Friday, October 30, 2015

Supernatural Friday: "A Trick, No Treat"

Happy Halloween. Enjoy this original horror story by me. It is copyrighted.  Just let your friends know the link so they too, can read it.

                               "A Trick, No Treat"


                               Pamela K. Kinney

Janie and Bobby dressed in costumes, trudged up the sidewalk as they passed other similarly dressed children. It was Halloween, their favorite time of the year. Where all children could go door to door, knock, and candy were poured into their waiting bags after yelling, ‘trick or treat.’ If the adult refused, the kids could play tricks on them and get away with it.

Janie and Bobby loved the treats, but they loved doing the tricks even more. They loved doing nasty, terrible tricks.

“It’s tradition,” Mama told them.

If the adults gave them candy, then fine and dandy, don’t do anything. But for that one who said, “No treats here, so go away!” they could go ahead and do what their family had been doing since the early 1900s.

Janie and Bobby couldn’t wait. The past couple of years they hadn’t been able to play any of their tricks. Every door they knocked at the owners handed over candy, fruit, popcorn balls, and money. But when they woke up this morning, they sensed that this night would be different.

Nothing had happened so far. Both of their bags laden heavy with the fruits of their labor, they stopped before the white picket fence that surrounded the yard of a pretty white Cape Cod home. It looked so normal and so . . . suburbia.

It washed over them. The feeling they had on awakening that morning. This was it. They would finally get what was owed them.

Janie and Bobby looked at each other, shark grins flashing on their sweet, chubby faces. They pushed the gate open and skipped up the leaf strewn path to the front door. No Halloween decorations anywhere and no lit jack-o-lantern on the porch. Just the closed door painted a cheery blue greeted them.

They knocked and waited.

The door opened with nary a creak to reveal a little old lady on the other side. Her white hair was swept up in a bun and she wore a cheerful flowered print top and white pants. She peered at them, her eyes blinking behind red wire framed glasses.

“Oh, I am sorry,” she said, “but I forgot to buy candy to give out tonight.”

Bobby grinned. “That’s okay. We rather not have any treats. Tricks are oh so much cooler.” He threw aside his bag and sweets scattered across the porch.

He lifted his real knife. He had dressed as a serial killer on purpose this morning. His sister was garbed as Lizzie Borden, her own axe gripped in her fist. She dropped her own bag and raised the axe high above her head.

The old lady stepped closer and smiled. “I know. I’ve been waiting for you, my dears. Human killers are not very smart. Not when inhuman ones have perfected their own bag of tricks for eons. My kind has been hunting their prey the hard way for centuries. Many still do. Not me, I found a much easier way. Usually I decorate my place to attract regular human children on this night, but when I moved here and heard of the murders that been going on in this town for a long time, I devised a different tactic.” Her grin widened and both children noticed that her teeth had lengthened, ending in cannibal sharpness. “It’s only justice for the humans in this town after all and delivery food for me.”

Her face cracked and it split, falling to the floor. The rest of the body followed. A giant, shaggy wolf-like creature stood on clawed hind feet and with its upper paws, snatched both children to its breast. Bobby and Janie screamed, but were cut off when the door slammed shut.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Halloween is Coming: Petersburg May Be More Haunted than Williamsburg!

   (The photos are copyrighted and included in my ghost book, Paranormal Petersburg, Virginia, and the Tri-CitiesArea, so please share the link and not them, Thank you.)

When one thinks of the most haunted spot in Virginia, they think Williamsburg. Well, after researching and writing books for each area, I am here to say, I think Petersburg has gotten Williamsburg beat!

But Williamsburg has Jamestowne, which began in the 1600s and before that the Powhatan Indians. Well, the Powhatan natives scattered as far as Chester and the Tri-Cities area and there is the second English settlement, the Citie of Henricus Sir Thomas Dale started after Jamestown and Fort Henry (became Petersburg later) was established by Abraham Wood in 1645 that later in 1675 Peter Jones took over and established his own trading post.  So, the area was as long living as Williamsburg.

