Category Archives: living with ghosts

Frasers Visit Me at 3 a.m.


Writers often mention how, once begun, a story takes over and goes off in its own direction. It exercises a power leading the writer in the way it wants to be told. This is so true in reference to the book Major Fraser’s. The spirit of those who lived at 201 Prince Street was emerging as if from the woodwork and overpowers my thoughts and my fingers as I type their histories. They stay with me throughout the day, becoming my constant companions even when I’m not at the computer. The bond between houses and people lay in the back of my mind and smolder there.
The writing of the story began when the present owner of the house, John, asked me if I would put his massive collection of information on the house in order. I misunderstood and thought he wanted me to research the house from its earliest inhabitants and put them in book form. I believe there are no accidents in life only events that happen for a reason.
When I completed the work and presented it to John, he was surprised. He had no idea that I was writing a book for him, yet was pleased with the end result. I was finished, or so I thought.
The story would not let go of me. It stayed with me, nagging at me. I dreamed of the inhabitants who lived at that address as if they are my ancestors waiting to be brought to the drawing room to be introduced to company. The Major’s wife and family came to me, waking me at 3 a.m. pleading with me to tell their story, too.
So I asked John if I may publish his story. As the frame of a house wants filling in, adding to it; so the histories of some people want to be brought forth. With his permission, my research expanded.
Facts kept falling into place like a child’s puzzle. Information that I couldn’t find before, popped up in front of me. Material that came to me from the Internet was searched and researched in print form for accuracy. Of course errors are made in print also, especially when transcribing forms from the 1600s and 1700s.
Alas, in this day of the Information Highway, new facts are always coming to the surface. I expended hour after hour to prove what I wrote was the truth…….at least as someone had seen it and I believed it.
The Farnsworth family first grabbed onto me. There were a few different lines of Farnsworths that came to the Colonies early. It was devilish trying to keep them separate.
A few stories were extended because they were just too good to let lay in a drawer somewhere. A chuckle told me that not all our ancestors were serious and respectable was definitely welcome after hours of dry, dusty words.
Another particular family story, that of the Fraser’s, held me tight. It was as if Major Fraser wanted his honor and respect for his military record to stand on its own merit. His wife, Mrs. Anne Loughton Smith Fraser came to me at night, (they were visits, not dreams) told me where to seek her background; the family she came from with their honorable saga of settling in the Charleston, South Carolina area. Every place she guided me to, had the information I needed. With her maiden name of Smith, the search could have been difficult, if not downright impossible, without going to Charleston. Wow, what a way to research!
Not to be put aside, the Fraser children tugged at my shirttails, letting me know that they, too, became a part of history in our still young country. It was a wonder that I got any sleep at all with all this company coming to me at night.
Their stories left Bordentown to extend outside the United States borders, but were too good not to include. Caroline Georgina attached hers, through the love of a prince, to France. Caroline Georgina’s twin, William eventually settled in Washington D.C. I think about his selling horses to the Union Army during the American War Between The States. He must have been torn by this war between the north and the south and the two homes he was raised in.
On a visit to the Wilson Library in Chapel Hill, North Carolina I held in my hands, Jane Winter Fraser’s hand-written books, written for her nieces and nephews, from her days in Bordentown. Rampant emotions ran through me as I struggled to decipher her hand writing. I heard her whispers in my ear. She was whispering in my ear while I was reading her book! I kept looking around to see if anyone was noticing. Becoming too unsettled, I finally copied page after page of her book to take home to decipher.
Her sister Maria Fraser blazed trails in the west. Because she was coming to me at night and woouldn’t let me go either, I continued to search and to record what I found.
The Major fought valiantly on the side of the British during the Revolutionary War. Bordentown was a majority of Patriots but forgiving after the War of some Loyalists, certainly where the Major and his family were concerned. By the time he came to Bordentown peace had returned to a nation still building itself.
After the War he settled into plantation life of South Carolina. In summer he brought his family north, first to Philadelphia then by invitation from his friend Dr. William Burns to Bordentown. He was leaving behind the fatal diseases of the heat that invaded their own southern home and often the city of Philadelphia.
Out of his eleven children several of them later made Bordentown their primary home, even buying property of their own after the Major died in 1820.
His daughter Caroline Georgina’s marrying Prince Lucien Murat, nephew of Joseph and Napoleon Bonaparte, probably influenced folks to continue calling the house by a name given to it two hundred years ago. It is still referred to as “Major Fraser’s” house.
It is their visits to me in the middle of the night that encouraged me to continue writing their family stories and publishing them, so this part of history will not be left in some dusty storeroom and forgotten.

