(ghost story friday) Author Interview: LJ Cohen

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Today’s author interview is with LJ Cohen, who has written some incredible YA stories. Her newest work is Ithaka Rising, the sequel to her popular science fiction book Derelict. In addition, she’s a New England native! Welcome, Lisa!

DKP: What do you write? What are you working on now?

Lisa: I write science fiction and fantasy novels. The current “WIP” is DREADNOUGHT AND SHUTTLE, book 3 of my SF series, Halcyone Space.

DKP: Do you believe in ghosts? Why or why not?

Lisa: I believe places can have echoes or memories of their past inhabitants.

DKP: Would you like to go on an investigation? If so, where would you like to explore?

Lisa: I don’t think so! I have far too active an imagination and I do like to sleep at night. It’s hard enough for me – as a grown up – to go down to our own basement when I’m alone in the house! Seriously, I have to turn on every light in the house and sing. (I have no idea why I believe things that go bump in the night would be spooked by my singing. . . )

DKP: Tell us a ghost story. 

Lisa: When I was six years old, my family took a vacation to Spain. Most of my memories of that trip are hazy and are probably primarily constructed from photos and the stories my parents told me about our time there. But there is one very strong memory I have carried all these years.

We visited The Alhambra. I remember it was raining and I ran through the formal gardens and among the fountains and pools. There was something about the place that made the skin on the back of my neck tingle, as if I was being watched. I wasn’t scared, as I recall, only overwhelmed by a sense of terrible sadness that I didn’t understand for decades. It wasn’t until I was much, much older that I learned about the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 that occurred at The Alhambra. To this day, I am convinced that I felt the ghosts of the dispossessed that day – both the people who had been killed and the ones who had to leave the only homeland they had known.

DKP: Where can we find you?

Lisa: http://www.ljcohen.net
http://www.ljcbluemuse.blogspot.com (blog)
@lisajanicecohen (twitter)
www.facebook.com/ljcohen
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+LisaCohen/posts

(haunted New England) Ocean-Born Mary

Since Halloween is Saturday, it seems only fitting that for our first year, we share the tale of Ocean-Born Mary. This is probably one of the most famous hauntings in New Hampshire, and it was one of the first that captured my imagination and set me on the path to becoming a ghost hunter myself. I haven’t made it to Henniker myself yet, but maybe one day. One of the best times to do so is apparently Halloween, when Mary herself supposedly rides in her black carriage up the road to her home.

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(photo courtesy of NH Tour Guide.com)

Mary Wallace was born at sea, and on the day she was born, the vessel she was on was captured by pirates. The pirate captain, hearing the newborn’s cries, came to the cabin and said that if they would name the baby after his mother Mary, he would spare the ship. Mary’s parents agreed; the pirate made his crew give back all the treasure they had taken from the ship, and gave Mary’s parents a bolt of rich silk brocade for her wedding dress. Then, true to his word, he let the ship and everyone on it go.

Mary would eventually marry, have 4 sons, and go to live with the aged pirate, who retired successfully to Henniker, according to legend. The actual truth isn’t quite that romantic – the house was actually built by Mary’s son Robert, and although she did live in Henniker, it was with her son William in a different house. The legends about the haunting were started by Louis Roy, who bought the house in 1917. He, and subsequent owners, grew the stories until it even attracted the attention of famous ghost hunter Hans Holzer, who wrote about the legend in his 1966 book Yankee GhostsAmong the claims:

  • that the pirate Don Pedro (who supposedly built the house) had been stabbed to death in the house, and was buried under the hearthstone in the kitchen
  • that pirate treasure is hidden somewhere in the house and/or grounds
  • that Mary, if she takes a dislike to you, will try and shove you down the stairs or hurt you in some other way

Even if the legends aren’t true, it’s an amazing story, and a testament to the hold ghost stories have over us.

(ghost story friday) Author Interview: Connie Cockrell

Today, we speak to Connie Cockrell about her cozy mystery Mystery at the FairWelcome!

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DKP: What do you write? What are you working on now?

