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Our September Author Interviews--9/6 Kathleen Valenti, 9/13 David Burnsworth, 9/20 Jeri Westerson, 9/27 Frances Brody. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

September Saturday Guest Bloggers: 9/2--Anne Bannon, 9/9 WWK Bloggers, 9/16 Margaret S. Hamilton, 9/23 Kait Carson, and on 9/30 Trixie Stiletto.


“May 16, 2017 – The Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) today announced the finalists of the second annual Star Award, given to authors of published women’s fiction. Six finalists were chosen in two categories, General and Outstanding Debut. The winners of the Star Award will be announced at the WFWA Retreat in Albuquerque, New Mexico on September 23, 2017.” In the general category, WWK’s Carla Damron was one of three finalist for her novel, The Stone Necklace. Go to Carladamron.com for more information. Congratulations, Carla!

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Sight Unseen" in Fish Out of Water, Guppie (SinC) anthology, just released, and "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Southern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue. Mysterical-E published her "Double Crust Corpse" in the Fall 2016 issue. "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.

James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.
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Thursday, November 7, 2013

ARE GHOSTS FOR REAL?


Books and movies with a paranormal theme are quite popular now: those with ghosts, vampires, zombies, werewolves, witches and other paranormal or fearful beings. I haven’t heard much about aliens from another planet lately, but at one time there were serious believers in them and there probably still are. With any topic – even climate change – you’ll find believers and non-believers.
I’ve always been pretty much a skeptic although some of the articles and stories from people who claimed they’d actually been examined by aliens made me wonder a little. My mother believed in them. For me the other paranormal beings I never considered them anything more than something spooky for Halloween. But as I grew older that started to change as I listened to the stories I heard from family and friends and to a lesser extent from my own experience.
My grandmother was a fearless woman, who one night chased off a peeping Tom with a broom when my grandfather was on a fishing trip. However, after my grandfather died, she saw and heard the doorknob turning on a side porch door. She got out of bed and checked to see who was out there. Not only was no one there, but there were no footsteps in the snow on the porch and no wind to cause a rattling. Sometime after my grandmother died, my cousin Linda’s husband was working on the house one evening prior to their moving in when he heard a shout coming from the basement. He packed up in a hurry and left. When he told my cousin about it and imitated the voice, she said it sounded just like her grandpa, who he had never met. One evening after they moved in Linda went into labor with her second child and my aunt, a very unimaginative person, came to stay with their first born child, a one-year-old. Towards morning, the baby awoke and was fussing and my aunt lay there listening and wondering if the child would go back to sleep since it was still dark. Then she heard the back door open and footsteps coming across the floor. She called out to her son-in-law asking if they’d had a boy or girl and there was no answer. So she got up to check. There was no one there and the door was still locked.

Fast forward to the old house I bought after my divorce. My son, never given to flights of fancy, was in the basement working one evening with another man on replacing the wiring when they both heard footsteps. He called out and getting no answer went up to check. No one was there.
When I finally moved into a house not completely finished inside, I would see shadows out of the corner of my eye; but nothing more. I didn’t mention it to my youngest daughter, Mary, because I didn’t want to spook her. But early one morning after working a midnight shift when it was not quite light, she was sitting at the kitchen table eating breakfast and she saw something white at the foot of the steps going upstairs. It was the shape of a man with what looked like a dark belt in the middle. At another time she heard men’s voices talking where the back door originally was, and once she even heard someone riding a horse through the living room. It had to be Chick, the former owner who had lived there over fifty years before he died. He raised Arabians and bred them. I’ve never seen or heard him, and I know he’s gone now, but sometimes when I’m relaxing in my bath at night, I hear the low murmur of men’s voices coming through the wall in the direction of the library. It’s sort of like talk radio, but so low no words can be made out.
My sister-in-law told me of a time when she was almost asleep and had turned over not realizing she was so close to the edge of the bed. She almost fell out when she felt a small child’s hand on her back pressing to keep her from falling. Many years ago, a small child had fallen down a well on their 1842 farm and drowned.

