As an author of paranormal fiction, I thought it would be nice to be able to get up close and personal with a spectre once in a while. Besides, the idea of playing supernatural sleuth was just cool, so I thought, “heck, why not?” Maybe we’d get a reality show, or at least a popular video blog out of the deal.
So my trusty companion and I headed out to bag us a spook. As the corner hardware store was sadly short of EMF readers and other certified ghost hunting gear, we took cameras and tape recorders. It was raining, so we started with Craigdarroch Castle because it was indoors. This local landmark has a fascinating history and a few known ghosts. One is reported to appear as a pair of feet in dancing slippers descending the grand staircase.
Like many old places, the Castle has rooms with more than the average amount of atmosphere. Certain corners drew me, others repelled, but I didn’t sense or see anything too specific. The most interesting data came from the photographs we took. We got a lot of “orbs.” While these are considered by some to be energy balls indicating a haunting, some (undoubtedly most) are caused by light bouncing off moisture or dust in the air. Even though the orbs appeared in the room that “felt” the most haunted, it was hard to tell if we’d hit pay dirt or just a spectral dust bunny.
Next, we took on one of Victoria’s other spooky standards, the April Ghost, a woman murdered near a seaside golf course. Lots of people have seen her since her death the 1930s (There’s a YouTube video on this and other local ghosts at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrmdEI40sok). We set out near dusk to wander (read: trespass on) the greens where the most sightings occurred. It was perfect weather – moonlit and clear. I took some photos, met a bunch of people walking their dogs, but no ghostly sightings.
What I did experience was a sudden up-the-spine, hair-on-end freaky feeling that screamed close encounters of the walking dead kind. Sadly, I got it in completely the wrong location. The place where this was supposed to happen seemed a nice, dull patch of grass with an ocean view. Was the spook wandering? Playing games? Who knows?
So far we’re 0 for 2 with no more than a few teasing hints for our troubles. My understanding is that this is typical. The scientific seeker can wait for years before documenting anything, while unsuspecting passers-by can experience all sorts of whacky stuff they don’t want to talk about. The only place spectres appear on demand is TV.
I guess my own reality series will have to wait. Too bad – I was looking forward to inviting the Winchester boys to do a guest spot. In the meantime, at least I’m getting some fresh air and exercise.
How about you? Does the paranormal stay on the page, or do you come across it from time to time?
Blurb for Scorched:
Welcome to the Castle. The price of admission is your soul.
Ex-detective Macmillan always had a taste for bad girls, but his last lover really took the cake—and his humanity. Now half-demon, Mac's lost his friends, his family and his job.
But Constance, a strangely innocent vampire trapped in the supernatural Castle prison, needs his help. Her son has been kidnapped, so suddenly Mac has a case to work—one that embroils him with a mad sorcerer, an even madder city council, and a winged love god. The trail leads deep into the supernatural prison, and Mac soon learns that cracking the case will cost him his last scrap of his humanity.
Fiery, vulnerable Constance will do anything for those she loves, including Mac. He'll be damned if he turns his back on her… and a demon forever if he doesn't.
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