Category Archives: Paranormal

A Haunted Headstone? You decide.

you decide

In keeping with the spooky atmosphere of the evening, I give you one of my short stories. The cemetery I based this story around is located just west of my hometown.

I chose the particular headstone because it’s set off by itself on a bit of a hill surrounded by trees.

I hope you enjoy this seasonal piece.

A Halloween Tale

Brian and Emily clambered off their bicycles in front of a large three-storey, red brick house in the western end of the city. A huge sign bearing a wildcat and the words B&B hung from a post in the yard. “Is this the place?” he asked.

“I think so.” She slid her heavy rucksack off, dug into its small outer pocket, and pulled out the confirmation e-mail. Scanning the document, she checked the house and guidepost. “Yes. We’re here.”

Emily slung her pack over one shoulder. They walked their bikes to the side of the house and leaned them against the wall before going to the door. She reached out to ring the bell. At the same instant, the inside door opened. Startled, she jumped back.

“You’re the Wolvertsons? I’ve been expecting you.” The grey-haired, bespectacled woman craned her neck to see past them. “Where is your car?”

“We rode,” he said.

“Come in, you must be exhausted. Your room is this way.”

Hands clasped, the young couple accompanied the proprietor to their room.

“Here you are. Breakfast runs from seven to nine o’clock. You’re on your own for lunches and suppers but the town has a number of places for a good meal.”

“Thank you, Mrs. …, ” he began.

“Griffin, but you can call me Miriam”

Meanwhile, Emily had walked to the window. The street below bustled. “We passed a couple of cemeteries west of here.” She turned to face Brian and their hostess. “What can you tell us about them?”

The woman’s face went pale. “Y-you don’t want to be going to the necropolis on the south side of the road. Rumor has it, it’s frequented by spirits.”

“We do. I think my ancestors are buried there and that’s why we came. We’re researching our family tree and want to take some rubbings of the ancestral slabs and photograph them for the book we’re writing.”

“If you think you must go, go early in the day so you’re out well before dark.”

She dropped to the bed and ran her hand over the white duvet. “Tell us more. This sounds intriguing.”

“Two hundred years ago this Halloween that Emily McPherson went away. My, but your name is Emily, too, isn’t it?”

“Yes. Please go on.”

Brian sat down put his arm around Emily’s shoulders.

“The story goes a young girl lost her fiancé – an infantryman – in a dreadful accident in the first part of the war of 1812. His ship was carrying a load of dynamite and it exploded. The blast killed everyone on board.”

“What does that have to do with the churchyard?”

“Well, they say she visited his entombment every day until her disappearance and was there as always when a terrible storm blew up and folks never saw her again. A blood curdling shriek was heard over the crashing – and then nothing. Silence. The disturbance cleared as quickly as it had formed. Alarmed by the horrendous noise that came from the direction of the graveyard, some men sprang into action. When they reached the location where the poor, bereft young woman spent most of her time, she was gone. No indication of a scuffle. No suggestion someone dragged her off – just the bluish phosphorescence surrounding the headstone. From that night on, no one had ever set foot in that corner. You understand why it is imperative you’re out of there before dark.”

“What a tragic, yet romantic tale. We must find that grave.” Her eyes sparkled.

“We will but in the morning. Today, we scope out the town.” Brian stood and helped her up from the bed. “Thanks for sharing that. Em, here, well she’s a pushover for a burial ground and a love story.”

***

Outside, Emily wrapped her arms around Brian’s waist. “I wish we didn’t have to wait.”

“Come on. If anything untoward is going to happen there, it will be tomorrow on the actual day. Not today.”

“I suppose you’re right,” she muttered.

Brian took her hand and they walked tothe town’s centre, stopping first at the local repository where the genealogical society housed its archives.

Emily scanned the floor to ceiling shelves lined with books, binders, maps and the society’s own publications. If the young woman’s exodus were such a big deal, then there had to be something written about it. She discovered a notebook of newspaper clippings dating back to the commencement of 1812, sat down at one of the tables and flipped through it. Emily ferreted out the piece about the detonation and couldn’t believe how much detail the press included on the crews’ injuries. Still, she removed a page and made a photocopy. A few pages later, she found the other including a photo of the alleged sinister chamber. you decideWhile she perused those, he busied himself with the old charts. Two older women came down the stairs as she photocopied the article. They spoke in hushed tones about the anniversary of the McPherson girl’s departure. Armed with the information she wanted, Emily and Brian left the museum and went to a nearby pub for lunch. Over a pint and burger, they shared their findings.

“According to the one, Emily’s engagement occurred on June 1st and her fiancé died the second,” she said, taking a sip of beer.

The longer they stayed, the more uncomfortable Emily became. The people pointed and stared at her, like they were comparing her to the long-since missing girl. “Let’s leave. These people are creeping me out.”

“If you want.” Brian picked up his glass and draining the last of it.

After exiting, they wandered in and out of some of the more eclectic stores on the main street. In a second-hand shop, Emily bought a cherry amber pendant. Another young couple entered, talking about the city of the dead as she fastened the clasp.

“They say that tomb is haunted.”

