Monday, June 14, 2010

I Ain't Afraid Of No Ghosts!

****WINNER UPDATE!: Congratulations to CRYSTALGB (Post #32) who's won a copy of DEAD GIRLS ARE EASY, the bookmark and a cool tin of coffin mints!  Crystal, send an email with your mailing address to booksthatgobump@gmail.com to claim your prize! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and your stories - I was totally creeped out by many of them!  See you around the Underground!***

That statement is a total lie. :) I am completely terrified of ghosts, which is the very reason I write about them, and why I've been fascinated by the topic ever since I was a little girl.

I grew up in the South, where belief in ghosts is as common as mosquitos (though not quite as scary...those suckers can get pretty big!). My childhood was marked by talk of a friendly uncle in New Orleans who passed away long before I was born, yet hung around to keep an eye on my aunt, and let himself be known once in a while by the smell of cigars and the occasional moving of objects.  My mother, who was a collector of old china and vintage jewelry, would occasionally pick up something in an auction or an antique store that she would initially love, then get rid of as quickly as possible once the previously owner (now presumably deceased) would start "pestering" her with bad luck or odd noises in the middle of the night.  So, needless to say, I grew up thinking that of course there was a world beyond this one, but it was a world I didn't really want to experience, thank you very much!

As an adult, I've had two very personal encounters with the restless dead, though thankfully I've yet to see a ghost.  One incident occurred when my husband and I rented a house that--after some very strange happenings--I found out had been the scene of a murder/suicide. (We moved.)  The second incident occurred while I was staying in an historic brownstone in Savannah (officially labeled the most haunted city in America).  Both incidents were enough to convince me that just because we can see something, doesn't mean it's not there.

At any rate, somewhere along the line I started wondering why we're so drawn to things that frighten us, and what would happen if the things that frighten us were actually drawn to US in return?  That's where I got the idea for the character of Nicki Styx, a young Southern woman with a decidedly Gothic bent, who after suffering heart failure and surviving a near-death experience, comes back from the other side with the ability to see and hear spirits.  Nicki is young, she's sassy, she's hip, and she thought she had the world all figured out, until she regained consciousness.  :-)  Now everything's changed, and the carefree lifestyle she once enjoyed now includes the hunky doctor who saved her life, regular visits from the restless dead, and oh, yeah... Satan himself, a/k/a Sammy Divine, who's hotter than Hell and lives there, too.

Nicki's had her work cut out for her in the past four books, doing good she doesn't necessarily want to do, putting lost souls to rest, falling in love with great guy who's all she ever dreamed of, while busily resisting temptation, which usually comes in the form of Sammy, a smokin' hot guy in tight jeans and a leather jacket.


In fact, Sammy's so hard to resist that he's got his own series coming up next year, which begins with DEVIL WITHOUT A CAUSE in May 2011.  (I wish I could show you the cover, but I'm not allowed to yet.)  You can, however, read a bit more about the Devil's Bargain series by visiting HERE, the "In The Works" section of my website.  While you're there, poke around a little, and learn more about the world of Nicki Styx, including a virtual visit to her vintage clothing store, Handbags and Gladrags.

But what about you?  Do YOU believe in ghosts?  Had any spooky encounters you'd like to share?  I'll give away a signed copy of Book 1 in the Nicki Styx series, DEAD GIRLS ARE EASY, plus a special Limited Edition beaded bookmark and a tin of coffin mints to one lucky commenter.  Good luck!



57 comments:

Crissi said...

I have to say that I do not know if I believe in ghosts on account of never having experienced a situation where I may be exposed to one. I am not easily frightened by the paranormal, however I have had my WTF! moments. Things, at night that just don't seem right. Ghost or my mind playing trick on me? Who knows.

Good Luck to everyone and have a spooktacular day!

Sue said...

Terri, It's hard for me to NOT believe in ghosts, considering the encounters I've had. My sister and I both were visited by an elderly man while we were growing up and we felt it was our grandfather, who had died when we were babies. As an adult I was visited by my mother and also a very close family friend, in dreams (visitations in dreams are very distinct) my father came to me and danced with me, my father in law came and hugged me. I will often have someone sittting at the end of the bed when I'm in it. It's impossible to deny that spirits exist when I have experienced them! :)

Amy said...

Hi Terri- I personally have never had an encounter spooky or otherwise. But, I do believe there are ghosts, and why not believe? I have a friend who has had several encounters (good and bad). I just think for whatever reason, I have not had an encounter. BTW I thought Sammy's first book was coming out in December? Amy

Carol L. said...

