Friday, July 22, 2016

Supernatural Friday: Monsters Don't Exist (Original Poem)

Monsters Don’t Exist

Pamela K. Kinney

Mother said that monsters didn’t exist
That they came from fast food or scary movies.
She lied!
And kept lying when the monster came that night
He instructed Daddy to change and attack,
To rip her throat out and tear out her heart.
Her eyes pleading as she screamed,
“Run! Don’t let the monsters catch you!”
But I didn’t run,
Why would I?
Then the monster held out its clawed paw to me,
And I took it, asking, “Can we play?”
He called me his dear child, the promised one,
“I’ll teach you all I know, how to do what I do,”
He said, “Just as the one before me taught me.”
And so among the fires and slaughter we went,
I skipped beside him, only stopping
To play catch with bodiless heads.
When we left that place near to morning
What remained of the township right behind us
Inhuman sheep leaving for desolate pastures.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Supernatural Friday: Death By Monster (Original Poem)

An another hopefully heart-stopping original poem by me for Supernatural Friday. Please do share the link of the blog and not the poem, so people can read it. 

"Death by Monster"
Pamela K. Kinney

Cold as
Somber dark
Silver sharp;
fear stabbing
moonbeams at trees.
Monster hunting,
preying on
innocent souls.
Silvered moonlight
that death
is never pretty,
but shines

the color of blood.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Supernatural Friday: A Hell of My Own Making (Original Poem)

Enjoy this original poem I wrote. Please share the link so others can read it and not the poem to your site. 

A Hell of My Own Making

  Pamela K. Kinney

The humidity dripping off me
Hot…oh, so damn hot!
Death should have ended
the endless heat along with the cold.
And yet, here I am, burning.

Burning, burning, burning;
Not from sun above,
Nor from a house on fire
But from fiery flames of Hell,
Flickering, black, and cruel.

Demons everywhere,
Laughing and jabbing at me
So, I burn on.
It’s my own damn fault
I let hate overcome me.

It took one moment to fire that gun;
A second for the bullet to kill that person
Now seconds become minutes become hours
become years, and from there eons.
A moment of stupidity exchanged for an eternity of hellfire

