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Tag Archive: Ghost



Haunting GroundHi everyone! Wow, two posts in as many weeks! I’m on a roll (smile). My next one is going to cover some of the more common questions I receive on this blog concerning ghost problems and contacting loved ones in spirit, I promise, but this post is to announce the release of my newest book in the Tess Schafer-Medium series Haunting Ground! This is book 6 of the series though each book is a “stand alone”…meaning you don’t have to read them in order. BUT doing does help with understanding the characters’ development and what they’ve gone through. I’m actually finding it quite challenging to write a series in which I don’t give away much of the plot from other books!

The Tess Schafer-Medium series, as I’ve mentioned before, is my way of telling stories that incorporate the things I’ve learned over the years concerning the paranormal. They are the kinds of stories that I like to read! Honestly, is there anything more fascinating than talking to departed loved ones and dealing with spirit guides, angels and the like? Since I’ve done those things, it just seems right and natural for me to write stories including them!

The FarmhouseMy seven years in a haunted house (pictured on the left of this sentence with an awesome ORB!) incited my interest in paranormal matters and I’ve been fascinated ever since. The more I learn, the more I WANT to learn! As for that spooky old farmhouse…well, it’s gone now. But the spirits that inhabited it…no, I don’t think they are gone. Maybe someday I’ll explore THAT in a book!

Now, as for my main character, Tess, she is not ME (many people write in to ask that very question!)….she’s way more talented and patient than I am! BUT, there’s certainly a lot of me in her. Even so, she’s developing all on her own and now when I sit down to write her stories, I feel I am merely taking dictation! Half the time I have no idea what’s going on. Then when I do figure it out, I’m like…Whoa! No way! (smile) Just like Tess.

64033_327215633993497_2023270865_nEver since the first book Be Still, My Love, I’ve been wondering about the man who killed Tess’s husband. Now, this series began because I wanted a tragedy to mark my character’s life and send it off into a whole new direction. Besides, I was curious as to how a medium handles death. Also, like Tess, I was mad at my spirit guide! Though my dissatisfaction was because my guide did not protect one of my cats when I specifically asked her to do so! I’m over it, for the most part, though I am still bummed that Milo is gone…and now more recently my cats Odd and Sassy. So anyway, Tess’s husband Mike was killed by a driver who was under the influence of alcohol. He ran a red light and crashed his car into Mike’s, killing them both. Also killed in that crash was Tess’s dog Tootsie.

Hidden Voices (1562x2500)So, in Be Still, My Love, it’s been two years since the accident and Tess is still grieving. She’s still mad. Her psychiatrist and her friends suggest she go on a vacation, get out of her house of memories. And she does…to a haunted resort on the coast of Maine! Since I grew up in Maine and I think its a beautiful and intriguing state, I couldn’t think of a better setting for the story. I had no plans to make a series. But while writing that story, Tess learns of another supernatural mystery shadowing the town of Bucksport, Maine (my hometown!). The town’s founder, she learns, has a graveside monument that is marked by a witch. As to that, Bucksport really exists and there really is a monument on Jonathan Buck’s grave with markings supposedly made by a witch’s curse! Well…I wanted to explore that story with Tess and so we did in book two Hidden Voices. Tess found her OWN STORY about that monument and a series was born!

Vanquishing Ghosts (Amazon)In the third book, Vanquishing Ghosts, Tess has decided to make Bucksport her home. There are lots of ghosts there needing her help (the town is absolutely RICH with history!), so how can she walk away from them? The problem, of course, is that the house she’s just bought is seriously haunted! By a bad spirit no less! In this story I was definitely exploring a bit of the dark side! So anyway, she and her boyfriend Kade (yes, she’s moving on!) investigate the situation and go through a lot of interesting paranormal situations. They do manage to vanquish the ghosts but her house will NEVER be free of them! Why? Well, I guess I’ll have to keep writing to find out and people will have to keep reading if they too want to know! (smile)

Rosemary's Ghosts (angel) 10-19-13Book four, Rosemary’s Ghosts, came to me in a flash of inspiration. I was riding with my husband on a business trip and it just plopped into my brain and I couldn’t wait to start writing! Despite knowing MOST of the plot, however, I still discovered some surprises along the way. This book was really an experiment for me as I took Tess way outside her normal reality. It was quite a bizarre situation she found herself in and yet it did a lot to help build her character! Besides, I don’t think that’s all done. Not yet. Seems to me that some things from that book are going to pop up in later stories. We’ll see.

Ghost Trouble (ebook) 5-7-14Book five, Ghost Trouble, is Kade’s story. I wanted to write a ghost story involving someone who isn’t a sort of “expert” in the field. With Tess around all the time, he pretty much has nothing more than a supportive role when figuring out what the paranormal hijinks are all about. But with her out of the picture…what will he do? Also, he had some issues needing closure. Kade was in the Marine and had to separate after sixteen years of service because of injuries sustained in a roadside bomb attack in Afghanistan. Everyone in the Humvee he was traveling in died except for him. That’s a lot to deal with! So we dealt with it.

And so now I’ve written Haunting Ground. Tess has gone back to where her story began and she’s finally going to learn “the rest of the story.” There’s always another side to every situation. Tess knew her side…but what was HIS…the man who killed her husband and dog…what’s HIS story? As usual nothing goes smoothly and she’s as confused as ever when the paranormal activity commences. Dealing with death truly is one of the hardest things we have to endure in life and Tess’s gift of speaking to those who have crossed over really does help to bring about healing. In this story that rings true more so than any of the others.

So, anyway, I wanted to write a quick post about what’s going on with my books! So today, Sunday the 25th of January 2015, Haunting Ground will be available for Kindle readers. In celebration of that fact, Be Still, My Love will be FREE for two days (the 25th and 26th of January)! Book two, Hidden Voices and book three, Vanquishing Ghosts will be reduced to 99 cents at 8 am on Sunday the 25th and will slowly increase in increments back to it’s original price of 2.99 by 8 pm on Monday the 26th of January. I know I announced this in my last blog post but I just wanted to give a bit more of an explanation of the series and refresh memories of those who are reading them! I promise future posts won’t all be about my books. Since these are so dear to me, however, I wanted to share my excitement with you all!

ghostsAs for future posts, I’ve been trying to figure out what to write about and then it hit me. The many, many comments I receive on this blog are quite similar, many of them sharing a common problem or request. This gave me the idea of tackling the more common concerns in future posts. Stuff like how to KNOW when a loved one is around, how to get rid of a pesky ghost, how to talk to spirits…on and on. This is why most people come to this blog and so that is what I’ll focus on…answers to questions that most of you drop by to ask!

Before I close out, I want to wish all of you a very blessed 2015! I hope this year brings wondrous, glorious things your way! May peace and loving light be with you all!

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I’ve written a lot of posts (88 so far!) covering a variety of subjects involving paranormal subject matter and there’s some really good ones in among the mix that would help a lot of the people now writing in to me about their ghostly problems, concerns and fears. Although I worry that people will find my answers very repetitious, the answers to similar problems SHOULD be the same! Was I to answer similar questions with a different answer, then I would not be consistent with my beliefs or my advice!

I know it’s a lot of work to go prowling through older posts…time is precious and few of us have enough of it! So, I took the time to go through them for you, putting together a “one stop shop” on posts that might be of the most beneficial to the questions I keep receiving! And as to that…I LOVE hearing from you! I do. If I can help in any way…then I will do so. And if you can provide some insight, better yet!

When I answer the questions I receive on my blog, I don’t know what I’m going to say until I start typing it. I write what “spirit” moves me to write. This ensures the best possible answer I can give. After all, it’s coming from spirit so how can it be wrong? Now I’m not saying there are no other right answers, but I can only give the one that comes to me. Understand this: ANYTHING we are moved to create…be it a piece of art, a book, a poem, an answer to a question or whatever…ALL of it is inspiration from spirit!

In fact, now that I’ve mentioned it, let me take the time right now to thank the angels and spirits who help me out with that: THANK YOU, thank you!! I am honored and grateful for your help, love and support!”

Okay. Now back to YOU! The following is a roundup of posts you might find helpful!

Are you having ghostly problems and looking for ideas on vanquishing them? Here ya go:

“Encountering Ghosts and Vanquishing Them!”, “There’s a ghost in my house! Now what?”, and the following gives some tips on FINDING them too: “Ghost Hunting 101”

For those looking for an idea on how to communicate with spirits: “Now is the Time for Talking to Ghosts”“Eight Ways to Contact the Dead”, “Want to meet a ghost?”, “Inspirational Writing: How and Why”,(inspirational writing is also known as “automatic writing”), “5 Steps to Spirit Contact”, and “The Care and Handling of Spirit Contact”

How can you tell if a ghost is near? Well this post might help, it’s one of my most popular and has prompted a lot of comments: “12 Signs a Ghost is Near”

The above posts contain some of my best advice and most inspired writing!

And now I’d like to take some time to speak a word (or two!) about my books (for those who like to read!). My stories are fictional and have all been inspired in a “flash” of inspiration. The story ideas came to me quite suddenly and I went into a mad scramble to get them down in writing. I don’t plan them out (except Rosemary’s Ghosts. Although it came to me in a flash of sudden inspiration, the whole story came to me at once. So, I pretty much know the story before I even started writing it!). My Tess Schafer-Medium series (Be Still, My Love, Hidden Voices, Vanquishing Ghosts and the book I just mentioned, Rosemary’s Ghosts) is centered around…well, Tess Schafer, a 25-year-old medium. Her beliefs and the situations she encounters often reflect my own beliefs and my own encounters! Though works of fiction, they all contain information that involves the spirit world and how to interact/deal with them! My paranormal thriller, No Matter What is centered around reincarnation. It is a concept I believe in quite firmly. Especially after what I went through with my son. Here’s the link to a post in which I wrote about it “Reincarnation: Fact or Fiction”. I love all my stories and I thank spirit for the inspiration to write them but “No Matter What” is the one that is most special to me. It’s received some harsh reviews but it would…it’s quite controversial the ideas brought up in the story!

Speaking of reviews (left on Amazon), people have complained about my mention of God. How, I wonder, does one write about the paranormal and NOT bring up the subject of God? Pure horror books certainly. My stories are spooky and have scary elements to them but they are not HORRIFYING. Well, not for most of us. A few of the faint-at-heart have admitted to being scared while reading them!  So anyway, yes, my books mention God. Most of my characters (as well as me!) believes in God…a higher power, an infinite intelligence. Someone even suggested that I “leave God out of it” because he had no place in horror books!  Personally, I think that’s what going wrong in the world today…people are trying to “leave God out of it”!!!! Bad idea. Bad, bad idea!

I write the books that I write because there really isn’t any on the market like them. I’m proud to say that. I write the kinds of stories that someone like me would like to read. Because…well, I have to like what I’m writing or I’m not going to write it and it has to hold my interest or I’m not going to FINISH writing it! My interest is in the paranormal and so the stories I write are centered around that premise. Also, I’m not going to take God out of my books. So, if you don’t like the mention of beliefs about God, you might not want to read my stories! Or my blog for that matter!

If any of you have read any of my books…I ask you, “What did you think of them? Did I go overboard with the mention of God?”

Here’s the link to my author page on Amazon: Deborah J. Hughes Author Page. You can find a list of all my books there (or click on the book cover below!). I’d be happy and honored if you’d check them out! By the way, all but the cover for Be Still, My Love were created by the awesome Anya Kelley! I highly recommend her if you are an author looking for an affordable, talented cover artist! Be Still’s cover was created by the talented Jeff Bennington! He writes books in the paranormal genre too!! Click on his name and check him out!

Okay, that’s it for now! Sending blessings and positive vibrations out to all!!

