Tag Archive | ghosts

A Message From Beyond?

Do the dead speak to us from time to time?

Maybe not so much in words, though that’s been known to happen. Sometimes they communicate with us in dreams, or in a strange happenstance.

I know it’s easy to dismiss those instances as coincidence or an unconscious longing to know that a loved one is not only ok, but nearby.

It’s coming up on 3 years since my father passed away. He went in to have a kidney stone blasted, a simple procedure, and 36 hours later, he was gone. It was devastating.

I’ve literally not purged my phone of pictures since 2013, so a few weeks ago, I decided it was long past due. I wanted to download all of my pics (graduations, vacations, holidays and just goofing around) and save them to my computer and a backup drive.

You all know how that works. It’s real simple. You connect your phone to your computer, select all, and presto, they’re off the phone in one fell swoop.

When it was done, I was relieved, because I was really worried about losing those captured memories. I unplugged the USB cable with a feeling of satisfaction. The old man had conquered modern technology.

I went to my Camera icon on my phone just to bask in the afterglow of a job well done, which in this case would be zero picture files.

I quickly discovered one solitary picture had refused to move on.

It was the last picture taken of my father.

He’d just had the outside of the house redone and was very happy with the results. Super Storm Sandy had done a number on it, and the whole structure had to be resided. We were in the yard and I snapped a pic of the house. My father just happened to be standing by the grill, looking off somewhere to my left. Now, I know it looks like he’s not happy, but that was his ‘I’m conentrating’ or ‘the sun is too damn bright’ look.

dad in  yard

 

And there he still is, in my phone, in a sense, with me at all times, since my phone is practically attached to me.

There is no logical reason why that picture didn’t transfer over. Select All means you select all, not all minus one.

I’ve been doing a lot of flying lately – something I hate and dread – and I guess he wanted to make sure he was there with me. Or maybe he just wants to collect some frequent flier miles. But there he is.

I hope he enjoys the flight from New Orleans later today.

Top 5 Haunted House Movies Just In Time For Halloween

It’s Halloween, the time when the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest. Ghosts and demons lay in wait for little boys and girls who prefer tricks over treats!

What better way to spend the season than watching great horror movies? Here are what I consider the 5 best haunted house movies of all time. For my money, ghosts are far scarier than monsters because we’re potentially looking at our own destinies. Will you be among the trapped spirits some day, haunting the family living in your former home?

5. THE SENTINEL

The 70s were a treasure trove for horror. This is the decade that gave us true frights like The Exorcist, The Omen, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Last House on the Left and Halloween. Lost in the mix is this chilling classic about a NY fashion model who moves into a creepy brownstone apartment. The residents are the most disturbing cast of characters you’ll ever meet. Part ghost story, party possession tale, some scenes in The Sentinel will haunt you for the rest of your life. And it’s loaded with stars, including Christopher Walken, Chris Sarandon, Burgess Meredith, Sylvia Miles, Beverly D’Angelo, Ava Gardner. John Carradine and so much more.

Click the movie poster to watch the trailer...if you dare!

Click the movie poster to watch the trailer…if you dare!

4. THE AMITYVILLE HORROR

This flick needs no introduction. Even if the story the Lutz family told the world is total B.S., this is still a spine tingling movie.This one has it all – evil spirits, bleeding walls, mystery rooms, imaginary friends with bad intentions and a home clouded by the spectre of a mass murder. James Brolin is brooding and terrifying as the spirit of the house drags him down. Almost 40 years later and this one still gives me chills.

The trailer alone scared the crap out of us back in the day.

The trailer alone scared the crap out of us back in the day.

3. THE CHANGELING

George C. Scott plays a composer who lost his family in an accident. Trying to put his life back together, he moves into a huge old house that, as we come to find out, is quite haunted. First of all, Scott may be the biggest-name actor in a horror movie – ever. His performance gives a gravitas rarely seen in the genre. As the story unfolds, you’ll find your goosebumps just won’t go away. That’s one haunted house I might skip if invited to spend the night.

Click the poster to watch the whole movie. You've been warned!

