For Weird Wednesday, an interestingly different fireworks in the sky. Check out what interesting shapes the fireworks in your area do this 4th of July.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Monday, June 27th was a great day. First, I learned that it was 45 years that Dark Shadows had premiered on television. I loved this different soap opera which used the paranormal.
But besides that I received my first copy of Virginia's Haunted Historic Triangle: Williamsburg, Yorktown, Jamestown, and Other Haunted Locations by UPS from the publisher, along with a bootle of wine and ten book flats of the book. This means soon, the book will be available! Check out the front and back cover of the book from the photos above.
If you're the owner of a review blog, or a reviewer, and like to review this book, contact me, or Schiffer Publishing.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Today for Supernatural Friday, I am interviewing Courtney of the blog, Haunt Jaunts, which says is a travel blog for restless spirits. If you want to find out places as travel destinations that are haunted, then this blog is for you.
Pamela -Please tell us why you started blogging about haunted destinations?
Courtney-I originally intended to write a book, Haunt Jaunts: A Travel Guide for Restless Spirits, about 10 years ago. The idea stayed with me, but I always found reasons not to do it. Then shortly before I was diagnosed with cancer I had decided to develop it into a website instead. When I got cancer it dawned on me that a blog would be a great format for it. Which sort of leads to answering your next question.
Pamela – What started you doing this blog?
Courtney-Cancer. I had been purposely haunt jaunting since 1999 with the intent to one day write a book based on my travels. When I was diagnosed my doctor said the people who get off the couch and are determined to keep living do, so Haunt Jaunts became my “get off the couch” project. (And I say purposely haunt jaunting because I was even doing it before, but not as knowingly as I started doing it in 1999.)
Pamela – Where do your ideas for blogging come from?
Courtney-Well, a bunch of places. My muse mostly. But she gathers a lot of her ideas from Twitter, all the various Facebook pages I follows, and Google alerts.
Pamela – What is the most rewarding thing about blogging on this subject over another kind of subject?
Courtney-I also maintain two other blogs, which each fulfill me in their own way. (One is personal and lets me rant about whatever, the other is where I share lessons learned about friendship, faith, love and self during my life as a stay-at-home wife.)
But Haunt Jaunts lets me indulge in reliving happy trips while planning and anticipating new ones. I’ve also met all sorts of interesting people who also share a love for a good ghost story, an appreciation of history, and paranormal theories. I can’t really explain it, but for whatever reason haunted travel and paranormal tourism speaks to my soul as well as allows my soul to express itself.
Pamela —Do you read books on the paranormal?
Courtney-Yes, but not as much as I used to. I don’t have a lot of time these days. But that doesn’t stop me from adding to my stack of books, which is now almost a mile high.
Pamela —Among paranormal books you have read, name a favorite one?
Courtney-Haunt Hunter’s Guide to Florida by Joyce Elson Moore.
Pamela – Have you ever thought about writing a haunted travel guide, like in the form of travel books?
Courtney-I sort of beat you to this and gave this away in my first answer. But I can expand on it. I’ve never given up on my original goal of writing a Haunt Jaunts: A Travel Guide for Restless Spirits book. I’m hoping to start shopping around the first in a series of them later this year.
Pamela – Besides these kinds of books, do you watch any of the paranormal TV shows (not just the investigator ones, but any of the others too)? A favorite one? One you do not like?
Courtney-There’s this one show that’s sometimes on Travel Channel and Bio. I don’t think it was ever a series. More like a series of specials about haunted places. Each show covers a different place, like New Orleans, Washington D.C., New York, and Charleston. They re-run it periodically during the year, and definitely at Halloween. I always re-watch them.
I used to like the paranormal investigation shows, but now I’ve grown weary of them. I hate to say it, but probably my favorite paranormal oriented show currently is “Vampire Diaries.”
Pamela —Besides ghosts, do you blog about any cryptos (Bigfoot, UFOs, sea serpents, lake monsters, extinct animals, etc…)?
