Category Archives: paranormal

Messages from the Other Side

Hearing stories about ghosts (spirits) living in different houses and researching what their story may be that keeps them there is fascinating. I’ve had experiences of my own so I can relate. Yet the many tales of messages coming from loved ones that tickle me most. Maybe that’s because so many people have had that experience and never think to refer to it as a message from a spirit on the other side.

I know of one person in particular that didn’t go to work at the Twin Towers in NYC on 9/11. “Just an inkling,” he said. “Not really sure why I turned around from the commuter station and went back home. It’s not like we were going to go off to play in the park. I came to see if I could help my wife with her work making chocolates. Nothing that she doesn’t do every day when I’m not here.” I wonder which one of his spirit guides or ancestors whispered in his ear to take that rare day off from work.

He admitted to me, “I never took off from work. I loved the job I did.”  His wife stood next to him, her head nodding in agreement. If I had told him someone was in touch with him from the ‘other side’ he probably would have pooh-poohed it. But I’m glad he listened, heard it and paid attention.

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A Ghost
A ghost
that pants
and breathes
on my neck
that sends chills
running up my spine
and raises the hairs on my arms
A ghost
softly in my ear
reminding me of life
after death is a true thing
a spirit without a body not to
be forgotten because it is not seen
A ghost
in front of me
as a misty curvy wave
a haint to be an image of terror
to some, but not by others who know
and accept it with the joy of a past love
A ghost
cannot give
comfort by touch
because never does
warmth come out of a spirit
from the middle world it inhabits
yet the sight brings memories of passion
arlene sandra bice ©

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The ghosts that I have come across are not the rotted out bodies dripping with blood rising from a grave in a mysterious, forgotten cemetery. They are more like people who loved their home so much that they couldn’t bear to leave it, people who didn’t realize they were dead, and sometimes people just saying good-bye to loved ones before heading toward the light. It can be a very comforting experience if you are open-minded without horror stories lurking in the back of your mind.

One house noted in Ghostly Spirits in Warren County & Beyond has many ghosts and spirits living there and also some just passing through. A while after our interview an invitation came for me to attend a tea party with the ghost children who lived there. It was an unusual experience but not as unusual as the request that came later for them to come visit me in my home! I thought about that a bit before agreeing. After all, they were gracious enough to invite me. They came, giggling and smiling, happy little kids, giving me their names this time. It helped me to look at death very differently.

The passion of history often has a lot to do with a person’s spirit being held to the earth plane, especially on a battlefield where so many died at such young ages.. I went to Gettysburg once, rising early in the morning, before sunrise during the off-tourist season. I sat in Little Round Top and felt the enormous sadness wash over me. I didn’t see any of the ghosts that many have seen. I thought of the cries of those shot down so senselessly. Many of those fallen had no true idea of what it was all about. Why they felt they had to march off to war because some politicians were afraid they would be losing money with the new laws. War is always about the money hiding behind ideals spoken aloud.


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I rather bumped into writing about the true experiences people have with ghosts many years ago. It began when word got out that I had witnessed a happening with a little girl ghost. Others, curious, wanting to talk about their own experiences but afraid they would be laughed at, came into my bookshop and quietly began to reveal their stories to me.
This led to my conducting a Ghost Walk as a fund raiser for my business group in Bordentown, New Jersey. When I moved to North Carolina in 2005, I was telling Don Arnold at Oakley Hall Antiques about my ghost. He said, “You need to be writing about Warren County’s ghosts. We have lots of them!” With that said he invited me to his and Ernie Fleming’s home at Oakley Hall (former plantation) in Ridgeway.
This opened the door to forming a great friendship between us. It also began my collecting stories about local hauntings that are as varied as there are people. It seemed that wherever I went, still as a newcomer at the time, someone had a story for me or a name of someone I needed to speak with. A lady sat next to me at a Christmas party. I knew no one other than the hosts. The conversation came around to ghosts. She just happened to have a story.
A woman called to me while I was sitting on a picnic table on the Lake Gaston Estates beach. It was 8 a.m. on a weekday morning. Her dog was lost and she was hoping I had seen it. I hadn’t, but an hour or two later, I had a phone call telling me where the dog was. It wasn’t long before I learned that she had an experience to relate to me. We also shared some of our life stories and became friends.
I served on jury duty in Warrenton. When the jury was sent to the little room while the attorneys discussed a point in the case, a juror asked if I really wrote ghost stories as it had been revealed during the jury selection. “Yes” I replied. Three people there had stories to tell me. Two of them are in the Ghostly Spirits in Warren County & Beyond book. Who would think I’d meet someone with a haunting sequestered in a jury room? Ya gotta luv it!
Now I’m collecting stories for my second NC/VA book. If you have one or happen to know someone . . . .please send a message to me.