Friday, July 01, 2016

Supernatural Friday: Beware of the Skinwalkers

Witches known as skinwalkers who can alter their shapes at will to assume the characteristics of certain animals are in religion and cultural lore of Southwestern tribes.
In the American Southwest, the Navajo, Hopi, Utes, and other tribes each have their own version of the skinwalker story, but they all end up to the same thing--a malevolent witch capable of transforming itself into a wolf, coyote, bear, bird, or any other animal. The witch might wear the hide or skin of the animal identity it wants to assume, and when the transformation is complete, the witch inherits the speed, strength, or cunning of the animal whose shape he/she has taken.
Navajo skinwalkers use mind control, make their victims hurt themselves and even end their lives. They are considered powerful, able to run faster than a car and jump mesa cliffs without any effort at all. No faster than a speeding bullet and able to leap tall buildings like Superman, but not much lesser.
For the Navajo and other tribes of the southwest, the tales of skinwalkers are not mere legend. There’s a Nevada attorney, Michael Stuhff, one of the few lawyers in the history of American jurisprudence to file legal papers against a Navajo witch. He often represents Native Americans in his practice and understands Indian law. He knows and respects tribal religious beliefs.
As a young attorney in the mid-70s, Stuhff worked in a legal aid program based near Genado, Arizona, many clients being Navajo. He confronted a witch in a dispute over child custody. His client was a Navajo woman who lived on the reservation with her son. She wanted full custody rights and back child support payments from her estranged husband, an Apache man. At one point, the husband got permission to take the son out for an evening, but didn't return the boy until the next day. The son later told his mother what had happened. He had spent the night with his father and a "medicine man." They built a fire atop a cliff and, for many hours, the medicine man performed ceremonies, songs, and incantations around the fire. At dawn, they went to some woods by a cemetery and dug a hole. The medicine man placed two dolls in the hole, one dark and the other made of light wood. The dolls were meant to be the mother and her lawyer.  Sruhff didn’t know how to approach this, so he consulted a Navajo professor at a nearby community college.
The professor told him it sounded like a powerful and serious ceremony of type, meant for the lawyer to end up buried in the graveyard for real. He also said a witch could only perform this type of ceremony only four times in his life, because if he tries it more than that, the curse would come back on the witch himself. Also, if the intended victim discovered about it, then the curse would come back onto the person who had requested it.
Stuhff filed court papers that requested an injunction against the husband and the unknown medicine man, whom he described in the court documents as "John Doe, A Witch,” to let the husband know he know what he and the witch had done. He described the alleged ceremony in detail.
This upset the opposing attorney by the motion, as did the husband and the presiding judge. The opposing lawyer argued to the court that the medicine man had performed "a blessing way ceremony," not a curse. But Stuhff knew that the judge, who was a Navajo, would be able to distinguish between a blessing ceremony, which takes place in Navajo hogans, and a darker ceremony involving lookalike dolls that took place in the woods near a cemetery. Which he did. Before the judge ruled though, Stuhff requested a recess so that the significance of his legal motion could sink in. The next day, the husband agreed to grant total custody to the mother and pay all back child support.
Stuhff took it as serious as the husband did, because he learned that sometimes witches will do things themselves to assist the supernatural, and he knew what that might mean.
Whether or not Stuhff believed that witches have supernatural powers, he acknowledged the Navajos did. Certain communities on the reservation had reputations as witchcraft strongholds and the lawyer wasn’t certain that the witch he faced was a skinwalker or not. "Not all witches are skinwalkers," he had said, "but all skinwalkers are witches.
Skinwalkers are at the top, a witch's witch. Skinwalkers are purely evil in intent. That they do all sorts of terrible things---make people sick and they commit murders. They are also grave robbers and necrophiliacs. Greedy and evil, to become a skinwalker, they must kill a sibling or other relative. They supposedly can turn into were-animals and travel by supernatural means.
Skinwalkers possess knowledge of medicine, medicine both practical (heal the sick) and spiritual (maintain harmony). The flip side of the skinwalker coin is the power of tribal medicine men. Among the Navajo, medicine men train over a period of many years to become full- fledged practitioners in the mystical rituals of the Dine' (Navajo) people.
But there is a dark side to the learning of the medicine men. Witches follow some of the same training and obtain similar knowledge as their more benevolent colleagues. But they supplement this with their pursuit of the dark arts. By Navajo law, a known witch has forfeited its status as a human and can be killed at will.
Witchcraft was always an accepted, if not widely acknowledged part of Navajo culture. The killing of witches was historically accepted among the Navajo as it was among the Europeans." At one point in history, there was the Navajo Witch Purge of 1878. More than 40 Navajo witches were killed or "purged" by tribe members because the Navajo had endured a horrendous forced march at the hands of the U.S. Army in which hundreds were starved, murdered, or left to die. The Navajo were confined to a bleak reservation that left them destitute and starving at the end of the march. They assumed that witches might be responsible for their plight. They retaliated by purging their ranks of suspected witches. Tribe members reportedly found a collection of witch artifacts wrapped in a copy of the Treaty of 1868 and "buried in the belly of a dead person."
In the Navajo world, there are as many words for the various forms of witchcraft as there are words for various kinds of snow among the Eskimos. If the woman thought a man was adan'ti, she thought he had the power of sorcery to convert himself into animal form, to fly, or become invisible.
Few Navajo want to cross paths with naagloshii (or yee naaldooshi), otherwise known as a skinwalker. The cautious Navajo will not speak openly about skinwalkers, especially with strangers, because to do so might invite the attention of an evil witch. After all, a stranger who asks questions about skinwalkers just might be one himself, looking for his next victim.
In the legends, it is said they curse people and cause great suffering and death. At night, their eyes glow red like hot coals. It is said that if you see the face of a Naagloshii, they have to kill you. If you see one and know who it is, they will die. If you see them and you don't know them, they have to kill you to keep you from finding out who they are. They use a mixture that some call corpse powder, which they blow into your face. Your tongue turns black and you go into convulsions and you eventually die. They are known to use evil spirits in their ceremonies. The Dine' have learned ways to protect themselves against this evil, always keeping on guard."
Although skinwalkers are generally believed to prey only on Native Americans, there are recent reports from non-Indians claiming they had encountered skinwalkers while driving on or near tribal lands. One New Mexico Highway Patrol officer told us that while patrolling a stretch of highway south of Gallup, New Mexico, he had had two separate encounters with a ghastly creature that seemingly attached itself to the door of his vehicle. During the first encounter, the veteran law enforcement officer said the unearthly being appeared to be wearing a ghostly mask as it kept pace with his patrol car. To his horror, he realized that the ghoulish specter wasn't attached to his door after all. Instead, it ran alongside his vehicle as he roared at high rate of speed down the highway. The officer said he had a nearly identical experience in the same area a few days later. He was shaken to his core by these encounters, but didn't realize that he would soon get some confirmation that what he had seen was real. While having coffee with a fellow highway patrolman not long after the second incident, the cop cautiously described his twin experiences. To his amazement, the second officer admitted having his own encounter with a white-masked ghoul, a being that appeared out of nowhere and then somehow kept pace with his cruiser as he sped across the desert. The first officer told us that he still patrols the same stretch of highway, but is petrified every time he enters the area.
Once Caucasian family still speaks in hushed tones about its encounter with a skinwalker, even though it happened in 1983. As they drove at night along Route 163 through the Navajo Reservation, the family felt that someone was following them. As their truck slowed down to round a sharp bend, the atmosphere changed, and time itself seemed to slow down. That's when something leaped out of a ditch.
"It was black and hairy and was eye level with the cab," one of the witnesses recalled. "Whatever this thing was, it wore a man's clothes. It had on a white and blue checked shirt and long pants. Its arms were raised over its head, almost touching the top of the cab. It looked like a hairy man or a hairy animal in man's clothing, but it didn't look like an ape or anything like that. Its eyes were yellow and its mouth was open."

