Tag Archive: Paranormal Activity



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!


I LOVE paranormal stories. They scare me, make my skin crawl and often induce me to sleep with a light on, but even so, I enjoy them! I don’t like blood and gore stuff, though. That stuff grosses me out. Spooky stuff…THAT’s the kind of stories that make your hairs stand on end. I probably enjoy ghost stories because there’s such mystery surrounding them. And because I lived with dead people for awhile. That sort of puts things into perspective…makes you realize that there’s more to life…and death…than what we think we know. In truth, it’s from what we don’t know, that our fears grow.

Ever since I was little and lived in a haunted house, I’ve wanted to know WHY spirits linger in “our” world (the land of the physically living) once they’ve passed on into their new one (the great “hereafter”). Not everyone hangs around haunting the living. So WHY? Do ghosts have fears? Fear is a huge stumbling block for most of us. We must conquer fear in every aspect of our lives…in the here and now, and in the afterlife. At least, that’s what I think. I could be wrong. And I could be right. On the off chance I’m right, I am hoping to get things figured out well ahead of my appointed time to ‘cross over”. I have no intension of hanging around scaring the bejezus out of my loved ones. There are a few others I could  think of that might be fun to scare, but honestly, I’m hoping there are better things to do when I get “over there” than to amuse myself scaring those who annoyed me when I was alive!

I’ve come to believe in reincarnation for various reasons (see Reincarnation Fact or Fiction?) and so I’m always wondering how my past lives are affecting my current one. When I was in the military, I was in a tough career field. It consisted mostly of men (about 98%) and the few women there were…well, you had to be tough or stupid to stick it out (I put myself in each category through alternating points of my life!). Over and over I met up with the most difficult of supervisors and co-workers. And over and over I would say…WHY do I keep coming up against the same kind of people over and over again? Each new base I was assigned, I would hope things would get better…and NO, that wasn’t often the case. Each time I encountered the same difficult, over-bearing people I’d encountered at the previous base. I came to wonder if it was just me. Was I such a loser to be messed with so much? No. I wasn’t. I had lessons to learn and yes, I eventually learned them and let me tell you…once you figure out a problem…it really does go away! So, I started asking myself…have I encountered these people before and they are just getting me back for a past life transgression? How do I even out the Karma and stop the cycle of retribution, revenge and whatnot? Really, when you start approaching people and events this way, you look at it all quite differently. Suddenly I’m not resentful but curious.

Since I constantly wonder about reincarnation, karma, past lives and the like, it’s only natural that as a writer I am going to write stories featuring these interests. No Matter What is one of my most intriguing stories. I’m quite proud of it. I really wanted to explore all the issues about life and death in this book. Why are we here? What happens when we fulfill our purpose? Just how much does a past life affect us? What about Heaven? What about Hell? The questions mounted and No Matter What practically wrote itself. I was a spectator to my own story, as eager as a first time reader to find out what was going to happen next! If I didn’t know any better, I’d almost wonder if I channeled the story somehow. It sounds corny I know but there you have it.

So, I wrote my story and I’ve put it out there for anyone else who might enjoy a story involving ghosts, reincarnation and past lives. Because I’m a Veteran and proud of it, I thought…why don’t I share my baby with the world at no cost? So on November 12th and 13th (my favorite number by the way!), I’m going to offer my special baby for FREE! For any of you paranormal enthusiasts…I sure hope you enjoy it!! And however you feel…leave a review and let us know!  Thanks so much for visiting my blog and sharing some time with me.

Many blessings 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!


Last year I started this blog and since my interests (among many!) are attracted to anything dealing with the paranormal/supernatural and the books I write also include such subject matter, it was only natural that I would blog about that stuff too.  I became interested in matters of the “unknown” and “mysterious” when me and my family moved into a haunted old farm house back when I was seven years old.  I’ve always said I would write a book about our experiences there but, interesting though various events were, I’m not sure I could keep the page-gripping momentum going through an entire book.  I mean…there’s no final big show down or climatic end…we simply moved out.  We had had enough.  I do, however, have a great “novel” idea for a future book which will be loosely based on our experience there.  One of these days I’ll actually get down to writing “The Haunted Farm House” (or whatever I end up calling it) but that book will be a work of fiction and I would love to share what REALLY happened.  What better way to do that than a blog series!

