Sunday, November 16, 2014

Paranormal and Weather

It's been a slower than normal week here at the Simmons house. We've also had an arctic front move in, and believe it or not, we're expecting some snow this afternoon in Texas! As I sat down to write my blog, I ran the past week through my mind and realized I hadn't "seen" any of my ghosts for a while. Oh, I've felt one a time or two, but even that's been way less frequent this week.
So, do ghosts go back to their own dimension to escape the cold? I have no idea, but they sure haven't done much around here this cold week. In fact, both times I thought I spied one in our bedroom turned out to be false alarms. I walked in once and thought there was someone on the far side of the room. On examination, it was our stand-up fan with a towel tossed over it. The second time, it was something similar, a shirt hanging over a room divider.
The only other time I've actually noticed a definite correlation between a lack of paranormal activity and the weather was at our favorite cemetery. I've quit naming it, because of vandals in the area. Anyway, there were only two times we drove out there and did not receive even a blip on the KII's. Both times, an electrical storm was in the area. It wasn't close enough to send us on our way due to fear of lightning. However, we could see the beautiful lightning streaks and hear the thunder. Maybe the ghosts and spirits could, also, because they never even peeked their noses out of the portal in the cemetery.
It's not supposed to warm up until Thursday, so I'll have to try to remember to be aware on that day. See if my paranormal boarders have checked back in.
If you find any typos I've missed, blame this little guy:

I haven't come up with a name for him yet (other than Trouble), because I don't like all the ones that pertain to his poor little one-eyed status. I don't know what's wrong with the eye; it was like that when he came onto my front porch a month or so ago. I've been treating it, but I don't believe it's going to heal so he can see out of it. So far, I've also called him "get down" or "no." He's been living here in my office since the cold set in, and of course, he loves crawling across the keyboard when I'm trying to type. He also sits beside the monitor and tries to capture the cursor.
What to do, what to do? It hurts my heart to have to train a new kitten, but I finally resorted to that darned squirt bottle filled with water. He's really smart, so I barely have to get him wet to make him quit whatever he's doing. I hardly even squeeze the squirt trigger. The worst is when he tries to climb up my leg. Ouch! No, take that back. The worst is when I allow him on my lap if I'm not doing much but reading versus trying to type. Maybe my tummy does take up part of my lap, but it shouldn't be enough to push the little guy off. When he starts falling, he digs those claws in hard. Double ouch!
Hub said the other day, "You're just taking that kitten in to tame it, then find it another home, aren't you?" I just smiled and said, "I doubt anyone would want him with just one eye." Y'all know where his forever home is already, don't you? I've already caught son and hub petting the little guy.
If you have any name suggestions, feel free to pass them on to me on Facebook or in the comments here. If I choose one, maybe you'll get a surprise.
I hope to have some more ghost tales next week. In the meantime, I'm still doing the same as last week: working on Diary VI and getting the books available in paperback. Talk again soon, and stay safe out there (and warm).
T. M.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Resting Up ... Not

