This post is dedicated to the memory of my dear friend the late Sharon Donovan, a romantic suspense author, who loved Halloween and telling spooky stories. She would always have several special posts for Halloween during the month of October and would enthral her readers with ghostly tales. She is sorely missed by everyone who knew and loved her, and I miss her even more at this time of year!
As for spooky tales, I had an eerie experience some years ago when I was attending a writing weekend at an old mansion known as Gregynnog, in Wales.
I attended a writing workshop at the mansion. We were told there was a legend that the house was haunted by a lady whose family used to own it but who lost their money and had to leave. Apparently she returned to the house after she died because she loved it so much. I felt nothing but a warm, welcoming presence, not cold or frightening at all. I slept soundly at night and enjoyed exploring the house and extensive grounds, and writing in the large, comfortable music room.
I took a photo of a friend standing beside a large stone hand in the garden, and he took one of me. When they were printed the one of him was fine, nice and clear and sharp. The one of me, taken seconds later, with the same camera, showed a mist in the bushes behind me and the shadowy figure of a lady in a long flowing dress. It wasn't easy to see unless you looked really hard, and it was another friend who first spotted it. The figure eventually faded over time, although it was still visible if you knew where to look.
I would add that I’m not the only one who has had strange experiences regarding this beautiful old house and a reflection of a lady in a long, flowing dress has been seen in the river beneath a small bridge, near the entrance to Gregynnog, accompanied by a sudden strong wind where previously all had been calm.
To end with, I thought I'd share an excerpt from my very first Wild Rose Press novel 'Starquest', which I think has a really 'spooky' feel to it, although it's SF romance rather than witches or vampires! My heroine is stranded on an uninhabited planet with her companion who has been badly wounded. She keeps guard during the night, watching over him and trying to tend to his wounds, but has a feeling they are not alone.
Then tiny, dancing pinpoints of light appear...
EXCERPT FROM STARQUEST
After a while I decided it was just marsh gas, but as I watched I became aware that the 'flames' were orderly. They moved in groups of threes and fours, gliding in straight lines and then circling to retrace their steps in what seemed to be a methodical fashion, as no Will o' the Wisp ever did. I began to feel I was in the presence of something malevolent...evil. Then I heard the voices. Strange, unearthly voices, which had nothing to do with flesh and blood.
"Take the male," they hissed, "while he yet lives. Before the life-force within him dies and is of no use to us."
"Wait. The female is stronger," came another voice. "Stay until she sleeps. Then will be our chance, and we can take them both."
I reached for my blaster, by now fully charged, and fired a steady beam in the direction of the 'flames.' When I laid down the gun there was nothing, only the darkness. Had the voices been in my imagination, or was it a dream? But I knew I had not slept. Trying to recall the experience, as I record this, I realise they did not speak in words at all. Yet I had understood... I've always loved the night, the beauty of the darkened, star-filled skies. Here, however, on this forsaken and perilous planet, it is menacing, with the sense of something lurking, lying in wait.
You can purchase Starquest
TRICK OR TREAT
I'm offering a free download of any of my books, or a $5 Wild Rose Press Gift Certificate to someone who comments on my blog between today and 1st November I'll pick the winner with the Random Generator and announce the name on November 2nd - and don't forget the Snarkology Blog Hop Grand Prize of $100 - enter below
The other Blogs taking part in this blog hop are in the link below. Visit them all on a virtual 'trick or treat'for the greatest chance of winning and most of them are offering their own prize as well!
'STARQUEST' 'CHILDREN OF THE MIST' (The sequel to Starquest)
Dancing With Fate 'Freeread': 'A BARGAIN WITH DEATH