The Inspiration Behind “She Woke at Midnight.”
By Naching T. Kassa
It was a dark and stormy night. The candles flickered, casting a ghostly glow over the Ouija board. I pressed my fingertips to the planchette and asked my burning question.
“What should I write for the HorrorAddicts.net sub call, Haunts and Hellions?”
Ok, I just made that up. I don’t get my ideas from a Ouija board (well, not usually.) I actually found my inspiration in the movie Jane Eyre starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender, directed by Cary Fukunaga.
The film is a feast for the senses, especially the sixth sense. Of all the Jane Eyre films I’ve seen (and I’ve seen many) this is the only one which centers on the supernatural elements of the novel. We have the red room which terrifies Jane as a child. The visions she experiences while wishing for Rochester’s reappearance, and finally, his disembodied voice which calls to her. These elements intertwine with real-life moments, as Jane must contend with the strange mystery of Thornfield Hall. Jane isn’t insane, though her conflict with Rochester threatens to drive her in that direction. No, Jane operates on a higher and more spiritual level. A place on the razor’s edge of sanity.
And that’s where the inspiration for my story, “She Woke at Midnight,” began. Rochester is a strange and brooding character, a man capable of driving women insane. He’s concerned about his reputation because of the secret he keeps locked in the attic of Thornfield. What if the character in my story was like that? What if every woman who loved Lord Richard Jamison lost her sense of reason? Could the heroine of my story, Amelia Fairfax, love such a man and keep her sanity? Or would she learn the most tragic lesson of all?
Love is not for the faint of heart.
Naching T. Kassa is a wife, mother, and horror writer. She’s created short stories, novellas, poems, and co-created three children. She lives in Eastern Washington State with Dan Kassa, her husband and biggest supporter.
Naching is a member of the Horror Writers Association, Head of Publishing and Interviewer for HorrorAddicts.net, and an assistant and staff writer for Still Water Bay at Crystal Lake Publishing.