Sunday, November 23, 2014

Beckham Ghosts Again

  I always do the best to keep my word, and I promised the Spirit Fest speakers they could do their own investigation of this great old hotel. Friday night, November 21, 2014, several of them showed up and we all had a wonderful time. I do believe there might have been a shock or two along the way, also, even for the experienced paranormal folks. We had a nice group: Selena Roane of Fear Paranormal, Betty Moore of Paranormal Junkies, and George Jones of Jericho Tours of Tyler. George brought his daughter, Alexa, and Jennyfer Keohane, as well as a friend and two relatives with him (Adam, Logan, and Jason), and I know they enjoyed it, also. Well, I didn't talk to Logan after the investigation about the lady of the evening on the third floor and her innuendos toward him. He blushed a lot, but I still think he had an interesting evening. We had a little fun along the way in this group.

L-R: Adam,Me,Selena,George,Betty,Alexa,Logan,Jennyfer,Jason

  There was far too much activity to get all of it in one of my weekly blogs. I'll have to just hit a couple of the interesting highlights, and a couple things that happened to my crew member, Floyd, and me on Saturday night.
  First, here are Selena and Betty hard at work investigating:

  Adam knew he couldn't smoke inside the hotel, but he always had an unlit cigarette in his mouth. When we were in the Ballroom, one of the ghosts there (I think it was Albert) knocked that cigarette out of his mouth! The cigarette laid on the floor for quite a while and a couple amazing things happened. First, the end of it glowed as though it were lit. No, it didn't burn the floor or anything like that. It wasn't "real" fire. I saw this happen and heard the awe in people's voices as they watched the cigarette move, like someone was trying to pick it up!
  Another time, we were in one of the rooms on the second floor. George kept insisting that someone was trying to take the KII out of his hand. He mentioned this several times. Suddenly, a loud crash sounded, and George said (for us and the recorder in the room), "Well, whoever it was finally got it out of my hand. That noise was the KII hitting the floor."
  We went up to the third floor eventually. Hardly anyone is allowed up there, since it's still very much in need of reconstruction. However, these were experienced investigators and they all agreed to be careful. This is where Logan caught the eye of one of the ladies of the evening. She was determined to let him know she was interested! She never did ask for any money, so I think she was truly attracted to him.
  I'll have to write up more of what we have found out about that third floor when I get time. From some of our research, as well as activity experienced up there, I do believe there were indeed ladies of the night there at one point.
  We broke up around 2:30 a.m., and I came home to get some sleep and rest before we headed out Saturday night. My crew member, Floyd Brigdon, and I had plans to investigate the 1888 Building in Mineola. This building is on the corner down from the Beckham, and it evidently was a saloon at one point, with a brothel upstairs. Lore says the first Mrs. Beckham found out what was happening on the third floor of the hotel and refused to allow her husband to continue to have "girls" there. So he bought the 1888 Building for that purpose.
  It poured down rain Saturday evening, but that didn't stop the activity in the 1888 Building. We were, again, as in the Beckham, the first paranormal investigators to have access to this building. We picked up enough information to put into its own diary, so again, I'll just be able to tell you about a couple very interesting things.
  We went upstairs first, carrying equipment up one of those really steep old stairwells. Although Connie has replaced the first two wooden steps, the rest are worn in the center. Yes, as though worn down by many, many feet over the years. When I did a pre-investigation walk-through a few weeks ago with Connie and my friend Dianna, I crossed some of the women up there into the light.  However, two of them said they had stories to tell me before they left, and I had promised to be back to listen to them.
  This is one of the photos we took of the upstairs. Connie and I discussed the layout during our walk-through, and she believes the women's rooms were on the right. We counted five areas where they probably had their beds.

  The "girls" up there were very antagonistic toward Floyd, due, we believe, to his being a man. Twice, someone tried to knock him off his chair, and both times he felt a hard pressure on his chest from what appeared to be someone's hand. That pressure even lasted quite a while after this happened. We checked for a bruise, but didn't see one. When I told the ghosts, in a stern and angry voice, that they had better behave and leave Floyd alone, my chair moved slightly under me! That really ticked me off, and I again ordered the ghosts to behave. The activity we had been having up to then "died" off for a long while. During that period, Floyd mentioned that "someone" had told him we needed to go downstairs for more activity. Although the activity in the upper floor picked back up as soon as he mentioned that, we saw a break in the rain and packed the equipment up to leave anyway.
  Of course, the minute we started out of the door to go in the lower level, the rain attacked us again. But we went on in and talked to several ghosts.
  This is one of the photos from the lower floor, where the saloon operated.

  The strongest communication we experienced was with a ghost called Daniel, who indicated his last name was Jenkins. We'll have our friend Karla check him out. Daniel had a sad story though, and was very remorseful, as he should have been. He said he had caught his girlfriend Lila in the saloon and was so angry that he killed her during the resulting argument. We crossed Daniel into the light, but I think Lila was one of the ladies who wanted her story told. She was the very first ghost to make contact when we arrived upstairs, and interestingly enough, she contacted Floyd.
  Anyway, I've got lots of things to write about, and since the book news is pretty much the same as last week, I'll close now. Remember, these ghosts we encounter were once real people. They all lived lives, and some of them have sad stories to relate. They can also get upset and let you know that in various ways. So, stay safe out there.
  T. M.

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.

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