Connie: I’m an eclectic author. I’ve written SciFi and Fantasy, Westerns, Mysteries, Thrillers and even a middle-grade book, Lost Rainbows. Right now I’m writing the second book of my Jean Hays series, a cozy mystery titled Mystery in the Woods. The first book, Mystery at the Fair was published in July. I’m also outlining a Zoe Ohale story (a SciFi) for National Novel Writing month. So far I’ve only written a couple of Zoe stories as short stories but I like my character and the world I’ve created so I’ve decided to give her a whole novel!

DKP: Do you believe in ghosts? Why or why not?

Connie: I’d like to think that life energy has to go somewhere, not just disappear. So yes, I guess I believe in ghosts.

DKP: Would you like to go on an investigation? If so, where would you like to explore?

Connie: I have been in a few places that claim to have ghosts. Restaurants, a Priory in England, even a bar, here in my home town, that was once a bordello!

DKP: Tell us a ghost story. 

Connie: My mother has told me a story that happened to her. She was quite close with her grandfather, Fred. When he passed on she was very sad. That night in her room, she says she could smell the roses from the funeral and is quite certain that he’d come to say goodbye.

DKP: Where can we find you?

Connie: I’m at www.conniesrandomthoughts.com, www.gumroad.com/conniecockrell, Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Connie-Cockrell/e/B009O6199C, Facebook at ConniesRandomThoughts, Twitter at @conniecockrell, and GoodReads at http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7033046.Connie_Cockrell

(casefiles Wednesday) The Christmas Inn

The Christmas Inn was a wonderful investigation that took Dianne, Jenn, Kerry, Kevin, Tori, myself and a couple of guests into a restaurant and inn that unfortunately had fallen into disrepair and foreclosure. The Inn itself consisted of three floors: a ground floor with a restaurant and lobby/sitting room; a second floor that had been turned into an apartment, and a third floor with another apartment with several rooms. The owners had reported footsteps, such as a small child, and feeling being watched, among other things. As we sat in the restaurant eating tacos beforehand, we all heard distinct footsteps up above our head, where no one was. Later in the night, several of us were in the lobby while we had children’s laughter captured on an EVP. This led to a spirited (no pun intended) game of Duck Duck Goose in the middle of the lobby, where we also captured a child’s voice. But the most interesting evidence we captured was this piece:

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If you look closely, you can see what appears to be a man, walking down the stairs in the center of the photo. This picture was taken on a long exposure, but we cannot explain who that person is, as it does not resemble Kevin or Chris, who were the only two guys with us. Kevin was investigating elsewhere, and Chris took the photo. So who is this?

We don’t know, but we’d like to go back and find out!

Do you have a place for us to check out? Or a haunted spot you’d like to see profiled in the blog? Or an author you’d like us to talk to? Then let us know! Comment below, or email us at casemanager@dkparanormal.com.

(haunted New England) The Palace Theater

The Palace Theater in Manchester, NH is one of the places that TAPS actually investigated, and it’s a place I’d love to investigate in. I’ve been to a few shows there, and the Palace is a beautiful place, the last original theater on what was once called Manchester’s Great White Way, because it was the only fire-proof and “air-conditioned” theater in its day. According to Manchester Ghoststhe ghosts of the Palace include an actor who performed in the theater when it first opened, and a stage manager who hasn’t been able to leave. Another rumor is that the ghost of a female performer seen on stage.

None of the ghosts are considered to be negative, and TAPS did not find any evidence when they investigated the theater. The Palace has been fully restored, and rumors are that the ghosts are simply making sure that the theater they loved in life continues to be well-cared for. Having seen several shows (all of which were sold out) there, I can understand why.

Do you have a place for us to check out? Or a haunted spot you’d like to see profiled in the blog? Or an author you’d like us to talk to? Then let us know! Comment below, or email us at casemanager@dkparanormal.com.

(ghost story friday) Author Interview: Tamara Siler Jones

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Today, we have the wonderful Tamara Siler Jones, author of the new book Spore, with us to chat!

DKP: What do you write? What are you working on now?

Tam: I write forensic murder mysteries in a fantasy setting, and speculative (SciFi/Horror) thrillers.
Mostly, I slaughter people on paper for money. 😉

Right now I’m working on a graphic novel that ties in to my Dubric Byerly Mystery series (the forensic fantasy part of my job)

 DKP: Do you believe in ghosts? Why or why not?

Tam: My logical scientific brain wants to say no, but in all honesty I have to say yes because my husband and I both saw one, together, about twenty five years ago.

