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/

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…

Pandemic Fiction

So what’s on everyone’s mind? Yeah, so I’m going there too. I wrote a paranormal romance back in 2014, called The Melting. It turned into a trilogy – The Infection, The Progression and The Cohesion.

My pandemic started on some cruise ships touring what was left of the glaciers in Alaska. A centuries old virus thawed out with the melting of this ancient ice and infected the passengers and crew. When they left the ships, they took the plague around the world.

Sound familiar? Never thought of myself as psychic. In my tale, the survivors were changed, even enhanced and find each other to begin rebuilding civilization.

This story came to me as I stood on one of those very cruise ships in Alaska with my husband and saw the remnants left by the warming of the planet. I was astonished at how the glaciers had retreated and that was years ago.

Stay safe, keep up with the social distancing and hopefully things will begin to emerge by this time in May.

                           

Visiting My Imagination

I’m recently back from a vacation at Disney World with family and my five-year-old grandson. The perfect age for belief. I’ve done Disney many times, but this was the first time for the Star Wars section at Disney Hollywood. I’ve always been a big fan of science fiction and this was ambrosia to me.

 

  

Let me tell you, they did a fantastic job of creating the world I’ve seen on screen. Little imagination was necessary when wandering through the marketplace, seeing the Millennium Falcon and Darth Vadar’s ship. You were there and they left nothing that would take you out of the illusion. Yes, you could buy a Coke, but not in any bottle you’d recognize or with a logo you could read.

  

I’m not used to such a submersive experience into a supernatural world that I’ve visited for decades and I reveled in it. Stormtroopers wandered through, vendors were in perfect costume. Kylo Ren showed up with  his guards and interrogated several of the “innocent” bystanders.

All in all a delightful experience, my highest recs if you’re a Star Wars fan, or science fiction of any kind!

On a personal note – A New Time, 3rd in the Guardians of Now series is available for pre-order and goes live April 15!!

Supernatural Variety

Happy Valentine’s Month!

Paranormal Romance abounds in February. The end of my Rth Rising trilogy came out February 1, Rth Home, and Nancy Lee Badger’s Spark is being highlighted as well! One of things I love about the supernatural is now many variations there are.

                                     

Rth Home started out as science fiction, but when you’re on an unexplored planet you never know what’s going to happen. Spark is the story of a dragon shifter and his brothers. There’s no end to where you can go!

How cool is it that Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and The Stand by Stephen King are both in the same subgenre of supernatural or paranormal – of course one is an eternal love story while the other is classified horror. I’ve read both (multiple times!) and thoroughly enjoyed them.

                                            

It’s a never ending feast of variety whether your go-to is vampires or psychics or time travelers. I encourage you to spread your wings and try something you’ve never read before. Its the month for love, so find somewhere new to fall in love!

Rth Rising Series

My Rth Rising series is coming to an end. Rth Home  is available for pre-order and will go live on February 1. This is a science fiction/colonialization story that takes a slight paranormal twist. Hey, it’s my world! (Rth Rising is on sale for $.99 through January)

Rth Rising banner

In the first book, Rth Rising, Kat struggles with the restrictions of living under Puter—the computer that governs the colony, as Davd helps with the underground escape from the arcologies.

In the second book, Rth Claimed, the sabotage of Puter is uncovered and Castra, Kat’s aunt along with her protégé, attempt to correct the damage done and keep the colony viable.

Now in the third book, Rth Home, Ralt, Davd’s uncle coordinates true colonization. The exploration of the planet can finally begin, revealing things about the world they never knew.

Hope you’re having a great 2020!!

 

 

Happy Holidays!

Taking a short moment to wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas, Yule, Hanukah, and Kwanza. I hope 2019 was all you wanted and that 2020 will be even better!

      

It’s been a good year for me and a lot of that was due to you guys, reading and checking out my books—the best year I’ve ever had for selling my stories and I want to thank you! For 2020 I already know of two releases, both in the science fiction realm. The third and last book in the Rth Rising Series will release on February 1- Rth Home. And on April 15 (not tax day in my mind, but my 41st wedding anniversary!!) A New Time – the third and last book in the Guardians of Now Series will release. I know that Rth Home will be on Booksprout with some ARC copies available for review if you’d like a free read!

Don’t have the cover for A New Time yet, but here’s Rth Home.

Rth Home Cover - 6X9

Please be careful in your holiday travels, indulge judiciously and please meet me back here in January for some more supernatural works!

 

 

Celebrating Yule

I went online to do some research for my latest book and I’m going to share that information this month. It all borders on the supernatural and explains a lot of our traditions for this time of year. Yule is celebrated at the Midwinter Solstice, which is the shortest day of the year. Yule comes from the Germanic “Jul” and means “Wheel.” At Yule, we celebrate winter and the rebirth of the Sun, as it’s the day the sun (and light) begin to return and days to grow longer.