No rest for the wicked? Guess that's me, then. You'd think after the breakneck speed of October, November would slow down a bit. However, now we have Thanksgiving and Black Friday and Christmas staring me in the face. Plus all the catchup writing work that got put aside during my favorite month of the year. Next year, I'm going to get started a little early for Halloween month. Sure, I am! We shall see if I remember that promise about next August.
The house is really quiet, though. I miss Aunt Belle and my friend, Dianna Miller. I was looking through some photos and found this one of Dianna. See what interesting friends I have?
Dianna "Annie Oakley"
There hasn't been a lot of paranormal activity here at my quiet house the past week. Or maybe there has but I've just been too tired to pay much attention. I have noticed, however, that lately I seem to be experiencing a lot more contact when I'm driving.
Many times, this contact starts out as a headache; sometimes it's slight, other times it's fairly painful. I'll know immediately that it's a ghost making contact, because I'll feel the sensation of paranormal energy. Usually, if I look around to examine where I'm at, it's somewhere on the highway where it's logical that an accident could have happened — an accident which resulted in the death of someone. That person was probably killed quickly, and he or she is very confused.
I don't know if they are drawn to me or if I'm just sensitive enough to realize there's a ghost lingering at this site. But if I'm flying down the road at Texas highway speeds, which normally range at least five-to-ten miles over the speed limit of either 70 or 75, I can't pull off and talk to the ghost to help him cross over. The most I can do is mentally say: Go east. There is always a door open there for you to cross through and be with your loved ones. You'll be at peace then. Go east.
Seldom do I know whether or not the ghost has taken my advice. Once in a while, though, I do find out. There are a few highways I travel fairly often, and I'll sometimes note when and where a ghost contacts me. Then, the next time I pass by there, I'll open my senses and see if I contact anyone on this trip.
You know what? Never once have I still found the ghost lingering in the same place. That makes me strongly believe that even a brief communication with a ghost can pass on the needed information and allow the poor lost soul to cross over. I suppose it could also be that my spirit guides step in and take over to assist the soul, once I point the ghost in the right direction. Either way, I'm just so glad when I confirm the lost soul isn't lingering in the place of its death. I have no doubt that he or she has indeed crossed into The Light. I'm not being egotistical about my abilities. Instead, I have a strong faith that wanting to help works, whether it's me doing it or some of my spiritual helpers.
As to my writing life: One thing that will (hopefully) make some of my family members happy is that I'm beginning to get my books available in paperback again. I'll have to admit, the formatting is kicking my butt, although I'm persevering. I'm starting with the Ghost Hunting Diaries, then I'll do the Dead Man Mysteries, then perhaps gather the short stories into a paperback volume. Hopefully, they will all be available by Christmas. However, I'm not going to put aside the new writing just to have these done by then. I'm working on Volume VI of a new set of diaries, and also Silent Prey, the companion book to Winter Prey.
I also want to tell y'all about a fantastic book that just went up for sale: Tears for a World by Alexander Fernandez. Alex is one of my clients from back when I was doing editing, and I can say without reservation that this is a wonderful book. It's the first book of Alex's Lonely World Trilogy, and I've also read the second book. Right now, I'm anxiously awaiting the third one to see what happens to Marisylia, his fantastic heroine. She is the strongest woman I have ever had the pleasure of following in a great story. Even if you don't read a lot of fantasy, Tears for a World will be a book you won't forget.
There is another wonderful Angela Rogers cover and it does fit the story beautifully.

If you'd rather have a print book (I have both), you can get that at:
Also, Deliver Us From Evil is making its way out into the rest of the ebook world. Besides the other url's from previous weeks, it's now in Apple iTunes and at Kobo.
Enjoy reading!
Stay safe, and ….
T. M.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Deliver Us From Evil

