Dictionary.com defines adverse possession as "the open and exclusive occupation and use of someone else's real property without permission (or knowledge) of the owner continuously for a period of years prescribed by law, thereafter giving title to the occupier-user." It is more commonly referred to as "Squatters rights".
The book, Adverse Possession, is my version of the classic haunted house story. I take a typical family and move them into a sprawling Victorian home purchased at a hefty discount. Something else moves in as well and strange things begin to happen.
Why re-write the traditional ghost story? I can't help it. I love haunted house stories: the feeling of suspense wondering what's around the corner in murky light, or discovering the source of the mysterious bump in the night. My favorite growing up (and to this day) was Poltergeist. In all these stories everything goes well for me until the end, where I am offered what feels like a throwaway explanation and resolution of the bizarre activity. Many times there is no resolution at all. The monster is simply made dormant, available to torture the poor victims again and again. It's good news for sequels, but it doesn't provide much hope or biblical truth.
I have also been fascinated by old, abandoned houses for as long as I can remember. Countless times I discovered and snuck into these places to explore and to imagine the people that once lived in them. The mystery surrounding these places is tangible, and if a person stands still long enough, the walls will begin to talk. These homes were once someone's dream. Whether they were built from scratch or restored, a claim was staked on the property, and the people who moved in made it their own.
Several questions plagued me in these situations. What went wrong? What is it that caused people to leave their dream to rot, fester, and mold? And what drove the next visionary to make it their own? What happens when that dream becomes a nightmare?
My first idea for the book was to create a situation where the Forresters moved in, experienced bumps in the night, and then contacted the former owners. The previous residents, two sisters who lived with their brother until he passed away, denied knowledge of any strange activity and were eventually sued by the Forresters. While the idea of a courtroom drama to prove a haunting seemed appealing, I personally have a hard time reading court and crime procedurals. As such, I could not imagine what it would have taken to motivate myself to write one.
The manifestations in Adverse Possession start slowly and build on top of each other until the idea of defeating the evil presence responsible appears insurmountable. I used this illustration to show how sin starts small, and might even seem fun or exciting, before building to a point where we become numb and no longer recognize it as something that is damaging and dangerous to our souls.
There is a scene near the end of the book where Tess looks up and sees the full moon in the sky. I saw a moon that was similar while standing in a parking lot one night and I just knew I had to include it the book.
The specific times that the power goes out and comes back on, 10:27 and 10:28, were taken from the verses of the bible I included at the beginning and end of the book. They are Matthew 10:27-28 and John 10:27-28.
27 Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. 28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.
My primary goal in writing Adverse Possession was to explain the true source of paranormal activity and provide a resolution that is biblically based. I also take the opportunity to say a little bit about the responsibility of spiritual authority within the family. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.