In 1989, I worked at a restaurant in Rockledge, Florida called Ashley’s Cafe. Although fictional, my idea for The Depot and The Library stemmed from the ghost who haunts the 1930s tavern.
My fascination with the restaurant came about the first night I served as the restaurant’s general manager. I’d worked there for almost two years and had never heard or saw a thing, but my first night in my new position was a different story. It’s been so long, I barely remember all that happened, but one thing that I’ll never forget is one of those large oval trays—that can’t possibly balance on its side—came sliding across the floor at me. Also, a five pound bucket of water spilled across the floor when no one was near it. Maybe the ghost was just reminding me who was boss.
But the most nerve wracking occurrences throughout the years were the number of employees—including myself—who felt as though someone had pushed them down the service stairs.
My husband—who happened to be a police officer at the time—also got to hear all the stories from the other officers who’d searched the café in the middle of the night because of alarm calls. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have any stories, but the detective’s account in The Depot is based off several officers whom my husband knew and trusted.
Since I’d always been interested in the supernatural, I looked up the woman’s death who supposedly haunts Ashley’s via microfilm from the old library in Cocoa, Florida.
At the time of her death, it was on record as one of the most heinous murders in Florida’s history. The murderer had gone through great lengths to conceal the woman’s identity, including smashing out all her teeth, cutting off her fingers, and burning her body. According to witnesses, the woman had been dating someone from power and wealth. And to my surprise, when I looked forward past a few days, the story had all but disappeared. Weeks later, nothing! Think about that! One of the most shocking crimes in Florida’s history in the thirties, and the newspapers drop the story.
Yeah…things that make you say, “Hmmm….”
So, there you have it. While my story is fictional, there is a ghost story. I believe the ghost of Ethel Allen will haunt that restaurant until someone uncovers the truth about her murder.
If you are interested in reading The Library (Where Life Checks Out), you can find it on Amazon.com.
Thank you for stopping by my place and reading my musings. Remember these are just my opinions and shouldn’t be taken too seriously. If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section, and I promise you I will answer. I love talking about all things books, so if you want more posts on writing, marketing books, and new releases, and giveaways, please leave your email address here. I only send out a post once or twice a week at the most.
Oh, and for you ghost hunters, if you’d like to read more about Ashley’s ghost, click here.
FIRSTS IN SERIES