64033_327215633993497_2023270865_n         Hidden Voices (1562x2500)Vanquishing Ghosts (Amazon)Rosemary's Ghosts (angel) 10-19-13No Matter What (9-17-12)      


2012-10-26 20.43.06Come October, the general focus seems to sway toward all things spooky! Halloween is the last day of the month, yet it’s advertised from day one and sometimes before October even arrives! Although this is most often a time for terrifying movies, television shows and horror books, it doesn’t have to be all “horror, terror and gore, oh my!”

The fact is, Halloween evolved from ancient traditions concerning the after life! It’s supposed to be the time of year when the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest. Fortune Telling, Divination and Spirit Contact are all more easily done during this very interesting time of year. So, it’s understandable, given that, how the focus has evolved over time to what it is today.

Honestly, I am no different. I worked like crazy to get Rosemary’s Ghosts ready for release this month! But truly, it’s the perfect book for Halloween. Even if I have to say so myself. The thing is…my character Tess Schafer, a very gifted medium, understands the relevance of Halloween and that comes through in the story. Besides that, I love sharing what I’ve learned about the paranormal through story-telling. For instance…Tess and Rosemary (a poor, sweet lady being terrorized by ghosts!) have a session of table tipping!

Have you ever done any table tipping? Do you know what it is? It isn’t anything like “cow tipping” (which I’ve never done by the way!), if that’s what came to mind! Most people have heard of the Ouija board I’m sure. The thing about the Ouija is that is acts as a portal to the spirit world. Which is great for those wanting to communicate with spirit, BUT it can bring through all manner of entities. You have to operate it with responsibility and most people who “play” with this so-called “game” don’t understand that! Whenever you seek to interact with “spirit” (the other side), you should know what you are doing and maintain control of the situation. Otherwise, well…who knows what you’ll inadvertently bring through! There are bad, evil entities lurking “over there” just looking for an opportunity to lurk around HERE! But I digress…I want to talk about table tipping.

Unlike the Ouija board, tables do not act as portals to spirit. They are simply a “tool” if you will, for talking to spirit. So, table tipping is much safer. One word of caution though…you can still bring through negative entities if you open it up to “whoever wants to come through and talk…please do!” Always make it clear that you want to  talk to GOOD, LOVING, POSITIVE spirits. If you get a bad vibe, bad messages and bad behavior…END the session.  I’ve had strong “spirited” folks come through but nothing bad.

2013-10-26 05.34.58table tipping tableTable tipping is one of those activities perfect for Halloween time! Just get yourself a small table…round is best but a square one will do (I’ve used a card table with no problem). The legs should not be flush with the edges of the table. They CAN be flush, it will still work, but it’s EASIER for spirit energy to tip a table when the legs are not flush with the edges of the table. For people who haven’t done this before, are a little nervous about it and have skeptics in their midst, the legs NOT being flush will be much easier for the spirits to operate. Make it clear to everyone who is participating in the table-tipping session that you will only welcome good, loving, honest and positive spirits! It’s even best if you request certain ones…departed family members, friends or the like. I like to say a prayer at the beginning of each session…prayer promotes positive energy and keeps the negative vibes away. Once you are ready, gather around the table and lightly rest your hands flat upon it. Don’t push down and don’t hover your hands above it. I see some people in table-tipping sessions whose hands slide across the table as it moves…if the hands are sliding across the table then you are not resting your hands upon it! (to the left are some examples of tables…I’ve used both of these. The one on the right works great…my mother made it for me!! Cool huh?)

I’m no expert about spirit stuff, but I have my own thoughts about how I think things work and it’s my belief that those in spirit use our personal energy field to make the table move. Since we are here operating within a physical world, our energy is strong (it has to be in order for us to exist here!) and interacts with things of this world quite easily. Spirit, on the other hand, operates within the spirit world and so their energy is different. All energy has movement (vibration) and spirit energy is moving (vibrating) at an incredible rate…much, much faster than the energy that makes up our physical world. That’s why it’s hard to see them (they are moving too fast…think of a fan blade on high speed…can you see it? No!) But it’s not impossible. And that’s a different story.

So anyway, by placing your hands flat on the table, resting them there gently, your personal energy becomes connected to the table’s energy and the spirit coming through can easily manipulate it through you. When the table starts moving, you’ll “feel” a different sort of energy  and know something is going on! The table will move in such a way that you’ll think someone else at the table is doing it. The good thing about this is that you’ll KNOW for sure it wasn’t you doing it! If everyone at the table is being honest, then rest assured, they aren’t causing the table to move…spirit is doing the work! For some reason, whenever I’m involved in a table-tipping session, I laugh a lot. It’s all good energy and good, positive energy is uplifting, so laughter is fine. In fact, laughter raises your personal energy to a higher degree (increases your vibrational speed) and table-tipping becomes even easier! Singing helps to get the energy going strong as well.

Once the table starts moving…it will shake, shimmy and tip…then take charge of it. State your intentions…whether you want someone specific or not…and make it clear, again, that you will allow only positive spirit energy to come through. Then you set the “rules” for engagement. I do it this way: “We will ask you questions and we want you to tip the table once for yes responses and tip the table twice for no responses.” Now, you can change that around if you want but that’s how I do it. If you want to receive messages then you instruct the spirit to tip the table for each letter of the alphabet, stopping on the letter they want. It’s time consuming to get messages because you have to tip the table for each letter of every word in the message. Sometimes the spirits get so active and impatient that the table tips so fast it becomes confusing what letter they are trying to give!

Another thing the table will often do is tip toward someone operating it and rest against them. Gentle efforts to push the table’s legs back down to the floor will meet resistance. I call these moments “hugs”. It’s quite common for a loved one who has come through to give “hugs” and it’s really quite an emotional moment. Honestly, you can “feel” their energy. Sometimes the table will even “walk” across the floor … often heading towards someone not operating the table (they are either trying to let that person know they want to talk to them…or they might be wanting to give a hug!). The thing to remember is to not resist the table’s movements and not to help it either!

Most often the case will be that while a table is tipping out a message, the operators will get a strong feel for what the word is…even if only one letter has been completed. This is because the spirit is actually mingling with our energy and their messages will filter right into our thoughts. This is basically how a medium works…they allow spirits to come right on into their thoughts. The thing about those in spirit is they don’t really use WORDS once they cross over. Words are too limiting (and this eliminates all language barriers as well!). They communicate through feelings and so that’s why it’s hard sometimes to understand a message coming through. They are trying to convey a feeling to you and you are trying to put it into specific words.  This is also why symbols are often used (for medium or psychic work, and especially in dreams!). But you don’t have to worry about trying to interpret symbols or anything when you are table-tipping.

It’s all good fun, really! There SHOULD be lots of laughter and enjoyment. Interaction with spirit should be a POSITIVE experience.

Rosemary's Ghosts (angel) 10-19-13I wrote this post in celebration of the release of my book “Rosemary’s Ghosts” and focused it on table-tipping because my characters have a pretty cool table-tipping session in the story!

So, have any of you tried it? Are you going to? Tell us about it!!

Until next time, many blessings to all of you and Peace Out!

Oh, and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!


The ConjuringI love ghost stories and spooky movies so of course I had to go see The Conjuring. I read the book House of Darkness House of Light by Andrea Perron and though I wasn’t crazy over the writing style, I did enjoy the basic story and by this I mean the parts that actually involved the ghostly encounters. I thought there was a lot of stuff added into the book that didn’t need to be there…needless fluff…so I ended up skimming through a lot of it. But that is just the writer in me being overly critical I think. Then again, we all do it…criticize and skim or enjoy and savor! Since I am not into the literary, flowery sort of writing that Andrea used, I did not read volume two of this book series.

So anyway. The book “House of Darkness House of Light” was written by Andrea, one of the children of the family depicted in the movie, and it told a vastly different story than the one Hollywood presented (which was actually based on the Warren’s accounting of the haunting and not Andrea’s. The Warrens, by the way, were paranormal investigators and pretty big in their day!). I know Hollywood has to go over-the-top to hit it big in the box office, but it still disappoints me when they take the “nasty demon possesses body and goes on a killing spree” route. For me, the demon possession stuff ruined the movie though many others thought it added quite the thrill. My favorite parts were the beginning of the film. Although (here’s the critic in me again!) I thought it was rather slow at times and wished it would just get going already. Still, the subtle stuff that happens in real hauntings and then becomes more than subtle, that’s the stuff that grabs my attention and makes my imagination go haywire.

I don’t want to ruin the movie for anyone who hasn’t seen it, but since I’ve already mentioned the fact that a demon possession was involved, I just want to say that Andrea does not make her poor mother out to be as bad as all that in her book. Certainly she had problems and was quite influenced by the negative entity, but she did not try to kill her children. And really, if demons could do that sort of thing, don’t you think we’d hear about it? Have you ever heard of a demon taking over someone’s body and killing people anywhere but in the movies? Really, I want to know. Have you?

The problem with movies like “The Conjuring” is that it gives the paranormal world such a bad rap. Seriously, most of the spirits that make their way back into our realm of existence are not evil doers out to possess bodies. Many of them are just looking to make contact with loved ones they left behind. They want to reassure their grieving family and friends that they are in fact, quite fine. Better than fine. Awesome really! They want to offer comfort and hope and share the good news that the whole death thing is nothing to mourn over. I do have to add here, though, that there are some spirits who harbor negative feelings and though they can certainly INFLUENCE those they come near, to actually take possession of someone is not something they are looking to do. It does happen, however, on the rare occasion. Case histories exist concerning exorcisms that have really happened. But as I said, they are RARE and I think there are special circumstances about those cases.

I get a lot of comments on this blog…especially my post “12 Signs a Ghost is Near”… and I find that movies like “The Conjuring” concern many people that something like that could happen to them! After all, the movie states that it is based on a TRUE story! Key word here is “BASED”, meaning Hollywood can take creative license and do whatever they want with the ACTUAL story! The problem with this is that people don’t know what parts are actually true and so believe the possibility exists that ALL of it is true! That leads to instant fear when they suddenly have their own ghostly encounter. Even if they suspect the ghost is their loving gramma! The worry is that the haunting is going to graduate from gramma to an evil demon out to possess them! It’s too bad, really, because there is NOTHING more special than reconnecting with a loved one who has passed into spirit! It is one of the most PROFOUND experiences you can have in this physical life.

I often see a bluish light. I can see it with my eyes open but I see it more vividly when my eyes are closed. When I first started seeing it (early twenties), I wondered what it was but, for whatever reason, was too afraid to find out. It took me about ten years to finally get brave enough to allow the answer to come to me. Certainly I had asked mediums, shamans and anyone else who wanted to voice an opinion but I didn’t try to seek an answer myself. Until one night while I was mediating and trying to make contact with my spirit guide…who incidentally has the same name as my character’s spirit guide in the Tess Schafer-Medium series (Sheila!)…and I saw the blue light. I decided to stop being wary of it and sent out the message that I was ready to welcome it into my personal space. I didn’t force it to come closer (it always appeared to be just out of reach) and I didn’t try to mentally go after it. I simply waited. Suddenly the most overwhelming sense of LOVE just rushed over me, through me, around me – everywhere! It was my Nana. Gone to spirit for over twenty years, we had a LOT of catching up to do, and we did it all within minutes and without words. The spirit world is not limited to our mode of communicating through language. They communicate through feelings and it’s completely understandable, their message CLEAR! More so than words can ever convey. Honestly, once you label something with words then it must stay within the confines of those words and what you PERCEIVE them to mean. But when operating through FEELINGS, labels don’t have any role to play.

