Thursday, August 29, 2013

Supernatural Friday: Ghosts Are Hungry!

The first time I heard of this came from one of those paranormal shows. I can not remember which one, but this family that moved into this house in China as the father got transferred to a job there began having frightening occurrences. I think they had to ‘feed’ the ghosts to exorcise them.

Now ghosts are only souls of those who passed on. I assume they would be beyond the need for physical things, like eating. But in China and nearby Asian countries, it appears not. Hungry ghosts are believed to be those who in their former lives were given to jealousy or greed - and have, therefore, been reborn into one of the lower of the six realms of Buddhism. These creatures have voracious appetites, but are able to eat little or nothing.

The Hungry Ghost Festival, also known as the Zhongyuan Festival is one of four traditional festivals in China to worship ancestors. The other three are the Spring Festival, the Qingming Festival, and the Double Ninth Festival. The Taoist name for the Hungry Ghost Festival is the Zhongyuan Festival, and Buddhists call it the Yulanpen Festival. It is celebrated on August 20th of the seventh lunar month. The full moon is usually at this time. The Hungry Ghost Festival is one of the important days of Ghost Month. They believe that the ghosts of ancestors are let out of hell on the first day of the month was August 7th this year), so by the 15th day (when there is a full moon) they are very hungry. So people traditionally prepare a meal for them, burn incense or pray to them on Hungry Ghost Festival day. It is believed that their ancestors pay visits especially on this day of the full moon, and for two weeks of mundane activity afterwards, the phantoms are famished, tired, and perhaps angry, so the living must worship their ancestors. Not unlike Mexico’s Day of the Dead.

The ceremony is usually held at dusk, and people put the family’s ancestral tablets on a table, then burn incense and prepare food three times a day. Plates of food are put out for the ghosts on the table, and the people kowtow and pray in front of the memorial tablets in hopes that their ancestors bless them. People also feast on this night, and even leaving a place open at the table for their lost ancestors.

It is also thought that some of these wandering ghosts (also called ‘good brothers’) are believed to be the spirits of those with no relatives to venerate them after their death or those who had a bad death or did not receive a proper burial.

It is celebrated by some on the 14th day of the seventh lunar month or August 13th, in South China. The people in South China are said to have celebrated the festival a day earlier to avoid being caught by enemies at a time when there was a lot of warfare. In Jiangxi Province and Hunan Province, the Hungry Ghost Festival is considered to be more important than the Qingming Festival and the Double Ninth Festival. 

Ghost Festival in Other Countries:

Vietnam: The Vietnamese view this festival as a time when spirits are pardoned and released from hell. Appeasement is made to homeless spirits by offering food. This festival occurs at the same time as the Buddhist Vu Lan. Vu Lan has become a time to honor and thank living mothers; those without living mothers attend services to pray for the dead.

Japan: Japanese Buddhists celebrate a similar festival called O-bon or Bon—the Day of the Dead. Over the centuries, this celebration evolved into a time of family reunions when those who live in the cities return to the towns of their ancestors to visit and clean family graves.

Ghosts in Taiwan: Cut off from the mainland since 1949, Taiwan gives the clearest picture of what Chinese spirituality was like before the rise of a Communist government zealous to remove religion and superstition. Ghost Month is a major spiritual event for the Taiwanese. Up to 90% of the population of Taiwan believes in ghosts. Dealing with ghosts is big business there. Experts in the afterlife advise distressed clients on how to appease angry ancestors. Ghost-busting in Taiwan isn’t comedy—it is serious business. Taiwanese do their best to protect themselves from ghost-encounters, avoiding mountains and swimming at night or wearing a temple talisman with a protective prayer.

There are still hauntings by ghosts reported though. One woman tells of the ghost of her mother who visits her in the middle of the night, demanding money. Another concerns a teenager who claims a ghost has slept on him so that he couldn’t move. He now keeps his windows and doors locked all year to keep out the ghosts. Though anything that can walk through walls, well…

The seventh month is the scariest month of the year for the Chinese, due to the ghosts being released from hell. These evil ghosts go looking for entertainment. Many people avoid dangerous activities at night such as swimming (because it is said ghosts inhabit water) or being out alone. It is thought that the ghosts may attack their enemies or be angry or malicious. Because of fear of ghosts, many activities are curtailed during Ghost Month. Whistling is avoided as it will draw ghosts to one’s home. Events such as traveling, moving to a new home, medical procedures, or weddings are scheduled for other months; special plans and business deals are avoided at this time.