“Yeah, I know. Even in the daylight people don’t go near it.”

On their return to the B&B, she emptied the contents of her backpack on the bed ensuring she had everything she needed for their trek. Camera, extra batteries, blank newsprint, and charcoal sticks in a baggie. She added the photocopies to the essentials and repacked her bag.

***

The next morning, Miriam begged them to reconsider visiting the ossuary. “It’s just all the talk about how the unfortunate girl vanished and this being the bicentenary,” she moaned, wringing her hands.

“We’re leaving as soon as we’re finished eating so will be back long before it gets dark,” Brian reassured her. “If it makes you feel better, we’ll stop here before we go to supper.”

Emily slipped on her leather riding gloves and heaved her pack on her back. “Don’t worry. We’ll be back late this afternoon.” Hesitating by the front door, she turned back. “Bye. We’ll see you later,” she called cheerily as they exited.

It took about five minutes to reach the cemetery’s entrance. After dismounting, they walked their cycles down the winding road and parked them against a bench near the river. She took her Canon out and shot a few wide angle shots of the area for comparison later on.

Since they hadn’t gotten away as timely as they would have liked, Emily decided they should split up so they could cover twice as much territory. She gave Brian some of the sheets of printing paper and a couple of the anthracite crayons. He had a point and shoot Kodak so could take pictures as well as rubbings.

A row of white tombstones, beginning with two substantial memorials followed by some smaller, all of the same design, caught Emily’s eye and she walked to them. It appeared to be parents, and their ten children. She carefully photographed each one planning on looking into the family at a later date. Emily glanced over her shoulder. Brian had worked his way out to an earlier section adjacent to the highway.

Walking along the narrow road, she spotted a flight of stone steps leading to a spot sheltered by trees. As she climbed them, she noticed a small marker next to a bathtub-like sarcophagus. Up on the rock about four feet higher than the terrain where she stood, a solitary tribute occupied the plot. Emily pulled the copied articles out of her holdall. This matched the one in the copy. The thick canopy of poplar, pine, and maple trees kept the space in darkness even at his time of day. A gust of wind rustled through the treetops overhead and a leaf fluttered to the ground, landing on the covering of brightly colored autumn leaves. What was once a stately oak stood guard over the site; its trunk and remaining branch denuded of bark and pocked with woodpecker holes.

you decideUp close, the tombstone didn’t look menacing. Emily walked around it, feeling its roughness under her fingertips, and read the epitaph. It told the sad tale of a young man who expired away tragically in a ship’s explosion. She took a picture of the wording.

“Brian, come quick.” She turned and swung her arms to get his attention. “I think this is the monument.”

He lifted his head and waved back but made no attempt to approach.

When he didn’t respond a second time to her calls, she scampered off the crag, pausing to take more photos then ran to him, stumbling over the uneven ground. Breathless when she reached Brian, Emily found it difficult to tell him she had identified the cenotaph of the young soldier.

“You’ll remember where it was? I’d like to get some rubbings of the ones in this precinct. Let me finish up here and we’ll head over.” He pulled her to him and kissed her forehead.

Another one with a worn but interesting inscription soon held their interest. They were engrossed with it – Emily with her digital SLR and Brian with the paper and carbon. They were so preoccupied they didn’t notice the skies darkening.

you decideNot wanting to leave without a final visit to the shrine, she ran off towards it, with him following. It was dusk when they reached it. They drew nearer and the hairs on the back of Emily’s neck stood on end.

Suddenly, the sky turned black. The intensity of the city’s streetlights no longer visible. Emily couldn’t see him, yet they were only arms’ length apart. A brilliant flash of lightning and a simultaneous, deafening clap of thunder frightened her and she screamed. The pungent smell of ozone filled the air. The tall masterpiece now bathed in that ominous cerulean glow, made her entire body tingle.

***

The next day, when the owner of the B&B raised the alarm after they had failed to come back the night before, a search party went to the funerary grounds to look for them. Just as it was when Emily McPherson disappeared all those years ago, there were no signs of a struggle, no trace of the couple at all. At the stone’s base, one of the rescuers found a necklace – the same one the young woman was last seen wearing when she and her partner left for the cemetery. On the back was a message which read, ‘to my Emily June 1st, 1812. All my love B.W.’. The searchers looked at each other incredulously, then at the gravestone. B.W. – Brian Wolfe. Were these two people the ghosts of Emily and Brian?

*****

And here is the row of headstones belonging to the family near the haunted one on the hill.

you decide

Strange phenomena? Coincidence? Or were Brian and Emily really the ghosts of the couple from long ago?

#SPOOKTACULAR Literary Giveaway

#spooktacular

October is here, and it’s one of my favourite times of the year. The weather turns chilly, the leaves change colour, and I get an excuse to binge-eat Halloween candy/chocolate. As the wind shakes my windows, I love to curl up with a good book. N. N. Light feels the same way, and they’re hosting a #spooktacular giveaway. Sorry, couldn’t resist the Halloween pun. No tricks just treats for book lovers! Everything from romance to paranormal to fiction is being given away. You can even enter to win one of mine. Go on, indulge your inner kid and enter this giveaway.

