Revisiting My Spooky Tale

The Ghostess and Mister Muir

By J. L. Salter

I have always loved the spooky romance, “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” — 1947’s classic film with Rex Harrison and Gene Tierney. While contemplating that movie in early 2014, I got to thinking: what if the spook was female… and she died in human form 100 years ago?

One of the interesting features of the cinema adaptation is that the new resident of the haunted cottage was hardly ruffled at all by the presence of a ghost — its former owner, a retired sea captain. I was intrigued by the notion of how a story might play out if the new tenant were a MALE and he didn’t even believe spooks really existed.

From there, my novel basically took a life of its own. I re-purposed almost all the names (of people and places) from the movie but I tossed them around quite a bit. For example, I gave the name of the movie’s Gull Cottage to the high school principal, who became Mrs. Gull. The heroine (and Muir’s other love interest) in my novel was named Lucy (after the film’s heroine) Tierney (after the name of the actress who played Lucy).

It was a lot of fun to fit in most of the repeated names of the movie… and I’ve always told myself that anyone who’d seen the film as many times as I have will recognize almost all of my allusions.

In my tagline for the novel’s cover —  No self-respecting Southern girl takes second place to a spook — I wanted to tip off the reader that the ghostess who is haunting Levi Muir has some very human competition. Nothing like a love triangle where one of the participants is a 100-year old ghost!


Despite not believing in spirits, it takes only one haunting for Levi Muir to become entranced with the beautiful ghostess. But will his real-life girlfriend take second place to a spook?


Don’t you love my beautiful cover by Amanda Matthews?


Though he doesn’t even believe in spirits, it takes only one haunting for Levi Muir to become entranced with the beautiful ghostess.

A young veteran recovering from a wrecked relationship, Muir moves to Magnolia for his first year teaching high school English and resides in the renovated old hotel, which everyone knows is haunted.

Despite his skepticism, Muir senses a presence, then smells a unique perfume. Later, he locates an old portrait of beautiful Danielle Gregg, who lived in that suite a century ago, but experienced a tragic death.

His lovely new colleague, Lucy – science teacher and dedicated Spirit-Chaser – tries to convince Muir that the supernatural is real… and not to be taken lightly. Though Muir has been attracted to Lucy since the first day he spotted her, something begins to jam his thoughts whenever she enters his mind.

Intrigued by the beauty and sensuality of the mysterious woman in the portrait, Muir tries to learn more about the ghostess and her untimely demise. Though still skeptical of ghosts and hauntings, Muir can’t shake the feeling there could be more to Danielle’s mysterious 1914 death than the locals believe.

The more Muir encounters the lovely ghostess, the stronger his desire for even more contact! But Lucy’s willing to fight for Levi’s heart, because no self-respecting Southern girl takes second place to a spook.

Amazon Buy Link:


What about YOU? Have you ever experienced a haunting? Or something you thought MIGHT be a spook?

[JLS # 460]

About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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11 Responses to Revisiting My Spooky Tale

  1. Oh, I could tell you many stories! But I will tell you about one in particular.
    Between the ages of 13-19, my family lived a turn-of-the-(19-20th)-century house. There were many strange happenings there. One of the least frightening was that in the corner of two downstairs rooms, (backing up to each other), were Franklin stoves. If you sat or stayed next to them, you would often hare someone whistling a tune.
    TG&MM is a story nice story and as I added before, the audio version is well-read.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Salter says:

      thanks, Tonette.
      That’s a creepy business with those two old stoves. Don’t think I’d want to be warm badly enough to get near either one of them.


  2. Patricia Kiyono says:

    No ghost stories here! I never saw the movie, but enjoyed the television show with Hope Lange and Edward Mulhare. Someday, I’ll get to this book! You don’t happen to have the Cliff’s Notes version, do you?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Salter says:

      boy meets girl
      boy meets spook
      spooks exerts power over boy
      boy begins focusing more on spook than on girl
      girl challenges spook
      [The rest would be spoilers]


  3. Nope! But I’ve always loved hearing about strange happenings from friends and relatives through the years. My short story, Spirit Lake, was one of those my Uncle Hjelmer told me when I was a kid. He called it the Legend of Spirit Lake (a real lake in Minnesota). It stuck with me through the years, and eventually I wrote it out for a contest, embellishing it with my own ideas. That was after doing quite a bit of research on the lake. Turns out there are a lot of “legends” about that lake, none of which are the story my uncle gave me. LOL

    No, I really don’t believe in ghosts, but there have been some very interesting experiences people have had where they haven’t come up with a solid explanation. Doesn’t mean there isn’t one though. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I really enjoyed this book.
    I work in a haunted theater so…. I do have a few stories but nothing horribly spooky. Nothing like what some of the guys at work have experienced.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Elaine Cantrell says:

    Oh yes, I can tell you some ghost stories for sure! I don’t like ghosts at all.


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