Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper by J.L. Bryan
Publication date: September 19th 2014
Genres: Adult, Horror, Paranormal
Ellie Jordan’s job is to catch and remove unwanted ghosts. Part detective, part paranormal exterminator, Ellie operates out of Savannah, Georgia, one of the oldest and most haunted cities in North America.
When a family contacts her to deal with a disturbance presence in the old mansion they’ve recently purchased, Ellie first believes it to be a typical, by-the-book specter, a residual haunting by a restless spirit. Instead, she finds herself confronted an evil older and more powerful than she’d ever expected, rooted in the house’s long and sordid history of luxury, sin, and murder. The dangerous entity seems particularly interested in her clients’ ten-year-old daughter.
Soon her own life is in danger, and Ellie must find a way to exorcise the darkness of the house before it can kill her, her clients, or their frightened young child.
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Ellie Jordan, the lead character in my new series, has a fairly interesting job—she works for a small private detective agency that specializes in capturing and removing unwanted ghosts.
I knew the setting of the series would be important, and it was fun to consider where a ghost-catching agency might be most profitably located. An old city would be best, but there aren’t many of those in the United States. In fact, by the standards of most of the world, we don’t have any truly old cities here, nothing as ancient as Paris, Rome, or Jerusalem.
The oldest cities are generally located along the East Coast. I considered Boston and New York, but I’ve never even been to those cities—and besides, the Ghostbusters have pretty well staked out New York City as their territory.
The obvious choice for me was Savannah, Georgia, a city much closer to me, and one I’ve visited a few times (and look forward to visiting again in the future). I knew I was lucky to have it close by; it’s not just old, but characterized by beautiful architecture dating back to the colonial era. The downtown is made of up twenty-two squares, each with a small park surrounded by old mansions and other buildings in every conceivable architectural style. It’s almost dreamlike to walk through the city surrounded by gardens, wrought iron, marble columns, fountains, and statues. Beautiful, old, and not far away—a perfect setting for the new ghost series!
As I turned out during, I was luckier than I knew. I’ve read again and again that seventy percent of the buildings in Savannah’s downtown are said to be haunted. I have no idea where this figure came from, but it sounds like a lot. The city isn’t just haunted because it’s old.
Do you remember how that house in Poltergeist was built on top of an old cemetery? The entire city of Savannah is like that. Countless graveyards have been paved over as the city expanded over the centuries. Unmarked graves lie beneath the streets and the beautiful antique mansions.
The only thing more conducive to a haunting would be if the city were also built on top of old Native American burial grounds. It turns out that’s the case, too.
No wonder they say the city is teeming with ghosts. I think it’s going to be a fun place to spend the series.
J.L. Bryan studied English literature at the University of Georgia and at Oxford, with a focus on the English Renaissance and the Romantic period. He also studied screenwriting at UCLA. He enjoys remixing elements of paranormal, supernatural, fantasy, horror and science fiction into new kinds of stories. He lives in Atlanta with his wife, his son, and some dogs and cats.
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