Tag Archives: Storyteller

Spooky Tales of the Haunted

Thursdays Bite

a paranormal blog

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!

Scottish Prayer

When I hear stories such as Sherry Isaac’s tale (click HERE to read) of a visit from her sister who couldn’t possibly have visited, the little hairs on my arms all stand at attention.

A good ghost story, told well has always had that effect on me. Tension grows as the story spins out. And the spooky thing about ghost stories is that when it’s over, the tension lingers. It stays with us as we gather our things and head off into the night. It creeps into the tent and slides beneath the covers. We become the haunted.

Lights turn off and on when no one is touching them. Things move. All the nerves in your spine tell you something is behind you. And you turn. And there’s nothing there, but the cat whose entire body is puffed out screaming, “Didn’t you see it!”.

I’m one of those people who loves to read tales of the haunted. I love to hear personal stories, but you won’t catch me asking for the haunted room at the inn. That I leave to the brave who actually want to see the ghosts. The spirit spelunkers who delve into that other realm searching for proof that  ghosts exist.

I don’t need proof. I’ve had it. I’ve had brushes with the supernatural on dark nights in downtown Boulder. Places where the ghosts should have been long gone, but weren’t. We were lurking in leafy streets of the residences just off of Pearl Street, by the old elementary school on a dark October night when we should have known better than to go searching out ghosts.

You too may have this happen. Historic Boulder has a ghost tour in October and it happens at night. You take a map and walk in pairs through poorly lit streets and go from historic house to historic house hearing the stories of the architects and the families that have gone before. And in addition they also tell you the tales that are not public record. The experiences of the people who still live in the houses and their encounters with the previous residents.

It was on one such tour that a friend and I waited on the porch for the previous group to vacate. And while we were there, something dark touched my shoulder, My friend felt it too and we moved over away from the spot on the porch where there was definitely a dark presence.

That presence stuck with me all through the night as we walked through the neighborhood. While we walked from door to door like overgrown trick-or-treaters, ringing door bells and receiving tricks with our treats it hung on like a heavy over coat resting on my back. Dark and heavy, not cold, but very uncomfortable.

It makes my back creep just to think of it.

Why do we court the supernatural. Why do we want to be scared, thrilled or frightened. What is it about the human race that we chase down experiences that when we have them, we don’t every desire to have again?

Have you ever experienced a haunting? Do you believe in ghosts, past or present? Leave your story of the unexplained in the comment box. I’m dying to read them.

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How Paranormal Seeds Grow, part one


Moonday Mania

A writer oriented blog

Please welcome guest blogger, Sherry Isaac. Sherry and I met at an amazing week up at Margie Lawson’s Immersion Master Class. I was stunned by Sherry’s writing and unsurprised at her success in the publishing world. Thanks Sherry, for being my first guest. Please check back on August 8, 2011 for part two of How Paranormal Seeds Grow.

***

Want to see a writer cringe? Ask him, or her, where their ideas come from.

I know that cringe, I’ve felt that crinkle in my nose that must, I’m sure, make me look like I’ve just caught a whiff of an overripe diaper.

It’s a tough question to answer. Snippets of conversation, a line from a song, an interesting character on the subway. Any obscure thing can be the source. Those little nuggets, snippets and images simmer in our subconscious and take on a life of their own. A plaid jacket with one ripped pocket doesn’t belong to the wearer once that jacket ignites a spark in a writer’s imagination.

For the most part, I can’t tell you at what point the seed of a story was sown in my fertile, murky little mind. Crowning Glory started with the title, a turn on the phrase. How Glory ended up on the street, a lost soul picking through food court leftovers and searching for redemption, beats the storyline out of me.

But some of my stories have a definite root. Like a genealogist with a fine tip pen and a family tree, I can track their development from conception to completion.

Stories from my life, stories that were hard to market, until I realized the common theme that threaded its way through each tale like a knotted vine. Stories with a paranormal twist.

The Visit was not an easy sell. My hometown Winnipeg in winter set the scene: The isolation of a stormy day, the house locked tight. A hooky-playing pre-teen all alone. But it didn’t quite work as a memoir, didn’t read like young adult and certainly not middle-grade. An eerie hit at coffee house readings convinced me that my odd yet ordinary experience was not so ordinary.

The premise is simple. Simple as the question at it’s core. If someone you loved touched you with their presence, would you recognize their spirit?

