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My #Blog ~ Conjuring Demons and Beasts for #Halloween

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And my ghost stories at  . . .  The Ghost Chaser’s Daughter 

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For decades I have followed, and been followed by, the Garden Variety ghost: The Residual, The Poltergeist, The Hat Man, The Shadow, Doppelgangers – you know — normal ghosts! If I ever think I might be leaving ‘someone’ out of the mix I refer to True Ghost Tales http://www.trueghosttales.com/types-hauntings.php

Although I was introduced to Demons and Beasts while living on Tucson’s Sonora Desert when I was six years old, I have absolutely, and resolutely, avoided thinking about these malevolent forces from The Dark Side knowing that a) Seeing is Believing; b) Quantum’s theory of “imagine your reality; and clichés of that ilk.

My rare run-ins and near misses have invariably been with the Red-Eyed Beast. My playmate in Tucson was Linda deSoto. We ran up and down the neighborhood streets of Tucson, Arizona with all of the other six-year olds, traded the happenings at our houses, and probably attended Brownie meetings together. All of how we occupied our time slips into the blur of the past except for one story that Linda told me, which began with the announcement, “You can’t come into our house. My mother says so.”

This made me sad, and then after she explained, and her edict then made me more scared than saddened. There was a Red Eyed Beast in the house. The Beast caused the eyes of the photograph of the Virgin Mary that hung in the deSoto’s living room to glow red at night. Linda’s sixteen-year old cousin had witnessed the embodiment of The Beast and the priest had been called to exorcise the house.

For the next few weeks the Red-Eyed Beast was all I imagined. Its hooves. Its horns. Its hot acrid breath on one’s face, staring at them as they slept. A year later, after I was visited by the ghost of my grandfather, ancestral visits began to fill my world. We moved to a new neighborhood and I concerned myself with my own family’s ‘skeletons in the closet’.

The Ghost Chaser's Daughter -- available everywhere books are sold!!

The Ghost Chaser’s Daughter — available everywhere books are sold!!

It wasn’t until fifty years later, and after I enjoyed my first Amazon Best Seller that one of my readers approached me with her own Red-Eyed Beast story (The Red Eyed Beast of Bodie).

This is a small excerpt of how the Beast of Bodie came about in real life:

As the Sheriff moved to right his mother’s dining room chair, Ruth let out a piercing scream and bit down on her fist.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

She tasted blood. Did they see it? She pointed and Samuel gaped. She raised her arm, jabbing with her finger toward the threshold of the parlor – turned infirmary. There, pacing back and forth, between her and her husband, was a foul-smelling animal.

“Jesus Christ! What is that?” screamed Michael as he scrambled to scoot his chair backwards.

It hissed at Michael, and then turned its red eyes on Ruth.

“What the f**k!”

“Andrew!” Samuel admonished, as he rose very slowly, gauging the . . . the. . .

“Is it a black raccoon? The stench is killing me.”

It hissed again, and opened its mouth exposing razor sharp teeth. Glistening spittle hung from its jaw.

“It’s a wolf. . .or rather . . . a coyote!” Whatever it was it paced a line between them and the nearly departed. It lowered its head sniffing the ground, seemingly daring someone to challenge it.

Ruth wailed, “Oh My God! It’s drawing a line between me and my own husband.” Her breath now came in short, sudden gasps. What if that wild animal turned on Douglas! Is it a black raccoon?

“Samuel, Dear God! How did it get in here?” It was a raccoon, wasn’t it? The creature turned a belligerent stare at Samuel. Then, it moved its head in a circular motion, gnashing sharp fangs. It hissed at the Sheriff before staining the polished floor with snot. Its red eyes flashed in the candle light.

“No, it’s not a raccoon! It’s a God-damned reptile! Look at its tail!” Andrew screamed shrilly as he picked up his dinner knife – and held it as though ready to make a stab at the wolf-like beast.

“For Christ’s sake, Andrew. Pardon me, again, Ma. It’s got a wiry black coat!”

