Excerpt: Haunting of LaBelle: Back to Hell by J. Thayer McKinney
Title: Haunting of LaBelle: Back to Hell
Author: J. Thayer McKinney
J. Thayer McKinney lives with her husband in a log home in the mountains of easternWest Virginia. She is a wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
She is the owner of Cedar Loft Productions, a small publishing company along with being a writer and a paranormal researcher.
She loosely bases some of her fiction books on her paranormal research. So far, she has not encountered many malevolent spirits but before she does research she grounds herself for protection. “You can never be too careful with the unknown!” She says. She is an ordained minister and holds a PhD in Metaphysical Parapsychology. She has also earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and an Associate’s degree in Electronics.
Prior to retiring from the corporate world, she had a very successful and rewarding technical career. She managed the IT department at a healthcare facility and prior to that position she was an industrial controls technician and a telecommunications technician for a power company. When she isn’t writing or working at her publishing company, she enjoys traveling, ghost hunting or sitting on the front porch listening to the sounds of nature.
Haunting of LaBelle: Back to Hell
By J. Thayer McKinney
Debra Baxter was sitting at her desk at Baxter Properties. She had a concerned look on her face as she spoke with her client. Cory Jenkins was sitting in the chair across from herand was visibly upset. His property,
, had been listed with the real
estate company for five years with no sale and essentially no interest in a sale. It was a primepiece of real estate but seemed to have no sales value. She had never had a listing that didn’tat least attract a few potential buyers. LaBelle Mansion
Debra had owned Baxter Properties for ten years and was accustomed to dealing with unhappy clients but Cory was a high priority and she worried about losing him as a client. A sale of this property would bring in quite a hefty commission for the company and the listingagent.
“Are you promoting my property or just sitting on it?” he demanded.
“We’ve been advertising it in the property books, online and in the newspapers from dayone,” Debra assured him. “There’s an open house there this weekend and we’ve aggressively advertised that. It seems no one is interested and I’m not sure why. The price is certainly competitive if not low for the type of property.”
“My wife is adamant about selling and the sooner the better. She wants shed of this property no matter what. It’s been five years now and we need to either sell it or give itaway!”
He remembered back to that day when he found his mother-in-law in the carriage house. Things hadn’t been the same since and he was sure it was because of some- thing that existed on the property.
Five years ago, his mother-in-law, JoAnne was a happy go-lucky artist who didn’t actnear her seventy years. JoAnne came to visit Cory and his wife, Jill, for a few weeks and decided to set up a small art studio in the carriage house while she was there. She spent hours painting getting ready for a show at the
Castle Art Gallery in northern . Theshow was featuring her work all during October and she was
excited because it meant shewas
finally being recognized as an artist. Virginia
One afternoon, Cory and Jill had business in town so JoAnne took the opportunity to paint without interruptions. She took a pitcher of iced tea and some cookies out to thecarriage house, turned on her favorite music and proceeded to paint. Sometime in thelate afternoon, she thought she heard muffled laughter so she went to the door thinking Jill and Cory had returned and were stopping by to check on her. When she looked out, she didn’t see any- thing except what appeared to be shadows swirling around. My goodness, my eyes are playing tricks on me, maybe I should stop for a while and have some tea, she thought with a smile. She poured a glass of tea and settled into her chair to admire the work she had done so far.
As she sat sipping her tea, the laughter grew louder and she saw the shadows fly though the wall. They swirled around the room, slowly at first and then faster and faster as they turned darker and darker. The laughter was soon almost unbearably loud and JoAnne dropped her glass of tea and put her hands to her ears to try to stop the noise. To her surprise, she was unable to get up from the chair. Frantically she looked around the room but all she could see were the shadows swirling. Soon the shadows stopped swirling and seemed to be standing beside her canvas. She couldn’t make out features, just dark images.She looked at her canvas and where her painting should have been were three grotesque faces that seemed to be in agony. One appeared to have no hair and the other two seemed to have long dark hair and beards. One of the faces with a beard had a triangle shaped scar on its cheek. Soon the look of agony on the faces was replaced by evil grins and the eyes seemed to penetrate into JoAnne’s brain. She closed her eyes tightly to blot out the horrifying images.
Once again the shadows started swirling around the room and the laughter began again, getting louder and louder. JoAnne tried to scream but no sound would come from her throat. She just sat there with her hands over her ears and her eyes clamped tightly shut.She sat for what seemed like hours and finally she seemed to pass out.
When she came to, her hands were still over her ears but the shadows and the laughter were gone. She looked out the small window and saw that it was dark outside. The room was dark with only the light of the moon to illuminate it. She saw car lights coming up the drive but was unable to move. The car pulled up to the carriage house and she heard the doors close as both Cory and Jill got out. Please come help me, she whispered but the words wouldn’t come out. She felt so helpless and was so frightened.