Tag Archives: haunted

Oh! No! A Murder of Crows!!

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“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!

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Why Do Creepy Dolls Scare Us So Much? A Reunion (with Death) Maybe??

 

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As All Hallow’s Eve creeps closer, and the winds begin to howl, whistle, and moan we look at the traditions of Halloween with a shudder – but still fascinated, all the same.

 

My short, sinister story, “Dolls Watching” tells a tale of reunion – between college girlfriends, the present  and the past — and destiny.

Antique dolls arranged on the guest bed of protagonist, Cassandra, bear witness to the horrors of daily life in a desert ranch house that had been deserted after the tragedy of death.

Clocks tick, tock – tick tock – away the time waiting for the one person who has lived close enough to the other side of the grave to still have the ability to see . . . into the past.

And isn’t that what we expect of those creepy dolls that claw at our attention this time of year? Don’t they speak to us from their cracked porcelain faces and stained couture that spell out the ravages of time?

Wiki explains that, “Dolls have traditionally been used in magic and religious rituals throughout the world, and traditional dolls made of materials like clay and wood are found in the Americas, Asia, Africa and Europe.” Indeed! Some sources even go on to explain that dolls were originally used as Spirit Containers for the deceased. You’re an Egyptian maiden who wants her mother around for all eternity? Have your artisans fashion a clay likeness, conjure her spirit – and Voila! (well, maybe “Voila!” is not the appropriate Egyptian exclamation – but you get my drift.)

Have YOU been stricken, smitten, or out-smarted by a creepy doll? Oh, do tell!! We’ve circled our chairs and are waiting for you to tell us ALL about it.

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The #Voodoo Queen’s Shanty ~ ~ ~ Come for A Visit, Stay for A Lifetime

Book Trailer Release!

 

On the edge of the swamps lives the Widow Paris, Voodoo Queen of New Orleans. A blue-eyed slave of White Raven Estate, Jasmine le Calais, must brave the swamp after the Hourfor to retrieve her daughter from the clutches of Widow Paris. The Caribbean drums have quieted for the night and mist hangs in the humid air.

As Jasmine, terrified, creeps closer to the Voodoo Queen’s shanty something rustles in the saw grass!

Is it an alligator — or the legendary yellow-eyed swamp monster, Loup Garou?

~ ~ ~ ~

(an excerpt from Chapter 7 – Jasmine Visits the Voodoo Queen)

From the depths of the swamp  the hoot of an owl announced her journey. She held her breath. It hooted again, calling out from the spooky depths of the pine woods. The warning traveled deep into the swamps and was mimicked by other owls. It was a different noise that caught Jasmine’s attention—the slap of a paddle out on the water. She stood perfectly still and turned her eyes to the gloomy waterline. She stopped breathing and listened. Silence all of a sudden, complete silence; no katydids chirping, no drone from the cicadas. The only sound Jasmine heard was the deafening roar in her ears. Her heart pounded, her throat constricted to the point where a scream would not have been possible. She wanted the sound to be a paddle hitting the water, but she involuntarily whispered, “Loup Garou.” Even better it be a swamp witch than the beast, Loup Garou. Jasmine’s eyes darted from right to left. Please! Please don’t hurt me! Stone cold silence prevailed. Torturous nothing. She stood waiting to be torn apart by Loup Garou, trying desperately to push out of her mind the vision of the beast with its sharp fangs and its glowering yellow eyes. If attacked she hoped she would die in the first swipe of the creature’s talons. I’m going to die, she whimpered. Damn Zömbi for not bringing Josie back to me so we could get on our way back to Corbeau Blanc.

If the angry swamp monster was going to pounce, with drool hanging from sharp fangs she wanted her death to be instant. She imagined its yellow eyes burning into her skin as it fixed on her—and her fear. She waited, crouching, and listening.

~ ~ ~ ~

#Ghosts of White Raven Estate.
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Readers Ask: Emily! What Have You Done For Us Lately?

Okay, Okay! Busted!!

I’ve been neglecting my blog ~ but that doesn’t mean I’ve been neglecting my readers.

So, you may ask, what have you done for us lately?

Well, just in the past two weeks, 2 radio interviews and “Ghosts of White Raven Estate” has been published in paperback format.