Literary Giveaway Portal:  https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/literary-giveaway-portal

Trick or Treat Binge-Read Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#Cover #Reveal ~ EYESIGHT TO THE BLIND by Richard F. Holmes

eyesight

Eyesight to the Blind

by

Richard F. Holmes

eyesight

Genre: spiritual/paranormal/self-help

Release Date: 25/06/18

Publisher: Satori Publishing

This is an extraordinary book that tells the story of the author’s journey from a place of darkness to one of light.  You will experience a roller coaster ride of extreme highs and lows as he takes your hand and leads you on a guided tour into the depths of depression and despair.  Whilst there you will feel his pain, you will be impressed by his brutal honesty and you will also laugh… a lot!  You will then ascend; out of the darkness and into the love.

This is not just another run-of-the-mill book on the paranormal; it is also an essential guide for daily living.  Author Richard F Holmes bares his soul as he gives the reader an insight into a medium’s work and life on the road, his well over 200 out-of-body experiences and how he has experienced different realms of existence and interacted with discarnate souls.  Incredibly, he then explains how it all pales into insignificance as life starts to reveal its true meaning.

“As I take the reader through each stage of my journey from childhood to present day, I have tried to write from the perspective of the mind-set and understanding that I had at the time.  The idea is that the reader evolves with the writer through mutual experience. Although I have refrained from using bad language, the language I have used reflects who I am; after all, you can take the boy out of North London, but you can never take North London out of the boy”.

The beauty of this book however, is the central message that the author conveys via his writing.  In life you do not have to be a victim.  Each and every one of us is powerful beyond our imagination.  It is only the thought that we are not that makes us victims.  Eyesight To The Blind is an exciting and powerful book that really needs to be read from cover to cover, it combines the paranormal with spirituality, but it is also a practical guide for daily living.

BUY LINKS

AMAZON UK: https://goo.gl/mR2nif

AMAZON US: https://goo.gl/2mZQV3

STOP PRESS!!!

Interested in reading and reviewing this book for a review tour? If you have a book blog and want to sign up for the tour 23rd – 27th July then email brookbooks@hotmail.co.uk

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

EYESIGHT

A Londoner by birth, Richard now lives in the South West of England.  He has written 13 books in the spiritual/self-help genre and also produced eight CDs; five of meditation and three of mantra chanting.  However, he has removed most of his prior work from circulation as he feels that it no longer represents who he is today.  As well as being a writer, Richard works in a hospice.  He is also an artist when he gets the inspiration, and worked as a medium for 17 years.

Since the so-called “shift” at the end of 2012, Richard has had what he describes as, “a series of eureka moments”, where life has started to reveal its true meaning.  As a result, he saw the futility of continuing his work as a medium and finally gave it up early in 2018.

Richard’s influences are, Ramana Maharshi, Neale Donald Walsch, Eckhart Tolle, Paramahansa Yogananda, Osho and Rupert Spira.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorrichardfholmes/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RFHolmesAuthor

Blog: https://richardfholmes.org/

EYESIGHT

 

World Book Day UK ~ March 1, 2018

Funny enough, there are two World Book Days. In the UK, World Book Day falls on the first Thursday in March, which happens to be the  1st this year. In the US, it’s April 23rd. Why not get in and take part in both?

World Book Day

Will you read books by bestselling authors? Or will you find something written by a lesser known one? I like discovering new authors – those who have yet to become a household name.

Do you like ghost stories? Here’s one you might be able to sink your teeth into ~ The Secret of Hillcrest House.

Don’t you just love that house? I wouldn’t want to have to clean it or heat it, but talk about character!

Did the cover pique your interest? Read on.

Sometimes there’s more to a house than bricks and mortar.

Hillcrest House is one such place. Perched on a cliff in the picturesque town of Angel Falls, there is more to this Victorian mansion than meets the eye. When referring to the house, the locals use the word haunted on a regular basis. Strange visions appear in the windows, especially the second-floor ones over the side porch. Even stranger events take place within its four walls.

Rumour has it, the original owners, Asher and Maggie Hargrave, never left their beloved home. They claim the couple and their family are responsible for driving people away. Over the years, Hillcrest House has changed hands numerous times. No one stays long. Renovations begin then stop and the house is once more abandoned. The latest in this long line of owners is Jessica Maitland.

Will Jessica be the next one to succumb or will she unravel The Secret of Hillcrest House?

Excerpt

The front verandah creaked and groaned under her feet. She would have to replace the boards before long – before someone fell through them. Letting herself in the front door, she left it wide open to let in the available light.

She took her camera out of her handbag and took photos of the foyer, the corridor leading to the kitchen, and the stairs. Next, Jessica entered the large sitting room off to the right. Closed shutters covered many of the windows. She worked her way around opening them to let in what light could penetrate the filthy glass. More photos from every angle in the room. An enormous fireplace with a huge mantle mirror above it stood along the inside wall next to the doorway. Cobwebs covered it like every other ornate surface in the room. Window trim, the chandelier, and table lamps wore a coating of the gossamer fibers. Mounted on either side of the firebox were two demonic heads with rings in their mouths. Jessica had never seen anything like them before. Their evil appearance was further emphasized by the sticky webbing stretching down from the mirror. She took about a dozen photographs of just the heads. Across from the hearth, a section of the wainscoting at least ten feet wide reached all the way to the ceiling. In the rest of the room, it stopped about three feet lower.

