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Don't Call Them Ghosts: The Spirit Children of Fontaine Manse

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In 1971, the author and her family moved into a historic home known as the Fontaine Manse. Two days after moving in, she and her husband had an extraordinary experience that left them with no doubt that unseen residents occupied the house, too. This is the true story of how Kathleen McConnell came to know and care for the spirit children who lived in the attic of the mans In 1971, the author and her family moved into a historic home known as the Fontaine Manse. Two days after moving in, she and her husband had an extraordinary experience that left them with no doubt that unseen residents occupied the house, too. This is the true story of how Kathleen McConnell came to know and care for the spirit children who lived in the attic of the mansion: Angel Girl, Buddy, and Baby. From playing ball with Kathleen, to saving her son Duncan from drowning, the spirit children became part of the McConnell family in ways big and small. Finally, a heart-wrenching dilemma triggered an unexpected and dramatic resolution to the spirit children's plight. Don't Call Them Ghosts is an inspiring story of the transcendent and lasting power of a mother's love. Coalition of Visionary Resources (COVR) 2nd Runner Up for Biographical/Self Help category


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In 1971, the author and her family moved into a historic home known as the Fontaine Manse. Two days after moving in, she and her husband had an extraordinary experience that left them with no doubt that unseen residents occupied the house, too. This is the true story of how Kathleen McConnell came to know and care for the spirit children who lived in the attic of the mans In 1971, the author and her family moved into a historic home known as the Fontaine Manse. Two days after moving in, she and her husband had an extraordinary experience that left them with no doubt that unseen residents occupied the house, too. This is the true story of how Kathleen McConnell came to know and care for the spirit children who lived in the attic of the mansion: Angel Girl, Buddy, and Baby. From playing ball with Kathleen, to saving her son Duncan from drowning, the spirit children became part of the McConnell family in ways big and small. Finally, a heart-wrenching dilemma triggered an unexpected and dramatic resolution to the spirit children's plight. Don't Call Them Ghosts is an inspiring story of the transcendent and lasting power of a mother's love. Coalition of Visionary Resources (COVR) 2nd Runner Up for Biographical/Self Help category

30 review for Don't Call Them Ghosts: The Spirit Children of Fontaine Manse

  1. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    i love ghosts stories and can usually put up with mediocre writing if the story is spooky enough. this is not one of those cases. the author is a terrible writer, often saying the same thing 20 different ways in multiple paragraphs. she constantly belittles herself and adds details you wish she hadn't- i don't need to know every little detail of her husband's physique or the contents of her son's diaper. not sure if i'll get all the way through this one... i love ghosts stories and can usually put up with mediocre writing if the story is spooky enough. this is not one of those cases. the author is a terrible writer, often saying the same thing 20 different ways in multiple paragraphs. she constantly belittles herself and adds details you wish she hadn't- i don't need to know every little detail of her husband's physique or the contents of her son's diaper. not sure if i'll get all the way through this one...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    The author's writing style was insufferable! She writes like a middle aged, mealy mouthed, housewife talking to a three year old child. She had no clue how to build up suspense. She included way too many details about EVERY LITTLE THING, whether it's relevant or not.I couldn't finish this book, it was horrible, just horrible. I don't understand how this got published. The author's writing style was insufferable! She writes like a middle aged, mealy mouthed, housewife talking to a three year old child. She had no clue how to build up suspense. She included way too many details about EVERY LITTLE THING, whether it's relevant or not.I couldn't finish this book, it was horrible, just horrible. I don't understand how this got published.

