Tag Archives: supernatural

#Free Read for #Halloween Season ~ The Red-Eyed Beast of Bodie

On Amazon in the "Ghost Chaser's Daughter" collection.

On Amazon in the “Ghost Chaser’s Daughter” collection.

 

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Ghost Stories And Tales of Terror

By Emily Hill ~ The Red-Eyed Beast of Bodie.

Bodie, California is a ramshackle ghost town of wooden buildings that lean toward each other; and dusty roads that warble into the unknown – the unknown world of tales of terror. The sparsely populated moonscape that is Bodie is replete with wide expanses of sagebrush-dotted land, coyotes that howl at a garish moon and disgruntled spirits that roam the night desert in search of a portal to the world of The Living.

I was wandering through an antique shop near Bodie a year ago, edging my way around and over, stacks of vintage magazines and equipment used for panning gold, Victorian style bassinettes, and over-sized pictures framed in ornate gold frames, heavy and overdone. A musky smell of objects long stored in the attics of the elderly hung in the air. Dust particles sparkled as they floated down shafts of bright sunlight coming through the stained glass windows of the shop. I found myself staring at a faded painting in a roughhewn frame – the type of painting that might fill the wall of a dining room of a turn-of-the century home. The subject of the painting was as interesting as it was disturbing. Cherubs dancing, as they curled lengths of ribbon around the ankles of devils – classic red devils with horns and hooved feet, waxed mustaches and tails. The scene took on an air of Spanish surrealism. And the story I was to hear was as bizarre as the painting that caught my attention.

The shopkeeper stood at my elbow, eager – it turned out – to share the tarnished history of the painting.

“Odd subject matter, isn’t it?” I solicited her opinion, curious about what she would offer.

“Yes, as odd as the story of how it came to be here.”

Are all writers naturally curious? I bit. “Really? Do tell!”

And she began. “Well, this is what I was told by Malika Browning’s granddaughter last year when she brought it in. Evidently it had been stored in the crawl space of her grandmother’s home for many years.”

Bodie had been a gold mining town during the California Gold Rush. The saloons were full, the dancing girls were generous with their charms, and the whiskey bit the lips of anyone who sampled. The cacophony of rinky dink player-pianos drifted out over the wooden buildings on Saturday nights and toward the home of Douglas and ­Ruth Browning. Mr. Browning was in the newspaper business. He and his wife settled in Bodie in 1859. It was back in 1919 when he lay dying that this incident occurred.

Douglas and Ruth’s son, Michael, was married to a Hungarian girl, Malika. Malika was superstitious and frequently sought out the advice of a Hungarian Shaman who lived on the other side of the rail tracks. She visited him against her husband’s wishes. That her father-in-law lay dying, rasping out his last breath, propped up on pillows on the day bed in the parlor was extremely upsetting to her. As her husband stroked his father’s silver hair and her mother-in-law cooed at the dying man, Malika decided that something must be done. So, she tiptoed around the house gathering candles and divining a plan.

That late afternoon as the sun fell toward the horizon, and the desert cooled, Malika’s brothers-in-law arrived – Andrew from Prescott, and Mathew from Phoenix. Andrew was an accountant – Mathew a Sheriff. Ruth and her sons took turns comforting each other and soothing Mr. Browning. He didn’t look good; his white hair matted, his skin molted. Mr. Browning’s eyes darted from one family member to the next, his eyes wide with the terror of knowing he was about to enter another realm. At each breath, the four family members braced themselves, waiting. But, Mr. Browning continued to breath

By early evening Malika began setting the dining room table. Surely they would all sit down and eat a proper meal, even if Douglas could not join them. But, what would compel her mother-in-law, husband, and the two brothers to leave the patriarch and have a meal together? Malika possibly recalled her own grandfather’s death and the rituals the shaman performed during the old man’s last days. And then, she knew what she must do.

She went into the big 1890s era kitchen and got out pots and pans. She stacked the china, and set the table with Mrs. Browning’s fine china. Malika also set out three white tapers, arranging the candles in a triangular pattern in the middle of the table. As she worked she cast worried looks over her shoulder, knew that death was creeping closer. Over the next hour, Malika hurried from kitchen to dining room, back and forth, busying herself setting out a very special meal.

