by William Peter Blatty
Blatty lionized for his blood-curling novel “The Exorcist” and its eventual motion picture, has a novella “Elsewhere” recently republished by Cemetery Dance Publication. It was initially published in Al Sarrantonio’s anthology “999”. A few days ago, I received my limited edition copy of “Elsewhere”, which is signed. Significant, for it is my only signed book by the wordsmith.
After reading a sundry of haunted house novels, there is obviously an underlining trite theme; a group of individuals investigate the authenticity of a house egregious reputation. Some novels surpass this cliché like Richard Matheson’s “Hell House”. Blatty’s “Elsewhere” is a haunted house novella, which commence with an investigation but transcends to an original haunted house story. Blatty similar to Shirley Jackson’s “The Haunting of Hill House” utilizes psychological horror to supplement the plot. What is really happening? There are foreshadows throughout the story.
Joan Freeboard, a realtor is implored to sell an upstate New York mansion that is proclaimed to be haunted by the original owners who had an unkindly death. In order to make a sale, Freeboard devises a plan to prove that the house is not haunted through having an investigation with a renowned psychic Anna Trawley, literary writer Terrance Dare, and parapsychologist Gabriel Case. However, strange behavior and a case of déjà vu lead to the inconceivable.