Courtney-Yes. Usually in relation to places where they’ve been spotted and the best places to look for them.
Pamela—Please tell us about yourself (family, hobbies, education, etc.)
Courtney-Let’s see…in addition to blogging, sometimes write fiction too. When I’m not writing, I like to play tennis (a newfound love), play volleyball (even though I’m far too short to be any good at it), travel, cook, eat, and sleep. Most of all I love spending time with my husband and our three fur kids: Murphy, a bluetick coonhound/Australian shepherd mix; Mr. Meow, who we think is a Nebelung; and our Tabby Girl, a Tabby cat.
Pamela—Tell where people can find your blog?
Courtney—Haunt Jaunts http://hauntjaunts.net/blog/
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
I am guest blogging over at Theresa Bane's Blog today, talking about all those darn vampires in Virginia! So come on over to there and see what I am saying.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Supernatural Friday: Guest Blogger Theresa Bane: Folktales and Ghost Stories of North Carolina’s Piedmont
My newest book, “Folktales and Ghost Stories of North Carolina’s Piedmont” contains twenty-one regional folktales from the area, including Asheboro, Greensboro, Jamestown, Lexington, Old Salem, Siler City, and Summerfield.
Usually I write historical, non-fiction reference books, such as “Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology” and “Actual Factual Dracula: A Compendium of Vampires.” However, for this book, I teamed myself up with folklorist and storyteller Cynthia Moore Brown. She has been performing for over thirty years and on five of the seven continents. A co-founder of the NC Storyteller guild, she has been acclaimed as a long time favorite. This is Cynthia’s first book (we are already working on a second together) and it was indeed a wonderful project to undertake as it was like no other book I have ever written before. Normally I do months and months of research before committing a single word to paper. This time all I had to do was press “record” on my old time cassette player and let Cynthia’s storytelling magic begin. At the end of each session I would take the tapes home with me and transcribe them exactly as she spoke the words aloud. But the process was not complete yet, not by a long shot.
You see, when Cynthia tells one of her stories she is able to see her audience, and by use of body language and tonality of voice is able to create an atmosphere all around her that she projects outwards. When she is talking for an old woman, she does more than uses an rickety voice, she stoops over and shuffles along, pretending to pull an invisible shawl around her shoulders. It is amazing who artful she is at her craft, as you can almost see the shawl and envision the environment she speaks through words.
To read exactly the words Cynthia spoke did not make for anywhere near as good a story as the one she told. It was up to me to put my talents to work as a writer, and flesh out her verbalization so that when read, the same imagery and feelings are created. Furthermore, I had to do so capturing not just Cynthia’s voice, but her beautiful southern style of speaking.
So far, everyone who has read the book has simply loved it, and if I must say-so myself, I think that you will too. I have two personal favorite stories in the book. The first is the “Gentleman Ghost of Uwharrie Mountain.” It’s such a bitter sweet tale of revenge and restitution. The other tale I love is the one that Cynthia created just for this book, the story of one Valentine Leonard. Not only is a real life Revolutionary War hero, but also, her husband is a direct descendant of him. In fact, they still attend the church that Valentine helped found. I think that this book will delight readers of all ages and quickly will become a family favorite. If you don’t have time to read this summer, you can always listen to Cynthia tell her stories on her CD, "Ghost Stories from the Graveyard."
QtR – Theresa Bane
Folklore and ghost stories from the Piedmont area of North Carolina come to life as told by the region's favorite performer, Cynthia Moore Brown. Hear the sad tale of "The Gentleman Ghost of Uwharrie Mountain" in Asheboro; "Lydia," the phantom hitchhiker of Jamestown; and the real-life account of Lexington's very own hero, Valentine Leonard. Rediscover fan favorites, such as the humorous "God in the Lake," the eerie tale of "The Woman with the Basket," and Old Salem's very own whistling "Little Red Man." Appearing for the first time in print, 21 spine-tingling ghost tales from the region's renowned storyteller, including four original tales composed by Cynthia herself, perpetuate the history of tradition in and around Piedmont. Each story is beautifully written out by co-author Theresa Bane to capture every blood-chilling moment of the story-telling experience. This book will delight readers of all ages and quickly become a family favorite.
