The gHoStLy Side of Medallion Press Author Kathy Steffen!

I am thrilled to be blogging here at Petticoats and Pistols. This is one of my favorite places and I love western fiction.

 

Coming here right before Christmas started me thinking about my favorite Christmas movies. What would the holidays be like without A Christmas Story or It’s a Wonderful Life? My all-time favorite holiday movie (and story) is A Christmas Carol. I love all the incarnations, from Bill Murray’s Scrooged to the terrifying Alistair Sim version to A Muppet Christmas Carol. After wondering why I can watch them again and again and never get tired of the story, I came up with the answer. Jacob Marley’s ghost, the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and my favorite, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. 

 

See a pattern? A hint at what makes this story so fascinating? One word. Ghosts.

 

I love ghosts. From the time I almost died of fright in Girl Scouts during the ghost tales around the campfire, I’ve been hooked. I’ve always been fascinated by spirits and apparitions from beyond the grave, and here’s a confession—I’m in front of the television for every episode of Ghost Hunters.

 

I’m also interested in the concepts of ghosts and haunting, from the literal sense—spirits who appear to people—to haunting of a different kind: when you just can’t forget someone or something. When you have regrets, maybe something you didn’t say or do before it was too late. Memories that follow you, urge you to remember, contemplate, and feel. Deeply.

 

A haunting—whether literal or figurative—forges a connection with the past. Tales of people and the lives they lived flourish throughout time. Ghosts keep stories alive.

 

When I decided to set my newest book in a mining town in Colorado in the 1870s, I started researching. Guess what I found? Yep! Enough ghosts to make even me happy! From Cripple Creek, Colorado to Jerome, Arizona I discovered haunted places filled with stories and legends that still resonate today. I went on every ghost tour imaginable, and each story I heard transported me to the past.

 

I even had my own personal ghost experience. I woke up in the middle of the night at the Bed and Breakfast where I was staying. The building used to be a miners’ hospital. I clearly heard heavily-booted footsteps on wooden stairs. The next morning I was surprised to find all the steps in the place carpeted. When I asked about a wooden staircase, the desk clerk said very calmly, “Oh yes, all the steps are carpeted, but you heard our ghost. He’s actually disembodied legs and boots of a miner who died here back in the 1800s. The steps were wood back then.  We often hear him, and some guests have even seen him.” Wow, was I sorry I didn’t get up to check that out!

 

I heard and read hundreds of mining ghost tales. Many towns I visited sold “Haunted” books in their stores. The stories are so woven into the fabric of the history of these towns and mines, I became inspired to “haunt” my own book and characters.

 

My main female character, Milena, a Romani (gypsy) is a medium who can see spirits.

Fascinated by her culture, beliefs, and of course, her psychic abilities, I was excited when her story began emerging. Like all Romani, she is at heart a traveler, and as I followed her, Jasper Mountain began to take shape.

 

The Romani are mysterious people who reveal little to nothing about themselves or their culture. Often persecuted and hunted, they keep moving and stay distant from outsiders as a safety precaution. As Milena battles to survive life in an 1870s mining town, she has more than a few challenges. She is a woman alone in the Old West, her cultural upbringing makes her suspicious of everyone and ironically, everyone suspicious of her. Plus she is psychic—sensitive to Jasper’s inhabitants, and aware of the ancient spirit of the mountain. She connects to those who have passed into the Otherworld of death. In other words…she sees dead people!

 

Milena meets Jack Buchanan, an ex-rancher and miner whose recent tragic past has destroyed his faith. He only believes in things he can see, but the memories of his ranch burning down and his inability to save the life of his twin sister follow him to Jasper. He’s haunted by regret and pain, and when Milena meets him she sees his sister standing beside him. At first he thinks Milena is pulling a “fortune teller’s trick” until she reveals specifics she couldn’t possibly know. When miners begin disappearing, he needs Milena’s wisdom to help him discover why the inhabitants of Jasper are vanishing.

 

So those are my ghost stories, heard, experienced, and told. Does anyone have any of their own? Ever been “haunted” by a story, or actually seen or heard a ghost? Or researched and found a heartbreaking or fascinating story behind a haunting? Do you believe in ghosts? Do you believe in things you can’t see or prove? Do you love a good ghost tale? Have you been anywhere that is haunted? Do you love a good ghost movie? Which stories are your favorites? Who is your favorite ghost in A Christmas Carol?

