Sunday, April 04, 2010

Guest Blogger: Linda Andrews

The winner of Linda's book is: Vijaya Schartz. Congratulations, Vijaya! Send me your contact information and I'll pass it along to Linda. Thanks to everyone who participated.
To Believe or not to believe? That is the question.

Shamelessly rephrasing Shakespheare aside, I am referring to ghosts and the belief in whether or not they exist. Certainly believing is seeing, even when there's nothing to see. Studies have shown that the mere idea of a haunting makes people more susceptible to encountering spooks and phantoms. The common term of the phenomenon is mass hysteria and like fear and sneezing it is contagious.

But what about the other group, the nonbelievers? Is believing seeing? Nope. But it may nudge them in the direction of belief or at least shake their non beliefs.

Case in point: My sister, her husband and their son went to Scotland to visit a notorious haunted castle. My sister and her son are open to the idea of ghosts, her husband humors her.

The afternoon was waning by the time the tour started. Long shadows added to the spooky atmosphere and there was a palpable expectation, a breathless anticipation of an encounter to come. In one windowless room, the tour stopped and the guide told of the tragedies that unfolded. Voices from the group behind them echoed in the cavernous room but after a while, my sister and her family were able to ignore the murmurs and focus on the story.

It was then my sister and her son noticed the shadows on the rugs. More silhouettes than could be cast by the small tour. Some vanished while others appeared, yet the people stood still. When they moved on, my sister mentioned it to her husband. "A trick of the light," he assured her.

Cold spots aside (it is a drafty, old castle), the tour ended with no other supernatural phenomenon. A little disappointed, my sister and her family prepared to leave. As they thanked their guide, her husband quipped that perhaps they should space the groups further apart because the talking from the tour behind them had been so loud that he had a hard time enjoying the retelling of history of the place.

With a start, the guide told them that their group had been the last one of the day. There had been no one behind them.

Did my brother-in-law change his beliefs? Nope. He's certain there's a rational (read non-spectral) explanation, but, maybe, just maybe...

In Ghost of a Chance, the hero Everett Grey is of the same rationale. A no nonsense former Union spy, he knows there's always a human culprit behind every bit of mischief. But doubts undermine his certainty when he hires Brighid Garvey as a wet nurse. Brighid knows the living and the restless spirits of the dead coexist, the constant presence of her Gran's spirit won't let her forget it.

And Gran is going to make certain Everett learns that death doesn't stop some folks from protecting their loved ones.

Ye be thinking of her, right, boy-o?

The faint words swept over his ear. White flashed in the plate glass window. Fear pricked his flesh, straightening the hair in his follicles and bubbling under his skin. He whipped about. A woman appeared, as substantial as the tulle in a bride’s headdress. He blinked, and she disappeared.

Everett sprinted to the corner. No woman in white strolled down the avenue. Had she vanished into the ether? White blobs danced on his lids as he rubbed his eyes.

“Steady on. Don’t give anyone a reason to toss you into an asylum.” He returned to the window. No white shadow floated next to him. He smoothed his tie flat, reassured by the pressure of his fingers against his collarbone. Wool scratched the pads of his fingers as he pinched the edge of his jacket and jerked it flat.

His Adam’s apple throbbed. Everett glanced at his neck. His tie tilted. A woman’s laughter, carried by the cool breeze, trilled in his ear. He straightened the tie and swallowed a few times for good measure. The tie bobbed but did not tilt.

The excerpt is just one of many encounters that convince Everett of a world beyond the veil. What about you? Was there any one incident that made you believe in ghosts?
Linda will give away a copy of her book to one commenter. Her winner will be selected and posted on Tuesday evening. Stop back by to see if you won.


Blogger Booksrforever123 said...

My Aunt's father in law would knock on the side of the house before entering after catching his son and my aunt in a compromising act and after his death, they swear that he still knocked on the wall announcing his presence

8:23 AM  
Blogger H.D. Thomson said...

Linda, I love ghost stories and you write some of the best! I've never encountered a ghost or any strange phenomenon. Still, I think there are far more things out there that we have yet been able to explain away.

10:30 AM  
Blogger Vijaya Schartz said...

I used to feel watched in my house after my husband's ex-wife passed away. I would be writing at my computer and the clatter of dishes in the kitchen would startle me, as if someone had thrown all the pots and pans to the tiled floor. I would get up and check and the kitchen was tidy, not a pan in sight. Later, a psychic I was interviewing for my radio show came to my home and told me "Do you know you have a ghost in your house?" I said "yes." Then the psychic said the ghost would leave soon. My husband and I went on a vacation to visit my family in Europe. When we came back, sure enough, the ghost was gone.

10:32 AM  
Blogger Patricia Altner said...

I love a good ghost story, as long as it's fiction. The thought of "real" ghosts hanging around terrify me.

A few years ago when my husband and I visited England we stayed at a hotel that had once been a manor from the Tudor era. I jokingly asked the owner if there were any ghosts. She said some people had reported seeing spectral figures. A rather vague answer, but that night I hardly slept a wink; so frightened that some other-worldly presence would manifest itself. Nothing happened, but I was prepared if it did! :)

Still like I said I love a good ghost story and would very much like to read Linda's book!

11:56 AM  
Blogger LeslieJane said...

Have had a couple of different ghostly encounters.

Many years ago, when Dad was stationed to Scotland, we lived in a house with a ghost. Shortly after we moved into the house, I was down in the basement (which you had to go outside to get to, so we didn't go down there that often), and I felt very uncomfortable. I couldn't wait to get back upstairs. I think he was checking us out. After that, he was fairly friendly, and didn't really bother us, unless he thought we had been ignoring him. Then he would occasionally move things around, though never broke anything. Once moved a bottle off a shelf that was about 7 feet off the floor, and the bottle did not break.

Then just a couple of years ago, I was touring the Queen Mary in Long Beach, and saw a green glowing portal or something near the changing rooms for the pool. And had a television come on by itself as we were leaving an area.

Now, if some sexy ghost would join me sometime, I would not turn him out. He can haunt my house (or me)anytime.

12:35 PM  
Blogger Rosie said...

I've had some weird things happen, like my cat act as if he were listening to someone at the top of the steps, cabinets open/shut for no reason, etc. But those things didn't make me believe. I've always been a believer, even without proof positive. I would love to someday go on one of the ghost hunts like they have on the TV shows.

1:33 PM  
Blogger Victoria Roder said...

So far, I've had no personal experience, but I am a believer in the paranormal. My sister runs a paranormal investigation group in California. Maybe someday I'll get the chance to go along on an investigation.

4:34 PM  
Blogger Linda Andrews said...

Wow, there's some great stories out there.
My fascination with ghosts started when I was young and slept in a room that opened onto an attic. That tiny door kept opening every night no matter how much I checked to make sure it stayed closed.
But the kicker came when I was twelve and was staying at a friend's house. We went to her grandparents to get a drink. I walked into the living room and asked her grandmother if I could have a soda and some gum. Grandma sat in her rocker by the window and said I could. It wasn't until I opened the fridge that I remembered Grandma had passed away the previous winter.

10:03 PM  
Blogger Mary Kirkland said...

Although I have had several feelings that there was a ghost around, I've never actually seen anything to prove it. But I do belive that it's very possible that there are ghosts among us.

1:35 AM  
Anonymous Weekly Horoscopes said...

I think this is a good book.Since I love ghost stories it will be suitable for you.

5:38 AM  
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I admire the layout on your blog. It has a good psychic feel to it. A nice triumph.

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