Theresa Bane’s Bio:
Vampirologist, Theresa Bane has been featured on Discovery Channels’ “Twisted History: Vampires” as well as E!’s “10 Sexiest Vampires” for her knowledge and expertise on the undead.
Bane is the author of “The Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology,” “Actual Factual: Dracula,” “Haunted Historic Greensboro,” “Ghost Stories and Folklore of the Piedmont, North Carolina,” and “The Encyclopedia of Demons.” She has also written a dark humor book entitled “The Bloodthirsty Weasels: On the Loose and Buck Wild” as well as regularly writing content and satirical articles for on-line magazines. Recently she has delved in audio books and has been the Associate Producer on Patricia Brigg’s “Dragon Bones” and “Dragon Blood,” both produced by Buzzy Multimedia.
When not writing, Bane travels educating audiences about the differences between traditional mythology and horror fiction. A diehard gamer originally from the NY/NJ area, she currently resides in North Carolina with her husband, T. Glenn Bane. Please feel free to visit her website at http://www.theresabane.net/
Cynthia Moore Brown’s Bio:
Cynthia Moore Brown has been an acclaimed performer and educator for over three decades in North Carolina, the South, and Europe. She retired after thirty years as a librarian first, then a K-5 Art Specialist, and now performs, does her art, and travels.
Cynthia uses her many talents to bring texture to her down home Southern Style. She is an artist, a writer, an educator, a musician, and a nature lover. She is a co-founder of the NC Story Telling Guild and a festival organizer.
Cynthia’s lively performances of folktales, music, and visual arts are favorites to her audiences around the world and home again. Visit her website at http://www.folkteller.com/
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Friday, June 10, 2011
I could talk about movie vampires, vampires in books and short stories, even TV vamps, but let's talk about legends of vampires people still tell today and are in nonfiction books. I'll zero in on one particular vampire well known here in Richmond, Virginia: the Richmond Vampire.
The Richmond Vampire was a real person, W.W. Poole, who is buried in Hollywood Cemetery. His story starts with this legend connected to the train buried in Church Hill Tunnel. On October 2, 1925, the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad began to dig their way through the hill, so that they could have their trains go through Richmond and not around it. It was late Friday afternoon when the tunnel collapsed, trapping the train engineer and many others within. There was one of those, Benjamin F. Mosby, who had been dug out and who passed away later at the hospital that the myth version has the vampire the cause of the man's demise. Workers found a figure crouching over the man. The figure stood up and turned around, revealing a terrifying being with a bloody mouth full of jagged teeth.
They pursued the creature as it bolted, following it all the way back to Hollywood Cemetery and to W.W. Poole's mausoleum. Since then, besides Satanists, there are those who have tried breaking in with stakes, obviously to "stake the vampire." The bodies of both Poole and his wife were taken from the tomb and buried elsewhere on the grounds in an undisclosed location and the door to the tomb welded shut, in hopes this would stop the break-ins.
The truth about Poole? He was an accountant, and his initials meant William Worthham. The tomb has his death only: 1922. I am sure that his birth over the years had been erased off by the elements. Or maybe never put on there. Who knows? And that he had a rare blood disease and looked pale--reasons to accuse someone of being a vampire. My opinion? He had an enemy or enemies, and like many accused in the past of being witches due to jealousy or wanting something that person had, they made up the story of him being a vampire. There are no instances anywhere that I could find, of him doing other vampish things in other tales. Just the tunnel collapse.
Read more about him and other ghostly and ghoulish myths, legends and true ghost tales in Haunted Richmond, Virginia available at Schiffer Publishing, Amazon. Barnes an Nobles, Borders, Books A Million, and many more places.