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A Haunted Love Story: The Ghosts of the Allen House [Paperback]

Mark Spencer
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Jan. 8 2012
"A Haunted Love Story" is two tales in one: a modern family's attempt to embrace their strange, spirit-inhabited home and a vintage love affair kept secret for six decades. When Mark Spencer bought the beautiful old Allen House in Monticello, Arkansas, he knew that it was famously haunted. According to ghost lore, the troubled spirit of Ladell Allen, who mysteriously committed suicide in the master bedroom in 1948, still roamed the historic mansion. Yet Mark remained skeptical - until he and his family began witnessing faceless phantoms, a doppelganger spirit, and other paranormal phenomena. Ensuing ghost investigations offered convincing evidence that six spirits, including Ladell, inhabited their home. But the most shocking event occurred the day Mark followed a strange urge to explore the attic and found, crammed under a floorboard, secret love letters that touchingly depict Ladell Allen's forbidden, heart-searing romance-and shed light on her tragic end.

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Product Description

About the Author

Mark Spencer is the award-winning author of two novels, two short story collections, and a history book. He and his family have lived in the Allen House since 2007. Visit the author online at AllenHouseTours.com.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Love can be so sad Dec 7 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
this was a truly amazing book to read. I loved it. a true page Turner about star crossed lovers. a sad, poignant story. I am so glad that the Spencer family chose to share this with us. it must be fascinating to live in a home that is haunted by such interesting spirits that have so generously revealed their stories. it was a great read.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  131 reviews
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be prepared to change your mind... Dec 21 2011
By Barbara Hoyt - Published on Amazon.com
Mr. Spencer's book has been showing up as a suggested pre-order on Amazon's bestseller lists for a while now, so after I read the chapters that were available on the site, I purchased the paperback. As I suspected would happen, I stayed up until midnight to finish it. The material is intriguing on so many levels. The author has done his research and is incredibly skilled at weaving all of the stories together in a way that held my interest from start to finish. First there is the Spencer family who has to deal with the fact that the Allen House is haunted, and that they are living in it. This is more difficult for the author, the Dean of Arts and Humanities at the University of Arkansas in Monticello, but ironically, his skepticism and his fear of being perceived as some sort of nut by his colleagues actually lend further credibility to the book. Then there are the inhabitants themselves, the ghosts of the Allen family, and especially Ladell, whose letters the author finds in the attic. It is her story of love and loss that draws Mr. Spencer in further and the reader along with him. Set against the history of the town of Monticello and the social mores of the south in the early to mid twentieth century, her relationship with a handsome, wealthy and very married man, comes alive - so much so that I felt that I was there, in the moment, with the couple, not reading what the author could only glean from their clandestine correspondence. The way Mr. Spencer pieces together the arc of the romance from beginning to end, while sharing with the reader his family's experience of coming to grips with the paranormal makes for a compelling and satisfying book. I would highly recommend it.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truth really can be stranger than fiction Jan. 7 2012
By Dawn A. Lajeunesse - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I must admit I'm among the world's skeptics when it comes to "believing" in ghosts. And yet, there it all was, from the early "It's haunted, you know" through to the undeniable reality of the personal and the "scientific" communications with the ghosts of Allen House. As a novel, it might have been just a fun read. Throw in the fact that a real family is living with this ghost family left me awestruck. The way the author wove his family's experiences with the history of the house, its original family, and Ladell's sad story was positively enchanting.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected and satisfying experience. Jan. 21 2012
By Susan L. Nero - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A Haunted Love Story has a series of surprising twists that we usually find when we read fiction. Like a good work of fiction, the book is a page-turner. But the charm and attraction of the book is that it is not fiction. It is the account of reality, the reality of an obviously educated and "reasonable" person who lives in reason-defying circumstances. For me, Spencer's ability to embrace the these circumstances--living in a haunted house--is the truer and most moving love story in this book.

The Spencer family, two professional parents and three children, have fallen in love with a house which they eventually purchase and inhabit. Besides the usual challenges of a century old structure with a history of neglect, there are also ghostly inhabitants. Spencer approaches the other-worldliness with a spirit of open-minded discovery that is as surprising and dramatic as the ghostly saga that is the titled story-line of the book. While the eerie, haunted events of the past unfold through Spencer's dogged research, the writer and the reader become increasing accepting of the house's strange inhabitants and occurrences. Spencer seems to be saying "yes" to all he encounters, with a gentle reverence that slowly becomes contagious and then, finally, deeply moving. The book shows how the challenge of accepting one's fate, despite personal beliefs and preferences, is done. The reader is entertained, informed, and inspired. An unexpected and satisfying experience.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A small town story Dec 20 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This book is a great combination of the history of a small town family and the mysterious death of the long time "haunting" of the Allen family home. This book reads very well and is well written. Each page of this book makes the reader anticipate turning the page to find out more about the main character and the mysterious circumstances around her death and why she is still there to this day. I recommend that everyone should read this book!
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whatever you may be looking for, I can just about promise that you have never read anything quite like this Jan. 26 2012
By Doug Park - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The first half of _A Haunted Love Story_ relates Mark Spencer and his family's purchase of the Allen House in Monticello, Arkansas, the history behind the house (voted "most haunted in America" in one online survey conducted three years prior to this book's publication), and encounters with its spectral inhabitants. The background contained in the first 100 pages is crucial to the second half of the book, and Spencer's detailed description of these events is both compelling and intriguing. These first sections also provide a first-hand look at how investigations of otherwordly phenomena are carried out: In this case, the Louisiana Spirits organization conducted its examination of the Allen House in a thoroughly objective and systematic manner. Until modern science conclusively proves the existence of ghosts, one will be challenged to find an account more convincing than this one.

Even those who spurn "ghost stories" should be captivated by that of Ladell Allen in the second half. Her story is as poignant and universal as anything can be, and the author's strong empathy with her enhances it greatly. The way that Spencer is able to "piece together and imagine the events" of Ladell's life is probably the single most amazing thing about this amazing book. His exhaustive research into the history of the house and its former residents is well-presented without becoming ponderous, and his speculations on the motives behind the acts of Ladell, Prentiss Hemingway Savage (whose doomed love affair with Ladell almost certainly led to her suicide), various other members of the Allen family, and why many of their spirits linger on at 705 North Main Street, Monticello, Arkansas, are unusually perceptive. Virtually any reader will come away knowing more about human nature than s/he did before.

It is always necessary for writers of historical nonfiction to extrapolate details and dialogue from the more general information they have available, and where it becomes necessary for Spencer to fill in the blanks regarding how the meetings between Ladell and Prentiss might have gone, he does so both creatively and responsibly. The immediacy here is as powerful as that in the first half of the book. We have an overwhelming sense of being alongside the characters, with little need to suspend disbelief.

_A Haunted Love Story_ comes highly recommended, not only to those interested in the supernatural but to anyone with the desire to read a skillfully written and thoroughly engrossing book. If my review has held your interest this far, reading the book should prove all-the-more fulfilling. I encourage you to do so as soon as possible.
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