Tuesday, October 30, 2007

HAPPY HALLOWEEN-Plus Last Book Signing & Two Radio Interviews

Since it looks that I will be busy today, doing a contract for another Schiffer book and synopsis for an urban fantasy for an agent, and signing tomorrow, plus two radio show interviews in the morning, I wanted to wish everyone here a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

On the book signing, that'll be at Fountain Bookstore, 1312 E. Cary ST Richmond, VA 23219--12:30PM to 2:30PM--804-788-1594. As for the radio interviews and what website to listen from if not live in Richmond, Virginia area: on WRVA Halloween morning at 6:05AM for five minutes. So that one, later at 8AM on MIX 1037. This one can be heard live at http://www.wrva.com/pages/streaming.html .
The MIX 1037 at 8AM or sometime after. To listen online that link is http://mix1037.com/listen/ .

Pamela K. Kinney

Sunday, October 21, 2007

30 Days of Night Review, 20 Scariest Films, and My New Horror Story Out

It's that time of the year again. When all thoughts turn to ghostly tales and monsters hding in the shadows and was that a werewolf I heard howling at the moon last night? You suddenly get the urge to read a scary book or about the ghost stories in your region or watch some spooky films on DVD or at the local multiplex. Yes, we do all this the other eleven months of the year, but October just brings out the Halloween junkie in all of us.

Right now my ghost book, Haunted Richmond, Virginia is doing well. I just had a Halloween horror short story, "Give Me Something Good to Eat" come out in dark Cloud Ezine's October issue. You can download the pdf file at http://thedarkcloudpublishing.homestead.com/products.html and read it and the rst of the zine for free. And SciFi Channel started its 13 Days of Halloween this past Friday. My husband and I went to see the vampire film, 30 Days of Night. This blog will be a review of that film and my recommendation of the scariest films to rent or buy on DVD. Just don't forget the popcorn and the soda, maybe even the pizza.

30 days of Night takes the premise of the vampire can only come out at night and take it to a whole new level with setting it during the thirty days of darkness in the Alaskan winter. Most of the town of Barrow can not abide the Dark, so they leave on the last day. One woman, a fire marshall, who had been sent there to fix something isn't so lucky, thanks to an accident , and the plane takes off, leaving her there for the next thirty days. She can not avoid her husband, the sheriff, who she is estranged from, and joins him and those left in town.

When a stranger comes to town and things like satellite phones are found burned in a hole and husky dogs slaughtered things appear as if the man is a lunatic. But as he sit in the jail cell he was locked up in, taunting about 'they' who are coming, it starts to get eerie to those who hear this. Then one by one people in the town began to be grabbed by something that is quick and have their throats torn out. The 'they' are here, and they'rew hungry and wanting only to bring pain to those who had remained in Barrow.

I won't go on but only to say, go see it. A perfect film for viewing at Halloween. The vamps in this are not your brooding, romantic hero, but the way they should be, inhuman and bad-ass terror.

I give this film 4 1/2 dragons.


1. The Haunting (1963)-forget the remake, see the original. And read the book it's based on by Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House.

2. Alien--in space no one will hear you scream--a haunted house that is actuallyn a spaceship.

3. Halloween--Didn't see the Rob Zombie version--the original is still the best in my opinion.

4. Dracula--Bela Lugosi version from the '30s.

5. Dog Soldiers--soldiers battling werwwolves in the wilds of Scotland--nothing better.

6. American Werewolf in London--this is such a classic.

7. Cat People (both versions of this shapeshift horror film--the second is very erotic and adult, so no kiddies should view this).