Over the next few hours, Jessica visited every room in the house taking photos as she went. When she reached the room where she’d seen the person in the window the day before it was much colder than the others. An icy, clammy chill came over her. Sweat beaded and ran down the back of her neck, settling at the waistband of her jeans. She shivered but carried on.

Buy Link

http://myBook.to/The-Secret-of-Hillcrest-House

 

If ghost stories aren’t your ‘cup of tea’, how about a romantic suspense/psychological thriller?

World Book Day

Will a reckless moment from her past come back to haunt her?

Devastated by the death of her husband, Colin, in the London bombings on July 7, 2005, Katherine Murphy-Whithorn builds a wall around her heart determined to never let anyone in again. Settling in to a comfortable routine, her life becomes mundane, until five years later when someone from her rebellious past returns to the city and begins stalking her.

As the curtain falls on 2010 her first love, Jared Martin, walks back into Katherine´s life. Despite him being her first love, he must tear down the barrier she´s created to protect herself. Finally seeing a second chance of a life with him, Katherine couldn´t be happier until another cruel twist of fate strikes. The helicopter returning from the Alpha Ecosse platform, on which Jared is a passenger, ditches in the North Sea. Can he survive the ordeal? Will they get their chance for happiness? Or is fate still not done its dirty deeds? Katherine’s stalker may have his own agenda.

Prologue

1st December 2010

The ScotRail service to Aberdeen pulled away from the platform at Stonehaven. The next stop would be his destination. As the train accelerated, the carriage swayed from side to side. The action reminded him of his mum rocking him after a bad dream. He drifted into a light slumber. When the compartment he was in crossed through a switch, it lurched waking him.

Less than thirty minutes to go. He settled back but was too excited to relax. When the Girdle Ness Lighthouse came into view, he knew he was almost back to the place he was born.

New, to him, construction dotted the landscape. Fresh graffiti adorned the stone parapets of the bridge over the River Dee. The Mitchell Tower at Marischal College, the clock tower of the Aberdeen Town House and the Salvation Army Citadel, vied for attention over the tops of the cluster of newer buildings.

He fooled the medical staff at the secure forensic unit in the south of England. After feigning rehabilitation, they released him into the community but he didn’t stay there long. He did a runner. He had unfinished business in the north east of Scotland.

Adrenalin coursed through him. Giddy with excitement, it was hard for him to remain calm. He shook his hands to try to stem some of the fidgetiness. Now, he was back in Aberdeen where it all began. How much of the city would he recognize? What changed since his departure?

Were the authorities looking for him yet? He would have to act normal so as not to attract attention. Stepping off, he adjusted his Fedora and strode across the concourse to the exit. Diesel fumes hung in the air and caught in the back of his throat. He coughed.

With the exception of the Union Square shopping complex adjacent to the railway station, Guild Street stayed more or less unchanged. Some of the storefronts in the granite buildings transformed, but overall, not a huge difference since he left.

The pavement ended at Market Street forcing him to cross over the road. He continued eastward. The location he sought should be nearby. He stopped for a breather – pressed his back against the building. The ships that supplied and supported the offshore oil industry occupied the available berths on this side of the harbour. Through a gap, the ferry to Lerwick and the terminal were visible on the far side.

The familiar Maritime Museum dominated the head of Shore Brae. Beyond that, the artery curved and became Shiprow. The cobbled road surface and pavement were difficult to traverse. Even the larger stones nearer the buildings were uneven. When he rounded the corner at Provost Ross’s House, another well-known building peeked out. He had come so far now, he couldn’t go back. He strode with purpose up the hill.

The Aberdeen Town House clock tower stretched above the roofline but that was the place he sought. Nestled between Henry’s Bar and the pedestrianized portion of Shiprow stood the As the Pages Turn bookshop.

When a customer exited holding a carrier bag emblazoned with the same signage as over the door, his heart skipped a beat. He hoped the establishment’s ownership hadn’t changed. That would defeat the purpose of his returning to Aberdeen.

The voices in his head only told him to come back. He had unfinished business with the woman with ginger hair – the one with no soul – who ran the retail outlet in front of him.

Now, to find a suitable place to wait and watch and bide his time until the moment was right.

Buy Link

http://myBook.to/yesterday-today-always

 

PURGATORY HOTEL by Anne-Marie Ormsby #thriller #paranormal

purgatory

Purgatory Hotel

by

Anne-Marie Ormsby

 

purgatoryGenre: Thriller/paranormal

Release Date: 26th September Paperback 7th November Kindle

Publisher: Crooked Cat Books

18+

Dakota Crow has been murdered, her body dumped in a lonely part of the woods, and nobody knows but her and her killer.Stranded in Purgatory, a rotting hotel on the edge of forever, with no memory of her death, Dakota knows she must have done something bad to be stranded among murderers and rapists. To get to somewhere safer, she must hide from the shadowy stranger stalking her through the corridors of the hotel, and find out how to repent for her sins.But first she must re-live her life.Soon she will learn about her double life, a damaging love affair, terrible secrets, and lies that led to her violent death.
Dakota must face her own demons, and make amends for her own crimes before she can solve her murder and move on.

