Okay, had to take a break from NaNoWriMo prep to go to an awesome Halloween Party at the Spalding Inn, in Whitefield, NH. The Inn is owned by Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson of Ghost Hunters fame (on the SyFy channel).
Happy Halloween indeed.
I love Halloween, but this is the most messed up Halloween I’ve ever seen. Up here in New England, we had a little Nor’easter that dumped a very unseasonable 8 inches of heavy wet snow on us. As the trees still had most of their leaves on them, many of the branches were torn off, taking power lines with them.
We’re being told it’ll be a week before we get the power back on. On top of it all, it’s cold and feels like January more than October – so it kinda kills the whole “feel” of Halloween. This really stinks for the kiddo’s.
So after being off the grid for a couple days, I’m here at our public library using their spotty Wi-Fi service to stay connected. It’s the only place I can camp to get plugged in. Every Dunk’s, Panera and Barnes & Noble is packed with people looking for coffee, food and/or an Internet connection.
So come tomorrow – Day 1 of NaNoWriMo – I’ll either be here plugged in to write my story, or I’ll go back to notebook and pen if I have to. In either case I’m ready. Are you? What do you expect your first day of writing your NaNo novel to be like?
For many, me included, October always conjures up thoughts of Halloween and ghost stories. I loved ghost stories when I was a kid – I stll do.
Beginning when I was young, I had a few “strange” experiences that left me looking for answers. Over time I began conducting my own investigations and experiments to find some answers to all of my questions.
Then I was given an opportunity to work with a paranormal investigation group called Sights Unseen Paranormal. We all worked really well together and they asked me to become a member – and I gladly accepted.
Since then we have been on some interesting investigations together. As some of us live far apart, I continued to do my own freelance work on the side and have had some interesting experiences of my own.
With all the work I’ve been doing, I’ve been formulating different ideas of what ghosts really are. To me they are no longer anything to be feared, like when I was a kid. However, when I do make contact with a ghost or entity, it still excites the hell out of me.
I began writing a series of aerticles and journal entries about some of my experiences and the ever evolving summation of what they are, or might be.
This entry is from June 1, 2010:
For centuries, ghosts have been portrayed as scary and evil. From the time I was a kid, ghost stories and movies were among my all time favorites.
Why? Because ghosts are eerie and mysterious and most of all they scared the hell out of me.
Ghosts are almost always portrayed as being the bad guy, as being evil. We’re led to believe ghosts are pissed off because they’re dead and attack the living out of jealousy or to claim their souls. Ah–no.
People need to remember ghosts were once living breathing people – just like us. They had families and celebrations; dreams and experiences. They had mortgages, paid their bills and worked jobs they didn’t like. They had pets and friends and full lives.
Are there what could be called evil sprits? Heck yeah. If a person was warm and caring or a good natured prankster when they were alive, that energy is pretty much the same after they transition. If a person was an ornery bastard in life, or worse, a nasty violent person, then that energy will transfer over after they die. Thankfully there are far fewer of them than the more “normal” energies of people.
You can no more change the energy of an entity any more than you can change the personality of a living person. They are who they are. If you come across a dark or evil feeling entity, it’s best not to bother with them at all. Most of us are not able or equipped to deal with such a being.
How do you know when you find a nasty one? Listen to your gut. You will feel a sense of fear and foreboding, even more than normally. You’ll have a real urge to get the hell out of where you are – listen to it.
Despite what mainstream news shoves in our faces every day, there are thankfully comparatively few truly evil people in society and even fewer wandering around as entities.
For the majority of entities you’ll find some of the following:
- Residual: Most investigators aren’t even sure if this is haunting by an entity at all, but more of a wrinkle in the fabric of time where a particular event plays itself out over and over again with no awareness or intelligence about it at all. The most famous place that plays this out – among many other types of haunts – is at the Gettysburg battlefield in Pennsylvania.
- Don’t know they are dead: These type of entities often died very suddenly and don’t know or can’t believe they are dead any more than you or I can. Go ahead, try and convince a friend or family member they’re not really alive, that they’re dead. See how far you get.
- Died suddenly, but have an idea they are dead: Some of them will remain in denial, some you will be able to reason with.
- Know they’re dead, but can’t let go: They have a need to look after their family or their home, or didn’t do something before they died or was waiting for someone to return and are afraid they’ll miss them – even decades later.
- Know they’re dead, but don’t want or know how to move on:These entities, these folks, know they’re dead – will even acknowledge it but either don’t know how to move on or don’t want to as they are afraid of what will happen if they do. Just like living people.