  3. 4 out of 5

    John

    Great story of a true haunting. I was frustrated by the fact that the author never gives us any information about who the children actually were; I infer that she chose not to share that information, as she asserts, towards the end, that they "were never laid to rest", so there's more she doesn't tell. Great story of a true haunting. I was frustrated by the fact that the author never gives us any information about who the children actually were; I infer that she chose not to share that information, as she asserts, towards the end, that they "were never laid to rest", so there's more she doesn't tell.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Azra

    I have mixed feelings about this book. Since I can't give a half star, I'll just round up to four. On the face of it, it is an great - and unusual - story of a haunting and how the author struggled with her experiences before accepting what was going on with her house. However, the tone the author sometimes takes with her writing is irritating. There are several places in the writing, most of them in the first 80 pages, where Ms. McConnell goes to great pains to let the reader know how wonderful I have mixed feelings about this book. Since I can't give a half star, I'll just round up to four. On the face of it, it is an great - and unusual - story of a haunting and how the author struggled with her experiences before accepting what was going on with her house. However, the tone the author sometimes takes with her writing is irritating. There are several places in the writing, most of them in the first 80 pages, where Ms. McConnell goes to great pains to let the reader know how wonderful her husband is. She repeatedly says, as she does on page 79, "I knew I had the best man God ever gave a woman." It got to the point where I was ready to follow Dorothy Parker's advice if I read that sentence one more time. (If you don't know, Dorothy Parker once reviewed a book by saying, "This is not a book to be put aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.") I was also a bit irritated by Ms. McConnell's attitude toward the spirits. Perhaps it was a result of her writing style. Perhaps it is because I was at the zoo the day the maternal instinct was handed out but there seemed to be a sugary sweet, "oh, the wee things!" attitude. Still, this was an interesting and unusual story. I'm not sure I would have been able to sit still for some of the things that happened right in front of the author over the five years she and her family lived in the house.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kirsti

    I've recently been tidying up my book room (again!) and among the hundreds of unread op shop finds, I saw this book and decided it was time I read it. I do like a good ghost story, and this one seemed a little different; the ghosts weren't harming or haunting the house in order to scare the occupants. Mostly we use ghost stories as a scare factor, but this one was more accepting the spirits as human children, catering to their needs and coming to live along side them. It was this unique factor t I've recently been tidying up my book room (again!) and among the hundreds of unread op shop finds, I saw this book and decided it was time I read it. I do like a good ghost story, and this one seemed a little different; the ghosts weren't harming or haunting the house in order to scare the occupants. Mostly we use ghost stories as a scare factor, but this one was more accepting the spirits as human children, catering to their needs and coming to live along side them. It was this unique factor that boosted the sometimes poor writing and kept this book in the higher star rating for me. I do feel like at times the writing was a little poor, but at the same time it kind of reflected the narrator and her simple life as well. It adds an innocence to the story that somehow makes it more believable, so I believe it is deliberate. All in all I liked it, but it may turn some readers off purely because of the writing. Four stars.

  6. 4 out of 5

    JL Smither

    This book provides a first-hand account of living in a house haunted by the spirits of three children. After reading the whole thing, I still don’t have an opinion about whether Don’t Call Them Ghosts should be considered fiction or non-fiction, and it probably shouldn't matter. The author/narrator seems convinced, and presents her story the way she remembers it. The author has a very different lifestyle than I do--she was raised in a different time, in a different part of the country, with very This book provides a first-hand account of living in a house haunted by the spirits of three children. After reading the whole thing, I still don’t have an opinion about whether Don’t Call Them Ghosts should be considered fiction or non-fiction, and it probably shouldn't matter. The author/narrator seems convinced, and presents her story the way she remembers it. The author has a very different lifestyle than I do--she was raised in a different time, in a different part of the country, with very different values. I found myself rolling my eyes when the narrative paused so she could gush about how perfect her husband is or how beautiful her baby is, but maybe that says more about me than her. However, the narrator does take some actions that I didn’t think were explained very well and that hurt the story. For example, it takes her weeks to come up with the idea to go to the library, which is directly next door, to figure out who the spirit children in her house are. Once she finally does--and the narrative goes into great detail about the trip--she spends her time reading about an old amusement park instead of the family that built her house. She never mentions going back to that library again, but she does go to the main branch to get some more information several months later. What she finds isn’t really satisfactory--nothing about children dying or even anything from the era the children would have lived--but she doesn’t make any other effort to find out who they are, despite telling them that she will. She doesn’t call the previous owners to ask about the box of stuff she found in the attic. And in the epilogue, she mentions that she made another half-hearted research attempt at her publisher’s urging, but didn’t come up with anything. This comes across as a lack of curiosity at best and willful ignorance at worst. When she decides after only 5 years to sell “the house of her dreams,” the reader really starts to wonder. And since she is able to help the spirits move on, no one who lives in the house after her will have an opportunity to confirm or deny the story. But really, this is all probably beside the point. If you can take the author at her word, you’ll enjoy a touching story about family life in a house where living people care for their spirit housemates and vice versa. They protect each other, tease each other, argue sometimes, pout, and generally live together the way a family does. They accept each other as they are, and what more can you ask family to do? Don’t Call Them Ghosts isn’t going to convince a skeptic that ghosts really exist. But if you’re not looking to be convinced--if you’re looking for a story about what it’s like to live and interact with friendly spirits in your house--then you’ll likely enjoy this family story.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cheryln Bologna