I’ll be giving away a two-book pre-Christmas gift—autographed copies of my debut novel, First, There is a River and my current release, Jasper Mountain. I’ll draw two winners from the names of those who post a comment and send both books. So ghost-post away! Good luck! And happy holidays to everyone!

     

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81 thoughts on “The gHoStLy Side of Medallion Press Author Kathy Steffen!”

  1. I do believe in things that can’t be seen. However, I’ve no experience with “spirits”. I’ve never been to a haunted house and since I’m a chicken at heart, I’d never venture to a haunted place. Cemetaries creep me out.
    I used to be a nurse in Wisconsin and I believe that there were stories of an old hospital in Madison being haunted with cries from previous patients.
    Favorite ghost movies:The Sixth Sense, Ghost, Poltergeist
    Even: Braveheart, Gladiator, LOR all have some spiritual connections

  2. Hi Laurie!
    Wow, I’m from Wisconsin too! The Madison area:o) I haven’t heard of that graveyard, but have heard of a bar that’s haunted somewhere downtown. There is a paranormal society in Janesville that does what the Ghosthunters do, try to prove or de-bunk hauntings in the area.

    What a great list of movies. I loved Ghost, I still cry every time I see it! It’s one of those movies I watch again and again.

  3. I love watching Ghost Hunters. I guess my love of ghost stories comes from my upbringing and being told stories about rapping spirits and the cold spot in my grandparents house where their room had been a garage years before they lived there and a man who worked in the garage killed himself by drinking antifreeze in that corner, and so the story of the cold corner came to be.

    I lived in a house at a place called “Wolf Creek” for a few months when I was 3-4. It looked like an old plantation house and supposedly my mom heard the piano upstairs, an old pedal organ, playing music.

    I feel my grandfather’s spirit around me all the time, though I’ve never seen a ghost- I have seen “shadows” out the corner of my eye and thought someone walked by, but there would be no one there, or a tug at my shirt when I’m alone.

    I do believe there’s more than meets the eye all around us.

    Some of my favorite ghost movies are The Canterville Ghost, Just Like Heaven(though she wasn’t a ghost necessarily- but stuck between), Thirteen Ghosts, House on Haunted Hill.

    Oh, and irony loves to follow me around- Laurie mentioned Wisconsin, and you are from there- you mentioned Janesville–My mother-in-law and her husband lived in Janesville up until two years ago, when they were working for GM! LOL I’ve actually been to Janesville and The Dells.

    I’ll have to ask my MIL about the paranormal society in Janesville and see if she’s heard of it.

  4. Ooo, Taryn, I’m getting chills just reading about your experiences! What began my interest in ghostie-things for real was when I bought a piano from the 1800’s and it was haunted! I used to hear the strings plucking in the middle of the night!

    And you still have irony following you this morning…the minister (and one of the main characters in my book) is named Taryn McShane. I’ve never heard that name before, and I just love it!

  5. Hi Kathy!!!
    When I read about your stay in the miners hospital I couldn’t help but wonder if that was in Cripple Creek, CO? One of my best friends, Carrie, is from Victor and she grew up in Cripple Creek, went to high school there, etc. Well, (here comes the story), I lived in Colorado Springs and my friend Carrie and I worked together. I used to chum around with her and her family a lot and when she married her maid of honer threw her bachlorette party in Cripple Creek. I, being the super nice friend that I am, served as “Designated Driver,” so I was sober. Even so, I was dragging around all evening with a bunch of intoxicated, giggly girls through the Casinos.

    That night we stayed at that Bed & Breakfast that used to be the miners hospital! (The maid of honors parent own/run it). Anyway, the girls were all passed out and snoring peacefully that night…..Me? I laid awake all NIGHT! I was SOOO scared! I mean…I heard every bump and groan and squeak and creak and footstep, etc. It easily took 10 years off of my young adult life. I was pretty sure if I opened my eyes I was going to see something looking back at me.

    We had gone on a tour of the bed and breakfast earlier that day when we dropped out stuff off and they were showing us how each room still had it’s originality even though it had been remodeled and turned into bedrooms. Like the surgery still had the original tile on the floor and walls, and the psych-evaluation room had claw marks in the doors and a metal plate along the edge where somebody had tried to claw their way out of the room. They had a vintage wheelchairs throughout the hallways! Oooh…It was SO creepy. I shudder when I still think about it!!

