Aunt Belle and Dancer (explained below)
I think I learned something new this past few weeks. It's been several months since Aunt Belle was able to come visit. She and I are both caretakers for our husbands, so sometimes it's hard for us to get together. This October was the first October in a long while that she hadn't been here for a few days. As y'all are aware, that month is when the Veil thins and make communication with the other dimension easier. All during October, I kept waiting for a rise in activity here at my house, but it didn't happen.
Finally, Aunt Belle felt comfortable enough about leaving for a short vacation in November. As we discussed possible dates and a short trip, she said to me, "Do you realize there's a Friday the 13th in November?"
"Cool!" I told her. "Can you get away then?"
"I'm going to try. We haven't been back to Jefferson in a while, so how about we go there?"
I agreed, and although our first B&B choice was closed for repairs, I called my friend and fellow author, Mitch Whitington, and asked him for a recommendation.
"You know I want somewhere actively haunted," I said to Mitch.
"Claiborne House," he said without hesitation. "Right now, it's the most haunted B&B in town."
I made our reservation, then started thinking about it. Our conversation confirming Aunt Belle wouldn't be able to visit in October took place around the first part of that mongh, during the final preparations for our Spirit Fest at the Beckham Hotel. I think my ghosts here at the house listened in on the phone, which they do consistently. Instead of causing mischief during October, I believe they saved their energy for the week during which Friday the 13th fell.
Sure enough, my ghosts were more visible that second week in November, and the spirit activity even increased. In fact, there was one really strong spirit (not a ghost) whose energy was as intense as any I'd ever felt before. On the Monday before Aunt Belle arrived, I saw him standing in a little hallway that leads into our master bedroom. He was extremely clear, except I couldn't see his face. He also spoke to me, and I ran to the phone to call Aunt Belle.
"Your dad's here," I said. "I've been feeling this really strong paranormal energy from someone around here lately, then I saw him today. He's wearing a blue and black and white plaid shirt, and he was standing in that little hallway at our bedroom door. When I asked him what he wanted, he said, 'I'm waiting here to see Al.' Your daddy always called you Al, and that's the type of shirt he wore a lot. So I know it's him."
"It's about time," she said.
"Why's that?" I asked.
"He's never come back to see me before. And yes, it has to be him. He always teased me by calling me Al."
"Well, he's here now, waiting on you."
"Tell him I'll be there on Wednesday."
I really didn't have to tell him, because I could tell he was listening in on the phone. And the first two photos on this blog are the ones I took of Aunt Belle and our rescue dog, Dancer, the day she arrived. They were taken about ten seconds apart. Her daddy was definitely in the room!
Of course, Aunt Belle is really and truly my aunt, so that makes her dad my grandpa. Her dad and my dad are half-brother and –sister. She's only four years older than me, and we grew up next door to each other. The next house down the road and across the holler was where my great-grandmother (Aunt Belle's grandmother), Grandma Alice, lived. I don't remember Grandma Alice's husband, Grandpa Will, since I was only two years old when he died. However, Aunt Belle was really close to him. She spent nearly every day with Grandpa Will during her early childhood, until he died.
Why am I talking about Grandpa Will? Well, he played into the ghost story that happened here.
When Aunt Belle got up after her first night here, I asked, "Well? Did Grandpa talk to you?"
She sort of frowned. "He didn't really talk to me, but come here and I'll show you."
Grandpa Will in 1947 at the Cantner Homestead
In the Molly Belle Suite, she pointed to a picture she had laid on one of the dressers. "That's Grandpa Will. I know you don't remember him, but I sure do. Something told me to bring that picture with me, and last night I laid it here. I woke up about two p.m. and heard someone talking. I looked over, and Daddy was standing there with two women. He was pointing at the picture and telling them who it was. I'm pretty sure the two women were Alice and Belle, two of my aunts."
"But he didn't talk to you?"
"No," she said in a disappointed voice. "But then, I went back to sleep pretty quickly."
Grandpa only said one other thing to her the rest of the time she was here. We did glimpse him several times, and one of those times was in the living room where we were watching TV. There was a blond woman on there, talking about her company's wonderful insurance.
"I wonder if that woman knows how unattractive she is?" I asked Aunt Belle.
She burst out laughing. "Daddy just said, 'She's as ugly as a mud fence.' I haven't heard that saying for a long time. That was definitely Daddy we just saw standing over there."
Aunt Belle had to leave on Sunday, but we did spend our overnight at the Claiborne House on Friday the 13th.
Aunt Belle at Claiborne House
And yes, we encountered several ghosts. I'll report on some of those next week, although it may take more than one blog to tell about all of them. I even have some photos the owner shared with me.
See you then!
As to the writing, I'm working on the short story still. I cleared my plate while Aunt Belle was here, not even checking in on my email and Facebook pages as often as usual. But I'll work on it again this week. I've decided I really need to get my mailing list filled out, so I'll be giving this story away to people who sign up for it. If you're already on it, I'll send it to you, also. It will be a few weeks, though. I have to get a neat cover from Angela after I finish it.
Thanks to all of you who are buying Silent Prey, and also leaving reviews. Both the buys and the reviews are really helpful. I appreciate them from the bottom of my heart, and it's so very much fun to share my books with y'all!
See y'all soon.