Tag Archives: Seattle

My Blog: RIP #RobinWilliams

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

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In 2007, I was working as a movie set Extra for the talent agency “Foreground/Background”. As I watched the job postings that summer one came in for a movie being shot in Seattle starring Robin Williams.

Of course I wanted to be in that movie and excitedly let the agency know that I was available that afternoon to work as an Extra for “World’s Greatest Dad,” directed by Bobcat Goldthwait.

I was not only hired for the gig – as an extra in a restaurant scene — but had the wild good fortune of being placed at the table right next to Williams as he romanced his co-star, Alexie Gilmore.

I remember reporting to the cast pen with my head shot and particulars, including a wardrobe change. The casting director’s assistant decided I should wear a tan suit and my make up was toned down for the shoot. After trading movie set war stories with the other foreground actors on a particularly hot summer evening, 30 of us were called to march single file from about a block away into the restaurant. I was giddy!

Most of the movie was shot in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood and this particular scene took place at the Rusty Pelican on 45th Street  (same owners as the Edmonds restaurant). At 3 p.m, after the set crew totally transformed the restaurant from a family-friendly dining destination into a chic, hip date-night place, the set was ready! Somehow, (no wise cracks, please!) I landed first in line as we were counted off for restaurant seating and directed to a particular table in the restaurant. My new BFF – Stephanie – pinched me and nodded her head toward the next table. We had been instructed to not stare, ask for autographs, or otherwise engage Williams — a subtle nod was all it took . . .

Robin Williams’ DOUBLE was seated NEXT to us! Which meant that Robin Williams would be sitting next to us! OMG!

My full role was to walk across the restaurant with my dining partners to our table as two little siblings (seated with their parents at another table) fought and made a scene to which the director would “let” Williams ad lib about what little monsters they were. “Let” is the operative word here because Williams stole the whole evening — much to Goldthwait’s seeming delight.

In this movie trailer I am being seated in the restaurant at 1:41 (for three seconds!).

For the first 45 minutes after being seated, I was simply smitten over Robin Williams. He was pleasant and friendly to everyone seated at adjoining tables and easily put everyone at ease. As we relaxed, I looked forward to a full evening with one of Hollywood’s greatest stars.

 

Death waits for no man. My photo from a cathedral in Barcelona.

Death waits for no man. My photo from a cathedral in Barcelona.

On the nine-hour shoot there were several pages of dialogue between Williams and Gilmore that had to do with Williams making cracks about what was going on in the restaurant; also, they shot the “panty picture” scene, and Williams’ flirted with Gilmore, making lewd night club act comments (in his typical shtick format). When the movie came out I was shocked over how much of what was actually shot was left on the “cutting room floor.”

“Quiet on the set!” was a joke as Williams’ called out one-liners one after another the entire evening during the otherwise silent sound-checks. After three hours I was growing apprehensive by the maniac-tension that was growing on the set, and amazed by the tornado of energy that Robin Williams was able to conjure.

Ultimately Williams said he needed a “break” and decided to greet the huge crowd gathering outside the restaurant. That resulted in a whole nightclub act, which the cast and director Goldthwait sat through. Williams delighted the folks outside by becoming a ventriloquist talking to a little purse-sized dog that someone in the neighborhood had been walking when they discovered that a movie was being shot in their neighborhood.

When Williams tried to end his street performance and slip back into the restaurant, the crowd rushed the Rusty Pelican and police had to be called because the crowd turned into a mob. Those outside began banging on the windows to get Robin to come back out to the street and there was fear that the plate glass would shatter.

Williams double lamented out loud, “Oh no! Why does he always have to do this?” After the police came, things settled back down and the filming continued. It was 9 p.m. and I was growing concerned about how excitable Williams was becoming – he seemed unstoppable as his patter continued at almost everyone’s urging.

Several times at that point his assistant came over to brush his hair, sit on the chair adjoining his, and talk to him. Finally about 11:30 p.m. she announced that the limousine was at the back door of the restaurant to take Williams back to the Four Seasons where he was staying.

