Category Archives: Bordentown



Moving into my new home requires a good smudging even though the house bursts with the best spirit ever. I start at my front door, give thanks to the four directions as I turn to face each one. The spirit above and the spirit below are added to those thanks for my blessings. Especially for being right here where I am meant to be for my best living right now.
As soon as I step inside (I don’t even look to see if the neighbors are watching. Perhaps I’m unknowingly teaching them something.) I light the sage sitting in my large conch shell, with a wooden match. It’s important to use a wooden match. As the smoke rises, I wave it outward with the eagle feather that I found in the forest one day. Walking clock-wise, I go from room to room, chasing negative spirits away, if there are any around, and inviting good spirits to come join me, watch over me (and cat Lizzie) to share in my joy of being here. Lizzie follows in my footsteps. She’s done this before, too.
There. Done. The house carries the aroma of burnt sage, a cleansing odor that comforts.
When I was still living in Bordentown, a lady stopped in my bookshop to ask a question. She wanted to buy a particular house in town and wanted to know if it was haunted. I didn’t know of any haunts hanging around the house, yet encouraged her to smudge, anyway. She was new to the concept. . . . I like spreading the word that helps others.

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Filed under Bordentown, Cats, hauntings, living with ghosts, paranormal


DSCF3976   Cats are so tuned in to us real, live people as well as spirits who have stayed behind or drop in for a visit now and then. While going over my notes for my upcoming memoir, I came across a notation about an interview done in Bordentown a few years ago. Lora was telling me about the three cats that lived in her apartment at the time; her cat, her daughter’s Maine Coon cat, Draven von Lichtenstein, and a shadow cat. The shadow cat came with the apartment. He was just a shadow that ran from one room to another, leaped up onto the kitchen table, or jumped down from the sunny windowsill with a loud “b-r-r-p” just like the ‘live’ cats did.

As I sat at the kitchen table to record Lora’s story, I lay my folder in front of me. Lora’s cat leapt up, snuggled onto that folder and looked up at me, as if to say, “Get this all down right. I’m here to be sure you don’t miss a thing.” And that is where the cat stayed, throughout the entire interview, never moving, eyes watching me, interested in all that was said.” Cats are amazing!

From Living with Ghosts


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Filed under Bordentown, Cats, hauntings, living with ghosts, paranormal



It was a great morning last Saturday, when Sandra Martin hosted a talk, reading, and book signing for me at BackYard Birds ‘n Books-Sandra being the books, in Bracey, VA. Anyone can read the book, so I enjoy talking about the “back story” that doesn’t get into the books. That’s fun.

Since one story about ghosts leads to other stories, I wound up talking a lot about Bordentown (NJ) and spirits that have visited me during the night. They were, among others, the Fraser family, coming one at a time to help me in locating information about them. This was when I was writing Major Fraser’s, the history of a particular house in Bordentown and all its inhabitants from Day One. Actually, before there was a building on the property. I enjoyed writing this book, so I love talking about the writing of it. The book is now out-of-print, but there are still a few copies floating around.

Interesting family.

Even more interesting: since I brought my copy of The Munich Girl by Phyllis Edgerly Ring along with my passion for the story, and my discussing it, brought me being connected to the author through Lisa Hagan. We have both been long-time members of the IWWG. . . . hmmm. The more I think of this, the more I remember having a conversation or two with her during those years. WOW! Synchronicity. Ya gotta luv it!

A review on The Munich Girl will be coming up soon. You don’t want to miss it.

Mucho thanks to Sandra Martin for this wonderful moment in my life, shared with the best audience ever. They took part and shared some of their stories, too. How cool is that.



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Filed under books, booksigning, Bordentown, hauntings, living with ghosts, New Jersey history, paranormal, Uncategorized, writing


Doug Palmieri, owner of the Old Bordentown Bookshop at 200 Farnsworth Avenue, will be a guest on the Jersey Buzz Radio Show this week. He’ll be talking about ghosts and hauntings and the upcoming Annual Ghost Walk in Bordentown, NJ on Sunday, the 25 Oct. from 6 – 9 pm.
He will have copies of the new book by Arlene S. Bice, Living with Ghosts ($15)that include true stories of Bordentown, Burlington City, and Mercer County, all NJ. This is her latest book that brings you many new stories never told before, plus an update on the haunting of her former home in Bordentown.
Resident writer, Susan Von Dongan, holds a guest spot in the book with a personal paranormal story of her own.
Info from Downtown Bordentown Association: Hear true ghostly tales of Bordentown City on this one-hour guided walking tour of the colonial town’s historic district. From the “woman in white” to the haunted Clara Barton schoolhouse, this after-dark tour is sure to provide great stories, chills and fun! Appropriate for all ages.
Stories and routes change each year. Tours happen rain or shine – so come dressed for the weather.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for children under 8. Advance ticketing strongly suggested. Ticket sales begin Oct. 3. Call The Old Book Shop at 609-324-9909 for info and tickets.

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Filed under books, Bordentown, Ghost Walk, hauntings, living with ghosts


The_Afternoon_Crowd_Cover_for_Kindlejpgam hs pic

Bill-the owner, Roger the hoagie man, Mike-former owner, and The Candy Man Bill

Scenes from the American House Tavern-the subject for The Afternoon Crowd. Bill-the owner is a basic who threads in and out of the stories. Roger, the hoagie man-who made the best hoagies ever, ever, ever, will appear in another volume. Mike will appear in the next volume, too. Bill- the candy man has his bit of story in the book.

