I don’t believe in ghosts, but if there’s one book that has ever made me wonder, it’s Grave’s End by Brooklyn native Elaine Mercado. Seriously – this thing gave me chills.
In 1982, Elaine Mercado moved with her husband and daughters into a 3-story Queen Anne home in the ominously named Gravesend section of south Brooklyn. Though somewhat run down, they were looking forward to fixing it up and finally having a place of their own.
Shortly after moving in, Mercado began to feel as though she was constantly being watched. Her daughter heard clawing noises in the bathroom. Objects were found in places they hadn’t been left. The usual.
But things quickly got worse. A strange mist began appearing in the house. Unexplainable balls of light passed through rooms. Guests sleeping overnight experienced horrific suffocating dreams.
I know what you’re thinking – Balls of light?? Strange mists?? Who could possibly believe this stuff?
Here’s the thing: for the past two years, I’ve been writing a screenplay about a haunting, and I’ve read a LOT of “true ghost” books for inspiration. Nearly all of them have been either 1) insanely boring, 2) laughably farfetched, 3) filled with the shoddiest investigation tactics imaginable, or 4) all of the above.
Grave’s End avoids each of these categories, largely because the narrator, Elaine Mercado comes across as such a down to Earth individual. She’s never overly excited or fascinated by the strange activity in her home – rather, she’s frightened of it, and simply wants it to go away. She doesn’t believe in ghosts, and rather than jumping to supernatural conclusions at every weird occurrence, she always immediately looks for a rational explanation.
In fact, as you read the book, you’ll find your own skepticism mirrored by Mercado. Early on, for example, Mercado’s daughter has a frightening experience when her bed sheets are pulled off by an invisible force. I immediately suspected a cry for attention – and so does Mercado, citing the fact that she and her husband had been having arguments, and that it was clearly the most obvious answer.
And this is where things get spooky. About halfway through, as the weirdness grows to unbelievable levels, you’ll realize there are only two possibilities: either Mercado is making the whole thing up, or there is something very evil lurking in Gravesend.
Grave’s End currently has 138 reviews averaging 4.5 stars, making it possibly the best reviewed “true ghost” book on Amazon – and that’s saying a lot. If you’re looking for a spooky tale for some crisp autumn air reading, Grave’s End won’t disappoint, regardless of whether you believe its validity. Get it on Amazon here.
PS – Can anyone tell me what location is on the cover of the book?? It’s definitely not Mercado’s home.
PPS – In case you’re wondering where her allegedly haunted house is, Mercado doesn’t reveal the address (though I believe it’s pretty well known to Gravesenders).