The father described as a fearless man who had served two tours in Vietnam, turned completely white, the blood drained from his face. The hair on his neck and arms stood straight up, like a cat under duress, and noticeable goose bumps erupted from his skin. Although time seemed frozen during this bizarre interlude, the truck continued on its way, and the family was soon miles down the highway. Days later, the family awoke to the sounds of loud drumming at their home in Flagstaff. They peered out their windows and saw dark forms of three men outside their fence, trying to climb the fence to enter the yard and inexplicably unable to cross onto the property. Frustrated by their failed entry, the men chanted as the terrified family huddled inside the house.  Strange about this was if skinwalkers, why not assume a shape of a bird and fly over the fence? No mention either of police called. One family member said she called a Navajo friend who walked through the house and said they were skinwalkers, that the intrusion failed because something protected the family. She admitted that it was all highly unusual since skinwalkers rarely bother non-Indians and performed a blessing ceremony.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Supernatural Friday: Where Does Edgar Allan Poe Haunt?

“Even in the grave, all is not lost.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe has written horrific and otherworldly stories and poetry. Some are those coming back to haunt the main character. The question here is, has he been seen in specter form?

I’ve been to the old Stone House where the Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia is housed. It is haunted by children. As for him, maybe where some of his personal affects are. Near his childhood bed I gotten my EMF meter to go off once. Is it him? Or the others that haunt the buildings? No clear answer. I’d returned a second time  with the Richmond Paranormal Society, but got nothing concerning Poe. Another spot he has been seen in Richmond is what had been the home of his love and last fiance and there are claims his ghost has been seem in Shockoe Cemetery. 