    You know, it is funny. Back then, when I spent so much time in Cripple Creek, I didn’t know a lot about the history of the town. I spent so much time there because of my friend and her family. I sure wish I could do that again, knowing now, what I didn’t know back then. Carrie’s dad grew up there too and he used to take me and Carrie for long drives on the backroads in his pick-up truck and tell us the stories of the old mines and other places that are long gone. He used to tell us things like, “Look girls, the road used to go that way, but when…” and “They closed down this mine after that little boy…”

    Anyway, enough about that. I love “TAPS” too!!! I don’t get to watch it much – I wish we had cable! Enjoyed your posting.

  6. I have seen them with my own eyes…truly. Long story but the spirits ARE among us….that is a given. Glad you are taking some down time to play. Off to the store. Have a good day, Kathy.

  7. Thanks Stephanie!
    Cripple Creek was exactly where we stayed! Oh man, that place was really, really hair-raising. I also went into a room that used to be the nursery, and the temperature was freezing in there! The hair stood right up on the back of my neck! But it was a beautiful place. I would have loved to go on the tour, next time I’ll ask. When we stayed the place was empty except for us and one other couple. Yeeks!

    I did lots of my research in Cripple Creek. My husband and I go to Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs every year during the Pike’s Peak Marathon. I always have so much fun (there is a brothel there too that is VERY haunted) and while he runs the marathon I go play in Cripple Creek.

  8. Thanks for stopping by, Mary! If you have any time later, love to hear the spirit story. I’m like a junkie, I just can’t get enough!

    I think GhostHunters is the one show I NEVER miss! I wish they were closer, I’d try to become a member.

  9. You know, I believe most ghosts are benevolent, or will cause no harm. There are two types of hauntings (as TAPS fans know) Residual, or those that play over and over–the ghosts aren’t aware of this world. Then there are Intelligent hauntings, ones that interact with people. The ghosts in Jasper Mountain are the intelligent type, but they don’t talk or move anything. Milena sees them but she can’t get any messages from them, so has to figure out why they are around.

    It’s fun to write ghosts but I never want them to give any clues.

    Thanks for your comments, I totally agree :o)

  10. Kathy – Where is that haunted brothel located? I’d love to pay it a visit the next time I go up there. I love Manitou Springs and Old Colorado City too. There is so much history there that I really took for granted as a young adult. Have you ever driven Gold Camp Road? I’d really recommend it if you haven’t. I bought a Gold Camp Road tour book in that Ghost Town museum off of Cimmarron (HWY24) and 21st street. I’ve driven Gold Camp Road dozens of times and it tells about the abandoned sites along the way.
    If you are interested I’ll scrounge up the book and find the title/author/ISBN.

    (Sorry everyone for the 2nd posting).

  11. Hi Stephanie! It’s the Old Homestead, and it’s on Myers Avenue (the street behind the main drag). I’d love the info on that book.

    If you’d like, on my website is a “contact Kathy” button and my e-mail pops up. (www.kathysteffen.com)

    I want to do a vacation next to Deadwood, that’s supposedly haunted as well. Love this stuff!

  12. Hey,Kathy! You’ve had a busy morning already. 🙂

    Welcome to Wildflower Junction. I really enjoyed your blog–how fun!

    Thank you for spending your weekend with us. Have a merry, merry Christmas!

  13. Welcome Kathy. I loved reading about your research and am looking forward to reading your book. the only spirit I have ever seen was an after death visit from my mother. I like to think that she was letting me know all was okay. I awoke to see her standing at the end of my bed with her sweet reasuring smile on her face. Since her feet had been amutated shortly before her death, the fact that she was standing was important to me. Many years before her father had a leg removed and she insisted that I never allow that to happen to her. It was done in an attempt to save her life and I felt her anger everytime I went into her room. I was thankful for my visit from her spirit.
    Hope all have a wonderful love filled Christmas.

  14. Hey, Kathy! I am definitey a believer, which is probably proven by the paranormals I chose to write for Medallion Press. In fact, the book I’m working on now, Garden of the Moon, is a ghost story. I’ve had many things happen in my life that are in the realm of the unexplainable. The one that made the strongest impression on me was when a clock my dad had given my mother, one that hadn’t run for over 25 years and whose gears had been rusted solid for most of that time, began to chime during a very dark period in my life. A message from my dad? I chose the believe it was. Good luck with your new release.

  15. Hi Kathy, welcome to the P&P I love a good ghost story and movie. I have to watch the Ghost Whisper every week, I just want miss it.