I had some neat company this month, Aunt Belle and also my friend from St. Francisville, Dianna. Aunt Belle only stayed a few days, but Dianna managed a week and a half. We had a ball! She attended the Spirit Fest at the Beckham Hotel and stayed overnight after the ghost hunts were over. However, we had more fun when we stayed again the following Friday. A group had asked to do some investigating and filming at the hotel, and since Connie wants me there when things like this are going on, I dragged Dianna with me. I didn't have to pull very hard. Dianna already loves the hotel as much as Connie and I do.
Aunt Belle, Me, Dianna
The group left around 2:30 a.m., after a couple cool policemen showed up, one who decided to join in the fun of contacting ghosts. He came in a skeptic, but left a believer. We had forgotten to notify the City Police that we were going to be there overnight, which we've neglected to do a couple other times, once just the week before. Two young policemen came to the door about 2 a.m., and sort of freaked out the members of the other group.
"Trana," one of them said. "Trana, the cops are here!"
"It's all right," I said. "Don't worry, I'll talk to them."
"But it's the cops!"
I calmed them down as much as I could and went to the door. When I informed the police who I was, they were fine with it, since they know I work with Connie a lot and had been in the hotel several times previously overnight. I'm not sure if it was the same officeers who had been there the previous week, because Dianna answered their knock that night and they didn't come in then. These two were awesomely nice and polite, though.
One policeman, who introduced himself as Officer Johnson after I asked his name, said, "Oh, I've been in this hotel many times at night. Must have been up and down that stairway sixty times or more. There aren't any ghosts in here."
"Would you like to join the group upstairs and see how they work?" I asked.
"Sure," he said, "but I know we won't be talking to any ghosts."
When he came back down a half-hour or so later, he told me, "That was really cool. They talked to me and not anyone else."
"Thought you didn't believe in ghosts," I couldn't help saying.
He just grinned.
From what I understand, since Dianna and I were occupied elsewhere, the group was using flashlights to communicate, without much success. But when Officer Johnson went up to the Ballroom with them, the ghosts across the Veil were very interested in chatting with him. I can still see his different faces, the one when he first came in and the one before he left. I was smiling myself at another convert to the paranormal.
The group left right after Officer Johnson did, and Dianna and I settled down to get some sleep. We had decided not to bring any cots, since we knew we wouldn't be sleeping that much, so we crashed out on the sofas in the lobby. The hotel was wonderfully peaceful, and I was just drifting off when ….
I stiffened, at first thinking something had fallen over somewhere close by. It sounded near us, but I thought perhaps it might have been upstairs in the Ballroom, it was that loud. However, since I assumed Dianna was asleep, I decided I wasn't going to get up and prowl the hotel alone that time of night. I'd already wandered into several of the rooms behind the lobby alone that night in the dark, so I told myself I really wasn't afraid to go to the Ballroom by myself. But frankly, that was a little bit of it.
Another thing that went through my mind was that what I'd heard sounded very much like an EVP my team and I had caught about a year and a half earlier. We'd determined that it was a gunshot, which happened right after a woman yelled, "Stop!" We had caught that EVP right there in the lobby on the camera we set up there. Angela isolated it, and it's a very clear, Class A EVP.
"Stop!" BANG!
The story was that there had once been two phone booths in the hotel lobby. One day a man used the phone in one booth to call his girlfriend, and received some devastating news. The next thing anyone knew, the man pulled out a pistol and shot himself.
This story came from a verifiable source, the grandson of Andy Lillie, who managed the hotel for the Beckhams from the 1950's until Becky Penrod bought it in the early 1980's. So we know it is factual. Mr. Lillie said the phone booth in which the man died had to be burned and destroyed. The pistol bullet had also penetrated the other booth, shattering one window, which had to be replaced, and ricocheting into another window. When we first investigated the Beckham, the remaining phone booth was there, but Connie moved it out during restoration. She had recently returned it to the same place it had been, right by the bloodstained marble floor, which won't come clean. The ricochet impact is still in the same window.
I had gotten flashlight communications in that phone booth several times since it was returned to the lobby, and there was even a lost soul I crossed over a couple months ago, who possibly might have been the man who committed suicide. Hearing that gunshot in actuality versus in an EVP was way cool and interesting to me right then, but I was tired, so it didn't keep me from getting some sleep that night.
The next morning, Dianna and I got up fairly early, and I was making coffee. At one point, she said, "Uh … did you hear anything last night?"
I turned around excitedly and said, "You heard it, too?"
"Yeah," she said. "I'm not sure what it was."
"A loud bang?"
"Yes, that was it," she agreed.
"I'm fairly certain it was a residual of the man who shot himself in the phone booth," I told her. "I've got an EVP at home, and I'll let you listen to it."
When we got home, we did just that. I played the EVP, and we heard a woman's voice scream, "Stop!" then the sound of a loud gunshot. Since I was a tomboy in my youth and still love the outdoors, I was raised around firearms. I know the difference in the sound of a pistol shot and one from a shotgun or rifle. This was definitely a pistol shot sound.
Both Dianna and I agreed that yes, the shot was the same sound we had heard around 3 a.m. that night. We didn't hear the woman's voice then, just the shot. How cool is that? I mean, I'm sorry the poor man committed suicide, and I haven't felt any other lost soul in the lobby since I crossed the one man over, so I'm fairly certain it is a residual haunting. It shows, to me, how something truly traumatic can linger in time and happen over and over again, especially when the Veil is thin.
The story is up! My schedule in October kicked my butt, so I didn't get Deliver Us From Evil, A Short Story, up until the last day of the month. Yep, Halloween. So far, I've determined that it's available at the following url's. And since it's a short story, it's a bargain at $.99.
You can also find more pictures of my lovely cover model, Alyssa, at She and Angela have made this another cover I'm proud of.
So now Halloween is over for another year. Ghost hunters have Halloween all year round, though. We've got a couple investigations in the works already, so stay tuned. And I'm also working on Ghost Hunting Diary Volume VI.
If some of y'all are already noting 2015 events on your calendar, as I already am, mark October 3, 2015 as the Second Annual Beckham Hotel Spirit Fest.
Stay safe!
T. M.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Ananbelle and Ghosts