There is a famous and unsolved mystery concerning Poe’s gravesite in the Old Western Burial Ground. The remains of people like Edgar Allan Poe, the son of Francis Scott Key, the grandfather of President James Buchanan, five former mayors of Baltimore and fifteen generals from the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 are buried here.  Few years ago, my husband and I drove pass it to another destination at the time. We never stopped, or gone back to visit it—someday, I hope to. A story about Poe’s grave involves a man seen in the graveyard for more than fifty years. Dressed completely in black, including a black fedora and a black scarf to hide his face, he carries a walking stick and strolls into the cemetery every year on January 19, the birth date of Edgar Allan Poe. On every occasion, he has left behind a bottle of cognac and three red roses on the graveside of the late author. After placing these items with care, he then stands, tips his hat and walks away. The offerings always remain on the grave, although one year, they were accompanied by a note, bearing no signature, which read: "Edgar, I haven’t forgotten you."

Tales claim the ghost of Edgar Allan Poe haunts his graveside, but the man in black is alive, just no one knows for sure who he is. He has brought roses and cognac to the cemetery every January since 1949. This past January 2013, he hasn’t. I can only assume he has passed away and is now a ghost himself if anyone sees him.
Legend has it that the ghost of Edgar Allan Poe has been seen near his grave and in the catacombs of the church. At the catacombs, it is said there are cold spots, sounds of footsteps, disembodied whisperings and some visitors have felt the touch of unseen hands too. The author died mysteriously in Baltimore and thus came to be buried there Poe was found barely conscious and lying in a gutter on East Lombard Street in Baltimore. He was rushed to a hospital but he died a short time later.

Some said Poe's death was caused by alcohol, others say that he was in a psychotic state and even rabies has been blamed. Other writers believe that he may have been drugged and murdered as the clothes that he wore were not his own and the walking stick he carried belonged to another man. There have been literally dozens of theories posed as to what caused Poe’s death but no one will ever know for sure. Perhaps the fact that his death remains unexplained is the reason why Poe’s ghost remains in the Old Western Burial Ground.
Poe’s house in Baltimore now a museum is haunted. There are cold spots and people have felt something tapping them on the shoulder. Windows fly open and shut by unseen hands. Witnesses have reported seeing an overweight grey haired woman dressed in clothing of the 1800s. People have heard mysterious voices. An actress was getting dressed for a play based on Berenice, a horror story Poe wrote. A window suddenly fell and crashed to the floor. It had been secure and there were no wind gusts.

During the riots that followed Martin Luther King’s assassination, people saw lights in the house and called the police who also witnessed the lights that moved from floor to floor. They could not get into the house and did not want to break into it, so they surrounded the building and waited for the curator. No one had been in the house. 

His phantom has been seen at Fort Monroe.  Witnesses claim to have seen his ghost writing away at a desk; he penned some minor poetry collections while on base.
Another possible building for Poe to haunt would be at Hiram Haines Coffee and Ale House in Petersburg, Virginia that his friend owned in 1830s and invited Poe and Virginia Clemm to spend their honeymoon there. I investigated the second floor suite where they stayed, but did not get any EVPs or voices from the ghost box from him nor from his bride. Does he haunt there? I never heard any stories of his spirit there neither. Only a legend of Virginia seen at a window on January 39th. (Reopened and in my nonfiction ghost book, Paranormal Petersburg, and the Tri-Cities Area, it closed before my book was released and for sale.)
Other Spots Poe Is Claimed to Haunt

Washington College Hospital: this is the Baltimore hospital where he died in 1849, it's been said that Poe's ghost has been seen roaming its hallways.