Click the poster to watch the whole movie. You’ve been warned!

2. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY

I wasn’t a fan of The Blair Witch Project and the whole found footage dealio, but Paranormal Activity changed my mind. This one actually made my wife and I nervous when we went to sleep that night (it doesn’t help that we live in a haunted house). I can think of better things to film in the bedroom, but I’m glad they concentrated on the demonic spirit here. I just watched it again last week and it’s still unsettling. Find the BluRay with the alternate ending if you can!

spread some baby powder on your floor tonight!

spread some baby powder on your floor tonight!

1.THE HAUNTING

Hands down, this is my favorite ghost movie ever. Short on special effects because it doesn’t need them, a college professor gathers willing subjects to live in a haunted mansion in Massachusetts. As the caretaker warns them in the beginning, “No one can hear you scream in the dark. In the night.” Using the twisted history of the house to put your nerves on edge, The Haunting is all about atmosphere and odd sounds and tortured souls. This is a must watch for any true horror fan.

The trailer alone is scarier than most full movies today.

The trailer alone is scarier than most full movies today.

So, what would make your top 5 list? There were so many I could have added here, but I forced myself to whittle it down to the 5 that deeply affected me, long after the end credits.

For A Limited Time – FOREST OF SHADOWS and SINISTER ENTITY for 99 cents. Happy Friday the 13th!

Samhain and I want to make your Friday the 13th the creepiest ever. From now until March 15th, my first two ghost novels, FOREST OF SHADOWS and SINISTER ENTITY are only 99 cents everywhere ebooks are sold. If you’re new to my madness and just read ISLAND OF THE FORBIDDEN, this is the perfect chance to catch up on where Jessica Backman’s obsession with the dead began. You’ll think twice before visiting a haunted house, learn what an EB is and why it’s sometimes best to let the dead rest in peace…or turmoil. So fire up your Kindles and Nooks and iPads before time runs out on the best offer Samhain has ever made!

You can pick up Forest of Shadows at Amazon, B&N, Samhain and other ebook outlets.

ForestOfShadowsV1

The dead still hate!

Something dreadful happened in the remote Alaskan cabin. Something monstrous. The shadows are closing in…and they’re out for blood.

“With Forest of Shadows, Hunter Shea combines ancient evil, old school horror and modern style. Highly recommended!” — Jonathan Mayberry, New York Times bestselling author of Rot and Ruin and The Dragon Factory.

  “Forest of Shadows is a frightening, gripping story that left me too frightened to sleep with the lights off. This novel scared the hell out of me and it is definitely a creepy ghost story I won’t soon forget.” —Night Owl Reviews

SinisterEntity_v3Get Sinister Entity for 99 cents at Amazon, B&N, Samhain and all over the magical interweb!

How can you escape the ghost of yourself?

The Leigh family is terrified. They’ve been haunted by the ghostly image of their young daughter, Selena. But how can that be, when Selena is alive and well, and as frightened as her parents? With nowhere else to turn, the Leighs place their hopes in Jessica Backman, who has dedicated her life to investigating paranormal activity. Accompanied by a new partner who claims to be able to speak to the dead, Jessica will soon encounter an entity that scares even her. And a terror far worse than she imagined.

“This is the real deal. The fear is palpable.  Horror novels don’t get much better than this.” –Literal Remains
“Sinister Entity  culminates in a climactic showdown between human and spirit that keeps you glued to the pages!” — Drake Morgan for Horror Novel Reviews

Island of the Forbidden is Here – Come for the Three Hour Tour!

It’s been almost 2 years since Jessica Backman’s last foray into the world of the unknown, but she’s finally back. ISLAND OF THE FORBIDDEN has been officially released. Jessica is in her early twenties now and completely disenfranchised with the entire concept of ghost hunting. Knowing that she draws the dead to her, empowering those with less than noble intentions, she’s distanced herself from her family, friends and uber psychic, Eddie Home. Instead of running to the dead, she’s now running from them.

