My Inspiration For…By Guest Blogger Lynn Hones

One thing every single writer is asked time and time again is, “Where do you get your ideas?” I was recently at a talk given by R.L. Stine, and he said he’s always wanted to respond, “I don’t know, where do you get yours?”

Inspiration can come from anywhere. From a childhood event, to something you see on the news and even a mispronounced word (which sparked a short story of mine that has been published quite a few times). I want to peel back the skullcap of horror writers and take a peek inside their creative process for all to see. I’m going to kick off this series with author Lynn Hones and the childhood vacation that was the golem-esque clay for one of her novels.

So without further ado, the following page is Lynn’s stage…

My horror ebook, Laugh in the Dark, started this way. Back in the late 1960’s it wasn’t unusual for Dad to call out to my mom that we were taking a road trip. Keep in mind this was way back before seat belts were mandatory and the posted speed limit was 70 miles per hour. There were six kids and one Volkswagen Bug. Growing up in Ohio, near the Pennsylvania border, the usual response uttered under our breath was, “Dear God, not Gettysburg…again.”

He’d light a cig and smiled, “Nope, we’re going to Conneaut Lake Park.”

Now he was talking. We’d happily jump into that tiny car with big smiles dreaming of Devil’s Den with the infamous Wall of Gum. I made a mental note to have the mandatory wad of gum to stick on the wall as the cart went up the first hill.

Mom, depending on the year, was pregnant and holding a baby in the front seat, with the rest of us crammed into the back and the “puke bucket,” along with a random kid or two, stuffed in what we called “the well” in the way back.

Once there, us kids, green from Mom and Dad’s ciggy smoke filling the car, would jump out and run for the Conneaut Hotel. Old and spooky, built on Lake Conneaut, it was a fantastic place with long, uneven hallways and doorways with windows up top to let in the lake breezes. No televisions, radios, phones or air conditioning, it was right next door to the small park. We loved to hear the old-timers tell us about the young and beautiful bride, Elizabeth, who died in a fire there on her wedding day, and haunted the hotel ever since, looking for her lover.

Dad would buy the tickets and we’d run through the park and ride to exhaustion. Back in our room, we’d sleep with one eye open waiting for Elizabeth to float through the wall.

Fast forward to 2011. I now bring my own kids there and run around with them like the skinny little, Converse wearing, gum chomping girl I used to be.

 The best part, is that the hotel, built in the late 1890’s, is still operating and…there are still no phones, radios, televisions or air conditioning. And yes, the Wall of Gum is still there. The park is just hanging on however, financially and may be seeing its last days in this economy. If you get the chance, go. The lonely bride will remind you that although she died over sixty years ago, her spirit lingers, just as the spirit of the old park lingers in the memories of anyone lucky enough to have visited it back in the day or as recently as last year.

For further information check out this website,, or go to my own website, and look for my page, A Haunted Hotel. I’d love to hear from anyone who has been there and their memories.


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About Hunter Shea

Hunter Shea is the product of a misspent childhood watching scary movies, reading forbidden books and wishing Bigfoot would walk past his house. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself. Hunter’s novels can even be found on display at the International Cryptozoology Museum. His video podcast, Monster Men, is one of the most watched horror podcasts in the world. You’ll also find him every week on the Final Guys podcast, available everywhere. He’s a bestselling author of over 30 books, all of them written with the express desire to quicken heartbeats and make spines tingle. Living with his wonderful family and two cats, he’s happy to be close enough to New York City to gobble down Gray’s Papaya hotdogs when the craving hits.

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