But when she finds out what she did wrong, will she be truly sorry?

BUY LINKS

AMAZON – https://goo.gl/SWNMGx

GOODREADS – https://goo.gl/LhZ47j

My recommended reading list – The top 5 Books that Inspired Me.

 

  1. The October Country – Ray Bradbury – This was the book I read aged 9 which made me want to become a writer. This collection of creepy stories was my introduction to Bradbury, and he is till my favourite writer. It was his use of descriptive narrative that has always been my biggest inspiration when trying to set a scene- to create a picture in the readers mind.
  2. The Shining – Stephen King – this is my favourite of Stephen Kings books, the mixture of madness and the paranormal in a huge empty hotel cut off from the world is just perfect. While Purgatory Hotel looks nothing like The Overlook, that feeling of the mystery of long endless hallways definitely influenced me.
  3. The Woman in Black – Susan Hill – a beautifully written ghost story, a classic simple story of unrest from beyond the grave has been a favourite of mine from when I was a young teenager. Again a big desolate house with secrets behind its closed doors, this may be where the Victorian hotel theme came to my mind. Dusty, decaying lace and velvet harbouring vengeful angry ghosts.
  4. Visions of Gerard – Jack Kerouac – this was a Kerouac book it took me a long time to get around to and it educated me that it wasn’t all road trips and drugs in Kerouac’s work. This beautiful retelling of Kerouac’s childhood and his relationship with his big brother who died at the age of nine when Kerouac was just four. I love his descriptions his home town and his heart rending explorations of dealing with grief as a child.
  5. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte – This was the first ‘romance’ novel I ever read, and I think it ruined every other romance for me. This story has it all, ghosts, death, obsession, inheritance wars and at its core, a love story so passionate and dangerous that nothing else can compare. I fell in love with Cathy and Heathcliff and their angry, all-consuming love for each other and I never really got over it. Their relationship was in part the inspiration for Jackson and Dakota.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

PURGATORY

On a warm day in July 1978, a mother was admitted to hospital, awaiting the arrival of her new baby. She was reading Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie and the midwives thought it a gruesome choice for an expectant mother. A story of a long forgotten murder and repressed memories. As it turned out her new baby, Anne-Marie would grow up and find herself drawn to all things macabre, and would one day herself turn out a story of murder and memories lost.

Anne Marie grew up on the Essex coast with her parents and six siblings in a house that was full of books and movies and set the scene for her lifelong love of both.

She began writing short stories when she was still at primary school after reading the book The October Country by Ray Bradbury. He was and still is her favourite author and the reason she decided at age 9 that she too would be a writer someday.

In her teens she continued to write short stories and branched out into poetry, publishing a few in her late teens. In her early twenties she began committing herself to writing a novel and wrote one by the age of 20 that she then put away, fearing it was too weird for publication.

She wrote Purgatory Hotel over several years, but again kept it aside after several rejections from publishers. Luckily for her, she found a home for her twisted tale with Crooked Cat Books.

Her favourite authors include Ray Bradbury, Jack Kerouac, Stephen King, Denis Lehane and Douglas Coupland. She also takes great inspiration from music and movies, her favourite artists being Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Johnny Cash, Interpol, David Lynch and David Fincher.

Anne-Marie moved to London in 2008 where she lives to this day, amidst books and DVDs, with her husband and daughter.

 

Facebook: https://goo.gl/JC4NR3

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AOrmsbyAuthor

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17197211.Anne_Marie_Ormsby

Blog: https://pirateburlesque.wordpress.com/

Website: https://www.annemarieormsby.com/

PURGATORY

A Haunted Headstone?

haunted headstone

In keeping with the spooky atmosphere of the evening, I give you one of my short stories. The cemetery I based this story around is located just west of my hometown.

I chose the particular headstone because it’s set off by itself on a bit of a hill surrounded by trees.

I hope you enjoy this seasonal piece.

A Halloween Tale

Brian and Emily clambered off their bicycles in front of a large three-storey, red brick house in the western end of the city. A huge sign bearing a wildcat and the words B&B hung from a post in the yard. “Is this the place?” he asked.

“I think so.” She slid her heavy rucksack off, dug into its small outer pocket, and pulled out the confirmation e-mail. Scanning the document, she checked the house and guidepost. “Yes. We’re here.”

Emily slung her pack over one shoulder. They walked their bikes to the side of the house and leaned them against the wall before going to the door. She reached out to ring the bell. At the same instant, the inside door opened. Startled, she jumped back.

“You’re the Wolvertsons? I’ve been expecting you.” The grey-haired, bespectacled woman craned her neck to see past them. “Where is your car?”

“We rode,” he said.

“Come in, you must be exhausted. Your room is this way.”

Hands clasped, the young couple accompanied the proprietor to their room.