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Filed under American History, books, Bordentown, living with ghosts

NOSEGAY OF VIOLETS AT HORSESHOE RESTAURANT SOUTH HILL VA AND OAKLEY HALL WARRENTON NC


At this time of year when angels are adorning the tops of Christmas trees, I remember when an angel saved my life and the lives of my four sons. I was fleeing an abusive marriage, driving south to Florida, hoping to re-locate there. In the middle of a scary night, I nearly drove over the edge of the two-lane road in Georgia. An angel saw things differently and saved us. Read the full story in NOSEGAY OF VIOLETS a writer’s memoir of psychic awakening. The Horseshoe Restaurant on Danville Street in South Hill VA and Oakley Hall in Warrenton NC both have copies of the book available at $15.00. Read the full story of one thankful woman. Me. It makes for a great Christmas gift. Please share.

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WARRENTON SPRING FEST


WARREN ARTISTS MARKET WILL BE THERE with all our anthologies PLUS our own published works!
Stop at our table and have a chat!

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Filed under anthology, Book Fair/Festival, books, First Friday Poetry Night, living with ghosts, paranormal, Poetry, Warren Artists' Market, warren county nc

talking UFOs & Ghosts on The Show: WARR RADIO 1520 AM Sherman Johnson 10 am-11


on The Show: WARR RADIO 1520 AM Sherman Johnson Miles in My Shoes, Years at My Side, author Patrick James Smith will be interviewed by Sherman Johnson about his book and experiences with UFOs, ghosts, and other strange occurrences happening in his lifetime. You can tune in online to listen 10 am to 11 am this Wed. March 22. Exciting!

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More Backstory

ireland-graveyard

The photo is of the graveyard near the Hill of Tara, County Meath, Ireland. Newgrange is approximately a half hour away.

Probably the first time I heard of Tara (in this lifetime) was in reading Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell when I was in my early 20s. The Hill of Tara came to me many years later when I read Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley in 1991. I loved both books, feeling Ripley continued Scarlett’s fiery personality in her novel.

Angelo came home one day and said, “Let’s go to Ireland next month.” He always chose our vacation spot, but left the planning up to me. I had no clue (and the Internet was in its infancy) about where to go, no time to write for tourist information, and never went to tourist destinations anyway.

Ahhh! I had recently finished Scarlett. I took the book off the shelf, copied all the places she mentioned and marked them on the map. It gave me a starting point. Angelo was not a reader. He had no idea where my plan came from, just went along wherever I drove the car. I was determined to see where the High Kings of Ireland sat; where Scarlett was taking a handful of her Tara’s earth to mix with the earth in the Hill of Tara, Ireland.

 

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Filed under Ireland, European travel, Australia, Cairns horse racing,, living with ghosts, Memoir, psychic phenomena, women's stories

More Backstory

ireland-graveyard
JANUARY 6, 2017 · 7:52 PM | EDIT ↓ Jump to Comments
More Backstory
ireland-graveyard violets-3

The photo is of the graveyard near the Hill of Tara, County Meath, Ireland. Newgrange is approximately a half hour away. A Nosegay of Violets. Probably the first time I heard of Tara (in this lifetime) was in reading Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell when I was in my early 20s. The Hill of Tara came to me many years later when I read Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley in 1991. I loved both books, feeling Ripley continued Scarlett’s fiery personality in her novel.

Angelo came home one day and said, “Let’s go to Ireland next month.” He always chose our vacation spot, but left the planning up to me. I had no clue (and the Internet was in its infancy) about where to go, no time to write for tourist information, and never went to tourist destinations anyway.