What a busy but enjoyable week. The Spirit Fest is behind us, and we're already talking about next year. We had awesome feedback, pretty much all positive. There were a couple glitches, but they are things we can correct next year, and nothing that effected the people who attended the conference. Overall, though, the speakers were very well received and enjoyed, and we raised some money for the hotel restoration. Connie was very pleased! We've tentatively scheduled next year's Spirit Fest for the first weekend in October, which shouldn't conflict with some other festivals that month.
Several of us spent the night at the hotel, as we usually do when we are there late. In fact, as you read this, I will probably be at the hotel getting ready to spend another night. I invested in some cots and pads, but sometimes we just crash out on one of the couches. Of course, we always bring our ghost hunting tools of the trade, one of which is my Raggedy Ann trigger object, which Aunt Belle named Anna Lee.
Anna Lee is picky about confirming paranormal energy. She doesn't much care for adult ghosts, but if a child happens to come by, Anna Lee lights up. Trigger objects like her appear to draw the child ghosts, ghosts who really should cross into The Light, and I've helped several of them do exactly that. However, children are a lot more confused than teenager or adult ghosts, so it's hard to get them to understand what they need to do. Sad, but true. They are attracted to Anna Lee, however, and enjoy playing with her. We've identified at least two, perhaps three, child ghosts at the Beckham Hotel, and when we set Anna Lee up in the lobby, we get quite a bit of activity.
I understand I have one of the few Raggedy Ann doll trigger objects, due to the fact that the toy manufacturer has a patent on her. Therefore, places that make trigger objects now use teddy bears to avoid a lawsuit. I get mixed reactions about my doll, especially since people have learned about Annabelle, the haunted doll that the Warrens have safely behind glass.
Aunt Belle and I went to see Annabelle the movie this past week. We both liked it, although not as well as The Conjuring. However, it was a good (though fictional) take on what could be behind an object becoming haunted. The doll used in the movie is the one everyone thinks of, but if you check out information on the objects the Warrens have safely stored away, you will see that the actual Annabelle is a Raggedy Ann doll. It's rather old-fashioned, close to one of the original ones, I assume. My Anna Lee is a little prettier than the true Annabelle. Also, the one in the movie is a porcelain doll, much larger than the real Raggedy Ann.
I don't have to have my Anna Lee blessed twice a month, which is what word is about what is necessary for the Warrens' Annabelle. I do cleanse her when I do a house cleansing, since she sets on the supply dresser in my office. Tools that we use in our investigations can pick up a lot of negative energy, energy that needs to be erased for them to work properly. Cleansing our equipment is also necessary for our own protection, which nearly all good paranormal investigators understand.
I'm glad the Spirit Fest is behind me, as are my legs. I think I walked up and down the Beckham staircase at least three dozen times from Friday through Sunday. But now that it's over, I'm ready to start planning next year with my fantastic Supernatural Researchers of Texas crew.
Deliver Us From Evil, A Short Story, should go up one day next week. It should have been ready for my readers earlier this month, but you know what "they: say: stuff happens. O.K., they say it in a little stronger word, but it's true. I love writing, but I'm really picky about having something I'm proud of before I put it out there and ask my readers to pay money for it. So when the story is published, you'll be sure it's as good as I can make it for you.
Halloween is next week! I'll probably be at Angela's annual trick or treat party, watching all the cutie pie little ones come by for their treats. And visiting with friends and eating some of the adult goodies we have also.
Mine and Aunt Belle's friend, Dianna, and I had an awesome night at the Beckham on 10/25! More next week.
The Veil will be very thin next Friday, so keep that in mind and please be respectful and stay safe!
T. M.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Writing Ghost