A few years ago, my daughter Mary’s best friend, Tracy, from grade school, died of ovarian cancer. She was a great friend with a terrific sense of humor who liked to play pranks. Even though my daughter had moved to California years before, they stayed in touch joking and laughing over the phone or on visits when Mary came home. Long before she found out she had cancer, Tracy would tell my daughter if she died, she’d come back to haunt her. Sometime soon after she died, Mary was sitting quietly in her apartment when a large candle inside a glass jar suddenly went out. There was no wind and no reason for it to go out. At another time the water faucet in the kitchen started dripping for a while on its own and then just as suddenly stopped, and her cat started staring at a wall and growling. A few days later when she was at work on the midnight shift and feeling sad, she brought Tracy’s obituary up on the computer to show a nurse she was working with. It was then that a clock on a wall near one of her patients came loose and fell. Mary and the other nurse had never known that to happen before. Later that evening another nurse, one who had given Mary trouble ever since Mary had started there, dashed out of the break room where she’d been taking a nap saying the room was haunted. A chair had started rattling and moving. She said she'd never go in that room again. Mary had complained about this nurse to Tracy in the past. Those things stopped after that, but Mary feels Tracy was letting her know she was there.

Do I believe ghosts communicate with the living? I don’t think so except maybe briefly as in the case of Tracy and also a few experiences my son, daughters and I had after my son died. At one of my Sisters in Crime meetings we had a mother/daughter paranormal team come who had been featured on some ghost hunters TV show. They said the vast majority of cases of  a haunting they get called about have a rational reason for what seems to be a haunting and it’s not ghosts. However, they do believe there are actual hauntings. What they seemed to think and I tend to believe, too, is it’s someone who has not accepted their death and can’t leave a place they feel is their home. Maybe Chick was upset with what we were doing to his house. We totally gutted it. But he must have come to accept it because he seems to be gone now and I’m alone again. I think.

Have you ever had a paranormal experience?   Do you think ghosts are real?

27 comments:

E. B. Davis said...

I'm a believer of things that go bump in the night, Gloria. If you believe in the soul, then extending that belief to ghost isn't a real big jump. Then add a few "other worldly" experiences, and the jump becomes more of a step. Problem is that I don't go as far in my belief of the other side that movie directors have taken in the power of evil. I think there is a reason for "free will." Those loose spirits don't have jurisdiction on this plane. They may leave an impression, but I don't think they have power.

James Montgomery Jackson said...

I'm agnostic on the issue of ghosts. That said, I do believe (and it's a belief, not based on scientific proof) that we are conscious on more levels than we understand.

My grandparents used to "talk" with my great aunt using a Ouija board. And early in their marriage, my grandfather was at a Masonic meeting one night when he just "knew" he needed to get home. So he left and found my grandmother unconscious from CO poisoning.

In high school I attended a spiritualist church service a few times and once the leader gave me a message from someone she said I did not know, but who was following me with interest. When I reported her description of the person to my parents, my mother said it was a perfect description of her father, who died when she was twelve.

So I figure as with many things I don't know, but I'm with E.B. that I doubt spirits, to the extent they exist, are either evil or good.

But I don't know anything.

~ Jim

Sarah Henning said...

I do feel like some places may be haunted, but not necessarily by ghosts but, rather, by what went on there. Whenever I visit a historic marker or battlefield, I always feel like the memories really are alive there. I don't know if I'm feeling the souls of those who came before, but I definitely think some places on this earth have true living memories.

Gloria Alden said...

I agree totally with you, E.B. Of course, our version of it wouldn't make an exciting movie, would it?

I believe like you, Jim, that there are levels we connect with without understanding them. When I was camping in Maine one year and having a terrific time with my sisters, one evening an overwhelming feeling of sadness came over me. When it didn't go away the next day, I called home and found out the Maine Highway Patrol had been searching for me. My granddaughter had fallen into
a coma and been life-flighted to a Pittsburgh hospital and my daughter had been crying for me. I caught a plane and flew to be with them.

Gloria Alden said...

Sarah, that's sort of what I feel about the phenomenon. It's like every event is somehow recorded and stuck somewhere in the universe. Mary hearing those men talking didn't mean they were actually there right then, but more like a recording of what went on in a prior time that she was tuning in to.

Warren Bull said...

Like Jim, I think there are many layers of consciousness including ones we are not aware of.
I have felt connections with people even when they are not around. I've never seen or experienced a ghost.

Gloria Alden said...