I now understand that the blue light is the energy field of a spirit! I was told once by an Indian shaman that spirits surrounded me. At the time the idea of it scared me to death! I was like “Do they watch me when I’m in the bathroom?”, do they watch me during other intimate moments that I don’t want to talk about in this blog? (smile) The idea of it did not sit well with me at all.

I’ve come to understand a lot about the spirit world over the years, through my contact with Sheila, other people, books, movies (not to mention some of the most profound dreams!) and I’m now understanding it that the spirit world doesn’t “see” us as we see with our physical eyes. They “see” us by our energy imprint and emotional body. So they don’t actually see our bodies while taking a shower (phew!). They sense our spirit, our energy field, much like we sense them when they are around.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “I just KNEW someone was near…that I wasn’t alone, I could feel them!” Of course we sense when spirits are around. At the very basic level, we are beings of energy. All energy affects any nearby energy and when you get close enough – zap! You really make contact! I’m no scientist and I don’t know much about how everything works, but I have a basic understanding on things that interest me (such as spirits, the spirit world and paranormal phenomena!) and I have my own thoughts and ideas concerning them (and where do you suppose ideas come from? Spirit!). My take on orbs for instance (small, light colored globes that often show up in photographs) is that they are the heart of a spiritual being – the center of their energy field. Camera’s send out this quick pulse of energy to capture a picture and the reaction that takes place when that energy pulse meets a spirit energy is the development of orbs in photos. It makes perfect sense to me in any case! So-called “experts” can argue the case against orbs all they want. I know for a fact that spirit beings (ghosts) do exist, and their energy is sometimes captured on film as orbs or other strange anomalies.

I think the whole Star Wars saga really captured my interest because I do believe that there is a “force” that exists and that we all can harness it and become like the Jedi Knights, if we only knew how! Honestly, Yoda knew exactly what he was talking about!  The Matrix was another movie to grab my attention because of its portrayal of the world being nothing more than an illusion. I think that movie has hit on the truth of the matter – our life is nothing more than a grand illusion! Unfortunately, that movie’s idea of “reality” totally sucked! How dreary their “real” world was! But when they plugged into the matrix, well, that offered endless possibilities! And it was THAT part of the movie that I loved most, for it’s sort of like how we are – spiritual beings “plugged” into the physical world! Given that, then everything we experience is completely under the control of our imagination! Unlike the movie, however, when we “unplug” from it (die) and our consciousness is refocused into the spirit world – well, it isn’t dreary at all, it is in fact quite an amazing, awesome, mind-boggling place!! So what the heck are we doing here anyway? Gotta be a reason why we “plugged” into this world and then proceeded to make mayhem! (sigh) You know, my belief is that we truly are suppose to figure out how to make heaven on earth. Instead, we seem to be masters at creating havoc and chaos! (another huge sigh).

So back to ghosts and all that. I think it should be a NORMAL part of our life to include the PARAnormal. Contacting our loved ones and continuing our relationship with them should be part of our life, no question! Oh, I imagine they have things to do “over there” but they aren’t limited by time and space as we are so it doesn’t hinder their spiritual process at all. They “hear” our call when we think about them and then here they are! But what do we often do? Continue to miss them. And yet, they are right THERE with us. Sometimes we even feel them but then consider it nothing more than our imagination and so dismiss it. Damned straight. It is our imagination, our world of imagery within our spiritual “mind”, where everything truly exists! For real.

So anyway, I tell people who write in and worry about their ghosts becoming evil and trying to possess them (like all the movies and horror books like to depict) is no, I’m pretty sure that’s not going to happen. One other thing I’ve learned over time is that WE CONTROL OUR OWN ENERGY FIELD! Have you ever seen the film or read the book The Celestine Prophecy? This movie explains the concept of personal energy fields (auras) quite well! Nothing and no one can overwhelm us and take control unless we do nothing to prevent it. Drugs, alcohol, mental and physical illness can weaken our defense certainly. BUT, that doesn’t mean we can’t learn to regain control! Exorcism is about good, positive energy forcing out the lower vibrational energy of negative spirits. The one thing that can block positive energy is NEGATIVE THOUGHTS and NEGATIVE BELIEFS! That’s it. Conquer that and the world…as they say…is your oyster.

To conclude. Ghosts exist and they are in fact EVERYWHERE. They don’t just hang out in old houses where someone died or spots where someone was murdered. We notice it more in those places because of the energy imprint left behind by those incidents. Energy, as you probably know, canNOT be destroyed. So, when our emotions flare up like happens during trauma, the energy bursts created during the incident are blasted out and become stored within the denser energy masses nearby…houses and other physical objects. Thus, when entering a house or touching an object that contains the stored energy of emotional trauma, we often can feel it. That’s because our spiritual body (which is a form of energy) is reacting to the energy stored within! This is why those places are easier for us to encounter paranormal phenomena. The energy there is high and our expectations of spirit activity draws the spirits to us! But the fact is spirits are all over the place. They truly are looking for someone to notice them just like Patrick Swayze’s character in the movie Ghost! In fact, since Halloween is fast approaching, the custom of donning costumes was started when people sought to disguise themselves from the spirits they knew were out enforce on Halloween night (the one night of the year when the veil between life and death is at it’s thinnest!). Like Hollywood likes to portray, some believed the spirits out roaming around on that night were out to possess their body so by making themselves look like anything but themselves, they hoped the spirits would pass them on by!

It was my own disappointment with what was available for ghost stories that I started writing them myself. Also, I wanted to share, through story telling, some of the wonderful things I’ve learned about spirit over the years! My beliefs are varied and touch on several religious schools of thought. I have to tell you though, in my honest opinion, there isn’t any ONE religion that has it ALL right. It’s like the truth of the matter is spread throughout every one of them! The reason EVERYONE doesn’t agree on EVERYTHING is because we are all at varying degrees of spiritual discovery and our knowledge is based on what we’ve learned SO FAR.

I really wanted to explore my beliefs in my book Be Still, My Love by having a medium go through tragedy. I wanted to show through storytelling that nothing is final and that there is always hope of finding happiness…no matter what! Then through Hidden Voices I wanted to explore a supernatural mystery that has plagued my hometown for centuries but also explore my character’s growing mediumship abilities. The third book Vanquishing Ghosts was written to show that no matter how bad the ghost, WE are in control not THEM, and vanquishing them CAN be done! The next book in the series “Rosemary’s Ghosts” (to be released in early October!) is more focused on the psychological aspects of hauntings and the conceptions many of us have about heaven and hell. I do, after all, have my own thoughts about that as well! All of these books share beliefs that I have come to accept and beliefs I am still exploring. I find myself learning things right along with my main character Tess! Honestly, all those books pretty much wrote themselves. I literally sat down at the keyboard and obediently started typing. I had no clear idea of how the story was going to pan out and end until it actually panned out and ended! And yet they all fit into each other so well. I love how it all works like that. It truly fascinates me. But then, I honestly believe that “spirit” is lending a hand!

Okay, I think I’ve rambled on enough for this post! Have you seen “The Conjuring”? What did you think of it? What do you think about any of the points I bring up? Really, there’s nothing more satisfying than people sharing ideas! It gets the “spirit” flowing! (smile)

By the way, there is one book I’ve read that depicts a “True Haunting” (it also is the title for the book!). It really is much more realistic about what a typical haunting is all about! It’s a quick easy read and if ghosts interest you, you’ll probably find this one rather interesting! Just don’t expect “over the top” craziness like the Hollywood movies go for.

Until next time…Peace Out and Blessings to all!!


Vanquishing Ghosts (Amazon)In honor of my FOURTH book publication, I thought I’d write a blog post that goes along with my newest book…Vanquishing Ghosts! I’m excited to share this one (as I am all my books) because I feel my characters are really coming into their own now. Having Tess and Kade (the Heroine and Hero) get past their emotional “garbage” and get on with it was a lot of fun to write (and somewhat embarrassing…I felt like such a VOYEUR at times…no wonder Kade was worried about that!) Aside from the romance element, I really wanted to address the issue of having ghosts…nasty ones, not so nice ones…and what to do about it. I wanted to show, through Tess’s problem with her own evil ghost that NOTHING can’t be handled. Nothing.

My blog post 12 Signs a Ghost is Near has been getting a LOT of hits lately. Seems the issue of ghosts plagues many of us! The world of the supernatural/paranormal is a vast unknown … a final frontier we all will one day traverse and yet few of us know anything about. I am just as curious as the next person on what life in the “beyond” is all about. I don’t blame people for searching for answers…I am doing the same thing!

I honestly believe that my stories are channeled from spirit. I don’t plan them and yet they all work out perfectly. Half the time, I’ve no idea what I’m going to say until I say it! I’m sure most writers will say the same. We just “plug” into “something” and a story emerges. Pretty cool.

So anyway…I’ve received a lot of messages asking about various incidents involving spirit interactions and I thought I’d address some common ones here!

If you encounter sudden smells that can’t be explained (nothing around to account for them) then you might be encountering someone from spirit! Often those in the spirit world can create a smell as a way of letting you know they are around. For instance, if someone you loved has died that loved to smoke, you might smell a cigarette or maybe they had a special perfume/cologne they wore…you might smell that. OR, they might have been known for their love of lilacs…you might smell that. One person wrote that she smelled burned candles…as if someone had just blown them out. Although she couldn’t associate candles with the person she thought it might be, I thought it quite appropriate that she smell that. It’s a well-known custom for people to light candles for those who are now in spirit…a way for those of us still in the physical world to send prayers of blessings to loved ones in the “beyond”. Reversing the process from the spirit world (creating the smell of a candle blown out) is a great way for them to let their living loved ones know that all is well. Many of us associate various smells/aromas with people so it’s a great spiritual interaction!

If you hear your name being called and yet no one is around to be calling your name…well then you might be encountering someone from spirit! Hearing your name from seemingly “nowhere” is quite common as well. Many, many of us can think of a time or two when we thought someone was calling us…and yet no one was doing so that we could SEE. This happens especially at night, just as you are falling asleep. Our busy mind is relaxing and the ever vigilant ego (our waking consciousness) is dozing off, laxing on the job, and allowing spirit to come through! Though the “sound” of our name SEEMS to be vocal…most often it is coming from “within” (inside our head!). Those in spirit connect to us through our thoughts quite often but many of us dismiss the interaction as their “imagination” getting out of hand. Here’s a secret…it’s not. Our imagination is the KEY to getting INTO the spirit world!!

If you hear knocking sounds then you might be encountering someone from spirit! I’m not sure WHY those in spirit can generate a knock but it seems that they can and they do it often! In fact, the Spiritualism movement was founded on this very thing! Look up the Fox Sisters and see what you get!! Be sure of this…if you hear someone knocking and yet no one is “there”…someone is there and looking to get your attention! Who comes to mind when you wonder who it might be? No doubt THAT is who is trying to get your attention!! Again, our thoughts and feelings are quite connected to the spiritual realm so if a sudden thought or a “feeling” comes to you on the issue…then you can pretty much go with it.

If you feel a sudden chill or sudden warmth then you might be encountering someone from spirit! Cold spots are common but many people experience the opposite affect…they feel a sudden warmth. I’m not sure why they generate cold or heat but it’s a common phenomena. Cold spots are more prevalent but I think that’s because the energy taking place is different. We are all beings of energy…and we return to pure energy when our physical form (a very LOW form of energy) falls away (dies…aka TRANSFORMS). Lowering our energy creates cold…speeding it up creates warmth! Many hauntings involve cold spots because spirits haunting a place are trying to lower their energy in order to interact within our realm of existence (the 3rd dimension of the physical world!).  Warm spots are generated when those in spirit are sending out love (a very HIGH form of energy!!). And no…I am not saying that cold spots are negative. Though they CAN be…mostly they are just a spirit’s way of slowing down their energy in order to interact with us.

