Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My Favorite Halloween Monster

free photo from Dreamstime
October is one of my favorite months, aside from it being my birth month. I live in Central Pennsylvania and the fall foliage hits its peak during the tenth month. The mountains are ablaze with reds, golds and oranges. The weather also becomes pleasant. Summers in Pennsylvania are usually hot and humid, but the fall, particularly early October, is refreshing—and because of this lower humidity, October’s sky seems to become a brilliant, deep, blue. I love that shade and even make mention of it in A Hunter’s Angel by calling Ian’s eyes “October blue.”

But there’s another reason I love October. I love Halloween. I spent this past weekend decorating my front porch. I do a haunted house/witch theme and dress up during Trick or Treat as a witch to hand out candy from a large, black cauldron I have over a “flaming fire.”

But despite this tribute to my inner witch... I love ghosts. I hate watching horror movies, which let’s face it are fake and fictional, but I love watching the shows on the History Channel or the Travel Channel about the most haunted places in the world. I love the story about the Winchester Mansion and how there are rooms that lead nowhere simply because the ghosts of the people killed by the Winchester Riffle told Mrs. Winchester to build them.

Or the stories of the ghosts in New Orleans and on some of the southern plantations.

I’ve actually worked in a two haunted places. The hospital I used to work at (which was no longer used as an inpatient facility when I worked there) had all kinds of stories. There are two in particular that stand out.

When the building was renovated and turned into doctor office space, the workers swore they would hear babies crying where they ripped out the old maternity ward area. The other incident happened while I was working there. Several X-ray techs had chilling experiences with a more sinister specter in the radiology department, which just happened to be in the basement where the morgue had been. One of the scariest things happened when all the department doors were opened, even the locked ones, all the garbage cans were strewn in the halls, and chairs were stacked on top of the desk in the office. This all occurred within in a ten-minute period while the tech had come up stairs to do an X-ray in the urgent care unit where I worked one evening. No one had access to the downstairs office but the tech. Needless to say, she never wanted to work alone in the evenings again, and I avoided the basement of that building like the plague!

Carlisle Historical Photo
I’ve since left that little hospital and now work on an old Army post. There have been entire books written about the ghosts that haunt Carlisle Barracks. The most scary stories come from the old Hessian Museum. This old stone building was built in 1777 by Hessian prisoners of war as a powder magazine during the Revolutionary War. But it was also their prison. Many of these mercenaries died in that small stone building. I’ve been in there, and it’s a creepy place. It’s dark and dank and cold, even though it’s not meant to be. And many people have claimed to have seen the emaciated bodies of the prisoners working on the building or inside the cells.

Yes, if this looks at all familiar it's where I had my photo shoot in March. Here's my picture standing at the very door pitured above.

Of course, the most haunted place around here is Gettysburg. In fact, one of the fun things to do in the town isn’t touring the battlefield, but taking a ghost tour. I’ll be talking about some of the most famous ghost stories from that beautiful little town on Friday on the Inkslingers Blog.

Do you have any ghost stories? And what is your favorite Halloween monster?

The serial killer stalking Clayton, Pennsylvania, isn’t all that has Chief of Police Grace Wallace worried. For a year, she’s tried to forget Special Agent Ian McHenry and now he’s the expert the FBI sent to catch the killer. She can’t stay away from him, but something primal is telling her to run to save much more than just her heart. Despite the strict code of ethics Ian vowed to follow as a vampire hunter, he craves Grace’s blood above all others. If he chooses to stay, Ian risks losing his chance at divine forgiveness. But if he leaves Grace unprotected from the evil he’s hunted for over a century, he loses more than just his soul…

Brigit Wolfe, a born werewolf, hasn’t killed a human in over a hundred years, although now, she wonders if the animal attacking people in Silver Creek, Colorado, isn’t her. But she might have bigger problems when her cowboy neighbor, Austin Calhoun, ambles into her bar. Austin hasn’t been a vampire for long, but he is determined to prove to himself that he’s worthy of his hunter’s dagger. Brigit’s rare beauty and blade-sharp tongue enchants him. She ignites a passion he thought was dead, but is she the killer his master sent him to destroy? During Austin’s investigation regarding Brigit’s involvement in the deaths, an old crime surfaces connected to her human best friend. These two immortal enemies have to join forces to solve the mystery before someone else dies. But can they survive the heat of their own desire?




Victoria Adams said...

Great blurbs on your books.
Yes, I have ghost stories - I live in a house that has ghosts. I'm the practical sort and never believed in such things until moving into this old farm house. But they are friendly and don't cause us any trouble.

Sharon Cullen said...

I lived in a haunted house for eleven years. We couldn't keep a babysitter to save our life because they wouldn't come back because the house scared them. LOL

Great post!

Kristina Knight said...

I'm not much for monsters, but love haunted house/ghost stories, Sara!

Melissa Limoges said...

I love watching and reading about all things paranormal too. Thankfully, I don't work in a scary place. I imagine I might not take an "encounter" too well. Probably scream like a little girl or something. Meh, to each their own, I guess.

Sheri Fredricks said...

I never believed in ghosts, hauntings, or paranormal riff-raff...until I saw something I couldn't explain. Why did it happen in my home??!!

Kudos to you for working in places known to be haunted!

Martha Ramirez said...

Oh, wow what a story. How cool you posed next to the door. I love Halloween and how fun it can be when decorating and sharing fictional stories. The real ones though can be bone chilling lol.

Jenna said...

Halloween is my favorite holiday. I have one ghost story I'm probably going to share on my blog this year, though my favorite monster may very well be The Mummy. Loved both the old and new movies. Great post, Sara!

Brenda said...

Wonderful post.
I do believe in all manner of supernatural beings. I personally haven't experienced anything paranormal, but I know many people who have.

Ranae Rose said...

Loved this post. I too was born in October and spent many of my childhood years living in PA. Halloween was (and still is) my favorite time of year. Ghosts are definitely my favorite Halloween 'monster' - I love reading happy ending ghost stories, especially ghostly romances.