Tag Archives: Nicki Chen

This Is Not a #Ghost Story ~ Or Is it?

I have invited Nicki Chen, a good friend, and talented writer, to guest blog today.  Nicki blogs at “Nicki Chen Behind The Story” here on WordPress.

Nicki’s debut novel, Tiger Tail Soup, pays tribute to her husband’s Chinese heritage.  The novel’s beautiful design is inspired by Nicki who is an artist, as well as an author. Tiger Tail Soup is available now on Amazon in paperback.

Unsettled Spirits? The ghosts of war? Here’s Nicki’s story, “This is Not a Ghost Story”

~ ~ ~ ~

“When war invades a country and many people die before their time, ghost stories multiply. They become part of the landscape. So it was inevitable that in my novel, Tiger Tail Soup, I would mention ghosts. They’re not a big part of the story, but I couldn’t avoid them. The unsettled spirits of those who died too soon were just one more thing my characters had to contend with.

I personally have never seen a ghost or received messages from beyond the grave. But, yes, I have experienced something not easily explained by the ordinary laws of science.

We were living in the Philippines when it started. It was 1976, before email and Facebook and cheap long distance calls. So I kept in touch with my parents who were in the United States by mail, one letter every week.

One evening in April (It would have been daytime on the West Coast of the United States.) I was walking though the family room, feeling fine. The kids were in bed. My husband was in Mindanao on a business trip. Suddenly I wasn’t feeling fine. I was sure I was about to die and I didn’t know why. I couldn’t breathe properly. My chest hurt. I couldn’t think straight.

A few minutes later, the phone rang. It was my husband, calling from Mindanao. I couldn’t concentrate as he talked about his work and his travel plans.

“Can’t you come home?” I asked, interrupting. I knew he couldn’t. I’d never asked anything like that before.

For the next three months the anxiety attacks continued. They were always with me, rising and falling, striking hard without reason. I got a prescription, which helped … a little.

Then it was time for our home leave. My husband, our three daughters and I flew to Seattle. When our plane arrived, we were expecting my parents to meet us at the airport. Instead, my aunt and uncle were there, waiting for us beyond immigration and customs. “Your mom and dad couldn’t come,” Uncle Joe said, grabbing a suitcase. He didn’t tell us the rest of the story until we were all in the car.

My aunt finally broke the news. My dad had lung cancer. He’d been diagnosed three months earlier, at about the same time I’d started having anxiety attacks. Mom hadn’t said a word in her letters. She didn’t want to worry us.

I stayed on in Seattle for a while after my husband and children left. I cooked and took walks and accompanied my parents to doctors’ appointments. All the while I continued to be plagued by anxiety attacks, now with good reason.

After a few months back in the Philippines, I received a call from Uncle Joe. “The doctor says you should come back,” he said. I knew what that meant.

On the plane, I felt the same ever-present anxiety I’d been experiencing since that evening in April and the constant pressure to keep it under control and avoid a full-blown anxiety attack.

But then, a couple hours before we landed in Seattle, it left me. Completely disappeared.

When I saw Uncle Joe at the airport, I knew what he was going to say before he opened his mouth. “I’m sorry,” he whispered, giving me a hug. “Your dad died just a couple of hours ago.”

Do you have any ghost stories or tales of the unexplained? If so, leave your message for Nicki and me here and follow this blog.

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And Emily Hill’s ghost stories at  . . .  The Ghost Chaser’s Daughter

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☆ 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