It was a meal intended to fortify her in-laws for the days ahead. And, to whet Mr. Browning’s appetite, she encouraged the aroma of simmering bay leaves, onions, and veal. Malika chopped the veal and built a thick lamb stew one layer of fragrant ingredient at a time. Chop! Chop! Chop! Everyone in the house was taking notice, everyone.

Nightfall approached slowly and with it the unsettling rasp of Mr. Browning’s breathing. He remained alive – on this side of the living.

“Please, won’t you come to dinner?” Malika asked standing in the archway leading to the parlor. “We can gather as is the custom in my family,” she pleaded.

Ruth Browning patted her husband’s hand and placed it gently on his chest. The matriarch then led the way to the dining room. Her sons undoubtedly took turns to looking back, and cast furtive glances around the table. She sunk into her chair, facing Mr. Browning’s cot. She looked into the faces of each of her sons, before smiling at Malika. They began to pass around a basket of warm, yeast-fragrant bread.

Malika ladled the lamb stew, stirring up the onions and bay leaves, causing the paprika to swirl through the thick mixture. She handed the first serving to her mother-in-law.

“Thank you, dear. You’ve done a nice job. Even the candles are a nice touch.”

“Andrew, would you please light the candles?” And the youngest member of the family leaned over and held a match to each wick. The candles flared, and each flame burned strong and bright. Ruth watched in fascination as Malika bowed her head and began an incantation.

“What was that, Malika?” she asked.

“A prayer, taught to me by the Taltos. I prayed that the portal of the Upper World would open and Douglas’s journey would be made easier.”

“Oh, Malika…how sweet.”

Just then a bolt of lightning lit the desert floor creating an instant of daylight. Ruth yelped, and Mathew half-rose, reaching for his holster.

“It’s alright, Ma,” he said.

But it wasn’t. The fuses blew as a roll of thunder crept along the desert floor and approached the house. Then, the mourners were cast into sudden darkness – except for the illumination from three candles.

Ruth looked around the table at her family. How macabre. Her children’s profiles appeared grotesque to her. Each face was half lit by candle light and half cast in darkness – a contrast of good and evil – of heaven and hell – and so on.

Ruth Browning stood up, scraping her chair across the plank flooring, the leg of the chair caught in a groove. Then the chair clattered to the floor and the bereaved woman, soon to be widow, stumbled backward.

“Ma!”

But for the quick action of Mathew, she knew she would have taken a bad fall. Her oldest son had saved her.

“Thank you, Mathew. Michael, the fuse box. . .”

“Andrew, check on your father. It’s too dark. . .” Ruth peered at her husband who lay in the darkness of the parlor. Just beyond the glow of the three candles.

As the Sheriff moved to upright his mother’s dining room chair, Ruth let out a piercing scream.

She tasted blood as she bit down on her fist. Did they see it? She pointed and Mathew gaped. She realized that Andrew was staring at her instead of in the direction of her husband. She raised her arm, pointing to 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!” Mathew 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 and seemed to be daring someone to challenge it.

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

“Mathew, dear God! How did it get in here?” It was a raccoon, wasn’t it? The creature turned a belligerent stare at Mathew. Then, it moved its head in a circular motion, gnashing sharp fangs before it hissed at the Sheriff 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 F**k’s sake, Andrew. Pardon me, again, Ma. It’s got a wiry black coat!”

Eyeing the diners, whose meal it was interrupting, 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.

“Mathew, please! Do something! It’s right next to your father!” Ruth pleaded with her son who 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 began to bay loudly. Of course it would disturb Douglas. It was obvious its intention was to upset everyone – including Mathew.

Ruth noticed Michael and Andrew trade looks.

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

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

As the beast continued patrolling, its hooves clattered on the bare wood floor. Once again it hissed at the family, this time causing venom to spray toward Michael, who held his hands up to protect his face. It seemed to be claiming the territory between Ruth and her husband. The fiend was winning. One of the candles sparked, flared, and went out, catching everyone’s attention. Darkness loomed closer.