On 13 February I was fortunate enough to be asked to join Chuck G. Gotski on his “In The Dark” radio show. I spent the fastest 30-minutes of my life talking about — what else? — the paranormal.

The link to the interview, in case you’d like to listen to it again, is right here! “In The Dark” radio, hosted by Chuck G. Gotski of “In The Dark Investigations

I enjoyed myself so much on Chuck’s show that I accepted an invitation from Belinda Clark-Ache to appear on “Paranormal Kool-Aid” which she produces. “Paranormal Kool-Aid” is hosted by F. Chris Medina and his friends and has the greatest green room in the world. My 19 February interview in which we talk extensively about the Catholic Church and its ~1830-1865 ties to New Orleans Voodoo is here.

In the meantime, some of you requested that “Ghosts of White Raven Estate” be published in a paperback edition. Voila!! You can now find my New Orleans ‘Addictively Wicked’ novel on Amazon; as well as Kindle, iBooks, Nook and Kobo.

Pretty isn’t it?

"Ghosts of White Raven Estate" ~ Available in Paperback & eBook format.

“Ghosts of White Raven Estate” ~ Available in Paperback & eBook format.

Gift Copies of my paperback and eBook novels have gone out, or are being sent to: Dorothy Beecher, Belinda Clark-Ache, John McCormick, Chuck G. Gotski, and Laura Evans. Thanks to each of you for taking an interest in my writing.

You can always find me on my Facebook page – I’m there every day! Thanks for stopping by ~ leave a note HERE! Say, “Hi!” even if it’s to chastise me for not blogging that often.

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How ‘White Raven Estate’ Became The Setting for my Newest Novel

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

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

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Ghosts of White Raven Estate  ~ on Kindle

Ghosts of White Raven Estate ~ on Nook

Ghosts of White Raven Estate ~ on Smashwords for iBooks

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House of the White Raven – La Maison du Corbeau Blanc – is the setting for my newest novel ‘Voodoo Vision: New Orleans House of Spirits’. 

Originally the New Orleans Garden District mansion where heroine Victoria Calais overcomes her rivals was christened, ‘the House of Calais’.

However, there is little intrigue or magic in naming the manor after the family and I mourned this fact as my novel moved toward its publication date.  Even in the hours just before I released ‘Voodoo Vision: New Orleans House of Spirits’ I was still pondering an alternative name for the estate that ancestral spirits would not leave.

In their reluctance for Victoria’s ancestors to depart  it helps that the Calais Cemetery and Mausoleum is situated directly across the boulevard from the Calais manor! At exactly the right moment (as the author) I could conjure any number of Calais ancestors to skim over the graveyard’s lush lawns and back into ‘La Maison du Corbeau Blanc’ – which they do each time that Father Vivenzio comes to call!

Throughout the novel I torment Victoria’s enemies with crows and ravens – hmm – for some reason my psyche thought this was just right; but how to ‘tie it all together’ for the reader?

The Calais family members – at this point in the telling — are white Europeans. But I woke up one morning as the last draft of the novel was approved, deciding emphatically that the Calais home should christened ‘The House of The White Raven’ – or in French, ‘La Maison du Corbeau Blanc’.  My own ancestors are French Canadian and I loved the autobiographical tie-in with my beloved characters.

In the novel, antagonist Father Vivenzio notes (derisively) that the ‘House of the White Raven’ was financed from the coffers of Victoria Calais’ ancestral grandfather in the late 1600s. To leave the mystery open to interpretation the priest does not specify the exact source of the wealth or how it was derived.

La Maison du Corbeau Blanc ~ The House of The White Raven

La Maison du Corbeau Blanc ~ The House of The White Raven

Deciding that I liked the ring of ‘La Maison du Corbeau Blanc’ I set about researching the significance of the White Raven [Corbeau Blanc] and was even more convinced that my intuition had guided me to an appropriate alternate name for the Calais family estate.

You see, Dear Reader, there are many myths about the raven – and happily many directions an author can go in while devising a prequel as to how the manor came to be named after the white raven.

Some of these myths are contained in Native culture, some in biblical scripture.

* The White Raven as Grandson – in the Tinglit tribe (Alaska) the White Raven is born, in human form, to the daughter of Old Man Grandfather. The relationship between Victoria and her ancestral father figures is made apparent as they come back from the grave to assist her in overcoming her adversaries. (But how would have a French-Canadian 1600s grandfather have come to an association with a Pacific Northwest tribe?)