The Chinese have certain traditions what to do about the situation on the first, 14th, 15th, and also on the last day of the seventh lunar month. To fight off the ghosts, people burn fake paper money outside of their homes, businesses, along the sides of roads, or in fields on the first day, or even head to temples to do this. There is the explanation that the ghosts need money to use. They light incense and may make sacrifices of food, to appease these hungry, unhappy ghosts. There is the thought that the ghosts will not bring bad luck after eating their sacrifices. Red painted paper lanterns are found everywhere, including business and residential areas. Street ceremonies, market ceremonies, and temple ceremonies are held. During street and market ceremonies, people gather to celebrate the festival. For the temple ceremonies, monks in temples organize the festive activities. 

The end of ghost month falls on the last day of the seventh lunar month. This year it is September 4th. The last day of the month is when the gates of hell are closed up again. People celebrate and observe this day in various ways. Many burn more paper money and clothing so that the ghosts can use them in their society in hell. Pictures and tablets of ancestors may be put away back on the shelves or hung back on the walls. In order to encourage the ghosts to go, Taoist monks chant to make them leave. 

A common tradition that many families participate in is the floating of river lanterns. Colorful lanterns are made out of wood and paper. Families write their ancestors’ names on the lanterns. A floating river lantern is believed to take or guide those ghosts. On the night of the festival, people place paper boats with the paper lanterns in the river. The living watches the boats as they float away. Like the River Styx in Greek mythology, it is hope the dead follow the lanterns back to the gates of Hell.

How long ago in history has this tradition began?  It is interesting that cultures in Asia all the way from India to Cambodia to Japan share similar beliefs. These traditions seem to date from before Buddha was alive; more ancient folk religions seem to cover the entire area. Taoism is the indigenous religion of China where a lot of the ancient folk religion is incorporated. According to Taoist records, the gates of hell are opened and hungry ghosts are released to find food or to take revenge on those who have behaved badly in the seventh lunar month. The Taoists chant together to free the ghosts. Another story talks about how the King Yama opens the gates of hell on the Hungry Ghost Festival and allows a few wild ghosts to enjoy sacrifice on the first day of the seventh lunar month. The gates are closed on the last day of that month, where the wild, hungry ghosts return to hell. Some Chinese believe that the gates of heaven are also opened during this month, and they worship their ancestors from heaven. 

Trends for the Future:

Taiwan: Globalization, education, and modern technology have caused some erosion in traditional Chinese religion, though Taiwanese belief in the ghost world has seen no such decline. There are many Taiwanese youth are becoming disillusioned with modern materialism and are returning to traditional spiritual beliefs.

China: Not only are the Taiwanese holding onto traditional Chinese religion, even taking it back to the mainland. 


Monday, August 26, 2013

My Short Story, Bottled Spirits, Finaled in the 2013 WSFA Small Press Award

I found out by accident on Twitter of all places, that my short story, "Bottled Spirits," published in Buzzy Mag in June 2012 is the one of seven finalists in the 2013 WSFA Small Press Award finalists.

I am still in shock. If you see, the other finalists are some big name authors and super editors.  Congratulations to the other finalists:

  • The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species”,  Ken Liu (Lightspeed 8/12)
  • “Good Hunting”, Ken Liu (Strange Horizons 10/12)
  • “Mornington Ride”, Jason Nahrung (Fablecroft)
  • “Coca Xocolati”,  Lawrence M. Schoen (ReDeus: Divine Tales)
  • “The Six Million Dollar Mermaid”,  Hildy Silverman (Mermaids 13: Tales from the Sea)
  • “Astrophilia”,  Carrie Vaughn (Clarkesworld 7/12)

As says on the website: The award honors the efforts of small press publishers in providing a critical venue for short fiction in the area of speculative fiction. The award showcases the best original short fiction published by small presses in the previous year (2012). An unusual feature of the selection process is that all voting is done with the identity of the author and publisher hidden so that the final choice is based solely on the quality of the story. The winner is chosen by the members of the Washington Science Fiction Association ( and will be presented at their annual convention, Capclave (, held this year on October 11-13 in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