Plantations in the area were built as early as 1600s and 1700s, like Weston Plantation in Hopewell.  The death of Powhatan and the ascension of Opechancanough as paramount chief brought about the 1622 Massacre that hit parts of the area, even the Falling Creek Ironworks March 22, 1622, killing all but two children.  In Petersburg, their wooden buildings burned down in a great fire July 16, 1815. More than 350 buildings were destroyed with an estimated $3,000,000 in damage. After that, they rebuilt, using brick.

During the War Between the States, there was the nine-month ling Siege of Petersburg, plus a battle raged on outside the city (in what is now Petersburg National Battlefield-the Eastern Front and in Dinwiddie County, the Petersburg National Civil War Battlefield—Five Forks (plus Battle at Sutherland Station and Dinwiddie Courthouse). 

Slavery happened here. A slave auction was held right in the old Town Petersburg! Petersburg’s first enslaved African- Americans were brought here in 1732 to work in John Bolling’s tobacco warehouses. Bolling owned haunted Centre Hill Mansion. It was subdivided and named Wittontown in 1750, but was renamed Pocahontas when it became a town in 1752. This town became the oldest free black community in the United States, settling Pocahontas Island—and it is still there today. Pocahontas Island is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Edgar Allan Poe and Virginia Clemm had their honeymoon here--staying at Hiram Haines Coffee and Ale House. Haines was friend and colleague of Poe and invited them. No one can pinpoint when Poe and Haines became friends, but Haines’s wife was the daughter of a wealthy Richmond merchant, and she had known Poe as a child.

The Revolutionary War is connected to Petersburg. My husband and I attended a 233rd anniversary of the reenactment of the 1781 Battle of Petersburg at Battersea April 19-20, 2014. It did not happen at Battersea, but nearby. You can read about it in the chapter for Battersea in my ghost book, Paranormal Petersburg, Virginia, and the Tri-Cities Area.

Someone once told me that he’d heard a ghost story for every building in old Town Petersburg, along with many spots on the streets, too. Add to that, other parts of Petersburg, Dinwiddie, Sutherland, Prince George County, Colonial Heights, Hopewell, and add in nearby Chester, Enon and Ettrick-Matoaca, so much has added to a very paranormal section of Virginia.  

At this time of the year, with the leaves on trees and some bushes changing colors, the air generally more cooler, pumpkins on doorsteps, some already carved with faces on their flesh, and Halloween decorations on homes and in store windows and inside them, too, it is not hard to believe ghosts are watching you as you walk the streets of Petersburg, or tour Weston Plantation house or stalk the battlefields. It may not be as full of opulence as Williamsburg or hold ghost tour upon tours that fill the streets (after all, Williamsburg has more practice at accepting their spirits and using them to attract the history and paranormal buffs), but Petersburg with its gently tattered costume has a more haunted past that still persists, no, demands, to be seen and heard.   

So take their ghost tour in the city, check out the ghost tour at Blandford Cemetery Halloween night, or join the ghost tours held at Pamplin Park for their Voices from the Shadows. You just might catch glimpse of a gentile lady in hooped skirts or see a Civil War soldier, even a black one, at a restaurant as you eat a meal. Snap a few photos at night of Centre Hill Mansion or the buildings in town, or Colonial Height’s Violet Bank Museum from the street. Drive the streets of Screamerville in Enon after the trick-or-treaters are all inside and with your window rolled down, you just might hear someone screaming. It might be someone living, but again, it might not, And maybe, just maybe, with the veil between the world of the living and the world of the dead thinnest on Halloween, you might be fortunate to see why Petersburg and the Tri-Cities are more haunted than Williamsburg can ever attain to be.

Enjoy an excerpt from the Peter Jones Trading Post sub chapter in Old Towne Petersburg’s Other Haunted Places chapter of my book,  Paranormal Petersburg, Virginia,and the Tri-Cities Area.

The Investigation
The night of the investigation at The Bistro at Market and Grove on July 12, 2014, across the street, Carol Smith, Julia Ogle, Leonard Price, and I met in the parking lot. A full moon hovered in the sky above.

