Samuel "Sammy" Parsons is the second child and only son of Anne and Tom Parsons. He is a principal character in The Amber House Trilogy.
Book I: Amber HouseEdit
While Sarah's early feelings toward Amber House are more cautious and eerie, Sammy takes to the house right away. He forms an attachment to a stuffed bear he finds in a little boy's abandoned bedroom. Inexplicably, he names the toy "Heavy Bear," a name his father later tells Sarah was its name before Sammy was born.
At one point, Sammy wanders into Sarah's bedroom talking about "his box." Sarah recognizes he is sleepwalking, something she says he has done periodically all his life.
Sammy's behavior becomes more disturbing as the book progresses. He often wanders off or can be heard talking to himself. When asked, he claims he was speaking to "no one." Sammy also takes down a mirror in his bedroom and places it on the floor, facing the wall. When Sarah asks why, he explains, "I don't want no one watching me."
In the climax, Sarah finds Sammy lying unconscious in the middle of the house's hedge maze. Using her visions, she discovers that he had been sleepwalking when he encountered someone in his dream who "took" his spirit into the "in-between." Apparently, like Sarah, Sammy had been experiencing visions in his sleep, dreaming he was Matthew Foster, the former owner of Heavy Bear wo died in the 1700s.
Sarah uses her psychometric abilities to track Sam down in the 1700s, reminding him of his true identity and waking him up -- but not before Sam introduces Sarah to "no one," the spirit of their dead Aunt Maggie who had been trapped in the "in-between" since the 1960s and who had been communicating with Sammy through Amber House's mirrors.
Despite being on the autism spectrum, Sammy is a friendly and trusting child. He forges connections with strangers easily: he quickly charms their neighbor Rose Valois, and looks up to and befriends Rose's grandson, Jackson Harris. Sammy is also fond of both of his parents, but is not well understood by his mother Anne, and is distanced from his father, Tom, who is separated from Anne after cheating on her with Sammy's pediatrician.
Sammy's closest relationship is with his sister Sarah, who refers to him as her "best friend." Sarah is so bonded with Sammy that she can sense him even when they are apart, which later enables her to track him in the "in-between" and rescue him before his spirit is separated from his body forever.
Sammy is described as blonde with blue eyes. He has dimples. He has a broad smile, and is often grinning.
Character traits and abilitiesEdit
It can be inferred from his ability to experience visions while asleep that Sammy, like Sarah, is psychometric, meaning he has the "family gift" for seeing "echoes of the past." He also displays empathic abilities: in one scene, he communicates to his sister that he feels cold in a bathroom that Sarah later has a vision of, in which an unidentified character slit her wrists. He also inexplicably sings a six-note song that Sarah discovers is from a toy Matthew Foster owned in the 1770s.
- According to interviews, the character's autistic traits are based on an amalgamation of several autistic children the writers know. Mostly, however, the characterization and appearance of Sammy Parsons was inspired by Moore's son and the Reeds' younger brother, who has PPD-NOS, a mild form of autism.