If you feel someone tap your shoulder (or anywhere on your person for that matter) and yet no one is around…well, you are probably encountering someone from spirit! Now…this is only a way for them to get your attention. They aren’t trying to frighten you or hurt you. Unfortunately, getting “touched” by someone who isn’t “there” is pretty scary!! If it happens to you and you don’t like it…TELL them! They can hear you (your THOUGHTS are loud and clear to them…when you are DIRECTING your thoughts to them that is!). Those in spirit can’t randomly pop in your head and monitor your thoughts. But if you are thinking about them…even if it’s “was that a SPIRIT touching me?!”…then they’ll hear that because you are directing it to them!  And most of the time if you ask them to stop bothering you…they will.

If a picture or an item belonging to someone that has passed into spirit suddenly falls from it’s spot or keeps popping up…then you are probably encountering someone from spirit! Having a picture fall off the wall or suddenly show up somewhere unexpected is another common occurrence. This is definitely that person’s way of letting you know they are around!! And no…they aren’t doing it to freak you out…they are trying to reassure you they are alive and well!!

If you dream about someone who has passed into spirit then you are most probably encountering a spirit!! The spirit realm can easily meet with us in the dream state! Now…nightmares don’t count. Dreams that scare you are often fears you are harboring manifesting into your dreams…playing out your worries sort of speak. But if you dream about talking with someone who is now residing in spirit and it seemed so “real” then it was! I dream of my grandparents often. I even say to them “but you’re dead!” and they always reassure me that they most certainly are NOT dead!! (smile) I love those dreams.

If your pet or a young child (babies especially!) act like they are seeing something that you can’t see…then you are probably encountering someone from spirit! Babies still have their ‘spiritual eyes” (those that can see into the spirit realm) and animals are very sensitive to a spirit’s presence! If you see babies that seem to be watching something with their eyes that amuses them…then they are most likely getting entertained by angels or loved ones who have come from spirit to visit with them!

If your electrical equipment goes a little crazy…turns on or off or some such thing…then you may be encountering someone from spirit! Again, spiritual beings are pure energy and they can easily affect the energy around you! In fact, their higher rate of energy often is too much for weaker forms of energy…such as light bulbs…and thus a lot of light bulbs are blown when spirits are around.

If doors open or close, rocking chairs rock, toys suddenly activate, things start moving that shouldn’t be moving…well you are probably encountering someone from spirit. They use their energy to move lower forms of energy…physical objects. Now again, they are doing so not to frighten you but to let you know, however they can, that they are there! Alive, well, happy!!

If a sudden thought pops in your head…out of seemingly nowhere…then it might be spirit trying to contact you!

Now all these instances are just SOME of the ways in which those in spirit try to connect with us. Most of the time they are not doing it to frighten you. But really…how else are they supposed to get through? You’ve trained your minds to not see them (something we must do or it’s hard to function in our world) so they do what they must, what they can to get through. None of these things are hurtful. Scary yes. Hurtful? No.

Many people write to me telling me they’ve experienced one or more of these things and they wonder if they should be worried, concerned or scared. I say no to all the above! I understand that their worry is that the activity will worsen…become harmful, but here’s the thing…it MOST of the time does not! Very rarely do things escalate on a negative scale. So if it does…that’s when it’s time to be worried, concerned and scared. But most of these sorts of interactions as described in this post are done by benevolent spirits…the good guys!

Oh…here’s a good way to keep an eye out for messages from spirit: notice the signage that suddenly comes into your sphere of observation…be it a roadway sign, a license plate or whatever. For instance: I was thinking about my grampy Lafayette one day and missing him. I asked him to let me know he was around and SECONDS later this car comes speeding around me (I was just about to pull away from the take-out window at McDonald’s) and guess what was on his license plate? Yup…LAFAYETTE!! Coincidence? I think NOT. Answers to questions can often come to us in this way!! Be ever vigilant!!!

Negative entities do exist. They bring about very negative experiences…nauseating smells, dizziness (they draw in too much oxygen or mess up the chemical mix needed for our comfort), pain. I often tell people that a negative spirit is going to leave them in NO DOUBT as to the fact that they are negative. The fact you feel FEAR does not a bad experience make! We all feel that when encountering the unknown. So even if your very loving gramma suddenly wrapped her spirit arms around you and you felt her warmth, smelled her perfume and felt her tug on your hair like she always used to do…you are probably going to feel fear. So in this instance, even love can create fear. So thinking along the lines of “But I was SCARED! That must mean it was evil!” is NOT a good argument.

Now, if you have ghosts and you don’t want to have ghosts…here are some things you can try to get rid of them:

1. Go room to room and say a prayer of blessing…doesn’t have to be any special words, whatever comes to mind…keep it simple. God, the Universe, Allah…whatever your belief…they KNOW what your intention is so you don’t need to explain it to them!

2. Light a candle when saying your prayer (but NOT required…just a nice touch…more for YOU than for the ghosts!). The candle represents LIGHT…positive energy! After you’ve said your blessings, leave the candle for awhile or blow it out and give thanks for the divine assistance!

3. Light sage…any sort of dried sage will do! The smoke from the burning sage will eliminate negative energy! This is called “smudging”. The practice of smudging has been used for centuries! Just walk about the room and let the smoke permeate the air! Also…if a particular area or item is believed to be causing the problem…allow the smoke to wash over the item or area!

4. Light incense! Frankincense is a good one but really, most all incense promotes positive energy! Go to a metaphysical store and check out their properties (what they are known to help with!) and get the ones you need! You can also look up incense properties on line to figure out which ones to get.

5. Use your imagination (a GREAT source for spiritual interactions!!). Imagine a light filling the room…chasing away all shadows and washing over everything…penetrating every object in the room…to include the ceiling, the walls and the floor! This light is spiritual in nature and very positive! By imagining it infusing a room or object, you are cleansing it of negative energy and infusing it with positive forces!!

6. Place an item that means something to you spiritually in the room…a cross, angel figurines, pictures of angels, saints, Jesus, a Buddha statue! A pentagram (ensure one star is pointing UP!)…anything that you think of as representing God, the Universe, or whatever your belief.

7. If you feel like something is around and you don’t want it there…imagine a light surrounding you (protection). This light WILL keep you safe from negative spirits! Then tell the spirit to leave…BLESS the spirit and send it on its way. Cast out your imaginary light to encase the room around you! If it’s a good spirit (maybe someone who loves you and is hoping to make contact), the light won’t hurt them but they will get the message that you are not comfortable having them around and they will honor your request to leave!

Honestly, it’s that simple. I think we have this mind-set that everything has to be hard and complicated. But in truth…most things are quite simple. For whatever reason…we have a hard time accepting SIMPLE solutions. In fact, my character Kade has a major problem with it! He just doesn’t understand the power of spirit. But he’s getting it…with Tess’s help! (smile)

So hope this helps!! Most all this stuff is included in my book Vanquishing Ghosts by the way! I know…a shameless plug but hey, I’m quite proud of it!

Until next time…many blessings to all and Peace Out!


ghostsMany of you who follow my blog know that I grew up in a haunted house and because of that became interested in the paranormal. I’ve written blog posts about my experiences in that freaky old farmhouse and plan on releasing a book about it as well…which will really be a conglomeration of all those earlier blog posts. Since starting this blog a little over a year ago, I’ve received lots of comments and email from readers who have had or are having similar experiences and I thought it was time to write another post dealing with the issue of ghosts.

For those of you who have not been following my blog since the beginning…let me bring you up too speed real quick about me, my experiences and beliefs concerning ghosts, hauntings, and the like.

First, I am not a medium though I have had some experience communicating with “the other side” and I don’t consider myself any more psychic than anyone else (we all possess psychic ability). But I do actively pursue knowledge on spiritual matters and put to practice the things I learn. So, basically, I am the average person with an interest in the paranormal and everything that I do…you can do as well!

I was seven when my family moved into the farmhouse and I was fourteen when we moved out. We’d had enough of the paranormal activity there and really, once my dad finally caved to the idea of ghosts and accepted the fact that they truly existed…there was no staying there any longer.

Ghosts can be pretty scary. It’s unnerving to deal with something you can’t see. Scariest of all is the possibility of coming up against something evil. This fear alone scares most people off when it comes to spirit communication and hauntings. And really, that is quite understandable. No one in their right mind is going to want to deal with an evil entity. Heck, we don’t want to deal with bad people who are still LIVING let alone one who is dead! The unseen bad is the worst kind in many ways. I think this is because we feel powerless against it. How do you fight something you can’t see or touch?

Now, before I go on with my thoughts on that, let me explain that the things I have come to believe are a result of personal experience and acquired knowledge from other people or through books, television/movie/video and the like. I believe every medium of learning (such as those just mentioned) are methods used by God to teach us what we need to learn or remember. Now, I believe in God, obviously, and I also think of this Higher Power as “the Universe”. Did you notice that I said God uses the various methods to “teach” us something or to help us “remember” something? I say “remember” because I truly believe we know way more than we remember about who we are (spiritual beings!) and where we come from (spirit!). When going through the birth process, it seems we suffer some sort of amnesia and “forget” quite a bit about our spiritual selves, where it was we came from and what we are capable of.

I had a very vivid dream once (during a time when I was really going through a “spiritual awakening”) that I believe addresses this issue. By the way…I truly believe our dreams are the soul’s way of speaking to us! But anyway…I dreamed I was in spirit and preparing to come to earth (I was soon to be born into a physical body). A group of friends was with me and we were discussing my pending birth. I was sad to be leaving them and the spiritual world in which we lived. In my dream, I understood that I’d done this before (been born into other lives…so, yes, I do believe in reincarnation and living past lives!). I told my friends that THIS time I wasn’t going to forget who I was. I wasn’t going to forget them or my “real” life. They told me it would be impossible to hold on to the memory of our truth. But I was VERY determined! So when it was time to go (enter earthly life) I ascended a spiral staircase and as I went up the steps, I repeatedly looked down at my friends gathered below. I would then wave and say, “I won’t forget you!”. Finally, I reached the top of the stairs and the world in which I had to step into was dark. The staircase and all below was brightness and light and I remember not wanting to step off the staircase into the dark interior of life. But I had no choice and so as I moved away from the stairs, I kept glancing back toward the stairwell. The further away I walked, the smaller the lighted spot where the staircase was located. The world around me was dark and dismal and at first I was constantly glancing back to remind me of the staircase’s existence and to reassure myself that it was still there. I would NOT forget! But, the more I walked (moved through life…grew up), the more frightening the images around me became and the smaller the light when I turned back to look. I kept repeating in my head “I won’t forget” but it was getting harder to remember to do that for I was distracted by what was going on around me. Then something jumped out at me and scared me so bad I didn’t dare to turn around and look for the light. Instead, I focused more on what was in front of me rather than what was behind me and when I finally did turn back…I could no longer see the light and I didn’t remember WHY I was looking back! I had forgotten! And that’s when I woke up. That dream is as vivid to me today as it was when I had it…now over 20 years ago! Dreams that stay with us are very important to us on many levels and in this case it was a pretty big lesson!

It’s been said that children retain some spiritual connection at birth but as they age, the connection becomes lost (have you ever noticed that babies often seem to be looking at something you can’t see? Something that amazes and amuses them?). The harsher the life we live, the faster we forget. Eventually, we are left “in the dark” and all knowledge of the light is something we must now seek to remember. I think that is why Jesus was considered the “light of the world”. He came to teach us “the way” back into the light (to reopen our eyes that we may see!). But he isn’t the only one who came to help us poor lost souls. All those who are known as true spiritual teachers (across all religions)…they too have come to show us the way and help us to see.