You can read "Bottled Spirits" free here at

Friday, August 23, 2013

Supernatural Friday: Lore and History of the "Talking Board"

Lore of the Ouija:

Never play alone!
Never let the spirits count down through the numbers or go through the alphabet as they can get out of the board this way.
If the planchette goes to the four corners of the board it means that you have contacted an evil spirit.
If the planchette falls from a Ouija board, a spirit will get loose.
If the planchette repeatedly makes a figure eight, it means that an evil spirit is in control of the board.
If you should get an evil spirit, quickly turn the planchette upside down and use it that way.
The board must be "closed" properly or evil spirits will remain behind to haunt the operator.
Never use the Ouija when you are ill or in a weakened condition since this may make you vulnerable to possession.
The spirit of the Ouija board creates "wins" for the user, causing him to become more and more dependent on the board. Addiction follows. This is called "progressive entrapment."
Evil spirits contacted through the Ouija board will try to win your confidence with false flattery and lies.
Always be respectful and never upset the spirits.
Never use the Ouija in a graveyard or place where a terrible death has occurred or you will bring forth malevolent entities.
Witchboards are so named because witches use them to summon demons.
The very first Ouija boards were made from the wood of coffins. A coffin nail in the center of the planchette window served as the pointer.
Sometimes an evil spirit can permanently "inhabit" a board. When this happens, no other spirits will be able to use it.
When using a glass as a message indicator, you must always cleanse it first by holding it over a burning candle.
Ouija boards that are disposed of improperly, come back to haunt the owner.
A Ouija Board will scream if you try to burn it. People who hear the scream have less than thirty-six hours to live. There is only one proper way to dispose of it: break the board into seven pieces, sprinkle it with Holy Water then bury it.
If you must use a Ouija board, make your own. Arrange the letters and numbers, into a circle so whatever is trapped within that circle can't escape.
If you place a pure silver coin on the board, no evil spirits will be able to come through.
NEVER leave the planchette on the board if you aren't using it.
Lecherous spirits from the Ouija board will sometimes ask young women to do rather . . . ah, odd things. Ignore them and always remember that your Ouija partner (i.e. boyfriend) has nothing to do with this.
Three things never to ask a Ouija board:
Never ask about God.
Never ask when you are going to die.
Never ask where the gold is buried.

History of the Board:
Ouija boards appeared to have been around for forever it seems, but it really hasn’t.

In the year 1848, something unusual happened in a Hydesville, New York cabin. Two sisters, Kate and Margaret Fox, contacted the spirit of a dead peddler, became instant celebrities, and sparked a national obsession that spread all across the United States and Europe. It was the birth of modern Spiritualism.

Spiritualist churches sprang up everywhere and persons with the special gift or "pipeline" to the "other side" were in great demand. These unique individuals, designated "mediums" because they acted as intermediaries between spirits and humans, invented a variety of interesting ways to communicate with the spirit world. Table turning (tilting or tipping) was one of these. The medium and attending sitters would rest their fingers lightly on a table and wait for spiritual contact. Soon, the table would tilt and move, and knock on the floor to letters called from the alphabet. Entire messages from the spirits were spelled out in this way.

A less noisy technique used a small basket with a pencil attached to one end. The medium simply had to touch the basket, establish contact, and the spirit would take over, writing the message from the Great Beyond. This pencil basket evolved into the heart-shaped planchette, a more sophisticated tool with two rotating casters underneath and a pencil at the tip, forming the third leg. Spiritualists immediately discovered that in addition to writing messages, the planchette could perform as a pointer, setting the stage for the talking boards to come. It was said by some writers, that the inventor of the planchette was a well-known French medium named M. Planchette. Not likely, as there has never been any information discovered in this individual. The French word "planchette" translates to English as "little plank."