At Yule, we mourn the passing of the Old God who is the Lord of Winter.  This ancient God has many names, including Cernunnos, Odin, Harlequin, and Santa Claus. This God is portrayed as an old man, majestic and often jolly. Sometimes He is shown as a King in ermine-trimmed robes, other times He is shown as a Jester and called the King of Fools. The Old God is the Lord of Death and of the Spirit World and magic. He is the God of the forest, of animals, and of the hunt. Often, He is shown with antlers or horns.

This is a time of new beginnings both physically and spiritually, the wheel of the year has made a complete circle. The darkest night of winter is considered a good time for self-examination and discovering the “seeds” of spiritual growth or hindrance which are lying dormant within us.

The Yule moon of December is the only moon of the year that’s almost consistently claimed by the forces of light on Earth. A full moon whose metaphysical energies are dominated by the Spirit of Christmas as directed by the delightful demi-angel Santa Clause. This full moon is said to cause a peaceful effect.

Here are some of the superstitions –

December is the only month that traditions say older werewolves don’t transform and younger one become white and gentle.

Vampires beyond the 4th generation lose the urge for blood and younger ones become human during the time the moon is completely full.

Alfaheimr the land of Elves was inhabited by spirits who created the Sun. Including Elves in Yule ritual encourages them to rejuvenate the Sun and make it shine again.

Evergreens trees remained green throughout the winter they were thought to have power over death and could defeat winter demons roaming the earth and urge the coming of the Sun.

The vibrant green leaves and bright red berries of holly appear during the winter to symbolize rebirth.

Homes and holiday trees were decorated with candles to frighten away unwanted spirits and to encourage the Sun to shine.

To the Druids, the white berries of mistletoe symbolized semen of the Gods and was used to bring fertility and abundance. Hung over the doorway it protects from thunder, lightning and malicious evil.

 

In Holiday in Maine, my shifters have gathered to celebrate Yule. Please join them!

    

Ghoulies, Ghosties and Vampires, Oh My!

pumpkin in chairIt’s that time of year when the veil is thin and the eerie takes over. Halloween originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and disguise themselves with costumes to ward off ghosts. To outsmart these ghostly beings, people would put on masks when they left their homes after dark so that the ghosts would think they were fellow spirits.

That jack o’lantern you have on your porch dates back to the Celts. As part of their autumnal celebration, they wanted to light the way to their homes for the good spirits, so they carved faces into vegetables such as turnips and squash.

tombstone in treeThe Pilgrims banned the celebrating of Halloween in American due to its pagan roots. In fact, Halloween wasn’t celebrated here until 1845. One of the reasons for its resurgence here was the immigration of the Irish due to the Potato Famine of 1845-46 bringing the Druid holiday with them.

I admit, I love that so many of our traditions such as Halloween, Christmas and Easter come from pagan roots. They’ve been changed slightly, and most people are unaware of the origins, but I know and secretly smile.

If you’re into the eerie or mysterious, check out Before You or Learning Trust or Wraith’s Heart – with just a touch of the unexplained.

Before-you-flat-med-reso    Learning Trust cover for Amazon    Wraith's Heart final 6x9

Autumnal Equinox 2019

Fall is coming! Finally, the heat will break (hopefully), the world will turn bright colors and nature gets ready to hibernate. We get the Autumnal Equinox or Mabon. It starts getting dark earlier and there’s a spookiness that comes into being. You might want to look over your shoulder occasionally. Yes, it’s my favorite season of the year.

I’m celebrating this Fall with a new paranormal, shifter book. Budapest Fairy Tale is a story in the continuing Conall Clan series. It drops October 5. Having never planned to write shifters (or vampires) I found I’ve really enjoyed creating my own world with this. Yes, there are some werewolf myths that I’d tried to adhere to, but mainly these characters are the way I want that world to be. Just a little removed from the normal world, with many intersections. Marcel, who you met in book two–Family Ties—demanded his own book, and who was I to deny him. I’m working on another one after that. Yes, this different paranormal world on the fringes of “normal” really drew me in.

You already know how I love the paranormal. It’s always my go to first for reading and as we head into the end of the year, I recommend it highly. It’s the time of year to read Duma Key by Stephen King, or something by Heather Graham, or JR Ward, or Lara Adrian. Ghosts and things that go bump in the night are coming. No, it’s not Halloween yet but we’re headed that way.

I’d love recommendations from you on your favorites. So the TBR pile will grow some more, at least I’ll never get bored!

Happy Autumn!