Eutaw House: There are a myriad of eerie tales concerning the old Centre County, Pennsylvania, Inn. One is that Poe stopped by, fell in love with a local girl, and was spurned. A spook that physically resembles him has been spotted there, although the local lore seems to associate the apparition with a ghost family haunting its halls

Friday, June 17, 2016

Catch Me at Paracon at the Exchange in Gordonsvile, Virginia Tomorrow

I will be a vendor at Paracon at the Exchange Hotel Museum tomorrow, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The address is 400 S. Main Street, Gordonsville, Virginia 22942. The all-day event cost $10.00. I will be sharing my canopy with fellow author and Paranormal World Seekers paranormal investigator, Carol Smith. We will be selling and signing our books, along with Paranormal World Seekers DVDs.  For who will be there speaking and anything else: 

Supernatural Friday Interview of a Horror Writers Association Chapter President

Today for Supernatural Friday, I interviewed the president of my Horror Writers Association chapter. Enjoy learning about Dee South. 
    What was the first time you decided you wanted to be a horror writer? 

In middle school.  I was the kid who loved Hammer movies, Twilight Zone and Night Gallery.   I loved reading stories and had already had a letter to the President published in a local book for students.  I think it was called, Young Writers of Detroit.

         What scares you?
Flying in an airplane.  Yuck.  Other than that, the thought of being eaten alive by an animal freaks me out.  The animal doesn’t matter:  ants, piranhas, sharks.

3     Are you working on anything now and can you tell us what?
Yes.  I’m working on my debut novel about a rogue priest who’s a member of a special Vatican sponsored exorcism team.  They travel the country investigating evil.

        What was the first horror novel or short story you read that turned you to the genre?

 My first horror novel that I remember is Phantoms by Dean Koontz.  But there  were short stories that stood out in my childhood like Rawhead Rex (if I  remember correctly) by Clive Barker.

        Name 5 good horror/thriller books that you feel others should read.  

Most are from my childhood.  Jaws by Benchley, Battlefield Earth by Hubbard (more scifi than horror), It by King, Any 47th Precinct book by McBain and Infernal Angel by Lee (extreme horror).  My current favorite is the Dresden Files by Butcher, but that falls into contemporary fantasy. 

        Is there anything else you like to write? 

Mysteries, Science Fiction and Fantasy.  I really love cross-genre books and movies.  Give me a good mystery inside of a science fiction story and I’m in love.  Give me a horror story in a fantasy, same result.

       Tell us why you joined Horror Writers Association? And why did you take on leading the Virginia chapter of the organization?

 I joined horror writers because I needed to find folks with my twisted mindset.  I got tired of attending critique groups where people flinch and grimace when it was time to critique my story.  Most critiques started with the phrase, “I don’t generally read this type of story…” I took the lead on the Virginia Chapter in order to meet other horror writers in my state.  Once I found out about the chapter program and realized that we didn’t have a chapter, my goal became to find ‘my people’ and bring us together.

      What benefits do you feel the organization gives to writers? 

 So, so much.  I’ve only been a member of the HWA for 2 years and already I’ve  met so many horror writers.  In addition, I’ve met writers on the national level  such as John Palisano, Brian Keene and Edward Lee.  The HWA has a wonderful  mentorship program led by Michael Knost.   I’ve had the benefit of having John  Palisano, the author or Ghost Heart and Dust of the Dead, mentor me for an  entire year.  Our chapter have vended local conventions like RavenCon,  MarsCon, and Scares That Care.  Events like Monster Fest. Also, members can  avail themselves of the HWA website and find various markets, editors and  publishers.

       Tell us your hobbies.

 My hobbies:  Reading, writing, and I’ve just picked up knitting.  I love to play  volleyball and softball, but my body is starting to rebel at those activities.

10.               Are you a big Halloween fan? What is a favorite Halloween memory?

           I’m a huge Halloween fan.  My biggest memory is that when I was younger, we had a family challenge to make our own Halloween costume with items in the house.  I chose to be a tree.  I cut up some paper and drew green veins and safety pinned the leaves to my clothes.  I was raised in Detroit, so Halloween could get pretty frigid for us some years.

     What are five of the scariest horror movies you seen?
          My five scariest horror movies:  Exorcist, Amityville Horror, Aliens 1 & 2, Jaws and The Exorcism of Emily Rose.  In fact, I won’t watch any of the demonic movies by myself.  I even hate hearing the creepy theme song of the Exorcist and Amityville.