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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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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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Miles in My Shoes, Years at My Side by Patrick James Smith; Book Review


“I am suddenly aware that I am alone in a timeless and vast pitch black void in which there are no stars, sun, or moon.” This is the opening sentence in Miles in My Shoes, Years at My Side, the memoir of Patrick James Smith in which his strange and sometimes eerie experiences with life are enough to keep you awake at night.

He writes in journal form, accented by bible verses, chronicling moments beginning with his birth. His remarkable memory records events that will be impossible to forget after reading them. He was born in Oklahoma, but grows up criss-crossing the country.  Prophetic dreams come to him as warnings to prepare him for what is ahead. As a child he plays with poisonous snakes but doesn’t get bit, amazing his siblings. An electric shock convulses his young body while he sits in a bathtub full of water, yet he survives. And these are only a few, tiny incidents. There are so much more.

Smith holds nothing back. He reveals all that he has seen, heard, and lived to tell his readers. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the unusual, the shocking, the exhilarating. You won’t fall asleep reading it. You can find it on CreateSpace or


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More Backstory

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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Early Backstory


When I was a teen I planned to be a reporter/journalist for a daily newspaper. As soon as I graduated from high school, I would face the world, have my own apartment and report, write, and look for situations people wanted to read about.

Excitement built in me when I was accepted to work on the Hamilton High school newspaper. It was probably named The Hornet or something similar that escapes my memory because I never made it to my senior year. A year that I so looked forward to. A year that would be my early training for the career I craved.

My mother did some finagling that summer between my junior and senior years. She was grossly unhappy with my having a steady boyfriend, who took me to proms, football games, swimming, parties, and all the dreamy places a teenage girl could want. He even got me a part-time job waiting the counter in a luncheonette.  She decided he was not to be in my life any longer.

Then she met Ken at our neighbor Claire and Bill’s house. He was a friend of Bill’s.  Mom determined that we should meet and become a couple. That’s how it happened. It was all arranged. A backyard cookout was planned where he would not bring his present girlfriend. I was so naïve! I knew nothing of all this going on. Just pushed into attending.

Ken also took me swimming, dancing, to impressive restaurants, and cozy jazz clubs where the smoke hung low and chanteuse voices even lower. He was 6’ 2” wide in the shoulders, narrow in the hips, wore custom-made suits, sported anErrol Flynn mustache, and drove a fine-looking Cadillac. Two tone gray.  Very classy.

Mom coached me to order V. O. & water so I wouldn’t be carded. I was 16. The legal drinking age at the time was 21. Ken was 26, a handsome man with exquisite manners, consideration, and attendance.

At the end of the whirlwind summer, when it was time for me to return to school, Ken asked me to marry him. My stepfather Joe wisely suggested we wait until I finish high school. I think he knew this would blow over in time. I was just too young for a lifetime commitment. I was happy waiting although I considered that Ken would not be taking me to high school balls or football games. Besides being on the school paper, I was vice-president of the class. I was involved. It was expected of me to support my school events. I couldn’t see Ken’s going along with this.

It took me years to figure out that Mom was terrified I would become pregnant and bring shame to the family. She wisely knew, at Ken’s age, he would probably not wait for conjugal rights. He certainly was not gentleman enough to wait for me.  She didn’t know I had the determination and intelligence to not let that happen to me. She just didn’t know me at all.

So, I said ‘yes.’ My words, not quite my dream.  Surely this was only a detour. I didn’t know that then, but I knew, walking down the aisle in a white velvet gown in November, with all eyes on me, tears slowly overflowing my eyes under my tulle veil, that this was not the right place for me to be. But it was too late to turn back.


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Early Nosegay of Violets

dscf4367 Continue reading

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