Waiting so long to write about the strange things that happened to me was a natural decision. I first spoke about seeing a ghost while I was working in my bookshop in Bordentown, New Jersey. This came freely because I was conducting an annual ghost walk as a fund raiser for my business group. There were other houses on the tour that also had true stories of hauntings. There is a comfort and freedom when you are among your own kind. And people who lived with ghosts in their houses were my kind.
Once word got out that I lived with a little girl ghost in my house, others came to me with their stories. They, too, had not spoken of their experiences for the same reasons. One, who would believe them? Two, how many people would ridicule and make fun of them? Three, would the value of their homes drop? And more reasons followed.
Once houses were placed on the tour, they became, if any change at all, higher in value. People sought haunted houses to live in because they wanted that experience. It became cool.
Remember, Bordentown was settled in 1682, adding much Revolutionary War history to its stories. The earlier residents were practically still living to the present-day residents. We kept their personalities alive and familiar through the Historical Society and through fund raisers. One of which was a Friday evening garden party at the DeSantis house. Several of us dressed in our chosen Bordentown “hero/shero.” We had many to choose from.
The first year I wore all white as was the custom of Quaker Patience Lovell Wright. She was America’s first woman sculptor (mostly in wax) who spied in the court of King George in England, sending all the information she discovered to Benjamin Franklin. He was living in France at the time.
Once we entered the garden in costume, we became that person, staying in character, answering questions as that person would have done. It was great fun and imbedded history into our bones. I’m not quite sure about Ms. Wright drinking wine, tho she could have. No wonder ghosts came out of the woodwork!
Filed under American History, books, Bordentown, Ghost Walk, hauntings, living with ghosts, Memoir, New book release, New Jersey history, paranormal, psychic phenomena
Well, it’s finally here and it is a great relief! Writing this book, A Nosegay of Violets, has been therapeutic, sending all those hidden secrets out into the Universe with a refusal of thinking “what if someone laughs at me?” or “what if no one believes me?” or “what will they think of me, knowing of the marriage I was in? “
Those questions no longer hold fear for me. I have survived the marriage and became stronger because of it. I have forgiven myself for decisions I made, (the hardest thing to do) believing they were the right ones to make at the time. And I have forgiven others who did me harm. They were just being who they were. And I had help along the way, from people-sometimes strangers-from friends, from family, and an Angel here and there when no one else was around to show up. WOW!
You’d think those would be easy moments to talk about, but they were not. Fear of rejection held me back. When I overcame that fear last year, I pulled all the scraps of paper with notes jotted on them and poured over my journals to be sure I would get everything right. It meant re-living the entire experience over again and again and again as I wrote and re-wrote and re-wrote. Excuse me, while I allow myself to have this feeling of being wonderful!
Poetry from Life & Labyrinth: Continue reading
MARK YOUR CALENDAR for Saturday, Sept. 24th! A BOOK FAIR FESTIVAL at A Brewed Awakening Coffee& Book Shop, 610 Craghead St. Danville, VA. Please come out and say “hello”. !0 am to 2 pm on the sidewalks. Come hungry for books and for some good foods! The event is hosted by Bonnie & John Hale. They host a BOOK FAIR FESTIVAL twice a year, spring & fall.
I’ll be there with books in hand, enjoying the day, talking about ghosts and whatever subjects come up. COME OUT AND SEE WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT!
Filed under Book Fair/Festival, books, booksigning, coffee, espresso, general, hauntings, living with ghosts, paranormal, Poetry, writing
LIVING WITH GHOSTS
History often plays such a big part in a haunting. It seems some folks felt such passion about the place they once lived and the events that took place while they lived there, that they just don’t want to leave it. Remember that time in the afterlife is not like we count time here on earth.
It’s not unusual for a Revolutionary War soldier to show up in a Bordentown house, as it has in a couple (Living with Ghosts) where so much intense passion was felt during that period. In the Anderson Street and the White House stories, both places went under some major remodeling. This really brings the spirits out of the woodwork, and it takes a lot of time for them to settle back down again.
Of course, I don’t know why they should care, they just walk through walls (where the doorway used to be) anyway. Wow. What a talent to have!
LIVING WITH GHOSTS
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.
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