    I am not sure about ghost because I have never seen one. This still doesn’t mean that I don’t believe in them. You always wonder about the unseen and unknown. I one of those that want to believe.

  16. Hi Connie,
    What a lovely, sad and wonderful story. I got chills when I read it (the good kind:o) It sounds like she came to tell you all was well. One of my best friends passes away a few years ago and I woke that night to see her sitting on my bed. She told me she had to go somewhere I couldn’t, but that I’d be there by-and-by. After her funeral, my husband and I were driving and a rainbow surrounded our car. My husband (at the time a non-believer in spirits) was astounded and agreed she was sending us a message.

    Connie, thank you for sharing your beautiful story.

  17. I haven’t seen the Ghost Whisperer yet, but thanks for the mention–I’ve heard that it’s a great show! I think I have to make an effort to find it!

    I started just wanting to believe, but after several experiences, I know there is something to all these stories. I think there is so much of life we don’t understand, and probably never will.

  18. Hi Elizabeth! I love it that a fellow Medallion author stopped by! Thanks so much! I love your books and have “Angel Unaware” on my nightstand right now, it’s next up!

    I love your clock story. Clocks and the otherworld sure seem to go hand-in-hand. Clocks are sort of a cross between the spiritual and physical world, don’t you think? They measure, in the physical, something none of our senses measure. Very cool.

  19. Hi Kathy, I love the Ghost Hunters International and the TAPS. I have had many experiences of strange things happening around me or sensing them. I live in the desert of California and my husband is Native American. One day he wanted to go to the Indian Burial Ground outside of town, where his brother was buried. We got there and he got out and started walking through the graves looking for his brother and as I got out of the truck, I got nauseated and had to sit down. Then as I walked toward the entrance to the small grave site, something heavy pushed against my chest not allowing me to enter.
    I tried this again a couple of years later and the same thing happened. I never went back.
    I have many stories about his family and in the house we lived in on the Rez.
    Really want to read your book. Sounds like my kind of story. Good luck.
    Merry Christmas

  20. Oh I am a big fan of GHOST HUNTERS. I love when they find something… As for being a believer, Yes! We have things that disappear and then show up in different places or where it belongs days later… my sister claims to have actually seen a man numerous times… our animals like to stare at two locations in our house and you can not take their attention away from it… I enjoy a great ghost story! Happy Holidays! 😀

  21. Mary J, that is another chill-causing story. Just amazing. I’ve read that some people get nauseated when there is activity in the vicinity. I think that happened one episode on TAPS, where one of the investigators had to leave the house.

    My best friend, sister and I went on a ghost tour of San Francisco. My friend, who is very sensitive, couldn’t go in one of the hotels, she got nauseated when she went through the front door. And that place felt like the most haunted I’d ever been in. It was a very pretty Victorian house, but my skin prickled the moment I walked in. So heed those instincts!

    Thanks for sharing, what a fascinating story!

  22. Hi Colleen!

    What is it about animals? My cats (when we had the haunted piano) used to go crazy, jumping around and their tails puffing up every time it “felt” like the ghost was around. Pretty interesting.

    Thanks for stopping by and Happy Holidays to you, too!

  23. Kathy,

    Welcome to P&P! We’re so happy to have you here. Your blog is really interesting.

    I’ve had several contacts by ghosts. The spirit of a young girl was in a house where I lived. She was always brushing up against me and when I would sit on the sofa, she’d come and either crowd next to me or sit on my lap. I’m not sure why she was there. I never knew. Except our back gate opened directly into a cemetery. Also, there was a young girl killed in our front yard when her car slammed into a big pecan tree. So, she could’ve come from either.

    Your book looks very intriguing. Wherebouts in Colorado did you set Jasper Mountain? I hope it’s Cripple Creek because I love that town. It’s very ghostly.

  24. Hi Linda! I’m thrilled to be here!
    Jasper Mountain is a fictional town, but I did a huge amount of research in Cripple Creek, and the town influenced much of the book. A visit to the haunted brothel I mentioned earlier gave me the idea to have “soiled doves” including the madame, Isabella St. Claire in my book. So you could say Cripple Creek is quite a bit like Jasper Mountain.

    And I just love Pike’s Peak, when I think of Jasper Mountain in my head, that’s what I see.

  25. Hi Karen,
    Isn’t it amazing how many people do have ghost stories or brushes with them happen? When I start talking about ghosts, I always find many people who have had some sort of paranormal experience.