    This was a wonderful book. I usually read ghost books written by a paranormal researcher such as Hanz Holtzer or written by an author who did some research and interviewed others about their ghost experiences. This time, the author, Kathleen McConnel, wrote in the first person. She wrote the way one would speak to another person. It wasn't just a story...it was a direct narrative of what her experiences were in the Fontaine Manse. She had an amazing paranormal experience. The "other children" (d This was a wonderful book. I usually read ghost books written by a paranormal researcher such as Hanz Holtzer or written by an author who did some research and interviewed others about their ghost experiences. This time, the author, Kathleen McConnel, wrote in the first person. She wrote the way one would speak to another person. It wasn't just a story...it was a direct narrative of what her experiences were in the Fontaine Manse. She had an amazing paranormal experience. The "other children" (don't ever call them ghosts!) didn't really haunt her house...they lived there. They trusted her. They responded to her and she experienced them with her own eyes. Most people have a ghostly experience and only talk about the shadow they saw or the bump in the night they heard. Kathleen spoke about her feelings of the other children. She regarded them as her own children. She spoke to them and gave them gifts. She loved them. It was amazing how they interacted with her. I wish Kathleen wrote more about the history of the house and who the children were. In the Epilogue, she said she could have found out, but didn't want to. I definitely would have wanted to know who was haunting my house! You can tell that Kathleen is not a writer. Her writing is a bit immature, but she is telling a story from her own perpective. She added details that, even though they weren't relevant to the story, give you insight to her daily life. The ending was remarable. I'm glad Kathleen wrote this book. It was not your typical ghost story and was definitely heart-warming.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nikki

    I now understand why I started this book and then put it down. I only recently picked it up and drove myself to finishing it. I was hoping for a good ghost story, but what I ended up with is more of the author telling their personal life story with some unusual events happening during it. Strange things seem to happen in McConnell's house that she and her family move into. When these strange things start happening, she then decides to try and investigate what is actually going on in her home and I now understand why I started this book and then put it down. I only recently picked it up and drove myself to finishing it. I was hoping for a good ghost story, but what I ended up with is more of the author telling their personal life story with some unusual events happening during it. Strange things seem to happen in McConnell's house that she and her family move into. When these strange things start happening, she then decides to try and investigate what is actually going on in her home and who these spirit children may actually be. There are more things that I didn't like about this book then things I actually did like about this book. McConnell has a tendency to start down one path, then lose focus and end up on a completely different path. At times there were instances where I was wondering where I had been taken and why since the path I started on never got to its destination. Disorganized and random thoughts is the best way for me to describe this book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Abbey