The most interesting part of the whole evening was Robin Williams’ ability to “grow” his energy as the crowd, crew and cast egged on his antics.

I hoped that he was enjoying his own celebrity, but felt he was being used for the amusement of others.

I never stepped onto another movie set as I found the atmosphere of that evening disturbing. On the other hand, Goldthwait didn’t seem to mind the manic intrusions to his directing — at all; he rather seemed to enjoy letting Robin be Robin.

I hope that Robin Williams was OK with that.

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Update: Voodoo Vision ✬ PUBLISHED! ✬

Emily Hill's LATEST novel, slated for release Halloween 2013.

Emily Hill’s LATEST novel, slated for release Halloween 2013.

Hello! Thank you for stopping by to check on how the ‘Voodoo Vision’  is coming along!

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

☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

14 SEPTEMBER 2013 Post:  I’ve been very busy this month getting my new novel, ‘Voodoo Vision’, ready for my friends (and I hope YOU will become one of my friends and sign up to follow my blog.)

‘Voodoo Vision’ will release on Smashwords and Nook by 15 October 2013 – just a month away!

I am STILL re-writing, editing, and flourishing ;D with the help of my amazing writing coach, Linda Hope Lee, and my Perrinville Ladies!

Agghhh! So much to do!   Here’s what I’ve FINISHED (take a peek at the links)

YouTube – 4 FlashAds similar to this one!

★ Promotions Poster – for my Announcement eMailer

★ 57,863 words of Excitement, Betrayal, and Haunts!

★ A Gorgeous book cover – Thank you, Kathi Humphries Design and New Media

★ A Pinterest Board for all of my Muses!

Cast Board – what DOES Zömbi look like??! (AFTER he tattoos his face!)

Here’s What NEEDS to be done:

☆ YouTube – Full Feature eBook Trailer

☆ Final, Final embellishments – more Voodoo and spells, please!

☆ Upload to Smashwords!! [which has an INSTANT upload feature for your Kindle!]

☆ Guest-Blog Hop Appearances!

APPEARANCES SCHEDULED!

★ Victoria Taylor-Murray will be interviewing me on her Celebrity Tour (OMG!)

Susan Noble [Into Another World] will feature an excerpted Chapter 1 of ‘Voodoo Vision’

★  Dan O’Brien  [The Dan O’Brien Project ] will run Chapter 2 of ‘Voodoo Vision’

Hunter Shea [Hunter Shea Author] will run Chapter 3, entitled ‘Before The Epidemic’

★ We will skip over to the live-links as we finish Chapter 4, Unfortunate Girls, on THIS blog spot! ;D

★★★ PROGRESSIVE BLOG HOP [29 October through 03 November]  ★★★

What I have in mind is my guest appearance on THREE author-friend’s blogs.

Each appearance will feature ‘An Author’s Note’ and a chapter of Voodoo Vision: New Orleans House of Spirits!

Readers will ‘hop’ from one blog to the next as they read the first 10,000 words of ‘Voodoo Vision’.

★ 1) Chapter 1 ~ 1853 New Orleans’ Garden District: Someone is Watching

★ 2) Chapter 2 ~ Where the Bones Are Buried

★ 3) Chapter 3 ~ Before the Epidemic

★ 4) Chapter 4 ~ Unfortunate Girls

info@AVHarrison-Publishing.com

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☆ myBLOG: Why I Write Ghost Stories

FOLLOW THIS BLOG!  And . . .  The Ghost Chaser’s Daughter 
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NEW in eBook format - FULL 22-story collection on Amazon.

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

I write Ghost Stories – eerie, poignant, and even macabre peeks into the world Beyond The Grave. These stories are my writing passion. Each paranormal author has his or her own explanation for being drawn toward The Edge, here is mine:

Frankly, and firstly, I simply miss those relatives who were once part of my life who are now dead. An almost overwhelming curiosity about my ancestors, and even a certain level of ‘daring’ also draw me to the supernatural. Add to these factors the fact that my senses seem to ‘pick up’ audible signals and visual cues associated with supernatural occurrences. Therefore, a sense of longing, curiosity, and a certain daring; and sensory perceptions are the elements that lead to my affinity for the paranormal.