Warren, I haven't actually seen a ghost yet - only shadows. I think maybe some people are more sensitive to certain vibes, for want of a better word for it. I do know that sometimes I'll be thinking of a person - someone I've not heard from in quite awhile - and they'll call me. It happened the other day. I mentioned a friend to people who didn't know her about something, and the next day she called me. I had not seen or heard from her in months.

Yves Fey said...

I felt the presence, the "imprint" of grief in the room where Van Gogh died. Not my sorrow for his life, but an emotion that haunts the room.

Patg said...

I know you don't watch much TV, so you haven't seem any of the Ancient Alien Theorists. Belief in Aliens and their association with ancient constructions is alive and well.
Ghosts. Well, if you are talking about those creep feelings you get, those images just off you peripheral vision, and just plain getting spooked by noises you can't identify, then I guess you can make a case for them. OTOH my personal belief for death is the FREEing of the spirit. Why would it want to hang around? Okay, it might not be able to instantly accept its death, but the freedom should set in, and off it would go to the next level, or since fantasy ideas suit me, go back to the real creature we/they are and possibly plan the next life. :)))
NO do not tell me to go write that story, it would only lead to religious and death ritual bashing.
Patg

Gloria Alden said...

Yves, I feel something whenever I visit the home of someone famous, but I think in my case it's just an awareness, or maybe a little awe, that I'm actually in the place where Thomas Jefferson, Louisa May Alcott, Emerson, Rockwell or other famous people lived.

Pat, I only had those for a brief time. I believe most people who die move on, but there may be some who can't quite let go right away.As for writing the story, there aren't many if any topics that haven't been covered and most readers are willing to suspend belief for a good story.

KM said...

We lived in a house in Michigan for a few years, then sold it when we moved for a new job. We are not particularyry organized people, but we found that, even for us, we misplaced (and found) an extraordinary number of things while we lived there.

A few years later, a friend was reading a book called "Haunted Houses in Michigan" and realized one of the houses being discussed was our house!

I asked our youngest daughter, who was around 7 when we moved out, if she remembered anything that might be paranormal about that house. She reminded me that she had what we called "imaginary friends" or angels that came to talk to her after she'd been put to bed. She said we'd never believed her when she'd told us they weren't imaginary. And one time, she slipped at the top of the stairs, and someone caught her, carried her to the bottom and set her down.

I think there's a lot we don't understand.

Gloria Alden said...

Wow! What a story that is, KM. So maybe the pictures I had a few weeks ago and can't find now is not due to my disorganization, but Chick fooling with me? And I thought he was long gone.

Anonymous said...

I'm Gloria's cousin, Linda, who also had an experience at the grandparents farm house. One night shortly after moving in while in a pre-sleep stage, I saw my deceased grandmother standing at the foot of my bed. I felt frozen but soon realized that she would never hurt me.

Kara Cerise said...

I’m had some strange (paranormal?) experiences in my life. The most recent event began a few months after we moved into our current house. Some mornings, around 6:30, I felt the bed shake then what felt like an animal walking from the foot of the bed toward the pillows. We don’t have pets and my husband leaves for work around 4:30am so I was alone. Each time I quickly switched on the light, but nothing was there. This happened intermittently for a few years then stopped when we remodeled. Last year a visitor, who hadn’t heard this story, stayed in our guest room. The next day she told me that she was startled awake in the early morning by something that felt like a cat pushing up against her. I’ve never actually seen anything (maybe because I’m nearsighted from reading too many books as a child) and don’t know what to make of it.

Gloria Alden said...

Linda, I had forgotten that. I'm so glad you reminded me of it. No, grandma loved all of us and would never hurt any of us - not even the old Poop Deck, as she called grandpa.

Kara, the paranormal investigators we had at our Sinc meeting several years ago told of those kind of experiences with animals. After my son died, I read everything I could get my hands on about death and dying like Elizabeth
Kubler-Ross's books plus books by Hans Holzer who was a parapsychologist, and he wrote of animal hauntings as I remember. That was many years ago.

Margo said...

I do believe in, for want of a better word, ghosts. In the house where I grew up, something would walk down the stairs and open the living room door. I only experienced the phenomena once, but my mother called it the Ghost of 49 (our street address). I've heard relatives and friends speak about their own psychic experiences, and I know they're being honest about what they've seen or heard.
Maybe we all have some latent psychic abilities that manifest themselves at certain times in our lives. I don't know. But, I do know that I believe.

