelly–a ghost-hunting expert–offers his help, Blair is sure he’s the same kind of attention-seeking, conspiracy-promoting, dollar-chasing content creator hack as her father.
As she begins to question his motivations for helping her, the haunting escalates to a dangerous point, forcing Blair to confront the reality of the world her father believed in.
And what it means to be his daughter.
The X-Files meets Supernatural in this urban fantasy series about the strength of a father-daughter bond and how, sometimes, truth really is stranger than fiction.
She leads us past the other living room and down the hallway. Another room is nestled off to the side.
“The conservatory, or sunroom,” Diana says, ushering us inside.
Glass walls and a glass ceiling incase the room.
“One of Mr. Solomon’s favorite rooms, I’m told,” Diana says.
“Tell me more about him,” I prod her as we make our way out of the room and upstairs.
The second floor hosts all the bedrooms and two of the bathrooms. She shows me each in turn as she chronicles the life of the former homeowner.
“Oh, there’s not much to tell,” she says. “His wife had a stroke when she was quite young. Died tragically by drowning in the pool one evening during a party. Mr. Solomon was so grief-stricken that he lost his senses, I’m told. He married one of the housekeepers.”
“That’s horrible,” I tell her.
“Oh, quite. He also lost a son that night. The boy was but a toddler. It’s thought that he jumped into the pool after his mother in an attempt to save her. Unfortunately, they both perished. I can’t imagine what that was like for Mr. Solomon.”
“Jesus,” I whisper.
And I thought my old house was marked by tragedy.
“Indeed,” Diana confirms, almost like she’s reading my mind.
She goes on.
“The Solomons sold the house and moved away in the early part of the twentieth century. It belonged to the family who made it a funeral home after that. But when none of Mr. Horn’s boys wanted to take up the mortuary arts, the Horn family sold it as well.”
There’s a mural in the master bathroom and I stop to stare at it when we arrive.
“That was painted for the original Mrs. Solomon,” Diana says. The mural features a nude man and woman standing on either side of a mountain. Above them, a heavenly being seems to be watching over them. They both cast their eyes upward. Roses line the outside edges. “It’s the sixth card of the tarot: the Lovers.”
“Did Mrs. Solomon enjoy tarot?” I ask.
“Oh, she enjoyed a number things she probably shouldn’t have,” Diana assures me. “All of that was quite popular at the time.” She begins to make her way back to the second story landing. I cast a glance back at the mural. Faded and peeling, it’s still beautiful. It could easily be restored.
“She was known for her wild parties. I imagine tarot and the like played a role at times.”
We head up to the third floor.
“This space was mainly used as storage by the Horn family,” Diana says. The giant attic-like room hosts a number of objects, all covered in yellowing white sheets. A musty smell accompanies it. I feel an itch in my nose and promptly sneeze.
“There’s also a basement,” Diana says. “I should note that it was used by the Horns for embalming,” she says hesitantly. I imagine this is the sort of information that served as a deal breaker for other prospective buyers.
There’s a bit of comfort in knowing that the saddest things to ever happen in this house had nothing to do with me, Blake, or my father.
It’s a strange perspective, but I welcome it.
We head back downstairs to the first floor.
“I imagine you have a husband with whom you might discuss the purchase,” Diana says.
“No,” I say. “It’s just me.”
“No children?” she asks with an arched eyebrow.
“None of those either.”
“No husband and no children,” she clucks. “Smart girl.”
Diana winks at me.
I take in the house one more time before we step outside.
As Diana turns to head to her car after giving me her card I call out to her.
“Diana,” I say. “Wait.”
She raises her eyebrows and looks as if she might want to ask me why I’ve stalled her in getting back to the office.
I inhale deeply, look back at the house once more, and I leap.
“I’ll take it.”
Marnie Vinge is a novelist and storyteller as well as the creator of the podcast, Eerie Okie.
She first started writing at the ripe age of 7, creating a science fiction horror story about a monster that lived in seaweed off the coast of Corpus Christi. Since then, she’s stretched her wings by writing urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and horror.
To check out Eerie Okie, search your favorite podcast platform. If you’re an Oklahoma ghoul who loves the morbid and macabre, it’s the podcast for you.
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