Sunday, July 1, 2012

Who You Gonna Call?

   It's been far too long since I've blogged about some of the paranormal happenings in my life, and I have notes on several incidents waiting for the writing/telling. I'm going to make a huge effort to blog at least once a week, probably a Saturday. I just need a schedule I can adhere to, y'know? And I already missed this Saturday, because I got called out on two more investigations yesterday. As an aside, I was over at my son Joe's house Saturday morning early, and hub was teasing son about having plenty of time for this or that. I checked son's pocket in his shorts, but nope, I didn't see any time. Joe says if he figures out how to manufacture time, he'll start selling it and become a millionaire! I'm be one of his first customers. Oh, wait, I'll invest and make some money, too!
   As to this new blog, while visiting in Houston near the end of May, I ended up with a couple of unplanned investigations. My sister-in-law, Pat, like her sister Ellen, is fascinated with my paranormal work and writing, although they are both a little skittish about it. Still, Pat tells folks about her crazy writer sister-in-law who talks to ghosts. More in a minute, though.
   First, news on some free books I have available. Smashwords is running a promotion for the entire month of July! So I've added two of my books there for you to get free, with the coupon code SSWIN.
   One is a romance, Bittersweet Promises (Trana Mae Simmons), at
   The other one (same coupon code, SSWIN) is my paranormal mystery, Dead Man Talking, at (T.M. Simmons, of course).
   Right now, Tennessee Waltz (sweet romance, Trana Mae Simmons name) is also free at Smashwords, Kobo and Barnes and Noble. Maybe by the time you read this Amazon will have it free, but so far, no go from them, although you can get it at Smashwords in the Kindle format. And Ghost Hunting Diary Volume I remains free at all the e-book sites. Rather than clutter the blog with all the urls, y'all can do a search at the various sites that handle your own personal e-reader if you want a copy.
   All right, now the fun news. We stayed with Pat and her husband, Raymond, in Huffman, Texas, a small town north of Houston. Pat is a feisty near-70 and still works nearly every day at Tin Roof BBQ between Huffman and Humble, Texas. It has awesome food, and Pat is one of those fantastic cooks. Every time we visit, I come home with an extra pound or five.
   Pat gets off work around 2 – 3 p.m. She called around 1:30 p.m. the day after we arrived and told me the owners wanted to know if I could come over and talk to their resident ghost, Henry. Evidently, they had another paranormal investigator scheduled to stay overnight on the following Saturday, and they wanted to see what I picked up on, and if his investigation might confirm my findings. Interested, I said sure, and hub and I left for the restaurant, about a 20 minute drive away.
   The building is large, with inside and outside seating. The owner's son explained Henry the ghost seemed to be most active in an older portion of the building, which had actually been moved to that site from somewhere in Houston. He led us into that area, which he explained was mostly used for storage now. It held numerous tables and chairs, had some ceiling fans and a bar. It appeared to have been used once as a smaller ice house or bar. On the right/east side of the room were the ladies and men's bathrooms.
   Carol, one of the waitresses, accompanied us. She told me she had a small measure of sensitivity and had interacted with the ghost a few times. He had pulled her hair and touched her. He also called out names now and then, and made his presence known to other employees in various — sometimes spooky — ways . Some employees refused to stay in that area of the building alone.
   I immediately sensed a ghost, near the ladies' bathroom door. He was tall, dark and handsome! A cute cowboy dressed in western clothing. He winked at me in a flirtatious manner, and I felt he was a happy fellow. I smiled back and sat down to chat, explaining to the others what I saw.
   "I thought you said his name was Henry," I mentioned to the room at large.
   "That's what we call him," the son replied.
   "It's not," I denied. "His name is Bobby Joe. He says he tolerates y'all calling him Henry, but his true name is Bobby Joe. He's quite content and really likes being here."
   I listened to Bobby Joe a while and reported what he was saying. "He wants a beer," I said, then, "No, Bobby Joe. I can't give you a beer."
   I went on, "Now he wants me to dance with him." I shook my head. Had I consumed a beer or two of my own, I might have gotten up and Cotton-Eye-Joe'd with Bobby Joe, but I wasn't about to right then. Still, he held out his hand insistently to me, and I laughed and continued to refuse the offer to dance.
   We took a few pictures, but I'd forgotten my digital and used a throw-away. Since I haven't had time to get it developed, I'll have to let y'all know later if I caught Bobby Joe on film.
   As we were leaving, Carol took me aside. Pat had already mentioned what Carol told me: that she had a rather disruptive ghost in her house. She asked me if I could come over and see what I could do about that, since the ghost was bothering her sleep and her granddaughters were a bit frightened. Those who follow my ghost stories know that if a child is involved, I'm there as soon as possible.
   I'm not going to reveal Carol's location, other than to say she lives in a apartment building in town. Pat and I drove there and even before I got out of the car, I felt a presence. Inside, the layout consisted of a living room and kitchen, a downstairs bedroom and bath. The stairs led up to two bedrooms and a bath.
   I met the two granddaughters. One of them was extremely interested in what I was doing and followed me around. I glanced at Carol at one point, to see if she objected to the little girl being with me, but she only smiled an agreement.