I personally grew up with a few encounters by other family members because if it had been me I'd probably have had a heart attack. :) But when I was much older and my Mother passed away I had an experience that frightened me and at the same time was very emotional.I was sitting at my computer and couldn't stop thinking about my Mother being gone and also was experiencing family problems at the time. All of a sudden a favorite song of my mom's came on bringing tears to my eyes and all of a sudden I had the feeling someone was definitely standing behind me and I felt a warmth spread across my neck and a small flutter through my hair as if someone gently caressed my head and I swung around expecting to see my mother because I smelled her cologne. But an amazing sense of peace came over me at that moment. It's never happened again. So, yes I do believe.There are to many happenings and events that happen to people that can't be explained.
Carol L.
Lucky4750@aol.com

Tracey O'Hara said...

I have never feared ghosts. I don't know why, but they have never made me feel afraid. I have had strange encounters that may or may not have been ghosts. If they were - none of them were malicious. The house I lived in before this one had strange things happen - often cought movement out of the corner of my eye - only to find no one there. When I used to go to my grandmothers when I was younger - there was someone who used to walk around the house.
But like I said - I never felt afraid or scared.

Cassie said...

Totally believe in ghosts totally saw one in my younger days but no one believes me :(

Cassie c

Emily Casey said...

I totally believe in ghosts. My WIP is about a medium who falls in love with a ghost.

Franny said...

I have to say that I do believe in ghosts. Besides growing up and hearing stories of haunted houses my grandmother lived in, I believe I had an encounter when I was 7 years old. The details are fuzzy, but I remember my mom believed that it had been a deceased relative checking in on me.

Jocelynn said...

I have never had an experience so I'm not sure that I believe in ghosts, but I will at least say that I believe in the possibility of ghosts. I like the idea of "what if they really visit us?"

Nicholas Johnson said...

I wouldn't say I believe in ghosts, but that's because I've seen them and there's a difference between knowing and believing.
When I was maybe 14 I saw my grandfather (who had died maybe 4 years earlier) walk across my parent's bedroom doorway. It was just after I had gotten home from school and sat down to watch TV. I didn't see her, but at my grandmother's funeral last year there was something there. Other family memembers noticed the weird things going on.
In addition to ghosts, I've also seen shadow people.
Like you this has driven me to write about ghosts. I'm currently working on a young adult paranormal romance with ghosts.

kourtneyheintz said...

I've heard and seen a few ghosts in my apartment. My dog barks at them, which makes it more real and hard to chalk up to my imagination. It's usually late at night and something wakes me up and they are standing at the end of my bed or in the doorway. I feel like they are trying to communicate but I am so scared I end up tossing the covers over my head and hiding.

tetewa said...

I do believe, my mom swears that she was visited by her brother after he passed. The stories she told me were interesting! tWarner419@aol.com

Trixie said...

Ghosts?!?! Can't say that I believe but I don't disbelieve either. There has to be something out there to explain the unexplainable.

Danielle Gorman said...

OMG, I totally believe in ghost. All I ever heard about from my family growing up was their old house in New Jersey that was haunted. I also used to watch Unsolved Mysteries and I always believed it. More recently I had an encounter with my dead grandfathers ghost. I saw his reflection in a glass and he kept messing with me(making noises and moving things). Totally freaks me out. I like ghost stories I just don't want to encounter any. Even if its a beloved dead grandfather.

Terri Garey said...

Oo, you guys are spookin' me out with your sightings! And Tracey, yours is really interesting because many people say that when the moment actually arrived and they "saw" something, they felt no fear at all - which is very strange when you think about it.

I'm convinced ghosts exist, and equally convinced I'd be scared to death to see one! :-)

Eleni Konstantine said...

Interesting blog post - I neither believe nor disbelieve. I haven't had any come across my path and not sure how I'd feel if they did.

Karyn Gerrard said...

I am a real fence sitter here. Do I buy into the ghost hunter type programs, no. But some people swear they had encounters, so I can't easily dismiss it, great post!

Blodeuedd said...

That coffin is just too cool looking :D

No ghosts, the closest I have come is feeling a presence, and I do not believe in them either

Susan said...

Yes, I a firm believer in ghosts. I have lived in too many haunted houses not to be a bliever. I also beleive that a spirt can get attacted to something or some one and follow them. I have 3 kids and, when we lived in Illinois it wsa a favoite night time event to watch the old man on the old fashioned bicycle to ride through our neighborhood back yards. Trick to dealing with a spirit is don't be afraid, they really can't hurt you. Annoy you, yes, hurt you no.