Now, all my earliest blog posts were about my experiences in that house but I sort of crammed them all together as it seemed once the dam broke on my reminiscences, I wanted to get it all out there quickly.  So instead of reposting those, I’m going to rehash all the same stories again, minus the eager blog-post-overload I engaged in before!  This way, I can really convey what it is we experienced and maybe explore my own thoughts on it a little more … now that I know what I know!

For this post, I want to give a little history about the house, what I remember of it (I was 7 when we moved in and I was 14 when we moved out).  Despite the many years that have past, my memories are still pretty vivid and I continue to dream about that place to this day … thirty plus years later!  A homestead has been on the property since settlers began arriving in the area back in the 1760s.  The place used to be a farm (thus we dubbed our home “the farmhouse”) and many tragic events happened there.  Barns were struck by lightening at least twice that I know of and many animals were killed.  Although many adults died on the property (remember, it’s been settled a long time!), several children died there as well (I can’t tell you how it was they died but I do know that one of them drowned in a well which was filled in afterwards, thank God!).  We even uncovered a story about one of the house’s inhabitants being tarred and feathered by the town!

So, how do we know about some of the folks who died on our property or in our home?  Because they are buried in a tomb a couple hundred yards behind the house.  The inscriptions of eleven people are engraved in the granite stone facings of the tomb’s front wall (the rest of the tomb was buried in a mound of dirt long since overgrown with grass and brush).  A small rusted metal door about three feet high and two feet wide was it’s access point.  When curiosity led us to that tomb, I remember the door was slightly ajar.  A few years later (I was about 12 I think), I would actually have the nerve (or stupidity) to enter it!  My mother tells me that TWELVE people were actually laid to rest in that tomb.  She did a lot of research on the property when we finally accepted that it was haunted and sadly, all those research papers were given to a friend who then lost them! No matter, what happened in that house prior to our living there was not as much a concern to us as what happened after we moved in!  Though I suppose past events certainly affected future ones!  For one thing, there has to be a reason why all those spirits chose to hang around in our dimension rather than moving on in their spiritual journey.  When I say “all those spirits” I have to explain here that we figured somewhere along the line that four spirits shared our home with us.  One of them was not a good one.  I think if you are a bad person in physical life, you aren’t going to suddenly become good in the afterlife.  Probably this is why that particular spirit hangs out in our dimension (sometimes called “plane” in other writings on this subject).  I mean, what’s his alternative?  Hell?

The house was two stories high.  The first floor mainly consisted of the living room (where the oil stove was located and the only source of heat for the entire house!) and the kitchen.  Both rooms were spacious and nearly the same size.  A huge cast iron stove pretty much dominated the kitchen.  It was fueled by oil on one side (it was my job to fill the oil can…a chore that meant a trip down a long creepy spider infested corridor in the old barn) and propane gas on the other side.  The stove top on the oil burning side was smooth and flat, almost like a griddle.  It took quite a while to heat up so we mostly used it as a source of heat for the kitchen.  We also used this side to slowly boil down sap for maple syrup.  It was perfect for that job!  The propane side was used for most all the cooking.  The oven was a learning experience to cook in as it was hard to regulate the heat.  But as I loved to cook and my mother was okay with my kitchen experimentations, I did learn how to use it!  I remember the door to that oven was heavy cast iron and in later years it would play a part in an accident involving BOTH my parents!  A small pantry was off the kitchen and this is where the old cast iron sink covered in worn porcelain was located.  It had a faucet you had to pump to get water!  In today’s day and age, that would be considered rather “novel” but we found it out-dated and my father was quick to replace it!  I know that one of the more recent of the past residents (prior to our moving in) had died in the pantry.  This room more than any of the others always creeped me out the most, probably because I had to go in there so much.  I HATED that room and unfortunately, this is where the dishes needed to be washed (also my chore) and where all the food and dishes were stored.  The refrigerator was in there as well.  My little dog Tippy didn’t like to go in the pantry and so I couldn’t use him as a “deflector” for the spirits while I was in there.  I usually had to bribe one of my siblings (I have three brothers and a sister all younger than me) to come in there with me as I felt safer when I wasn’t alone.  I needed them to watch my back for I always felt like someone was in there with me, standing at my back, breathing on my neck.  It sent chills down my spine (that really happens!) and it seemed my flesh was always crawling with discomfort.

