Spooky Reading

It’s that time of year, do you read horror? Of course now we have the master, Stephen King and others of his ilk, Dean Koontz, Heather Graham, and Clive Barker. But I’ve been reading these for years.

One of my favorites was Ira Levin – of course Rosemary’s Baby was probably his most famous. I read that back in 1967, or maybe Stepford Wives, ‘72. but I’d like to recommend The Boys from Brazil, ‘76 and This Perfect Day, ’70 also by Ira Levin. They’re sightly lesser known but every bit as good. In fact This Perfect Day is in my all-time top ten.

Another of my favorites has always been Norah Lofts. I can’t explain what it is about Norah’s work that leaves me feeling unsettled, but it happens every time. I guess Knight’s Acre, ‘75 is the one I’ve read the most, but Lover’s All Untrue, ’70, A Wayside Tavern, ’80 and Madselin, ’70 give the same eerie feeling. I wouldn’t say these books were horror but I’m not sure how to categorize them, except excellent. 

Of course horror goes back much farther than this, H.P. Lovecraft, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker. I’ve read Frankenstein by Shelley and Dracula by Stoker but not Lovecraft. I know, I can read King anytime, but not him.

Who are your favorites? Who scared the pants off you when you were a kid? I know my kids read R. L. Stine. Give me your recommendations.

I have a few with a spooky twist as well –

     

Scary October?

It has been a heck of a scary year and it isn’t over yet. Which brings us to October 2020. What is going on? Several medical issues for both me and hubby; his retirement; my temporary job at our local Board of Elections; no hugging my adult traveling son, my mom, or my sisters; thinking of how to have Thanksgiving dinner in our small house while keeping six people six feet apart.

Hmm… how do I keep sane? I read (well, I write books as well) but reading is my escape from the news and the worries. Since this is a supernatural-genre blog, I will remind you of my Clan of Dragon series. These four books are filled with shape-shifting brothers and their quest to find human mates while living among the clouds of the Scottish island of Skye.

All four books are available in ebook and print. I also offer AUTOGRAPHED print books direct from me (Christmas is around the corner!) Find all buy links HERE

*HOT NEWS! Heaven-sent Flame is now available IN PRINT!

…and stay safe.

Nancy Lee Badger

It’s Fall!

Now it’s coming back – September, Fall, cooler weather, the slight spooky to the atmosphere heading toward the dark of the year—and my favorite time, despite the resurgence of pumpkin spice. No offense but give me apple cider and cinnamon any time.

The shadows grow longer, the dark comes earlier and yes! The heat breaks. I’m not a hot weather, sit in the sun kind of girl, besides I blister in the shade when it comes to tanning.

The Pagan calendar comes alive with the Full Corn Moon on the 1st, Mabon on the 22nd, Haustblot on the 22nd, and Autumn Equinox also on the 22nd.

National Ghost Hunting day is the last Saturday in the month (assuming they have it again this year) – https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-ghost-hunting-day-october-1/. If you’re in San Antonio check out the haunted Victoria’s Black Swann Inn. In Philadelphia you could visit the Mutter Museum (now that really was creepy). The New York Finger Lakes specialize in the spooky if you’re in that area – https://www.fingerlakes.org/haunted-happenings-and-events-finger-lakes. In North Carolina Asheville has the Haunted Ghost Tours as well as Hillsborough. Colorado Haunted History near the Arapaho National Forest sounds interesting. See, they’re everywhere and probably near you.

Of course all of these might be on hiatus for this year due to other spooky things but put them on your list for next year. The ghosts aren’t going anywhere, obviously, and if it is happening, there will probably be smaller crowds.

In the meantime, you can read about the spooky. There’s lots out there. Mine can be found here.  Enjoy and get in the spirit!

      

 

September 2020 – How Things Have Changed

In a normal pre-COVID-19 world, September would find children starting a new school year, college football practice would be in full swing, and those well-attended Homecoming games would fill the air on college campuses with cheers, boos, and happy screams. Not so, this year.

September denotes the beginning of autumn, when tourists normally take trips through states such as Michigan, Vermont, and New Hampshire to gaze at the lovely colors of the changing leaves. Hotels would be overflowing with guests. Cars filled with families would be touring highways in droves. Less, this year.

