Ghostly memoir…it’s been a while

Good morning! It’s been nearly two months since I’ve posted and I do apologize. In mid-May a tornado went through my town and the devastation was unreal. My power was out for three weeks and, even though we had a generator, things were pretty challenging. After the electricity returned, I drove to Mississippi and back in 4 1/2 days (a challenge in itself!) and remodeled my living room and kids’ rooms…new flooring, paint, and furniture. Now… I’m done! It’s time to relax, get back to living, writing and editing, and blogging about ghostly activity.

It’s now two days later. Some odd things have been going on in my house…again. A small package of a denture cleaner, torn open, turned up on my vanity. Only one person in my house wears dentures and no one has ever bought this stuff…or knows where it came from. Unusual. Paranormal? It’s the odd little things that make you wonder. I’m still in “it’s normal” mode. Perhaps one of the floor installers felt the need to clean his teeth in the middle of the job? 🙂

I wonder, though. Throughout the years we’ve had numerous items go missing and then find them much later on in an obvious, and well searched, spot. My daughter’s ipod was gone for months. We searched her room, the living room, everywhere. One afternoon I saw it sitting under the dining room table. Not only had that area been searched, but also cleaned and vacuumed multiple times. She also had a bright red purse disappear. I helped her tear apart her bedroom trying to find it. Nothing. About two weeks later I walked into her room to drop off her laundry and there, beside her desk, was the purse. She wasn’t home. No one was there but me. She hadn’t found it and put it there…it was just “back.” The items that have gone missing and then reappeared have always seemed centered around her, my oldest. Even when she moved out, her things would still disappear and show up again in odd, yet typical, places. Her glasses have done this on a pretty cyclical basis…having them missing long enough that we ordered new ones and then the old ones showed up on her bedpost. We’ve even gotten to the point of asking for things to be returned…and that’s generally when they are found again, within a day.

This is just a tidbit of some of the things that have gone on here over the years. I’m slowly getting my house back in order and will be putting in much more time on this blog to share them with you all. Back soon…Barb

 

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Ghostly Memoir… con’t.

One night last month, I walked into my kitchen, dinner was over and it was time to clean up. My kids had gone to do other things and the house was quiet. As I rounded the corner past my refrigerator, my gaze landed on the serving spoon I had left in a bowl of veggies. The spoon was bent in half. The round end of the spoon was still in the bowl and the handle was bent downward to the counter. No one had been in the kitchen and I stood and stared for a bit, trying to wrap my head around the idea that something had the energy to bend metal like this…in my house. After a few moments, I gathered myself, bent the spoon back the way it should have been, and went about my business.

What I find interesting, aside from the activity which drives my passion for the paranormal, is that when something happens in my own home, I react incredibly differently than when I’m investigating. If this had occurred in the field, I would have taken pictures, grabbed my voice recorder and started an EVP session, any number of procedures. Instead, I stared, fixed it and went about cleaning up. It never left my mind, though. For days I pondered who or what wanted my attention…and why.

Quite a few people ask about the age and history of my home, figuring I must live in some centuries old Victorian, full of stories of murder and mayhem, to have the activity that I do. In fact, we cleared the land in ’94 and put up a modular. Not all spirits are attached to the homes or buildings where they lived or died and many travel, it seems. Like the little boy I spoke about in my last post. Getting back to that…

For quite a while, my oldest daughter had been asking her dad to get some of her old toys down from the attic. Her friend was having a baby and she wanted to see if any of her old toys would make a sweet, sentimental gift. We had put a few plastic bins up there years before, the kind with the lids that snap on to keep things safe. The attic space is quite small, mostly boards and insulation, so the bins were slid off to the side and stacked. We hadn’t gone into the attic in years and her dad put it off because it really was a pain in the neck to deal with…bringing an old, homemade ladder up from the basement and basically climbing up into a small space to dig things out. Finally,  though, he gave in. He set up the ladder in the hallway under the ceiling board that covered the entryway to the attic.  I sat in the living room, waiting for him to bring down the bins for her to go through.