8. Psycho--Norman Bates takes lving a mother to new heights.

9. Ring--Japanese have been coming out with some creepy stuff.

10. Carrie

11. The Shining (one with Jack Nicholson in it, not the television version).

12. Rosemary's Baby

13. John Carpenter's The Thing--so much like the short story, "Who Goes There?" it is based on.

14. Evil Dead--Sam Raini begins to prove to us that he can do horror.

15. The Omen (not the remake, but the orginal one).

16. The Night of the Living Dead--no, never saw it or its sequels. But I know it would scare me to death.

17. The Innocents

18. The Blob (worse one for me: Kontiki the Immortal Monster--I hate alien blob movies).

19. Jeepers Creepers--not a serial killer as one would think at first, but a monster.

20. Salem's Lot (1979)--a darkly, frightening vampire film.

There's more I like, but I said twenty. Remember? For more ideas, check out:







And if want more than films, here is a link to Halloween games and more:


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Beware! Halloween is Approaching!

Halloween is debated over whether it's a holiday or not. For those who say they are pagan, it is. But for those the government deems as a holiday (Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc..) they say not. It doesn't matter, for I've loved Halloween as my favorite time of the year ever since I was a small child, with Christmas coming in second amd Thanksgiving, third. Let's discuss what Halloween is all About.

Halloween, or the Hallow E'en as they call it in Ireland , means All Hallows Eve, or the night before the 'All Hallows', also called 'All Hallowmas', or 'All Saints', or 'All Souls' Day, observed on November 1. In old English the word 'Hallow' meant 'sanctify'.
The American version of Halloween Day celebration owes its origin to the ancient (pre-Christian) Druidic fire festival called "Samhain", celebrated by the Celts in Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Samhain is pronounced "sow-in", with "sow" rhyming with cow. In Ireland the festival was known as Samhein, or La Samon, the Feast of the Sun. In Scotland, the celebration was known as Hallowe'en. In Welsh it's Nos Galen-gaeof (that is, the Night of the Winter Calends. According to the Irish English dictionary published by the Irish Texts Society: "Samhain, All Hallowtide, the feast of the dead in Pagan and Christian times, signalizing the close of harvest and the initiation of the winter season, lasting till May, during which troops (esp. the Fiann) were quartered. Faeries were imagined as particularly active at this season. From it the half year is reckoned. also called Feile Moingfinne (Snow Goddess). The Scottish Gaelis Dictionary defines it as "Hallowtide. The Feast of All Soula. Sam + Fuin = end of summer." Contrary to the information published by many organizations, there is no archaeological or literary evidence to indicate that Samhain was a deity. The Celtic Gods of the dead were Gwynn ap Nudd for the British, and Arawn for the Welsh. The Irish did not have a "lord of death" as such. Thus most of the customs connected with the Day are remnants of the ancient religious beliefs and rituals, first of the Druids and then transcended amongst the Roman Christians who conquered them.Something funny is that American teens and pre-teens seem to have instinctively expanded their seasonal celebrations to add another night before Halloween, one on which they commit various acts of harmless (or unfortunately not) vandalism, including pranks on neighbors. If we assume that All Saints Day was moved to co-opt the central day of Samhain which was associated originally with the Gods and Goddesses of the Celts, and All Souls Day was supposed to co-opt the worship of the Ancestors, then the modern “Cabbage Night,” “Hell Night” (boy does that push the Fundamentalists’ buttons!), or simply “Mischief Night” (which used to be April 30th — the night before May Day — in Germany — there’s that Beltane/Samhain connection again) would correspond to a celebration of the often mischievous Nature Spirits. This then nicely covers the Indo-European pattern of the “Three Kindreds” of Deities, Ancestors, and Nature Spirits.

A part of Halloween in America is trick or treat, began fairly recently, as a blend of several ancient and modern influences-around 1939, as that is when the term was first documented. It all was done to stop all the vandalism and expensive destruction from neighborhood kids.This also hails back to people dressing up in medieval times, for if they went out on All Hallows Eve they wanted to be mistaken as spirits and demons by the real ones that they believed haunted that night. Children today come up to your doorbell, and ring it, or knock at your door, then yell out, "Trick or Treat!", where then you give them candy for their bags. it used to be if you didn't these children would then toilet paper your yard or house, or do other mischievious things like getting your cow on the roof of the barn, etc...