Eyeing the diners, the beast turned in a circle. If it were a Collie, or a Labrador, one might imagine it was about to bed down. But it wasn’t – and – it didn’t.

Ruth pleaded, “Samuel, please! Do something! It’s right next to your father!” as her son responded by unclipping the strap of his holster.

“I’ll take care of it, Mother. You and Malika get into the kitchen! Just back away slowly!”

At that instant, the beast bayed loudly. Douglas stirred.

Michael and Andrew traded looks.

“Samuel, I’m saying it’s not a reptile, in spite of its tail. Look down! It’s got hooves, for Christ’s sake,” screamed Michael.

“Michael, try to be calm.” Samuel directed. “Everybody be calm while I get it out of here or blow it away!”

As the beast paced, its hooves clattered on the bare wood floor. It hissed at the family.   Venom sprayed toward Michael, who held his hands up to protect his face. One of the three candles sparked, flared, and died.

Darkness loomed closer. 

~ ~ ~ ~

But what of Demons? The succubus and incubus (and Oh! So! much more) of The Underworld? Liza Phoenix does a wonderful job of categorizing the various Demons for us on her website http://www.lizaphoenix.com/encyclopedia/demons.shtml

But my curiosity about Demons tends toward ZoZo – the Demon of the Ouija world. You’ve experienced the demonic power of ZoZo, have you not? If not – be forewarned by reading about this malevolent force on Ghost Theory: http://www.ghosttheory.com/2011/08/25/what-is-zozo

Two encounters with ZoZo when I was a teen-ager asking Ouija to part the curtain to show me my Fate that convinced me what a ninety-six pound weakling I was when it came to the forces of Malovolence pacing on the Other Side of The Grave.

What about you? “Game” for a little playing with fire? Do YOU conjure Beasts and Demons? Do let us know!!

 

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When #Spirits Invade Your ‘Writer’s Room”

This morning, I was inspired to write a response to Douglas Coupland’s blog “The Writer’s Room” which was sent to me by my friend – and author – Gretchen Houser –> http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/14/the-writers-room/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

The Writer’s Room is that sanctuary space where an author’s imagination has no bounds.  One can close out the world, and enter a safe haven where ideas fly and swirl like witches on brooms to be snatched down and admonished onto paper.

When I left the corporate jungle (four years ago) and began my career as an author, my writer’s room was downstairs in one corner of my husband’s music library with my desk tucked under the stairwell.  The décor of the music library celebrates African cultures and is set off by baskets, various drums, and pipe whistles.  A hunter’s shield from the Masai tribe is the centerpiece of the room.  We bought the shield from a tribal member who was visiting the college my husband taught, part of a cultural exchange.  The tribe member’s ancestors had used the shield for many years, on hunts and possibly even during skirmishes.

My African-inspired writer's room ~ before The Spirits found me.

My African-inspired writer’s room ~ before The Spirits found me.

Each evening my husband and I would go to bed and after he fell asleep I would slide out from under the blankets and sneak downstairs to my version of The Writer’s Room where I would summon my Civil War ancestors as I penned “The Jenkins of Baltimore.”  In the hours between midnight and 5:00 a.m. my ancestral aunts and uncles would tell me their stories.  I would transcribe as they laughed, argued, and mourned their losses.  I could even hear them, in my mind, discussing our publishing roots and how the Jenkins family survived Lincoln’s shut down of the Baltimore presses. I was entranced, following the Ghosts of Baltimore’s Past.  And, I was comfortably at home with My Writer’s Room for quite a while.

After one vivid incident two years ago, and in spite of its rich African colors, and radiant-heat coziness, I decided that I had to move my writer’s room upstairs to the kitchen table.  It was 3:00 a.m. and I was working furiously on one of my novels, lost to the world around me — in a “zone” as they say.

Suddenly, with absolutely no warning whatsoever, I heard birds fluttering just above my head! The experience was so real I ducked and cowered!

