Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Supernatural Friday Early: Total Eclipse of the Myths?

Since I have my first cataract surgery this Thursday, August 17th, and doubt I care to post the Supernatural Friday pas on Friday, here it is early, and all about myths concerning eclipses. Enjoy.

On August 21, 2017, a solar eclipse will be happening. Anyone within the path of totality can see this total solar eclipse. This path, where the moon will completely cover the sun and the sun's tenuous atmosphere - the corona - can be seen, will stretch from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. Observers outside this path will still see a partial solar eclipse where the moon covers part of the sun's disk. To see a 10-foot map of the eclipse, go to 10-Foot Map of the Eclipse. And here is where you can view the Best Places to View Eclipse .

This rare event is the moon passing directly between the sun and the Earth—shadowing the planet. The event of midday twilight is said to even quiet birds, as they stop singing, no doubt confused into thinking night has arrived. This significant occurrence was seen as so traumatic or ‘unnatural’ to humanity since prehistoric times myths and legends, and many reason myths and legends have sprung up.

The ancient Greeks believed they were portents and warnings of disaster. Disruption of the established order was frightening and a sign of doom, especially when mankind depended on the movement of the sun to guide the way.

The sun or moon being devoured by supernatural entities was a common theme in myths. Like those in Vietnam believed that a solar eclipse proved the sun was being eaten by a giant frog.


It was thought the sun disappeared due to attacks by gigantic hounds in Korea. Mythical fire dogs called Bulgae were sent by the lord of a dark realm to bite the sun and moon. But the sun was too hot and the moon too cold to bite, only a short time, and the injured dogs returned to their master without their prize.
An eclipse was caused by spirits of the dead trying to eat the Sun or Moon, at least so said Serrano natives of California. Shamans and ceremonial assistants sang and danced during an eclipse as a way to appease the dead. Everyone else shouted in hopes that the spirits would be frightened away.


The Vikings explained that sky wolves, or warsg were behind the eclipses, trying to chase and eat both sun and moon.

There is a legend about the Hindu demon Rahu, who attempted to sneak a taste of an elixir of immortality. The sun and moon told the god Vishnu about Rahu’s crime, so Vishnu sliced off Rahu’s head as the demon was drinking. Rahu’s head became immortal, though his body died. In rage and frustration, Rahu’s head continues to chase the sun and moon, occasionally catching up to swallow them. Because he has no body, however, the moon and sun disappear only momentarily, and fall out the bottom of his head.

There are different traditions and practices still carried out by various cultures to ward off evil during an eclipse, or avoid bad luck. Fasting is still recommended in some countries during solar eclipse. Children and pregnant women are asked to remain indoors as the dramatic darkness is believed to be a danger to them. Other traditions include banging pots, playing drums, and making noise during eclipses in the attempt to scare off evil forces, plus encourage a return of the proper cosmic alignment. In parts of India, people fast during a solar eclipse because they believe that any food cooked during the time will be poisonous, and in Italy it is believed that flowers planted during a solar eclipse have more color than those planted at other times of the year.

The West African Batammaliba’s legends tell that the Sun and Moon are fighting and the reason for the eclipse. The only way to stop the conflict was for people on Earth to settle their differences.

In reality, eclipses happen only happen at the new moon, when the moon directly blocks sight of the sun from certain places in the world. It can take place up to five times a year. But NASA says that only 25 years in the past 5,000 have had five solar eclipses.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Author Appearance/Signing at Suffolk, Virginia Mystery Author Festival This Saturday!

I'll be at the Suffolk, Virginia Mystery Authors Festival this Saturday the 12th, from 1:45-6 p.m at the New Author Expo with my ghosts books, horror fiction, and even a copy of my erotic urban fantasy, The Witch and The Familiar by me under the pseudonym, Sapphire Phelan. http://www.suffolkmysteryauthorsfestival.com/

Schedule of everything at the event(begins at 1 p.m.: http://www.suffolkmysteryauthorsfestival.com/full-festival-schedule.html

Friday, August 04, 2017

Supernatural Friday: Does Poe Still Write from Beyond the Grave?