The one bathroom was off the kitchen (sharing a wall with the pantry).  It didn’t have any lighting and I hated it.  Of course my parents put a lamp in there but the light did nothing to dispel the creep factor.  Who knows what that room was before it was converted (before indoor plumbing, there was an outhouse).  Another room, which eventually became my bedroom when I got older, was also off the kitchen … you actually had to enter this room to get to the bathroom.  Another doorway to this room connected to the front hallway and directly across that was another entry to the living room.  So basically you could run circles through all the rooms on the first floor.  No doors were on any of these entrances and that was probably to allow heat to circulate throughout.  Next to the doorway between the kitchen and living room were two other doors.  Coming from the living room, the one on the left went out to the barn and the one straight ahead went down to the cellar.  Though the five of us kids played in the barn all the time (it was chock full of old antiques!), we were terrified of the cellar.  Since the door wouldn’t stay closed, my parents used to keep a butter knife stuck in the door frame to keep it from opening.  The cellar had a dirt floor, it was damp down there and cold…always cold, no matter the season.  It also had a room built down there…near the center…that looked like a tomb.  In fact, we called it the “tomb room”.  It had an arched ceiling and was constructed entirely of bricks.  We later found out that bodies were sometimes kept in this room until they could be transported to the tomb or buried!

The stairway to the second floor was off the kitchen and above the cellar staircase.  Since it was an enclosed staircase, it had a door down in the kitchen and in the winter we closed off the upstairs and the seven of us all crowded downstairs to stay warm.  I have to admit here that I loved the winters in that house the most!  It seemed that paranormal activity was not so busy in the winter and the house was actually warm!  Maybe the spirits didn’t bother us so much because we were all together and happy and that somehow helped to ward off their activity.  Who knows?

On the second floor were four rooms.  Straight ahead of the stairs was my parents’ room.  There was a “window” in the wall in my parents’ room to what we dubbed “the dark room”.  We always found it peculiar that someone would put a window (no glass, however, just a gaping black hole) between two rooms.  To the left of the stairs was an open room which was where my brothers slept.  My sister and I had the bedroom at the end of their room.  The doorway to the dark room was in my brothers’ room and I will tell you that the five of us kids were quite scared of it.  It was dark in there because there was no outside window (my mother hung a picture over the hole so no light could enter from their room either).  A light fixture hung from the ceiling (right next to it was the access door to the crawl space under the roof) but we never kept a light in there because my parents used the room to store some of the old furniture left in the house that we had no plans to use.  It was the ultimate dare for us kids to go in that room.  Needless to say, most of us didn’t take up the challenge and if we did, it wasn’t for long.  My mother hung a curtain over the doorway and the thing moved often.  I tell you, that room had some negative vibes attached to it.  In my mother’s research, we learned that a handicapped child was kept in there!  Back in the day, people with disabilities were kept hidden from public view.  Thank God we don’t do that anymore!!

The upstairs was usually cool in temperature no matter the weather but I feel that most of the spirits hung out in my parents’ bedroom more so than the other two.  At least for me, that’s where I experienced the most paranormal activity on the second floor.  On either side of the stairwell were cubby holes that actually were crawl spaces between the bedroom walls and the roof.  My parents used these crawl spaces for storage but us kids did play in there on occasion.  Though we did get creeped out over time and stopped going in there.  It could have been our over-active imaginations but then again, we were just small kids and ghosts were unknown entities to us.  When we were in those cubby holes and feeling like someone else was in there with us, we beat a hasty retreat, scared though we didn’t know why.  We just KNEW something wasn’t right.  The feeling wasn’t always there, however, in the beginning.  Maybe over time our continued use of the cubby holes attracted their attention or maybe they became so attached to us they followed us everywhere and so it felt more and more uncomfortable as time went on.

So that’s the complete layout of the house.  As for the location, it was built slightly back from the road on a level area midway up a hill (we had no nearby neighbors as this was farm country).  Below us was the Orland River (an often used route for Native American Indians which peppered the entire Orland region at one time!).  The Orland River ran past our property to Alamoosook Lake and it was here (on the surrounding shores of the lake and the banks of the river) that several Indian burial grounds were located.  At one time the Red Paint Indians inhabited the area.  They were a mysterious tribe that disappeared several thousand years ago.  They were called the Red Paint Indians (later called the Maritime Archaic) because their burial sites were filled with red ocher (a bi-product of hematite).  I can’t help but wonder if that house was located near another Indian burial site not yet discovered?  Pure conjecture on my part, but it is possible.  But anyway … a large field surrounded our house (our landlord “hayed” it during the late summer) and then the land rose sharply and became heavily wooded.  Across the street from our house was a pasture where our landlord kept a few horses, a couple cows and a mean ole bull (at least for a couple of the years that we lived there).  In the winter the animals were taken away and we loved to go over there and slide down the hill on our sleds.  I can say that the pasture was free of spirits and that is probably why we loved playing over there so much.

