Saturday, February 28, 2015

Rascally Ghosts

I know, I know. I missed my every-two-weeks deadline for my blog. It was due last weekend. However, I have a legitimate (to me) reason, and hope this longer blog this week will help make up for my tardiness. This is the reason for the delay:
Tuffy 8 weeks
Although I showed him to you in the last blog, I haven't detailed how we acquired this little furbaby. A week before we lost our beloved Bonnie, my son Kelly got himself a puppy. The operative word here is "himself." Kelly stays in his camper in our backyard, for his privacy, and we were fine with him getting a puppy for company. Best laid plans and all that. A week after we lost Bonnie, Kelly came down with that wicked flu. Since he didn't want us to catch it, he stayed in the camper and I made trip after trip out there to keep him fed and help him get well. And guess what happened to the puppy? That's not even a hard question.
Since son was afraid he wouldn't be able to take care of him, Mommy also stepped in to care for the little guy, whom son named Tuffy. He is now our house puppy, because by the time Kelly was well, Tuffy had bonded with me. At first, he was Tippy, due to the little white tips on his paws. But that didn't fit at all once we started seeing his personality. Whew! Sometimes I think we should have called him Rocket Man, since he's so full of energy. I haven't had a puppy in the house for 13-1/2 years. I'd forgotten what a mess they can make:

Tuffy 12 weeks
Tuffy's saving grace — well, one of them — is that he gives us back much more love than the trouble and mess he causes.
So on to the blog. I did have one nearly ready to post last week, but when I realized my computer was slowing down, I decided to shove some files over onto my backup hard drive. Well, that backup drive wasn't listed! Where did it go? Ah-ha! I thought it was so cute that Tuffy loved to lay beneath my desk while I was working. I'd forgotten about puppy teeth and the need to gnaw! Luckily, hub was able to repair the gnawed-through wires and get me back up and running. I've now moved all the wires up onto the desk, even though it's quite the mess. However, that keeps them out of reach of puppy teeth. There's also a lot of other stuff placed high up in the house, like the bucket of pine cones by our fireplace.
Now, really on to the blog. Here's what I had ready, as well as a lot more to help reward my loyal readers.
I admonish everyone to discipline the ghosts they encounter, including myself. However, once in a while one of those here in my house gets a little bit impish. That happened one night a couple weeks ago in my bedroom.
I always think circles around any occurrence, especially if it happens when I'm sleeping, or trying to go to sleep. It's just too easy for anyone, myself included, to mistake an incident when we are in the twilight zone of drifting off to sleep as something paranormal. But this happened more than once, and I was wide awake after the first incident.
Since my husband, Barney, is disabled, he has a hospital bed and I sleep in my queen bed next to him. Frequently, Barney will tap me on my leg and say goodnight just before he lies down. This night, I was lying there nearly asleep when I felt what I thought was him doing that. It was a definite thump on my leg, just above my knee. I waited for him to say, "Goodnight, I love you," but there was only silence.
I sat up and looked around. Barney was already in bed, with his back to me. He had forgotten to tell me goodnight that evening.”
“Are you awake?” I asked.
“I am now,” he said. “What do you want?”
“I just felt someone tap my leg like you usually do at night. But no one told me goodnight.”
“That’s happened to me a couple times lately,” he said. “Guess it’s one of your ghosts.”
“Guess so,” I said. “Goodnight, love you.”
“Night, love you.”
I don’t know why he and both my sons call them “my” ghosts, but they do. And if this one was mine, it sure was picking on me. I started to drift off to sleep again, and … you guessed it. Someone tapped my leg once more!
“Hey,” I whispered, so I wouldn’t disturb Barney again. (He can get cranky if he loses too much sleep.) “Quit that! I need my sleep.”
Just to be rascally, the ghost did it again! Although it was cute, I knew better than to let it get by with disobeying me. Ghosts can wreak quite a bit of havoc if their antics aren't nipped in the bud immediately when they start acting up.
"If you want to stay here," I threatened, this time in a harsh whisper, "quit messing with my sleep! I can banish you and you'll have to go roam somewhere else where you'll probably be pretty darned lonesome!"
You know how sometimes a puppy will tease you by taking a little nip just before it does obey you after you tell it no? Well, I felt another little tap on my leg, then heard someone chuckling. It was an adult, not a child, so it was probably one of my resident ghosts.
Otherwise, it’s been the same at the house lately. I feel them frequently but don’t pay much attention. We did have some company for a few days; Barney’s sister, Ellen, and her boyfriend, Gary, came for a visit from Ohio. I kept waiting for Teddy to show himself to Gary in the guest bathroom, since Teddy loves to mess with any male who comes in there, but nothing happened. Nor did any of the other ghosts here bother them, although several times I felt them near when we were sitting around visiting.
We also had some awesome fun over in St. Francisville, Louisiana, on Valentine's weekend. Yes, that’s where the Myrtles Plantation is located, and yes, we did go by there. Two of my crew, Sarah and Floyd Brigdon, went with me, as well as our friend Karla Lang and her husband Jerry and daughter Annie. We all piled in on my friend, Dianna Miller, who lives just north of St. Francisville. She was a perfect and fun hostess! We had a wonderful time.
None of the others in our group had ever seen the Myrtles, so we drove over there our first day, prior to an investigation we had planned. We did take the tour inside the house. It was enjoyable and interesting, although the tour guide wasn't allowed to take us upstairs. None of us caught anything paranormal on our photos, but we have a record of the downstairs to remember what we saw, as well as lots of other pictures of us on the plantation grounds.
The Myrtles Feb. 2015
The Myrtles Side View Feb. 2015
Crew on Myrtles Steps
Barney and Me
Me, Dianna, Barney
Annie, Jerry, Karla
Floyd and Sarah
Myrtles Courtyard
Mighty Mississippi River
Enjoying wonderful food at the
Magnolia Cafe in St. Francisville
We ended up actually doing two short investigations that weekend. The one already planned was in downtown St. Franscisville at a beautiful old house built in the 1880’s.