Eddie is now a shell of his former self. The power surge he had to employ to save Jessica and the family they were helping in SINISTER ENTITY has left him drained. He’s plagued by the cries of the dead, unable to help them.

IslandoftheForbidden-H

Despite their weakness, Eddie and Jessica are both drawn to haunted Ormsby Island off the South Carolina coast. There’s an old mansion there and a secret so taboo, so terrifying, the world has done its best to wipe it from its collective memory. To save the living, they must face their deepest fears.

Early reviews have been great!

When I’m ready to reconsider my views of the afterlife, of the nature and motivations of individuals, of the meanings of life and purpose, I look to Hunter Shea. He brings to the early 21st century the kind of thought-provoking literary horror that Ambrose Bierce gave to the 19th century.” Mallory Heart Reviews

“Island of the Forbidden” is the ultimate haunted house story.  There are all of the elements for an explosive story in which everything goes wrong. And in “Island of the Forbidden,” everything goes wrong.” Examiner.com

“The story is a non-stop rush from the first chapter to the satisfying, terrifying end. This is 2015’s first must-read for the horror fan.” Russell James, author of Dark Vengeance and Dreamwalker

“Island of the Forbidden has it all, ghosts, an evil presence, psychics, creepy dead children, an old haunted house, the list goes on. I couldn’t put it down!” – Scarlet’s Web reviews

If ghost stories are you thing, I wrote this book just for you. This isn’t your momma’s ghost tale. Oh no.

You can order a copy of ISLAND OF THE FORBIDDEN (ebook or trade paperback) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Samhain Publishing and wherever books are sold. If you get it, give me a shout and let me know what you think of it.

We’re also kicking off a HUGE blog tour, thanks to Hook of a Book Media. Click on the graphic below to see all the stops. Special thanks to Tim Busbey for his graphics expertise. I’ll be giving away lots o books along the way!

Island of the forbidden tour logo

Who Wants to Review My Next Book – Island of the Forbidden?

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is going to be here next week. I thought time flew once you had kids. It doubles in speed when you have books coming out!

My next novel with Samhain, ISLAND OF THE FORBIDDEN, will be published January 5th, 2015. That’ll give me a few days to shake off my New Years hangover.

My publicist, Erin Al Mehairi with Hook of a Book Media, is busy putting together what I’m sure will be a comprehensive blog tour for the book. I wanted to give the readers and reviewers an early crack at getting a copy of the book in exchange for a review. So, if you have a review blog/website or do a lot of reviews on places like Amazon and Goodreads, please contact Erin at hookofabook@hotmail.com to see if she can get you on the reviewer list. Of course, I’m happy to hear from you as well. My editors keep me chained to my desk in a dark sub-basement.

So, what’s this new book all about?

IslandoftheForbidden-H

Sometimes, the dead are best left in peace.

Jessica Backman has been called to help a strange family living on a haunted island in Charleston Harbor. Ormsby Island was the site of a brutal massacre two decades ago, and now the mysterious Harper family needs someone to exorcise the ghosts that still call it home. The phantoms of over one hundred children cannot rest.

But something far more insidious is living on the island. When the living and the dead guard their true intentions, how can Jessica discover just what sort of evil lurks on Ormsby Island? And why is Jessica the only one who can plumb its dark depths?


If you’re ready for a ghost story like nothing you’ve ever read before, contact us. Nightmares and sleepless nights come free of charge.

 

A HELL of a Review and the Coming of the Dead

Well, looks like I survived another #Horrortober. I finished the month having watched 41 horror movies. I think I tied my 2012 record. I have to go check the old files to be sure. The sad thing is, I didn’t even get to about 10 movies I had set aside to watch. I’ll have to save them for December when I’ll need some counter-programming to the slew of sappy Christmas specials.

I also managed to finish the first draft of my next cryptid novel. Rewrite process starts tomorrow. I’ll reveal the beastie the book is about in the coming months.

