non fiction - first published in 1991
As a new teacher in a small Midwestern town, Torey meets eight-year-old Jadie, a child so wounded by the events in her life that she believes she is a ghost.
A fragile, delicately balanced relationship builds between the two, but the more Torey struggles to unlock the mystery of Jadies pain, the more frightening Jadies story becomes. The things she says to Torey, whether obscure or shockingly clear, amount to a series of clues in a real-life detective story tinged with fear and fantasy. The more Torey learns, the more convoluted the puzzle of Jadies life outside school becomes.
The childs preoccupation with strange symbols and perverted sex acts seems to point to an interpretation even Torey is unwilling to acknowledge. Is it possible that Jadie is a victim of ritual abuse? Or appalling sexual abuse? Or the tortured imaginings of a seriously disturbed child?
With her inimitable blend of compassion, insight and masterful storytelling, Torey Hayden once more shows us the power of love and the resilience of the human spirit. Narrated with honesty and humanity, GHOST GIRL is both an insightful account of the problems of dealing with suspected child abuse and an utterly gripping psychological horror story.
In writing GHOST GIRL the issue Torey wanted to address specifically was the difficulty professionals have in interpreting maladjusted behavior. At the time of writing GHOST GIRL, she was concerned at the number of people jumping on the various bandwagons, such as satanic and ritual abuse, multiple personality disorder, and such and wanted to show just how hard it can be from the professionals standpoint to determine what exactly is happening - and how easy it is to allow personal bias to affect diagnoses.
GHOST GIRL was Toreys first book to upset publishers and to be returned for re-writing. They disliked the unclear ending. As it is a true story and not fiction, Torey found it difficult to come up with a more suitable ending. The issue was resolved by including a lengthy epilogue which had to be rewritten fifteen times before it was accepted.
GHOST GIRL went on to become Toreys second most popular book after ONE CHILD. It reached the best seller list in five countries.
Torey still is not certain what really happened to Jadie.
Where are they now?
Hugh is now in his fifties. He has remained single and has no children. He now lives in Canada.
I'm supposed to give a synopsis of my life? Yeh, sure, Torey! Hi, everyone! I'm not married to Torey. You probably guessed that. I'm not married at all. Once was enough for me. What Torey didn't tell you in the books is that I am a native American. About ten years ago I started getting more in tune with my heritage, so I've left the city life behind. I'm now teaching alternative medicine at a small institute dedicated to supporting native beliefs, so I'm living the good life surrounded by really beautiful scenery. What more could I ask?
Jadie is in her late twenties now and working on a doctorate in medieval English literature. She still finds it difficult to talk about her childhood. She was asked but declined to contribute to this page.
Ghost Girl available from amazon.co.uk