Tag Archives: Baltimore

Oh! No! A Murder of Crows!!

╰☆╮☆♥*¨*• 💕💕 •*¨* ♥ ☆╰☆╮💕💕 •*¨* ♥ ☆╰☆╮

FOLLOW THIS BLOG!

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

╰☆╮☆♥*¨*• 💕💕 •*¨* ♥ ☆╰☆╮💕💕 •*¨* ♥ ☆╰☆╮

“Oh! No! A Murder of Crows”

A flock, a flight, a ‘murder of crows’,

Which word to use?

I’m in the throes!

~ ~ ~ ~

I am both terrified and fascinated by crows, and even used a particular ‘murder of crows’ in my latest novel, “Ghosts of White Raven Estate”.

Ghosts of White Raven Estate ~ Available where eBooks and paperbacks are Sold!

Ghosts of White Raven Estate ~ Available where eBooks and paperbacks are Sold!

Yes! That’s what a flock of crows are called, you know . . . a “murder”. But why?

I recently looked up the etymology of “murder of crows” and learned the term is used primarily by writers and poets (not scientists and/or botanists).

According to zBeckabee who posts on FunTrivia, The term “murder” was used to describe a flock of crows as far back as the 15th century, as published by the Oxford English Dictionary. (Here’s a spine-chilling version from 1475: “A morther of crowys.”)

The OED suggests this is an allusion to “the crow’s traditional association with violent death” or “its harsh and raucous cry.” If you’ve ever heard dozens of agitated crows in full cry, it really does sound as if they’re yelling bloody murder.

This usage, which apparently died out after the 1400s, was revived in the 20th century. The first modern citation in the OED comes from 1939, but the usage was undoubtedly popularized by its appearance in An Exaltation of Larks (1968), a compendium of “nouns of multitude” by James Lipton.” ###

Of course Edgar Allen Poe (the poet in residence of my ancestral hometown (Baltimore) uses crows in metaphors, as tormentors, and certainly as messengers; Alfred Hitchcock (my Fave author) uses crows.  And who doesn’t delight in the writing of Joyce Carol Oates and particularly her “Mudgirl Saved by the King of Crows“.

And, let’s not overlook crows at the box office. Oh! Yikes!! Crows don’t seem to fare well on the big screen if 2013 “Wrath of the Crows” directed by Ivan Zuccon is any indication http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2070897/.

But enough about Ivan, more about . . . me!

Let’s take a read of how I used crows to torment-the-tormenter in my latest novel: From “Ghosts of White Raven Estate” this is our beloved anti-hero Father Vivenzio scrapping with the messengers of doom in my novel:

“His breathing quickened; he cautioned himself to not appear fearful. Don’t look over. Don’t look over. A lone howl, long and mournful, emanated from the shadows of the pine grove near the back of the graveyard. The exact source of the howling could not be determined.

The priest clutched at his robes and reached into his pocket for his handkerchief. He mopped his brow, patting the beads of sweat from his forehead. The New Orleans heat had been unbearable when he left the rectory that morning. But now, without the protection of his three-cornered hat, the crows might be attracted to the top of his shiny, baldhead, he imagined.

He scurried along Washington Avenue from St. Charles Avenue to Prytania Street. “How could any family live across the street from a cemetery? Even if it is their own cemetery?” Two hundred years of history. What secrets are enfolded in the history of the Calais family? He admonished himself for his uncharitable thoughts and shrunk down into his collar as a raven cackled in the distance. He did not feel inclined to run from the pack of dogs or cower from the crows and ravens cawing their contempt. This damned heat!

“What the . . .?” Father Vivenzio uttered stopping in his tracks. His eyes caught something strange attached to the cemetery’s wrought-iron fence. Something hanging on the gate up ahead? He stared at the object as he approached, trying to figure out what was hanging on the black iron bars. The object grew more distinct as he advanced. The realization of what it was struck him like a bolt of lightning.

” [Dear Reader: It’s a voodoo doll that has been left for the Good Father to find.]

What does happen to Father Vivenzio is revealed at the end – last chapter – no spoilers here.