Labor Day barbecues would find dozens of people gathered together to enjoy the last great holiday weekend of the summer. Grandparents Day would be observed with grandchildren hugging their grandparents while their own parents stood by and smiled. Keeping masked and six-feet apart is not so celebratory.

Everything changes, it seems. As the pandemic races back and forth across the United States, we should all do our best to keep everyone safe. Will this end? Who knows, but keeping healthy, active, and happy will bring us back to normal someday. I hope.

Shimmer: The Beginning

In the meantime, read a book and escape. such as downloading the ebook prequel to my Clan of Dragons series, Shimmer: The Beginning at Amazon and many other on-line book stores. Give it a try and escape to a world of fantasy, fairies, dragons, and romance. Stay safe!

BUY LINKS HERE

Nancy Lee Badger

The Psychic Feeling

If you’ve read any of my books, you know I like to go for that paranormal twist, subtle sometimes but there. I’m drawn to those stories where the mind has reached a new level, possibly the next level, and can communicate on this new level.

Whether it’s a child, like in Small Changes, an alien, as in Alien Embrace, an Alpha, in Don’t Look Back or just an evolution change nudge like The Melting, this has always fascinated me. I’ve gone full-on psychic in Learning Trust and now in my latest book, coming September 1 – Hazardous to the Touch.

I personally don’t have such powers though after all these years, I usually know what hubs is thinking or going to say. We can no longer play Twenty Questions because we know the answer before we get started. Now if I could have done that with my kids . . . I do have hunches and like most people, I know when eyes are on me. It’s that next step I want to see. I would think it would be harder to obscure the truth then or maybe advertise products or ideas. Wouldn’t that be a boon to mankind.

Both of my Grandmothers had a touch of it. Grandmother had eight children, six of them went to war in WWII and as far as she knew were out of the country. One day without warning, the backdoor opened and she said, “Is that you, Charles?” She had a one in eight chance and got it first time. I can’t even get the correct kid’s name out and I only have two. Momma Corey had a little more of it. On at least two occasions she was taking her afternoon nap with her hearing aids out. She was quite deaf (unless you didn’t want her to hear you) and I’d say sound asleep. Both times the phone rang in the kitchen (we didn’t have extensions in her part of the house). The first time to say her sister had passed away, the second that a son-in-law had died. On both occasions she woke up, came into the kitchen and said, “Was that about Sally?” and “Was that about Pat?” Momma was blown away both times. I witnessed these events, but they were not talked about in front of Momma. Daddy thought them fascinating too, so he and I sneaked around and discussed them at my level (age 6 and 8). I’d love to redo that conversation now.

Do you have experiences like these? I love to hear about them.

The Dog Days of August

watermelon and beer
Sweet Alcoholic Watermelon Beer in a Pint Glass

August 3rd is National Watermelon Day …and I will enjoy several slices!

August 7 is International Beer Day …but I will have to miss that, my doctor says.

August 16th is the Battle of Bennington Day. This battle of the American Revolutionary war, part of the Saratoga campaign, occurred back in 1777. Most people thought it took place in Bennington, Vermont (itself, a lovely town) but actually occurred in Walloomsac, New York. My family and I had the privilege to attend the 225th anniversary. Soldiers and tents and women taking care of the injured men as well as cannons filling the air with thunder was thrilling. War is never to be celebrated, but my boys needed to see this.

August is also know for being celebrated all 31 days as:

Black Business Month… please support each and every one.

National Back to School Month. During this COVID-19 pandemic, I feel for the parents struggling with whatever their government decides about how their children will be schooled.

On a lighter note, how will you celebrate National Sandwich Month? How about a bacon, lettuce, and tomato on whole wheat toast sandwich? Yum!

Best of all, the entire month is

Romance Awareness Month

and with this on my mind, please check out all the books published by ‘lil ole me!

Warriors in Bronze

My Office & 29 Covers!

 

FIND ALL BUY LINKS HERE

Have a safe and pleasant August!

Nancy Lee Badger

 

 

Ghosts of UNCG – Part 2

Returning to UNCG for more weird happenings – I want to recognize Hermann Trojanowski, Universitites Libraries for a lot of this information.  He retired in June, 2013 but prior to that he led an annual ghost tour of the campus and is the leading expert. I’m sure there isn’t one this year, but I’ve heard the tradition continues.