I read a research paper by Nicole Leader (click on link above this blog) on the topic of why children see ghosts. Ms. Leader states that most children who see apparitions have had a near-death experience or very serious illness. That is certainly true in my case. I contracted polio as an infant and was given Last Rites in 1951 – all of my life I have lived very close to The Edge, quite possibly because of my brush with Death. My affinity for The Other Side is akin to walking along a riverbank. I’m moving on, The Afterlife is moving on, and we are very aware of each other without being able to ‘be’ the other.

Of course, part of the human experience is to long for our loved ones after they die, but an overwhelming, and unusual level, of curiosity, heightens my longing. I want to hear my ancestors stories first hand, learn of their day-to-day experiences. I realized this while I was writing my novel, “Jenkins”, about my father’s Baltimore ancestors. In the silent early morning hours, as I typed out the book, I could hear the conversations among the Jenkins family members in clear terms. The difference in their voices, some soft, others harsh – the textures of the sounds – became very real to me.

And what about ‘daring’? That adrenalin that surges when one is in the presence of an apparition, or poltergeist, or stumbles onto (or into) a residual haunting? It is said that an adrenalin rush actually becomes pleasurable when the fear of immediate danger passes. Does that make me an adrenalin junkie – or you an adrenalin junkie, if you are a ghost chaser? Very possibly, I suppose.

The final factor in my consideration of why I write ghost stories is that I – unlike most humans – do NOT discount my intuitions. Most adults discount those ‘don’t go down that alley’ feelings that serve as defense mechanisms. I act on my intuitions, blend them into my decision-making, and pay attention to physiological ‘signals’.

But why write about these supernatural experiences – these ghost stories? First: a full Seventy percent of the population experience supernatural phenomenon during their lives. However Western convention, public opinion, religion, and other factors make it easy to deny the glimpses that we – and others – have into the realm beyond.

Writing ghost stories is my way of affirming, giving voice, to my ghostly experiences. And, my writing is intended as an affirmation of YOUR ghostly experiences. Because I know that you have had them . . . haven’t you?

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☆ myBLOG: My Search for Seattle’s Haunted Houses

FOLLOW THIS BLOG!  And . . .  The Ghost Chaser’s Daughter 
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NEW in eBook format - FULL 22-story collection on Amazon.

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

Kitchen cabinet doors that slowly swing open and shut of their own volition, door knobs that turn in the middle of the night, phantom birds that flutter around the living room – all of these supernatural occurrences were experienced by author Emily Hill when she lived in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood between 1986 and 1999.  Her thirteen years of experiences led her to write a series of ghost story eBooks, and started her on a quest to locate other Greenwood residents who have had similar ‘ghostly’ experiences in their Greenwood-area homes.

“I’ve now located nine haunted houses in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood since  publishing my first ghost story book,” announced Seattle-area author, Emily Hill, whose books delve into her experiences with the supernatural. “I have been engaged in 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.

Ms. Hill explained in an hour-long interview how she became aware of the sixth haunted house,  “Several months ago 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.”

Ms. Hill’s correspondent contacted her after he began researching the Seattle neighborhood that he calls home.  Like this young man, Ms. Hill also had suspicions about the area around North 85th Street and Greenwood Avenue after a conversation with a taxi driver led her 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.

Visit http://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Chasers-Daughter-Emily-Hill/d… for details.

“When I lived in Greenwood, my next door neighbor, a single mother with a four-year old 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 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,” the author tells A.V. Harrison Publishing.

“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,” which brought the number of haunted properties, that Emily Hill had tracked down, to five.

The email from the resident of Haunted House No. 6 is provided here.  Edited for brevity and to redact names and addresses the email reads:

“Ms. Hill, I found your email address while researching Greenwood. 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].

“One of the first things we [witnessed] together was the kitchen sink turn on full force, in the middle of the afternoon.