Since we weren’t supposed to go into the Bistro restaurant until 10 p.m., we gathered our equipment and made our way over to Peter Jones Trading Post. Our recorders already on, I turned on my ghost box and began asking questions to see if any spirits still lingered. Carol and the other two used their flashlights to read the posted signs for tourists about the ruin’s history.

I asked, “Is there any spirit still here?”

A male voice came across the scanning waves. “Jacob.”

I said, “Is Peter Jones still here?”

Peter Jones did not reply, so I said, “Jacob? Can you talk to me?”

He answered, “Jacob.” Two other, different male voices followed his.

“Phillip.” “Harry.”

I pressed, “Peter? Is Peter here?”

Nothing from Peter Jones came across the box.

We wandered down the street, ending up by a stone bench with bars crossing the front. I dropped all but my ghost box on the bench.

“Jacob? Jacob, are you one of the Confederates or Federal soldiers held prisoner here during the Civil War?”


“Tell us anything you want us to tell us. Are you a Confederate soldier? A Union soldier?”

The box stopped scanning. Occasionally, I found spirits could turn off the ghost box, whether due to not wanting to talk to us or some other reason. Sometime, I wondered if they were maybe drawing the power from the batteries and electronics.

Julia asked: “Who was here during the War? Confederate? Federal?”

A man with a deeper voice than the others said, “Both.”

“Was Jacob one of the Federals or a Confederate?”

“Yes.” That did not answer my question, just that he was a soldier.

Then the same man’s deep voice came across the box, saying, “You must…”

I questioned, “You must what? We must go?”

I heard the man say, “Yes.”

I asked if we could take picture and then we would leave them alone. I searched in my pink bag for the camera in its soft case, but it was not inside. It had to be still in my car, so I told my friends that I was heading back to the parking lot to fetch it. Carol’s equipment was still in her vehicle, so we all left the structure. (We had a freaky paranormal experience in the parking lot that you can read about in The Bistro at Market and Grove chapter.)

What is left of the building can be found at the corner of Old and Market
Streets in what might be called a small park setting. It doesn’t cost to visit

and who knows, maybe the phantom of Peter Jones or some Civil War prisoners might talk to you. You never know.

 Book Blurb for Paranormal Petersburg, Virginia, and the Tri-Cities Area:

Travel to Petersburg, Virginia, and the surrounding areas of Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Prince George, Dinwiddie, and nearby Ettrick-Matoaca, Enon, and Chester to discover what spirits, monsters, UFOs, and legends await the unwary. Why are the Union and Confederate spirits still fighting the Civil War in the battlefields? Who is the lady in blue who haunts Weston Plantation House? Learn what the phantoms at Peter Jones Trading Post will do to keep from being photographed. Drink tea with runaway slaves still hiding on the top floor above the Blue Willow Tea Room. Are Edgar Allan Poe and his bride still on their honeymoon at Hiram Haines Coffee and Ale House? Why does the Goatman stalk young lovers? Meet the ghosts of Violet Bank Museum that greet guests at the house. Hauntingly active as they share space with the living, the dead refuse to give up their undead residency.

Paranormal Petersburg, Virginia, and the Tri-Cities Area

Friday, October 23, 2015

Supernatural Friday: A Dark and Terrible Thing is Coming!

"A Dark and Terrible Thing is Coming!"

It’s coming,
Like a terrible thing
It’s scary,
Dark, and with a toothy grin.

So you better beware,
Have everything ready
Decorate appropriately,
For the end is near.

Just remember one thing,
It only comes but once a year
Halloween, costumed in orange and black,
A mask upon its gruesome face
Ringing your doorbell with persistence,
Innocent child or demonic being
Feed it candy, just to be safe.
Trick or Treat.

I hoped you enjoyed this poem I wrote, "A Dark and Terrible Thing Is Coming!" It's an original poem and copyrighted to me, so do share the link with friends, not the poem, please. Thank you.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Pamela K. Kinney's Live Appearances for October 17, 18 and 19, 2015.

I will be signing the new ghost book, Paranormal Petersburg, Virginia, and the Tri-Cities Area this Saturday, Sunday and on Monday. The Monday one is also a talk on ghosts, monsters and legends of Virginia, then afterwards I will be selling and signing copies of my ghost books and a couple of fiction books. 