Mr. Browning continued to take tiny breaths, the shallowest breathing possible for a living soul. Ruth wiped her nose on an apron in the kitchen and clutched at Malika, “What is it? Get it out of my house before it hurts Douglas,” she begged Mathew.

Malika cried out, “Ördög!” “Édes Istenem” Dear God, indeed! The evil Ördög is causing a visitation on my husband’s father who was suffering so much – but why?

Everyone turned. They stared at Malika.

The creature bayed, answering Malika’s prayer.

“Malika! What in hell are you God-damned chanting?” Michael demanded.

“Please, let’s not be cross with each other, children,” Ruth pleaded afraid of anything that would distract them from the stench-laden creature that was taunting them.

“It’s evil, from the Under World,” Malika was sobbing, her face contorted.

“It’s a god-damned racoon and I’m going to shoot it!” answered the Sheriff.

“Mathew! Are you nuts? You’re going to shoot that thing in mom’s house with dad laying there on his death bed?” Mr. Browning stirred.

The beast snarled, and the Sheriff backed away. As it became more excited, the devil-being emitted the smell of rotting meat. Andrew gagged and backed into the kitchen away from the sickening odor.. Then, a second candle flickered, no flare this time, it simply fizzled out. One candle remained as the family’s sole beacon. Mr. Browning now lay in complete darkness. The only indication of his waning life was the rasp of shallow breathing, somewhere beyond the meager light.

“Mother, where are the fuses? Michael asked. “This candle won’t last long and then we’ll be in the dark with this thing!”

Ruth began sobbing as the reality sunk in. Malika stood to the side biting her nails.

“I don’t know, for God’s sake. Your father would. . .know. . .” her voice trailing.

“Michael! Move to the kitchen with the rest! I’ll hold off this thing while you fix the fuse box,” instructed the Sheriff. Michael moved away from the dining room table and skittered into the kitchen.

Ruth shifted from watching Michael rummage frantically through drawers and cabinets to hoping that Mathew would not be forced fire the gun so close to her husband.

“I trust your judgment, Mathew,” she whispered as she coaxed Andrew away from the sink where he had just finished vomiting. She wrapped her arm around his shoulders.

“The fuses have to be somewhere close. . .logical,” Michael offered weakly looking over his shoulder toward the thing. It wasn’t coming closer, was it?

The Sheriff put his hand on his gun, but kept the weapon holstered.

“Michael, I’m sorry. I was praying, but I don’t know. . .” Malika offered.

“What the hell are you talking about?”

“The shaman, the prayers we would recite…in. . .my father’s country.”

The last candle sputtered, as if joining in the conversation. And, then, it slowly dimmed, and went out. The family was left in total darkness with the Sheriff stumbling around the dining room table in the direction of the pacing beast.

“Son of a bitch!” he tripped on an over turned chair. The rest of the family cowered in the kitchen. No one rushed to his rescue. He, after all, was the one in possession of the gun.

In the absolute pitch black, the only illumination came from the angry, possessive red eyes of the monster. No one dared let it out of their sight. Then, in the pitch black, the eyes began to rise. The beast was levitating.

“Douglas!” Mrs. Browning screamed for her husband’s safety. Malika wailed.

“Jesus Christ!” It was too dark to determine who had uttered the epitaph.

“Please, pray everyone. Please,” Malika begged her relatives.

The creature’s eyes glowed like embers, hot, angry, coal-burning eyes, wanting to claim its prize. The Sheriff fumbled for the serrated bread knife and swiped the air toward the foul monstrous being. Nothing. He hadn’t stuck a blow at all. It was too dark – his depth perception was non-existent in the blackness. Something slapped against his face – in the dark. Bristles. His face stung, blood was drawn. The Sheriff turned to his right. Two angry red eyes floated directly in front of his face, he stumbled backward away from the rotting stink of death. He swiped the air again. The creature moved back, drawing the Sheriff further into the living room.

Moving around his father’s sick bed, the loyal son stabbed the air, again hitting nothing. The ferocious red-eyed beast swirled in front of him, emitting a piercing, mocking squeal.

Ruth screamed, and Malika cried even harder, covering her ears. The Sheriff imagined Andrew untangling from his mother’s grasp and sinking into a chair at the kitchen dinette.