Mary Foust Hall, sister dorm to Guilford was named for Mary Foust Armstrong, daughter of the college’s second president, Julius Isaac Foust, and built in 1928.  Mary was a member of the class of 1920. She died in childbirth in 1925. There are tales that her ghost came to reside in the dormitory that bears her name. Rumors have been around for years about random “unexpected crying” and “funny noises” on the hall’s second floor. Mary Foust’s portrait, which had hung above the fireplace, disappeared some time back without a trace. Another rumor about Mary Foust Hall was that in the 1950s, three nursing students hanged themselves from the rafters in the attic.  I cannot confirm any of these rumors, but my nephew lived there his freshman year, so I’ll check with him and let you know.

Checked with my daughter about the old Aycock Auditorium, as she was a drama student at UNCG, and she had a great story. She wasn’t there, but her high school drama teacher talked about a night he was working late and was the last to leave the building. As he was ready to walk out he heard one of the seats go down. This is one of those venues where you push the seat down and it automatically goes up when you rise. He knew he was alone so he stepped back inside to check and all of the seats in the auditorium lowered and went back up. He got the hell out of there.

I really enjoyed this research since I was on campus for over 26 years. For more paranormal, check out Before You

 

Ghosts of UNCG – Part 1

I lived on the UNCG campus four years and worked on it for twenty-two, so I know the campus pretty well. That said, I’ve never actually seen a ghost on campus, but I have heard the tales. Thought I’d share some of them with you.

My freshman year I lived in South Spencer. In the late ‘60’s (before my time!) there was talk of the Blue Ghost. Later (after I left) she was named Annabelle possibly for Poe’s Annabel Lee, but I can’t confirm that. She was the spirit of a student who was supposed to have hanged herself in one of the bell towers (they are in North Spencer, but it is all one building). She would appear in the parlor as a blue haze passing by. Some said they heard the dragging of something across the floor. In the ‘80s two different staff members were awakened when she walked into their rooms. Since the building was closed for vacation and no one else was there . . .

There’s also Jane Aycock, who haunts the former Aycock Auditorium. Some said she was the daughter of Governor Aycock for whom the building was originally name, however none of his nine children were named Jane. Regardless, this spirit was supposed to have hanged herself from the fly-loft over the stage. When the auditorium was 50 years old and getting ready to reopen after renovations, the drama majors began a tradition of introducing their favorite ghost to new students. An unsuspecting freshman would be handed a lighted candle and directed to the stairs leading to the attic, where Jane liked to hang out (pun intended). There is a place where a draft will blow out the candle. Then the freshman has to wait for her eyes to adjust but she will eventually spot a human shape in the darkness. Screams usually followed, because luminescent paint on a manikin from the prop shop always works . . .

But there is real documentation of the ghost. Raymond Taylor, theatre professor from 1921 to 1960 gave an interview regarding his personal experiences with Jane – “at one time a sort of colonial mansion stood on the corner where Aycock [Auditorium] is. There dwelt in this mansion an old lady all alone. After a while she became extremely unhappy about her lonely state and went up in the attic and suspended herself from a rope on the rafters. Having committed suicide there, she determined to stay on as a ghost. When they tore down the building, she haunted the area for a long time until Aycock was finally built, and then she adopted that for her home. She seemed, when I knew her to delight in the upper reaches of Aycock foyer where she assumed the guise of the lights that flitted from ceiling place to ceiling place and dragging chains and clanking objects over the floor down in the lobby up to my office door.”

Taylor would often hear strange sounds that he’d try to write off as the echoes of passing cars or trains while working alone at night in the auditorium. One very hot day, though, Taylor and a janitor decided to remove some of their clothing so that they could work comfortably on the set of an upcoming play. Taylor had left his clothes in a neat pile on the second floor of the building. During the afternoon, a large thunderstorm rolled through. After the storm was over and Taylor had finished working for the day, he went upstairs to redress and found that his clothes had been thrown all over the room, and his watch chains had been arranged on the table to form a cross. After this incident, Taylor had no doubt that the Aycock ghost had visited him.

More to come (hey, it’s a old campus!) and for those who really dig paranormal – Dianne Duvall’s Immortal Guardian series takes place on the North Carolina campuses including UNCG. I have to admit, that explains so much of what I suspected about the campus!