All of a sudden, he was shouting. “Barb! Come here!” He had climbed up and went to lift and slide the board from the opening.  It wouldn’t budge. He gave an extra hard shove and was SHOCKED – – it started to move, but had about 30 lbs of …something… on it. The board started to tip and toys were falling all around him, down the ladder. “BARB! You have to see this!! WTF?!”

 The bins had been moved, with one slid OVER the entry board to the attic. Some of the plastic tops were off and there were small piles of toys on various boards around the opening. No bin was dumped; the toys were selectively taken out. There was no hole where animals could have gotten in and no one else had access to our attic. We examined and found no other reason, natural or scientific, that could account for what had happened. Even her dad was stumped, and he was rooted in scientific explanations of the all things. The only explanation any of us could come up with was paranormal –  that someone, unseen, had been in the attic, playing with the toys. Since then, I have set up motion detection cameras and voice recorders in the attic, but nothing more has happened.

Could it have been the little boy spirit who was here for so long? I really wonder. There have been other mischievous little things that have gone on here over the years that I don’t attribute to him. But that’s a post for another day.

Ghostly Memoir, continued

There is a heavy wet snow on the ground this morning. Not much, but still not looking or feeling like spring. The sky is gray and a light rain is falling. All is still. I sat staring out at the broken branches lining my driveway and wondered what I should post this morning. Throughout all the years of my experiences with the paranormal, a few really stand out. One in particular began in late 1999 and stayed with us for years…

In 1999, my children were 5 years, 2 years and an infant. The oldest was my daughter, who slept lightly and many nights would wake up and come get me to tuck her back in. Late one night, the house was quiet and I was nursing the baby in bed. I heard my daughter’s footsteps coming from down the hallway and waited for her to appear in my doorway. She didn’t. She stopped in the middle of the living room and screamed as if her life was in danger. I scrambled, gathering the baby and yelling, “What? What’s the matter?!” She looked at me, incredibly upset, and said, “There was a small boy standing in your doorway!” She told me that he was her brother’s size. What really upset her, though, was that he POINTED at her. THAT was when she had lost it.

I calmed her down (she was already much better as the little boy was gone) and she went back to bed. I thought it was an isolated incident and was getting rather used to occasional activity in the house (not that you ever really get “used to” it, lol). I was wrong. Throughout the years (and in my journal I have the dates noted with specifics), I would catch movement out of the corner of my eye. If I was changing the baby, I’d get a sense that another small person had entered the room. It was strong enough that I would turn to see…almost see, but it would be gone. Once in a while I’d catch a hint of childlike laughter…where you know you heard something, but pick your head up off the pillow and it’s gone. Or turn your head and question if you had heard it in the first place…but know you had. At times, I would see the shadow of a small person, a little boy, run by. This was generally at night, once the house was quiet. These sightings didn’t happen very often, maybe once every few months. One night, I saw what I thought was my son standing at my bedroom doorway. I got out of bed to take him back to his, and discovered my son was still asleep. Another night, when my youngest was about 3, he came running out of his bedroom (not in fear or upset, but coming out to the living room to find me). As he came out, I saw a smaller shadow come running behind him. It was then I realized that time was passing for my children, but not for our little visitor. I penned it in my journal with a touch of sadness.

Yet another night, I still awake in bed, just getting cozy and nearly ready to drift off. I heard what I thought was my youngest coming and felt two tiny hands on my leg as if giving me a push to move over so he could get into bed with me. I obliged, moving to the side and turning over to give him a hug…and no one was there. When I checked on my youngest, he was asleep in his bed.

These things went on for quite a few years and then, one morning, I was asleep on my side. I felt a hand on my shoulder and thought it was one of the kids wanting me awake. Rolling over, I picked up a strong scent of baby powder and there was no one there. (I hadn’t had baby powder in the house in many years). I had the feeling that the little guy had stopped to say goodbye just before he left. I haven’t seen or felt him since.

‘Course I do wonder if it was he who unpacked and played with the toys in the attic…but that’s a post for another day.

 

Jump in on the Excitement!

I thought I’d give you all a quick update on what’s going on “behind the scenes” before I update my Ghostly Memoir.