Each year, I understand that the Veil thins during October, making communication between the dimensions much easier. Each year, some of the incidents surprise me. This year has been no exception, in amongst the busy work of trying to finalize little picky things for the Beckham Spirit Fest.
In that vein, Angela and I went out to Mineola on Friday, Oct. 3 and experienced a lot of activity. We felt several of the ghosts and spirits when we first entered the lobby. One of the strongest incidents, however, was when we started to go into Taste Budz next door to have lunch. Over in the corner of the lobby, near where one of the telephone booth again stands, there was a tall, misty shape.
I glanced at Angela. "Did you see him?"
"Yes," she replied, which I expected. She is extremely sensitive and she always seems to see whatever I do.
It possibly might have been the man who killed himself in the adjacent phone booth, the one that was burned after he died in it. This is a picture of the bloodstain on the lobby floor, beside where the phone booth now stands again.

He also may be the same person as the disgruntled ghost on the second floor, which could be confirmed from what happened next. We went into the restaurant and ordered, then Connie came to join us and ask if we would come back on Wed., October 10, when Joan Hallmark from KLTV in Tyler wanted to do an interview at the hotel. Just after we got that set up, Darlena, the owner of Taste Budz, came over and knelt by our table.
"Connie," Darlena said, "are the men working upstairs right over our restaurant?" When Connie indicated she didn't think they were, Darlena went on, "There was a horrible smell here a minute ago. At first, it smelled like someone had opened a can of fish. Then it smelled burned. It was really strong and some of the customers noticed it."
Connie left to check with the workers, returning shortly to say, "No one is working in that area of the hotel."
Angela and I continued to eat, but both of us started catching that smell, but not as strong as Darlena had seemed to indicate. Then I recalled seeing the misty shape by the phone booth and explained to them what Angela and I had seen.
"I'm getting the name Herman," I said, "and I think he's also the disgruntled ghost on the second floor. As soon as we're done eating, we'll go up there and I'll cross him over."
Which we did, and when we went to the hotel on Wednesday, the report was: no more smells! However, we did have another incident that day during the TV interview. These are pictures take during the interview.
Joan Hallmark and her cameraman, Ken
You can see the top of the phone booth between their heads.
Becky Penrod, Joan Hallmark, Me, Connie
Becky Penrod, Joan Hallmark, Angela, Connie

Joan Hallmark went up to the second floor to do the part of her interview with Becky Penrod, who owned the Beckham for a while. Angela and I was trying to stay out of the way and listen when Connie beckoned us to come into another of the room. There were two of the glass top tables from the Ballroom in there. In one of them, a word was written.
"I was up here yesterday and there was nothing written on that table," Connie said. "And no one has been in this end of the building since then. Also, my workers are all Hispanic, and we've had them with us for a dozen years or more. None of them can write in English."
The word on the table was: Chris, written in cursive letters, although the letters were each separated. This is a photo of what we found.
"C h r i s" written in dust
I contacted Chris Rhodes, whose grandfather managed the Beckham for many years. Chris has some astounding experiences there, one of which left him pretty shaken, since he was only about six when it happened. I'm fairly certain this message was for that Chris, and he's asked us to look into it more when we return to the hotel the next time.
Yes, it's been hectic, so I still don't have the ending on Deliver Us From Evil completed. I'm hoping to at least get it up before Halloween this year, but it might be tight. I'm trying, though. I don't want to miss this yearly tradition. Next year, things will be more organized for the Beckham Spirit Fest and my time schedule. I promise.
In the meantime, stay safe during this time of year!
T. M.

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