When you go on an investigation and do come across an entity, just remember these were people just like your brother, sister, mother, father, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends and other family members. There’s little reason to fear them. Don’t treat them like they’re monsters or they’re evil.
Treat them as you would a friend and treat them with respect. Often they are just trying to reach out to you…
Have you ever had an encounter with a ghost?
Halloween sucked. Typically, this is one of my all-time favorite holidays, but it was the worst I ever had. Mary was working, Sarah and Stephen were at two different parties and I was alone (again). Last year I had 30 kids come to the house and almost ran out of candy. This year I bought extra candy and was prepared. I had all the laterns and carved pumpkins lit, and the lights turned on to signal I was home. Trick-o’-Treat time here runs from about 6pm to 8pm. In all that time I had only one (1) kid come to the door – that’s it!
It was a boy of about 11 dressed as a hockey player. I never saw just one kid trick-or-treating by himself before. Surprised at this I asked, “Are you alone?” The kid gave me a nervous look and said, “No, my mom’s standing right there by the car.” I replied “Good.” As soon as the kid turned to go, I realized what I had said and thought ‘Great! The kids’ gonna go back to his mom and say, “That big scary man asked if I was alone”’ and could only guess what his mother must have thought. I’m sure it wasn’t ‘Oh, what a nice man.’
From now on I’m going to George and Tammy’s to help out with the Haunted House.
On Sunday, Al called from the road just before 10am. He was 15 minutes out and wanted to know if we could all meet at Mary Anne’s. We quickly got ready and left. The line was very long. We stood outside for a good 20-25 minutes in the frikkin cold waiting to get in, and another 15 minutes of standing once we were inside before we got a seat.
Sarah and Stephen sat together and started on one another as usual, but thankfully it didn’t get too bad. Al and I sat across from each other so we would talk. I was hungry so ordered the Kitchen Sink omelet, but Al was even hungrier and got a steak breakfast. Mary asked Al about his mom, and he said that he’s worried as she’s getting forgetful and they think she’s had a series of TIA’s (mini strokes). When he said that, I remembered how his grandmother was when Alzheimer’s took hold.
We got back to the house around 12-ish. We talked and watched the Jets beat Buffalo. He had to get going around 4pm, as he was taking Marty out for a 50th birthday dinner and to celebrate Marty’s move to Florida in January. After that he had to catch a 9pm flight to Pittsburgh for a client meeting today. His stay was very short, but it was good seeing him.
He looked pretty good. He noticeably lost some weight. He said he really has to as he’s now concerned how badly all the extra weight is affecting his quality of life. I didn’t encourage him with the old “keep going” platitude as I find that it often has an opposite effect. Instead I told him his efforts inspire me to do better – which it does.
This past weekend, I took my daughter and two of her friends to Salem, Massachusetts – site of the (infamous) 1692 Witch Trials. I thought the trip would provide me with an inspirational jump start to my creativity going into NaNoWriMo.
Almost 400 years-old, Salem is a beautiful New England seaside town crowded with antique homes steeped in history. Ironically, it is also home to more self-proclaimed witches than any other place in the U.S.
Since I love history and early American architecture, I was in my element. As the girls went from shop-to-shop, I marveled at the old buildings surrounding me. They were painted in authentic early American colors of dark and mid-range browns, grays, greens and yellows – but most were white. The styles ranged from early colonial to federal, Greek revival to Victorian. I could feel their character and their history.
We visited a haunted house with at best mediocre effects, but the girls got a thrill out of it anyway. We then went over to the Peabody-Essex Museum to go to another haunted house attraction that was supposed to be much better. What we found was a crowded market with vendors selling everything form devil horns, to crystals and talisman’s, t-shirts to buttered popcorn.
There wasn’t a store or kiosk I passed that didn’t have some sort of reference to a witch on a broom for sale in some form or another. Suddenly, it struck me how wrong all this was. How all these people, and the town, popularize and profit from the tragic events of 1692.
They advertise as though there were real witches here. There’s no mention of the fact that there was a gross miscarriage of justice, where 18 people were wrongly hanged by the town, and an 80 year-old man was crushed to death, and another four people died in prison. In addition, another 150 wrongly accused people were imprisoned – wrecking their lives and livelihood in the process.
I bet, that if I polled 100 people, that not one of them could tell me the name of even one of the victims that was murdered by Salem’s own townspeople. I’d also bet that most of them wouldn’t be able to tell me how the victims were killed. I’m sure many would proclaim they were “burned at the stake”, or drowned – as I have heard people say in the past when they referenced the “Salem Witches”.
I came to Salem for inspiration – I left in disgust and a little sad as I wondered what those poor souls would think of the spectacle their wrongful deaths had become.