The birds were beating their wings furiously against the Masai tribal shield that was hanging in the music library.  I could distinctly hear the birds thrashing, tangling themselves in their terror. Their claws scratched against the back of the shield frantically.  I was frozen, my heart beat as wildly as the wings of the trapped birds who seemed to be caught between the back of the shield and the flat of the wall.  My hair stood on end.  I broke out in the prickle of a cold sweat. The room was chilled and I drew my shawl around me.  There was nothing I could do to save the birds.  The unworldly noise, contrasted to the quiet of the house, was eerie, unsettling.  I was sure that my husband could hear the birds scuffle for survival, though I had left him sleeping soundly two floors up on the bedroom level.

The birds were caught in a universe parallel to my own — the Masai tribal shield was their portal.  The disturbance went on for about three minutes.  Then, one by one the birds quieted.  My intuition told me they were suffocating, or beating themselves to death behind the shield.

It had been quite a while since The Other World had broken through into mine and for days my nerves were raw from the encounter. But as time continued on, my nerves settled down.  However, I never again felt comfortable or creative around the African relics.

I used the phenomenon that I had experienced in my story, “Haunted House for Rent ~ Seattle” and took up residence at the kitchen table where I could observe the crows fly across our rooftop from the kitchen window.  And it is from this space that the inspiration for my movie-tribute to Alfred Hitchcock “The Crows” struck.

Have you ever had an experience where one of your five senses “reacts” to something so unworldly that you remember the encounter for years after? Tell me about it ~ I’m here. . . waiting to hear from You.

~ ~ ~ ~

USA/Paperback: Ghosts of White Raven Estate

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☆ myBLOG: Locating the Sixth Haunted House

NEW in eBook format - FULL 22-story collection on Amazon.

NEW in eBook format – FULL 22-story collection on Amazon.

FOLLOW THIS BLOG! And . . .  The Ghost Chaser’s Daughter 
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He described kitchen cabinet doors that slowly swing open and shut on their own volition, door knobs that turn in the middle of the night, phantom birds that flutter around the living room – I experienced all of these supernatural occurrences when I lived in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood between 1986 and 1999.My thirteen years of experiences led me to write a series of ghost story eBooks, and started me on a quest to locate other Greenwood residents who have had similar ‘ghostly’ experiences in their Greenwood-area homes.I’ve now located six haunted houses in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood since first publishing my Ghost Stories. I am launching an active search to locate other residents of Greenwood who have experienced supernatural activity in their home, including ghost sightings, and occurences such as those detailed in this account.Here’s how I became aware of the sixth haunted house: This past month I received an email from a young man who lives in a rental house four blocks from the haunted cottage that I purchased in 1986. The very day that this young man, and his fiancé, moved into their Greenwood rental, odd and unsettling occurrences began.My correspondent contacted me after he began researching the Seattle neighborhood that he calls home. Like this young man, I also had suspicions about the area around North 85th Street and Greenwood Avenue after a conversation with a taxi driver led me to accounts of Greenwood circa 1907 and the spooky history of the Woodland Cemetery Association.When I lived in my 1907 cottage, very strange things occurred in my own house, and that of my next door neighbor.These strange occurrences are detailed in my eBooks, the latest titled, Ghost Stories And the Unexplained: Book Two.

After I sold my property on North 82nd Street, I learned that a former radio talk show host had lived on my street, but at a different point in time. He admits having an exorcism performed to rid his rental of ‘things’ that to this day he will not discuss.

When I lived in Greenwood, my next door neighbor, a single mother raising a four-year old daughter described to me an imaginary playmate that her daughter said would come to her nursery at twilight. The daughter’s description was that of a little girl dressed in a white pinafore, Mary Jane shoes, and white stockings.

It was not long after the ‘playmate’ episodes began that the mother experienced a ghost sighting. As she stared into the hallway mirror, brushing her hair, an apparition matching the description of the daughter’s playmate brushed past the mother and floated down the stairs into the living room where the daughter’s portrait hung. The mother and daughter moved out of the house within days and the house remained empty while their lease ran out.

