The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer: My Life at Rose Red

The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer: My Life at Rose Red

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786890439
Publisher: Hyperion
Publication date: 04/29/2002
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 4.25(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.87(d)
Age Range: 12 - 18 Years

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Dear Reader:

In the summer of 1998, at an estate sale in Everett, Washington, I purchased a locked diary covered in dust, writings I believed to be those of Ellen Rimbauer. Beaumont University's Public Archive Department examined the paper, the ink and the binding and determined the diary to be authentic. It was then photocopied at my request. Ellen Rimbauer's diary became the subject of my master's thesis and has haunted me ever since. (Excuse the pun!) John and Ellen Rimbauer were among the elite of Seattle's turn-of-the-century high society. They built an enormous private residence at the top of Spring Street that became known as Rose Red, a structure that has been the source of much controversy. In a forty-one-year period at least twenty-six individuals either lost their lives or disappeared within its walls. Ellen Rimbauer's diary, excerpts of which I offer here, set me on a personal course of discovery that has led to the launching of an expedition. Shortly I will lead a team of experts in psychic phenomena through the doors of Rose Red, the Rimbauer Estate, in an effort to awaken this sleeping giant of psychic power and to solve some of the mysteries my mentor, Max Burnstheim, was unable to solve before he went missing in Rose Red in 1970. (I never met Dr. Burnstheim, but I consider his writings the most progressive in the field of psychic phenomena.) Many thanks to my publishers, Beaumont University Press. I hope the publication will widen the public's perception and acceptance of psychic phenomena, and firmly anchor a fascinating historical period in the growth and expansion of the Pacific Northwest. I have taken great pains to edit this document to a readable size, deleting the repetitive sections and omitting those I found offensive. For the extremely curious, or the voyeuristically minded among you, a portion of those edits can be found archived on the World Wide Web at www.beaumontuniversity.net. Photos of the house can be viewed on the Web site as well. Good reading. In the name of science I will pursue the truth of Rose Red, wherever it may lead me.

Sincerely, Joyce Reardon, P.P.A., M.D., Ph.D.


19 April 1908--Kenya, Africa

Africa. The dark continent. A man's place. Primitive and intriguing. The birthplace of mankind, they say. Eden, they say. Skin so black it's blue. Wild animals in numbers that stagger the imagination. Oh, to have a motion picture camera record this! John and I, and three other couples, two from Britain, one from Cleveland (ironically he and John share some business acquaintances there), are escorted into the bush by nearly thirty natives, an Australian guide named Charles Hammer and a Negro gun-bearer named Hipshoo--at least that's how we all pronounce it. About ten of the thirty are women, two of whom are assigned to me, one named Sukeena, the other Marishpa. They tend to me like court-appointed maids, at my side the moment I need them. Bright-eyed and filled with laughter, they have greatly elevated my spirits, which had been lagging these past several weeks. Christmas away from home was most trying, and though John endeavored to explain to me that I had a new home now, it only made matters worse. That home is, of course, the grand house, and what pieces of information we've obtained while away are encouraging indeed. The walls are up, the roof going on. It is said to have thirty windows on the front of the house alone. The glass is being ordered for them now. I have continued to collect, starting in the Pacific Islands with lovely wood carvings, some coral and one enormous fish that John had taxidermied. Its species escapes me, though indirectly he's told me a dozen times as he loves telling this fishing story at nearly every dinner table we enjoy. I believe John caught some two hundred fish during the course of our stay, and with only this one to remember it by, he stretches the story a little longer (the fish too!) each time he tells it.


