The Franklin Mansion (845,290)
Helen Bannerman, Andy Gardener, Henry Hawthorne
Eleanor Franklin spends her days in the very haunted Franklin Mansion surrounded by her 13 cats, named Salem, Rowley, Peaslee, Saugus, Merrimac, Amesbury, Peabody, Dexter, Halsey, Danvers, Wilmouth, Arkham and Artwood, and the various ghosts that skulk and thump around the premises. She is isolated and somewhat unaware of current events. She's happy to receive the occasional visitor, although she shows no signs of being interested in leaving the mansion. Her husband, Edmund Franklin, hung himself after killing a Wabanaki tribe shaman in 1971 and is buried in the Kingsmouth Cemetery.
I'm sure my reputation precedes me...though only the trick-or-treaters make it up past the private property sign these days. Ever since that Killian woman got run out of town, I've been the honorary island witch. A foul-tempered old widow who shut herself up in a haunted house for decades. I've always trusted my cats as better judges of character, but maybe they got me on the temper. Old? Now that I'll argue. These are Saks Fifth Avenue! But there's the temper again. My friends always told me to come back to Long Island, or to Manhattan. They still do, every now and again. I was a city girl once, but I've grown to dig this weird little rock. I couldn't leave it. I couldn't leave Ed. And I'd be afraid to see what happened to the city since. You ever think time goes so slowly, but then you look outside and it's been rushing past like out the window of an airplane?
This house, well, you knew just to look at it that it was haunted, didn't you? A few coats of paint away from its best days, just like its owner, but it was never beautiful. Unlike its owner. I used to blame the Indians, used to think they'd put their evil eye on the place to take our lives. And it did take our lives, just Ed quickly and on its own sweet time with me. Devore was the name of the man who built it, the Blue Ridge mine as well. The story goes the Indians cursed him for his troubles, whatever he did or didn't do to rile them up, and he lost everything. He ended up dangling for the murder of his child bride. As I was saying, I used to blame the Indians too. I called them vengeful folk who never forgave some grievance a generation old... when you look for a grudge, you find one. Oh, they were caught up in things alright. But this house was just built bad.
You picked the wrong part of the island for people watching, and the wrong season too. I remember the old summers with those Madahando kids splashing in the river, the morning mist boiling off the marsh...Now you won't be spotting anything through this pea souper. I don't get out to see people much. I don't really get out further than the porch at all, just sitting with a book and the whippoorwills. Henry Hawthorne will come out to try and save my soul every few months, and every time I tell him it's much too late for that. He likes to sketch the house. Says he's real big on late period architecture or something. And Helen Bannerman, or worse luck her gormless deputy, are duty-bound to check I haven't died in my sleep and stunk the place up. She calls me "Ellie," and I tell her now you look here, I remember when you were still learning to walk. Terrible shame, what happened to her father. Gutted fish and tragedies, that's Kingsmouth, as much as I've ever made of it.
Survive the storm? Well hell, I'm a tough old bird, you ask anyone in town. I survived it the same way I always do, battening down the hatches and just sitting it out. I do recall the cats taking a real hating to this one, hissing and spitting, tails up like chimney brushes. But they're ornery creatures. Most of them were yowling before their momma had even finished biting through the cord. This fog's outstaying its welcome though. Must have put a real dampener on the town Halloween, haven't had a single knock at the door until you showed up. Not that I'm complaining...but I do resign myself to the visits this time of year. Couple of times I thought I spied some folks out in the gardens, but Ed said nope, it was nothing. Wait for it to blow over, he said, same as that big Halloween storm in '91.