Now, on to something that just elevated my day. As you all know, my  weird western, HELL HOLE, came out this past July. Because it was out a month after THE MONTAUK MONSTER, it kinda got lost in the shuffle, though I’m making up for it with mini blog tour this month. Hell Hole

 

Matt over at HORROR NOVEL REVIEWS sent me an email and link to their review of HELL HOLE a couple of days ago. You literally couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. Here are some snippets from the review :

There’s a fine line that separates a very good writer and a truly great writer. Very good writers get it right sometimes, great writers rarely, if ever, let us down, releasing nothing but riveting piece after riveting piece. Stephen King is a great writer. Joe Lansdale is a great writer. Jack Ketchum, Jonathan Maberry, Clive Barker, those are great writers. Today, Hunter Shea – in this mind – completes the transition from very good writer to great writer. This man will not let you down, and he’ll just about always give you a taste of his personal trademarks, like the presence of monsters and key heroic ensembles. It’s what he does. It’s part of what makes him great.

The five (main characters) make for one of the greatest ensembles I’ve had the fortune of discovering in any novel, ever.

Shea is one of the absolute best in the business in 2014, and I’m going to go ahead and say it, Hell Hole is the best horror novel of the year.

To read the entire review, click here. While you’re there, poke around the site. It’s the best place for a horror lover to spend a day.

I’ve always been reluctant to mention reviews, knowing it’s part of the business, but also leery of tooting my own horn. This review is the stuff you dream of when you decide that you want to be a writer. To even be mentioned alongside my heroes – King, Barker, Ketchum and Lansdale – is more thrilling and humbling than you can imagine. It’s always a little scary, sharing a very personal labor of love with the world so it can be scrutinized. At the very least, I always hope my books give people a little escape from an insane world. And Hell Hole was a labor of love. I wrote it for my dad, who loved westerns and showed me the horror ropes. Hey may have passed before I had a chance to give it to him to read, but I know he’s enjoying it, and this review, at this very moment.

In other good news, my next Samhain novel, ISLAND OF THE FORBIDDEN, the sequel to 2013’s SINISTER ENTITY, is now listed on Samhain’s site and can be pre-ordered on December 7th (which is both Pearl Harbor Day and the day I got engaged to my wife back in 1990). In this one, I put Jessica Backman in a very, very bad place. Why am I so mean to her?

IslandoftheForbidden-H

Sometimes, the dead are best left in peace.

Jessica Backman has been called to help a strange family living on a haunted island in Charleston Harbor. Ormsby Island was the site of a brutal massacre two decades ago, and now the mysterious Harper family needs someone to exorcise the ghosts that still call it home. The phantoms of over one hundred children cannot rest.

But something far more insidious is living on the island. When the living and the dead guard their true intentions, how can Jessica discover just what sort of evil lurks on Ormsby Island? And why is Jessica the only one who can plumb its dark depths?

ISLAND comes out the first week in January, along with a slew of other books by great authors like Jonathan Janz, Russell James and Glenn Rolfe. This isn’t an island you want to be stranded on, even if Maryanne and Ginger are there.

Forest of Shadows Coming to Audio

ForestOfShadowsV1

 

Great news. I was just informed that Forest of Shadows, the book that started it all, will be made into an audiobook! It will be available in 2015 – no definite date set yet. For you ghost fanatics out there, this is where the legend of ghost hunter Jessica Backman begins – a tale about her father staring into the abyss, searching for truths better left unsaid. This led to Sinister Entity and next year’s Island of the Forbidden.

I wish I could be the one to select who does the narration. Here are my top choices :

  • Christopher Walken
  • William Shatner
  • Jef Bridges
  • The Aflac duck

Who would you like to hear narrate the book?

If audio’s not your thing but you want to stock up on some spooky reading for Halloween, here’s what Forest of Shadows has in store for you –

The dead still hate!

John Backman specializes in inexplicable phenomena. The weirder the better. So when he gets a letter from a terrified man describing an old log home with odd whisperings, shadows that come alive, and rooms that disappear, he can’t resist the call. But the violence only escalates as soon as John arrives in the remote Alaskan village of Shida. Something dreadful happened there. Something monstrous. The shadows are closing in…and they’re out for blood.

Pick up a copy today at Amazon!

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