4 September 1914--Rose Red

The reason for my taking up my pen, the news that I write of here is this: after nearly three years of waiting, three years of repeated appeals, my wishes have been heard. Madame Stravinski is to hold a seance, in this house, this very evening. I am so excited! We have invited eight guests including the Poseys. John has resigned himself to participation (I believe the curiosity is killing him). Needless to say, of those invited, all women save John and Douglas, some may believe such an endeavor foolish--a necessity, in my opinion, for I wish to judge their reactions. Should Madame Stravinski connect with the other side, I wish to measure my own beliefs against those around me. Sukeena has openly expressed her hostility for the Madame Stravinskis and the Madame Lus of this world. (Sukeena's powers and abilities in this regard are beyond question.) Partly because of Sukeena's distrust, I have invited only dear friends whose opinions I can rely upon, whether believers in the supernatural or not. Time will tell how we judge this enterprise. Excitement fills the air. All but four servants have been asked to remain in the dorms or dwellings. (Madame Stravinski does not want any human disturbance inside this house when she attempts to make contact.) I await this evening in the way April or Adam awaits what lies beneath the Christmas tree.


5 September 1914--Rose Red

I could not wait until the light of morning to put to pen the events of this evening! I shudder with fear and delight at what I have just experienced and shall endeavor to put it down here just as it happened, from start to finish. Madame Stravinski is seated when my guests and I are summoned to the Ladies Library. A little giddy, perhaps apprehensive, as it were, we were directed into our seats by the wizened woman and told to remain silent. Only Sukeena stays standing in defiance of the instructions (directly behind our guest of honor). The two exchange furtive glances, Sukeena winning the day, and Madame Stravinski makes no more of it. At this point, not to be outdone, my husband stands from his chair and starts an energetic pacing that continues from this point forward. Madame Stravinski, understanding from whose pocket her hefty fee was to come, proves in no mood to challenge John, and a good thing too, given his obvious agitation and disapproving nature. This leaves Douglas Posey the only man at the table. I sit facing her, at the opposing head of the table. Between us, in the center of the great oval table, rests her crystal sphere, a glass object the size of a human head, which sits upon a jeweled base of gold, or similar metal, and proves to be within the extended reach of the medium. She calls for the lighting of candles and the extinguishing of all electric lights in the grand house. Thankfully, she made these instructions earlier, upon her arrival, for it required three of our four staff on hand and nearly forty minutes to render the house in darkness. Alas, it is but a minute or two to secure the various rooms of the ground floor and for our staff to return to light the candles and dim this room's electric lamp for good. At that time, our medium calls for total silence. Only our breathing and John's impatient footfalls disturb this peaceful blanket. Next, Madame Stravinski calls upon us all to connect by hand. Only Sukeena refuses this instruction. Even John joins in the fun, moving his chair between me and Tina, taking my hand, but interlacing his fingers in hers. (This was my first experience with jealousy where Tina is concerned. What was it I sensed between my husband and my best friend? Dare I think such a thought? Are such suspicions founded, or do I see deceit and deception around every corner now?) With all of us holding hands, and only the dim flicker of candlelight shifting shadows on the walls of books, Madame Stravinski closes her eyes, asks us to bow our heads and speaks in a chilling, unvarying tone. "Great house that does surround us, open your doors to a visitor who has come to greet you." She speaks in Russian or German next, perhaps repeating herself, I cannot be sure. My husband speaks a little of both, perhaps he understood her mumblings. I must admit to a certain degree of awe. Whether it was just my own body or an effect divined by Madame Stravinski, I swear to your pages that the temperature of the room did drop substantially. I also swear that the flickering flames of those candles did dance from the wicks as if a door had been thrown quickly open and a gust of wind had entered the room. Madame Stravinski is, by now, locked in something of a trance, her head bowed slightly, her eyes closed. I see across the table to my guests, my friends, and observe their astonishment--for clearly they expected a hoax, not the events we have just witnessed. The medium's mutterings gain volume and clarity as she speaks to no one, her words gaining speed to where they pour from her mouth in a waterfall of syllables and half-formed sentences. She is calling upon the house, the "grand house," and requesting she be allowed through its doors, through its walls. In the midst of this chanting, she opens her eyes at half-mast and reaches out for the glass orb before her on the table. She looks different, not at all herself, younger perhaps, yet frozen in time. Again a great gust of cold fills the room and runs up my legs. That glass orb begins to glow--I swear it!--and tendrils of light, like a goo, climb up out of it and stretch for the ceiling. At once, the candles are extinguished by this wind, the only light from the swirling blue and green tendrils overhead and that glowing specimen of glass held between her withered hands. I think of my daughter, April, and her poor withered right arm, I think back to my prayers so many years ago as I was forming the children's hospital that I would never know what to do if one of my own children was born deformed. Did I bring this upon April? Or did my husband, by passing me the African curse? Can I save my children? Mustn't my husband pay for his sins? Question after question is running through my head, as I sit perfectly still while confronted with the agitations of my guests. Only Madame Stravinski, Sukeena and I remain unmoving and unflinching. Even John is visibly upset as he breaks his handhold with me and jumps to his feet.