FICTION STATE OF MIND said...

I do believe,I had several things happen after my mother died. Nothing scary just a strong sense that she was around me and telling me she was ok :)

Tanya said...

I absolutely believe in ghosts even though I have never actually seen one. My husband on the other hand does see them sometimes and is absolutley petrified of them. I can't watch any spooky movies when he is around. If he sees one and it's dark out he won't be able to sleep that night. Kinda sucks for me, but I still love him;-)

Joss Ware said...

I totally believe in ghosts.

I haven't really had an experience of my own, except once, after our landlord died (he and his wife lived in the other half of the farmhouse we rented), I swore I felt/saw him in our half of the house...as if he was just checking up on things.

But I've heard enough from other people and their experiences that I completely believe in them. Most of the time, they are benevolent spirits, but I know there are probably ones that aren't.

My favorite ghost stories are written by Barbara Michaels. There are real ghosts that have to be appeased. Strong romantic elements, and not heavy on the horror, and wonderfully witty and literate books. I totally recommend them if you like ghosts...start with SHATTERED SILK.

Sara M said...

I've had a few events happen over the years that left me wondering, "Was that a ghost or do I just have a very active imagination?" But since it can't be proven to me that they specifically do not exist, I will stay open-minded.

Sara M
sara_UFblog [at] yahoo [dot] com

rachel445 said...

I've never had an experience, so I'm not sure I believe in ghosts. But I am open to the possibility that they're out there.
When I was a kid, I would get freaked out by ghosts, but since then they haven't really scared me. But I'm sure if I saw a scary enough movie, I would change my mind :)
I actually haven't read many ghost stories, probably like 2 at most, so it'd be cool to read something new.

Katie said...

I totally believe in ghosts. I haven't had personal experience with them, but I still believe.

Thanks!
Katie

nymfaux said...

Ooooh--Good question--And I'd love a chance to read your books!!!

I believe. There's nothing in particular, but there's so much we don't know, and I'd rather believe than not.

I remember something from college that really spooked me. My sister, my best friend, and I were going to meet my parents for dinner...a few hours away. I was driving, my sis was sleeping in the passenger seat, and my friend was sleeping in the back seat. It was dark and there had been some fog off and on. In one patch of fog, I could have sworn that I saw a figure walking through it, like a void in the fog--I jerked the breaks, but there was nothing there, or it was gone...And everyone else was sleeping, so no one else saw it--they didn't even wake up (I mean, until we got to the restaurant).

Patricia Lynne said...

I've never had an experience with the 'other side'. I've often wondered (usually after watching some ghost show that tries to find ghosts or goes some where that claims to be haunted and freaks the hell out of me) how I'd react if I saw a ghost or lived somewhere that was haunted.
The closest I got was my parents house is over 100 yrs old and at night it creaks and moves, walking up the stairs in the dark... naw, I dashed up and to my room!
I could say I've possibly had a moment though. one day I woke up and swore there was some one staring at me. scared the shit out of me. i threw the blankets over my head and laid there, terrified, but when I looked there wasn't anyone. i don't know if it was my imagination or lingering dream or ghost or what, but the next few days I was very careful when I woke up!

Crystal said...

I'm with Jocelynn where as I believe in the possibility but I don't want to because they scare me. And I have a big imagination so that doesn't help. My little ones have a habit though of waking in the middle of the night crying/screaming and pointing at nothing and that is creepy and doesn't help either. I'm hoping it's just night terrors though and not something they're actually seeing and I'm not, so no personal experience thankfully!

Melissa said...

So, with that tin of mints are you saying something about our breath? :) Sorry, had to say it. ;)

I have had experiences since I was a kid. Most were okay, but there was a couple of spirits that scared me. I always felt protected by one spirit that was nearby so I never was too afraid of them. The whole place I lived in was haunted and none of us spoke about it until we moved. Then even our old neighbors told us their stories. What really got me was that my dad had a couple of experiences and didn't say anything because he didn't want to scare us.

Have had other experiences as an adult, but rarely does it scare me. Yes, I know I'm weird. :)

Jacqueline C. said...

I don't necessarily believe in ghosts, but I do think that positive and negative vibes from previous inhabitants can hang around a place.

Deana H. said...

Yes, I do believe in ghosts. I know they exist. I have been visited by one of my friends a few times. My daughter talked to my father when she was little. She was too little to know his name or that he had died 10 years before she was born.


froglett42athotmaildotcom

CrystalGB said...