So anyway, our biggest challenge as humans is to remember the “truth” about who we are. In seeking and finding the truth, we shall truly be set free…from fear, misery, pain and the like! I truly believe that those of us who ACTIVELY seek the truth will eventually discover it. Bit by bit, slowly but surely! Because of our Ego (and we ALL possess one), our “remembering” is often a slow process. Our Egos act as a personal “gatekeeper” of sorts. It limits our access to universal knowledge and keeps us firmly rooted in the physical world. The Ego controls what we accept as truth and the only way to get a truth past Ego’s gate is to do it in small increments! Once we learn and accept one thing…we can go on to learn and accept another. And so on.

When physical death occurs and a person enters spirit, they do one of the following: 1) hang out in the spirit world for awhile (maybe go through a “life review” process) and then prepare for another birth (reincarnate) 2) go on to Heaven or Hell…whichever is appropriate! 3) hang around the physical world and try to communicate with loved ones left behind…or whoever else they manage to make contact with! 4) become confused about their new state of being (and thus require help from the angels and/or mediums) 5) refuse to accept they are dead (and so require help from angels and/or mediums) or they might 6) hang around the physical world in order to cause mischief. Those that do this are more than likely the “evil” ones we are so afraid to encounter. No doubt they are also avoiding Hell or whatever they must face for the evil deeds they conducted when they were alive!

The ones who are just trying to communicate (either to impart a message or offer reassurance) or the ones who are confused about their new status as spirits (because of a sudden or violent death)…these, I think, are the most common situations in hauntings. It really isn’t unusual to encounter a spirit who is here to do nothing more than reassure us they are fine or to impart a message. Some, though, are concerned about the welfare of someone they left behind and so stick around to watch over them. As for the ones who are confused about their “death” or are afraid to move on…they really do need help…either from a medium or from an angel, a spirit guide. BUT, the ones who stick around because they are angry or intend to do harm, THESE are the ones we need to watch out for and avoid interacting with. And it is fear of these ones who cause most people to avoid spirit communication.

I know that was the case for me when I was living in that farmhouse. Although I knew some of the spirits there meant no harm, there was at least one who was not nice and because of that ONE, I was afraid of them all. Now, considering they never hurt any of us, I can’t think why I was so afraid all the time, but I was. It was this fear that I wanted to address in my third book of the Tess Schafer-Medium series that I’m writing. Book one…”Be Still, My Love” was about my character Tess Schafer dealing with her anger at God and struggling with her spiritual beliefs. Book two…”Hidden Voices” was about her expanding her gift and accepting who she is, what she does and being comfortable with it. Book three…”Vanquishing Ghosts” (to be released in late Spring!) has Tess confronting her fear of negative spirit activity. I wanted to show through this story that we have within us the capability to deal with anything…even evil spirits. I almost named the book “Conquering Fear” because that is exactly what Tess had to do.

Many people write to me expressing fear for some sort of spirit activity they are experiencing. Most all those cases sound to me like someone in spirit who knows them and wants to communicate with them. The spirits bothering these nice folks aren’t trying to frighten them. As I’ve mentioned…once we pass into spirit and we realize that we are very much “alive”, we want to come back and reassure those we love. We want to share the good news! Only now we are in spirit and our communication attempts accomplish nothing but fear. This is why visiting a reputable medium would be beneficial. There are a lot of frauds out there in the world taking advantage of peoples’ grief but there are also a lot of truly gifted mediums ready and willing and happy to help you! As I am a member of the Spiritualist Church, I am lucky enough to be around lots of mediums! My advice lately, for those who seem to have a particularly determined spirit bothering them, is that they should try and locate a Spiritualist Church and see one of their mediums.

Common paranormal experiences are the feeling of being watched, the feeling that someone is right next to you, a sudden chill or tingling feeling (this is more of a response from your spirit body which instantly recognizes when other spirits are nearby!). Things might move around. Rocking chairs will rock, curtains will riffle, a picture might fall (in many cases, the person in the picture is the spirit trying to communicate!), doors open or shut, lights come on or go off, electrical equipment might do the same – the radio or TV might change channels. In all cases, if a spirit is involved, then they are simply manipulating the matter around you to try and get your attention. The problem is…they get your attention alright but then what? You aren’t exactly ready to carry on a conversation are you? And even if you are…how do you go about it? In some cases, people do hear their name being called (a common occurrence actually!). So how do you communicate with a spirit that has managed to get your attention? If you aren’t a natural medium (let’s face it…some are just gifted in this area while others are not!) and you don’t want to pull out a Ouija board, just how are you expected to “talk”?

Well, one thing I often recommend is what is known as “automatic writing”. This is where you grab a pencil and some paper and invite the spirit to communicate with you by writing whatever it is they want to say (using your hand to write it of course…don’t expect the pencil to just lift up and start scribbling away!). The problem with this method is that many people think they are making it all up. I say this…so what? Make it up! Just where do you suppose the inspiration for the words you are writing is coming from? Where do the stories I write come from? Where does any thought come from that pops into our mind? Spirit! This sort of writing is also called “inspirational writing” because you are being inspired to write. Inspiration comes from spirit so inspire away!! The freer you give reign to write whatever enters your mind, the more of a message you are going to get.

Now, because we don’t want to encourage negative spirit interaction, I always make it clear that I don’t want to communicate with anyone who is negative in any way. If a message comes through that sounds threatening or makes you uncomfortable then you need to end the communication. Loving spirits with good intentions are not going to make you feel that way. When a loving spirit wants too communicate with you, that is what you are going to feel…loving energy. You are going to feel GOOD inside. Happy. Peaceful. If you feel none of those things…then you simply tell the spirit that you will NOT communicate with it and that it is not to bother you any more and then BLESS the spirit and send it away. If you are still bothered after that, then find a medium and take care of the problem. Unfortunately, there is the possibility that a particularly nasty spirit isn’t going to obey your command (though I do believe this is rare!). The thing to remember is that here in the physical world…we who are in a physical body are in charge. Those in spirit can only operate in spirit. They can manipulate matter to a degree but once you take charge of the situation…through prayer, faith, and fearlessness…the spirit has no power. I truly believe this. I try to show this through my character Tess. I put her in situations in which she must handle spirit activity…the positive and the negative…and how she does that is how it can truly be done. I feel inspired while writing those stories. And where did I say inspiration comes from? Yeah…I feel spirit is helping me write the Tess Schafer series. I don’t doubt it a bit.

So anyway…the next time you think a spirit is haunting you, you now have options. Tell it to go away or communicate with it. But if you are not comfortable doing either of those things…find someone who will! Just remember, though, that we are all spiritual beings and you have within you the capability to deal with spirit…effectively and safely!!

Many blessings out to all and Peace Out!!


I’ve been interested in the paranormal since I was a little girl. Living in a haunted house will do that to you. Weird stuff happens and once you get over the terror of it, you begin to look for understanding. Here’s the thing…I KNOW that house was haunted. Ghosts lived there with us and the older I got, the more I wanted to know WHY. After we moved out of that house, I continued to read up on things but my paranormal experiences sort of cooled off for a bit. My prophetic dreams stopped occurring and though we had a few bizarre events happen in our new house (sink faucet coming on full blast, burners on the gas stove spontaneously lighting, a blender suddenly springing into action), things were relatively quiet. I was mostly involved with reading palms at this point and studying up on how such a thing could be so darned accurate! Ever had your palms read…by a LEGITIMATE palm reader? You should. Your palm is like your personal memoir. Fascinating stuff.

So anyway, life chilled for a bit on the paranormal end but then I joined the Air Force and was sent to Korea for a year. I had to leave my infant son (my first born!) and that was tough. Let me tell you, it was rip-your-heart-0ut TOUGH. I did a lot of drinking when I first got there. Thought it would get my mind off my baby. It didn’t of course. In fact, it made things worse. Then one night I started telling some friends about my living in a haunted house and they wanted to know it all. When I got to the parts about using the Ouija board, they got the bright idea that we should do that. And so my paranormal experiences began to happen again. We had some really interesting conversations on that Ouija. Let me tell you. Now, I know people will say that it’s evil and all that and I suppose it can be. After all, the Ouija opens a door to the other side. One must be responsible when opening doors like that! Unfortunately, not many people take the necessary precautions to ensure no negative entities come through. I’ve always been careful and can proudly say that I’ve not had any negative experiences with the Ouija. It honestly is one of the EASIEST forms of spirit contact. Maybe because people treat it like a game and so they let their guards down, lower their defenses and relaxes the all-protective EGO. When you truly ALLOW spirit contact to happen…it will.

After my year in Korea was over, I reunited with my son…now 18 months old, walking, talking … doing all those things he wasn’t doing when I left him (he stayed with my parents for the year I was away for his dad went to Korea the same time as I did). Upon my return to the States, my husband and I initiated divorce proceedings (they had a saying in Korea that those stationed over there would come back single if they were married, married if they were single and if neither of those applied then they probably became alcoholics … and yes, there were a few exceptions to this rule, I wasn’t one of them).  For awhile it was just me and my son and it was wonderful to reconnect with him. I thought he was pretty fascinating. He talked very well for his age and so we could actually have conversations. One day he comes to me (he’s not yet two remember) and says, “Mommy, where is my wife? I miss her.” And so began a bizarre period of time where my son was obsessed about his life “as a man” and death. One night while tucking him into bed, he looked so very sad and I asked him what was wrong. He says, “I don’t want to die again. I don’t like it.” Can you imagine how I felt during conversations like this? He was only two. What to say? For the next three years, my son continued to talk about things that happened to him “when he was a man”.  When he was four, he started talking about his time in the military as a pilot in the Korean war! Now, I ask you…what would he know about such things? I did not watch war movies and neither did he. We were living in Germany by this time and didn’t even have television! So, because of that, I began to read up on reincarnation. The whole subject totally fascinated me and still does. I even wrote a book in which reincarnation plays a big role (No Matter What which I hope to have published in ebook by October!! Just in time for Halloween!)

My son was three when I remarried and I was pregnant with my second child when we arrived in Germany. My paranormal endeavors went on another hiatus. We came back to the States with three kids…two daughters were born while I was stationed in Germany. As it happened, I went through yet another marriage break-up (do you know how high the divorce rate is with military members!? It’s a tough life). This break-up really devastated me. My first divorce was quite friendly. We didn’t fight, we just didn’t suit as a couple. But my second one…boy, it brought me down to my lowest points. When your life is falling apart, you can cry about it (which I did in excess!) or you can try to pull yourself together and get on with it. This I did eventually do but I went through quite the spiritual reformation while doing it. I needed to know WHY things happened the way they did. I needed to understand why my life was so messed up! Divorce can really damage your sense of self-worth and totally ruin your self-esteem (not to mention the financial devastation which is another whole set of worries!). I hit a critical low period in my life and turned to God for help. I began studying about angels (they are so awesome!!) and I began to truly believe that God takes care of us if we let him. When we try to control things ourselves without God’s help, well, that’s when things go awry. Little miracles began to happen (I’ve blogged about some of it, see God, Money, Faith) My belief factor went up and things got better and better. It was during this time that I discovered Automatic Writing.