Problem with table turning, it took far too long to spell out messages. Planchette writing was often a challenge just keeping the instrument centered on the paper long enough to get a decipherable message. Eventually, most mediums dispensed with the spiritual apparatuses altogether and mentally in an altered state of consciousness with the spirit world to something called "trance." Others eliminated the planchette but kept the pencil, finding the hand a less troublesome writing instrument. Others though felt need for equipment to communicate with ghosts. These resourceful individuals built weird alphanumeric gadgets and odd-looking table contraptions with moving needles and letter wheels. These early machines suffered from over engineering if not lack of imagination. Called dial plate instruments or psychographs, a few of these devices appeared in the marketplace under various names and incarnations. 

American and European toy companies peddled the planchette. It became popular. Dial plate devices, although more sophisticated, were largely ignored. Planchettes were easier to make and market inexpensively as novelties. But both took a back seat in 1886 when an exciting new "talking board" sensation hit the newsstands. It was even mentioned in the March 28, 1886 Sunday supplement of the New York Tribune, the story quickly spread across the country.

This "new" message board was simple to make. It required absolutely no understanding, skill, or mediumistic training to do—or so people were led to understand. The message indicator "moved by itself" from letter to letter to spell out a message, This amazed people. Was it new, or not, though? At about the same time, one of the nation's largest toy makers, W. S. Reed Toy Company of Leominster Massachusetts, put out a device strikingly similar to the "new planchette." Dubbed the "witch board," its description went like this: "Upon the four corners of the board are respectively "Yes," "No," "Good-by" and "Good-day," while the alphabet occupies the centre of the board. A miniature standard rests upon four legs and stands upon the "witch board." Those place their hands on it, and then the spirits begin their work. Should an answer be "Yes" or "No," and communications are spelled out by the diminutive table resting over such letters to spell out the message. 

Reed's short-lived "witch board" might have been completely forgotten had it not been for an amusing incident. Charles S. Dresser, Reed's treasurer, sent President Grover Cleveland one as a wedding gift with the wish that "it may be of service."  And no, the president did not use it on matters of state!

Reed wouldn't trademark another similar item, the Espirito, until 1891. But others leapt on the ‘board” bandwagon. The first patent for "improvements," filed on May 28, 1890 and granted on February 10, 1891, lists Elijah J. Bond as the inventor and the assignees as Charles W. Kennard and William H. A. Maupin of Baltimore, Maryland. It is wondered if Bond or his Baltimore cronies knew about Reed's earlier "witch board,” but they were the first to heavily promote the board as a novelty. 

Charles Kennard stated that he named the new board Ouija (pronounced wE-ja) after a session with Miss Peters, Elijah Bond's sister-in-law: "I remarked that we had not yet settled upon a name, and as the board had helped us in other ways, we would ask it to propose one. It spelled out O-U-I-J-A. When I asked the meaning of the word it said 'Good Luck.' Miss Peters there upon drew upon her neck a chain which had at the end a locket, on it a figure of a woman and at the top the word 'Ouija'. We asked her if she had thought of the name, and she said she had not. We then adopted the word. There were present Mr. Bond, his wife, his son, Miss Peters and myself." Kennard and Bond, doing business as Kennard Novelty Company, wasted no time advertising in local periodicals, calling it even the “wonder of the Nineteenth Century.” 

Charles Kennard left the company after fourteen months to found Northwestern Toy Company in Chicago, Illinois. His ex-financial partners, headed by powerful Baltimore capitalist Washington Bowie, who was also manager, secretary, and treasurer of Kennard Novelty, changed the name of the firm to Ouija Novelty Company. This didn't concern Kennard who made another board as his flagship product, the Volo board—a Ouija replica. Bowie immediately filed suit for patent infringement forcing the end of the Volo along with an apology. Unrepentant, Charles Kennard continued in real estate and other business ventures and produced one more talking board, the Igili, in 1897. 

Kennard claimed that he was the sole inventor, having in 1886 (the year of the talking board craze) put together a crude board, using a cake board and a table with four legs and a pointer, marking in pencil the alphabet and numerals. Next to his office was a cabinetmaker by the name of E.C. Reiche who, at Kennard's request, made several copies of the board. Asked to make them in numbers for market, Reiche refused, complaining of a heavy workload. After shopping the idea around Baltimore and finding no takers, Kennard met Elijah Bond who made several improvements including the semi-circular alphabet pattern and the addition of felt cushions on the indicator legs, and had those improvements patented. Bond then joined with Kennard as manufacturers under the Kennard Novelty Company name. 