* The Raven as Trickster and Transformer – If Victoria’s great-grandfather had transformed himself in some way – say from lowly ship crew to wealthy New Orleans liqueur proprietor – and because he is White – he could have used ‘The White Raven’ as a double-entendre.

Additionally, the raven has significance in Bible scripture:

* The Raven as the first animal to depart (and never return) to Noah’s Ark – because scripture does not define a role for the raven, as it does for the dove; Victoria’s great-grandfather (who never returns to his ancestral European home) could logically choose this animal to symbolize his flight from  . . .  France . . . or Sicily, or?

Maybe he was Sicilian and had a French wife; or the converse.  Maybe he encountered – or married – a Native American woman for whom the mythological raven held countenance. Will the process of creative writing make him a shipmate, or a frontiersman?

So, over the next year, as I pen the prequel to ‘Voodoo Vision: New Orleans House of Spirits’, I will have to devise a journey by which the patriarch of a French Canadian family comes to name his 1660s estate ‘La Maison du Corbeau Blanc’.

I see Sambuca, Sicily; Nantes, France; and Montreal, Canada in my literary journey.

I hope that you will be along for the trip!

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Chapter 4: #Voodoo Queen ~ #Free Read Excerpt ‘Ghosts of White Raven Estate’

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

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

USA/Kindle: Ghosts of White Raven Estate

UK/Kindle:  Ghosts of White Raven Estate

iBooks: Ghosts of White Raven Estate

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Now that my 2013 novel, “Voodoo Vision: House of Spirits” is published, I’ve chosen to introduce in this blog entry the Voodoo Queen herself . . . Widow Paris.  Of the four main characters in this 2012 NaNoWriMo novel, Widow Paris is my ‘Fave’ for her glamour, and her ability to conspire and beguile at the same time.  I hope that you enjoy THIS peek of ‘Voodoo Vision’.  If you are just now joining the ‘excerpt peek’ Chapters 1, 2-3, are included in the line-up of my blog entries.

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Chapter 4

Father Vivenzio dashed up the steps to the rectory. Once inside he quietly closed the door facing Girod Street and looked across the polished floor to the door of his office. Although accustomed to the sight, he shuddered at what he saw. A Voodoo staff was propped just to the left of his door. The dark gnarls that seemed to clutch at the wooden cane resembled the knuckles of a hag. A shaft of light from the stained glass windows caught the amber eyes of the shrunken head decorating the crown of the walking stick. It seemed alive. Watching him. Judging him.

The priest hurried past flinging open the door to his sparsely furnished office. A bookcase, matching desk, and liquor cabinet were the only furnishings, save for one guest chair—occupied at the moment. The fabric of his robes rustled as he rushed across the marble-tiled floor.

An elegantly dressed, slender black woman turned in her chair to greet him, her bracelets jangling as she arranged the brightly colored fabric of her sarong. A brocade wrap protected her from the chill of the rectory office. She was physically and temperamentally more accustomed to the heat of the Caribbean.

“Widow Paris! I’m so pleased that you have waited for me. You’ve made yourself comfortable, I presume?”

“Giorgio, I wasn’t sure if maybe I had the time wrong.”

“Please allow me to apologize. I’m so sorry.”

She arched her finely shaped eyebrows and cocked her head. “Go on, I’m curious what you have to tell me.”

“I think you will find my news most interesting, and encouraging. I was just at the estate of one of St. Ann’s most promising benefactors.”

“Let me guess,” she interrupted. “The Calais’.”

“What the hell! Is there anything you don’t know?”

Widow Paris threw back her head, revealing gold-capped teeth and a broad pink tongue. Her laughter was throaty and decadent, “don’t despair my knowledge of your appointments, Father; unless it was your intention to betray our arrangement. Surely you realize there’s not much you can do that won’t be discussed throughout Tremè. My people help me, and I, in turn, help them.” Her bracelets set off another peal of jangles. She adjusted the head wrap that covered her coal-black hair. Still, tendrils crept out at her neckline like snakes slithering down her back.

