TODAY   |  October 19, 2013

‘Help for the Haunted’ a scary read for the season

A new book follows the story of a teenage girl as she tries to find out who murdered her parents, a pair of paranormal investigators. TODAY’s Craig Melvin interviews author John Searles.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> murder mystery fans. "help for the haunted," by john searles . john searles , good morning to you.

>> thank you for having me here.

>> there is something for everyone here, right?

>> definitely. it's part coming of age story and part murder mystery and part ghost story . as you said, it's a teenage girl and searching out the lives ever of her parents and their murders.

>> why tell the story through the eyes of a teenage girl?

>> i didn't really think about it as a boy or girl . i was intrigued by sylvia mason, the character. her parents get lured into a church and they never come out of the church alive. she is the only witness to their deaths. and she is left to figure out what happened to them.

>> i understand there was also some real life inspiration as well for this?

>> i put lots of details in the book from my own life but in particular my nom sends me up to the attics to get things. one time i was up there and saw a garbage bag and saw red yarn and it was attached to a raggedy ann doll. i screamed and wet my pants. my mom made these homemade raggedy ann dolls. it adds a creepiness to the book.

>> this book is thrilling. it's suspenseful but at times it is downright scary as well.

>> it's the season for that kind of read. it's not a horror film . not a horror movie or anything like that but it is a scary read and those kind of books and people will love it.

>> why does it seem we are so obsessed with these kinds of stories? why is it do you think we like to be -- we like to have --

>> i think fear is the strongest human emotion . this book the parents deal with the unknown. this girl and her sister are trying to figure out what it was that happened to her parents while they were alive and who killed them. it's a great book for book clubs as well.

>> live our viewers know you you make book recommendations. any recommendations for the fall?

>> my book.

>> of course.

>> i read the wally land. it's a fabulous book. i would say get that. get "help for the haunted," and you're set for the fall.

>> this seems like a book that has horror movie written all over it. are you talking?

>> a lot of nibbles from hollywood and we we are excited about that. thank you. appreciate it.

>> happy halloween. the book is "help for the haunted."