“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

Friday, July 21, 2017

Supernatural Friday: Ghoul or Zombie: It's All How You Look at It

"They are neither man nor woman
They are neither brute nor human
They are Ghouls"
— Edgar Allan Poe

When George Romero's Night of the Living Dead came out, the press called the undead in it,  zombies. Except Romero never coined them by that term. Instead, he                  called them ghouls. Which would be the right term, as zombies are connected to voodoo and are people drugged and controlled, not flesh eating monsters.

What are ghouls? A ghoul is a legendary evil being that robs graves and feeds on corpses.  It is one who shows morbid interest in things considered shocking or repulsive and supposedly lives in burial grounds. In Arabic folklore, ghouls are a type of jinn that could change their shapes but had one unchanging feature: donkey's hooves for feet. Even more horrible, it kills young children and even can lure unwary folk into abandoned places. By extension, the word ghoul is also used derogatorily to refer to a person who delights in the macabre, or whose profession is linked directly to death, such as a gravedigger.
Ghoul is from the Arabic ghul, from ghala "to seize." It is even thought to come from Gallu, a Mesopotamian demon. In Sumerian and Akkadian  mythology, the Gallus (also called gallu demons or gallas[Akkadian: gallû]) were great demons/devils of the underworld. Their job was to haul off unfortunate victims to the underworld and even accompanied Istar when she headed down to the underworld.
The ghul is a fiendish type of jinn believed to be sired by Iblis, known to the Devil in Islam. A ghoul is a desert-dwelling shapeshifting demon that can assume the guise of an animal especially a hyena. It lures unwary people into the desert wastes or abandoned places to slay and devour them. The creature also preys on young children, drinks blood, steals coins, and eats the dead, taking the form of the person most recently eaten. In the Arabic language, the female form is given as ghouleh and the plural is ghilan. In colloquial Arabic, the term is sometimes used to describe a greedy or gluttonous individual.
In stories and films, I think Gollum as closest to the idea of a ghoul, and I wouldn't be surprised if this is what Tolkien had in mind when he wrote him into The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. What other beings in books or TV or film, do you believe are ghouls?

Monday, July 17, 2017

Author Appearance at Scares That Cares July 22, 2017

I will be at the charity horror convention, Scares That Cares this coming Saturday, July 22nd, most of the time at the Horror Writers Association Virginia table in the dealers room at the Doubletree Hotel in Williamsburg, VA. You can purchase and get signed by me, one of my nonfiction ghost books (one concerns Williamsburg-Virginia's Haunted Historic Triangle) or my collection of horror short stories, Spectre Nightmares and Visitations. Plus 8:30pm – 9:30pm – I will be at the HWA Virginia Meet & Greet in rooms A and B. Information on cost, plus address of the hotel, what actors are guests, other authors, and more can be found here: http://scaresthatcareweekend.com/

Friday, July 14, 2017

Supernatural Friday: Icy Poem (Original Poem)

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 your 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. 

Friday, July 07, 2017

Supernatural Friday: Passing the Infection (Original Poem)

Please, enjoy this horror poem. Share the link and not the poem with your friends. Thank you.

Passing the Infection


Pamela K. Kinney

Mouth full of jagged fangs
Bites; it hurts, oh it hurts!
My life is sucked away,
Crimson, wet, no life left
Something is exchanged
Corrupting me, molding me
Death is short,
Until, the next night,
Rising, a walking virus
Seeking, seeking, seeking
Biting, biting, biting
Undead infection.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Supernatural Friday Several Days Late: 4th of July Myths

Happy 4th of July, I know, I 'm late with a Supernatural Friday past, but I'd been signing my books for three days at a local Army base Friday through Sunday. Anyway, I hope that you  don't overeat all those burgers, hot dogs and barbecued ribs today, along with everything else delicious.  There are myths connected with the Fourth. It's something different to learn about this holiday, showing that we have much to learn about it.

4th of July is a celebration of the U.S. Constitution.
The U.S. Constitution’s purpose was to remake the American governments of the Revolution by making the system less democratic. The delegates from 12 states who met in Philadelphia in summer 1787 had been sent by the states to recommend amendments to the Articles of Confederation. Instead, they instantly decided to meet in secret, and then the nationalists among them tried to win adoption of a national – rather than a federal – constitution.