“Andrew, where are you?” he hissed, impatiently.

“Over here! Just kill it, or something!”

There was frantic shuffling in the kitchen, drawers opening and shutting. The Sheriff couldn’t really concentrate on that now. He couldn’t take his eyes off of this, this – no longer did anyone believe that it was a raccoon. Something stepped on his foot, something possessing the weight of a horse, crushing it painfully. But it seemed that the beast was across the room. What pit full of imps had invaded the sanctity of his parents’ home?

Not sure whether he was backing this evil into the corner or being led to its lair, the Sheriff hoped for the former. And hope caught up with him just as the fuse box door slammed shut, and that tinny metallic sound reverberated through the house. Suddenly the lights came back on.

The Sheriff was blinded by the sudden glare and stumbled backward. There were no glowering red eyes floating before him. He spun around full circle just to make sure. His eyes passed over his father who lay perfectly still; his mouth gaping open, his wide eyes blind to the deep crevasse of death he had fallen into.

“Is it gone, Mathew?” Ruth whimpered.

“I don’t know.”

Her nerves shredded, she leaned on Michael and made her way back toward the brightly lit parlor to stand beside Mathew. There was a rustling sound from under the coffee table. She grabbed Mathew’s arm, and flinched.

The mother and her two older sons stared in disbelief as the bristled beast skittered across the parlor, suddenly on the move. It began dodging furniture and scattering the throw rugs. They trembled in horror as the shadowy creature scampered over the back of the sofa, clawing its way forward. It vanished into the landscape of the painting that I was now standing in front of.

Unless the shopkeeper has sold the painting that was removed from the home of Ruth and Douglas Browning I’m sure that it remains right where I saw it; in the antique store to the east of Bodie, California – a virtual ghost town. # # #

Want more Ghost Stories by Emily Hill? They are available on Amazon

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

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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!

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My #Blog “Spirit Writing” and Psychography

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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.

 

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How #Science Explains #Paranormal, Parallel Universe, Predestination

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It is Quantum Physics that explains ‘The How’ of the Paranormal World, and Quantum Mechanics that applies the Holographic Universe [the ‘We’re actors in The Movie of Life’] of Quantum Physics to our everyday existence.

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For the past fifty years the Scientific community has been moving toward — and flirting with — the Paranormal community.  Didn’t know that? Neither did I until I met Seattle psychic Neil McNeill at a writer’s conference last summer.

McNeill was leading the workshop ‘It was a dark and stormy night’ [how authors should write paranormal into their ghost stories without making mis-steps]. I so enjoyed his workshop that last month I took his class, ‘Psychic Sampler: How Psychic Are You?’

McNeill opened his class by asking the nine participants what super-power they would like to possess in their idealized world. When my turn came I chose ‘Time Travel’ to which Neil offered this:

“If the scientific community is correct, Time Travel is actually possible – just look to Quantum Mechanics!”  Show. Stopper.  The seed was planted.

I would never have inched within a football field length of Quantum Mechanics – and Quantum Physics – without Neil’s insight.  However, I did not reflexively begin exploring the Quantum world until two weeks ago when I read ‘Going Within’ by Shirley MacLaine. It was one-thing-leads-to-another which started me on a journey through New Age thought, past Quantum Physics, and onto Quantum Mechanics.

It is Quantum Physics that explains ‘The How’ of the Paranormal World, and Quantum Mechanics that applies the Holographic Universe of Quantum Physics to our everyday life.

I’m not going to try to unravel – in this blog post – a course on a topic I only have a fingernail grip on, My Dear Readers. But, THIS is what I think I understand so far:

A ~ Scientists were baffled by the fact that in Newton’s Law of gravity an apple falls to the Earth; but stars stay in the Heavens.  That not everything crashes toward the molten core of our planet. And also: Why Einstein’s theory of relativity does not seem to apply to black holes and the pre-Big Bang universe. Scientists began to seek a ‘unifying theory’ that explained the WHOLE Universe; past, present, and future – without the contradictions they were bumping into;

B ~ Analysis of the atom revealed the electrical pulses of neurons and protons and their electricity-producing ORBITS around the atom: Orbits that are wildly similar to the orbits of planets around suns! [Hair on Fire!]

