Home > Came Back Haunted (Experiment in Terror #10)

Came Back Haunted (Experiment in Terror #10)
Author: Karina Halle




Yes, it’s true. Dex and Perry’s story continues after a few year’s break. Have you missed anything in the meantime?

I highly recommend you read Veiled, Ada’s novel, before starting this book.

And you definitely need to read Ghosted before embarking on Came Back Haunted. This novella is told from Dex’s POV, with events leading right up into this book.

So go check out Veiled first, then Ghosted.

Then come right back here.

This book will be here waiting for you.






There was a man who lived in Hell.

He hadn’t been there that long, but in Hell, even a second feels like an eternity.

The man didn’t deserve to be in Hell at all. The last thing he did with one of his many lives was to sacrifice it for a friend of his, someone he had once sworn to protect, someone who proved more complicated than he ever could have imagined.

But the thing about Hell is that it’s not just a place for the people who deserve it. The murderers, the rapists, the people who lick the ice cream at the grocery store and put it back in the freezer. No, sometimes people are just unlucky.

In the case of this man, he happened to be in a portal to Hell when he died, so it was easy for a demon to drag him in the rest of the way. Though he wasn’t perfect (and for most of his life, wasn’t even mortal), he certainly didn’t deserve this fate.

But it was because he was special, because he didn’t deserve it, especially after the numerous sacrifices he’d made for others during his time on earth, that an exception was made.

Another man, one of his brethren, a mentor, a friend, decided to break the rules and go into Hell to get him out.

Or at least get him as far as he could.

To the Thin Veil.

To a place between worlds where he could stay, safe from an eternity of torture, yet doomed to watch the world he once lived in pass him by.

He could live with that, though.

He had hope that one day he could step through and rejoin his friends. Weirder things have happened, haven’t they?

And until then, he would watch and wait.

Biding his time.

It’s unfortunate, then, that this man wasn’t alone.

Something else, something unspeakably evil, was in the Veil with him.

Also watching, also waiting.



Biding its time.






I was fifteen when a demon told me to burn down a house.

I know he was my Jacob, a supernatural guide that was supposed to help me navigate my affliction, but in the end, he failed. And so in my mind, he’s always been a demon to me. What else do you call something that revels in your darkness, that pulls you away from the light?

Sometimes it feels like only yesterday, when it’s been eleven years now, eleven years since my life started to change for the worse. And the better. It’s hard to say when so much good has come out of so much bad.

Not surprisingly, I was also fifteen when I first started seeing a shrink. A man who never for a moment believed me, who thought I was borderline certifiable. He would listen to me under the guise of wanting to help, wanting to understand. But in the end, he was like so many others. It was easier to medicate me and call it a day. Easier to threaten me with loss of freedom, as if that would make all the ghosts and demons go away.

Today I’m sitting in the office of Dr. Lana Leivo, who has become a crucial part of my life over these last three years. Going back into therapy was something I’d fought against for so long, but it wasn’t until I mentally hit rock bottom that I realized I didn’t have much of a choice. Thankfully I lucked out with finding a psychologist who listened to my life story, inside and out, no secrets, no shame, and seemed to truly believe me when I told her about my dalliances with the dead.

And even if she doesn’t quite believe me (I mean, who can blame her?) she listens and offers solutions, like my word is gospel to her, and honestly that’s made all the difference in the world.

“So, Perry,” Dr. Leivo says to me as I get comfortable on the couch. She has this little scruffy rescue mutt called Porgus who likes to cuddle when you’re feeling sad, but so far he’s snoozing away in his dog bed in the corner. “How are you?”

The question is always the same, no matter how many (or few) times I’ve seen her. After my mother died I saw her once a week. Now that I’ve gotten my shit together, that’s tapered off to once a month. Progress.

“Good,” I tell her. My answer is always the same too.

She gives me a kind smile, taking her time to observe me for a moment. I like that she does this, that she can glean things from me off the bat without having to talk about it. Sometimes I think she can hear my thoughts, but I haven’t dared ask her yet. How easy it would be to lie back and just let her sift around inside my brain and make things right.

She tilts her head, her blonde hair falling to the side. Dr. Leivo is surprisingly young. I’ve never asked her age, but she looks like she’s in her early thirties at most. “Good,” she eventually says, smiling again. “But things are different now, aren’t they?”

I look at her for a moment, wondering what exactly she was able to get from my expression. Then I suck on my lip while I think that over, because she’s right. Things are different from the last time I saw her.

I slowly nod. “Yeah. Some things have changed. Big things. Big changes.”

“Change is good, Perry,” she says to me. “Why don’t you start with the biggest change and we’ll go from there.”

I can’t help but smile. “The biggest change? Well, we’re selling the apartment and we’re moving. I don’t know when—we haven’t put the apartment on the market yet, nor have we started looking, but still.”

“Wow,” she says. “That is a big change. You’ve mentioned before that you wanted to move, right? That the memories…”

“They aren’t all bad memories,” I say quickly. “There are good ones too.”

But sometimes it feels like the bad memories have imprinted themselves into the floor. There’s a bloodstain on the hardwood that won’t come out, no matter how hard I try to clean it. Blood that bled from a dead girl, long after she died.

I bat the image of Abby out of my brain, hating that even though it’s been nearly four years since I saw her in the apartment, she still has a hold on me. But I guess that’s what happens when someone gets inside your soul like that.

“Perry,” the doctor says gently.

I snap out of it, give her a quick smile. “The apartment is fine, really. But yeah, I’ve wanted to move. The location is great, I really do love living downtown. The only thing is, it’s never quite felt like…ours. You know? Like it’s always been his, but never really mine.”

She nods. “So what motivated the move? Did you have a discussion with your husband or…?”

“Not exactly.” I suck on my lip again, letting the incredulous feeing wash over me. “We came into some money. A lot of money.”

She straightens up, crossing her delicate ankles in her cropped beige pants. “May I ask how?”

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