“Here you are. Breakfast runs from seven to nine o’clock. You’re on your own for lunches and suppers but the town has a number of places for a good meal.”

“Thank you, Mrs. …, ” he began.

“Griffin, but you can call me Miriam”

Meanwhile, Emily had walked to the window. The street below bustled. “We passed a couple of cemeteries west of here.” She turned to face Brian and their hostess. “What can you tell us about them?”

The woman’s face went pale. “Y-you don’t want to be going to the necropolis on the south side of the road. Rumor has it, it’s frequented by spirits.”

“We do. I think my ancestors are buried there and that’s why we came. We’re researching our family tree and want to take some rubbings of the ancestral slabs and photograph them for the book we’re writing.”

“If you think you must go, go early in the day so you’re out well before dark.”

She dropped to the bed and ran her hand over the white duvet. “Tell us more. This sounds intriguing.”

“Two hundred years ago this Halloween that Emily McPherson went away. My, but your name is Emily, too, isn’t it?”

“Yes. Please go on.”

Brian sat down put his arm around Emily’s shoulders.

“The story goes a young girl lost her fiancé – an infantryman – in a dreadful accident in the first part of the war of 1812. His ship was carrying a load of dynamite and it exploded. The blast killed everyone on board.”

“What does that have to do with the churchyard?”

“Well, they say she visited his entombment every day until her disappearance and was there as always when a terrible storm blew up and folks never saw her again. A blood curdling shriek was heard over the crashing – and then nothing. Silence. The disturbance cleared as quickly as it had formed. Alarmed by the horrendous noise that came from the direction of the graveyard, some men sprang into action. When they reached the location where the poor, bereft young woman spent most of her time, she was gone. No indication of a scuffle. No suggestion someone dragged her off – just the bluish phosphorescence surrounding the headstone. From that night on, no one had ever set foot in that corner. You understand why it is imperative you’re out of there before dark.”

“What a tragic, yet romantic tale. We must find that grave.” Her eyes sparkled.

“We will but in the morning. Today, we scope out the town.” Brian stood and helped her up from the bed. “Thanks for sharing that. Em, here, well she’s a pushover for a burial ground and a love story.”

***

Outside, Emily wrapped her arms around Brian’s waist. “I wish we didn’t have to wait.”

“Come on. If anything untoward is going to happen there, it will be tomorrow on the actual day. Not today.”

“I suppose you’re right,” she muttered.

Brian took her hand and they walked tothe town’s centre, stopping first at the local repository where the genealogical society housed its archives.

Emily scanned the floor to ceiling shelves lined with books, binders, maps and the society’s own publications. If the young woman’s exodus were such a big deal, then there had to be something written about it. She discovered a notebook of newspaper clippings dating back to the commencement of 1812, sat down at one of the tables and flipped through it. Emily ferreted out the piece about the detonation and couldn’t believe how much detail the press included on the crews’ injuries. Still, she removed a page and made a photocopy. A few pages later, she found the other including a photo of the alleged sinister chamber. haunted headstoneWhile she perused those, he busied himself with the old charts. Two older women came down the stairs as she photocopied the article. They spoke in hushed tones about the anniversary of the McPherson girl’s departure. Armed with the information she wanted, Emily and Brian left the museum and went to a nearby pub for lunch. Over a pint and burger, they shared their findings.

“According to the one, Emily’s engagement occurred on June 1st and her fiancé died the second,” she said, taking a sip of beer.

The longer they stayed, the more uncomfortable Emily became. The people pointed and stared at her, like they were comparing her to the long-since missing girl. “Let’s leave. These people are creeping me out.”

“If you want.” Brian picked up his glass and draining the last of it.

After exiting, they wandered in and out of some of the more eclectic stores on the main street. In a second-hand shop, Emily bought a cherry amber pendant. Another young couple entered, talking about the city of the dead as she fastened the clasp.

“They say that tomb is haunted.”

“Yeah, I know. Even in the daylight people don’t go near it.”

On their return to the B&B, she emptied the contents of her backpack on the bed ensuring she had everything she needed for their trek. Camera, extra batteries, blank newsprint, and charcoal sticks in a baggie. She added the photocopies to the essentials and repacked her bag.

***

The next morning, Miriam begged them to reconsider visiting the ossuary. “It’s just all the talk about how the unfortunate girl vanished and this being the bicentenary,” she moaned, wringing her hands.

“We’re leaving as soon as we’re finished eating so will be back long before it gets dark,” Brian reassured her. “If it makes you feel better, we’ll stop here before we go to supper.”

Emily slipped on her leather riding gloves and heaved her pack on her back. “Don’t worry. We’ll be back late this afternoon.” Hesitating by the front door, she turned back. “Bye. We’ll see you later,” she called cheerily as they exited.

It took about five minutes to reach the cemetery’s entrance. After dismounting, they walked their cycles down the winding road and parked them against a bench near the river. She took her Canon out and shot a few wide angle shots of the area for comparison later on.

Since they hadn’t gotten away as timely as they would have liked, Emily decided they should split up so they could cover twice as much territory. She gave Brian some of the sheets of printing paper and a couple of the anthracite crayons. He had a point and shoot Kodak so could take pictures as well as rubbings.