I am surrounded by spies. The hair on the priest’s arms stood up in an involuntary shiver as he imagined how his swiping at the ribbon the Voodoo doll hung on must have looked. “Let me begin.”

“No. Let me.”

The priest was silenced.

“You don’t seem to appreciate what it means that Jasmine is a member of my church. Go into any household in the Garden District and you will find members of the Afro-Catholic Church—my church. You make a habit of dismissing people as you conjecture their station according to your world–the White world,” and with that Widow Paris concluded her assessment of the priest’s flaws.

“Well, now, if that doesn’t just explain Jasmine’s attitude toward me.”

“Partly, I suppose.”

'Voodoo Vision' Cast of Characters

‘Voodoo Vision’ Cast of Characters

“Then you know, from your well-placed sources, that Madame Calais has made a sizeable contribution to the church in gratitude for the services and attention her family received from St. Ann’s Church during this past epidemic.”

Widow Paris’ yellow-speckled eyes flashed and the image of a jaguar came to mind as Father Vivenzio felt the glare of the Voodoo priestess. He continued, “So tragic. I did what I could.”

He chose to overlook her snort and let her commandeer the exchange. “Let me guess, you have received from the Calais Trust a contribution of, what? Ten thousand dollars?”

He shook his head, defeated.

“What I don’t know is when you are going to make a contribution to my church based on the Calais generosity.”

“For Christ’s sake, is that what this is all about? Why, I was planning to share the Calais contribution with you this afternoon, Marie. Which is why I am so relieved that you waited for me.”

“How nice. I know that you are anxious to help me with the needs of my people in return for their attendance at mass.”

There was no way out of the split that he owed Widow Paris for their shared endeavors—and his involvement—on both sides of the religious aisle.

He drew out his bankbook and began to write out a check. After the ink dried he handed it to her.

“You’re a shrewd woman, Widow Paris. Very shrewd.”

She laughed in a throaty, suggestive manner. “This should buy someone’s much deserved freedom. Thank you.”

The priest grunted his acknowledgement.

“So, your long-term plans for the Calais’? Do tell,” she coaxed.

“Well, as you undoubtedly know, the Calais fortune is now held solely by the matriarch grandmother and her granddaughter.”

Widow Paris opened and closed her black lace fan as Father Vivenzio continued.

“The grandmother is ailing, and the granddaughter is losing her eyesight.”

She looked bored. “Yes? Yes? Get to the good part, Giorgio!” Widow Paris’ eyes glittered.

“In the end, an incredibly beautiful and wealthy ingénue will be left without a family. Except for the familial community of her church, of course.”

“Well, that is fascinating, now, isn’t it?” she taunted. “Whatever is to be done?” Father Vivenzio stared at the ceiling. “The parish does need a new convent. The current quarters here at St. Ann’s are crumbling. And Madame Calais’ granddaughter was not happy being quarantined there as her immediate family died, one by one, in the Yellow Fever epidemic. It was, of course, my doing that she took flight from the epidemic and was placed here at St. Ann’s. Her father was against it at first, but once the girl’s mother and sister died, he relented in order to save her. Then, he too died. Her grandmother presented the check to St. Ann’s two days ago, but, obviously, you know that. I advanced the idea that the donation, of which your own church will enjoy a portion, be used to renovate the convent.” He pushed back his chair.

Widow Paris sat silently as the priest struggled to his feet, his weight being a hindrance.

“A little red wine, to celebrate our windfall?” he asked.

The priestess nodded. “What’s better than celebrating a glorious afternoon with the blood of Christ?”

~*~*~

I hope you’ve enjoyed these first four chapters of ‘Voodoo Vision’. If you would like to add a copy to your eBook library, it is available at:

Voodoo Vision: New Orleans House of Spirits ~ on Kindle

Voodoo Vision: New Orleans House of Spirits ~ on Nook

Voodoo Vision: New Orleans House of Spirits ~ on Smashwords for iBooks

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myBLOG ☆ New Orleans Is More to Me Than Beignets and Mardi Gras

My New Orleans Jazz club souvenirs, circa 1964

My New Orleans Jazz club souvenirs, circa 1964

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When I was thirteen my family moved from Southern California to New Orleans, Louisiana. I was transformed from a Surfer Girl (described thusly by an old boyfriend I looked up decades later) to a Southern Belle. It was the most exhilarating time in my life—and such a tumultuous time in the nation’s history. It was the summer of 1963.