But, aren’t you marvelously merry that you did the click! click! on “A Murder of Crows”?

Leave your “Hello” in the comments ~ I love having visitors!

1 Comment

Filed under Baltimore, Books by Emily Hill, emily hill, ghost adventures, ghost hunter, ghost stories, Ghost World Tutorials, ghosts, Ghosts' Experienced, Halloween, New Orleans, paranormal, supernatural, Unexplained Phenomenon

My Blog: Why *DO* I write about the Supernatural?

╰☆╮☆♥*¨*• 💕💕 •*¨* ♥ ☆╰☆╮💕💕 •*¨* ♥ ☆╰☆╮

FOLLOW THIS BLOG!

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

╰☆╮☆♥*¨*• 💕💕 •*¨* ♥ ☆╰☆╮💕💕 •*¨* ♥ ☆╰☆╮

I am a member of Werner’s “Supernatural Fiction Readers” group and group members were recently invited to introduce themselves. The following is what I wrote.  If YOU are a Goodreads member, please come find me, and let’s be friends and trade book suggestions!

My post on “Supernatural Fiction Readers”:
“Thank you for the invitation to introduce ourselves. I am an author who writes under the moniker “The Ghost Chaser’s Daughter” because, well. . . err. . . my mother WAS a ghost chaser! And I, of course, I am her daughter.

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

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

My mother should have been born during the Spiritualist Movement of the 1880s because there was little she would NOT do to attempt to commune with the spirits.

It seems this was all brought on by a brush with Death during a bout with malaria. She saw “the light” and heard the voices of her ancestors calling to her. But in the farmhouse parlor where she lay with chilled packs on her head (her grandmother’s attempts to break her fever) she also heard the voices of her grandparents as they fretted over losing her. She remained on THIS side of the grave for sixty-two years beyond that moment — always fascinated about what lay beyond the grave.

My own polio crisis (with last rites administered at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Ohio) provided me a similar experience; and not surprisingly — a similar outcome. Over the years my mother and I were simpatico in our collection of Katrina dolls, Ouija board sessions, and Tarot card readings.

I came to writing by way of genealogy.  In 2009 I wrote a novel about the day-to-day life of my father’s ancestors as I heard the voices of my ancestral aunts telling me the story during midnight writing furies. I felt that I could actually HEAR their voices, and typed out the dialogue as they spoke. The result, published by A.V. Harrison Publishing,  is “Jenkins: A Family Saga” about the life of an 1830s Baltimore household during the long trudge toward Civil War.

After “Jenkins” was published I felt it only fair to write SOMETHING about my mother’s family, thus beginning my odyssey as “The Ghost Chaser’s Daughter“.

Several years later I entered “NaNoWriMo” a global author’s challenge to write one novel — in one month. A year of polishing, editor’s help, and book design efforts resulted in “Voodoo Vision” which was re-named to “Ghosts of White Raven Estate“.

Reading is the primary joyful pastime of my life — I would love receiving the comments of my blog visitors on why THEY came to a love of reading and/or the supernatural. Please let me know!

3 Comments

Filed under Baltimore, Books by Emily Hill, emily hill, ghost adventures, ghost hunter, ghost stories

My #Blog “Spirit Writing” and Psychography

╰☆╮☆♥*¨*• 💕💕 •*¨* ♥ ☆╰☆╮💕💕 •*¨* ♥ ☆╰☆╮

FOLLOW THIS BLOG !

╰☆╮☆♥*¨*• 💕💕 •*¨* ♥ ☆╰☆╮💕💕 •*¨* ♥ ☆╰☆╮

 

Instructions:

Place yourself in a near-meditative state so that you can commune with the Spirits in the evening before bedtime;

Speak with them about how you are laying out a pen and paper for their use;

Summon them into your space in a warm and reassuring manner;

Leave a light on when you retire for the evening – one that will provide a soft welcoming glow

In the morning, if you are most fortunate, you will have waiting for you a written message from The Other Side.

– – – –

Instructions:

Create a soothing atmosphere in your home, or in your room for this exercise.  I suggest soft lights, ethereal music, and symbolic objects.

