My novella “When Darkness Calls” started out as a memoir of true-life events that occurred in December 2011 – events that involved real people, myself included. Yes – what I’m saying, is that it was a true story – as a matter of fact, it’s my own recollection of events that occurred at that time, as I remember them.
“But wait,” I hear some of you say, “This is a supernatural story… like with poltergeists and stuff!”
Does that mean all that guff about spooks and things that go bump in the dark is true? Well, maybe. Probably. At least I think there’s some truth to it. I know I certainly didn’t imagine any of it!
And it’s true.
“When Darkness Calls” is a difficult book – it was difficult to write and its contents are difficult to explain – leastways in a way that doesn’t make me sound a little crazy, and it always has been. I knew that when I first set out to write it back in 2012, but I accepted that as par for the course. Most people don’t believe me when I say this book is a true account – they think it’s all made-up fiction written to look like a true account – sort of a literary ‘Blair Witch Project’. But it’s not.
Additionally, 2011 was a very hectic year for me; I sat at the head of the Eastern Cape Gay & Lesbian Association (ECGLA) and the organizing committee which brought the first Pride event to Nelson Mandela Bay. All this drama landing on my shoulders just at the close of an insanely busy year was just the cherry on top! Fortunately I kept notes, photos, videos, and audio recordings.
Initially “When Darkness Calls” appeared in early 2012 as a series of four articles published in serial form on various blog sites. Later on, I condensed those articles into a single story around 2015. Then, in January 2020 I finally got round to turning it into a novella: I rewrote the story completely from beginning to end, line by line. It was published in February 2020 in eBook and also in paperback via Moon Books Publishing. The audiobook version, narrated by Miciah Dodge, is now also available on Audible!
To understand the story itself as more than an assumed work of fiction, I’d like to show you a couple of things from the background of the story.
The White House – no, not that one – is a real place in Port Elizabeth, exactly as I described in the story. I didn’t have any photos of the outside of the house itself, and I haven’t gone back to take some – and no, I’m not going to, so don’t ask! Here are two sketches of the layout of the house as I remember it.
There are a few photos of parts of the interior, as you will see in the gallery below.
All the characters in the story are written as close to the real actual people who were involved in the events described in “When Darkness Calls”. Yes I changed their names – and I did so because I didn’t want to risk putting them into awkward or inconvenient positions! I still have infrequent contact with one or two of these people, and I didn’t want to make them uncomfortable by giving them public exposure for their involvement in something that could probably become controversial, or might even put their employment at risk.
It’s for the same reason that I didn’t include some of the pictures I took in the story, because many of the pictures I took during these events featured identifiable parts of the actual characters – be it faces, or body-parts with tattoos that might identify them to mutual contacts in future.
Let me just clarify that I didn’t start out to record everything that happened on video or in audio clips – it’s not like any of us were actually paranormal investigators or had any real experience with this sort of thing prior to these events! Pulling out our phones and hitting ‘record’ was often an afterthought, and there are a few incidents I wish we could’ve recorded for later!
There’s a video I took on my phone, that shows a woman remotely operating a CD player across a room – without a remote! The change in volume of the playback is clearly audible – ostensibly due to some intangible, inexplicable action or power exercised by the woman in the video, as described in the story. Of course, there’s no reason for anyone to believe me when I say it was all genuine – skeptics might claim the video had been tampered with, or that someone else not in view was operating the remote control for the CD player… except those who were there, who knew the appliance didn’t operate with a remote! Unfortunately, the video also clearly identifies the woman to anyone who knew me at that particular time – or anyone who knew her, so that also fits into the above category of “sorry, I’m not uploading it”. At least, not until I can find an editing app I can blur her face out with.
Below is a short collection of just a few photos of the interior of the White House that don’t fit into this no-go category:
- Images 1,2,3: These are shots of the office inside the White House we were using for our photography business. These were taken the night before all the seriously weird shit started happening, as described in the book.
- Image 4: This photo shows the floor tiles in the kitchen, and yes, that’s my right shoe in the lower half of the picture, to provide a sense of scale. The red splotch in the photo is the blood from Sandy’s mouth after she was struck in the face by an invisible force.
- Image 5: This is Tracey’s car taken shortly after we found it. She was lying on the grass to the right of it at the time. By this time, she was already in my car and we were making preparations to close her car up and leave it for later.
- Image 6: This was the message Tracey had left the previous night when she was attacked in her loft bedroom, drawn with her finger in the salt circle around the candle – “Help me”.
- Image 7: This was the actual jug-kettle that kept boiling all by itself. It had no switch or thermostat, it was a basic model that operated off the switch on the power outlet in the wall. The switch on the wall would have to be turned on to boil the water – and the kettle was rotated between wall outlets, and the strange phenomenon persisted.
This is just a sample of the evidentiary material that survived the events described in the book – there is still more. However, there was yet more material gathered by other members of our group, that was lost almost immediately after the matter was resolved, and very under mysterious circumstances!
The Story: To make up your own mind about these mysteries, you should read the story for yourself. Here’s the back cover bit to help push you closer to the edge of belief.
Ghosts. Hauntings. Disembodied voices. Malicious entities that make it their goal to destroy their victims utterly. The things that go bump in the night… They’re real.
Sometimes the most unlikely of people find themselves under attack by supernatural entities – and usually no-one will believe them. If they say anything, they risk becoming the butt-end of countless jokes about the paranormal. Worse still, some will place the blame for their predicament squarely on the victims themselves!
Who would help them? The church? A priest – or pastor? And if not, who else? Who would get involved?
In the case of Tracey, it was her closest friend – and a small unlikely group of dedicated associates. Together they would face the awful darkness inside the mansion on the hill – the one people sarcastically called “the white house”.
Keep your eyes open for announcements of the release for the audiobook.
Update: Now available as an audiobook!
Until next time, keep reading!
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All material copyright © Christina Engela, 2020.