For the last few days, I’ve been immersed in editing Shifting to Black (book 2 in my paranormal/horror series). I sat down with it yesterday and was surprised when I looked at the time and 4 hours had gone by. They flew! I am revising, reworking, tweaking and tightening the story, which picks up where A Step Into Darkness left off. I’d love to say more, but I don’t want to throw in any spoilers for those of you who don’t have A Step Into Darkness yet. (shameless plug, it’s for sale on Amazon…very easy to find…why not pop over and check it out? It has a wonderfully creepy cover designed by Ivano Lago).

I’m really excited to work on book 3 (two chapters are already written, and I’m pretty sure the characters are going to take over and write the rest for me)…but am trying to hold off until Shifting to Black is closer to release. Not sure how long I can hold off… book 3 has me totally intrigued. I’m hoping you will be, as well.     Barb

Ghostly Memoir…let’s dive a little deeper

Last night I walked into my kitchen and saw on the counter a bent spoon. It was a serving spoon that had been sitting in a bowl of vegetables and I had been on my way to clean things up after dinner. It hadn’t been bent when I had last been in the kitchen. I had that familiar twinge…the beginning of an adrenaline rush. On pondering it this morning, I thought you might be interested in the first, true, physical experience I had with something ghostly.

It was spring, 1997. My oldest daughter was nearly 3 and her sister was an infant. I had had a rough night, awake most of it as the baby was restless. Here and there I dozed, but nothing really substantial. I had a quick dream that my grandmother was with me, playing with the children. By the time things had truly quieted down and I thought I could grab a few of hours sleep, it was 5:30 a.m. I was frustrated and exhausted and rolled onto my left side to get cozy. All of a sudden, as if someone was now lying behind me, I felt arms go around me. Like a hug from behind. One arm pushed between my body and the bed, while the other wrapped around my right side. Fingers intertwined with mine and I could feel a soft exhale of breath by my right ear. For a split second, it was comforting and I thought it was my grandmother…but then that comfort immediately went to fear. The thought in my mind was, “THIS IS NOT MY GRANDMOTHER!” I tried to yell for my husband who was asleep in the other room, but couldn’t make a sound. As quickly as it had appeared, it was gone. I glanced at the clock…5:35 a.m. There was no going back to sleep.

It took weeks before I was comfortable going to sleep in my room. I was fearful it would happen again (see? No feet sticking out from under the covers here!). This was many years before co-founding a paranormal team and the first of many experiences. As you know, I’ve always loved the paranormal…but wasn’t happy when it got into bed with me!

Enjoy your day…I’ll be back again, with more of my experiences, soon.

Dreams that are “more than” dreams

Have you ever had a dream that, either while still in the dream or upon waking, you knew was something a bit more? Were you somewhere you’ve never been and knew the place like the back of your hand? With a loved one when that wasn’t possible, due to death or miles, and yet KNEW that person was there?

I’ve kept a journal for close to thirty years now of my paranormal experiences and dreams that were “more than” dreams” One of the first entries in my ghostly memoir is a dream that I had in 1988. I was riding an escalator, going up, in a shopping mall near my home. As I reached the top, my grandmother was sitting on a bench in front of me. She was wearing a gorgeous dress with vibrant colors, bright and brilliant. I commented on them and she said, “Oh, these? These are just some of the flowers that blew across my grave.” I woke. My grandmother had passed away the year before. This dream came with a feeling or sense that was entirely different from any typical dream. It came with a knowing that she had visited me.

I’m sure there are people who would say, “Pfft,” and that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with a healthy dose of skepticism (which we encourage wholeheartedly when our team is out investigating). That was just the first in a string of dreams with my grandmother and, over the years, we’ve had conversations and she has given me information that has later happened. A quick example as it’s early and I really need my coffee,… I was dreaming that I was at my mother’s house. I had grown up there and my grandmother lived with us for many years. She gave me a calendar to look through. As I turned the pages, it kept stopping on a month that began with “A.” I couldn’t get past it. She told me that Hans, my mother’s dog, was going to die, and the sense of it all was that it couldn’t be changed. This would happen. At the time, Hans was healthy, fine…with no indication that anything was wrong, and any months beginning with “A” were quite a ways away. I noted the dream and kept an eye on the calendar as life went on. April came and went. As we approached summer, my parents were going away. I took care of Hans for a short while, but had to board him. He died while boarded. I received a call from the vet and, yes, it was in August.

