Last night my daughter sent me this text: Have you seen The Spirit of Christmas on Netflix??? It’s awfully similar to Haunting Danielle.
The first thing I did—I went online and looked it up and discovered it was a Lifetime movie, released in 2015. The Ghost of Marlow House—the first book in the Haunting Danielle series—was published in 2014.
The second thing I did, I watched the movie. Wow, my daughter was right. The similarities were startling. What were they? That’s where the drinking game comes into play. I think The Spirit of Christmas would be a great movie to watch for a drinking game—every time a Haunting Danielle fan sees a similarity to the book, take a shot!
So you’ll know just how drunk you might get, I’ve decided to list some of the eerie similarities I found.
In the movie, a woman lawyer goes to a B&B to prepare it for an estate sale and finds a ghost in residence. The ghost is not happy with what she is trying to do.
In The Ghost of Marlow House, a woman inherits an estate and intends to turn it into a B&B. The ghost is not happy with what she is trying to do.
In both stories, the woman is a professional with a degree, an attractive brunette, not too tall, with a poor track record in the romance relationship department. In both stories, the woman and ghost are drawn to each other.
In both the book and the movie, the ghost does not know how he died. As it happens, both ghosts were murdered. In both stories, the woman helps him discover what happened to him so he can move on, and in both cases he slowly regains his memory. At the end of both stories, after the ghost understands why and how he died, he decides to stick around. In The Ghost of Marlow House, he sticks around as a ghost—in the movie, he stays as a man. (Don’t ask me how he did that, it was sorta confusing but it had something to do with a curse and a kiss.)
My ghost is named Walt, and the lead woman is Danielle.
In the movie, the ghost is named Daniel and the caretaker is named Walter.
My ghost is from the 1920s and was involved in moonshining—so was the ghost in the movie.
When my Walt is first getting to know Danielle, he asks her about her marital status, and then he calls her an old maid, and she reminds him how the world is different now—In the movie, when the ghosts asks the woman about her marital status, she quickly tells him not to call her an old maid and reminds him how the world is different now.
In my book, Danielle’s best friend is Lily—in the movie, the ghost’s fiancé was named Lilly. In both stories, the love interest of the ghost did not live out her life. In the book, the wife died shortly before Walt, and in the movie, the fiancé died months after Daniel.
There were also some stark differences between the book and movie. In the movie, Christmas magic comes into play, which explains things like how the movie ghost appears as a man everyone can see—one who eats food. Of course, he can only do this for 12 days around Christmas.
Ironically, Haunting Danielle’s The Ghost Who Came for Christmas has a spirit who employed Christmas magic, enabling the ghost to be seen by all as a live person for a few days around Christmas. Of course, that ghost wasn’t able to stick around like the movie ghost. The Ghost Who Came for Christmas was released around the same time as The Spirit of Christmas.
Is it all just a coincidence? Who am I to ask? After all, I am the clueless author who named one of my Haunting Danielle characters Joe Morelli, not realizing it was the same character name from the popular Stephany Plumb series. And like the Stephany Plumb character, mine is also a cop.
In any case, it might be a fun movie for Haunting Danielle fans to watch. But if you turn it into a drinking game, please have a designated driver!