We had a fantastic overnight investigation April 2 at the Beckham Hotel in Mineola, Texas. I'll be writing this up for Volume V, and it will be a looooong diary. We encountered many, many ghosts and chatted with some, just glimpsed others. One of our friends from Lonestar Paranormal, Armando, had a frightening experience with a ghost on the second floor. Floyd and Sarah, SRT members, had an extremely intense session with two teenage ghosts, a brother and sister, inside the huge old vault under the stairwell. We're still reviewing evidence to see if we caught anything on film or evp, but we'll have that completed soon.
I'll also be passing along updates as I receive them, since the hotel is planning on opening for guests in September 2013. It's going to be an awesome place to stay, and the owner, Connie Meissner, is a fantastic, knowledgeable hostess. Her son, Shawn, is a really cool man, nice to be around. He joined us for most of the night, and we all enjoyed his knowledge and company. As soon as Connie's ready for reservations, I'll let y'all know how to contact her. She's restoring the hotel to its former grandeur, which you can see under all the dust and construction. There are going to be fifteen two-bedroom suites available, and the town of Mineola has wonderful little shops to browse.
Don't worry about finding food, either. The problem is choosing. Burgers at East Texas Burger Company are great. Next door to the Beckham Hotel is A Taste of Italy, where I met Laura, one of the waitresses, who I actually knew from my hometown. Talk about scrumptious Italian food and great service! Breakfast was at Taste Buds, owned by Darlena Watson. Really neat breakfast stuff on the menu and everyone was raving about how good it was. Very good coffee to wake up with, also. Plus, Aunt Belle and I communicated with the two ghosts there, identifying them for Darlena and answering some of her questions about them.
You can bet SRT has some future trips already planned, with Lonestar's James and Armando included. Seems Connie just bought another building there, a former saloon with an upstairs brothel, and we're excited about investigating that. Plus she will have a Grand Opening we will attend, and we already have plans for an post-opening investigation to see how the paranormal residents are handling folks dropping by to visit with them.
One rather interesting incident: I won't call it strange, because strange things happen all the time to Aunt Belle and me. We'll leave it at interesting. Anyway, on the walk-through at the Beckham, I ran into a ghost named Thomas. The week before, Angela, Amanda and I were meeting here at my house. I walked into the dining room, then returned to the living room, where we were sitting around.
I skidded to a halt, nearly dropping my re-filled iced tea glass. My husband wasn't home, and there were only three of us women in the house. Living souls, anyway. Over by the TV was a man. A ghost!
"Wow!" I said, and looked over at Angela and Amanda. "Did you see him?"
"Uh huh," Angela said. "It was a man."
Amanda shook her head. She's still growing, but she's showing signs that soon she'll be able to see what Angela, Aunt Belle and I do.
"Yeah, wearing a white shirt," I told Angela, who nodded a confirmation. "He's telling me his name is Thomas."
I sat back down, and a moment later, Angela laughed. "What?" I asked.
"Thomas is playing hide and seek with me," she replied. "He's over behind the TV, and he's popping his head up to look at me, then back down again."
"What's he look like?" I asked. "I saw mostly his body and clothing. He's not real tall."
"No, he's rather short. He's got a somewhat darker complexion and his hair is black and slicked back."
Thomas stayed around for a while, and we even got Raggedy Ann out, but she never lit up. Thomas seemed fascinated with Amanda, too, and even sat beside her. We did a couple evp sessions, but got nothing recognizable.
Then when we ran into the ghost named Thomas at the Beckham, Angela got the feeling he was the same Thomas as at my house. Was he visiting from Mineola when he came to see me? Maybe he'd heard we were coming out soon? I'm not sure, but he "felt" like the same ghost. We'd heard of a ghost at the Beckham who was a gambler. Supposedly, he walks around with a deck of cards in his hand. This man didn't have any cards, but his attire and hair style could have indicated that type of profession back in the early 1920's.
Then Aunt Belle showed up the day before our overnight, and we were again sitting around the living room. Someone came up behind me, a very strong presence.
"Wow," I said. "There's someone behind me and it's one of the strongest presences I've felt here in the house in a long while. Do you see it, Aunt Belle?"
At first, Aunt Belle said she didn't. Then she said, "Oh, now I see her. It's a rather small woman, maybe in her thirties."
"Are you getting her name?" I asked.
"Marie," she said firmly. "Her name is definitely Marie, and you're right. She has really strong energy." She listened a moment, then, "She's looking for Thomas. She's very serious about it. She needs to find Thomas."
We never did find out why Marie wanted to contact Thomas, but as far as I know, she wasn't successful. Thomas wasn't here that day. Or if he was, he was hiding from Marie. Maybe again playing peek-a-boo?
I didn't find Thomas among the numerous ghosts at the Beckham on the overnight investigation. Still, I was super busy that night and could have missed his communication. I also didn't make it into the room where I met Thomas during the original walk-through. Perhaps Marie finally found him and hauled him away. Who knows?
I have fun with my resident ghosts, as well as the visiting ones. And yeah, sometimes it's a little strange or … interesting.
If you're reading this Saturday before midnight, Dead Man Talking will still be free for Kindle. Go grab a copy, because at 12 midnight April 6, Amazon will remove it from free. I'm excited that a lot of people are downloading this book, since it has already climbed to #23 on the Amazon Top 100 List. Happy dance on my end!
My Dead Man books are pretty special to me. Alice and Twila are fictional heroines based on Aunt Belle and me, and the books are set at some of the places we have actually visited. Hope you enjoy!