Saturday, October 17-1:00-3:00 p.m.: Barnes and Noble at Short Pump,  11840 West Broad Street, Richmond, Virginia. 804-360-0103. 804-422-8066. 

Sunday, October 18-2-3 p.m.: Chop Suey Books, 2913 West Cary Street, Richmond, Virginia. 804-422-8066.

Monday, October 19-6:30-8:30 p.m.: Nelson Memorial Library, 8521 Thomas Nelson Hwy, Lovington, Virginia.  434-263-5904.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Supernatural Friday: Release of Nightmares and Echoes 2: The Return

Today is the official release of Nightmares and Echoes 2: The Return.  Last year of October 2014, Nightmares and Echoes had releases, containing my Halloween horror reprint story, “Give Me Something Good to Eat.”  This new anthology has a new tale of mine, set on Halloween, “Silence.”

What is it about Halloween that is perfect for those ghostly legends, or monsters coming out of the woodwork, or even evil people with hatchets out for innocents’ blood? Horror happens year round—right? And yet, Halloween adds a bit of scary spice to a horror story the others months don’t. Why else do we read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow then at this time of the year? Why else would Ray Bradbury’s works be but during October?

So come and buy Nightmares and Echoes 2: The Return. Find it on Kindle and in print at Amazon and AmazonUK. But let me warn those faint of heart….you just might want to read in a well-lit room and make sure all doors and windows are locked, for maybe , just maybe, the monsters, witches and ghosts within the words on these pages might came and…GET YOU!


Blurbs for each short story in the anthology (except only gotten 12—6 missing):

Pamela K. Kinney: “Silence.” Silence is not golden on Halloween.

Josh Hilden:  “Best Friends.”  What wouldn’t you do for your best friend?   

Susan Schwartz: “I Thought You Did.”  A Halloween college initiation where they were just having a little fun.

Dawn Authier: “Retirement.”  A story of one man, his dog, and trying to keep busy after retiring.

Dawn Authier: “Bitter Pill.”  Ever have one of those days working in customer service with one particularly difficult customer?

Kenneth Curtis Brown: “False Awakenings.” Sometimes dreams do come true.

Kenneth Curtis Brown: “Dead End Drive Thru.”  The craziest things happen on nightshift.

Michelle Henry: “Stalker.” He’s coming for me, it’s only a matter of time.

Benjamin Mason: “Bright Night.” Don’t go in the woods.

Shawn Merrow: “The Breach.” The hunter in the forest.

Shannon Hollinger: “Amusement.” Two boys sneak out in search of a night of fun. Want to play?

Al Halsey: “Goddess.” The bond between brother and sister lingers evilly long after death.

Book blurb:

In Volume Two of Nightmares and Echoes we give you eighteen new short stories of horror ranging from the gory to the unsettling. Like last year’s offering, this collection spans the gamut of terror contributed from a variety of writers for the sole purpose of giving something back. Fifty percent of the proceeds from this collection will be donated to CAMP HOPE and ST JUDE’S. 

Not only will you be sampling some awesome horror, but you'll be helping out two great causes.

Friday, October 09, 2015

Book Signings and One Talk on Ghosts This Weekend

I will be doing a book signing for my new ghost book release Paranormal Petersburg Virginia, and the Tri-Cities Area tonight, plus selling and signing the book tomorrow, and giving a talk about the ghosts, monsters, and legends of Petersburg and the Tri-Cities , along with nearby Chester and Dinwiddie and Prince George  Counties, then afterwards do a book signing.

Friday, October 9th-5:30-8:30 p.m.-Sweet Dixie, 8 W. Bank Street, Petersburg, Virginia 23803. For directions and other information: 804-732-0707.

