Tag Archive | ghost story

Catherine Cavendish – WAKING THE ANCIENTS

Spinner of terrifying tales of ghosts and restless spirits, Catherine Cavendish has a new book of creeping dread for fans old and new. Today, I let her haunt my blog with a little something she calls, THE PEDLAR AND THE DEVIL….

 

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I have set a large part of Waking the Ancients in Vienna, Austria where many ghosts and restless spirits walk among the verdant parks and lavish palaces. But Austrian ghosts do not confine themselves to their nation’s imperial capital. They can be found in towns, cities, villages and the depths of the countryside all over this beautiful land.

In the beautiful mountainous region of Tyrol, many legends and myths abound. One curious one involves a spectral game of bowls.

A pedlar became lost on the side of the mountain as darkness fell. Disorientated, he kept going until he came to the ancient ruined castle of Starkenberg. There, exhausted, he decided to take shelter for the night and laid down to sleep in the remains of a great hall. He slept for some hours, waking to hear the clock of a nearby village strike midnight. To his astonishment, as the last chime echoed across the rocks, twelve ghostly figures, clad in full armour, manifested in the room and proceeded to play a game of bowls – only they used skulls instead of balls.

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As luck would have it, the pedlar was quite a bowls player himself. In fact he was the champion of his village. Also, being made of sterner stuff, he offered to play each of the spirits in turn. He was quite surprised when his challenge was accepted. One by one he defeated them all and quite expected to be met with anger as a result. Quite the reverse. To his astonishment, the spectral army congratulated him and gave whoops of joy. They told him that now he had beaten them, they could be released from purgatory. As soon as they said this, they vanished, leaving the pedlar alone. He looked all around, trying to discover where they had gone but to no avail. Then, ten more ghostly knights appeared, each through a different door which they locked carefully behind them. They brought the keys to the pedlar and gave them to him saying he must now determine which was the right key for each door.

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All the keys and all the doors were identical – or appeared to be. The pedlar accepted the challenge and it took him quite a while but he successfully accomplished the task and the ten ghostly figures thanked him profusely, assuring him that his actions had also released them from purgatory, before they too vanished.

Things were all going a bit too well up to now and the pedlar was feeling delighted with himself. His confidence knew no bounds.

But then the devil himself appeared, in a foul temper. He castigated the pedlar for robbing him of twenty two souls and declared that his soul must be forfeit instead. The brave (or exceptionally foolhardy) pedlar argued and declared he would play the devil one game of bowls to decide whether his soul should be forever damned and belong to Lucifer, or whether he should be allowed to go free.

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Once again, the pedlar triumphed and beat his evil counterpart soundly. As soon as the first cock crowed in the morning, the devil launched himself into the air with scorching sulfur breath that burned the grass where he had been. He took off, his massive wings beating the air, leaving the pedlar triumphant.

Needless to say, the pedlar told anyone who was prepared to listen about his extraordinary night on the mountain. No one believed him of course, until they too trekked up to the castle…and saw the burned and withered grass, exactly as the pedlar had described it.

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Waking the Ancients

Legacy In Death

Egypt, 1908

University student Lizzie Charters accompanies her mentor, Dr. Emeryk Quintillus, on the archeological dig to uncover Cleopatra’s tomb. Her presence is required for a ceremony conducted by the renowned professor to resurrect Cleopatra’s spirit—inside Lizzie’s body. Quintillus’s success is short-lived, as the Queen of the Nile dies soon after inhabiting her host, leaving Lizzie’s soul adrift . . .

Vienna, 2018

Paula Bancroft’s husband just leased Villa Dürnstein, an estate once owned by Dr. Quintillus. Within the mansion are several paintings and numerous volumes dedicated to Cleopatra. But the archeologist’s interest in the Egyptian empress deviated from scholarly into supernatural, infusing the very foundations of his home with his dark fanaticism. And as inexplicable manifestations rattle Paula’s senses, threatening her very sanity, she uncovers the link between the villa, Quintillus, and a woman named Lizzie Charters.

And a ritual of dark magic that will consume her soul . . .

You can find Waking the Ancients here:

Kensington Press

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Apple

Google

Kobo

About the Author:

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Following a varied career in sales, advertising and career guidance, Catherine Cavendish is now the full-time author of a number of paranormal, ghostly and Gothic horror novels, novellas and short stories. Cat’s novels include the Nemesis of the Gods trilogy – Wrath of the Ancients, Waking the Ancients and Damned by the Ancients, plus The Devil’s Serenade, The Pendle Curse and Saving Grace Devine. She lives with her long-suffering husband, and a black cat who has never forgotten that her species used to be worshipped in ancient Egypt. She sees no reason why that practice should not continue. Cat and her family divide their time between Liverpool and a 260-year-old haunted apartment in North Wales.