We did talk with several ghosts there, all either male former inhabitants of the home or friends of the men who lived there. We might have caught some interaction with one of the female former residents, but we haven’t reviewed our evidence thoroughly yet.
The most interesting thing that happened was when one of the crew discovered a blood spot on Anna Lee's dress. I totally forget who discovered this, but it fascinated us.
There was a child's chair in the dining room where we first set up, and someone had the neat idea of sitting our trigger object doll in the chair and taking some photos of her. I guess we thought perhaps she would attract a small child, who might show up in one of the pictures. Unfortunately, that didn't happen, but while everyone was photographing Anna Lee, someone said, "Hey, there's something on her dress."
Upon examination, it appeared to be a blood spot. We have numerous pictures of Anna Lee, since we've used her in investigations for a couple years now. There is no blood spot (if that's what it is) in any of the other pictures. I'm also pretty careful with her. She sits up on my dresser in my office, or on the daybed, when we aren't using her. When we transport her, she has a tote bag that protects her.
Where did the blood spot come from? We have no idea. Perhaps she got it from one of the ghosts she encountered, but I haven't heard that ghosts bleed. However, I do know that, if they are developed enough, they can cause things that are hard to happen that are hard to explain. Perhaps this was another rascally ghost who wanted us to know he or she had visited. No, I won't be washing the dress. We'll keep the spot as a reminder of our trip.
Anna Lee in Chair
Bloodspot on Dress
While we were investigating this beautiful home, a lady who was a friend of the owners came by to join us. When we were packing up to leave, she asked us to come by her home the next evening. We agreed to do so, if possible. Indeed, the following evening, we realized we had time to go over there.
The house was a one and a half story home, surrounded by woods.

