Friday, October 28, 2011
Seven Days of Spooks–Day One
I’m very excited to be releasing a new Halloween story! YIPPEE!! Check out my awesome cover! Okay, I’ll quit with the exclamation points. I’m just happy dancing!!!!!
To celebrate, I thought I’d do seven days of true ghost stories. I shared mine for the Spook-A-Licious Blog Hop so I’ve requested some volunteers to share their stories. For the first post, I thought I’d share some of the inspiration for Ghosts in the Graveyard (Available now for $1.99 at Astraea Press and soon on amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com).
First, a little history (don’t worry, VERY little history) about Halloween. The word Halloween is first mentioned in the 16th century and represents a Scottish variant of the fuller All-Hallows-Even. See, told you the history part would be minimal. One thing I found interesting when I was researching Halloween (besides how far back it dated – 1556) for my book, is some of the cool games. We all know bobbing for apples, dressing up in costumes and going trick-or-treating, but I was fascinated by some of the other games I read about.involved forms of divination. A traditional Scottish form of divining one's future spouse is to carve an apple in one long strip then toss the peel over one's shoulder. The peel is believed to land in the shape of the first letter of the future spouse's name. Unmarried women were told that if they sat in a darkened room and gazed into a mirror on Halloween night, the face of their future husband would appear in the mirror. However, if they were destined to die before marriage, a skull would appear. This was so popular, it was commemorated on a greeting card.
And the most popular tradition for Halloween is the telling of ghost stories and viewing of horror films, which leads me to how a real-life experience inspired a scene in Ghosts in the Graveyard.
A little back story, when my sister and I were about nine and ten respectively, we became obsessed with horror movies. At the time, one of the local television stations played scary movies all night on Friday and Saturday. She and I would sneak into the living room after our parents were asleep and watch the horror movie marathon until we couldn’t take it anymore. On one such night, one of the movies really freaked us out. Neither of us can remember the name of the show, but we both remember when this woman—this DEAD woman—got up off a gurney and I swear it looked like she was going to run through the TV and get us. I will NEVER forget the way that woman’s eyes looked.
Well, my sister and ran screaming to our parents’ room, burst through the door, and dove on the bed. Did I mention we were screaming the whole time. I think Mom and Dad were more frightened than we were. Did we ever get lectured to. For at least an hour.
We were sent to bed. Our parents grudgingly allowed us to leave the light on and told to stay there for the rest of the night.
This next part is what I added in the book. I’m not sure how long it took us to fall asleep, but my sister woke me in the middle of the night because she had to go to the restroom, couldn’t wait, and was too afraid to go alone. So, I went with her. I think that walk to the restroom was the longest of my life. We made it and then we were too afraid to leave. We were closer to my parents’ room than ours and talked about going in there and sleeping on the floor, but we didn’t want to get into trouble. We sat in the bathroom all night, too scared to go to back to our room. Believe me when I tell you that cured me and my sister of those late night horror movies.
Okay, so it mostly cured me. What really cured me was a movie I watched with my husband after he had to have major hernia surgery. They ended up having to cut him open from his belly button to his side and ha was off work for eight weeks. I rented us some movies. I’m a huge Kevin Bacon fan and there was a new movie out called Stir of Echoes. I honestly didn’t realize it was that much of a scary show. I mean the description said after a guy’s hypnotized he starts seeing visions. I’m thinking he’s psychic and seeing visions of how the girl died.
If you want to jump out of your skin, that’s the movie to make you do it! My husband had his blanket pulled up to his chin, white-knuckling it, eyes wide. Scared the crap out of both of us. I was cured! Even thinking about that movie gives me the heebie jeebies!
But I still love true tales of the supernatural and I had a lot of fun writing this book. I hope all of you enjoy it to. I’m going to offer a PDF of Ghosts in the Graveyard to TWO lucky commenters each day of my Seven Days of Spooks blog posts! Just leave a comment with your email and if you have a ghost story, I’d love to hear it!
*Disclaimer: Greeting card picture and Halloween information obtained from wikipedia.com