  26. Thanks for clearing that up, Kathy. I too visited the Old Homestead brothel when I was in Cripple Creek. That was really interesting and I had such a feeling of sadness wash over me when I went upstairs. Also I encountered several cold spots. It felt very haunted to me and I have no doubt it is.

  27. Hi Kathy,

    Great stories, and fun blog! I love ghost stories. My favorite ghost movie is The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. She spends her whole life loving the ghost but has to wait until the afterlife to be together. I also loved that he ‘ghost wrote’ her book in the movie.

    Your book sounds fantastic and your research is amazing. I’m so glad you’ve written a character of depth and sensitivity like Milena. She seems special, spiritual and misunderstood. Thanks for the great reading and have a wonderful holiday.

  28. Welcome to the junction, Kathy. This sounds like a fascinating place to visit. I haven’t had any brushes with ghosts but I love ghost stories and intrigued by the supposedly real hauntings in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

    Best wishes and merry Chirstmas to you and yours.

  29. Hi Peanut,
    Ghost & Mrs. Muir! I’d forgotten how much I love that movie! Netflix queue, here I come. It’s an oldie but a goodie!

    Thanks for your kind words. I’m glad you like the idea of Milena. I had a great time researching the Romani people and writing her!

  30. Hi Tanya
    Wow, Gettysburgh-isn’t it one of the most haunted places in this country My favorite thing to do when I go to a new area is get the “haunted” books in the bookstore or gift shop. Lots of places have them.

  31. Kathy,
    What a lot of great ghost stories you’ve gotten today so far!
    I don’t have a story, but the mention of a “friendly” ghost brought to mind Casper, the Friendly Ghost, who could never understand why his brothers had to go around scaring people all the time, when it was so much nicer to be helpful, and end up scaring folks anyway, just because he was a ghost, after all. Scooby Doo also has lots of run-ins with ghosts of all kinds.
    My favorite haunted TV show was Eerie, Indiana. Lots of strange things going on there. There was a haunted house near where I live in Boulder Junction, WI called Summerwind. I never got to go there before it burned to the ground, rather suspiciously, I might add, though. Although the house had been empty for years and had no working electricity, lights were seen in the windows and other creepy things. It is written up in Haunted Wisconsin.
    There are also the Paulding Lights in the Upper Peninsula, just north of me. These lights appear and sometimes a person, thought to be the old train conductor will be walking toward the watchers in the light. No one has been able to explain these lights of discover their source.
    Those are my spooky stories! Neat to read about all these other places, too.

  32. Hi Lee Ann,
    The idea of lights appearing up north, perhaps a ghost train or conductor, well that’s just too darned cool! And I often wonder about haunted buildings burning down. What a great name-Summerwind. Sounds like a great book! You’ve got lots of haunts up there in the North Woods of Wisconsin! I always think of all the Native American tales too, it seems like the North Woods can be a spiritual, paranormal-type place.

    Estella, thanks so much for stopping by. Believing is the start…keep your eyes open, as you can see there are experiences all around if one gets lucky enough to have one!

  33. Hi, Kathy. I like books with paranormal angles. I actually prefer more subtlety in those angles than some books give, but I don’t insist on subtlety. 🙂
    I’ve never seen a ghost myself but I love hearing the stories you are all telling.
    Chilling and fascinating…I’m not sure why that has such a lure for people.

    P.S. I’m one of the few people on the PLANET that called the ending of The Sixth Sense.
    Loved that movie. I thought Bruce Willis should have gotten an academy award for the way he LOOKED when the kid whispered, “I see dead people.” I could SEE the chill racing up his spine. The exact same one that was racing up my spine.
    Probably one for Haley Joel Osment, too. Since he’s the one that MADE the chill race. 😀

    I think guessing the ending might be a ‘writer thing’.

  34. Hi Mary,
    Speaking of guessing endings and the writer thing, my husband will not allow me to SPEAK during a movie. I point out plot holes, improper motivations, not to mention guessing what will happen next. I drive him crazy! I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time enjoying one anymore. Even if it’s brilliant, I still see and analyze structure.

    The Sixth Sense was quite a movie. In a way felt bad for M. Night Shyamalan. Can you imagine having to top it? Sheesh. Talk about pressure!

  35. I remember my husband dreaming about his father coming back to see him after he died, and I’ve heard about similar dreams from a lot of other people… all perfectly explainable, psychologically speaking, and yet I always feel there’s something more to it than just the subconscious.