Washington Bowie disputed Kennard on several counts. He said that the inventor of the Ouija was not Charles Kennard but Mr. E. C. Reiche, of Chestertown, Maryland. He further stated that Kennard Novelty paid Reiche in stock for "using his invention without compensation" and that this happened, not once but twice. E. C. Reiche's son, W. Mack Reiche, backed Washington Bowie and said that Kennard may have named the Ouija, he did not invent it. W. Mack Reiche was adamant that the Ouija "came into existence through the brains and hands of father alone." 

Whatever the story, Washington Bowie remained the powerhouse behind the Ouija Novelty Company making most of the corporate decisions and installing his son, Washington Bowie Jr., as manager of the Chicago factory. Early on, he took 20 year old William Fuld under his wing and taught him everything he could about the business. Fuld rose quickly to position of foreman and became one of the original company stockholders. In 1897, Washington Bowie leased the rights to manufacture the Ouija board to William and his brother Isaac. With that single stroke of fate, William and Isaac Fuld embarked successfully on their new venture and manufactured Ouija boards in record numbers. This business partnership didn’t last. Ouija Novelty’s contract with the Fulds was for three years only. At the end of this period, William formed his own company—ended the partnership. Isaac’s rights to produce the Ouija board ended. A legal battle ensued. The acrimony created a bitter family feud that was to last for generations. Isaac worked from his home workshop and produced and sold Ouija facsimiles, called Oriole talking boards, along with pool and smoking tables. Ouija Novelty collected revenues on the Ouija name from Willam Fuld and then in 1919 relinquished the remaining rights. William sold millions of Ouija boards, toys, and other games and kept a job as a US customs inspector. Later in life he became a member of Baltimore's General Assembly.

For twenty-six years William Fuld ran the company through good times and bad. He was a Presbyterian, didn't believe that it was a medium of communication with departed spirits, but at the same time still thought that the Ouija a reliable advisor in matters of business and personal life. He explained a type of magnetism or some kind of psychological phenomenon controlled the hands and led to the right answers. He offered personal anecdotes to illustrate. The board told him to "prepare for big business" and he did, building a new factory to support huge demands. When a large shipment consigned to St. Paul, Minnesota got lost, and a search by railroad officials failed to find it, Fuld asked the Ouija board and it directed him to Ohio, right where it had been misdirected. 

Fuld said. "We didn't know what to name it, so put the question up to the board and it spelled out O-U-I-J-A. We hadn't any idea what it meant and scratched a long time before we found any clue, until discovered the word a close approximation of an Egyptian word meaning good luck." Although he had "inventor" printed on the back of every board, he didn’t claim to be the originator, but credited E. C. Reiche. He just beat him to the patent office.
William Fuld climbed to the roof of his Harford Street factory in Baltimore to supervise the replacement of a flagpole, but a support post that he held on to, gave way and he fell backwards to his death. This happened in February 1927. Following his death, William's children took over and marketed many interesting Ouija versions of their own, including the rare and marvelous Art Deco Electric Mystifying Oracle. In 1966, they retired and sold the business to Parker Brothers. Parker Brothers produced an accurate Fuld reproduction and briefly even made a Deluxe Wooden Edition Ouija. They still own the trademarks and patents to this day. 

In early 1999, Parker Brothers stopped manufacturing the classic Fuld Ouija board and switched to a smaller less detailed glow in the dark version. No longer is the faux bird's eye maple lithograph and also gone is the name William Fuld.
Today, as in the past, there are companies that produce interesting variants of the talking board. It may be accurate to say that there is a renaissance afoot. Hasbro, who currently owns Parker Brothers, has introduced two new limited edition versions of the Ouija board within the past few years. Other manufacturers have also joined in with imaginatively styled, contemporary talking boards. Online auction sites allow artists, who formerly would not have had the opportunity, to display and sell their handcrafted creations to a worldwide audience. Talking board enthusiasts are creating websites, sponsoring public shows and events, and connecting with other collectors in an entirely new way. At this period in time, the Wonderful Talking Board has never been more popular. 

Parker Brothers motto: "It's only a game—isn't it?"