I do believe that some areas are conducive to paranormal activity.  I’ve since learned that there are “ley lines” networking across the earth and at certain connection points, these ley lines are believed by some to create a sort of “portal” to the other side.  I truly believe that the area where our farmhouse was located (it has since been torn down and no trace of it remains) is a “hot” spot for supernatural activity.  Even now, when we pass by there, I get the creeps.  My skin crawls and I know they are still there.  It doesn’t matter that the house is gone.  They are not.  And they continue to plague my dreams.

So, that’s it for this post.  I wanted to introduce our infamous old house first and then concentrate on particular paranormal events that happened there in future posts.  The picture I’ve included was taken during a nighttime visit there a few years back (a couple years before it was tore down).  My brother was big into “ghost hunting” at the time and he convinced me to go with him to the farmhouse.  I don’t know how he managed to talk me into it.  I truly believe something bad hangs out there and I was really worried about it following me home!  The two windows on the second floor is where my old bedroom was located (the small window below went to the pantry).  You can see the orb clear as day.  Now, I know there’s a lot of controversy about orbs but my gut tells me some of them really are spiritual energy centers … and that’s what spirits are in the most simplest terms…we are all beings of energy!  Certainly a lot of so-called orbs captured on film are specks of dirt, bugs, moisture drops, etc.  But not all of them.  This orb…it’s one of THEM.  I KNOW it.  They wanted me to know they were still there.  And they knew who we were.  I felt that with as much certainly as I felt the goosebumps on my arms and the standing hairs on my neck.

I saw the orb in the review screen on my camera and hightailed it for the car.  I yelled for my brother to “Come on let’s get out of here, we need to leave NOW!” and he of course took his sweet time.  Before getting into the car he stopped to take a picture of it.  My mother and husband were waiting inside with me.  My brother looked at the review screen on his camera and hurried (finally!) to show us what he had captured.  The car was surrounded by orbs.  Unfortunately, the computer those pictures were downloaded to crashed on us and all the pictures were lost.  Bummer that.  I tell you, I FELT them.  And though I’m not so scared of spirits as I was when I was a kid, I still am afraid of THEM.  Or at least I am of one of them.  Needless to say, I did a lot of protection prayers as we sped away!

Okay, NOW I’m done!  In my next post, I’ll explain a particularly scary event that changed everything for me … turning our home from a fun place to live (the yard was our oyster!) to a chilling place of fear.  Until next time…blessings to all and Peace Out!


Cover of "Stranger Than Fiction"

Cover of Stranger Than Fiction

Not too long ago I interviewed Tess Schafer, a medium who also happens to be the main character in my book “Be Still, My Love“, and got her perspective on a few things.  I truly enjoyed connecting with Tess and chatting with her.  Yeah, I know, rather bizarre when you think about it…me interviewing my character…which means essentially, me having a discussion with me!  (smile)  Still, we flushed out a few things concerning the story and I enjoyed the chat.  It truly felt as if Tess were right here with me.  In fact, for the most part, I do think of her as someone separate from myself.  When we authors develop a character, that character becomes somewhat real to us in our minds.  I know that once the story gets going, my characters drive the telling of it and I do nothing more than go along with the flow.  If I try to go MY way on something, it won’t work, the words eventually fail to come and all progress grinds to a screeching halt.  It’s like they (the characters) stop talking to me.  It’s an interesting process.  I find myself fascinated by it.  Often, when this sort of thing happens…the complete-story-halt scenario…I go back and do what the character wanted to do in the first place.  Lo and behold, the words come, the story flows and I am amazed at what develops!

I am going to show my age here but when I was young, I loved The Carol Burnett Show.  One skit she performed on that show really made quite an impact on me.  To this day…so many years later…I still think about it.  The skit consisted of Carol being a character in a book which Vickie Lawrence (a regular on the show) was in the process of writing.  As Vickie typed the story, the characters…Carol and the other two cohorts on her show Harvey Korman and Tim Conway…acted out the scene.   It really hit me upside the head as I thought about all my own creations.  “Oh God! What if in another reality, the stories are really happening?”  Sort of freaked me out a bit.  I suddenly felt responsible for “real” people.  It made me take note about what I was writing concerning them.  Conversely, I now felt sad when something bad happened!  I don’t like writing sad stories and yet life is filled with sadness isn’t it?  I know this much…I better feel uplifted when my story ends.  At the very least, I better feel like the characters are going to continue on with a great life.