On a wintry day in November when I was twelve, one of my sisters came home. It was not until much later that I realized she could not have come home, it was not possible that she was ever there. She could not have come in the front door because she moved out in a fury days before we moved to a new house in Fort Rouge, an older area a short bus ride from the downtown core, but a long way from our old neighborhood. My sister and mom weren’t speaking. My sister didn’t move with us, she had never been to the new house.

She did not have a key.

Though I know all these facts, I am as certain she was in the house that day as I am certain of the floor beneath my feet, the computer screen in front of my face, the cat determined to snooze on my lap.

And I am just as certain she was not there, for there was no possible way she could have been. Every shred of evidence confirms that she was not there: logic, reason, and the physical world.

I never saw her but heard her, smelled her. Felt her presence.

Did I take literary license? A little. In the recorded version the revelation comes quickly. In real life, it took a few hours to find out where my sister was, physically, in those moments that haunted me with her spiritual presence. And a few hours more to realize what I’d experienced was unusual, impossible, out of this world. A realization that jerked my dozing mind awake and filled me with toe-tingling wonder as I lay tucked under warm blankets. Out of this world. Ordinary. All at once.

Cool-headed reason battles with what the heart believes. My sister wasn’t there. She was not in the house. She was not in the kitchen, shirking her jacket and lighting a cigarette. But part of her had come home. Part of her that breathed and moved and smelled and coughed and stopped by for a visit.

For several silent minutes on a winter afternoon, part of my sister’s spirit was with me. And then the magic was gone.

~~~

THE VISIT

Short Story Excerpt

Sherry Isaac

            I held my breath, frozen in place by fear. Fear and one too many paperback murders. A chill ran through me, deeper than the chill outside. I sat still and listened.

            A tap of boots on the mat. Whoever came in the door was polite enough not to track snow through the house. Another small grunt of effort echoed up the stairs as someone bent to unlace a pair of boots. Snap, snap, snap, small sounds amplified by our narrow stairwell.

            Boots removed, socked feet padded into the kitchen. A zipper slid down its track, a clink as it released, and a rustle of material as a jacket was shrugged off shoulders. A series of small ‘ahems’, loose phlegmy sounds as a closed throat was cleared. Another clink as the zipper hit wood, the jacket thrown over the back of a kitchen chair.

            Jenny.

Winner of The Alice Munro Short Story Award, Sherry Isaac’s tales of life, love and forgiveness that transcend all things, including the grave, appear online and in print. Her first collection of shorts, Storyteller, debuts July 2011. For more information, or to order an autographed copy, click HERE.

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TA-DA! Site Unveiled and Winners Announced!

It’s here! Today is the day!

I’m excited to announce the winners of the Name My New Blogging Days contests! And the winner’s are:

Moonday’s Mania from Kat Archer  and Thursdays Bite from Carol Kilgor!

Congratulations and I will be contacting you about your prize!

Thanks to everyone who rescued me and contributed the wonderful (and crazy) names. I considered each and every one, but I can only use two. I’m thrilled to be keeping up with the Wonderful Wednesday’s and Fantastic Fridays out in the blogging world. Great job peeps!

You’ve probably already noticed the new look. This is the first part of my paranormal push. A new look for my new focus, paranormal all the way! Most of the changes I made a few weeks ago. I added a calendar page of events and moved some widgets around for greater ease, but I saved the new look for today and the contest announcement. I have to thank my wonderful photographer husband for the pictures. I’m looking forward to working with him again and getting some more paranormal pics.

Another exciting  new piece is the addition of my blogging on Thursdays. Now that I have a phenomenal new name for my Thursday blog I will be dedicating Thursdays to the paranormal reader. This Thursday will be on twisting Fairytales, and after that every Thursday will have a paranormal bent.

The last piece in my perfect triangle is the addition of guest bloggers, starting with my good friend Sherry Isaac. Sherry’s new anthology Storyteller is coming out July 30th and she will be blogging here August First and August Eighth. Check out the new calendar page for updates on what I’m doing and all my exciting guests.

I’m also thrilled to announce that the first Friday of every month, starting with  August 5th, I’ll have a permanent place on  ParanormalFreebies.com . My monthly blog there will be Magical Musings and will focus on spells and magic in the world of the paranormal.

I’d love to hear what you think of the new site and the new blog names, go ahead and leave a comment for me!

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