    Kathy, I actually liked “Unbreakable” even more than “The Sixth Sense!” Though I think things went downhill from there.

    Speaking of A Christmas Carol and ghosts, I have to share this conversation that happened the other night, during “Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol”:

    my son: “Is that the first ghost?”

    my husband: “Yes, that’s the ghost of Bob Marley.”

    He adores ACC, so this was definitely a senior moment. 😉

  36. LOLOL! That is a hoot! You know, I’d forgotten about Unbreakable. That guy can sure twist a plot! I liked the latest, Lady in the Water, although I don’t think it got great reviews. I like that fact that a book will change the future. And that’s not a spoiler :o)

    I’d like to see how many versions of “A Christmas Carol” are out there in movieland. I think lots, I will have to rent the Mr. Magoo version. In the muppets, it’s Marley & Marley and the ghosts are the two, cranky old muppet guys. And they don’t do reggae :o)

  37. I just wanted to let you all know what a wonderful time I’m having and how you all have inspired me with these incredible stories!

    I just contacted SWPRG (Southwest Wisconsin Paranormal Research Group) about becoming a member! More ghosts. Now that’s a New Year’s Resolution!

  38. Hi Kathy! Just wanted to pop in and say hi to a fellow WisRWA member! Loved your post. Can’t wait to read your second book. I enjoyed your first one so much. As to ghost movies–I think The Ghost and Mrs. Muir was my absolute favorite. Gene Tierney was so beautiful and Rex Harrison so obstinately dashing as the ghost. I’ve had some brushes with spirits–don’t know if I’d call them ghosts. I don’t know that they are one and the same. I’ve felt the spine tingling chill on the back of my neck when one breezed by. Used to think I saw one years ago, but then realized it had to be my astigmatism acting up . My neice, however, talks to spirits on a regular basis (not ghosts)and leads a fascinating life. Have a wonderful Christmas!

  39. Thanks for your wonderful post today. Your books look intriguing. I have an interest in ghost stories and enjoy listening to a great storyteller since they have the gift.

  40. Kathy, I know what you mean about watching movies.

    One time we were watching Twister with several of my children at home (adults) and my sil said about Bill PUllman’s girlfriend, Jamie Gertz… that ‘why was she in there, all she did in the movie was scream and run, then she just went away. she had no important part.’

    and I said, “Wrong, her character is the key to the whole movie. No way does one of the storm chasing characters carefully explain to another storm chaser what Dorothy is, or about different types of tornadoes, or about how they met Bill Pullman or Helen Hunt. But, because Jamie Gertz is there knowing nothing, they have to explain it all to her in simple language and, when they explain it to her, they’re explaining it to us.”

    The family all looked at me in wonder that I knew that. Ah, for once it was great to be a writer. 🙂

  41. Hi, Kathy,
    I love ghost stories too, and the movie “Ghost” is one of my all-time favorites. I’m also a big fan of “Medium” and “The Ghost Whisperer.” Your books look wonderful!

  42. Joye, so glad you stopped in. Thanks! I feel like this is a ghost anthology, we’ve heard so many stories.

    Hi Kathryn! We’ve had another vote for the Ghost and Mrs. Muir. I want to see it again, it’s been awhile and I love that movie. And yeah, Rex Harrison in a black turtleneck, the tortured, dead hero. What’s not to love?

    I actually believe that feelings or the prickling sensation is a connection to something. A physical manifestation-your body registering something it doesn’t understand. Very cool. Thanks for coming by!

  43. Hi Karen–I’m for sure going to check out the Ghost Whisperer. I can’t believe I’ve missed that one!

    And Mary, how fun you figured out the Twister character. Sometimes, in a movie, I can tell when the writers create a character for a specific purpose. Some movies I actually watch again, scene by scene, and dissect, especially if they are well-written with a tight plot. As writers, we can learn much about the storytelling part from script writers.

    And fiction is the way to tell the truth while making stories that entertain. Only in this age of technology, instead of around the campfire, our tales are in books and on screens.

    We are watching The Dark Knight tonight, taking a break because I need one. I’m exhausted from all the action! I’ve never seen a creepier villain. Yerk! But no ghosts. Oh well.

  44. Karen,
    Ghost stories are so much fun to read! I’ll definitely read these books! Thanks for the great post, welcome to the blog and happy holidays!