I do believe in ghosts. I saw a little boy ghost when my best friend and I lived in a trailer. He would draw on walls and turn photos face down.

Libby said...

OH I love this! :) I definitely believe in ghosts! I grew up in the South too & my childhood was filled with ghost stories, etc I have seen my grandmother -- but I don't talk about that much -- I know for sure she was there, though. (watching over me & the family)

While taking a Historical Tour of Charleston, SC w/my mom -- there was one house in particular that made me stop the tour all together. (I was 12 or so) It was the house of a politician & his socialite wife, I think. I remember the guide taking us into the Ballroom & hearing about the wife's big soirees/events. I remember she had a floor-to-ceiling painting of herself I could NOT watching. It gave me the creeps. OK -- I had to describe this massive room first -- the second I entered the room -- I was hit by a wave of negative energy. I felt completely unwelcome & was being told to get OUT. I grabbed my mom's arm & told her we needed to leave. (she remembers how freaked out I was) Fast forward to 8/9 years later... I watching a Halloween show on the "Most Haunted Places in Charleston" for fun. I hadn't thought about that house in years --- but guess what was "the most haunted house in Charlesfon"? People said parties & dinners could be heard happening in that EXACT same room. Eek! Guess I wasn't invited to the party! ;)

& here's another one that is actually going on lately at my house. When I'm sitting in a certain room reading/]watching tv/etc - I see what looks like a shadowy person (it has a head shape & shoulders, etc) entering the room & disappears. What draws your attention is there is a bit of light around it's head/shoulder area that flashes & that catches your eye - so I look up & see it so often now. For awhile, I would say, "Um hello?!?" thinking it was a family member turning on a light or some explanation. But it happens whether I'm home alone or not! It happens in the day also. Lights on or off! I don't get it. What makes it weirder -- a dear friend is at my house a lot and she recently brought it up. It wasn't the 1st time she had seen it. I never told ANYONE - I assumed there was some explanation. But I made her describe what she saw and it's identical. Eek! She even brought it up this past Friday. I have NO idea what it is or why it started a few months ago. I am not scared, though -- normally something like this would keep me out of that room & up at night. This doesn't -- I'm just curious!

van_pham said...

i definitely believe in ghosts. I haven't seen any but all my siblings said they all seen one.

Lilly said...

When I was a child I saw someone walk out of my playroom. At the time my dad and I where the only people in the house. My mom has always seen shadow people. I have heard all kinds of things in the houses we have live in over the years. So, I believe.

Cylver said...

I believe in ghosts, even though I've never seen one. I smelled one once, if that makes sense. I was the room that had been my father's bedroom reading. I had been there alone for about two hours with the door closed. Suddenly I got a whiff of my father's aftershave. It freaked me out so bad I left the room. It was only later that I realized it was the first anniversary of his death. Spooky!

Natasha said...

I do believe in ghosts. A few people in my family have believed they saw ghosts and guardian angels, I still hope that one day I'll be as lucky.
Yes, some ghosts can be darker and irritated, and I do hope I meet ones that aren't, but to see a ghost in general would be amazing. So yes, I do believe.

ferretvamp14 said...

I totally believe in ghosts. My experience is a little different. I have heard that ghosts/spirits will leave coins, etc. After a friend of mine died in Iraq, I started noticing coins randomly around my house. They were never were they would have been if I had accidently dropped, and it was always only one. When I was finally able to move past it, the coins just stopped. So, yes I believe they are around us watching.

Helen Lowe said...

I think Caspar might have been my defining ghost experience to date, although there is a pub down here in "Middle Earth", at a place called St Bathans (not far from where the early Rohan scenes in LoTR2 were shot), which is popularly held to be haunted. So of course, the biathlon held there every year, which starts and finishes at the old hotel,is called "The Ghost to Ghost." (Rolls eyes.)

But I love the sound of your Southern Gothic ghost stories, Terri--I usually steer clear of anything too spookie but they sound like a lot of fun so I'll have to check them out.

TracyW said...

I have never personally had an experiance with ghost, but my philosophy is never say never.

Jessica said...

I definitely believe in ghosts. I've never had a ghostly encounter, I just believe in life after death.

Nicole Murphy said...

Have never had an encounter and hope I never do. The idea scares me.

Yet, it wouldn't surprise me if they were real. I agree with you, Terri - just because you can't see something doesn't mean it's not read.

Carrie said...

I believe in ghosts. Way too many freaky things have happened to me and my family to chalk it up to just weird. It is not something that scares me though. Sometimes it makes me feel comforted as funny as that sounds.