The 4th of July was the day that the 13 states established their independence.
No, it was not. Virginia established its independence on May 15, 1776, when its revolutionary Convention adopted resolutions for a declaration of rights, a permanent republican constitution, and federal and treaty relationships with other states and foreign countries. It was because the Old Dominion had already established its independence – had, in fact, already sworn in the first governor under its permanent republican constitution of 1776, Patrick Henry, on June 29 – that Virginia’s congressmen, uniquely, had been given categorical instructions from their state legislature to declare independence. Virginia was not the only state whose independence was not established by the Declaration on the 4th, as New York’s congressional delegation did not then join in the Declaration. In short, the states became independent in their own good time – some on July 4, some before it, some after the date.

The chief legacy of the 4th of July is the political philosophy set out in the Declaration of Independence.
Since the 18th century, political radicals have argued for understanding the Declaration as a general warrant for government to do anything it likes to forward the idea that "all men are created equal." Yet, that was not what the Declaration of Independence meant. The Declaration of Independence was the work of a congress of representatives of state governments. Congressmen were not elected by voters at large, but by state legislatures, and their role (as John Adams, one of them, put it) was more akin to that of ambassadors than to legislators. They had not been empowered to dedicate society to any particular political philosophy, but to declare – as the Virginia legislature had told its congressmen to declare – that the colonies were, "and of right ought to be, free and independent states." In other words, the Declaration was about states’ rights, not individual rights, and the Congress that adopted it had no power to make it anything else. All the rest of the Declaration was mere rhetorical predicate.

The 4th of July is a non-partisan holiday dedicated to recalling the legacy of the American Revolution.
In the Founders’ day, the 4th of July was a partisan holiday. Celebrated in the 1790s and 1800s by Jeffersonian Republicans to show their devotion to Jeffersonian, rather than Hamiltonian, political philosophy. If a Federalist in the 1790s, you would celebrate Washington’s Birthday instead of the 4th of July. If you believed in the inherent power of the Executive in formulating foreign policy, in the power of Congress to charter a bank despite the absence of express constitutional authorization to do so, and in the power of the federal government to punish people who criticized the president or Congress, you would not celebrate the 4th. The 4th was the holiday of the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, those great states’-rights blasts at federal lawlessness. It was the anti-Hamilton, anti-Washington, anti-nationalist holiday.

The fulfillment of the 4th of July lay in the establishment of a powerful national government.
Celebrants of the 4th of July in the Founders’ time rejected the idea that the Constitution had created a national government. They insisted that it was federal instead and that Congress had only the powers it had been expressly delegated. This was chiefly through Article I, Section 8, that the federal courts had no more jurisdiction than they had been assigned through Article III, and that the vast majority of government functions had been kept by the states. When federal courts grabbed for more power in 1793, these people added the Eleventh Amendment to the Constitution. In response to the nationalists’ war on France and Alien and Sedition Acts, they first adopted the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, then elected Republicans – Jeffersonian states’-rights/laissez-faire advocates – to run their government.

The Declaration of Independence was written for all.
No, it stood for the rights of white, male property owners alone. The philosophical material in the first section of the Declaration, although commonplace at the time, had no legal or moral weight. Congress didn't have power to commit the states to it. Now, revolutionaries who accepted the Lockean version of social compact theory did not necessarily believe that only white, male property holders had rights. Thomas Jefferson, for example, who was the author of the draft Lockean section of the Declaration, followed his belief in the idea that all men equally had a right to self-government, coupled with his belief that white and black people could never live together peacefully as equal citizens in America, to the conclusion that blacks must be colonized abroad to someplace where they might exercise their right to self-government.

The fulfillment of the 4th of July will come when the United States has sponsored democratic revolutions throughout the world.
No. George Washington--in an address he co-wrote with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay-- along with Thomas Jefferson counseled that the U.S. avoid foreign entanglements, and of course, foreign wars.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Supernatural Friday: ReadaScare This Summer

The first day of summer will be here June 21st.  People are thinking of swimming at the pools while others will spend their vacation time at the beach or camping in the mountains. Others will get their thrills and scares on riding roller coasters at amusement parks. Lounging at the pool or at the beach, even camping, will be time for those to catch up on their reading. Many will read scary reads even though Halloween and autumn is over four months away. Horror books are as good a read for the beach or to read indoors in the AC as that latest bestseller by James Patterson. 