Saturday, October 10th-1:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.(or until the books sell out)--inside the gift shop at Boulevard Flowers Garden, 2100 Ruffin Road, South Chesterfield, Virginia 23834.   Directions:

Sunday, October 11th-3:00-5:00 p.m.-Talk on ghosts and book signing at The Art Gallery, 10 Bollingbrook Street, Petersburg, Virginia 23803.  Map to find The Art Gallery:,-77.4537216/10+Bollingbrook+St,+Petersburg,+VA+23803/@37.2967132,-77.4912624,12z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m10!4m9!1m1!4e1!1m5!1m1!1s0x89b1a66c547b366d:0x6594f088f82896c9!2m2!1d-77.40433!2d37.2326114!3e0 

Supernatural Friday: Defining a Haunting

Defining what is a haunting should be simple. Right. Like this traditional description from a dictionary: a haunted place is somewhere inhabited by apparitions or ghosts. These definitions reflect cultural traditions. We are all immersed in our culture and naturally pick up these ideas whether we are aware of it or not. And yet, experts in the paranormal field have so many explanations.

An important question; A lot of recent ghost research is based around comparing 'haunted' and 'non-haunted' locations When one looks for differences between the places, there is hope that vital clues will be found to the true nature of hauntings. For such research to be of value, it is vital that a way be found to define a haunting.

For most people, a sighting of a spirit is the normal reason for a haunting. And yet, there are more. Sounds, like footsteps, knocks and disembodied voices. Odors, whether terrible or sweet. Something familiar with a person in life, like cigar smoking, maybe smelled in his home after death. Odd sights not a full body apparition. Feelings: headaches, static build-up, touches, and cold spots.  Object movement: doors, taps and light switches, dishes thrown, objects lost and sometimes recovered, objects falling (eg. pictures, ornaments). Plus there are the reactions from pets of something not visible to our eyes.

Now when one investigates a haunting report and explains all its components using natural causes, would it cease to be a haunting? Most people would most likely agree. Note, however, that a haunting is usually composed of several components or different phenomena. Each component may turn out to have a different, unrelated mundane cause. You could, therefore, conclude that such a haunting, as a whole, was only a single concept in the mind of its witnesses.
What if you can explain most of the phenomena in a haunting but not all of them? Is it still a haunting? It could be that the only thing preventing you for explaining the entire haunting is a lack of crucial evidence. Nevertheless, it still contains some vital 'unexplained' components. So, another definition would be a collection of odd, apparently paranormal, events reported at a particular location, at least some of which have not, on proper investigation, been explained by natural causes. Not as cool as a place inhabited by a ghost, but still, an explanation.

But no matter what “Ghost Hunters” or the others say, no one really knows what a ghost is. Sometimes it is an intelligent haunt, where you received answers and learn it was someone who passed away, like I got over my ghost box, the first and last name of a man, Philip Barnes, who died in the 1622 Massacre at Falling Creek Ironworks.  Other times, it is like a recording, where something repeats itself at a certain time or certain day. Not a ‘real’ phantom.  Then there are ‘demons’, possible theories of time travel, etc… So many reasons, so many “who knows the truth?”  

No matter the possibility. We still enjoy reading about haunting. Taking ghost tours, or watching paranormal TV shows and movies. And at this time of the year, when Halloween is when the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest, it’s all about enjoying that chill up our spine.

                         Happy Haunting.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Signed Book Winner of Virtual Book Tour

I drew the virtual book tour winner of a signed copy of my new ghost book is...drum roll....CJ England! Congratulations, CJ! Spooky reading to you. 

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Supernatural Friday: Just in Time for Joaquin, a Ghostly Legend of the Gray Man

I've written about this ghostly legend before--last year, in fact. But with the hurricane Joaquin maybe hits here on the East Coast in a couple of days or so, I thought this would be a great, timely ghost story for the first Supernatural Friday in October. The legend of the “Gray Man.”

Pawleys Island, the barrier island, the incorporated town and the unincorporated community, all of the same name, is about 26 miles south of Myrtle Beach, S.C. along US Highw 17. It is here that the Gray Man haunts. The name of the island came from George Pawley, an early owner.

The area is one of the oldest resort areas along the east coast. Inland rice planters were believed to have constructed "summer cottages" on the island which, because of its consistent sea breezes, was less infested with mosquitoes, in the 19th century. In 2000 U.S. Census, it stated that there were 138 souls on the island, but that number may be incorrect. Locals claim there is an additional soul who appears from time to time, a soul whose sole occupation seems to be to warn residents of approaching storms.