Automatic Writing is allowing spirit to speak to you through hand writing. You can also allow them to come through on the keyboard. It’s basically a form of channeling. As I didn’t have a keyboard at the time (home computers hadn’t put in an appearance much at this point), I used a notepad and a pencil. I meditated (another thing I was learning to do!) and then I started writing! Many spirits came through and brought messages that were helpful. I moved from Automatic Writing to channeling a beautiful spirit I called Sheila (yes, I use her in my book Be Still, My Love and in its sequel Hidden Voices which will be out soon!). I didn’t use a pen and paper with her, I just allowed her to speak through me. I was remarried by this time and my new husband was quite involved with this process. We were both fascinated by Sheila and the things she told us. I had some really amazing experiences with her. Now, I have to tell you that I often questioned these experiences and wondered if it were all coming from my imagination. But I also have to tell you that while Sheila was speaking, I was thinking all sorts of things…ever try to talk and say one thing while having a completely different conversation go on in your head at the same time? This happened quite a bit because I often speculated on the things Sheila shared. Half the time I missed what she was saying because I was busying trying to counter something else she’d said! (we taped every session so I wouldn’t miss out on anything). It was an eye-opening experience and all of it was getting me more and more involved in the world of the paranormal.

Then this marriage went really bad. I can’t say what happened, it’s all so very personal but I will say that I didn’t really know the man I married. Looking back on it, I don’t regret a thing, no matter how bad it got, because it has all led me to where I am now and I like where I am. I wouldn’t change it for anything. Though I wish my kids hadn’t had to go through all that crap too. Life lessons are HARD! For awhile I was mad at God and even the poor angels. I couldn’t understand  how they would let things get so bad. After all the prophetic dreams, all the channeling work, the messages from spirit…WHY did this crap have to happen? Once that marriage ended, my life began to really turn around. It’s been all up hill from there, I’m happy to report! I found the man of my dreams and he’s very understanding about my paranormal interests. He’s also very supportive of my writing and he’s been the BEST father to our kids.

They say that the third time is the charm…for me it took four. But what a CHARM it is! When I started work again on my paranormal thriller “No Matter What”, I began to get more involved with the paranormal world.  Although I had dabbled some with the Tarot cards, I didn’t really get involved with them until I started work on this story. One of my characters was a Tarot reader and I wanted to understand more about it (so my character would sound legitimate) and suddenly I became fascinated with them. They really are quite amazing. I also began to study Numerology (another thing the character in my story liked to do!). Again…the way these things work in our lives is truly amazing!!

When our military careers came to a close (my husband did 28 years and I did 20) and we retired, I figured I’d have more time to write. Not so. We got busy running a small campground which we thought would make a great retirement plan and I found myself too busy to write. But, I did continue with the Tarot cards, palm reading and Numerology studies! When we finally decided to close the campground (it’s a tough world when it comes to running your own business!!!), I found myself having more time to write. I began to edit No Matter What and then I found the Spiritualist church! When family members who have passed on into the great hereafter came through during the “messages from spirit” part of the service, I knew this was the church for me. I signed up for their mediumship class, went on ghost hunting adventures and learned about table tipping! This is yet another form of spirit contact. You simply put your hands flat on the top of a table (must be evenly proportioned…round or square) and invite spirits to come through and and talk to you by “tipping the table”. What fun we’ve had with this!! Table tipping is truly an adventure in the paranormal. We’ve gotten the table to spin, walk or slide across the floor, tip nearly to the floor (without falling!) and rock back and forth. A few times we’ve had the table tip up (usually onto two legs) and then stay there. No matter how hard we tried to get it to fall back onto its legs, we couldn’t do it! Truly…is that fascinating or what?

I’ve had tons of experiences, too many to mention, and they have all led me to the interests I now have. These interests come through in my writing. People write to me and ask me if I am Tess Schafer (the main character of Be Still, My Love) and I guess I have to say yes, to some degree. She has a lot of me in her. But she’s better! A better medium anyway. I love to make up stories. It’s natural to make up stories that involve things that interest me. The paranormal has interested me most of my life and that is why I write about it. I also love to read about it! What about you? Do you like to read about the paranormal? Why? Do you write about it? Share with us your books if you do! Share your stories or your blogs. The people who come to this blog do so because of the paranormal content (right?) so if you’ve something to share, please do!!

Until next time, blessings to all and Peace Out!


Anyone who has lived in a haunted house will probably tell you that their animals often acted strange. Such was the case with us. We had a small dog named Tippy and he was constantly bothered by the spirits. Poor little thing. Tippy was a toy-poodle/chihuahua mix.  He was really small but had a big heart and a big personality. I loved him very much. He was my little companion. My protector. I knew I was safe when Tippy was calm. When his hackles rose (for no apparent reason) then I KNEW something was about. Not a great sign in any case and moments that I totally dreaded.

Once we accepted that our house was haunted, we started looking at things happening there with “open” eyes. No longer were we trying to reason away strange events. We accepted that “the ghosts did it” and that was that.  We (my mother and I) soon began digging around for information on the paranormal, determined to learn what we could about spirits, hauntings and the like. It was during this phase that I had one of my scariest moments.

I was in eighth grade at the time (about 13?) and had walked home from school (a 3 mile walk!) for it was a gorgeous day and I did not want to wait around an hour or so for the bus. I was hoping my mom would be home from work when I got there but alas, she was not. I opened the front door and let Tippy out. Together we sat on the step as I made up my mind what to do…go in the house for a drink (I was VERY thirsty) or wait and do it when my mom or my siblings got home.  Now aware of the ghosts, I was more than ever reluctant to be in the house alone. Never comfortable in any case, it was worse KNOWING unseen people were floating in the air around me!

Finally I did a little pep talk and convinced myself that the ghosts were not going to hurt me and I needed to stop being afraid. Besides, I had Tippy with me and he would know if “they” were around or not. So, feeling some trepidation but determined to overcome it, I stood up, turned around and looked into the dark interior of the house. It was always dark in there…even in the middle of the day in bright sunlight! And it was always cool, regardless of the summer heat. Shoring up my nerves, I walked into the house.

I remember my back crawling with the uncomfortable feeling that someone was right behind me but since Tippy seemed okay, I decided to be okay too and ignored the feeling.  I went down the hall into the kitchen and through to the pantry where the refrigerator was and thus the drink I intended to get. Tippy didn’t come in the pantry with me. He didn’t like it in there and rarely entered. He plunked down on the kitchen floor a short distance away and watched my every move with dog-like curiosity. He always seemed so interested in what I was doing. I loved that dog. He lives in my heart to this day and always will.

So anyway. I open the fridge, pull out the pitcher of Koolaid, turn to the counter and grab a glass from the cupboard. So far so good. My back still continued to crawl with that uncomfortable feeling and the house was cool (scary old house kind of cool but then, I was used to it at this point).  I felt safe. My confidence was building. No ghost was going to scare me. No sirree, I was fine. Just fine.

As I started to pour the Koolaid into my glass, Tippy began to growl low in his throat. I literally froze. I’m not even sure if I could breathe at this point. Tippy’s growl turned almost instantly into a snarl as he scrambled to his feet. Something was about. Great. Just freaking great! I tell you, I wanted to turn around and look but I was scared to death and couldn’t move even if I wanted to. That whole “frozen in fear” thing? Totally real. In all honesty, I didn’t WANT to see what Tippy saw. Finally, somehow, I managed to turn my head and look at my dog. His eyes were focused on the corner of the kitchen to my right of the pantry doorway. Okay, good. Whatever just joined us, it wasn’t in the pantry with me. For that I was rather grateful. I set the pitcher down and turned around. Of course I saw nothing.

Tippy was now snarling quite viciously, his little teeth bared, his ears flat back, his tail between his legs. His entire body shook so bad his toenails clicked rapidly on the floor. I knew I had no choice but to step forward and look around the doorway into the kitchen. I HAD to look. No way around it. My heart pounding in a furious beat that actually hurt, I took a step and leaned just enough forward to look at the corner of the kitchen Tippy was fixated on. My terrified brain imagined all sorts of gruesome scenarios. Would something jump out and grab me as soon as I leaned far enough forward for it to do so? It was, I must say, one of the worst moments of my life. However, I saw nothing. Thank God. I was ever so GLAD I wasn’t one of those people who saw the dead (or whatever…for one part of me always worried it wasn’t a ghost in that corner but something worse)!

Of course I was hoping an animal had somehow made its way into the house and that’s what Tippy was growling at. The corner he was focused on had three items occupying it. The washer and dryer and a chair. No animals, no dark shapes, nothing to account for Tippy’s ferocious snarling. Then he began to retreat, moving backwards toward the kitchen table. Worried he’d hightail it out of the house and leave me there alone, I scooted down and called him to me. He glanced my way, whined as if to say he’d like nothing more than to be in the safety of my arms, then returned his focus to the corner.

Praying to God while pleading with my dog, I can tell you I was pretty occupied in self-preservation. Tippy started to come to me, actually taking a few reluctant steps out from under the kitchen table, but then he suddenly scrambled backwards as if something had charged at him. His snarls turned into yelps of fear, his high-pitched cries scaring me even more than the snarls because it meant he felt highly threatened. He moved under a chair and obviously felt a bit safer for his pitiful cries turned into earnest barking. I can’t tell you how desperately I wanted out of that house. But I was scared to leave the pantry. What if IT came after me?

It took some tearful pleas but eventually Tippy tried again to join me. He got about half-way across the kitchen floor, moving nearly on a belly crawl, when he suddenly made a terrified scramble back to the safety of the table, yelping the whole time as if something were hurting him. Since he wasn’t writhing around, I figured it was more fear that made him cry that way than actual pain. At this point, I was pretty much in tears and I think Tippy realized my desperation. His snarls lowered into whines and it truly seemed to me that he was trying to figure out a way to get to me. Though he looked at me from time to time, his focus remained fixed on the kitchen corner.

It was only a matter of seconds, but it seemed an age had passed before he finally left the kitchen table and ran behind the big cast iron stove that took up most of the wall space to his right (my left).  Keeping close to the wall (actually rubbing his body against it as he moved along), Tippy slowly made his way to me. He kept his head lowered so he could see under the stove (it stood off the floor on thick cast-iron legs about three inches). His attention never wavered from that corner. When he got to the end of the stove, there was about three feet of floor space between him and me, Tippy stood there and whined pitifully. He wanted me to come get him and I wanted to do that. But I didn’t dare. He had to be the brave one. Poor little bugger. I loved that dog.

I  inched over as far as I could go in the doorway and leaned forward. A quick glance at the corner to my right continued to show nothing there (thank GOD for small favors!). I turned to my left and focused on my dog, stretching my arms forward and praying to God the thing in the corner wouldn’t attack them! Tippy glanced from me to the corner and then made a run for it. He jumped up into my arms and I was SO RELIEVED. I knew he couldn’t save me if the entity decided to get nasty, but at least I would know if it were coming after us and where it was.

Tippy twisted about so he could keep an eye on that freakin corner. His tail was tucked between his legs, his shivering still out of control. His front legs were wrapped right around my hands! Thankfully, he wasn’t growling anymore.  Instead, he was making low whining sounds deep in his throat. We HAD to get out of the house and there was only one way out. I said a prayer asking for God’s protection and that helped a lot. Thank the good Lord for my faith. Otherwise … well, there is no otherwise.

Holding Tippy in front of me like a shield, I stepped out of the pantry and made sure to face that corner the entire time. This meant backing out of the kitchen but so be it. I was NOT going to turn my back on that THING…whatever it was. Tippy continued his low whining and that helped my bravery somewhat for it meant whatever he saw was keeping its distance. We nearly made it to the open space between the table and the stove (just a couple feet more and I’d be in the hallway leading to the front door!) when Tippy began to growl. My heart did a little lurch of fear and I stopped moving for a moment. There’s nothing worse than having your body disobey your brain, especially when you want to run and your feet refuse to budge!

Tippy started snarling and then lunged forward repeatedly as if attacking and biting something! My God, I was so darned scared. I truly feared for my life. As Tippy continued to snap at the air and snarl viciously, my feet finally started moving again. It’s hard to walk on shaking legs but I did it!

