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Monday, July 16, 2012



The scariest moment of my life (so far) was up at my family cottage last summer. I was up there alone, working on doing some painting and decorating. I’d finished for the night and it was about 10 pm. I locked up, and went upstairs. I stayed up the next few hours writing, and finally turned off the light about quarter to midnight. Now, its quiet up there usually, so quiet you hear usually only the wind in the trees and sometimes a party several streets over. It was quiet that night. The only sound was the rustling of leaves, and a fan on low speed.

I was just dropping off to sleep when I heard footsteps. They came down the hall towards my room, each step deliberate and slow.

I wasn’t facing that way. My back was toward whoever it was. I waited there, my heart hammering out of my chest, too scared to turn around and look. But I knew someone was in the hallway.

Rationality took over. No one would have been able to get in through the solid door and deadbolt in the hallway. I’d have heard them if they broke in. So I sat bolt upright, scrabbled for the light and turned it on. There was no one there.

I got up, and turned on all the nights. There was no one there at all, and all the windows and screens were intact.

I left the night on and went back to bed. Everything was fine for the rest of the night.

The next night, I also went to bed late, about a quarter to midnight. Remembering the past night, I told myself the noises I’d heard had to be the house settling. It was very hot during the day and cool at night.

I turned off the night and went to bed. Again, just as I was drifting off to sleep, I heard the footsteps. Like before, they came down the hallway, towards my room. This time I was still petrified, but told myself to be rational. There couldn’t be anyone out there. I kept still and waiting, trying to breathe lightly in the dark. Whatever it was came closer, into the bedroom, one deliberate footfall after another, until it was standing over me at the edge of the bed. I broke out in a cold sweat. I thought I was going to die; I was so scared. I told myself to turn around and face it, but I couldn’t make myself do it. Finally, I whipped around with a gasp. There was no one there, just shadows. I got up, and again searched the upstairs. All windows and doors were intact, as before. Hallways door was locked, just as I’d left it.

I left ALL the lights on the rest of that night. And every time I was up there alone since then, I’ve left a light on at night.

When I’m up there with others—friends or family—I never hear the footsteps. It’s only when I’m alone.

This story was the basis for my short paranormal romance, Return To Me. I meant to write a horror story, but instead a romance came out. I think that was because I want—down deep—whatever it was that came to visit me last summer to be something not out to get me, but something that just was lonely and wanted to communicate. If so, I’m all ears. Just don’t be skulking about the lake cabin at night, and scaring me to death. Introduce yourself before midnight, and we’ll chat over a drink.

About the Author:
Tara Fox Hall’s writing credits include nonfiction, horror, suspense, erotica, and contemporary and historical paranormal romance. She also coauthored the essay “The Allure of the Serial Killer,” published in Serial Killers - Philosophy for Everyone: Being and Killing (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010). Her first e-novella, Surrender to Me, was published in September 2011. Her first full-length novel, Lash, came out in April 2012. She divides her free time unequally between writing novels and short stories, chainsawing firewood, caring for stray animals, sewing cat and dog beds for donation to animal shelters, and target practice.

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When young widow Sarelle McGarran finds the vampire Danial Racklan unconscious and hurt in her woods, intuitive concern quickly becomes passionate love. Together Danial and Sar work to overcome their own past heartbreaks, their vastly different lifestyles, and Danial’s relentless enemies. Yet Danial asks still more; an Oath Sar will be his forever.


Ingeborg said...

I don't read much horror because I'm a wimp I guess.

Tara Fox Hall said...

Hi Ingeborg :) Horror is an acquired taste, like sushi....and even those who love it like myself have to be in the mood to enjoy being scared. The Shining was on a few nights ago, and I admit to wimping out.
Thanks for commenting :)