   Tell us the links for your website and any social media you do?
           Social media. FaceBook.  My own blog is called “Journey of An Aspiring Writer”.    I also  run the Virginia Chapter Blog “HWA Virginia Chapter”.  I guess I should update  those soon.  J

1    Give the writers and horror writers out there the one piece of advice you can. It can be in two parts, one for writers/writers to be, and the second one for readers of the genre.

 One piece of advice I’d give horror writers out there is to join the   Horror          Writers Association.  The wealth of knowledge is astonishing.  For readers, I’d  highly recommend providing feedback to your favorite author by submitting  your review via Goodreads or Amazon

1    Where can anyone find you next—what book festival or convention?

 The HWA Virginia Chapter will vend the Scares That Care Horror Convention  in Williamsburg, Virginia, from July 22-24, 2016. 

 One of my favorite pictures:  Me and the legend of extreme horror, Edward Lee.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Supernatural Friday: Summer Solstice is Spooky Sometimes

Haunting Summer Solstice Battle
Pamela K. Kinney

Only 19% visible;
the solstice moon
looks down
on the battlefield.
except for crickets
in the humid night.
From both sides
comes pale, wisps of
shades on horseback
and many on foot.
Noise of battle erupting.
Out of sync,
no reality
Blue against gray,
Union against Confederate,
cannon fire and guns blasting.
Their ectoplasmic war began late,
All due to the
longest day
of the year
the cock crows
and phantoms
vanish with the sun.
Until the next night…

Now for some facts on the upcoming Summer Solstice:

Solstice comes from the Latin words sol, meaning 'Sun' and sistere, meaning 'to come to a stop or stand still'. Astronomers and scientists use the date of the June Solstice to mark the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere and winter in the Southern Hemisphere. For meteorologists on the other hand, summer began almost three weeks ago, on June 1. Even though most people consider June 21 as the date of the June Solstice, it can happen anytime between June 20 and June 22. June 22 Solstices are rare - the last June 22 Solstice in UTC time took place in 1975 and there won't be another one until 2203. This is when the Sun is directly overhead the Tropic of Cancer. In many Northern Hemisphere cultures, the day is traditionally considered to be the mid-point of the summer season. Many European countries hold midsummer celebrations. And though summer in the Northern Hemisphere, many believe that the earth is closest to the sun during the June Solstice. Actually, the earth is farthest from the sun at this time of the year. Our planet will be on its Aphelion a few weeks after the June Solstice.

The Northern Hemisphere has the longest day of the year in terms of daylight; the June Solstice is also called the Summer Solstice. In the Southern Hemisphere, it is the shortest day of the year and is known as the Winter Solstice.  Solstices happen twice a year - in June and December. The December one takes place around December 21. On this day, the Sun is precisely over the Tropic of Capricorn.

 The sun reaches its northern-most position, as seen from the Earth. At that moment, its zenith does not move north or south as during most other days of the year, but stands still at the Tropic of Cancer. It then reverses its direction, moving south again. The opposite happens during the December Solstice. The sun reaches its southern-most position in the sky - the Tropic of Capricorn - stands still and then reverses its direction towards the north.

June Solstice happens at the same time all over the world, at the exact instant of time when the Sun is directly overhead the Tropic of Cancer. In 2016, this will happen on June 20 at 22:35 UTC.Time zones differences will cause this event to take place on June 21 at locations that are more than one and a half hours ahead of UTC. That includes all of Europe, Russia and Asia.

The earliest sunrise doesn’t happen on this day either. The earliest sunrise happens a few days before and the latest sunset takes place a few days after the June Solstice.  In the Southern Hemisphere, where this day marks the Winter Solstice, the earliest sunset happens a few days before the solstice, and the latest sunrise occurs a few days after it. It is not even the hottest day of the year, the hottest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere happens a few weeks or sometimes months after the Solstice.