    I think some of the reviews of this book are too harsh. Will it win any awards? No. Am I glad Kathleen McConnell decided to write a book about such an amazing story? Absolutely. It was a quick read and the pacing was nice. Its really an incredible thing that happened to her and her family and I'm really glad she shared it. There were several grammatical errors but nothing that is too distracting. Would definitely recommend it for ghost-story lovers. I hope the spirit children are okay - I'm kind I think some of the reviews of this book are too harsh. Will it win any awards? No. Am I glad Kathleen McConnell decided to write a book about such an amazing story? Absolutely. It was a quick read and the pacing was nice. Its really an incredible thing that happened to her and her family and I'm really glad she shared it. There were several grammatical errors but nothing that is too distracting. Would definitely recommend it for ghost-story lovers. I hope the spirit children are okay - I'm kind of sad about them!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

    I did not really enjoy this book. I'm not a fan of true ghost stories but someone gave me this book to read so I figured I'd give it a shot. It was boring, the author includes information about stuff that isn't even relevant to the main story. It seems like she just wanted to add more words to her book! I was hoping it would be spookier but it ended up being kind of hokey... I think it would have made a better magazine article. I did not really enjoy this book. I'm not a fan of true ghost stories but someone gave me this book to read so I figured I'd give it a shot. It was boring, the author includes information about stuff that isn't even relevant to the main story. It seems like she just wanted to add more words to her book! I was hoping it would be spookier but it ended up being kind of hokey... I think it would have made a better magazine article.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Shawn

    I love this book! Though it doesn’t answer every question I have about ghosts, I’m at least impressed that Kathleen had the same questions I do. God might not always explain everything that happens to us in life, but he will always guide us if we seek his will. This story is a beautiful testament to God’s power and grace.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Paula

    I thought this was a fascinating account of a family's interactions with 3 spirit children who live in their home. I also liked the bit of history of the Fontaine Manse in Louisville, Ky. I enjoyed this book very much. I thought this was a fascinating account of a family's interactions with 3 spirit children who live in their home. I also liked the bit of history of the Fontaine Manse in Louisville, Ky. I enjoyed this book very much.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kristi Yeagley

    interesting story, if you believe in ghosts. not so well written, as the author tends to go off topic easily. i really enjoyed the end, and the afterword section, where the authors children had a say.

  14. 4 out of 5

    John Grogan

    I learned of this book while listening to the "Spooked" podcast. The abbreviated story, as told on the podcast, was better than the longer story of the book. I learned of this book while listening to the "Spooked" podcast. The abbreviated story, as told on the podcast, was better than the longer story of the book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    Now I'm going to be honest and say I didn't exactly finish this book. While it had interesting moments, its just not interesting enough for me to continue. It had interesting moments of her interacting with the ghosts but not interesting enough as a story. Now I'm going to be honest and say I didn't exactly finish this book. While it had interesting moments, its just not interesting enough for me to continue. It had interesting moments of her interacting with the ghosts but not interesting enough as a story.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    I usually enjoy reading supernatural books; so i was recommended this book. It's a true story about how this woman who moved into a house with his husband. They experienced something very great.. they took care of spirit children in the house. IN the beginnning of the story, i didn't really "get" into the book as i thought i would in every other story, mostly because i never heard of any supernatural story dealting with human beings "taking care" of spirit children. Usually, it's about how the s I usually enjoy reading supernatural books; so i was recommended this book. It's a true story about how this woman who moved into a house with his husband. They experienced something very great.. they took care of spirit children in the house. IN the beginnning of the story, i didn't really "get" into the book as i thought i would in every other story, mostly because i never heard of any supernatural story dealting with human beings "taking care" of spirit children. Usually, it's about how the spirts are bothering and pestering the humans that causes many issues. I cannot relate to this book nor will i recommend it; i cannot find any message within this story