"The Gray Man" is a good name for the apparition, as it appears to be the size of a man wearing drab, nondescript clothing. The apparition appears and vanishes within the blink of an eye. Sometimes the ghost speaks and sometimes it remains silent. The spirit has been seen along the beach at Pawleys Island off and on now for almost two centuries.

The first appearance goes back to a hurricane that hit the region in 1822, which caused over 300 deaths. Another sighting happened before a terrible storm called "The Sea Islands Hurricane." This storm made landfall near Savannah, Ga., on Aug. 27, 1893. With sustained winds of 120 mph, this hurricane killed 1,000 to 2,000 people and did, by 2010 U.S. dollars, $24.1 million in damages. Another hurricane from October of 1954, Hurricane Hazel, clobbered the Carolina coast, destroying some 15,000 homes and structures, killing 19 people, and doing $136 million in damage. Seventy-three miles up the coast at Holden Beach, N.C., all but 12 of 300 cottages were obliterated by winds estimated at between 125 and 150 mph. 

Now, there was a couple of newlyweds on Pawleys Island. They were supposedly warned by a "man in rumpled gray clothing." He awoke them when he knocked on their door early in the morning before the storm's arrival They prudently left the area as soon as they were able.

Other Pawleys Island residents reportedly observed a solitary "gray man" ambling along the beach, just before a storm hit.  When Hurricane Hugo roared through,  doing damage as far inland as the North Carolina piedmont in mid-September of 1989, it caused at least 76 deaths and did an estimated $10 billion in damages. Before this one appeared, tw Pawleys Island residents saw a man entirely dressed in gray on the beach. The lone pedestrian looked as if he was approaching the couple, but when they waved to him, he disipated. Evidently they were familiar with the legend of the Gray Man, for they packed up and vacated the island two days before Hugo arrived.

Another facet of this legend, is that residences of those whom the Gray Man warns are often not touched by these storms which level surrounding neighborhoods. As with all such tales there are several variations-there are at least three-as to the origin of the ghost.

The one most folks know goes like this:
It seems that there was this young engaged couple. The young man was separated from his beloved for several months, perhaps on a voyage across the Atlantic. When his ship finally put in at Georgetown, he rode a horse (some versions say he was accompanied by a friend or servant) back home to Pawleys Island.
In a hurry to see his young lady, the rider(s) decided to take a shortcut through the swamps. The betrothed young man and his horse became mired and were overcome by quicksand. His companion [if there was one] was unable to save him. 

Later, after his funeral, his lady love saw an apparition resembling the young man when she was walking along the beach. The apparition warned her to take her family and flee the island. She did so and upon returning after the storm, found her home almost the sole surviving structure.
There is also a tale concerning a ghostly couple that are said to occasionally visit the Pelican Inn on the island. Whether the male of the duo is also the Gray Man has not been established.

The legend of the Gray Man of Pawleys Island has been the subject of the TV program, "Unsolved Mysteries," and has been featured in many books about Carolina ghosts. 

I wondered if the “Gray Man” appeared before Sandy’s appearance. It would be understandable if the ghost had, as this hurricane not only came upon the east coast not only the end of October, but close to a time when spirits are said to roam the earth: Halloween.

Halloween Haunts 2015 October 1-31st-Blog Posts, Excerpts and Prizes.

The Horror Writers Association Halloween Haunts 2015 blog event begins today,  October 1st. This online-only event presents thirty-one days of Halloween posts, excerpts, and book giveaways from some of today's top horror writers. Celebrate Halloween with the horror writers and catch up on some good, scary reading. This event will take place from October 1 through October 31 on the HWA blog, Dark Whispers: Updates and announcements about the schedule will be posted regularly on this page throughout October. Please share this and help spread the word so everyone can enjoy a few good Halloween chills.

First one today is up to be read: Halloween Haunts: Bloody Mary  
TODAY’S GIVEAWAY: James Chambers is giving away one set of The Dead Bear Witness and Tears of Blood in paperback.