My father had been hired by The Boeing Company to work at the Michoud plant in New Orleans. With the intention of arriving New Orleans in time for my sister and I to start school in September, my parents sped from California to Louisiana over a six-day stretch in our 1961 Plymouth station wagon. I remember the ‘are we there yet?’ laments over how long it took to cross Texas, and my parents looking for a house to move their three children (and our dachshund ‘Winkie’) into when we arrived. But, I don’t remember the motels and diners along the way. When we arrived in Louisiana my parents decided to settle the family across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans—in Slidell.

My sister started school without me that academic year. I didn’t register for seventh grade until after my paternity was established. To the Registrar I looked like a Creole (non-white) and was registered with the school district as a mulatto.  You see, schools in The South remained segregated as that school year began (and in spite of the Civil Rights Act). In contrast my sister, a blue-eyed honey blonde, undoubtedly fathered by a white man, was whisked into the eighth grade.

Upper right, me in elementary school, lower right, attempting to enter junior high in Slidell; plus high school graduation photo.

Upper right, me in elementary school, lower right, attempting to enter junior high in Slidell; plus high school graduation photo.

In spite of my rocky start I finally was admitted to Slidell Junior High two months into the school year and was enthusiastically accepted by the most wild, fun-loving clique a thirteen year old could hope for. Did I say wild? My social circle included kids from Southern families, military brats, and kids like myself whose dad’s had been hired during Boeing’s expansion. (Our school was ‘integrated’ by one black student four months into the school year. He was escorted through from class to class surrounded by six Federal Marshalls.)

Our first few years in Slidell we lived on the edge of a swamp, off Magnolia Road. Alligators, armadillos, and snapping turtles made frequent crossings to the wetlands through our yard. We rented from a Cajun family who invited us over every Sunday afternoon for a crawdad feed and lots of beer. I was thirteen when I started drinking.

I was fourteen when hurricane Hilda, a Category 4 storm, crashed into New Orleans causing widespread flooding, devastation, and death. The element of Hilda that I remember most vividly was the ‘train-barrelling full speed into the house’ eardrum bursting noise. Wrapped in blankets, and huddling in the bathtub, my siblings and I could NOT hear one instructive thing my mother was yelling at us as my non-plussed father snored in the other room.

I was fifteen when I got my driver’s license and keys to my dad’s 1965 Mustang.  I made a barreling beeline across the Lake Pontchartrain bridge to the jazz clubs on Bourbon Street. The bouncer carded me and my girlfriends at Al Hirt’s Club, so it was off to Pete Fountain’s which wasn’t as particular about who they let in to their club. That was also the year I discovered the Tarot card parlors in the French Quarter and was convinced of the authenticity of fortune telling. You see, I had a crush on a tall blond kid whose dad owned the radio station in Slidell. My swain was Blakey Adams. During my first Tarot reading the fortune teller—a Caribbean woman dressed in glorious color, bangle jewelry, and a headwrap told me that I was in love with a boy whose initials were B. A. (I swear to you, dear blog reader, this is true.) I was bowled over and was, of course, sold on everything that New Orleans had to offer—the marques, the lights, the alcohol, the jazz clubs—and the fortune tellers.

That love for The Big Easy has lasted now for fifty years – 1963 to 2013 – so why NOT write a novel that features mon amore—New Orleans.

☆  Voodoo Vision: New Orleans House of Spirits ☆ is NOW available on Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, and iBooks.

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☆ Dumb People And The 5 Worst Things They Do Around Ghosts ☆

The Dead ~ They will always be with us

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Really? You want to know  my opinion of the dumbest things people do when encountering an entity, whether it’s  Ouija board’s dark powers, or an apparition wavering over a tombstone in your local cemetery?

Well, then . . . here goes. The Top Five things dumb people do when encountering entities from Beyond The Grave:

They ~

#5 Don’t say a blessing when closing off their contact with an entity;

Blessings are universal, regardless of your spiritual or religious beliefs. It is a ‘Wishing You Well’ karma token that allows the entity you’ve encountered to go on its journey with a brush from your positive side. Do not overlook the courtesy of a blessing as you take leave from an apparition, or energy source, from the Spirit World.