Ahhh! I had recently finished Scarlett. I took the book off the shelf, copied all the places she mentioned and marked them on the map. It gave me a starting point. Angelo was not a reader. He had no idea where my plan came from, just went along wherever I drove the car. I was determined to see where the High Kings of Ireland sat; where Scarlett was taking a handful of her Tara’s earth to mix with the earth in the Hill of Tara, Ireland.

As I stood there, I saw the tombstone’s off near a small church. I expected to find some really, really old markers. Genealogy was playing a big role in my life at the time, so gravestones were important to me. They hold a wealth of historical information. I found a few from the 1800s which isn’t considered old to me. Disappointed, maybe, but not in Tara.

Newgrange had deeply unsettled me. I was wary of walking into that narrow tunnel to get to the interior. I did it, not happily. I had to force myself. Something was going on there and I did not know what, only how it affected me. The Hill of Tara was just what I needed to restore my energy and self-assurance as a visitor in Ireland.

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Filed under Ireland, European travel, Australia, Cairns horse racing,, living with ghosts, Memoir, paranormal, psychic phenomena, women's stories

SPECIAL EVENT TAKING PLACE, 2 DEC. 2016!

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Announcing a special event happening along the border of North Carolina and Virginia. December 2, 2016 from 1 until 3 pm+ at Backyard Birds and Coffee, Hwy 903, Bracey, Virginia (entrance driveway is next to the Sunoco Gas Station) Five local authors of various genres are gathering together for an afternoon of excitement. Bring your questions and comments. Come, join us. Remember that books inscribed by the author make great, unique Christmas gifts! Refreshments served.

Sandra Martin – memoir ~ Snapshots ~ Memories and Recipes
These stories are from Bracey farm girl, to suburban mother and finally to the life of a NYC literary agent. Ms Martin represented clients in the emerging mainstream genres of deep spirituality, ESP and the paranormal, alternative health and then there were the conspiracy books.

Arlene S. Bice – memoir~ A Nosegay of Violets- A Writer’s Memoir of Psychic Awakening
An ordinary girl grows into womanhood while experiencing extraordinary psychic moments. A very personal story unwraps to reveal secrets held for many years.
Ms. Bice is also the author of Ghosts of Warren County, NC & Beyond and other books on true stories of ghosts and hauntings.

Thomas Park – poetry ~ Looking for ‘Cuda Brown
Looking for ‘Cuda Brown tells the stories of many extraordinary characters Thomas has met over the years.
Mr. Park, founder of Warren Artists’ Market, lives and teaches in Warrenton, NC. He has an M.A. in English from Wayne State University and an MFA from Goddard College in Vermont. He was published in Best New Poets of North Carolina.

Merriwether Shipley -fiction ~ Cassandra and the GI P.I.: A Dupont Circle Mystery
Cassandra and the GI P.I., a DuPont Circle Mystery, follow the events that lead to a college student’s chance meeting with a P.I. named Harry Shields in October of 1969. He suffers from shell shock which has followed him for 15 years. An unseen foe is trying to kill him. They work as a team to uncover the terrors, both internal and external, as they pursue life together.
Meriwether Shipley has been an actor, model, producer and director of stage and screen. She now applies her story telling skills to this seven-volume series of books. Ms. Shipley lives in Clarksville, Virginia.

Patricia Bortz, – fiction ~ Hard Truth: Secret of the Back Row
Megan Montgomery isn’t out to save the world, but her best friend, Nadia, is. America is no more. Christians who refuse the “”mark”” are arrested for high treason. Megan trusts Sixtus, the antichrist and President of the New World Order, until his true perverse nature is revealed.
In 1996 Patricia led the theater group at her church in Armonk, New York. She wrote and directed many short dramas and plays for her powerful ministry in prisons, nursing homes and homeless shelters. She was then led to write a full-length play based on the battle of Armageddon. “Hard Truth” was the result. The final performance played to a sold-out, standing room only theater. Mrs. Bortz lives in Bracey, Virginia.

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Filed under books, Christmas season, coffee, cookbooks, fiction, hauntings, living with ghosts, Memoir, paranormal, Poetry, wormen writing, writing