Here's a version of 'Trick or Treat' as said in Ireland long ago:

‘Anocht Oidhche Shamhna, a Mhongo Mango. Sop is na fuinneogaibh; dúntar na díirse. Eirigh id’ shuidhe, a bhean an tighe. Téirigh siar go banamhail, tar aniar go flaitheamhail. Tabhair leat ceapaire aráin agus ime ar dhath do leacain fhéin; a mbeidh léim ghirrfiadh dhe aoirde ann ages ciscéim choiligh dhe im air. Tabhair chugham peigín de bhainne righin, mín, milis a mbeidh leawhnach ’n-a chosa agus uachtar ’n-a mhullaigh; go mbeidh sé ag imtheacht ’n-a chnocaibh agus ag teacht Ôn-a shléibhtibh, agus badh ó leat go dtachtfadh sé mé, agus mo chreach fhada níor bhaoghal dom.’‘
(“Oh Mongo Mango, Hallow E’en tonight. Straw in the windows and close the doors. Rise up housewife, go inside womanly, return hospitably, bring with you a slice of bread and butter the colour of your own cheek, as high as a hare’s jump with a cock’s step of butter on it. Bring us a measure of thick fine sweet milk, with new milk below and cream above, coming in hills and going in mountains; you may think it would choke me, but, alas! I am in no danger.”)’

And what about the symbols of Halloween?

Ghosts have always made perfect sense, for Samhain was the festival where the Gates Between the Worlds were open wide and departed friends and family could cross over in either direction. As I mentioned earlier, people invited their ancestors to join them in celebration. The only ones who would cower in fear would be people who had wronged someone dead and who therefore feared retribution of some sort. The often repeated tale that the dead roamed the earth after dying until the next Samhain, when they could then pass over to the afterlife, makes no sense in either Celtic Paleopagan or Medieval Christian beliefs, so is probably fairly modern. It is possible that any “earth-bound” spirits needing assistance to pass over might have received it at this time, but this wouldn’t have been considered necessary for most of the dead.

Samhain was the time of year when the herds were culled. That means that farmers and herders killed the old, sick or weak animals, as well as others they didn’t think would make it through the winter with that year’s available food. Prior to the last few centuries in the West, most people lived with death as a common part of life, especially since most of them lived on farms. Samhain became imbued with symbolism of these annual deaths. So skeletons and skulls joined the ghosts as symbols of the holiday. Again, there’s nothing evil here, at least to the innocent in heart. Indeed, in Mexico, where the holiday is known as Los dias de los Muertos,or “Days of the Dead,” (combining All Saints Day with All Souls Day) skeleton and skull toys and even candies are made and enjoyed by the millions, many by and for devout Roman Catholics.Medieval Christians feared cats, for reasons as yet unclear, and especially feared black cats who could sneak “invisibly” around at night. It’s ironic that they feared cats so much that they killed tens of thousands of them, leaving their granaries open to rats and mice, no doubt causing much food to be wasted, and leaving Europe as a whole wide open to the Black Plague, which was carried by the fleas on those rats and mice. Unfortunately, the millions of human deaths caused by the Black Plague were later blamed on witches the Church invented, then murdered. Cats, as “evil” animals, then became associated with the “evil” witches.

Witches as figures of pure evil were invented by the medieval Church and inflated by the Catholic and Protestant Churches during the Reformation period. Paleopagan witches were people suspected by their neighbors of using magic or poison to harm others, though the term was sometimes used to insult or accuse the “cunning folk” (who were herbalists, diviners, and folk magicians) of committing malpractice. As the Church tried harder and harder to make people abandon their Paleopagan customs for the new Christian ones, Samhain became a prime target. The Church began to say that demons were abroad with the dead, and that the fairy folk were all monsters who would kill the unwary. When Diabolic Witchcraft was invented, the “Evil Devil-Worshipping Witch” simply became the newest monster to add to the others. The green skin was a twentieth century touch the Wizard of Oz movie added to the “evil old hag” version of the Diabolic Witch.

