Once upon a ghost

Have you ever seen a ghost? Communicated with a ghost? Wanted to see and communicate with a ghost? I haven’t, and I’m not sure if I’m thrilled or bummed about that. I consider myself a dud when it comes to the paranormal world. I’ve spent a few hours in a haunted house and felt nothing while the others with me experienced visions and felt ghostly touches. There could be a ghost carnival going on around me and I’d sit there clueless.

I once lived in a house across from a funeral home. The house was a bizarre 19th century Victorian with a creepy attic, a red papered bedroom, a super cold and icy bedroom, and an incredibly over-heated bedroom. Some of my family members saw ghosts there, some of the ghosts were supposedly in the room in which I slept. But again, I saw nothing. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t freaked out by the ghost stories, or by the dead cat we found in the pool.

So, is it better to see the ghosts and periodically be spooked by something or someone you see? Or is it better to be a dud and live a life free of ghostly surprises? What do you think?

Why am I even talking about ghosts? Because I recently finished P.J. Alderman’s 2nd Port Chatham mystery series book, Ghost Ship. I love this series. It’s a fun mix of mysteries of the past with mysteries of the present. P.J. does a marvelous job of weaving the two plot lines together while maintaining the book’s suspense, humor, and romance. P.J. got me thinking about ghosts, wondering if I’d enjoy seeing them as her heroine does in her series, or not—like the heroine in my Deadwood series.

P.J. also got me thinking about ghost ships—for obvious reasons. There is something about the sounds of a boat that make them almost spooky without adding the ghosts. Add a little fog to the mix and you have the makings of horror story. Maybe Hollywood has put this ghost ships = spooky idea in my head, or maybe it’s just ghost stories of old coming back to haunt me.

What’s your favorite ghost movie? What about a ghost book?

Thanks for stopping by and talking ghosts with me!

Ann Charles


16 responses to “Once upon a ghost

  1. Ann, Loved Loved Loved P.J. Alderman’s Ghost Ship. And you sort of have a ghost in Nearly Departed in Deadwood, don’t you? I’m like you I haven’t experienced a ghost. But I’m surrounded with people who have an ability I obviously don’t. I toured an old school that was in the process of being torn down. I didn’t feel a thing, but my friend with me said, what’s behind that chalk board. I looked at her kind of weird, as did the contractors taking us through it. They removed the chalk board, and there was a stick-drawing of a character being hung. Sharon said, I feel bad vibes all around me. It was weird.

  2. Donnell, eeek! That gave me goosebumps! Cool story. You and I both are ghost-blind, it seems. I do have ghostly fun in Nearly Departed in Deadwood and Optical Delusions in Deadwood. It’s fun to “play” with the ghosts.


  3. Good morning, Ann. It sounds like I need to read P.J.’s book! I have not seen a ghost…not yet. I would love to meet one…I think. A nice ghost, at least. My mom and sister see ghosts all the time. It doesn’t take much to scare me, so if a ghost suddenly appeared I don’t think I’d be sayin’ “Hey there. Let’s chat.” I’d freak out and then if the ghost stuck around long enough maybe I could talk for a moment. If he didn’t stick around, I would probably figure I didn’t really see a ghost at all.

    Okay, now I think I want to write a ghost story. See how I just assumed my ghost would be a “he.” The title could be, Talk, Dark, and Ghostly. I did love the movie, Ghost. I always liked Casper. And I still faintly remember the show, The Ghost of Mr. Muir. I think that was the title.

    Thanks for the fun post, Ann.

  4. My title would not be “Talk, Dark, and Ghostly.” sheesh. It would be Tall, Dark, and Ghostly. 🙂

    • Tall, Dark, and Ghostly– I love it!!! Hoard that title and get writing! I have a good friend who just read your book and loved it (I’ll confirm the book name with her and post it in another reply). She has me wanted to buy it, which I plan to soon. Thanks for the fun ghost talk!

  5. Hi, Ann! So glad to hear that you enjoyed my book! I recently attended a book club meeting in the town I based where I set my series, and several of the ladies (who live in Victorians) told me that they regularly see ghosts. They’re thrilled that I wrote a series about what they experience, right in their own town. The meeting took place, actually, in the Victorian originally built by the real-life shanghaier on whom I based my character Michael Seavey, which was a hoot! And I didn’t feel any malevolent vibes from him at all during the meeting, probably because I cleaned him up and gave him a much nicer set of ethics, lol. 🙂

    I have to admit, I originally got the idea for the series because I’ve had a few close encounters myself. I used to live in a remodeled 1900s house that had a downstairs library. Each morning, I put the books back on the shelf after they mysteriously flew off each night. I also helped my sister discover things in the walls of her Queen Anne home in Minneapolis a number of years ago. We were having dinner, and I kept staring at the wall behind her. Finally I said, hey, there’s a leaded glass window behind that wallboard, and I described it. She didn’t believe me until she took the wallboard off, and there it was, exactly as I’d said. That one even spooked me, lol! The next day, she made me go through every room in the house to see if there were other items to be found. I discovered a couple of places where things like a box of silver cutlery had been hidden in walls. Don’t ask me how!

    What a fun topic! Thanks for reading my book and inviting me by to chat!


  6. You did a wonderful job making Micheal very likable in spite of what he did for a living. I’m very impressed with that. Sounds like the trip to the real life Port Chatham was really fun. How cool to get to interact with the locals like that. Your paranormal experiences are bizarre and very interesting! Could you just picture these things behind the walls in your mind all of the sudden? Thank you for stopping by and sharing more about your writing adventures and ghostly fun.

  7. Wow, P.J., sounds like you’re psychic! Discovering things in walls…and books flying off shelves. That would freak me out.