  17. 5 out of 5

    Maura Satchell

    Read it for the information contained within, not for the writing. Kathleen McConnell had an interesting story to tell, and tell it she did, some 20-plus years after the fact. No doubt the memories and experiences were seared into her memory. Like other reviewers have noted, it's not professionally crafted. Still, it was a compelling read and I finished it quickly. My favorite part was a segment after the conclusion of the book in which her children recorded their impressions and observations of Read it for the information contained within, not for the writing. Kathleen McConnell had an interesting story to tell, and tell it she did, some 20-plus years after the fact. No doubt the memories and experiences were seared into her memory. Like other reviewers have noted, it's not professionally crafted. Still, it was a compelling read and I finished it quickly. My favorite part was a segment after the conclusion of the book in which her children recorded their impressions and observations of their experience in that house which were never discussed during their five years living there.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Marcela

    I knocked this book out in a day. Very slow read. The story line has a lot of potential but does not deliver. I really want to know the story behind these ghost children but there are no answers. Also, author claims not to be a psychic, however the conclusions she draws about the ghost kids make absolutely no sense unless she was? I really wanted to the history of the Fontain Manse, but not a lot is provided. What got me thrgh was my curiosity! Still a good read though. Maybe I'm not a mystery k I knocked this book out in a day. Very slow read. The story line has a lot of potential but does not deliver. I really want to know the story behind these ghost children but there are no answers. Also, author claims not to be a psychic, however the conclusions she draws about the ghost kids make absolutely no sense unless she was? I really wanted to the history of the Fontain Manse, but not a lot is provided. What got me thrgh was my curiosity! Still a good read though. Maybe I'm not a mystery kinda person.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Hava

    I ran across Don’t Call Them Ghosts: The Spirit Children of Fontaine Manse on accident at the library tonight, and decided that it looked interesting enough to preview on my 15 minute break. I was instantly hooked. It was almost physically painful to close the book after 15 minutes... Click here to continue I ran across Don’t Call Them Ghosts: The Spirit Children of Fontaine Manse on accident at the library tonight, and decided that it looked interesting enough to preview on my 15 minute break. I was instantly hooked. It was almost physically painful to close the book after 15 minutes... Click here to continue

  20. 5 out of 5

    Diah Putri

    at first, it kinda scary to read this novel. I tried not to read it at night. But after read it, it was great. It's about a family who just moved into a new house, a haunted house. But that haunted house gave the mother a great experience. The ghosts are 3 children, one of them is a baby. kathleen love and take care of them, her additional '3 kids'. A strong bond connect them all. Many sweet experience happened and you'll find touchy moments. people should read this!! at first, it kinda scary to read this novel. I tried not to read it at night. But after read it, it was great. It's about a family who just moved into a new house, a haunted house. But that haunted house gave the mother a great experience. The ghosts are 3 children, one of them is a baby. kathleen love and take care of them, her additional '3 kids'. A strong bond connect them all. Many sweet experience happened and you'll find touchy moments. people should read this!!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Videoclimber(AKA)MTsLilSis

    Not terrible but you could tell that this book was written by someone who was not used to writing. Most of the book was about her family and very little of it was about the "spirit children". The book left you feeling like there was more to the story that you hadn't been told. The ending seemed rushed and unbelievable, almost like the author just added what she wanted to happen and not what really happened. There are much better "haunted house" books, in my opinion. Not terrible but you could tell that this book was written by someone who was not used to writing. Most of the book was about her family and very little of it was about the "spirit children". The book left you feeling like there was more to the story that you hadn't been told. The ending seemed rushed and unbelievable, almost like the author just added what she wanted to happen and not what really happened. There are much better "haunted house" books, in my opinion.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Annisa Fathonah

    I read this book when I was in Junior High School. This book is awesome! I do believe in ghosts -well, my belief makes me believe it, but living with them is sort of an impossible thing, however, McConnels did it. I like the character of the baby ghost anyway. I keep imagining if he were real -in a human body- he would be very cute. Over all, I'm looking forward to reading this book again so madly! Still trying to find it in my campus library, though. I read this book when I was in Junior High School. This book is awesome! I do believe in ghosts -well, my belief makes me believe it, but living with them is sort of an impossible thing, however, McConnels did it. I like the character of the baby ghost anyway. I keep imagining if he were real -in a human body- he would be very cute. Over all, I'm looking forward to reading this book again so madly! Still trying to find it in my campus library, though.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Redgeorgiadawg

    Perfect read for a spooky, true, ghost story. No macabe death scenes here. Takes place in Ky. The author is not a good writer. That is part of the charm of this story. You can tell she wrote her own story. Interesting epilogue includes addtional information and accounts about others that lived with her when the haunting occurred.

