My mother and I are obsessed with visiting historical destinations. On our way to the heart of Cooperstown, NY, we passed a sign for Hyde Hall. Our curiosity got the best of us and we investigated this Hyde Hall. It turned out to be a British-American country house first constructed in 1817 that you could tour. Just what we wanted!
Winding, back country roads took us to a beautiful gatekeeper’s cottage like something from a Regency Romance. Luscious green yards stretched out to overlook a glimmering lake.
We parked, paid our fees, and a tour guide walked us to the stone house. Columns supported a balcony and chimneys reached for the cloudless sky. Stepping inside revealed partly furnished rooms left over from a different time and a differed lifestyle.
One room led into another into another… I could have stayed all day in the library. Actually, I could have moved in!
The deeper into the house you go, you encounter rooms lost to decay. They have yet to be repaired, giving the house an air of being lost. It was at this point in the tour that we learned the house is supposedly haunted and was featured on Ghosthunters in 2013. That was such an added bonus for me, the ghost fanatic. Unfortunately – or fortunately – we didn’t see any ghosts, but some rooms, the nursery in particular, gave off the feeling of being wanted, as if little hands reached for you to play with them.
Touring Hyde Hall reminded me of the Gothic novels I loved to read. Combined with the want of living in a stone mansion this grand inspired me to write SECRETS OF BENNETT HALL. The characters are all inventions of mine, but I pictured Hyde Hall as I wrote about Bennett Hall. The lake of Bennett Hall is much further away – a bit of forest serrates it from the fictional mansion – whereas Glimmerglass Lake is close enough to Bennett Hall that you can see it from the massive windows.
If only I could be like Adelaide and move into Hyde Hall to be a governess…but without the secrets and lies!
Jordan Elizabeth is a young adult fantasy author. If you’re looking for her in the evenings, most likely you will find her with a Gothic novel in hand. You can connect with Jordan via her website, JordanElizabethBooks.com.
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