The Next Chapter

Christy Ann Conlin on her odd job in a haunted lighting store

Before she was an author, Conlin worked at a lighting store that was — you guessed it — haunted.
Christy Ann Conlin was raised on ghost stories. Her new novel, The Memento, is set in a haunted manor house in rural Nova Scotia, where she grew up. (Doubleday Canada)

Christy Ann Conlin grew up on ghost stories, which inspired her latest novel, The Memento. But haunted houses aren't just a thing of fiction for Conlin. Before she was an author she worked at a lighting store that was — you guessed it — haunted.

I had an interesting job working in an antique shop in the country. We were setting out antique glass, arranging these magnificent sparkling pieces in a wonderful old display cabinet. The shop was in an old barn that was converted. It had a lot of low-hanging lights. When we were putting up this display, the lights began to flicker. I stopped, looked around. The employee I was working with looked up, looked back, smiled at me and said, "Oh, don't worry that's just my brother."

Later on, another employee came in and I told her about the lights flickering and that the women I was working with said that was just her brother. She said, "Oh that's interesting, he passed away 10 years ago." I've never looked at flickering lights the same way since.

Christy Ann Conlin's comments have been edited and condensed.