#4 Shout at the entity as though it cannot hear;

Oh Baby! Don’t ever shout at an entity! That shows such disrespect and you beget what you begat—if you know what I mean.

Bad dreams? Creepy-crawlies when you’re alone in the house? It may be pay-back from not treating those on The Other Side with dignity. No Shouting!

#3 Challenge the entity to show itself;

This is universally the silliest thing to do. That entity that you are challenging to ‘prove itself’, may indeed prove itself in a big way! What in the world makes dumb people think that an entity, or force of energy, from the dark side will reciprocate on-scale to a prove-you-are-real’ challenge?

#2 Toke up! Or down a drink before an investigation;

If you’re thinking a ‘little enhancement’ will a) give you the hair on your chest that you need to venture into that dark forbidden place; or b) heighten your supernatural senses before an investigation—then you’re in for a wild ride that you may not have bargained for.

Gonna’ try it anyway? Let us know how it all went down. BwahahaHA!

#1 Come to an investigation, or a portal site, with piss-off on your mind

Dumb People: This is where the ‘birds of a feather’ axiom comes in. You want a scary, evil entity to follow you back to your bedroom? Yes? Then go into the SpiritWorld with a bad-ass attitude. But you’ll be traveling alone—because I, for one, am NOT coming with you on that trip of no-return!

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Filed under Books by Emily Hill, emily hill, ghost adventures, ghost hunter, Ghost World Tutorials, ghosts

☆ Trick or Treat ☆ My Halloween Free-Reads are at THESE locations!

In paperback on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

In paperback on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

FOLLOW THIS BLOG! And . . .  The Ghost Chaser’s Daughter
╰☆╮☆♥*¨*• 💕💕 •*¨* ♥ ☆╰☆╮💕💕 •*¨* ♥ ☆╰☆╮

I’m absolutely giddy! We are just days away from Trick or Treat season.

Exciting, isn’t it? The masquerade balls of Halloween dance in, Day of the Dead lurches forward dragging one foot behind, and we hear chains rattling and hounds baying in the distance as All Souls Day knocks at the doors of morgues and mortuaries.

Ghost Stories, howling winds, flickering candles, and specters that stand at the foot of your bed remind you that death is, well, a part of life.

My reading habits change this time of year – don’t yours? If your answer is ‘Yes!’ I have some treats in store for you:  A roster of all the locations where I have placed ‘Free Reads’ of my ghost stories and folklore this year.

So bookmark this page and come back often for news and nuances from the Other Side of The Grave.

If you are new to my writing and release-titles, I have published four sets of ghost stories under the brand, ‘The Ghost Chaser’s Daughter’.

My autobiographical eStory-sets are titled, ‘Ghost Stories and The Unexplained: Book One and Book Two; my torque-to-terror is entitled, ‘Ghost Stories From Beyond the Grave’; and my folklore tales in eBook format are entitled, ‘The Ghost Chaser’s Daughter’.

The four eBooks under THESE titles are available on Smashwords – the vendor for iBooks, Nook and Kindle [Mobi]; the PAPERBACK edition of my ghost stories is available on Amazon and Nook as ‘The Ghost Chaser’s Daughter’.

If you’ve ever wondered about the tone of my ghost stories now is the time to sample from the various storytelling styles that I’ve adopted over the past four years.

So! Here is a Smorgasbord of book excerpts, as a Treat to YOU for this season:

On Smashwords – Free! ‘Ghost Stories and The Unexplained: Book One’ six autobiographical stories to get you started on the full series.

On Wattpad – two selections:

* ‘Ghost Stories and The Unexplained: Story One’ only; and

* ‘Ghost Stories From Beyond the Grave: Grove of Terror’.

On BookBlog.com you have a second selection from

‘Ghost Stories From Beyond the Grave: The Red-Eyed Beast of Bodie’.

And, FlipSnack is Fun! There I have also posted ‘Grove of Terror’ if you’d like to see “flippin’ free!”

If you would like to purchase any of my iBook series they are available on Smashwords, or as a paperback on Amazon.

Happy Halloween! And . . .  leave a note that you stopped by!

Seeing your name here would be a Treat!

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Filed under Books by Emily Hill, emily hill, ghost adventures, ghost hunter, ghost stories, Ghost World Tutorials, ghosts

☆ All Souls Day? Ghosts Not Invited!