Kathryn said...

For decades after my grandfather passed, we smelled pipe tobacco, and the rocking chair in which he used to sit would rock quietly late into the night.

My personal favorite was the blender switching on - we'd be in the family room watching TV and the dang thing would scare the heck outta us! Funny thing, it still went off even after we replaced the blender.

Shannon B said...

I can't tell you how many times I've been doing my hair and looked in the mirror thought I saw my grandpa standing in the doorway of the bathroom. He died about 3 years ago.

And the creepiest thing that ever happened to me...I was about 16-ish. Woke up in the middle of the night and my radio alarm clock was going off (like it was set to radio instead of alarm) and it was a guys voice saying the radio stations little jingle with their call letters. Only problem with this was the radio station went off the air about 6 months before this happened.

Terri Garey said...

Reflectons in mirrors, electrical appliances coming on and off, weird smells, and shapes in the corner of your eye... all very common themes!

Here's another one: did you know that the actual "witching" hour, that everyone thinks is midnight, is really 3:00am? The next time you wake up in the middle of the night for no reason, look at the clock - bet you're surprised how close to 3am it is!

Great stories, everyone! I've gotten goosebumps several times today reading them.

heatwave16 said...

I definitely believe in ghosts. We had a spooky encounter. My honey's mom comes to visit from time to time and moves things around. One night, she had her keys under her pillow, for the house alarm, and the next morning they were in the kitchen. At first, we just thought we were remembering wrong, so we did the same thing the next night with the same results.

Libby said...

That 3AM thing creeps me out! I am a nightowl & usually up around that time anyways.

Love all these stories. :) freaky stuff!

The Words I Couldn't Say said...

I've never personally had a ghostly experience (except for losing stuff and finding it in the most random place ever). But I totally do believe in ghosts.

Spav said...

I don't really believe in ghosts, but sometimes, when the courtains move on their own, I get a creepy feeling.

nymfaux said...

Someone posted about their alarm clock--Super creepy!

--Which reminded me that I had a possessed alarm clock back in college--It used to "flash" me at random times, at first I thought I had rolled over and hit it, until it started doing it during the day, too!

Also--same room, around the same time, my tv randomly started recording something--but not just that, it CHANGED the channel to record it! And I didn't have a roommate, so it wouldn't have been anyone else. The tv did have a habit of occasionally reseting itself, but to this day, it still puzzles me that it would randomly change the channel and start recording something (cartoon network).

mariska said...

i believe in Ghost ! and i love ghost stories :D

I had 'met' them several times when i was a kid.

once at my father old house. in the middle of the night. A huge black figure in the kitchen.

the other one, in an old house (more than 200 years old) of my parents village. it just appeared in front of me, and then disappeared !

Wenj said...

Completely. We use to actually believe our house was haunted. I know it sounds ridiculous, but our dog always use to sit staring up our stairs and barking. We would hear creaks like someone walking up above. And in one of the rooms we had a figurine on top of a tv. Nearly everyday we would come in to find it on the floor with no clue as to why...the tv was one of those old school big screens with the flat top, so definitely not the reason! And weirdest of all we would hear huge crashes like shelf falling from a wall only to find nothing astray when we checked.

Anyway, that just cemented the idea for me. It was too weird with no other explanation.

Day said...

I BELIEVE!!!

I once spent the night in the Villisca Axe Murder house in Iowa...lots of creepy stories and vibes!

L-Silverio said...

I believe in ghost, I believe in demons too. Not too long ago did one haunted me and my brother in our dreams. Every night pass 3 am he would torment us, but it wasn't until he scared the hell out of my mom one night that she believed us. After that we got a priest to bless the house, we did a few praying gatherings (or however they are called) and I was finally able to sleep before dawn since before I simply didn't dared closing my eyes until 5-6am. =s

But it's all good now =) My mom first thought my dreams were caused by reading so much paranormal books, but I refused to stop reading them; they were what got me through the night =D

So yeah, I believe in ghosts and such.

nymfaux said...

Just have to give a shout-out--Thanks to this post, I remembered a book I read when I was ten and TOTALLY loved--yea 10year-old memories!!!

Ghost in the Attic (Haunting of Louisa series)by Emily Cates, in case anyone's interested!

Sharon said...

The thought of ghosts doesn't scare me. If they do exist I don't think they would be able to harm us. But, the thought of curses and what not would scare me if those were real! That is what I liked about "Dead Girls Are Easy". The voodoo element. The thought that a person could/would bring you harm from a distance.