C ~ Affirmation that there is MUCH space [lots of room] between atoms, neurons and protons –
But why then do ‘things’ look solid?? [Aha! Now we are getting somewhere!]

D ~ By 1970 scientists were abuzz over Quantum Physics and the matrix of the Holographic Universe  ☆

E ~ ☆☆ The Holographic Universe introduces the concept of the Parallel Universe  — yes! Parallel Realities — and therein the appearance/cross-over of Spirits and other entities into our conscience state! Parallel Universe concepts are introduced on YouTube by Michio Kaku, and Max Tegmark.

~~~~~~~~~~~~ Here’s Where Things Get Interesting ~~~~~~~~~~~~

I have discovered, while plodding into the world of Quantum, that Quantum Physics and Quantum Mechanics ACTUALLY explains, on a scientific level, the following:

#1 ~ The Kubler-Ross After-Death Phenomenon: An overwhelming number of Dr. Kubler-Ross’ interviews of people who have died and then ‘come back’ talk of ‘hovering’ out-of-body and painlessly being an observer of their own death experience. This phenomenon is explained via Quantum Mechanics.

#2 ~ The ‘Your Life Flashes Before You’ at the moment of death: In the Quantum world a human being, and its world, is presented to be merely a projection of electrical impulses translated to a ‘movie’ that has been pre-programmed.

#3 ~ Explaining Déjà vu, All Over Again:  In Quantum, it has been postulated that an experience happens INSIDE the brain BEFORE it occurs in your reality (the six-second delay between mind experience and body reaction discovered by Dr. Libet).  Once one accepts point #2 ~ then the movie-projector simplification of reality – and my wish for Time Travel – becomes a distinct possibility! More on Deja Vu? Meet Michio Kaku.

#4 ~ Pre-Destination: Explained! But I won’t go into HOW pre-destination is explained until a later blog post.

A Story:  I had a lover at one point of my life whom I found consuming-ly fascinating. It was destined that we would part company and continue our separate journeys in THIS life; but I said to him when it was obvious that we would break off our affair, “Our conversation is not over – we’ll be talking to each other, at least telepathically, even after death”. That is, death as I understood it at that point.  I’m beginning to realize how possible this scenario is.

The movie versions of the theories of Quantum Physics:

Total Recall

The Truman Show

The Matrix

The Purple Rose of Cairo

The 13th Floor

The Spider Web, Johnny Houser on ‘Repeating-Coincidences’

Blog on Parallel Universe and Vardogers

You’re Invited! If you’ve come to this point in the blog I know that you can correct, or collaborate on what I have learned about how Quantum crosses into Paranormal ~ Please share  Your thoughts on this topic as a Reply!

~~~~~~~

Emily Hill has just published her second novel, and newest title, “Ghosts of White Raven Estate

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myBlog ☆ A Sampler of ‘Halloween Past’ ☆

                  Book Trailer for eBook on Ganxy.com
Hello! Thank you for stopping by myBLOG today. I thought it might be fitting to go into Halloween Past before I release my novel, ‘Voodoo Vision’ for Halloween Present. Wouldn’t that be fun?
Paperback! FULL 22-story collection on Amazon.

Paperback! FULL 22-story collection on Amazon.

As you know, if you followed my muse through the writing of ‘The Ghost Chaser’s Daughter’ the [paperback] book is comprised of twenty-two short stories of supernatural settings ranging from eerily unexplainable phenomena, to spine-tingling terror, to haunting Hungarian legend and folklore.

For the FULL collection in eBook format, as “Ghost Stories and The Unexplained”  go to Ganxy.com! It’s PayPal easy, and Instant! And loads directly to Kindle!! Isn’t that cool??

Need eBook format? Then look for "Ghost Stories and The Unexplained" on Nook and Ganxy.com

Need eBook format? Then look for
“Ghost Stories and The Unexplained” on Nook and Ganxy.com

Do you ONLY want Amazon direct? Then, grab your ghosts in eBook format from ‘Ghost Stories and The Unexplained’ EXPANDED to Kindle!

If Amazon is your SOUL ebook vendor find your Twenty-Two Tales on Kindle!

