Do You Believe?

This article was first seen in the Chicago North RWA Newsletter in November 2015.

Do you believe in ghosts? I do. Have you ever seen a ghost? I’m not sure if I have, but maybe. As a kid, there were lots of places in my house that gave me the creeps. You know, that feeling when the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end, because it feels like someone or something is watching. It’s that feeling that made me want to write ghost stories. I believe there is more to life after death than we know. I’m not alone in that belief either. The Huffington Post claims 45% of Americans believe in ghosts.

A couple of years ago, as I was writing Possession of the Heart, I had the chance to investigate a haunted house with a friend, Linda Legac who belonged to a ghost hunting society in Illinois, SHADE, Spirit Helpers and Demon Experts. During the investigation, I got the chance to use a variety of paranormal investigation tools: EVP recorder, K2 EMF meter, Ovulus, Laser grid. Ghost hunting was filled with hours of collecting images and sounds and just feeling the energy of the surroundings. As we sat in the dark, we stared at the walls speckled with green dots from the Laser grid waiting for a ghost to pass through. We talked into the silence, hoping to catch a disembodied response on the EVP recorder. We didn’t see any ghosts that night, but the Ovulus, a machine with a digital dictionary that calls off words with an electronic voice, said some interesting things. It repeated the name of one of the other investigators, and it said the words “danger,” “fire” and “down” each time we went into the basement. Kind of creepy, but we went down there anyway.

I love writing paranormal romance, but every time I’ve worked on my ghost stories, strange things have happened in my house. The lights have flickered or popped and burned out. Doors, which were closed, would be open. I’ve even had objects moved to different places. Maybe I forgot that I moved them, or maybe… just maybe it was a ghost. Once, I decided to turn a guest bedroom into a writing office. I thought this was a great idea. I would have a private workspace with a door. I brought in a small table, set up my laptop, and I put in my ear buds to settle into my writing. After a little while of writing and listening to music, I swear I heard a noise in my headphones. I’ve watched a lot of ghost shows, including some in which ghosts made noises through telephones, TVs, radios, and even through ear buds. Watching it on the television is a lot different than hearing it with your own ears. I ripped those headphones off so fast and have never written another word of my ghost stories alone in my “office” since.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Robert Frost. “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.” Though, for the Halloween season, I’ve changed the quote a little bit. When writing paranormal ghost stories, remember: No fears in the writer, no fears in the reader.

Don’t forget to check out Dyanne Davis’ post.

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