You can connect with Cat here:

Catherine Cavendish

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A Very Haunted Plantation – Interview With Author Pamela Morris

Happy Halloween, my Hellions! I have a little something to shiver your timbers on this most important day of the year.

I was blessed to have been sent a copy of a hell of a ghostly tale, No Rest For The Wicked, by Pamela Morris. After reading the first chapter, I quickly added it to my already packed Horrortober reading list. Let me tell you, this one sucked me right in and had me reading late into the night. I loved it so much, I immediately reached out to Pamela for an interview. Enjoy an interview with a horror author on the rise and her brush with an actual ghost, order the book, slip into your costumes and enjoy the night.


No Rest for the Wicked is one of the best ghost/haunted house books I’ve read in a while. Why don’t you give my readers the elevator pitch on what the book is about and your inspiration for writing it.

There’s always some sort of tragedy behind every ghost story, and with research we think we know what that story is. My take is that that’s not always true. Sometimes those restless spirits would rather those researchers stop poking around and leave matters alone. Some ghosts will go to great lengths to see that their secrets don’t get out. NRFTW reveals what those secrets are at Greenbrier Plantation, and not just through human investigation, but as told by the ghosts themselves.

A lot of things inspired this book. Mainly it was my life-long love of ghost stories and haunted houses, and the efforts of a friend of mine who wanted to write a ghost story from the perspective of the ghosts. When I asked him if he minded my nabbing the concept, he was completely cool with the idea. There may or may not have been literary revenge in there for a number of failed relationships in my past, too. Beau and Lucy aren’t new characters for me. They’ve been around for about ten years in my erotica titles. When I started considering a ghost story, they seemed the most likely culprits. They’ve had a love-hate relationship from day one. It was perfect for what I had in mind.

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One of the things I liked most about the book is your ability to create very strong characters. I was totally invested in Eric and Grace’s relationship, which made what happened to them all the more intense. Are they based on anyone you know? I got a kind of newlywed feel about them, which seems appropriate considering you’re a newlywed. There’s some damn good sexy time in those pages!

I wrote the first three chapters of the book almost a full year before I met my new husband Jim, who, oddly enough, turned out to be A LOT like how I described Eric. As the story went on, I found myself adding small traits of my then-boyfriend to Eric, including his total disbelief in ghosts. Some of the dialogue between Grace and Eric is lifted from real conversations Jim and I have had. I guess you could say Grace is a bit like me in that she’s a total believer in ghosts and all gung-ho about living in a haunted house until the sh*t hits the fan, so to speak. As for the sexy bits, well, I considered those a lot. How much did I want to put in? I didn’t want this to be another erotica, but I needed to show the shift in dynamics between Grace and Eric. Their genuine love for each other and their intimate life seemed the best route to take.

Another standout in the book is how much attention you give the spirits living in the old Greenbrier Plantation. They have fully formed lives in the afterlife, complete with secrets and fears and aspirations. You don’t see that very often. What made you decide to make your ghosts such fully fleshed, so to speak, characters?

The story of a haunted house is the story of its ghosts, not just the living people trying to find them. Without the ghosts, there is no story. Beau and Lucy have been ‘flesh and blood’ people to me for ten years. It wasn’t hard to turn them into ghosts knowing their history together. Creating secrets, fears, and aspirations for Beau as a spirit, given the type of person he was in life, was pretty easy. Lucy had always been a challenge to Beau while they were living, so why not carry that over to the extreme in the afterlife? With them so fully fleshed out, I had to give Sadie as much depth and meaning as I could. She is, after all, the catalyst behind a lot of what happened as far as them becoming ghosts.

The third and final act involves twin ghost hunters who help Grace and Eric, along with historian Sully. I get the feeling you may have done some ghost hunting yourself. Or was the way they conducted their investigation solely inspired by the ghost hunting shows on TV? Aaaand, which of those shows is your favorite and which one makes you roll your eyes?

My best friend since 4th Grade grew up in a haunted house and we had some very weird experiences there. One of my grandmothers was interested in Spiritualism, so I guess you could say I grew up knowing of and believing in the Spirit World. I used to be a devoted follower of all the ghost hunting shows. “Ghost Hunters” is probably my favorite (Hunter’s note – GH was must see TV for me for the first 7 years of the show. Never, ever missed an episode). I’ve never investigated as you see them doing on TV, but I have been involved in séances and Ouija board sessions, and taken my camera into supposedly haunted, or at the very least very spooky, locations. I have some pictures of great interest, too. The attitude that WhiSPeR takes in the book is based a lot on a paranormal research group based very close to where I live. They do a weekly podcast type program and some of the things they’ve discussed about what’s actually involved in being a ghost investigator made its way into the book. As for the one that makes my eyes roll, it has to be “Ghost Adventures”. Zac just cracks me up too much to take him seriously.

