The creek of someone's footsteps on the stairs when no one else is home; the moving shadow blanketing a corner of your room; the phone with only heavy breathing on the other end --- these are all signs that you may have a haunting on your hands. Tark and Okiku --- the protagnists of THE SUFFERING by Rin Chupeco (out today!) --- could help you rid your house of evil, as long as they're not out on their own ghost hunting adventures, of course. Below, Rin shares some places that Tark and Okiku would love to check out. Are you ready for a ghost hunt?
In THE SUFFERING, Tark has really come into his role as an exorcist. Together, he and Okiku could successfully launch their own ghost hunting service. Name five legendary creatures and/or haunted places that they could potentially run into on their next adventure.
Ancient Ram Inn (Gloucestershire, England) – The greater the ghosts' suffering, the more likely that Tark and Okiku would want to investigate. And the Ancient Ram's Inn is said to be the most haunted place in all of the British Isles, and the reasons for it are pretty diabolical. There's a lot of demons supposedly running around there, as well as rumors that devil worship led to a lot of those deaths. There's also a doorway to hell that a coven of witches had allegedly opened in one of its barns, at least two ley lines running through the property AND the building is said to be built on top of a pagan burial ground. That's a lot of loose ends to be figuring out, and for Tark and Okiku, a lot of potential to get worse if left unchecked.
Poveglia Island (Italy) – Imagine a whole island that's haunted, and for one horrifying reason –- it was a place where the bodies of people who died of Black Plague were sent to be buried, and where sick victims were sent to die. The sand and soil on the island is composed of the charred and eroded remains of all who've been buried there, and given the amount of victims that have found their way onto the island, this means that you are literally walking on dead people. Nobody wants anything to do with this place and thinks the island is cursed. No one even wants to fish there, for fear that they'd still find bodies. The potential for ghosts to be running rampant is high, and Okiku in particular would be itching to go. (Tark, maybe not so much.)
Isla de las Munecas / Island of the Dolls (Xochimilco, Mexico) – I am pretty sure this would be Okiku's Mecca, and Tark's nightmare island come true. The place is filled with dolls of all kinds --- broken doll heads, strewn limbs and torsos, dolls missing important body parts – and that’s bad for Tark, because he won't be able to use them to trap ghosts. According to the legend, the island's caretaker found the body of a drowned girl. To appease her spirit, he began hanging dolls around the island for 50 years. Eventually, he died --- supposedly at the very spot where the young girl's body was found. Since then, the bodies of the dolls are said to be inhabited by the ghosts of other girls.
The Winchester Mystery House – Stairs that go nowhere? Doors that open into walls or lead to ten-foot drops? Tark would be fascinated just from a technical standpoint. It's one of those few places actually certified by the U.S. Government to be haunted, and Okiku especially would be curious as to what kind of ghostly denizens would be living here.
The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall – The Brown Lady haunts this building, and she's best known for a ghost photograph of her that can't be disproved as being fake. While said to be good-looking in life, eyewitness reports state that she's the complete opposite in death, more a grinning skull wearing a dress than a woman. Okiku always take genuine interest in ghosts who find themselves in the public eye (she being one of them) because that would be the mark of a very powerful spirit.
Despite an unsettling resemblance to Japanese revenants, Rin always maintains her sense of hummus. Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, she keeps four pets: a dog, two birds, and a husband. Dances like the neighbors are watching.