  24. 5 out of 5

    |Lala| :)

    Wow!!! I loved this book. It was awesome and sooo interesting. =] I have to admit that i cried at the end a little because it was so emotional and it had a great ending. Its about this woman and her family move into what seems a great home. Until she starts to realize ghosts are sharing the house wit her in the attic. Theyre not the "spooky" kind though. This is truley a great ghost story! Wow!!! I loved this book. It was awesome and sooo interesting. =] I have to admit that i cried at the end a little because it was so emotional and it had a great ending. Its about this woman and her family move into what seems a great home. Until she starts to realize ghosts are sharing the house wit her in the attic. Theyre not the "spooky" kind though. This is truley a great ghost story!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Serrin

    Lovely true story about a family growing up in the Fontaine Manse in the 1970's. Choppy writing but I chalked that up to the inexperience of the author and her just trying to get her story out. I was able to visualize the spirit children and was able to feel the warmth and love she showed toward these children as well. Wonderfully quick read that may leave you a little misty eyed. Lovely true story about a family growing up in the Fontaine Manse in the 1970's. Choppy writing but I chalked that up to the inexperience of the author and her just trying to get her story out. I was able to visualize the spirit children and was able to feel the warmth and love she showed toward these children as well. Wonderfully quick read that may leave you a little misty eyed.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Margy

    Very interesting nonfiction about a family who moves into an old Victorian that also houses a little family of child spirits .... over the years the Mom befriends them and eventually helps them cross over. It was very good, and I became very attached to the spirit children, but don't think I could have faced the situation with the calm and conviction that she displayed. Very interesting nonfiction about a family who moves into an old Victorian that also houses a little family of child spirits .... over the years the Mom befriends them and eventually helps them cross over. It was very good, and I became very attached to the spirit children, but don't think I could have faced the situation with the calm and conviction that she displayed.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tracy Walters

    I wanted to be skeptical when I started reading this book, but by the end I was so emotional....it has a very emotional ending and Kathleen is one of the nicest and most kind people I have ever read about. It makes you feel like you have missed out on life because you have not had such an experience. It was a great book....very interesting and I enjoyed reading it very much.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Allie

    This was a great read! It's not as creepy as the title sounds. You really get to understand and feel for Kathy who fell in love with this house and ends up finding out it's 3 spirits of children that live in their new home. My heart ache for the children. Kathy bonds with the children. It was a wonderful book :) This was a great read! It's not as creepy as the title sounds. You really get to understand and feel for Kathy who fell in love with this house and ends up finding out it's 3 spirits of children that live in their new home. My heart ache for the children. Kathy bonds with the children. It was a wonderful book :)

  29. 4 out of 5

    Regan

    If this book really is true, that is one amazing story. I slept with my lights on for a couple of nights after reading it (but I'm kind of a chicken). I would love for one of my Goodreads Friends to read this and tell me what you think. If this book really is true, that is one amazing story. I slept with my lights on for a couple of nights after reading it (but I'm kind of a chicken). I would love for one of my Goodreads Friends to read this and tell me what you think.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Irvin

    An interesting account, and perspective, of living with the ghosts of three children. I especially liked the inclusion at the end of all the other family members' memories of the 5 years they spent at the Fontaine Manse. An interesting account, and perspective, of living with the ghosts of three children. I especially liked the inclusion at the end of all the other family members' memories of the 5 years they spent at the Fontaine Manse.

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