DKP: Would you like to go on an investigation? If so, where would you like to explore?

Tam: Not really. It’s not because I’m not curious or anything, but because I’m a sucky traveler, have enough trouble sleeping as it is, and am not at all interested in adding more fuel to my nightmares. So, thank you, but no.

DKP: Tell us a ghost story. 

Tam: In regard to the sighting I’d hinted at in question number two:

I’ve had lifelong problems with insomnia and nightmares. Once, while in that not-awake-yet-not-asleep stage, I watched a man walk out of the bathroom doorway into our bedroom, cross our room beyond the foot of the bed, pass in front of a window and pause (silhouetted in the light from the street), then continue on into the closet. I lay there, heard thudding, thinking it was just another one of my nightmares, until my husband silently got up and walked right to the closet and flicked on the light.

No one was there and when I asked why he did that, he said, “I saw someone stop at the foot of the bed and walk into the closet.”

So. Yeah. We believe in ghosts.

DKP: Where can we find you?

Tam: I am all over the web, but you can easily find me, and my books, at:

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tambojones

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Tamara-Siler-Jones/e/B001IZ163Q

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13694551.Tamara_Jones

Website: http://www.tamara-jones.net/

(haunted new england) More from Manchester Ghosts

Manchester Ghosts

Today’s post is another story from Renee Mallett’s Manchester Ghosts: New Hampshire’s Haunted City. Not all ghosts are frightening, as I said before. Sometimes, they’re protecting or nurturing ghosts. The ghost of Josie was one such.

She was an older woman who rented half of her duplex to a young couple with a daughter. When she passed away of a stroke, she left the duplex to the couple. But just because she’d died didn’t mean she was gone.

All the clocks in the house stopped at the time of her death, and continued to do so during the next years. The homeowners rented the other side of the duplex to a young couple like they had been, with a young daughter, and both girls spoke of their “Grandma” who visited them at night. The smell of lavender, like a sachet had just been squeezed, floated through the house, especially during times of stress. It was Josie, they realized, keeping watch on them.

As the girls grew older, the lavender smell and the feeling of a presence faded. Josie apparently just wanted to make sure they were okay.

Do you have a place for us to check out? Or a haunted spot you’d like to see profiled in the blog? Or an author you’d like us to talk to? Then let us know! Comment below, or email us at casemanager@dkparanormal.com.

(ghost story friday) Author Interview: Misty Massey

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Today, we’re hosting the lovely Misty Massey, author of Mad Kestrel (one of my favorite pirate novels, just saying! – Val) and talking about ghosts, and what she’s up to.

DKP: What do you write? What are you working on now?

Misty: I write fantasy novels and short stories about magical pirates, cowboys who can throw lightning from their hands and elves who work for a Renaissance faire.  Not, however, all at the same time.

At the moment, I’m finishing a short story for the upcoming Cinched anthology from Dark Oak and a novel for an as-yet-undetermined publisher, and I’m getting ready to release The Weird Wild West, an anthology of weird west stories that I edited with Emily Leverett and Margaret McGraw.  It’s coming from eSpec Books the end of this year.


DKP: Do you believe in ghosts? Why or why not?

Misty: I do. I grew up in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, where ghosts are as much a part of everyone’s family as Cousin Joe and Grandma Ellen. I attended St Helena’s Episcopal Church in Beaufort SC, which had a “white lady” we often saw on our way to choir practice at night. She was usually in the shadows by the old brick wall and she never came close to us, just wafted around in the dark. Because of that, I’m not even afraid of ghosts, since they don’t generally seem to want anything except a little attention.

Poltergeists I might feel differently about, but since I’ve never experienced one, I’m reserving judgement.

DKP:  
Would you like to go on an investigation? If so, where would you like to explore?

Misty: In 1992, I travelled to Wales with my best friend, and we spent an afternoon wandering around Llanthony Priory, one of the oldest religious houses in Britain, and located in a remote spot in the Vale of Ewyas in the Black Mountains. The energy there was so very strong, and I’d love to return and spend some real time communicating with the spirits that remain there.

DKP: Tell us a ghost story.

