Thanks, KTLN. I'm always surprised by the sheer range of titles that are available in YA. It doesn't really seem to fall within even a group of genres, but it seems to be every genre as long as it's got a younger protagonist and real excitement.
I read yours, Richard After what had happened in your novel, in answer to your very interesting closing question, what would I tell my child if s/he asked, did I believe in Bigfoot? I would tell my child, I do not disbelieve.. Some places are haunted. Where you are not wanted, you will feel it, you will know, and if you are wise, you will get out.
You might have come across this already, Richard, but I'll post it in case of anyone who hasn't yet come across TC Lethbridge and the concept of the 'ghoul' as a haunted place. I encountered a 'ghoul' once in a house. I have never been so frightened of 'nothing.' I didn't discover 'the story' for another 20 odd years and can't prove it, but the ghoul I encountered was I think, despair. Truly horrible. Here's a famous instance of an English 'ghoul'. There have been many suicides near this spot: the associated book is TC Lethbridge's 'Ghost And Ghoul'. Second hand copies via Amazon.
When we took a kayak trip down a local river, last month, I found it very hard to keep from looking at the abandoned buildings of what used to be a State Psychiatric Hospital, now State Park. The huge brick structures housed such a level of despair and insanity for so long, I'm sure I could still feel some of it seeping through the vine-covered walls. There is a theoretical physics aspect to it, too since thought and emotion are electrical responses within synaptic connections, they form a kind of energy. I may be odd, but I believe that energy is absorbed by surroundings if enough is applied over time. Ghoulish places In my experience have always been sites of pain and agony, and they work on people whether or not those folks are aware of the histories.
I don't find it odd. I find it more odd that some people find it odd. But as you say, these things make themselves more easily felt if you are quiet, not distracted. There are places you just feel bad. Archaeologist and water witcher Tom Lethbridge suspected there is often underground water in these places, or even visible water as with the bad creek on the beach at Ladram Bay. He suggested in the book mentioned above there is a kind of electro magnetic effect, detected in the amygdala and translated as a disagreeable supernatural experience. Which does not mean it isn't 'real.' In that house I mentioned, I knew nothing of the history at the time, thought it was a nice house. A holiday property in Suffolk, it used to have a well in Norman times, apparently. There's a place in the Cairngorms, the Lairig Ghru, notorious for this bad feeling, soldiers have often gone there for exercises and fitness training, and then there is the phenomenon known as The Grey Man of Ben Macdhui. It may be a meteorological effect but it's famously a nasty sensation. It frightened the bejeezus out of a very well known mountaineer once, apparently: Chris Bonington.