If you were given the opportunity to live in a haunted location for a year, say the Myrtles Plantation, would you do it, or do you prefer to view ghosts from afar?

Hell, yes! Where do I sign up? Villisca Axe Murder House? I’m there. The Stanley Hotel, yes, please! (Hunter again – I might skip Villisca!)

Have you ever experienced something that folks would consider supernatural?

Yes. I once saw full-body apparition in broad daylight. And, as I mentioned earlier, my best friend since grade school grew up in a haunted house and things were definitely going on there. I’ve heard things at other locations like what sounded like an old woman humming and I’ve taken a few pictures that appear to have images of ghosts in them. In fact, the house I’ve been living in since 1995 is haunted, just ask my ex-husband and my kids! We’ve all experienced something and on several occasions, two people heard the same thing… twice. The current husband, like Eric, remains skeptical.

What will you be doing this Halloween? Any favorite movies or books that you revisit this time of the year?

When my kids were young we would go full out decorating the house. It was built in 1886, so old and big and spooky. We’d select a theme then invite a couple friends over to help us traumatize the children who dared visit. We’ve done a Psycho Circus with evil clowns. We’ve done vampires and zombies. My living room was once transformed into a funeral parlor, my dining room was occupied by a witchy-gypsy type fortune teller and there was a crazy, blood-covered girl sitting on the kitchen floor rocking her doll one year. All kinds of weirdness. A teenage girl run screaming from the house once. Good times. We’d get close to 100 Trick-or-Treaters every year back then. Lately, that’s slowed down A LOT! Last year I got twelve. I still decorate, but not like we used to. I’ll put the TV on Chiller or SyFy that night, whichever offers the better movie, and hand out candy. This weekend I plan on watching my favorite horror movie, the original version of “The Haunting” (Hunter for the last time – The Haunting is my favorite ghost movie!) and maybe some good old “Dracula AD 1972” with Christopher Lee.

What’s coming up next and where can people go to learn more about you and your wonderful books?

I just wrapped up the second draft of my novel “Dark Hollow Road” about a month ago. It scares me to think where this thing came from out of my psyche. There are two storylines going on. The odd-numbered chapters start in rural Pennsylvania in 1948 as a first person narrative. Mary Alice Brown, then eight years old, is describing her life with three younger siblings and a father that grows abusive after the death of his wife. The even-numbered chapters are contemporary and focus around six-year-old Brandon Evenson. Brandon lives within sight of the now abandoned house Mary Brown grew up in. Freaky things start to happen, and no one in town can verify what happened to Mary other than she hasn’t been seen since the late 1970s. Some say she’s dead. Some say she moved to Scranton to be with family. Some would rather you just not ask so many questions.


ABOUT PAMELA MORRIS

Folks can find me at my website www.pamelamorrisbooks.com as well as on Twitter @pamelamorris65.

I post a lot over on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/PamelaMorrisBooks/ and all my books are available online through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Or, you can walk into any bookstore and have a copy ordered. And no, I did not write the Sex Games title that’s going to come up when you do an author search at either site.

BIO:

pamBorn in New Mexico, but raised in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York, Pamela prefers a quiet, rural life to that of the city. She has always loved mysteries and the macabre. Combining the two in her own writing, along with her love for historic research and genealogy, came naturally. Hours spent watching ‘Monster Movie Matinee’, ‘Twilight Zone’, ‘Night Stalker’, a myriad of Hammer Films, and devouring one Stephen King book after another probably helped, too. Outside of her work as a novelist, Pamela has written several historic articles for the Tioga County Courier, an Owego, NY newspaper and was a US Civil War reenactor for close to ten years. She has also written for The Good Men Project, an online magazine whose focus is on all manner of men’s issues.

A Video Preview of Island of the Forbidden

You know I can’t have a book release without the Monster Men discussing it over beers and peanuts (both off camera, of course). Get the inside scoop on Island of the Forbidden and how it relates to Sinister Entity and Forest of Shadows. When I wrote this one, I added a bunch of horror movie references. Jack and I discuss a few of the horror clues peppered throughout the book.

You’ll find that the little island I’ve created is no safe place for the likes of Gilligan and the Skipper. If you like a good ghost story with teeth, this is it.

Note on the set my favorite Christmas present – actual drive-in movie speakers! I have a dream of building a working mini drive-in in my yard some day. All will be welcome to watch classic flicks under the stars.