If Amazon is your SOUL ebook vendor find your Twenty-Two Tales on Kindle!

The first twelve stories are written in autobiographical format.  Why? Well, because those events happened – to me! Or, someone that I know personally who wanted to share their experience with my readers.  The terror portion of the book is based on deathbed confessions and newspaper archives from research I have done over the years. The third part of ‘The Ghost Chaser’s Daughter’ was written last summer while I traveled the Transylvania region of Europe while living in Budapest.  The Transylvania stories include castles, legends, rebellion, and singing angels.

So! Without further ado, here are Thirteen Little Selected-Sweets from that I offered my readers in last year’s bag of treats!

1) And That’s All I Know ~*~ On Christmas Eve in 1955, my grandmother said she realized, even in her sleep, that Grandpa Jimmy was late coming home from work. She had left the Christmas tree lights on for him, glowing out toward the highway that ran past their farmhouse. Snow fell softly, sweetly, creating a false sense of security.

2) My Grandfather’s Visit ~*~ His translucent image more floated than stood in the void that stretched between us. It was though there were no earthly ties bearing down on him. He had on a narrow brim fedora and a 1950s full-length dress coat – a winter coat, actually. I was barely breathing; certainly I was filled with terror, when my ears were pricked by the sound of dog’s claws clipping across the waxed linoleum floor. A spirit dog had accompanied him as he crossed back over.

3) Turkey Creek Farm, Ohio ~*~ “She’s not there! She’s not really there!” It took me a moment before I realized that my grandmother, this chain-smoking, gin-drinking, rough farmwoman was outrunning me! She grabbed my shirt collar and yanked hard, just as I reached the edge of the embankment. We fell to the ground together as she enfolded me in her arms.

4) The Poltergeist ~*~ I never knew the extent of torment my mother endured until one particularly high-tension evening when the events I am about to relay to you unfolded. But I do know how insistent mother was that my sister, Frances, and I put away any scissors, needles, knives that were out – before we went to bed.

5) The Ouija Board Demon ~*~ The metal clip that kept the two sliders on track weren’t working, or something. The doors weren’t sliding open and shut; they were beginning to swing back and forth, hitting against the clothes hanging in my closet and then swinging into the open room as though the clip was not holding them at all. Debby Cox burst into tears as the planchette began its own movement across the Ouija board.

6) Midnight Rhapsody ~*~ It was totally dark, in a dead-quiet house, and all of a sudden eerie organ music was playing. A seven-note chord that repeated.

7) Dolls Watching ~*~ She turned to me, “Okay, here is the story. According to what I heard, Mrs. Alvarez lay dying in that room – the master bedroom. She had cancer; it had spread throughout her body. She and Antonio, her husband, had been married for fifty-two years. They both knew she was dying. Yes, he shot her.

8) Isn’t She Lovely? ~*~  “I’m so sorry Dad didn’t live just a few days longer,” I remember lamenting to my husband the day that my daughter, Jacqueline, was born. “He missed seeing her by just a few days.” My dad, Jack Chance, was fifty-four when he died of lung cancer, a few days before my daughter was born.

9) Lightning Strikes ~*~ Dennis took six tiny steps toward his wife. The old wooden rocker she sat in tipped back and forth, reacting to the impact of the bolt of lightning. The shadow on the wall swayed back and forth on the wall taunting him. Dennis’s panic-stricken shrieks finally died down to sniveling whimpers.

10) Grove of Terror ~*~ This Civil War deathbed tale is a full-length feature on Wattpad! Go There! I hope you like ‘Grove of Terror’.

11) Chunya and The Hungarian Witch ~*~ There is an oft-told tale in the land of light and shadow – far, far away in the territory that was once Transylvania. It is a story about a forest witch – a jealous old woman who had never experienced the serenity of listening to the mewing of a contended baby, or the happiness of running one’s finger tips along the soft creases of a baby’s skin.