Well, my coffee is ready and the day is about to begin. I’ll be back soon with some of my early experiences with spirits and ones that gave me chills.

 

A Ghostly Memoir

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had an passion for the paranormal. In elementary school I would pour over the Scholastic Book order forms, searching out anything that had to do with ghosts and ghouls and things that go bump in the night.  Then, once I had the books in hand, I’d savor every story.  Every mysterious figure who saved a train full of travelers and disappeared; every  wispy woman in white jumping into the backseat of cars going down deserted country roads at night; every chilling touch or word of warning from beyond the grave. I would read and reread every passage.

As I got a little older, I lived for books like “50 Strange Stories of the Supernatural.” I even sought that one out again as an adult. My bookshelves are lined with true ghost stories and the like. As a teen, I was wildly into Stephen King. “‘Salem’s Lot” had me afraid to look out my bedroom windows for weeks. I read a lot; I read often. I graduated to horror, but my first love remained ghostly.

I was the kid who had to see every scary movie…sinking into the theater seats and clinging to the person beside me. At home, my heart would still be pounding and I’d take a running leap to get into bed. Just to be safe. The covers would be over my head. As badly as I wanted to see a ghost, communicate with the other side, I was terrified I would. This thought leaves such a smile on my face now.

I was also the kid who would constantly experiment with the world around me. I’d grab books, think of a page number, then thumb through… randomly stopping. I’d hit the page I wanted nearly every time. Yeah, I know… there could be a million reasons why… easily explained. But I wanted it to be due to a sixth sense or guidance from something unseen. I was young. That child would be wide eyed and fascinated with the adult I’ve become. Who knew that someone who couldn’t sleep with their feet out of the covers at night (and truly, still can’t, lol) would become a paranormal investigator?

But, when was my first true ghostly experience? What happened and how did I react? Well. I’ve kept a journal of my experiences for more than 25 years…and that’s a post for another day.

Barb

Still riding the wave…

Well, it’s been an exciting 24 hours around here…A Step Into Darkness was released yesterday and can now be found on Amazon.com. In less than a week there’ll be an eBook version for sale, as well.

As the dust settles, (to be honest, it’s still swirling around and I’m still rocking a “my book just got published” smile), it’s time to be working on author pages, updating information on a ton of sites and teaching myself how to best market an indie book. Shifting to Black is screaming for edits and the third book in the series is nagging at me to continue its story.

Other than writing? Our investigative team, Sullivan Paranormal, is gearing up for spring and trying to line up some fascinating investigations come summer and fall. At least this latest nor’easter seems to be skirting past us, and I’m thankful for that. I’ve been happily watching it NOT snow for a few hours now.

Perhaps soon I’ll start posting some of my favorite ghostly experiences. Thoughts?

Enjoy your day.

Barb

In case you were wondering…

The winter storm that hit last Friday entirely devastated our area. There are trees down everywhere and many more still leaning on the electrical wires. Thousands are without power.

As we wait, not necessarily happily, for another storm to move in tomorrow night, I will be going through the second proof copy of A Step Into Darkness (it arrived today, finally!). The storm has put off the release date just a bit, but I’m confident it will be available before the end of March. Yay!!

When your mind’s working overtime…

Hey, all! Waiting for the second proof of A Step Into Darkness to arrive…excitedly! At this point all of the final fixes should be done and we could be looking at a release date of sometime next week. I can’t wait!

Shifting to Black, book two in the series, is off to my first beta reader for some good constructive criticism. Looking forward to diving into its edits by the end of March. My goal is still to have it ready to be released by early summer. Fingers crossed! The dark entity that made its debut in A Step Into Darkness came back with a vengeance, really wreaking havoc.

As for book three, I hid in my little “writer’s nook” this afternoon and totally reworked what I’d already written. The story seemed to be going in a cliché direction and we can’t have that, now can we? I think I’ve got notes on about 3/4 of the book, right up to a huge climax that will have to roll around my brain for a while.

I hope you’re as excited as I am. Things are really moving now!

Barb