Misty: I had a friend who was killed in a tragic car accident.  She was my first D&D gamemaster, and a brilliant writer and storyteller.  She used to write me letters from the point-of-view of her game character and once wrote me a story that she sent in three-page increments over the course of my first semester at college.  She was one of those rare and special people you don’t meet often in your lifetime, and I was devastated to lose her.  Some time after she died, I was sitting at my typewriter, alone in my house and completely blocked as to where the story I was writing should go next.  Suddenly I felt a gentle hand rest on my shoulder.  I sat there for the longest time, unwilling to even take a deep breath for fear of breaking the spell.  At last, the next move in my story came to me, and I started typing again. Later when my husband came home, I realized that the hand on my shoulder had gone away when I wasn’t even paying attention.  I know it was my friend, and I know she was telling me that she believed in me.  She’s never visited again, and I’m sure she has moved on.  But it was lovely to have one last moment with her.

DKP: Where can we find you?

Misty: Oh golly, let’s see… you can find me at
On Facebook as Misty Massey and on Twitter as @mistymassey

Thanks for having me!
Do you have a place for us to check out? Or a haunted spot you’d like to see profiled in the blog? Or an author you’d like us to talk to? Then let us know! Comment below, or email us at casemanager@dkparanormal.com.

(casefiles Wednesday) The Old Funeral Home

This was an interesting case. It was February, the wind was howling, and this place was in the middle of nowhere. There were no real trees, no real windbreaks, except for this large house. Oh, and it was a new moon, so only stars and darkness. No streetlights. The perfect setting for a haunted house.

It was a really neat house too. The family lived in one half – the other half, which we didn’t have access to (sadly!) used to be a funeral home. The family reported cold spots, the dogs refusing to go into the living room (they had a LOT of dogs. All sizes, all kinds – and they ALL refused to go into the living room), and seeing flashes of light in the darkness. The team included myself, Dianne, Jay, Kerri, and Jenn. Several of the family members also stayed to help us investigate, while several others took the big dogs with them. We ended with two pugs, and their cat, who they told us was having issues, despite being the only cat in the house. We set up nerve center in the kitchen, and went off to investigate.

Jay and I went on a wild chase through the basement, which seemed to stretch for miles. At one point, I’m pretty positive that we were outside the house entirely. Every room opened into another room. We finally got stopped by a partially-caved in room, but we could see more basement stretching out before us. It was pretty cool.

Like I said, we never got into the funeral home side, but the family side was pretty active. We all heard a cat meowing at one point or another, when the family’s cat was actually sleeping in the bathroom. We even caught it on audio, when none of us reacted to it.

Jenn saw a full body apparation of a little girl in one of the rooms, and there was a cold spot that followed me around while Jenn, myself, and two of the family members were doing an EVP walk. We measured the air around me, and it was a good 15 degrees colder than just 10 feet away, no matter where I was.

This was a neat place, but unfortunately, before we could go back and investigate the funeral home side, the family moved.

Do you have a place for us to check out? Or a haunted spot you’d like to see profiled in the blog? Or an author you’d like us to talk to? Then let us know! Comment below, or email us at casemanager@dkparanormal.com.

(haunted new england) The River Road Jogger

Manchester Ghosts

Not all hauntings are frightening. Some are down right boring, such as this story from Manchester, NH, courtesy of the book Manchester Ghosts, New Hampshire’s Haunted City, by Renee Mallett. I’ve wanted to check this out myself, since I’ve found out about it, and I just never have. Maybe this year is the year!

The River Road Jogger is just that. He shows up on River Road in Manchester on Halloween night, between 1:45 and 2:20 in the morning, running in a red sweatshirt and red running shorts. According to the book, he started showing up in the late 1970s, and no one knows why. He doesn’t appear to be running from anything, and there are no reports of a hit and run, or a jogger being killed along the path. He just runs.

It’s actually become a thing to go out and see him, apparently. People line River Road, sipping hot chocolate and waiting for him to run by. He doesn’t interact with anyone, and at the height of his run, he appears to be a normal runner. Until he runs through you.

Are you in the Manchester, NH area? If you are, and decide to go out and see him please let us know!

So no, not all hauntings are scary. Some, like the River Road Jogger, just are.

Do you have a place for us to check out? Or a haunted spot you’d like to see profiled in the blog? Or an author you’d like us to talk to? Then let us know! Comment below, or email us at casemanager@dkparanormal.com.