A row of white tombstones, beginning with two substantial memorials followed by some smaller, all of the same design, caught Emily’s eye and she walked to them. It appeared to be parents, and their ten children. She carefully photographed each one planning on looking into the family at a later date. Emily glanced over her shoulder. Brian had worked his way out to an earlier section adjacent to the highway.

Walking along the narrow road, she spotted a flight of stone steps leading to a spot sheltered by trees. As she climbed them, she noticed a small marker next to a bathtub-like sarcophagus. Up on the rock about four feet higher than the terrain where she stood, a solitary tribute occupied the plot. Emily pulled the copied articles out of her holdall. This matched the one in the copy. The thick canopy of poplar, pine, and maple trees kept the space in darkness even at his time of day. A gust of wind rustled through the treetops overhead and a leaf fluttered to the ground, landing on the covering of brightly colored autumn leaves. What was once a stately oak stood guard over the site; its trunk and remaining branch denuded of bark and pocked with woodpecker holes.

haunted headstoneUp close, the tombstone didn’t look menacing. Emily walked around it, feeling its roughness under her fingertips, and read the epitaph. It told the sad tale of a young man who expired away tragically in a ship’s explosion. She took a picture of the wording.

“Brian, come quick.” She turned and swung her arms to get his attention. “I think this is the monument.”

He lifted his head and waved back but made no attempt to approach.

When he didn’t respond a second time to her calls, she scampered off the crag, pausing to take more photos then ran to him, stumbling over the uneven ground. Breathless when she reached Brian, Emily found it difficult to tell him she had identified the cenotaph of the young soldier.

“You’ll remember where it was? I’d like to get some rubbings of the ones in this precinct. Let me finish up here and we’ll head over.” He pulled her to him and kissed her forehead.

Another one with a worn but interesting inscription soon held their interest. They were engrossed with it – Emily with her digital SLR and Brian with the paper and carbon. They were so preoccupied they didn’t notice the skies darkening.

haunted headstoneNot wanting to leave without a final visit to the shrine, she ran off towards it, with him following. It was dusk when they reached it. They drew nearer and the hairs on the back of Emily’s neck stood on end.

Suddenly, the sky turned black. The intensity of the city’s streetlights no longer visible. Emily couldn’t see him, yet they were only arms’ length apart. A brilliant flash of lightning and a simultaneous, deafening clap of thunder frightened her and she screamed. The pungent smell of ozone filled the air. The tall masterpiece now bathed in that ominous cerulean glow, made her entire body tingle.

***

The next day, when the owner of the B&B raised the alarm after they had failed to come back the night before, a search party went to the funerary grounds to look for them. Just as it was when Emily McPherson disappeared all those years ago, there were no signs of a struggle, no trace of the couple at all. At the stone’s base, one of the rescuers found a necklace – the same one the young woman was last seen wearing when she and her partner left for the cemetery. On the back was a message which read, ‘to my Emily June 1st, 1812. All my love B.W.’. The searchers looked at each other incredulously, then at the gravestone. B.W. – Brian Wolfe. Were these two people the ghosts of Emily and Brian?

*****

And here is the row of headstones belonging to the family near the haunted one on the hill.

haunted headstone

Strange phenomena? Coincidence? Or were Brian and Emily really the ghosts of the couple from long ago?

Ghost #BookHugs ~ DARK LOVE RISING by Danita Minnis #paranormal

#BookHugs

Dark Love Rising

by

Danita Minnis

 

Danita Minnis

Blurb:

Former MI6 agent Xavier Quinn would say that you’re daft if you think he will stop killing for a living. But that is exactly what is about to happen. Very soon now, Quinn will start killing to stay alive. On the run after taking out the wrong man, Quinn would die a happy man if he could just live long enough to ruin the Parliament member who set him up.

Layla, a 2,000 year old vampire with a moral code, has other plans for the contract killer. When she awakens to the sound of a dark rising, she enlists Quinn to join her on a mission to save humanity from her twin sister Tamara.

But Quinn is just the kind of man that a cold-blooded killer like Tamara needs in her world. A man like Quinn, who never believed in humanity, has only one belief; self-preservation. Being a vampire sounds much better than staying human in the game of kill or be killed. Will he stay alive long enough to find out how Layla’s love can change the equation?

 

Excerpt:

Padding into the living room, she watched as the door across the suite opened and two men walked in. The first man was big and round enough to block her view of his thinner companion. Though she chose to remain visible facing them across the large living area, they had not yet seen her standing in front of the bedroom door. The second man closed and locked the door behind him.

They didn’t belong here in this pure, white living room which gave the impression of being up in the clouds. They wore stiff, dark clothes like Aurelius, but they were not like him at all. She could smell hatred. There was no other feeling in them. They had killed many, and they were here for Aurelius.

Ah, praises to Anubis. They are ripe.

She sighed and closed the bedroom door behind her.

The murderers turned.

“Where is Quinn?” The heavy man smiled, while his silent companion went around the room closing the drapes on the panoramic view of Luxor.