One movie that really had some impact on me as an author was “Stranger Than Fiction” with Will Ferrell.  In that movie, Will is a character in an author’s book and one day he suddenly starts hearing her thoughts as she writes his life.  This means he also hears the omniscient narration that tells him he is going to die in the near future.  Will doesn’t want to die so he sets out to find “the voice” so he can beg her to let him live.  This movie just expanded on the skit in The Carol Burnett Show.  “Delirious” with John Candy operated on the same premise.  In this movie, he had a magic typewriter that allowed him to control the lives of the characters who lived in an alternate reality!  The Neverending Story is another example of this story-being-real concept.  As an author, the creator of characters, I feel responsible for the “people” I bring into being.  The life they live and the life it is suggested they’ll live after the book ends are now resting on my shoulders.  What a responsibility to shoulder!!

I’ve been watching a television series called “Once Upon A Time” in which all the storybook characters ever created are real and have been banished from “story land” (or wherever it was they existed) by an evil queen (Snow White’s Step-mother, the witch!).  Of all places in the world…where do you suppose the evil queen banished those poor characters?  To MAINE!!  (smile).  Yeah, my home state.  Oh the horror!  Those poor, poor dears.  I have to wonder why the writers of that show decided that Maine was to be the place of banishment (I mean, seriously, it isn’t that bad a place to live!)?  So anyway, back to my point.  In the last episode I watched, one of the characters, the Mad Hatter, tried to convince Snow White’s daughter Emma that the storybook her young son Henry claims is a factual document (he’s only one of a few who knows the truth) is in fact just that…a true accounting of all their lives (the poor dears also lost all memory of their former storybook lives).  Those “tales” are true, the Mad Hatter tells Emma.   She doesn’t believe him.  He tells her, (paraphrasing here) “Where do you think stories come from?  The imagination?  And where did THAT come from?”  The very point I’ve pondered for most of my writing life!  The stories I write just develop on their own.  I honestly feel like I’m taking dictation.  They run like movies through my mind and I type what I see.  Am I tapping into a true life story that exists in an alternate reality?  Oh come on, suspend disbelief and go with it.  Mind-boggling though it is.  Hey, writers have to be a little out of touch with so called reality in order to create the worlds, characters and stories they create!

So here’s the thing.  Right now I am writing paranormal stories involving ghosts.  My books Be Still, My Love and it’s sequel Hidden Voices (to be published in May) both focus on the life of the character I mentioned earlier…Tess Schafer.  She regularly talks to her spirit guide Sheila and she attracts spirits to her  wherever she goes.  Mediums do that, you know, attract spirits to them like cows attract flies (poor things, I always feel bad for them…the cows not the mediums!).  If the stories I create are actually alternate realities, then it stands to reason that I’ve tapped into a paranormal world that actually exists!  Could it be possible to bring that world into ours?  Why wonder such a thing, you might ask?  Well, while I was writing those books, strange little things happened.  My grandkids’ toys activated.  I heard knocking noises that even made the dogs bark (so it wasn’t just my imagination!).  I saw blinking little lights (like bright twinkles).  I can’t say how many times I thought someone was with me…to the point that I’d get up and go have a look around!  I’d detect a movement out of the corner of my eye and turn to look…no one there! I felt cold drafts, chills down the spine…yeah, yeah, it could just be my very active mind playing tricks on me but still.  It makes me wonder???

I recently gave Hidden Voices out to a couple family members to critique for me and both of them had a strange experience happen to them while reading it!  For one, the printer attached to her computer suddenly came on and randomly started printing stuff.  For the other, all the lights went out just as a seance in the book was getting started.  Could be coincidence, certainly.  But here’s the thing…I don’t believe in coincidence.  Our world is carefully orchestrated to operate ON PURPOSE.  All things that occur in life do so by divine design.  Nothing is by chance or coincidence.  Nothing! There’s a reason and purpose for every single thing, no matter how small and insignificant it might appear to be!  The stories, movies, shows, arts, songs…everything that is created was channeled from somewhere.  It existed THERE, and now it exists HERE.

Pretty thought provoking, isn’t it?  We live in a bizarre world!  We really do!  Okay, I’m done for now.  I’ve another story to channel! (smile) Thanks for stopping by and reading my rambles.  Until next time…blessings to all and Peace Out!