  45. I love anything having to do with ghosts or things unknown. Unfortuantely (or fortunately) I’ve never had any encounters or known anyone personally who has either. I believe all things are possible and try to stay open minded.

  46. My younger sister passed away in 1975, taken from
    us by breast cancer. We raised her daughter as our
    own. We have had multiple visits from her through
    the years. How do we know she visits us? She
    arrives in a cloud of her favorite Nina Ricci scent!
    It got so bad, scentwise, that I finally just spoke
    up and told her it was too strong! Lo and behold,
    the scent has since moderated to a very light cloud!

    Pat Cochran

  47. I totally believe in ghosts and I love Ghosthunters!

    Several years ago, my husband brought home an artificial topiary. From the moment it came in the house, the kids acted strange and we kept hearing noises. Our son would stare at something like he was in a daze, but we couldn’t see anything. This went on for a couple of days, before we burnt the topiary. We haven’t had any trouble since.

    Deidre

  48. Hi Kathy! Wonderful blog! I haven’t had any experience with ghosts but I do enjoy watching and reading about them. My favorite movies are Ghost, The Sixth Sense, and the TV series The Ghost Whisperer. Your books sound great! Thanks for blogging here at P&P today!

  49. Yes, I do believe in things that can’t be seen or proved; for sure I do.

    A couple of miles from where I grew up there is supposed to be a haunted farm. One night many years ago my cousin and I and our boyfriends when to that farm and parked in the driveway where a gate was locked so we could not enter. We sat and talked, told stories and watched but nothing happened that night.

  50. Thanks for the great post, Kathy! I’ve never had any “ghostly” experiences but am fascinated with the idea of ghosts and hauntings. I would love to “see” a ghost but it would probably scare me to death! LOL!

  51. I have to say, I love that cover of Charles Dickens book!!! Its adorable!! This is a great post Kathy! Can you believe I didn’t read THE CHRISTMAS CAROL! I didn’t see the movie either! I’m going to plan that tho. We watch movies together on Christmas eve so I’m going to try to get it for that if not soon after. I just missed out on so much with out closed captioning and I hope this one is captioned cuz its an older movie. The only ‘ghostly’ experience I had was when I was like about 8 and thought I saw a man sitting on the lower roof near my window. I cried and told my dad and he told me its probably a tree branch. The next day he goes out and cuts down branches, but its still there. My dad says “Is he bothering you or anything” and honestly he wasn’t. Just sitting there with one knee up and his chin and arm on the knee. So my dad told me to talk to him and find out why he was there. So at night I would talk more and more but he never said anything. I’d then talk more about my day and problems and all. Then one day he was gone. I told my dad. He told me he left because I didn’t need watching over anymore. I honestly believe to this day that this ghost was there. It helped me understand too that they weren’t all bad either. But it was too the only experience I ever had with it.

  52. Hello Kathy! Great post. I do enjoy reading ghost stories 🙂 I had one ghost experience. It was after my sister had passed away in 96. My cousin & my sisters & me were passing a church and we have seen a ghost. I have to admit it did spook me a little but the ghost look so much like my sister Michelle.

    Hugssss
    LindaH

  53. I do believe in ghosts and have had a few experiences.

    Years ago my husband and I were sleeping and I heard very old timey music like from the 20’s or so. I woke him up and he heard it too. We lived in the boonies and no neighbors. We decided it was coming from the tall gas heater vent, in the wall, in the living room. My hubby even walked outside and around the house and yard. Nothing..

    We never did find the source but it was sure spooky and after all these years, I have never forgotten about it.. Neither has my DH!

  54. Hi Kathy!
    I haven’t had any definite experiences with ghosts but have heard unexplained noises in our house and I always figured if it was a ghost it is not harmful since we have been in the house for many years. One of my favorite ghost movies is Ghost.

  55. Hi Kathleen and Jean:
    Thanks so much for stopping by, I’m glad you enjoyed the posts. And as you can see, just keep your eyes and mind open and you might just get a glimpse into the “Otherworld” as Milena (in Jasper Mountain) calls it!

  56. Pat,
    Thank you so much for sharing the story of your sister with us. I’m so sorry for your loss, but how wonderful you have her daughter with you to help fill you heart.

    That is amazing, you smell her perfume. I’ve run across that many times in research, when an entity is manifesting they will through smell. And how nice she’s polite and stopped using so much :o)

    What an amazing story. Thanks, Pat!