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, seem to be aware of oddities.

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.

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 the eMail address of Emily Hill, and contacted the author 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

Emily Hill tells us that Greenwood Haunted House 7 is visited in the early hours of the morning by the apparition of a Native American who taps at the windows and rattles the doorknob, resident No. 8 smells smoke – as though the house is engulfed in flame; and house No. 9 is plaugued by a poltergeist.

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☆ myBLOG: Haunted Land, Hallowed Ground

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

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

In 1986 I bought a charming cottage in the Greenwood District of Seattle. I lived there for thirteen years, moving on in 1999 after my son graduated from college. On numerous occasions I have mentioned the eerie and unsettling occurrences that took place during the time my son and I lived there. Although from the street the house looked sweet, with its rose trellises and ¼ acre lush green lawn, something was afoot inside – a presence that moved through in the early morning hours.

I now live in a suburb of Seattle a number of miles away from Greenwood. As I write this blog entry I am sitting at a two-person round café table in my kitchen. It’s 3AM. If I were back in my cottage writing at this early-morning hour it would not be unusual for the old country-style cupboard doors, fashioned out of thin sheets of plywood, to slowly creak open as though the house were built on a slant. It would not be unusual for the glass-prism doorknobs to rattle and turn in their brass casings – always at 3AM. The house was haunted.

I learned (not at first, but over the years) that many of the houses in Greenwood are haunted. And that realization sparked a curiosity – why would so many houses on one block – and many houses beyond that block – in an otherwise pleasant family-oriented subdivision – be haunted? Well, in the case of Greenwood, Seattle, because the subdivision had been built adjacent to an expansive nineteenth century cemetery – Woodland Cemetery of Seattle. In short – my Snow White inspired cottage, with its rosebud ceramic cupboard-door pulls, and lace curtains, had been built on Haunted Land.

Many buildings, even modern buildings that would seemingly have no ‘past’ – no reason for residual hauntings, no history of trauma or drama, even toy stores – are in fact, haunted. They are haunted by virtue of the LAND that they are situated on and what has transpired on that land.

Take the case of the Sunnyvale, California toy store, which is haunted by the specter of a field hand whose affections were not reciprocated by the daughter of his boss. Simulated in a dated YouTube video (which plays in the Side Bar to this blog) the field hand, Johnny Johnson, is shown lamenting over his unrequited love to Elizabeth Murphy on the eve of her marriage to Mr. Tafee. In his rage and frustration Johnny Johnson, who had been chopping wood when he received the news of Miss Murphy’s impending wedding, accidentally misses with his axe and severs his own artery.

http://gocalifornia.about.com/od/cahauntedplaces/a/toys_r_us.htm

He falls to the ground and dies on the very spot where, moments before, Elizabeth had spurned his love. Johnny Johnson cries out for Elizabeth as the last trace of Life leaves his body, and thus the land becomes haunted forever more.

Many years later the Murphy-family farmland was sold and a Toys R Us store was built where, in 1870, Johnny Johnson had been left calling out to be saved from death so that he could continue in his efforts to woo Elizabeth. A century later occurrences in the toy store such as the sound of a man crying out the name ‘Elizabeth’, the feeling of someone blowing on the back of the neck of young raven-haired women, cold spots, and eerie feelings of melancholy, have all been experienced at the Sunnyvale Toys R Us location. A toy store built on Haunted Land.

Native land is also very often Haunted Land. There are untold numbers of stories of homes and businesses being built on land once inhabited by Native peoples where one can hear drums beating from across The Great Divide, the haunting sounds of chanting from centuries past, babies crying, and the sounds of unseen children playing. Indian Springs, Oklahoma (near Crescent) is such a place. Twenty-first century communities built on Haunted Land.

Maybe YOU know of an instance in which a mid-century business, a modern home, a condo high rise, is haunted not because of what took place inside the current structure but haunted by what transpired on its Haunted Land.

TELL US about it! The readers of this blog would LOVE to hear of YOUR experiences – or what YOU have heard about ‘Haunted Lands’.

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