I am attracted to Katrinas - just one more entity in the line-up of souls dragging their way to Purgatory - or am I wrong?? Are they celebrating with champagne and music in the after-life?

I am attracted to Katrinas – just one more entity in the line-up of souls dragging their way to Purgatory – or am I wrong?? Are they celebrating with champagne and music in the after-life?

FOLLOW THIS BLOG! And . . .  The Ghost Chaser’s Daughter
╰☆╮☆♥*¨*• 💕💕 •*¨* ♥ ☆╰☆╮💕💕 •*¨* ♥ ☆╰☆╮

The neighborhood I lived in as a child observed ‘All Souls Day’.  This observance was held in the days following Halloween when ghosts and goblins roamed the neighborhood. ‘All Souls Day’ seemed to be ‘Halloween Lite’ – an event in which only Catholics took part. But I never understood why.

This week I dug into the difference between Halloween and All Souls Day in an attempt to understand the phenomenon of making a second round of collecting treats immediately following Halloween – which is what we did on All Souls Day in the 1950s.

I was curious about what people thought of ‘Souls’ (as in All Souls Day) and ‘Ghosts’ (as in Halloween). So I asked my Facebook friends their ‘take’ on each:  My friend, Nicki Chen, who writes a blog relating to Chinese culture noted on Facebook that “most souls don’t hang around to haunt people”. I agree with Nicki. Although ghosts are tethered to Earth by intention, the circumstances of their death, or mournful inability to let go of the mortals they are attached to, souls seem to have the ability to transcend ‘on to’ their next calling, whether it be a blissful wait in Purgatory (for Catholics), or reincarnation (for Spiritualists and eastern religions).

Avid Reader, Carrie Ann Lehain  opines, “. . . ghosts are connected to a specific time and have a specific identity. Souls are eternal, [e.g.] . . . life beyond time, beyond specific identity. Ghosts have souls, but not all souls are ghosts.” What differentiation could be more thoughtful?

In Catholic-dominated cultures* and communities, All Souls Day follows Halloween, and the two observances differ in significance.

Halloween is a celebration of mischief and mayhem, of hauntings and horror. Ghosts totally rule on 31 October – but so do beasts, and vampires; werewolves and hooligans! Souls are not invited to the party! When was the last time a child responded, ‘I want to dress up as a Soul!’ when asked ‘What are you going to be for Halloween?’ The two states of being – ghosts and souls – co-exist without being interchangeable.

In the Catholic Church ‘All Souls Day’ is lorded over by the ‘Office of The Dead’ (yes! There IS such a thing in the Catholic Church). It is a celebration that takes place on 02 November (unless 02 is a Sunday, or religious holiday). Frankly, I think that the website ‘New Advent’ uses the term celebration loosely in describing ‘All Souls Day’.

‘All Souls Day’ tasks families with praying for the souls of their dead, who according to Catholic doctrine are parked in Purgatory while the sins of the Departed are cleansed (Purgatory being a way-station on the route to heaven, if Beetle Juice and Catholicism is to be believed!)

And therein the distinction: While Souls are singing, ♪♬♫ My Bags Are Packed, I’m on My Way; Ghosts are waiting for portals to open with the definite objective of slipping ‘back’ to hang around as a residual, or a poltergeist, or an apparition.  Ghosts are soul-less entities who are knocking at the windows and doors of the living with the theme song ‘I’ll be Seeing You’♪♬♫

So, it’s understandable that GHOSTS have as little interest in ‘All Souls Day’ (where ‘Goodie Two Shoes’ transcendence is being brokered) as SOULS have in ‘Halloween’ where bad boys and girls are planning the next eggs-over-the-neighbor’s fence prank.

All Souls Day? Ghosts not invited!

* As a side note there are innumerable variations on celebrating the dead around the world, with Ireland’s Samhain and India’s “Pitri Paksha” or “Pitar” or “Shraadh Paksha” which sets aside a fifteen-day festival for Ancestors and Dead member of the family.

╰☆╮💕💕 •*¨* ♥ What did I miss?? What can You add? ╰☆╮💕💕 •*¨* ♥

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Filed under emily hill, ghost adventures, ghost hunter, ghost stories, Ghost World Tutorials, ghosts