Halloween became a holiday in modern times for which half the fun was being scared out of one’s wits. Modern fiction added new monsters to the American mix, including vampires (previously known mostly in Eastern Europe), werewolves, mummies (after modern Egyptology started), and various psychopathic killers and ghouls. These are not images anyone actually needs to perpetuate, but the teens certainly enjoy them.

Jack O’Lanterns became popular as house decorations in the USA after immigrant Irish people discovered how much easier pumpkins were to carve than turnips, potatoes, and beets, unleashing what has turned into quite an art form in the last decade or so. These lanterns the irish made though represented the souls of the departed loved ones. Placed in windows or set on porches, they not only welcomed the deceased, but protected those within from malevolent wraiths.

The legend of the Jack-O'-Lantern comes from Ireland from about the 18th century. With some variations the basis of the Jack-O'-Lantern is as follows:

There was a stingy drunkard of an Irishman named Jack; who tricked the Devil into climbing an apple tree. Then Jack quickly cut the sign of a cross into the trunk of the tree; thereby preventing the Devil from climbing down. Jack made the Devil swear that he wouldn't ever come after Jack's soul again or claim it in any way. However, this did not stop Jack from dying and when he did he was not allowed into Heaven, because of his life of drinking, being tightfisted and being deceitful. And because of the oath the Devil had taken Jack was not allowed into Hell either. "But where can I go?" asked Jack. "Back where you came from!" replied the Devil. The way back was windy and dark. The Devil, as a final gesture, threw a live coal at Jack straight from the fire of Hell. To light his way and to keep it from blowing out in the wind Jack put it in a turnip he was eating. Ever since Jack and his "lantern" has been traveling over the face of the earth looking for a place to rest.

So in couple weeks when you answer that doorbell, be careful, for you never know. It may be something more then a costumed child with a bag half-filled with goodies. Be sure your jack-o-lantern is lit to protect you against dark spirits. Is there a cross within reach, just in case? But then again, I may be tricking you. After all, it is Halloween.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

My Interview With Richmond.Com About Haunted Richmond, Virginia Is Up Today!!!

My interview about Haunted Richmond, Virginia is up at Richmond.com, so being an Internet site anyone in the world can read it. Here is a bit of what the reporter said:

from Richmond.com:
I have a confession to make. I believe in ghost stories.I believe in haunted houses, evil possessions and ghosts that refuse to crossover. What can I say? I'm a part of the "Poltergeist," "Halloween" and "Pet Sematary" generation – ghost stories were just part of the package.But for Richmond writer Pamela Kinney, ghost stories are more than just a few scary tales from childhood -- they're her livelihood.In her latest book "Haunted Richmond" Kinney takes readers on a spine-chilling tour of a city that is full of history and, it turns out, hauntings.

Read the rest of the interview at


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

New Review for Haunted Richmond, Virginia

Nonfiction author, Deborah Painter wrote a review for Haunted Richmond, Virginia that is up at my book's page on the Schiffer website: Schiffer Books/Haunted Richmond .

Read some of what she has said:
Haunted Richmond is a good source of entertainment and chills. Kinney evokes the mood one needs to fully savor a collection of regional ghost stories. She gives you the feeling that you are sitting down on a comfortable sofa as she reads aloud these stories of encounters with haunted homes like rural Haw Branch, where a painting changed from black and white to color due to the team-up of two female spectres, the mysterious lady who haunts the Governor's Mansion in downtown Richmond, and strange but true accounts of the Pocahontas Parkway, where whooping Indians terrify drivers by leaping into the road ahead of their windshield wipers.