Once I made it into the hallway, I knew I was going to have to make a run for it. So, with one final plea to God for protection, I turned and ran as fast as I could for the open doorway. Tippy twisted his way out of my arms and hit the floor running. We both flew out that doorway as if the hounds of hell were after us. The skin on my back cringed with fear but there was no stopping me now. I jumped off the step onto the dirt and literally hit the ground running. Tippy was ahead of me now and yelping in fear. Together we ran out of the yard and up the road. I ran until I couldn’t catch my breath and had to stop. When Tippy saw that I was no longer running with him, he came back to join me. I collapsed on the ground and he jumped into my arms and licked my face. He was as happy as I was to be free. And alive!

I’ll never know what Tippy saw that made him react that way and I’m pretty sure I don’t WANT to know. There were other incidents with our dog but I’ll save them for another post. This one has brought back enough memories.

Have any of you experienced anything like this? I’d love to hear your stories! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! Until next time…blessings to all and Peace Out!


In part one of my “Living With Ghosts” blog series, I introduced the spooky old farmhouse my family moved into when I was seven.  Any place with such a colorful history as that house is bound to have a few ghosts, right?  Although the house was old, the wiring bad, the facilities outdated and so on and so forth, my parents moved there because they didn’t have much money and the rent was dirt cheap.  With five small children to support, they thought it was a great deal.  And it was…if only we didn’t have to share the place with unseen specters!  Although I was only seven years old when we moved there, the place had such an impact on me that my memories are quite vivid.  Some of it I wish I could forget.

Since the house had been empty for quite a while, my parents had to do some extensive cleanup and repair work to get it inhabitable.  I remember my first visit to that house as if it were yesterday.  My mom let me tag along with her and a friend during one of their cleaning expeditions.  Their main agenda for the day was to pull several layers of old wallpaper from the walls so new wallpaper could be applied.  I remember that the walls were made of wood laths covered in plaster mixed with animal hair.  The stuff was crumbling from age and my parents replaced a lot of it with sheetrock (drywall).  I can still recall my thoughts on the house the first time I entered it.  The place was darned right gloomy.  It was also quite chilly inside despite the warm spring day outside.  There wasn’t a lot of lighting in the house (the wiring needed quite a bit of updating).  My mom told me that the bedrooms were upstairs and that mine was the last room on the left.  Although I remember feeling uncomfortable going upstairs by myself, I was eager to see my room and so up the stairs I went.  The room that would become my brothers’ bedroom was at the top of the stairs to the left, my parents’ room straight ahead.  There were no windows in my brothers’ room so it was quite dark in there and I had to go through their room to get to mine.  The door to my future bedroom was partially open and I could see that it was lit bright with sunlight.  I raced through the gloom to my future bedroom and was glad to see we had two large windows.  They faced the right side of the house and the river a couple hundred yards down the hill.  The room was filled with furniture (antiques!) and I remember being delighted by the mirrored dresser.  It had all sorts of neat little drawers and I sat before it to explore each one.

I wasn’t in the room very long when I heard someone coming up behind me.  I thought it was my mother.  I turned to ask her if the dresser was going to stay in the room for us to use but no one was there.  It puzzled me to find the room empty for I was sure someone had walked up behind me.  Though reluctant, I went and checked out the other two bedrooms.  I glanced toward the “dark room” (see Part I) but no WAY was I going to peak in there.  Both bedrooms were empty.  Feeling jittery but having no justification for concern, I returned to my exploration of the dresser.  A few minutes later, I had the strongest feeling someone was standing right behind me and my back crawled with unease.  Remember, I was only seven … I didn’t know about ghosts and had no clue why I felt as if someone was in the room with me even though I couldn’t see anyone.  It frightened me beyond measure and I no longer had any desire to explore my room and the furniture within it (the room was packed with lots of old stuff!).  Although I wanted to rejoin my mother, I was afraid to go through the room beyond, especially as I had to pass the dark room to do so (its entrance was a few feet to the left of my door).  I figured whoever was up here with me had to be hiding in there as I’d checked everywhere else.

It was quite a quandary I found myself in for I didn’t dare to leave, I was too scared to stay and I wasn’t sure if I should be making any noise since I didn’t want to attract their attention.  But then I’d made enough noise up to that point, I finally figured they already knew I was there anyway and began calling for my mother.  She kept answering with a “What?” but she didn’t come up the stairs and I didn’t dare go down them.  Finally, after repeating “Mom!” several times with escalating panic, my mother’s head appeared as she came up the stairs just far enough to see me (the top of the stairs was all open so you could see the last few steps from any vantage point).  “What?”

Why I didn’t tell her I was scared, I don’t know, instead I asked her if I could keep the dresser.  She said no, it wasn’t ours to use and before she could turn to go back downstairs, I ran to join her.  Although I really wanted to explore that house, I was too afraid to do so after that.  I did not feel comfortable there.  And the feeling was to remain for the next seven years!

When we finally moved in, the house didn’t seem so scary with the five of us kids running through the place.  My mom and dad always seemed to have company so the house was usually overrun with people.  Even so, I remember feeling like someone was watching me all the danged time.  I usually blamed the feeling on my brother (three years younger than me and quite the pest).  I was so sure he was hiding and spying.  Who else would it be?  Stuff began to disappear almost right away.  It was a common occurrence to have my parents complain about something they couldn’t find (they weren’t the only ones but our stuff being lost was naturally blamed on our inattention and thoughtlessness).  Of course my parents blamed us kids for their lost items (sometimes we would find them, in some strange obscure place, but oftentimes we did not).  I still wonder where they went? Countless times my dad gathered us together to demand we tell him where the latest missing item was “or else!”.  The fact we were all punished when the culprit didn’t speak up always had us kids mad at each other for not fessing up.  Of course, most of the time my poor brother “J” (I’ll just give him an initial as I haven’t asked him if he’s okay with me using his name!) was thought to be the guilty one.  There was a lot of “the blame game” going on, I can tell you that!  The atmosphere was, at times, quite negative.  Not all the time, of course.  Looking back on it, I truly believe the negative atmosphere happened when the spirits were about.  We did have spells of time where they seemed to be absent.  Why they came and went, who knows?

Since we put the missing stuff down to one of us (kids) being the culprit, we weren’t yet aware of the ghosts.  The first year or so living there, anything out of the ordinary happening was explained away.  “It’s cold in here because the walls are built solid and doesn’t allow the summer heat in (the slatted walls filled with horsehair plaster and no insulation told a different story!), the noises we sometimes heard were the house “settling” or it was one of the cats … perhaps even a mouse.  What else could it be?  The feeling of being watched, of not being alone…well, that was hard to explain.  Sometimes I would think it was J but when I knew where he was, I didn’t know what to make of it. The doors being found open (so common an occurrence that it often went without comment), well, it HAD to be one of us kids opening those doors…right? Actually, as I grew older, if my dad got up in the morning and found a door open (meaning the front door, the cellar door or the door to the attached barn), well he usually blamed it on me because I was often the last one to bed!  It boggled my mind that my dad would actually believe I could leave those doors open and head on to bed.  I didn’t feel safe as it was!  In fact, I often doubled checked the doors because I had so many nightmares of us being killed in our sleep! Yeah, my imagination worked overtime while living there.

My fear of that house began in earnest the night my mother went to play Bingo with a friend, leaving us kids at the house with my dad and her friend’s husband.  Ranging from the ages of one to eight by this time, the five of us kids were having a grand ole time playing on the stairs that night.  We were sliding down the narrow stairway on our butts, our bellies, our backs…however we could manage to do so.  We were making quite a racket, I know that much.  The main part of the stairway came to a small landing that then turned right (if coming down) with two more steps to the kitchen. We were confining our “slide” to the landing.  Above this landing was a small window.  I was too short to see out the window if standing under it.  From the back of the house where the window was located, I would guess it was about seven feet up from the ground for it was higher than my dad and he is six feet tall.  It was built flush with the house, no sill, no framing (I feel these facts are important, you’ll see why).  My dad and his friend were sitting at the kitchen table talking … just a few feet from the stairwell entranceway (they must have been happy to have us all occupied in one place so they didn’t mind all the noise we were making).  For once all five of us kids were having a good time together, no fighting, just fun.  We had no worries.

I had just completed my run down the stairs and turned to start back up them when I saw my sister about four steps down from the top.  She sat frozen in place, her dark brown eyes wide with fright, her mouth open in a silent scream.  She was about three at the time.  My two youngest brothers were on the steps behind her, laughing and playing, they were ages one and two (yeah, my mom had us all pretty close together!).  My brother J was a couple steps below my sister and on his way up.  He saw her strange stance and turned to see what she was looking at.  He immediately began screaming in terror and turned to make a mad scramble up the stairs, practically bowling my sister over in his haste.  My two youngest brothers turned to look as soon as they heard J scream and whatever was in the area above my head, they saw it too and began to scream right along with J as they scrambled after him up the stairs.  I did look above me but I saw nothing.  Whatever was terrifying them had to be in the window.  I remember the top of my head started crawling with unease, as if a thousand spiders and just landed there!  I was scared to freakin death and didn’t even know why.  All I knew was that my siblings were seeing something pretty danged awful.  Once my brothers started screaming, my sister found her voice and she let out the loudest, high pitched screech.  That alone would make your hair stand on end!

My dad stood up and looked at me.  “What’s wrong with the kids?  Go get your sister.”

With my dad standing near the stairwell, I felt a little braver and so I crouched low and ran up the stairs to get her.  I picked her up, her little body stiff as a board and she grabbed me as if I were saving her life.  I turned then to look at the window, afraid to see what they saw.  Nothing was there.  As I started down the stairs to my dad, my brothers scrambled down with me, all three of them crying with fright.

My dad took my terrified sister and did his best to comfort her.  It took a while to calm her down and, his patience wearing thin, he told the boys to stop their racket as well.  Of course he looked to me, the oldest of the bunch, for an explanation.  I had none.

Once my sister’s cries calmed to hiccups, my dad asked her again why she was scared.

“Red eyes, red eyes.”  That’s all she would say and then she buried her head in his shoulder.

Now my brother J (five at the time) spoke up.  “There was a monster in the window!”  My other two brothers began to cry again as they repeated the word “monster” and moved closer to dad and I for protection.  My dad put my sister in my arms and motioned to his friend to follow him.  They grabbed a flashlight and headed out the door.  The five of us kids huddled together in the kitchen and waited.  I envisioned my father being eaten by this monster my siblings saw and wondered if I’d be able to save us from the same fate.  Yeah, young minds!  After awhile, my dad returned from his investigation.  He said there was nothing outside the window that he could see.  His conclusion?  My sister and brothers must have seen a reflection of themselves in the window. I knew, even at eight, that such an explanation made no sense.  We’d been playing on those stairs for quite a while, why hadn’t our reflections bothered us from the beginning?  And seriously, what’s so danged scary about our reflections?  Geez! Totally subdued and frightened, the five of us kids went into the living room to huddle together on the couch.  While my dad and his friend sat back down at the kitchen table to continue their discussion (as if nothing had happened!), I asked my siblings about what they saw.  We spoke quietly among ourselves, knowing my dad would get upset if he heard us talking about monsters.  All four of them saw it.  The two oldest were adamant that they saw a face with red eyes. My brother J said the eyes were glowing and the face was scary.

Even though my dad didn’t find the “monster” we all knew it was out there and from that moment on, I was terrified of that house.  Now I knew something else was there with us.  Now I knew why I always felt as if something were in the room with me even though I couldn’t see it.  Now I knew what was opening the doors, taking things, making strange noises and moving stuff.  We had a monster.  It wasn’t much of a relief to later learn the monster was actually a ghost … and it wasn’t just one … no … there were, in fact, several and one of them was bad!