It’s a cold and windy day here in the northeast. With the wind, it’s been below zero for a few days. A perfect day to just sit and write and look at the ice and snow outside my window. I’m working on a new cryptid novel right now. The manuscript and I are in the honeymoon phase where everything is peaches and cream. That should end in a week or so, then it’s on to the real work in this relationship. I love my muse, but we don’t always see eye to eye.

What have you all been doing to stay warm? And for those of you who live in warm weather, when can we come visit?

Behind the Scenes of The Waiting

You know I can’t release a book without having a very special episode of Monster Men (kinda like Blossom, she of Amy Farrah Fowler fame).

Jack and I talk about the inspiration behind the true ghost story and how it impacted my own life. If you haven’t picked up The Waiting yet, hopefully this will give you that last nudge.

Guest Post : Jonathan Janz Lives in a House of Skin!

First of all, I want to thank Hunter for hosting me today. His Forest of Shadows and Evil Eternal are an amazing one-two punch, and if you haven’t picked them both up yet, you ought to. Here’s what I had to say about Evil Eternal:

Hunter Shea has crafted another knockout. At turns epic and intimate, both savage and elegant, Evil Eternal is a harrowing, blood-soaked nightmare.”

Yep, I guess you can tell I’m a fan.

And speaking of books you should buy…


My new novel (my first book was titled THE SORROWS and can be found right here) is called HOUSE OF SKIN. Here’s the stunning cover art and a short description of my novel:

 

“Myles Carver is dead. But his estate, Watermere, lives on, waiting for a new Carver to move in. Myles’s wife, Annabel, is dead too, but she is also waiting, lying in her grave in the woods. For nearly half a century she was responsible for a nightmarish reign of terror, and she’s not prepared to stop now. She is hungry to live again…and her unsuspecting nephew, Paul, will be the key.

Julia Merrow has a secret almost as dark as Watermere’s. But when she and Paul fall in love they think their problems might be over. How can they know what Fate—and Annabel—have in store for them? Who could imagine that what was once a moldering corpse in a forest grave is growing stronger every day, eager to take her rightful place amongst the horrors of Watermere?”

So the character not mentioned in that description is the one I’m going to tell you about today.

Pretty logical, huh?

Sheriff Sam Barlow is one of a long line of well-intentioned lawmen in horror fiction. One of my personal favorites is Stephen King’s Alan Pangborn, but there are plenty of them to choose from.

Michael Rooker and Ed Harris both played Alan Pangborn. I figured Rooker deserved the extra publicity.

So what makes my sheriff different?

Well, the structure of my novel, for one thing. Like my debut THE SORROWS, HOUSE OF SKIN has the Gothic structure that I love—where a story in the past affects and ultimately merges with the story in the present. Books like Peter Straub‘s Ghost Story and George R.R. Martin‘s Fevre Dream take on an extra resonance because of their use of the frame story and the manner in which those authors use their back-stories to advance their present stories.

The Finest Ghost Story Ever Written

HOUSE OF SKIN does that. And Sam Barlow is a central figure in both the past and the present.

In the present he’s a grizzled veteran cop who lives alone and does his best not to hate my protagonist Paul Carver, who has the bad luck to look just like the man who ruined Sam Barlow’s life. Sam also has a special bond with my “co-protagonist” Julia Merrow, which is explained in the “past” story.

Many of the book’s surprises involve Sam and his entanglement with the novel’s two main villains, particularly a woman named Annabel. I’ll write about Annabel at a later date, but I’ll just say now that she’s fearsome and beautiful and absolutely evil. Sam is the man who understands this the most, and he’s determined to prevent her resurrection.

But Annabel has other plans.

The last thing I’ll say about this character before I close is that if HOUSE OF SKIN ever becomes a movie, I’ve got some thoughts about who should play my sheriff. Josh Brolin would be great if he were older. Assuming the movie gets made in the next five years (I’m pretty certain it will—hah!), Brolin would be too young. But he does have that world-weary look that would work well for Sam. Guys like John C. McGinley (one of the Office Space Bobs) and David Morse (Brutal from The Green Mile) would also be great, but my first choice is the man pictured below…

Ash, Elvis, and…Sam Barlow?

Bruce Campbell would kill this role. Then again, Bruce would probably kill any role, but I think he’d do a particularly wonderful job as my sheriff.

So, Mr. Campbell, if you’re reading…my people will call your people soon.

And please don’t threaten my people with your prosthetic chainsaw.

Monster Men Podcast : Paranormal TV

From the stygian depths of two minds addicted to all things dark and scary. This time around, we talk about the state of paranormal television and wrap things up with my own encounter with a ghost in a hotel room in Spain.

I hope you like my hat. I’ll sign that wonderful straw hat and mail it to a random commenter, so all you need to do is tell us what you think and you too can look like an escapee from a country fair! As you can tell from this still, even my partner Jack is having a hard time looking at it.

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