19 February 1928--

Dear God in Heaven! Give her back to me! Sukeena has gone missing! Last seen in the Health Room! No sign of her anywhere, I wander this tomb's endless hallways wondering why everyone who becomes so close to me ends up stolen from my life. Robbed from me. I hate this house. Despise it! I will never invite Adam back again. The staff is nearly sick with looking for my maid, so many hours--days now!--have we been at it. The house is impossibly large. Believe this or not, Dear Diary, we all have witnessed physical transformations. Hallways change structure and appearance behind your back. Rooms disappear! What is going on? How can it be? A physical structure, a building, and yet fluid as water. A chameleon. She no longer requires growing larger--she reinvents herself internally. Once a hallway, now a ballroom; once a basement, now a dungeon! I ordered all Sukeena's plants uprooted from the Health Room (for upon her disappearance, it bloomed more richly than I have ever seen--every plant at once in full blossom!). I watched that task carried out--watched it with my own eyes from up in my chambers, recalling my past observation of other events down there as well. Seven workers took three hours to clear the room down to bare soil. By the time they reached the west end, the east had sprouted new plants. By the following morning, the plants were six feet tall--taller than they'd ever been, and in full bloom. That is Sukeena providing that bloom--her love, her energy, her powers. We all--every one of us!--heard Rose Red laugh last night. Laugh at me. At us. It was the most frightening sound I've ever heard. If there is a game to this, she has clearly won. They are all gone. My loved ones. I am alone. Alone in my thoughts, alone in my silence, alone in this house. I shall fire the entire staff (before she gets another of them!). I shall dwell in this place alone for a time. Let her suffer. Let her fail. Perhaps then we can strike a bargain, this house and me. Perhaps then she'll allow me to visit Sukeena as I do April. My husband taught me well: everything is negotiable.