There was a ravine on the right side of the structure, and we were told there used to be a trailer on the other side of it. The woman’s son had evidently had quite an intense experience there, which bothered him so much he refused to go there again. When we asked about that experience, we met a blank wall, though. It wasn't something they were willing to talk about.
At this home, we communicated for a while with the owner’s deceased mother, and eventually got her to cross into the light. She was one of those ghosts who didn't go through the light when she first died, and she was really confused and afraid. It took us quite a while to calm her down and make her realize that she actually could still cross over; that she belonged on the other side. And most importantly to her and a lot of other ghosts we encounter, we told her that, once she crossed over, she could indeed come back to visit. Eventually, she went into the light, and I'm very certain that was the best thing for her.
There was also quite a bit of activity in an upper story bedroom, which was that half-story on the house and was reached via the outside stairwell in the photo. There were several ghosts there, and Anna Lee, our flashlights and KII's flashed continuously. One was the ghost of a young boy and another a young man in his early twenties. As soon as I pointed the ghosts to the door I had already opened in the east, most of them went through with no problem. As happens sometimes, we felt the wind stirred up from their passage. The owners and their children, who were up there with their parents' permission, were in awe. We were inside a closed room, with no doors or windows open, so there was no reason for the breeze we all felt.
However, the young boy and young man didn't want to go. They continued to communicate for quite a while, keeping the equipment flashing. Eventually, though, I got them to cross over. I'm convinced that part of the reason they kept lingering was that they were enjoying the interaction with us. When I realized this, I ended the session, and as we gathered up the equipment, I felt them go.
On reflection, as I do after an investigation and also as I'm writing my blog, I came to the conclusion that ghosts who have been dead for a while are easier to cross. I'm not sure why, although my feeling is that they are tired of roaming around and the promise of peace and contentment from someone who assures them they can still go into the light convinces them. The hardest ones to cross over are small children and souls who haven't been dead very long. The children are, of course, desperately confused and afraid. At times like this, I'm glad to have my crew member Sarah along. She's really good with the children.
The ghosts who are newly dead are also confused and sometimes afraid. However, it's a rare one of these who won't cross over after we explain things to them. I believe that's because they were adults when they died, and they are more accepting of death. They know it comes to everyone. However, perhaps they really didn't believe in an afterlife … or were not totally convinced it existed. Yet when they find themselves now a soul with no body encumbering them, they are amenable to the rationale that they will be better off completing the journey by going into the light. Most of them know about the light, and it's somewhat easy to get adults to go into it as soon as we can get them to acknowledge it.
All in all, it was a really fun and fascinating weekend with friends, and both living and deceased acquaintances.
As far as writing goes, I hate to admit it, but I didn’t get much done the past couple weeks. I do promise to work harder, especially on Silent Prey. I feel somewhat good about the writing, though, since I was able to squeeze out time to work on the opening story for Ghost Hunting Diary Volume VI. I also want to get Living With Dead Folks, Volume Three, up in March. That won't take a long time, just concentration on the various formats I need before I upload to the various sites. Of course, I need to have Angela do one of her nifty covers.
One time sink (which I enjoy) is doing things for the Beckham Hotel. We had another crew in for an overnight investigation the weekend after we got back from St. Francisville. It was one of those strange, "dead" investigations that happen from time to time. Although we had some activity in the lobby, where Floyd and I camped out to stay out of the way of the other crew, that crew didn't believe they caught much on their equipment at all. This has happened one other time at our hotel, and it was unfortunate for this team that they came on that particular night. However, they are an experienced team, and they know things like this occur. They plan to come back and try again.
We have begun planning the second annual Beckham Spirit Fest, set for October 3, 2015. There's already an awesome lineup of speakers for this year. A few are repeat speakers but with different topics. Others are new for our Spirit Fest, and I believe they will be truly interesting to our visitors. All, of course, will be pertinent to the paranormal. As soon as we get everyone confirmed, I'll set up an event on Facebook.
And here February is already gone. Looking back, it really was a fun, busy month. I hope your February was cool, too.
T. M.

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