Amityville

Amityville (Photo credit: Kousto)

October is the month for scary movies, haunted houses and spooky stories. Since we are nearing the end of the Halloween Season, I am in full-out Halloween mode!  This post was initially published last year and at that time, I only named eleven picks. I’ve since added a few more.

Now, for me, when I say “scary”, I mean the spine tingling, hair raising, goosebump rising, OMG kind of scary.  Not blood and gore and hatchet scary.  I sat through the Friday the 13th and Halloween movies with my hands over my eyes.  How are we supposed to enjoy a movie we can’t even bring ourselves to watch? I KNOW, some of you love that stuff. But not me.

Since the movies with a scare factor I enjoy most aren’t due to hacked up body counts and blood, you won’t see much in the way of gore while watching any of the following.  In my opinion, the movies that make you cringe without the use of machetes and chainsaws are the best.  Since stories that include ghostly elements happens to be the kind of stories I like to watch as well as write (my most recent paranormal thriller being NO MATTER WHAT!), I thought I’d share my top twenty list of spooky movies.  Now, there’s been a LOT of movies made over the years, and I’m sure I’ll not list one or two that you think should be included. If so, please feel free to leave a comment and share your picks!

So without further ado, here is my list.

1.  The Entity.  This movie is supposed to be a true story about a woman who was repeatedly attacked by a supernatural entity.  You can only take Hollywood depictions of true stories with a grain of salt, but it still made for a pretty intense movie!

2.  The Changeling.  This is a great spooky tale of a ghost wanting justice for his untimely death.

3.  The Sixth Sense.  I loved this movie.  It was scary, spooky and had a great ending!

4.  Poltergeist.  Although this got pretty crazy towards the end, I thought this movie gave a great portrayal of supernatural occurrences.

5.  Ghost.  Okay, this one isn’t really scary, but it was a good ghost movie anyway!

6.  Gothika.  This movie had a nice spooky atmosphere and a few jumpy spots.  And it was a good story.

7.  Paranormal Activity & 2 & 3 & 4  These movies definitely have the creep factor.  Okay, they are about demons not ghosts, but still, they are pretty scary and so I included them on my list.

8.  The Others.  This is a great ghost tale for sure!! A true classic.

9.  The Shining.  Okay, this movie turned into a story of an ax-wielding maniac, but up until it became all about that, the movie was spooky scary.  (The book is MUCH better!)

10.  What Lies Beneath.  This movie was pretty good at portraying scary ghost activity … at first.  Then it became a raving-lunatic-out-to-kill movie and that sort of ruined it for me.  But because the first half or so was pretty spooky, I put it on my list.

11. Stir of Echoes.  Although this film didn’t get a lot of attention, I thought it was pretty good and so it, too, made my list.

12. Insidious. I had to add this one because my daughter loves it and because it IS spooky!

13. The Innocents. This one I recently discovered!

14. Dragonfly. This one definitely had a paranormal influence and so I decided to include it.

15. White Noise. This one had a lot of potential and there were some bit parts I thought was pretty good but it is sort of laughable in places. Still, I thought I’d include it because sometimes a light-scare is good to enjoy!

16. Lake Mungo. Another recent discovery. Done as a documentary but interesting even so.

17. The Orphanage. This one was recommended to me when I posted last year’s picks. It definitely needs to be on the list!

18. The Amityville Horror. This was supposed to be based on a true story and though I think Hollywood did a lot of embellishment, I figure maybe SOME of it was true and if so, THAT is pretty scary! This is the updated version but the old Amityville might be a good alternative. Watch them both and compare! By the way…the book was much better! Also, there are a whole slew of movies that came out with the Amityville name attached to them. Most of them are rather silly and some are gory but you might like them. I didn’t.

19. Elvira Mistress of the Dark. Yeah, I know, this one isn’t spooky, scary but it sure is FUN! I laughed through this one and it’s such a great HALLOWEEN kind of movie!

20. The Fourth Kind. This is a bizarre movie. It’s one of those that after you are done watching it, you are tempted to watch it again just to see if you can figure out what the heck you just watched! It might be about aliens (or not…do we ever really know?) but I thought it was spooky enough to include on the list.

So what say you?  Have you seen any of these? As I said, if you want to add more, please leave a comment and tell us about it!

Hope you all have a Spooktacular Halloween!! And if you don’t celebrate that holiday, have a great October 31st!!

Until next time, blessings to all and Peace Out!

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