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Diary of Ellen Rimbauer 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 178 reviews.
klfbooks More than 1 year ago
Once you start you will not want to put the book down. Saw the Steven King movie first and was thrilled to find the book that started it. You will not be let down. Go right out and purchase it .
Guest More than 1 year ago
Considering that this was exactley what I expected, and my expectations were high, I definately loved 'The Diary Of Ellen Rimbauer! It showed so many clear images of the life that she lived while at Rose Red. Having all the elements that any story should have including loyalty, tragedy, secduction, and horror. One of the things that I loved most about 'The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer' was how much Rose Red (her house) took her in and loved her. It was almost in a way that seems out to be possesive of her, like a jelous man trying to protect her without asking her what she wants first. The author did a very excellent job at portraying the connection between Rose Red and Ellen. Although Ellen's husband (John Rimbauer) built the house for Ellen, Rose Red didn't see John as her owner. I think that Stephan King was brilliant once again in how he set the mood. One thing I didn't like about The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer, was the fact that Ellen could not leave the house. As much of a person I am for female rights, it was hard not to get emotionally caotic when she submissed to John only for the fact to get what she wanted. I do think that was very smart on her move, but I also find it very degrading as a woman. I would have liked to see more leverage than just sex to get what she wanted. I loved the loyalty that Sukina (Ellens new maid that she brought home from Africa) showed while taking care of Ellen when she needed to be taken care of and the way that Ellen made her feel like a sister rather than a maid. Both Ellen and Sukinas' feelings about her husband John were exactly alike. They both saw him infested with adualtry and conspiracy. I liked that they stuck together to get what they wanted and used eachother as support when Rose Red was vanishing people that posed as a threat to Ellen. Ellen made a promise to her house, to never stop building her and kept that promise. Now that Ellen has passed Rose Red still builds. I think that as unusual and unbeleivable as this sounds, its nearly hard to ignore the fact that it is real. Rose Red is no fictional story, and I think that anyone who has any believes in life after death will see the truth behind Rose Red. I believe that Rose Red is real, even to this day.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This diary truly makes you feel as if you are getting a peak into a place no one should be allowed to go. The diary is great as a stand-alone book, but reading before you watch the movie makes it that much better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My Dad recommended for me to see this first from his DVD collection when I was browsing for a movie to view. The movie I enjoyed. The book is better. It explained in more detail what the movie didn't. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a great read. I was hooked all the way though. Susepnse, mystery, adventure, horror, romance, tragedy...I could go on and on. It has all I could have asked for in a book! A must read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is one of the best books that has been written. i loved it and i know others will too. it's one of those books you don't want to put down and don't want to end. first time i read this book was a little over a year ago and i still read it, talk about it, and recommend it to everbody and everybody i've recommended it to loves it also. it's a book that will be remembered by its readers for years and years. it's truely an awesome book. READ IT!! BUY IT! LOVE IT!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well if you don't Believe in ghost well you better Believe. When I Saw Rose Red It made me believe in ghost and When i did some research on Ellen.
Bookmarque on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Because this was written as a diary, there is not much `explanation¿ for the happenings at Rose Red. Yes, women disappear; houseguests, servants and eventually Ellen¿s daughter, April. And yes, men die; a colleague of her husband¿s, a stable hand and her husband¿s ex-partner. The thing of it is, after the first episodes, even John Rimbauer senses something and decides not to involve the police. Only when April goes missing does he bring them back in.In a way, this woman reminded me of the nameless second Mrs. de Winter. She just took everything her husband dished out.
legoretrout on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Read through this in a few days, I enjoyed how it was written and the storyline that evolved from Ellen's "diary entries." Good stuff, especially some of the relationships between characters.
The_Hibernator on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Yeah, I admit it. After seeing the miniseries, Rose Red, I rushed off to buy the Diary of Ellen Rimbauer thinking it was a true story. The fact that I got it out of the fiction/literature section of Barnes and Noble didn't clue me in, either. I was about two pages into the 'diary' when it occurred to me that this narrative seemed very unlike something a 19-year-old girl around the turn of the (last) century would be writing. I looked at the binding which, to my chagrin, clearly said 'FICTION' in nice bold letters. Despite my initial disappointment in myself, and in the most esteemed writer's apparent inability to think like a 19-year-old girl (understandably), the book turned out to be pretty entertaining. It chronicled 20 years in the life of a young woman-the mistress of the formidible mansion, Rose Red-as she dealt with the horrors thrown upon her by her husband's immoral behavior and Rose Red's morbid punishments. A quick read and entertaining book, My Life at Rose Red is a book anybody from teens on up could enjoy.