Okay, I’m done for now!  I’m trying to limit each post to to one or two ghostly incidents in order to keep the story relatively short!  Hope you visit again for Part III  …  if you dare! (smile)  Until then, blessings to all and Peace Out!


I love talking about anything to do with the supernatural/paranormal.  As a writer of stories involving such phenomena, I particularly love talking to other writers of the same ilk.  To bring elements of the paranormal/supernatural into our writing, we must have a concept, some sort of idea, of what those elements are.  Personal experiences (if any), how we think, feel and believe all have an impact on the stories we create.  Given that, I am always curious to know the motivation behind writers of supernatural/paranormal fiction.  Jeff Bennington has several awesome books out that include these elements and I’m excited that he’s agreed to “guest” on my blog and chat about it!

Once Jeff agreed to an interview, I fired off a bunch of questions.  Though I gave him the option to pick and choose, he replied with “I don’t think there’s a single one I didn’t want to answer. I’ve never really considered many of your questions, so this was really a self-examination of sorts. Perhaps knowing that will make this interview a bit more interesting to your readers.”  I think you’ll agree that we did indeed get an interesting interview!  With so much to “chat” about, this post was done in TWO parts.  Part II will be published on Monday (April 30th).  Be sure to come back, for there’s lots more great stuff to share!!

So without further ado (my questions to Jeff are in bold print, any replies I made to his answers are in italics):

It is my understanding that you’ve had some paranormal experiences. Would you like to continue experiencing them?

I have had three distinct experiences over the course of my life, including one that is recurring. I didn’t seek out the spirits that I’ve encountered, although I have to be honest, I always wished I could experience something supernatural for my own knowledge. Maybe that’s what has made me open, and thereby receptive to what’s out there. But would I like to continue experiencing them? Not necessarily. Once you experience something beyond your existence, you are forced to reckon with the fact that there is more to life than what we see. Although I’ve always believed in the possibility that ghosts exist, actually experiencing this for myself was the real deal, a true gift. Yet I realized that if ghosts exist, than other entities exist as well, like angels, demons, and who knows what else. For that very reason, I’m not really that interested in diving into the occult or the dead or anything dark that could enter my home or intrude upon my family. I don’t want to give anything evil a foothold.

Do you think they (ghosts) can be helped? Do you believe they NEED help?

I’m not sure. That isn’t anything I experienced. Is it possible? Sure? Can I help a ghost? I don’t know, maybe. I’m not sure I’d really know if I helped a ghost or something else. What may seem like freeing a ghost, may release it from one location only to send it into another realm, and I’m not referring to the “light”. But then again, I have never tried to help a ghost, so I am only throwing out random thoughts.

I can understand your reservations concerning the spirit world.  My own experience has taught me that there’s a difference between a ghost and other supernatural entities and so I believe you’d know which one you were dealing with. I’ve never given it any consideration that we might have the power to banish ghosts into other realms other than the “light”.  I hope that isn’t the case!  It really makes me wonder, though, if our actions could do so with other supernatural entities … sending them somewhere we really did not want or intend for them to go. It’s an interesting thought. I can almost feel a story forming! (smile)

Have you ever tried to contact a spirit? Do you think it would be neat to do so?

I have not. Would it be neat to talk to a spirit? Maybe. But I would never really know for sure if it was a spirit of a dead soul or something malevolent deceiving me. So again, dabbling may not be in the cards for me. I’ve heard too many stories about evil entities that have come out of Ouija boards.

I have had some experience with the Ouija board actually. It’s not a game, that’s for sure. I think it’s a pretty powerful tool for opening a doorway between our world and the spirit world. Done right, though…handling it properly, it can offer some pretty interesting interactions with spirits who have passed from this life to the next (because it can also create interaction with other entities…demons and what not, I think people should know what they are doing before using the Ouija).

When writing your stories, do you ever get a little spooked?

Ha ha! That’s funny. Good question. But no, I don’t really get spooked when I write. I might get a chill down my spine, but not because I’m scared. The chill is from an outpouring of emotion. When I write, I have a pretty good idea where the story is going so there aren’t really many surprises for me, unless I have an “Ah hah moment”. The reason for this is simple: I get to view the book on both a micro and macro scale. I see the bigger picture, arranging the setting and characters as I deem fit. I also see the details, holding each idea in my hands like tiny puzzle pieces. When it’s all said and done, I’m usually surprised at how much people like what I write, because by the time I’m finished with it, I’m rather tired of it and numb to anything that could otherwise be shocking. The reader, however, is not, but that is by design. Keep in mind, I’ve probably read the book over twenty times by the time it’s finished.

I know what you mean! I think my friends and family believe that my stories magically flow out of me. I might be a couple weeks into writing a new story and they’ll be like, “You aren’t finished YET? What’s taking so long?” When I finally do finish the story, they seem to think I do nothing more than a quick read over to find any obvious errors before sending it off to the editor for a “check” and then bam…time for publishing! In truth, a lot of time-consuming effort is required to get a book ready for the critical eyes of the public! We read it and read it and read it and tweak it and tweak it and so on until we’re about tired of it already!

Do you think you stir up spirit activity when writing your supernatural thrillers?

Wow. Another good question. I never thought of that, but I suppose it’s possible. Now that you mention it, I starting writing Reunion in 2009 and encountered a very frightening spirit in 2010 and another soon after that. So was that coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not. Either way, if I do stir things up a bit, even if it’s within my own awareness, I’m not afraid because my beliefs regarding eternity promise that “He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world.”

I certainly believe that the more open you are to the spirit realm, the more likely it is that you will encounter a spirit. For example, my wife is very skeptical, and yet when I had my ghostly experience in a cabin we shared with some friends, two of us encountered the ghost on two separate occasions. The next morning we discovered that the cabin registry was filled with accounts of a ghost named “Earl”! Had I but known his name, I could have helped him. My point is, I’m open and I have seen three spirits of some kind; my wife is skeptical and she has not.

Do you fear death?

Heck no!

What do you think happens once you “cross over”?

I believe that there is a heaven and there is a hell. I also believe that both of these realms are vaguely defined in terms of where the line is drawn and exactly where these planes of eternity exist. Therefore, I believe that there is a gray area between the two that can be crossed over and that spiritual entities of all kinds can crossover from one side to the next. In fact, the bible tells us that Satan himself is free enter Heaven to report to God.

With that said, I believe that when we die we get exactly what we always wanted. If you want nothing to do with God, that’s what you get. If you want to live for yourself, that’s what you get, eternity with yourself. If you want to hurt others, that’s what you get forever and ever. If you live a life filled with regrets, that’s what you get when you die, regret. However, if you choose to serve others, if you choose to seek the God of the universe, if you choose to live a life bent on kindness, a life like the original zombie, Jesus, the ultimate ghost, then I believe you will get exactly what you were looking for.

I do not fear death. I actually look forward to it. And I hope that I am so exhausted from trying to live with purpose that that’s what I get, an eternity with purpose. I do not desire to be lost in the gray matter.

I agree with you on the idea that we get what we expect.  But, do we get it for “eternity”?  I just don’t know, but I’m hoping not!  Eternity is an awfully long time and I’d like to believe that we don’t stop learning, whether we are in physical life or in spirit.  It’s all quite a mystery isn’t it?  Our beliefs have a lot of pull in this respect.  Like you, I don’t fear death.  People shouldn’t fear it unless they are living a life they know might create problems for them on the other side.  And if that’s the case, they should change what they are doing!

How much of your beliefs are in your books?

Everything I write stems from what I believe, including plot lines and themes, all bundled up in a whirlwind of creativity that is uniquely mine. I want to write books that rate high on suspense, but do not leave a reader with a sense of shallowness. I want my books to have a depth that readers can relate to without coming across as preachy. But that’s easier to do if you do not put God in a box.

Can you give us some examples of how your beliefs have influenced your writing?

Sure.  As strange as it may seem, my beliefs about eternity have driven me to write supernatural thrillers. The supernatural is frightening and unknown to many, so its very nature stirs fear and creates suspense. But for me, its any easy medium to work with, like a canvas, the paint goes on smooth and easy. Sci-fi or fantasy, however, would feel like working with raw iron, sharp and cumbersome. I could never write in that genre. Besides, like many writers, I write what I see play out in my head, like taking notes from a movie, so I create scenes that I’d love to watch on the big screen.

You like to write horror…why?  Do you like to be scared out of your wits?

Actually, I don’t necessarily like to write horror per se. I think my suspense thrillers are light on horror, and higher on suspense. In fact, I write each chapter with an ending that begs the reader to continue, a tool I incorporated very heavily in Twisted Vengeance.

Certainly the use of the word “horror” is subjective.  Some would put my book in the horror category because it has ghosts in it but I certainly don’t think of it as horror.  Your books contain some horrifying scenes (things we wouldn’t want to happen to us!) but more than that, they are suspenseful (of the edge-of-your-seat variety!) and they do create quite the “thrill” when reading them.  For me anyway, I probably think of your books as”horror” because some scenes in them made me cringe!  In all truth, however, you have blended several genre elements very well (horror, suspense, thriller, mystery) not going overboard with one or the other.  That’s why, though I don’t read “horror” per se, I enjoy your books!

Do you write an outline or does the story just develop?

I write such a messy outline that most people wouldn’t be able to make heads or tails of what’s in my “black book” of ideas.

When a book idea hits me, I jot down the synopsis asap so I don’t forget it. Later when I have time to really think about the general plot, I write short biographies for each character and a brief summary of each chapter. I know I have a full length novel when I can come up with 25 or 30 chapters in the beginning. Those chapters usually sprout roots and grow into a full length novel.

I find it very impressive that you can come up with brief summaries for each chapter before you even write the book!  I’m sure other writers work similarly.  I have no clue what’s going to happen in a chapter or even how many chapters I’m going to have until I sit down to write them.

I love the idea of writing short biographies for each character.  I would probably find my own writing to go smoother if I’d do something like that.  A great tip!  Thanks.

Have you ever been uncomfortable with how a story has developed?

No, but I do have a two book series that I’ve written that I’d be embarrassed to let you read in its current state. But as far as story development goes, I think I have a natural feel for developing story lines that work. The good thing is I spend less time fabricating and more time honing my craft.

A sign of a true writer…where the effort to come up with the story isn’t so much the hard part as honing your craft…making the story better, the sentences stronger, the picture clearer.  It’s a lot of work!!

Have you ever experienced an “epiphany” while writing?  An ‘OMG, where did THAT come from’ moment?

YES! That is where all of my “twists”are born. I have no idea where they come from; they just sneak up on me and freak the sh** out of me. That is the only time I get freaked out. Once I know the twist, I have to make sure I fit in all the details that allow for plausibility.

I can so understand this!  I think when we are in the creative flow, those moments are bound to happen and when they do, we find them as exciting as the reader does!  I had one of those moments at the end of my book and had to go back through the entire thing and make sure it all fit together.  It’s a fascinating process.  I certainly got that “oh wow” moment when I read Twisted Vengeance! It also made me want MORE!

This concludes Part One of this awesome “chat” with Jeff Bennington!  In Part II we get more into a discussion of Jeff’s books and really, if you are a fan of supernatural thrillers, you don’t want to miss the next post!!

Please feel free to comment on the above discussion and ask Jeff anything you like.  I know he would love to hear from you!  Also, if you haven’t already read his books and would like to, here are the links  (the one on the end: The Kindle Book Review is Jeff’s blog, readers and writers alike should take a look!):

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