12) To Kill Ivan Gorsky ~*~ He grabbed for his glasses – the right spectacle is broken out. Events unfold in slow motion. Gorsky realizes in horror that one of the youth is pulling a Tokarev TT Model 48 from inside his coat. He can see it so clearly, as though his senses are heightened. How in the world could any Hungarian obtain such a weapon? The youth snarled, staring at the metal pin on Ivan’s cap. He obviously recognized the hammer and sickle. The student glanced around – pandemonium reigns. The youth stood over Ivan and took aim.

13) Little Dead Girl, Seattle ~*~ “In the mirror’s reflection a little girl, dressed in white, floated past me. She was gliding down the hallway turning her head back and forth, as if she was searching for something! Honestly, I couldn’t move. I could feel a . . .I want to say an energy force, or a wave of some sort, pass by. I was shivering, and had a feeling, or intuition maybe, that she was looking for someone–undoubtedly my daughter, Danielle!”

I nodded as she continued.

“Well, the ghost levitated to the height of Danielle’s portrait–just rose up–very slowly. And then it disappeared into the image! I’m afraid to bring Danielle home now. I don’t know what to do–the house is haunted by a ghost who is seeking my daughter!”

☆♥*¨*• 💕💕 •*¨* ♥ ☆

So! There you have it! Halloween Past! I hope you are intrigued enough to grab a copy of ‘The Ghost Chaser’s Daughter’ in its iBook, eBook, or paperback edition.

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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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☆ myBLOG: What IS Fate Telling You? Coincidence Explored

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.

‘Sometimes you think you’ve lived before, all that you live today. Things do come back to you as though they knew the way. Oh, the tricks your mind can play.’ – Lorenz Hart

I doubt if we give much thought to all the signs and signals, and repeating patterns of our lives – the Synchronicity. We are moving too fast in a too-fast world.

As I was mulling over what to include in this blogpost so I took a break to check-in on my friend, Johnny Houser, to see what new work he had posted while I was crossing the Atlantic. To my astonishment – his latest project deals with . . . Synchronicity!

No one tells a story in video format better than Johnny!

Jung explains  ‘Synchronicity’ as, ‘coincidence of outer and inner events that are not themselves causally connected.’

What IS Synchronicity?

Blind Chance?
Coincidences that seem to just keep lining up – more and more – to complete a full, and eerie story.
The feeling of Deja vu?
“Haven’t we met?”
“You look just like my friend from college! It’s uncanny!”
. . . or that eerie feeling that comes over you that makes you observe, “I’ve done this before. This very same thing, in this very same sequence! . . .even the air smells the same!”

I read Shirley MacLaine’s ‘Sage-ing While Age-ing’ while on a Trans-Atlantic cruise this month and read with keen interest her observations on Atlantis and, while reading, had my own moment of Synchronicity. In her book MacLaine discusses how the ancient genetic memory of birds cause them to set out for lands from their long-ago past. She notes in her book that birds die by the hundreds, if not thousands, when they set out for The Land of Atlantis that their genetic memory stores. The birds perish in flight because the landmass of Atlantis no longer exists – they never make it to their destination. I had just finished reading MacLaine’s observations, when my husband called to me from the lanai of our cabin, “Look at this bird flying beside the ship! Where could it have come from?” At that moment we were thousands of miles from land!

I was reading a passage in a book that described what my husband was experiencing – at the same instant!

The concept of Synchronicity stayed in my thoughts after our vacation ended; and even after we settled back into our routine. A couple days ago I went to the den to see what my husband was doing and was alarmed to see that he had the space heater cranked on ‘High’. That would have been fine, really, but the grandchildren’s games – in Milton-Bradley boxes – were stacked right NEXT to the space heater! When I yanked the boxes away they were already much too hot. (Yelling ensued.)

The Edmonds, Washington ePaper carried the story of an Edmonds, Washington man, 67-years old, who nearly died after his condo caught fire. Likely cause? Combustibles next to his space heater.

The Synchronicity? We live in Edmonds. My husband is 67 years old. We live in a condo. Combustibles next to our space heater. Only – it wasn’t my husband who met with misfortune that day; it was another man – who traded Fate with my husband and now lies clinging to life.

Rick Borutta explains (http://rickborutta.com) in a post that “From a Jungian psycho-spiritual perspective, ‘. . .synchronic events occur when ‘we are on the right path’ to wholeness, or what Jung termed as the process of individuation. When we allow a dialog with our unconscious selves to occur without letting the conscious ego dominate, threaten or sublimate the inner energies, ‘magic’ seems to happen.’