Gloria Alden said...

Margo, what you say makes sense, and I think some people have more of this ability than others. I know I believe the people who tell me these stories. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.

James Cline said...

As I've already told you the other day, I have no doubts of of ghosts, whether they be human or inhuman spirits. From isolated events within my own home, to recurring events in the homes of people I know that I've been in, there are zero doubts in my mind of earthbound spirits. One of my Aunt's home is *very* haunted, I've had many experiences in there, many very negative and very frightening.
I'm a very logical person, there are many events which can be deemed as paranormal by people who don't know what's causing certain phenomena, some of these completely explainable but eerie events I've experienced myself, and it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish, but there are other more vulgar events which can leave no doubt in someones mind.
As to why human souls can linger on Earth, I truly can't say why. I have a lot of my own personal ideas, and beliefs. Maybe they haven't accepted their death, maybe they fear moving on, maybe they are unaware of their death? It's difficult to say, but regardless as to why the do, there's no doubt in my mind that they can.

Yolanda Renee said...

Interesting post, I just wish I hadn't read it right before bed. :) Ghosts, or the thought of them scare me, harmless or not. It does make for exciting television when they're given evil characteristics, but for me it's just creepy to think they hang around at all.

Gloria Alden said...

James, I do believe some people are more sensitive to whatever ghosts are. You seem to be one of those people. I hope they don't frighten or worry you because they don't seem to be able to cause any harm.

Yolanda, my oldest daughter last night told me she's never experienced feeling or seeing ghosts and she's hoping someday she will.

James Cline said...

I firmly believed in being sensitive to activity in my early adolescence, but for some reason or another I don't seem to be nearly *as* sensitive now in my adulthood. Even today though, I more often than not will have an eerie feeling in homes where activity has been suspected without me having any prior knowledge of it. On the other hand, I haven't really been to any homes in awhile that were believed or even rumored to have paranormal activity occurring aside from my Aunt Mary's, where I've had the most menacing experiences and on occasion still feel that someone or something is wary of me being there. All three of my sisters have lived in haunted homes from one time or another and in each home I was wary that something other than what I could physically see was there.
Spirit activity, as interesting and "cool" as it can seem, is interesting when dealing with relatively tame or indifferent spirits, but it can really be quite an awful experience. Yolanda ought to be careful what she wishes for, lol.

Cindy Carroll said...

We lived with a ghost for over fifteen years. I never saw her just heard her. She would walk back and forth outside my bedroom door. Type on the typewriter late at night. Wake me up at 3 in the morning by yelling my name in my ear. I always found her presence comforting though. I missed her when we moved.

Gloria Alden said...

James, I think often children and animals have a heightened sensitivity to things like that. I remember my son, John, screaming for us one night when he'd gotten up to use the bathroom. He said he saw a man with a suitcase walking down the hall by the bathroom. Our house was a new house, but still I wondered because he was awake at the time.

Cindy, that is so interesting. I haven't heard of anything quite like that before. Were you still young or an adult?

Cindy Carroll said...

We moved into the house when I was ten. So as a teenager and an adult she would make herself known.

Gloria Alden said...

Cindy, I just got home from my sister's house where we had a sibling dinner and movie. My sisters and brother DO NOT BELIEVE IN GHOSTS! In fact, they rather made fun of me and said anyone who thinks they see or hear a ghost is delusional.

Yesterday at my local writers group meeting, six of the ten there not only believed, but had reasons for why they believed.

Cindy Carroll said...

My parents don't believe in ghosts either. They just rolled their eyes when my sister or I talked about the ghost. My fiancé doesn't believe in ghosts but he doesn't say anything when I talk about them.

I think most people, unless they've actually encountered a ghost, don't believe in them. If my parents had heard the ghost I think they would believe in them. And my fiancé is all about proof. There's no proof that ghosts do exist but there's no proof that they don't. So until there's proof one way or the other he doesn't believe in them.

Gloria Alden said...

I agree with you, Cindy. I know my son would not believe in ghosts if he hadn't experienced it. I have a feeling he wouldn't talk about it to anyone, either, because he thinks most people would scoff at it. Just like God there's no actual proof he exists, but there's no proof God doesn't exist, either.