Quinn; the name suited Aurelius in this life, nimble and smart, as her Roman commander had been.

“He is bathing.” She smiled as if the two jackals had just come for a visit.

“And what is your name, love?” The heavy man strolled across the expanse of white carpet to walk around the u-shaped sectional sofa. His bulbous red-veined nose bore the colors and marks of a trade route freshly drawn on papyrus. His blood would not be sweet, he drank spirits too often, but there would be enough to satisfy her craving.

“I am Lay-laah.” She met the man half-way, near the sofa, keeping her hands to her sides. She must not alarm them. But she could not stop the bloodlust, she needed so much more blood, and her fingers flexed in excitement, aching to tear him open.

“Well, Lay-laah.” The man chuckled, trying to mimic her accent. “Quinn’s got good taste,” He glanced over his shoulder to his companion, who now held something in his hand. The thin man pointed the metal spear at her.

“Well, this is unfortunate,” the heavy man said. “We came for Quinn, but we’ve got two for the price of one.” He took a similar metal spear out of his jacket and pointed it at her. “It must be fate.”

“Fate. Yes-sss.” Layla grabbed him by the neck. The motion was so swift the man still smiled at her while she sank her teeth into his leathery flesh.

She experienced a moment of discomfort as the heavy man’s metal spear struck her in the chest several times. She rose above him and he toppled backward with a shout and fell over the low glass table in front of the sofa.

The thin man rumbled in disbelief at what must be to him an unexpected turn of events.

It was ever this way; humans could not fathom a being like her, they did not believe in monsters. Neither had she, long ago. But there were many things in the world – seen and unseen – that this killer would fear if he knew of them.

#BookHugs #DarkLoveRising

 

Danita Minnis Bio:

Born and raised in the heart of New York City, Danita is a singer, writer and lover of romance. Her fourth novel, Dark Love Rising is her first vampire romance. She is the author of the ghostly love story Adderley’s Bride and the Cardiff novels, Falcon’s Angel and Love Entwined.

Mystery, mayhem, the fantastic and the fey are as intriguing as Siberian Huskies – shout out to the Khan Man. One more hour with her laptop and Danita is living the dream.

Connect with Danita:

 

Website: http://danitaminnis.com/Home_Page.php

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Danita_Minnis

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Danita-Minnis-Romance-Author-433534206657385/about/?ref=page_internal

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6154485.Danita_Minnis

 

Book Links:

 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MZFICFR/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1485912379&sr=1-1

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dark-love-rising-danita-minnis/1125606509?ean=9781542798402

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/dark-love-rising-1

Liquid Silver Books: http://liquidsilverpublishing.com/?s=Danita+Minnis&post_type=product

 

#excerpt from The Secret of Hillcrest House #ghosts #secrets #haunted

Since Halloween is only a week away, I thought I would treat you to another excerpt from The Secret of Hillcrest House.
hillcrest house

Blurb

Sometimes there’s more to a house than bricks and mortar.

Hillcrest House is one such place. Perched on a cliff in the picturesque town of Angel Falls, there is more to this Victorian mansion than meets the eye. When referring to the house, the locals use the word haunted on a regular basis. Strange visions appear in the windows, especially the second-floor ones over the side porch. Even stranger events take place within its four walls.

Rumour has it, the original owners, Asher and Maggie Hargrave, never left their beloved home. They claim the couple and their family are responsible for driving people away. Over the years, Hillcrest House has changed hands numerous times. No one stays long. Renovations begin then stop and the house is once more abandoned. The latest in this long line of owners is Jessica Maitland.

Will Jessica be the next one to succumb or will she unravel The Secret of Hillcrest House?

Excerpt

Once she reached Hillcrest House, Jessica pulled out the list and started making phone calls. Luckily, the glazier and locksmith could come right away. The electrician wouldn’t be able to until the following day.

The front verandah creaked and groaned under her feet. She would have to replace the boards before long – before someone fell through them. Letting herself in the front door, she left it wide open to let in the available light.

She took her camera out of her handbag and took photos of the foyer, the corridor leading to the kitchen, and the stairs. Next, Jessica entered the large sitting room off to the right. Closed shutters covered many of the windows. She worked her way around opening them to let in what light could penetrate the filthy glass. More photos from every angle in the room. An enormous fireplace with a huge mantle mirror above it stood along the inside wall next to the doorway. Cobwebs covered it like every other ornate surface in the room. Window trim, the chandelier, and table lamps wore a coating of the gossamer fibers. Mounted on either side of the firebox were two demonic heads with rings in their mouths. Jessica had never seen anything like them before. Their evil appearance was further emphasized by the sticky webbing stretching down from the mirror. She took about a dozen photographs of just the heads. Across from the hearth, a section of the wainscoting at least ten feet wide reached all the way to the ceiling. In the rest of the room, it stopped about three feet lower.

Over the next few hours, Jessica visited every room in the house taking photos as she went. When she reached the room where she’d seen the person in the window the day before it was much colder than the others. An icy, clammy chill came over her. Sweat beaded and ran down the back of her neck, settling at the waistband of her jeans. She shivered but carried on.

 

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