I have been amazed by stories of long-lost relatives finding each other after years of effort, because they EACH stumble onto the same clue, contact a MUTUAL friend, see the same ‘seeking you’ ad.
Many years ago there was a murder in my ex-husband’s family. When I went to have my hair done that month I began telling the circumstances of the murder to my hairdresser, a young woman who had been my stylist for four years. Other than our connection through Cut-and-Curl, it seemed like we had NOTHING in common. Almost immediately after I began telling her of the murder she stopped cutting my hair, she put down her scissors and comb. She was visibly upset. It turned out that after my divorce HER aunt married the same man I had just divorced! The murder victim was also a relative of my hairdresser! Because of the divorce I had NOT seen her at the funeral – because I did not attend the funeral. That day I learned the whereabouts of my son’s half-brother. They had been separated for seventeen years – a moment of Synchronicity brought them together and they are friends to this day.

Beware! As the filmographer in the Jung YouTube production warns, ‘Too often they [events of synchronicity] pass unnoticed because the individual has not learned to watch for such coincidences.’

Synchronicity unlocks the past, and affirms the present. Is it happening around You? What synchronistic events have occurred in YOUR life?

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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: How ‘Ghosts of White Raven Estate’ Came to Be #NaNoWriMo

FOLLOW THIS BLOG!
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NEW in eBook format - FULL 22-story collection on Amazon.

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

An NPR program discussing African-based religions and regaling the life of New Orleans 1800’s Voodoo queen, Marie Laveau, caught my attention a year ago.

The blend of Spiritualism, New Orleans, and Laveau (a complex and colorful historical figure) played on my fancy. I began paying attention to the posts of my occultist Facebook friends, such as Jose Prado, whose beliefs and spiritual outlook I respect. A gentle, and generous, person, Jose writes extensively and in measured tones about non-Christian religious beliefs and has – through his posts – provided me with insights on Occultism and Voodoo.

Through the coincidences of synchronicity I learned that one of my Edmonds, Washington author friends had actually taught topics concerning Marie Laveau, and we met to discuss sources of information for my study of New Orleans’ Voodoo Era.

The stars began to align by November 2012. With the inklings of what has now become ‘Voodoo Vision’ I felt compelled to join the global fray of writers pounding out novels as the challenge of NaNoWriMo 2012 loomed. What better way to keep my interest in writing one novel, in one month, than New Orleans, History – and Voodoo!

Voodoo, from my outsider perspective seemed rich with possibilities. Add to the Voodoo backdrop of my novel the parallels of Catholic symbolism, and the scandalous folly of priests and I had the beginnings of a thesis on good and evil.

What challenges me as I add the final touches – and seek editorial comment on my upcoming novel, ‘Voodoo Vision’ is this: How much behind-the-scenes Voodoo ritual to include. Layer by layer I find that I am going back to strengthen and fine tune the conflicts between the slaves and free persons of color, some of whom (as characters in my novel) adhere strictly to the teachings of the Catholic Church and some of whom mix the two religions to their own spiritual and occultist advantage. Taking ‘advantage’ being one of the underlying elements of my novel – and how far one will go to get what one wants.

For instance, take the role of Father Vivenzio, the book’s villain: I wanted Voodoo ritual to serve as a catalyst for bringing together the Catholic Church of 1853 New Orleans with African-based religious practices that took place within the Catholic parishes during that time. I established Vivenzio’s avarice by composing a chapter around the priest’s rape of the leading black character’s daughter during a gathering in Congo Square. Not one to take lightly the scandal of the Catholic Church of late, I felt it appropriate to paint in real terms the human frailties of the Catholic Church, but in terms of yesteryear.

The next three months are going to be ‘full steam ahead’ for me as I edit, re-write the novel; and on design elements of the eBook tile with ‘Kathi Humphries Design and New Media’ to bring you the most colorful, exciting, haunting look at New Orleans in The Voodoo Era — originally named “Voodoo Vision” this novel ultimately was published as “Ghosts of White Raven Estate”.

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