My own ghost story – Wraith’s Heart is available at Amazon!Wraith's Heart final 6x9 https://www.steelestories.com/books/wraiths-heart/

National Hug Your Cat Day

by Nancy Lee Badger

My cat BlazeThe rumor is that ancient Egyptians revered cats. I have always spoiled mine. The ancients saw them as symbols of grace and poise, and I agree they are agile felines, less angular or bulky than dogs and other pets. They can be aloof and will ignore you, then surprise you.

The other day, I sat on my living room couch to read. Normally, I am working in my office or in the den watching TV. Was it the quiet of the room that made Blaze hop up and stretch out near me? He looked much younger than his twelve years at that moment. Kittens are fluffy and fun to watch, but the love of a mature cat is priceless (and rarely visualized).

Blaze on the couch

 

I have neglected adding a cat to my recent novels. They can be a great addition to a paranormal plot, especially black ones. My latest stories are filled with horses and a particularly beautiful white Samoyed breed of dog, so maybe it is time to rethink cats. In the meantime, check out my series Warriors in Bronze.The holiday lands on June 4th each year, so do not forget to hug your cat and enjoy a purrrfectly fine week!

p.s. We named him Blaze for 2 reasons: the white slash across his nose, and because of our stint years earlier as volunteer firefighters.

Find all BUY LINKS for my books HERE

Warriors in Bronze

A Lot of People Believe

We’re not alone in exploring, or even liking the Supernatural and Paranormal. We’ve got good company.

Did you know that soon after World War II, Winston Churchill visited the White House when he is said to have had an uncanny experience? After a long bath with a Scotch and cigar, he reportedly walked into the adjoining bedroom, only to be met by the ghost of Abraham Lincoln. Unflappable, even while completely naked, Churchill apparently announced, “Good evening, Mr. President. You seem to have me at a disadvantage.” The spirit then smiled and vanished.

The pioneering computer theorist, Alan Turing was a believer in telepathy after he had a vivid vision of the violent death of his child shortly before it happened, a sad example of clairvoyance.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle enthusiastically embraced the Cottingly Fairies hoax in 1917. He always said that the alleged sprites represented a primitive life form and so didn’t strike him as evidence of an afterlife rather more of a traditional spirit. He kept drawings that his father had done of them around his home.

More recent examples include Dale Earnhardt, Jr. He spoke of his wreck in 2004 in Sonoma. “It caught fire, somebody pulled me out of that car.”

“I thought that it was a corner worker because I felt somebody put their hands under my armpits and pull me out of the car,” Earnhardt Jr. said “I didn’t get out. I don’t have any memory of myself climbing out of the car. I remember sort of moving, like going to lean forward and try to climb out of the car, and then something grabbed me under the armpits, pulled me up over the door bars and  let go of me. And I fell to the ground. There’s pictures of me laying on the ground next to the car. I know that when I got to the hospital, I was like, ‘Who pulled me out of the car? I gotta say thanks to this person,’ because it was a hand! It was physical hands grabbing me! I felt it. And there was nobody there.”

And then there’s Laura Linney, the actress became a believer after meeting one of the famed ghosts of Broadway’s Belasco Theater. “It’s absolutely haunted,” she told James Corden on the Late Late Show of her former workplace. “I was not a believer. I had been told about the ghosts at the Belasco. There was a mysterious death of a chorus girl [at the theater]. Legend is that final dress rehearsals is when the ghosts come out. I had forgotten this, and I was doing a play with Jane Alexander, and I turned to Jane, and I looked up to the upper balcony—there are two balconies there—and the upper balcony you can only get in from the outside, and those doors were locked; and I looked up, and there was a woman standing in the front row looking over with a blue dress and blonde hair. I just thought, ‘Well, hello!’ I looked at Jane, and I looked back up, and she was gone.” Linney was further convinced that it had been a paranormal experience when she confronted the theater’s house manager. “I went to the house manager and I said, ‘Joe, I think I saw a ghost.’ And he went, ‘male or female?’ I said, ‘female.’ And he went, ‘blue dress, blonde hair?’

Things that can’t be explained happen all the time. I’m sure this recent quaratine will bring even more. Tell us about yours!

And check out Before You, the paranormal is believed around the world…