Saturday, February 25, 2012

Why Did We Stay So Long In A Haunted House

       This is the most frequently asked question concerning Grave's End, so I thought I'd address it first
The haunting, as described in the book, lasted about thirteen years.  It is important to understand that, as I state in the book quite a few times, the activity was never constant, and we had frequent respites lasting sometimes for nearly a year.  Given so much time, it's  easy to push events out of your mind, especially if you don't want to believe they are paranormal in the first place.  There is no way we could have remained in that house if it were not for these appreciably long breaks.
     Another reason is that, although frightening in its own right, this was an actual haunting, not one that appeared in a Hollywood film.  No one was thrown against the wall or vomited pea soup or had anything actually harm them. No creepy music played in the background and no one's eyes turned black. The most violent thing that happened was when the clip flew at Karin, and we responded by getting out of the house for a while.  Even the nauseating suffocating dreams were a minute or two in length and neither Karin nor myself felt we were ever in any danger.  It may sound incredulous to many that these experiences could be almost incorporated into our lives, but they were.  They were in the background, not the forefront, of our daily existence.  The lengthy times between occurrences helped the most and allowed us to simply go on living as if there was nothing amiss.
     The other reason for staying so long was the truly all encompassing nature of my dysfunctional first marriage.  The relationship and all its frustrating and hurtful nuances was a constant preoccupation, for myself as a wife and, more regrettably, for my children, who had to cope with their parents' flawed emotional life.  During some good times, we tried to imagine working things out. Marital therapy, a trial separation, nothing helped.  There were arguments that never should have been allowed to happen, and the continuous and draining stress and strain of an unhappy union was, by far,  the most prevalent problem in that house. In all seriousness,  the occasional 'odd' happening or suffocating dream was not as disruptive to our psyches as the daily grind of that marriage.
     I have no desire to speak of the intimate details of that relationship, but I have to say that it was disturbing enough to nearly render me incapable of concentrating on anything else.  It took me years of therapy to get the courage to break out, go to nursing school and learn how to stand on my own two feet.
     It was only when I finally had the courage to end that relationship that I truly came into my own, and fully acknowledged the other events occurring in our home.  The most active part of the haunting happened after I was separated and living alone with my daughters.  Without my ex-husband's presence and the stress of that marriage, there were less respites and more concentration on the haunting. I finally had the courage to face that head on too. 
      Sometimes it's hard for me to recognize the woman in Grave's End as myself.  I am now quite assertive, very proactive in most areas of my life,  and no longer fear what people might think or say about me. I look back and it appears to me that I was stuck in some sort of emotional quicksand during that portion of my life, and I am so glad to be where I am at the present time.  
     Sometimes I wish I would have written Grave's End as a memoir of a woman overcoming a destructive relationship, with the paranormal occurrences taking a back seat instead of the other way around. It would have been closer to the truth, but even more invasive than the original.  It is unsettling to put your personal life onto paper and, in retrospect, I don't think I would have liked to share with the public the intimate details of my marriage and all it's labyrinths of pain, and all the emotional injuries sustained by every one of us, to this day. 
     Perhaps Grave's End was better off just being a little book on the paranormal experiences of one family. Less painful that way. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

 My name is Elaine Mercado and I am the author of the book, Grave's End, A True Ghost Story, published by Llewellyn Worlwide in 2001.  In the years since my book was published, and after the initial booksignings, radio talk show and cable television appearances, there remains a surprisingly steady stream of interest regarding the paranormal activity addressed in the book. This blog is my attempt to answer some of the more common questions that seem to come up for some readers.  I also wish to say that I remain very grateful to all the readers of  Grave's End. What I thought was just this little book about my family's experiences with the paranormal, has turned out to be so much more.  I have a stack of 'thank you' notes from so many people who took the time to share their experiences with me, who thanked me for making them feel less crazy.  Some even wrote how reading Grave's End made it easier for them to believe in an afterlife.  I am quite grateful for this, and I hope this blog can serve as a vehicle to further explore the existence of ghosts, orbs, electronic voice phoenomena, etc.  I am looking forward to expressing my changing views on all things paranormal, as well as exploring the different views of many people out there who have also had encounters with the paranormal.