What is horror? Horror fiction, horror literature and horror fantasy is a genre of literature, which is intended to, or has the capacity to frighten its readers, scare or startle viewers/readers by inducing feelings of horror and terror. It creates an eerie and frightening atmosphere. Horror can be either supernatural or non-supernatural. Often the central menace of a work of horror fiction can be interpreted as a metaphor for the larger fears of a society. The genre has ancient origins which were reformulated in the 18th century as Gothic horror, with publication of the Castle of Otranto(1764) by Horace Walpole.

The reader can even revisit old classics. Like Dracula by Bram Stoker, H P. Lovecraft’s tales, those scary tales by Edgar Allan Poe, Shirley Jackson's ghost story, The Haunting of Hill House, and many others. Today, horror has changed into many different ways. From urban fantasy. psychological, to gory fiction to weird, science fiction horror, paranormal romance, and Johnny-come-lately term, cozy horror (can being scared ever be called cozy?). 
So many ways to give yourself shuddering palpitations of the heart.

So, what are you planning to read this summer? Leave a comment, so others can find these great reads in their local library, or at their bookstore or online estore.

Happy Haunting. . .I mean Reading! 


Monday, June 12, 2017

My Day at the Paracon at the Exchange 2017

Paracon at the Exchange happened this past Saturday, June 10th, at the Exchange Hotel Museum in Gordonsville, Virginia. One of the special guests were the Tennessee Wraith Chasers seen on Destination Truth channel. Luckily, the day was nice and not hot, not until closer to two o'clock. Bill and I got there about five after seven in the morning to set up the canopy and tables, Carol Smith and her husband about an hour and half later.  I sold books and paranormal World Seekers DVDs, plus Carol and I got a ghostly visitor by my EMF meter and ghost book, a soldier who died in the hotel used as a Civil War hospital during the War Between the States and was buried on the land). If you read my June 9th “Supernatural Friday” blog post about the Exchange Hotel Museum, 700 had died at that time in the hospital and were buried there. If you haven’t, plus like to know some of the ghost encounters there, use this link to go to this post.
Anyway, he gave us his name by the initials over the ghost box, D. and we thought E for the second one. He admitted to yes, coming from North Carolina, as we did learn earlier he was a Confederate. The EMF meter blinked hard all the lights for the name Dennis. Exchange people told us there were rosters of the names in a book up in a room on the second floor, so Carol and I went inside, did a slight investigation and took pictures on each floor. Carol found a man with D. L. for initials of the first and middle names, plus he came from North Carolina. Our man?
Voices came over my box I had on in that room. The names of Dave (this one was very loud and clear), White, and Julep was mentioned twice (though I wonder if it might not be Jubal, when I saw the name Jubal Early in a plaque (No, I did not think this was the Jubal Early, just another Jubal). Jubal was a name used back then.
In a room on the third floor—where the house faced the train tracks on the west side of the house—the Freedom Bureau Room, I got the name, Lou, from a deep male voice over the box, and my right elbow grew freezing cold three separate times, and yet the rest of me felt normal. I also felt something touch beneath my hair at the right side of my back, before a feeling of a big, fat worm moving along where my neck met my shoulders from right to the middle. I now suspected it was a finger, as I had Carol and a nice, young man lift my hair to check, and they did not find or see a worm or caterpillar. I was told later from the worker in the gift shop, it might have been “Cornbread,” a name given to one of the male slave spirits haunting that room. It was something he would do.
We packed up about 4:30 p.m. and Carol and her husband and Bill and me met at the BBQ Exchange nearby, enjoying great barbecue for dinner, before we parted and drove home.

If you missed this paracon, the next Paracon we know about, that will happen in Virginia will be at Ferry Plantation last Saturday in September.

Carol Smith and me with Destination Truth's Tennessee Wraith Chasers.

Carol sent me this-she found an orb by her sleeve. She circled it.  Plus I found rectangle (card shapes?) distortions on the pianoforte by the candlestick, where there were nothing like those in real time.