Friday, August 16, 2013

Supernatural Friday: My Soul for a Bucket of Ice

Enjoy this poem. It is copyrighted by me, so if wish to share it with friends and family, please share the link. Thank you.

"My Soul for a Bucket of Ice"
Pamela K. Kinney

Summer heat;
humidity draining me.
The night is
no different
The moon doesn’t
cool me down
I would do anything,
anything to be cold.
Even sacrifice
my first born child
Or rip out
the heart of my enemy.
I make this summoning,
I will keep sweating.
Circle of blood;
black candle lit
Chant rising
on the night’s fetid air
A form of
black mist inside
Eyes red
as hellfire
staring back at me
“What is that command?”
I fall to my knees
Cry out,
“I need freezing cold!”
“As you wish. . .”
I disappear
End up
in a cave of ice
Many miles below
the Arctic snow and ice.
Maybe I should have
been more specific
And maybe,
Next time don’t use,
Demon Summoning for Dummies,
go to the supermarket
and buy a bag of ice. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

My Radio Interview for Haunted Richmond II

My radio interview with Neal Steele of Xtra 99.1 about Haunted Richmond II and investigating and all things ghostly is archived and up as last interview (scroll down to bottom of page) at Chesapeake Bay Writers. If you didn't listen live though your radio or online at the radio station's website you can now at

Friday, August 09, 2013

Supernatural Friday: The Haunts of Edgar Allan Poe

“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’ll be returning there end of August with the Richmond Paranormal Society so it will be interesting to find out. Another spot he has been seen in Richmond is what had been the home of his love and last fiancée 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 gravesite, 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.

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

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Check Me Out at The Hanover Book Festival This Saturday, August 10th in Mechanicsville, Virginia

I will be selling and signing my books as myself and my pseudonym, Sapphire Phelan, plus the Paranormal World Seekers DVDs at the Hanover Book Festival being held at
Liberty Christian School Gymnasium, 8094 Liberty Circle, Mechanicsville, VA. this Saturday, August 10th, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 pm.

There will be other authors, publishers, workshops, door prizes and more. The event is free (except the workshops) and open to the public.

Some of the stuff that will be at my table:

Friday, August 02, 2013

Supernatural Friday: Review of The Conjuring

Ed Warren: We've been called ghost hunters. Paranormal researchers. Wackos.
Lorraine Warren: But we prefer to be known simply as Ed and Lorraine Warren.

Clapping Spirit: Want to play a game of hide and clap? 

I had a free movie coming from Regal Cinemas, and after hearing many saying "The Conjuring" was a great, spooky film, I decided to use the ticket for it. I was not disappointed.

Based off a real story and set in 1971, Carolyn and Roger Parren move their family into a dilapidated Rhode Island farm house. Not long after, strange things began to happen starting small and quickly escalating to pure nightmarish terror. In desperation, Carolyn contacts a noted paranormal married experts, Ed and Lorraine Warren, to examine the house. What the Warrens discover is a whole area steeped in a satanic haunting that is now targeting the Parren family wherever they go. To stop this evil, the Warrens will have to call upon all their skills and spiritual strength to defeat this spectral menace at its source that threatens to destroy everyone involved, including the Warrens themselves. 

Kinda close to home for me, actor Patrick Wilson was born in Norfolk, Virginia. He played Ed Warren. Like The Haunted Collector he kept objects connected with hauntings, or more likely demon haunted places/exorcisms. Unlike the collector he does not call it a museum, but a place to be kept locked and kept an eye on so those that were affected by the objects would not be harmed again. 

Unlike many movies based on true demonic haunted stories, this was one I could believed happen. It had atmosphere and all the appropriate trapping of a horror flick, and yet, was like you actually were there. The investigators used the right equipment for the day and time. 

Need a good scary film you haven't been getting these days? Something with a good story and actors doing their parts right? "The Conjuring" is that summer gem among all the blockbusters.  And the audiences are seeing it, passing up the blockbusters. I know that when this comes out on Blu Ray/DVD, it is already an automatic buy for me. I only hope it will be close to Halloween, as this will be worth viewing on Halloween night.

I give "The Conjuring" five scary ghosts!

Trivia: Second time where the film's composer, Joseph Bishara plays the main ghost in a James Wan film. He previously played the Lipstick-Faced Demon in Insidious.