Every town and every house has its own stories to tell. Taverns are the best places for learning about human nature, how people think, and sometimes why they think the way they do. It was a job between careers and I loved it!

Signed copies of The Afternoon Crowd can be found at Randy Now’s ManCave at 134 Farnsworth Ave. or at the Old Bookshop at 200 Farnsworth Ave. in Bordentown, NJ. Or, you may order it from me if you want an inscription, or from $10 wherever you buy it. Enjoy!

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Filed under American History, Bordentown, historical taverns, Poetry

New Car; Not a Mask

DSCF3089 definitly a happy face, not a mask…

Okay, okay. I know everyone else is writing, talking Halloween. Well, I just want to reassure y’all about my recent excitement.
I pondered and pondered. How was I going to buy a car with the small amount I would be getting from the insurance company? I was hoping for 5k, which probably doesn’t buy much in the automotive field. I was right. I didn’t want to buy someone else’s problems….I have plenty of those myself.
Someone suggested CarMax. This is all new to me……For my last couple of vehicles I just drove a few miles to Florence (NJ) to Totten Chevrolet, spoke to Jim Lynch (someone I knew I could trust) told him what I wanted and voila! A fair price, a good car and no hassle. Pick it up the next day or two.
Florence, NJ is now 400 miles from me. I am a pioneer in not-so-new-territory. Time to adapt.
CarMax had a 2007 Toyota for $10,000. It looked okay to me on the PC. But then I spoke to Jonathan Wilson (not the Bordentown artist Jonathan Wilson) and he gave me some information to think about. He is with Enterprise Car Sales in Raleigh, NC. I did think. And compared. And called Jonathan back realizing he is a man I could trust. And I’m glad I did.
For $12,000 and low-interest financing I drove home (THAT SAME DAY WOW!) a 2012 Mazda 2, RED (at my age why do dull) hatchback, which I love, love, love! It fits me to a T!
Buying a car is about your own personal likes and A SALES REP THAT YOU CAN TRUST.

And I am back on the road again….me and Willie Nelson are always on the road again. My brother Bob says I was in a time warp about buying a car. I reminded him that I am usually in the 18th or 19th century.


Filed under Bordentown, general

No New is Good News, Here is my News

Well, apologies to all for not staying in touch. It has been an exceptionally busy two months culminating in a wrap that the mini-series on TV couldn’t have conjured up more.

After driving 400 miles easily and safely from a long weekend in Bordentown, NJ to 6 miles from home at 5 a m a few weeks ago, a big buck ran into the front of my Chevy Tracker. BOOM! His running partner glazed off the side of the car, knocking the back bumper askew. I had been singing at the top of my lung capacity along with Chuck Jackson, relaxed and having a good ole time knowing I was 5 or 6 minutes from home.

Stunned! I was stunned! I deep-down believed that I would never a catastrophe with a deer. Here were two of them! I don’t mind eating them but to harm one is something else. (that makes no sense but there it is) I instantly felt remorse at bringing this guy down. Actually, he flew into the air (in slo mo) and landed somewhere in the field where he came from.

What to do? I’ve never had an accident. It was 5 a m. Who do I call at that hour? I drove about 60 ft. before pulling over to check the tires; to see whether I could drive home or no. One car did come up the road behind me, drove around me and kept on going. He wasn’t in sight when the deer and I collided.

My poor Betsie (car pet name) looked just awful, yet as she has always done, she would get me home okay. I was fine, no pulled muscles or broken anything on me. I was cool, too. No physical harm to anyone except the poor deer. I instantly pleaded for forgiveness. Then I cautiously (a bit late for that?) drove on home hearing the clinks and clanks of items dropping off the car as we limped homeward like the wounded soldier that she was.


Filed under Bordentown, general

Pssst…… case you haven’t heard:

Sherman Johnson has invited me to his radio show to talk about ghosts….& things that go bump in the night and maybe more….wow! ….on the radio! WARR 1520 AM or on your computer….on Wednesday, 27 March at 10 am. Who knows what subjects may come up……it’s a month for women’s history! Join us, expect the unexpected………..
Thursday 28 March 2013, at 5 pm at the Warren County Memorial Library….a Reading, Signing and talking about: Ghostly Spirits of Warren County & Beyond. Question & Answer period to follow. I’d love to see you. C’mon out and we’ll talk…

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Filed under American History, Bordentown, paranormal, women

Major Fraser’s

Back in the 80s when the mortgage rates dropped to an all-time low, I trained and became a real estate appraiser, thanks to Ed MacNicoll owner of the business of that name. Architecture had long been of interest to me and that position fueled my passion for it. I often got the assignments for the big, old Victorians or farmhouses that took more work and time to appraise. I loved the challenge and still do love it .

Little did I know that what I learned in that profession would be called on when I wrote Major Fraser’s, but expanding in a different sense. Yes, the house is the basis for the story but Major Fraser and his family are the heart of it carrying the story from Bordentown to South Carolina and into France.

He came from Scotland in the 1700s, reason unknown to me but many families lost all they had after the Battle of Culloden in 1746. Even if they fought against England during that conflict, many that took the forced loyalty oath, adhered to it and fought for England during our Revolution. Thomas Fraser did, fighting his way up to the rank of Major.

During the War he married Southern belle Anne Loughton Smith. After the War they lived in Charleston and Philadelphia. They came to Bordentown during the dangerous summer seasons to get away from big city killing diseases.

Major Fraser’s, whose daughter married Napoleon Bonaparte’s nephew,  is a dip into the past history of our country revealing the personal stories of people who lived before we were a country and on up until the present.Image


Filed under American History, Bordentown, women