thebookfaery on LibraryThing 5 months ago
If ever there was a book that had me enthralled from cover to cover and constantly saying to myself "OMG...WTF" (yes...I'm sorry, my thoughts were quite that profane as I read it and for the sake of some of our viewers I've not spelt out the phrases), this was it. Trying to recall the movie I had watched depicted after Stephen King's version I can't quite place the two together. While I believe the movie was quite scary, reading the diary was far more dark and it wasn't that graphic. Chills were felt as I read her (Ellen) diary and imagined the days with her through her life at Rose Red. The thought of one being trapped within their own home to lose all she loved due to a "house's" jealousy feels so horrendous. And like a mother who could never leave her child she remained in even more pain waiting for her lost daughter to come back to her. I could hardly imagine the horror it must have been to watch things change before one's eyes as the plants, stain glass window in the tower, and hallways seem to have done.OK...if you don't want to be spoiled...don't read any further. If you do, it's not my fault as I warned you...I was so impressed (sounds so odd after reading the tragic events at Rose Red) that I had to read more into it from the Beaumont University Site mentioned in the book where they supposedly (key word here) included some of the deleted diary pages, pictures, and more details of Reardon's research. If you'd like to read more then you'll need to visit The Beaumont University's Paranormal Studies Program pages. But in further reading and going through links looking for those mentioned "deleted entries", I discovered that many links were going nowhere. I did however get through to the HistoryLink.org site. It's here that I found out that it was all indeed a "hoax" for this fiction story. Haha at me for actually forgetting I picked up a book of FICTION!! What does that say about the book?! It got me so it was GOOD!! LOL Will it get you?! Hopefully I didn't kill it too much for your imagination.Apparently it got to a lot of readers with some getting downright mad. So it duped many. Remember I got "duped" too. Big whoop...in my eyes it means it was a good book!! My thoughts are that books of FICTION are supposed to be entertaining...what do you expect when you find the book in the HORROR section?! Hello... ;-)
sagustocox on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Joyce Reardon and Stephen King's The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer: My Life at Rose Red was the latest audio book selection of my husband for our daily rides to and from work. It is billed as a thriller or suspense novel, but I found that the diary format did not lend itself to suspense over the audio. I'm not sure if I would feel differently if I had read the hard copy of the book.The book begins with Ellen Rimbauer and her budding relationship with her future husband John Rimbauer, who is building a mansion to surpass all mansions in Seattle--Rose Red. The construction of the home is rittled in controversy as it is built on an Indian burial ground and contractors are killed on the site.Her marriage to John is wrought with marital turmoil as she continues to uncover the depths of her husband's perversity and sexual desire. While the premise of the house being haunted is obvious from Ellen's visits to psychics in Chinatown and the various disappearances inside the home, I was not scared while this audio book played, and I found it a bit predictable.The diary is entertaining until you get near the end when the supposed paranormal investigator, Joyce Reardon, interrupts the narrative to interject her reasons for eliminating portions of the narrative and to explain about speculation at the time of Ellen Rimbauer's behavior after major events happen in the house, etc.Overall, this was a good book to listen to in the car and maybe to pick up and read, but it is not something that will frighten you. It is interesting to see how Ellen learns how to take control of her life with the help of her African handmaid Sukeena.
sturlington on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This fictional ¿diary¿ was inspired by the King-penned miniseries Rose Red. Supposedly edited by Dr. Joyce Reardon, the ghost researcher who was the main character in the miniseries (and who met a very bad end), and written by Ellen Rimbauer, the character who haunted the mansion, Rose Red, the diary details the early years of the haunted house that was the subject of the miniseries.The diary wasn¿t written by King, but by a ghost writer, Ridley Pearson, and the writing is fairly clumsy. That makes the ¿diary¿ merely a curiosity, a collectible for avid King fans. If you want a good story or even a good King story, I would advise you to look elsewhere, though.
KTPrymus on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This is a book which shows a great deal of promise but falls flat as a result, most likely, of its entirely second order route to publication. Created as a companion piece to the television mini-series Rose Red (whose screenplay was written by Stephen King), the book is the fictional diary of Ellen Rimbauer, a young woman who marries into the wealthy aristocracy of and oil baron in early 20th century Seattle. Over the course of some 20 years Ellen¿s writings reveal the strange and haunting events that occur in the constantly expanding mansion which her husband began building before their marriage. The diary is a sort of prelude to the mini-series which focuses on a modern team of paranormal investigators visiting what remains of the mansion. Taken together with the series and the poorly constructed tie-in website the package offers a type of viral marketing or Alternate Reality Game which has become commonplace but was relatively infantile in 2001.The image of the mansion