   The first ghost I sensed was a very unhappy teenage girl, around fifteen. Not only unhappy, but extremely frightened. I "met" her at the top of the stairs, and she raced from me, into the bedroom on the left. She actually tried to hide in the closet.
   "She stays in that closet a lot," the little girl said.
   "Have you seen her?" I asked.
   "Not really, but I know she's there."
   "She's scared," I said.
   I walked toward the closet, and the teen ran out and across the room, to cower in a far corner. I turned and started talking soothingly to her, explaining that I wasn't there to hurt her, only help. She finally relaxed enough to tell me she had been killed in a car accident nearby and she only wanted to find her parents. That she was so very frightened and didn't know what to do.
   "It's going to be all right," I said softly. "I can help you cross into The Light and not be scared any longer."
   "Can I talk to her?" the little girl beside me said.
   "Of course," I replied.
   "Don't be afraid," she said in the direction of the teen.
   I took a few more minutes and explained to the teen that she would be happier on the other side of The Light, that she would be at peace. She wanted to know if her parents would be there.
   "I’m sorry," I said. "They're still alive. But…" I sensed someone else and went on, "…your grandmother is there. She's waiting for you."
   The teenager finally seemed to lose her fear. She is? she said to me. She'll be there to meet me?
   "She will," I assured her. "Are you ready to go?"
   Yes. Yes, yes. Her tone was more that of an exuberant teenager now.
   I walked over to the window and drew the curtain back. I faced east and opened a doorway.
   "There," I said with a nod at the door. "Go through there and you'll find your grandmother."
   She raced past me and flew toward the opening in the sky. She did take time to glance back at me and call, Thank you!
   I left the door open in case there were any other souls needing to cross and started back downstairs.
   "We've had some problems in this other bedroom," Carol said when I reached the head of the stairwell. "Toys strewn around and things like that."
   "It was the teen," I assured her. "It won't happen again." But I went in and looked around to reassure them…then frowned.
   "You've got another ghost here," I said.
   "What?" she responded. "Who is it?
   I stayed quiet for a moment. The other ghost lingered nearby, not masking his presence now, which he'd evidently done before while I helped the teenager.
   "He's male," I said. "Probably in his fifties. Sort of grouchy."
   Am not, he grouched.
   "What's  your name?" I asked.
   I laughed rather than snap at him. "No, it's not. My name is Simmons. Quit fooling around with me and tell me your name."
   He actually chortled a bit and didn't seem as grouchy. First he mentioned a few other names, and I kept shaking my head and saying, "No, that's not your name. Come on."
   Richard, he finally said. But I go by Dick.
   I sensed this was now true.
   "Well, Dick," I said sternly. "You're frightening the people in this apartment. You've got two choices. Well, three. I can help you cross into The Light, as I did the teenager—"
   Don't want to go there, he interrupted.
   "Then that leaves you two choices. You can behave yourself and stay here, if that's all right with the people who live here." I glanced at Carol, and she nodded a confirmation.
   "If you don't agree to behave and quit frightening them," I went on, "I can banish you. Make you wander somewhere else."
   I'll behave, he assured me. I didn't realize I was scaring them. I was just bored sometimes. But I don't want to cross over yet.
   "Then make sure you don't bother them again," I said. "Otherwise, they'll call me and I'll come back. I won't give you a second chance. I'll go ahead and banish you immediately."
   I promise.
   We went back downstairs, and Carol asked me to check her bedroom. "I feel someone watching me in here sometimes," she said as she led me into the room. "And sometimes the feeling wakes me up at night."
   "It's Dick," I told her, and looked behind me. The ghost had followed us. "He won't do it again, though. So don't worry about it."
   I won't, I promise, he assured me again.
   You better not, I warned him, this time telepathically. Or else.
   A couple days after we returned home, I asked Pat for a report on how things were going at the apartment. I knew Bobby Joe was still prowling the restaurant, so I didn't bother asking about him.
   "She says things have been totally quiet since you left," Pat assured me. "She's glad you came and settled things down. Now, there's this other friend of mine who wants to know when you are coming back down to visit. She has a ghost in her house…."
   So thus the title of this blog: Who You Gonna Call? When this first started happening to me, as my reputation for dealing with ghosts spread, I considered calling myself a ghost-busterette. What do y'all think of that designation? Or is it silly?
   One last update is what Pat told me in a phone call this morning. She had to run to the bathroom the other day while she was at work. She used the one in the older part of the building — unfortunately, it turned out. In a hurry, she left the keys dangling in the lock on the outside of the door.
   That Bobby Joe does love to pull a good prank, and he did. Yep, when Pat tried to get out, the door was locked! Thankfully, she had her cell phone in her pocket and didn't have to pound on the door and make a racket that would embarrass her. She called Carol, at the checkout register.
   "I'm locked in the bathroom, Carol."
   Carol hurried over to the old building bathroom and let Pat out. "It was that ghost," she said. "There's no way that door can lock itself."
   Pat wasn't sure, but she's going to be a little more careful from now on when she uses that bathroom.
   Happy hunting and reading!
  Boo! T. M.

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