  57. Hi Deidre, Deborah and Robyn:
    Wow, you all are late nighters! I was in bed having nightmares and wonder what on earth my imagination was thinking!

    Deidre, wow, there is nothing creepier than a haunted topiary! Another thing I’ve read about is that children see things we don’t, they haven’t developed their sense of disbelief, so they are more open to things. I’m glad you got rid of it!

  58. And Robyn,
    Good for you for trying! Sounds like it was a fun night, anyway :o)

    Hi Margie-
    Well, you never know when you might see or feel something. With my piano, I was really frightened until I realized she wasn’t going to hurt me, she just wanted me to know she was there.

    Also, I had plans to change the piano, I was going to make a stained glass front for it. Once I dropped the plans for that, the spirit quieted and I had much less midnight piano-string plucking.

    I think mostly spirits and ghosts are nothing to be afraid of. But easier said than done!

  59. Caffey,
    Wow, that’s quite a story. And reinforces that children are more open to experiences. In that case, the ghost was trying to help you out. And how great your dad suggested you talk to the ghost to see what he wanted. That seemed to be what you needed to do, talk.

    What a great story!

    I love the Muppets Christmas Carol and we watch it every Christmas Eve. It stars Michael Caine as Scrooge. Also, there is a version out with Patrick Stuart (Stewart?) of StarTrek fame, it’s a newer one so might be close-captioned.

    Enjoy your first Christmas Carol experience!

  60. Hi Linda–thanks for sharing your story, I’m so sorry you lost your sister. It sounds like she just wanted to tell you all that she was okay and still around, and she was by a church-she communicated a few thing to you in that moment.

    Judy–Old time music? Very cool and would be creepy. How funny that you tried to find it, I would do the same thing! My husband too the piano apart to see why the strings would pluck. Never found a reasonable explanation.

    The morning after he took the piano apart we woke to every cabinet door in the kitchen (on the other side of the wall where the piano was) hanging open. Needless to say, we left the piano alone from then on!

  61. Hi Maureen! Thanks for stopping by! I wouldn’t worry about noises either, mostly spirits are benevolent, sometimes just rattling around. Maybe that’s what you have in your house!

    We have 3 cats, so I’m used to strange noises in the night! LOL

  62. I just got back around to the blog today! Very cool to find another irony! Taryn Raye is actually my pen name, but I just loved it so much it felt right to use it. 🙂

    I have to throw in my vote for The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, too! I love that movie.

  63. Hi Taryn–
    I love ironies. I always feel like they carry some sort of message. I believe that coincidences are proof we are part of something much bigger than ourselves-something so amazing we don’t understand even the tiniest portion.

    When I was researching my first book (about riverboats) one of the places I visited was Marietta, Ohio. My sister and I stayed at a hotel from the 1800’s. When we arrived there, they had a huge pilotwheel down for cleaning-it usually hung from the ceiling. The plaque said the wheel was from the JD Ayers, the boat my great-grandmother (who died decades before I was born) lived and worked aboard.

    The whole week I was in Marietta, I felt she was with us. When my sister snapped a photo of me (ironically, taking photos of the river) there was a white misty figure behind me. It was like we had a family reunion!

    There! I did have another ghost story after all.

  64. I’m in Milwaukee, so will have to check that out, I believe in ghosts too, not have any encounters that I know of, lol. My fav ghost in Scrooge was the Christmas past ghost.

  65. Hi Dina!
    Thanks for stopping by! Milwaukee has lots of haunted spots, including an old 1800’s building that has been turned into a haunted house experience, the MARS Haunted House. You can take tours in October. Also, Marquette University is supposed to be haunted (as is UW in Madison).

    I sometimes google “haunted” and then the town and state name. That’s how I ended up on the San Francisco Haunted tour, which was a wonderful day, full of the city history as well as haunts.

    Danielle Steel’s house (or should I say mansion, or honestly, her castle) was on the San Francisco tour so I got to see where she lived. Sweet. And it’s haunted too!

    Haunted tours can be loads of fun :o)

  66. Hi Kathy–sorry I’m late! Loved your post. I love ghosty stories and western ghosty stories are the BEST…Woohoo!! Cripple Creek Colorado is a favorite spot of mine–which is likely why I’m having such a hard time naming my new series…all I hear in my head is Cripple Creek…Cripple Creek…I’m being haunted *lol*

    Looking forward to reading your books–thanks for spending the weekend with us and sharing your ghosty tales 😀

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