known as Rose Red immediately conjures up images of the Winchester Mystery House, and indeed there is little in the story which is original. It is, however, impressive in the way it combines elements of various horror genres into a nice, period package while providing revealing insights into the mindset of a just post-Victorian aristocratic woman. While this should undoubtedly draw comparisons with Bram Stoker¿s Dracula, perhaps the weakest element of the work is its poorly executed diary style. In most places it read as a straight first person narrative which is occasionally interrupted with hastily added references to the second person in the form of the clichéd ¿Dear Diary¿. There are also a multitude of anachronistic references to events which would not have seemed relevant at the time that cannot help but keep the reader from becoming fully immersed in this world (of particular note is a passage in which Ellen expresses surprise than anyone could think there is oil in Saudi Arabia, or when she describes paranormal activity in terms that directly reference King¿s work e.g. a girl that sets her school on fire or a possessed dog). If you can put these problems aside you will find an interesting plot punctuated by moments of fairly intense creepiness. While not exactly a page-turner it does manage to infuse a myriad of elements together into a convincing narrative and succeeds in portraying some of them quite well. Of particular note is the characterization of Ellen¿s inner states in relation to her own sense of femininity as well as the darker powers of witchcraft which seem a natural side effect of them.Not a bad effort, but leaves you wondering how much better it could have been if it had been a serious literary work on its own and not the result of multi-media promotion.
dbhutch on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This is the Dairy of Ellen Rimbauer. This pulls you in your always wondering what in the world can happen next, this takes you from her husband courting her to the house he is having built, to the honeymoon a year traveling the world and back to the grand house that they name RED ROSE. At times the book can be racy and is wonderful. This book takes your thru all kinds of people disappearing and dying, love and loss and even a different kind of love. Thru the children being born and the loss of Ellen's daughter April and in the end her husband himself.
dharmarose on LibraryThing 6 months ago
Even though this is a work of fiction and a tie-in for the movie, it's one of my favourite books- I even own two copies. I love the paranormal story and Ellen and Sukeen's relationship. It's a great tie-in for Rose Red and the Ellen Rimbauer movie(which is more or less this book in video form).
ct.bergeron on LibraryThing 8 months ago
A mysterious and haunting spirit lurks within the walls of Rose Red, the setting for Stephen King's upcoming ABC miniseries tie-in by the same name. Built on a Native American burial ground in early 20th-century Seattle, the mansion which is constantly under construction sets the scene for a multitude of inexplicable disappearances and ghastly deaths. While moody oil tycoon John Rimbauer refuses to acknowledge that the house has a mind of its own, his young wife, Ellen, dramatizes these eerie events with great detail in her diary, often personifying the house as if it were a living being. (Or, perhaps, a non-living being?) While the evolution of Ellen's character from innocent and submissive to frighteningly powerful is a slow process, the language and questioning nature of her entries entice the reader as the mystery of Rose Red is brought into full bloom. Ellen also reveals frustration and disappointment with her marriage namely her husband's unfaithfulness and alarmingly frequent involvement in voyeuristic activities as well as a growing confusion about her sexual identity and attachment to her friend and African handmaid, Sukeena. In addition to extensive dialogue that makes the diary seem a tad more like a novel than someone's personal confessions, Ellen's entries are accompanied by a handful of explanatory notes put in by the "editor" and supposed professor of paranormal studies, Joyce Reardon. The people mentioned in the diary, as well as Reardon, are all characters in Rose Red, which was created directly for television by the bestselling author. As to who penned the actual text of the diary? That remains as much of a mystery as Rose Red herself.
Anonymous 11 months ago
I enjoyed the book. It, as usual was so much better than the movie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my favorites!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting story but in such a "false voice" that ultimately, the story is nearly ruined. The overall tone is a kind of cross between how the author imagines the protagonist would speak in an early 20th century voice and a sophisticated, pretentious overlay of British vocabulary and manners.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book although the end was slightly disappointing, left me with questions! GOOD READ THOUGH
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A geatbook you can't help but get drawn completely into.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First of all "Rose Red" is really the Thornwood Castle in Lakewood, it is not in Seattle, as the Movie portrays it to be. Although I'm not a Stephen King fan (I hate horror) this one didn't spook me as I thought it would. It is a well written diary for something that is fiction. If anyone thinks it's real, they have quite the imagination. clearly a house cannot "kill" people. For a fiction, it's a good read. borrowed it from a friend and will purchase when I buy a nook so I can have my own copy. Just like "the woman in black", it's more spooky than horror.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I like that it went into depth of how Ellen cared for Rose Red her family and staff and wanted to figure out to the people that went missing.