Watch this short video about some of the tragic and creepy stories that inspired my thriller THE OTHER GIRL.
THE OTHER GIRL is based on the lives of women living on a ward in the Seacliff Lunatic Asylum in New Zealand. Originally built in the 19th century it was, for a time, the largest building in the country. On one terrible evening in December 1942 a locked ward of 39 women burnt to the ground with only two female patients surviving the fire. THE OTHER GIRL begins on the morning after the fire.
Despite it’s rather imposing facade it is not Overtoun House itself that draws mystery hunters to the estate just north of Glasgow. It is the bridge that connects the house to the road that is thought to be one of ‘the thin places’ (a place where the gap between the natural and supernatural is narrower). In the 1950‘s it became famous for something deeply troubling - it was the scene of a number of dog suicides and my next novel (out in 2021) is set here. Follow my blog for more news and information on this book.
THE OTHER GIRL is based on some of the strange stories I read about kids who claimed to have experienced past lives. One of the cases I researched was from the US - James Leininger was two when he started having terrible night terrors - calling out “Little man on fire!”, thrashing and screaming. In the day he would play with his toys, naming them adult names, talk in specific detail about a WWII plane he flew and a carrier the plane left from.
His parents, unconvinced, started to research the details and the more they found out the creepier it got. James knew things that he could not have watched or read. They tracked down the family of a WWII pilot who were astounded by the things little James came out with - they seemed to match the details of the life of their son who had died in a plane crash.
There are a lot of examples of stories such as these but I warn you, this is an internet rabbit hole you will disappear down like I did..!