This brought to three the number of houses within walking distance that I knew were haunted. Next came my son’s admission that the neighborhood kids shied away from one of the houses on the north side of the street – also constructed in 1907. This dwelling was dubbed ‘House Number Four’.

After my first ghost story collection published, a friend told me of an acquaintance whose wife had gone mad while living in the Greenwood area. The friend conjectured that the stay-at-home mom may have been driven insane by visits from ‘the other side’ while alone in the house all day. This brought the number of haunted properties, that I had tracked down, to five.

House Number Six came to light this week in an email that I am including in my blog. Edited for brevity and to redact names and addresses the email reads:

“I found your email address while researching Greenwood.

Visit http://www.prlog.org/11766213-wild-coincidence-brings-author-to-discover-fifth-haunted-property-in-seattles-greenwood-district.html for details. [copy, paste into search]

My fiancé and I have been renting a house in Greenwood for the past year. We moved into the house almost exactly a year ago this month. We were looking forward to living [in this house] and excited to be in the neighborhood, but we definitely experienced odd things immediately [after moving in], I more so than my fiancé.

[My fiancé] asked our property manager if any of the past tenants reported [our house] being haunted…” (The property manager indicated that he had no knowledge of reports of the home in question being haunted, the email explains.)

“Once of the first things we [witnessed] together was the kitchen sink turn on full force, in the middle of the afternoon. We had to turn it off.

I cannot say I’ve been terrorized but I’ve certainly been spooked, especially in the past month. My fiancé was away travelling on business for two weeks and so I was left with our dog and cat. The animals, I should add, seem to be aware of oddities but never seem to be alarmed. This helps me keep cool, I must admit.

Anyway, while my fiancé was away I can say I was annoyed by the [following] "phenomena":

-knocking on walls in middle of night. To the point I could not get more than a few hours of sleep;
-foot steps above, clearly not dog or cat footsteps, when I’m in basement doing laundry;
-cold breezes and drafts when I’m in the living room watching TV or reading, (apparently from nowhere, as no windows or doors are open);
– my Xbox360 game console turned off in the middle of gameplay. (I’m convinced it was the violent content of the game [that caused the interruption of the game].

During these weeks I questioned my sanity. . .my imagination. . .when it came down to it, I could not dismiss much of it easily.

One friend who is very interested in paranormal things, who also lives in the area, posed an interesting question one evening as I was retelling stories of sleepless nights and frustrations. She asked if any of this seemed to coincide with the road construction on 85th, near [the restaurant] Pagliacci Pizza, which is very close to our house. A light bulb went on. With all the heavy machinery, rumbling and grinding, it made complete sense all this [construction] would disturb whatever. . .whoever . . .

The frequency of activity seemed to increase until one evening. [Around] 6:00PM, I snapped and yelled that I was “not impressed – that ‘You’ needed to stop harassing me.” I continued to say I was “sorry that ‘You’ are restless”, and that I wanted him/her to find peace, asking how I could help.

I immediately put out a glass of wine as an offering, a glass of scotch and some fresh water. [The activity] stopped after that. Not one strange thing, noise or otherwise occurred. I’m not a religious person per se, but I am spiritual. So, at my sister and another friend’s recommendation, I stated to our ghost: that "God" whatever that is to ‘You’, is not pleased with this behavior, it is not right, nor funny, to frighten.

Over the last week I did see a bedroom light turn on and off. . . And last night I was kept up. . . with tapping on the heat ducts and walls. The same random, non-rhythmic, but clearly deliberate tapping. This convinced me to [do a Google search] of Greenwood [and its history].”

The Greenwood resident then located my eMail address and contacted me with this account. He continues, “I’ve never denied the existence of the paranormal but I haven’t had too much history with it. The events experienced over the last year have convinced me that there is an all-too-real paranormal world, or dimension, out there.” Signed Nate

~*~ ~*~

I invite other residents of haunted houses, who have had similar supernatural experiences such as these to leave a comment here!

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