(In my bedroom, beside my bed, I have Day of The Dead wall hangings.  My bedroom is always prepared in case “Someone” wants to step over.)

In my bedroom I have Day of The Dead icons to welcome The Spirits.

In my bedroom I have Day of The Dead icons to welcome The Spirits.

While sitting comfortably at a writing table with a pen and sheet of paper in front of you summon to your conscious mind The Spirit World while in a near-meditative state.

Do not pick up the pen until you are summoned by sheer will to do so. The ‘overwhelm’ of this supernatural occurrence may take several sessions – relax and wait for your Visitor to arrive.

Although it may take several attempts on your part until your Spirit finally finds the courage to step into your realm The Spirits will begin the long journey back in order to tell their stories – by your hand.

They will compel your hand forward, writing their life story, their fears, and maybe even their frustrations of not being able to move through their “chained to Earth” state to the Greater Beyond.

– – – –

The first published account of Spirit Writing, or psychography is a reference to this supernatural phenom by Hyppolyte Taine in 1878.  During the height of the Age of Spiritualism the French skeptic makes reference in the 3rd edition of his “De I’intelligence”.  Not much to go on until the dramatic accounts of Fernando Pessoa who murmurs to his companions that “he felt owned by something else” when his fountain pen would scrawl words across a parchment.  These occurrences of the Portuguese poet took place between 1912 – 1914.

The Spirit Writing of Pessoa. Courtesy of Wiki.

The Spirit Writing of Pessoa. Courtesy of Wiki.

 

In thinking back over my own writing I often feel a sense of having the words placed at my fingertips as I type. Most particularly this phenomenon overtook me when I was writing of the relationship between two sisters – ancestral aunts of mine – in my novel, “The Jenkins of Baltimore”.  What is noteworthy about these two sisters is that, as I typed their story between the hours of midnight and 3 AM, I could quite distinctly hear the dialogue between them in the “authentic period” style of the 1820s.  Most curious is that the two sisters – who each married brothers in the Baltimore Jenkins clan – died in childbirth less than 24 hours of each other. The obituaries in the novel that marks their lives are the authentic obituaries published in 1826:

[Page 65] “ . . . The tears came later.

OBITUARY

Baltimore Gentlewoman Mourned by Family

Anne Marie Wells, consort and muse of William Valentine Jenkins,

Died the 25th instant February;

Leaving one daughter and ten sons motherless.

Known for her beauty, kindness and gaiety this pious woman has departed, at a most vulnerable moment, immediately following the birth of her eleventh child—a son. Gone from those who will love her eternally; Her disconsolate husband mourns bitterly his fate and seeks solace in his family, the kindness of his community, and the wisdom of the Almighty while attempting to understand the cruelty of this most unjust misfortune.

– Baltimore Gazette and Daily Advertiser, February 28, 1826

~*~

OBITUARY

Complications from Childbirth

On the 27th Instant of February in her 28th year, Harriet Wells,

Wife of Mr. Frederick Jenkins

Unexpectedly departed the loving arms of her family, to join her

Sister, Anne Marie, in Heaven.

We forever struggle to understand the mysteries of the Lord,

As Two families face a dark future as a second Wells’ Daughter,

Wife and Mother enter the Kingdom of Heaven in the same week.

These two lovely women leave behind thirteen children, and now

Two devout families must now make the journey through

Life without the calming serenity of a Mothers’ gaze.

~ Baltimore Patriot, March 02, 1826

~*~

The Jenkins of Baltimore. Not an account of supernatural occurrences; but written from the benefit of Spirit Writing.

The Jenkins of Baltimore. Not an account of supernatural occurrences; but written from the benefit of Spirit Writing.

My words in “The Jenkins of Baltimore” are no more than my ancestors coming back to tell me of their vivid experiences.

And, in some ways, that is the reason that I write of the supernatural – to reach into The Beyond to commune with . . . . The Dead.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Baltimore, Books by Emily Hill, emily hill, ghost stories, Ghost World Tutorials, ghosts, Ghosts' Experienced, paranormal, Psychic, supernatural, the unexplained, Unexplained Phenomenon