    Ann, thanks so much for finding out which book your friend liked! Yay! That’s always fun to hear.

    I am enjoying this ghost talk.

  8. Hey, Ann–

    I didn’t necessarily picture what was behind the walls–I somehow just knew they were there. And once the thought occurred to me that they were there, then I could see them. That sounds pretty psychic, but who knows? Maybe it was just that the locations were logical places for the things I found. As far as the books falling off the shelf in the library almost every night, I never did figure that one out, lol. I always wondered whether my cat had a secret book fetish I didn’t know about, but it was the same books, in the same location, almost every night. Pretty spooky!


  9. Seen, experienced, lived with ALL my life… I don’t mind at all… It’s all just a part of life to me… I think it goes on even after our earthly death… In fact, one of my dream houses backs up to a graveyard… always wondered how ‘visited it is…. It’s a bit startling the first time you see one… one of mine was in Scotland… a ‘worker’ at a distillery… shocking… but didn’t scare me at all…(seen several at my workplace… including a ‘gray lady’, a former library worker (we were doing reconstruction, and she was deciding whether she liked it)
    I also saw one again a month or so ago… There’s a graveyard by my house… and I happened to glance over… it was an image I’d seen a million times before… if somewhat transparent… a soldier, in full camo gear, dropped to one knee… head bowed before a fallen comrade (or perhaps even his own resting place) and I could see the emotion and the tears in his eyes, even at a distance. It was the briefest of glances but I saw it. Nobody will ever tell me different. I am often one to go up to a soldier, and greet him, sometimes salute, and often thank them for their service. I wanted to do this with him, because he looked honestly affected by what he was doing, so I turned my head in order to give him his moment with the dead, but, again, I really wanted to say my thanks. It was no more than 3 seconds, THREE. but when I turned to look again, and walk toward him, he was gone. Poof,… I realized, also… no vehicle anywhere nearby…
    I’ve also heard them… always… my house has a ghost… former owner… liked to play tricks on me when I was a kid… I’ve heard my grandfather speak, too… on many occasions (he had a very distinct voice… there has never been anyone who sounded like him to me). I was actually the one to ‘find him’ at the young age of five… and there was an intense connection with him even before that, with me and between him and my mother. He’s always been our guardian spirit, in the true spirit sense… and is often the voice that comes to us when we’re feeling down, uncertain, or unsure. It’s very comforting to me… I’ll know I’m in real trouble when I don’t hear him.
    Also, I truly believe I can sense when there are spirits nearby, some at peace and some in pain. Please, God, I don’t ever want to go back to the Alamo. I felt like I was being bumped, and on more than one occasion, pushed, and I could feel their pain, as if I’d been there with them that fateful time… I was miserable, and I ran out…
    On the other hand, there is Stonehenge… a place I have wanted to go, dreamed about my whole life…(I’ve got British Isle ancestors, and I’ve always joked about being a ‘Pagan’, so I wanted to see what ‘they’ used) when I went to England I knew I had to go… I was almost afraid to, actually, for fear of a repeat of the feelings I had in Texas… Just the opposite really… even at a distance, I felt the power of those stones, and their history. I felt dozens, perhaps HUNDREDS of spirits walking around me, reaching out to me. It was the most welcome, cared for and loved I have ever felt in my life, aside from the parents I adore. I was the most peaceful I have ever felt, and my heart was calm, yet racing at the same time. It was like a second HOME to me. I believe that it was the spirits of those who came before who made me feel that way.

    sooooooooooooooo how’s that for an answer…

    • It’s an amazing answer! It’s so much a part of your everyday life. Thank you for sharing all of this. Very interesting! Does it make you want to write stories about them? Dig into the history of who some of them are? How much can you communicate with them?


      • Actually… my ‘mostly’ done book is about a Civil War Union Captain, who dies in his own home, and his image is captured in a mirror in his own bedroom… so he can’t ever leave the plantation… He has to see his loved ones, including a new bride who he only got to KNOW once…
        Flash forward to modern day, and a stunning reincarnation of his dead wife, who gives up her modeling career to start over, and open a B&B in Ky… in HIS home… and, somehow, she manages to bring back to him, and to his home, the souls of his family and closest friends…

  10. What a great concept! I love the mirror idea. Very cool. Get busy and get that in e-print, would you? My Kindle needs more love. 🙂 –Ann

    • Story of the mirror came from a trip to Louisiana… Southern tradition… There’s a plantation in Baton Rouge where I’ve seen the image of the captured…
      And I do love my Jacob… my ghost… his appearance has changed many times over the years… one crush goes out, another comes in (but I have a ‘type’ so he never changes much… a true ‘southern’ gentleman, in every sense of the word… should see his reaction when he sees a picture of his reincarnated wife in her portfolio, very Janet Jackson style… nothing ‘happened’ with the other model, but, in his mind, this is his WIFE…

  11. I enjoy ghost stories and PJ’s book is in my TBR pile. I’ve already read Haunting Jordan and loved the supernatural part of the story as well as the past and present mysteries running side by side.

    My family and I lived in a century-old house for 12 years where we experienced a lot of weird happenings, but there was nothing malicious about the spirits hanging out there. Mostly seemed to be one of the former owners. I would hear him call my name in the middle of the night or feel someone touching my shoulder as if to wake me. The house also seemed to be a magnet for animals. It was an interesting place.

    Once I was in my twin sons’ bedroom, putting away laundry. It was their first day of preschool and I was wishing their grandfather, my father-in-law, who had passed a couple months before, was still alive to see that. I was feeling sad and out of sorts and I said aloud to him, “Well, Ompa, your grandsons are growing up” and a beaded necklace hanging on one of their bedposts jingled clear as day as if he were letting me know he was still around and watching out for them. I’ll never forget that.

    Great post, Ann!

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