Read the rest of the review at the above link.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Excerpt from Haunted Richmond, Virginia-From Train Under the Hill Chapter

Enjoy this excerpt from my nonfiction ghost book, Haunted Richmond, Virginia. If you like reading real ghost stories then you'll enjoy this book. It has photos of some of the haunted places, the ghost stories and even some legends and myths in it too. Enjoy reading how Richmond's 'Vampire' came to be and the ghostly stories about the train buried under the hill in Church Hill, a section of Richmond.

Blurb from back of the book:
Richmond, Virginia is chock-full of ghosts and haunted places. This city names Edgar Allan Poe as its native son, and it is rich in ghostly lore, legends, and tales. Join this tour to:• Learn why Virginia's governor shares his mansion with ghosts;• Dine with ghosts at Ruth's Chris Steak House and Crab Louie's Seafood Tavern;• Discover that the Byrd Theatre has more than movies to offer customers;• Visit the prison in Powhatan (it might not be safe, even for those working there);• Call on the Lady in Red who roams the corridors at Wrexham Hall.These and other interesting and scary stories will transport you beyond, to a Richmond that most mortals never see!

An excerpt from the chapter of the Train Under the Hill--the first time the Richmond Vampire was mentiuoned plus the hauntings too:

Questions and legends abound about this even today. Are the two black laborers still buried in that tunnel? And were they wrong, and more than four people were killed in the disaster? Many survivors reported that several other laborers had just been taken in for that day's work. How many people were unaccounted for in reality? The place was filled with sand; the two entrances are sealed off and hidden behind a growth of trees and vines.
A legend that connected it to the `Vampire' of Hollywood Cemetery came about when the one man who had survived was taken later to a hospital. Having gotten mixed up in the vampire legend as being some kind of fiend that dug his way out if the tunnel, it was said that he ran all the way back to the mausoleum where he, the vampire, was buried, while being pursued by an angry mob.
For a long time, there were no ghost stories attached to the tragedy. But as Sandi of Haunts of Richmond said, "Yes, there is." A man on one of her tours told her
that he had worked at Richmond Cold Storage, the white building in front of the hill. He
worked the graveyard shift and would hear the sounds of pickaxes coming from the hill.
One young man, who went to Virginia Commonwealth University, along with some friends, approached the hill one night when they heard the sound of air brakes coming from inside it! They knew it wasn't from some modern train as they looked back at the tracks several blocks behind them and saw nothing. My husband said that it had to be the sound of steam, as it was a steam engine buried under that hill, and wouldn't have the air brakes of a modern train.
The third story attached to this tragedy has to do with the park at the top of Church Hill. People claim they can hear cries of help coming from inside the hill itself.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Last Stop for Haunted Richmond, Virginia's Blog Tour Is Up

Susan L. Wickham's review of Haunted Richmond, Virginia is up now at http://www.myspace.com/sl_wickham_artist . Just click on the blog link that says Haunted Richmond by Pamela K. Kinney to read it. This is the last stop of the virtual blog tour revisited for Haunted Richmond, Virginia.
Have consideration--Susan has never done one of these blog tours before.
Pamela K. Kinney

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Blog Tour Stop of Marina Kuperman and Turtle Feet, Surfer's Beat

Today's author stopping on a blog tour is Marina Kuperman. She is the author of the Young Adult novel, TURTLE FEET, SURFER´S BEAT. It will be an e-Book and comes out November 15, 2007.

10% of all the proceeds go directly to saving the Leatherback Turtle and other marine animals.
The official publication date of ‘Turtle Feet, Surfer’s Beat’ is November 15, 2007. But you can buy the ebook and read it now!!! or if you pre-order today you will get a kick-ass gift with your book just in time for the holiday season for helping out a good cause.
So order now, and join our community with super-hot surfers, musicians, artists, actors, kooky scientists and others that are working hard to make a change!!!

You can find out more about Marina and the book at her website and blog: