Rose gave me a tour of her home, the Somerville-Graham House, that has seen much history. It is still being replayed over and over, in Warrenton, NC. She filled me in on her weird experiences along the way.
A heavenly white Christmas tree stands in the corner near the fireplace of this front bedroom. It is adorned with white angels, doves and other ornaments all exuding the feeling of peace and joy. It’s breathtaking to look at any time of year. A life-size young girl mannequin stands next to it, as if she is in the middle of trimming the tree. She is as graceful as a sculptured work of art. The scene casts an aura on the room bringing life to it.
Rose said, “I came into this room to clean it one afternoon after guests of ours left. I was in a bit of a hurry. I rushed in then stopped. A vapor was right near the tree. It seemed to be hovering. Maybe it was looking it over, I don’t know. It moved as if it noticed me. It turned toward me, moved again and stopped. Then it moved all the way across the room. I just stood there stunned. All of a sudden I just chuckled and said aloud, ‘Helen is that you? How do you like the tree?’ Then I left it to do whatever I was doing.”
Great reading! Ge in the mood for Halloween! A few excerpts: Somerville-Graham House Kathleen: “I came into this (bed) room to clean it one afternoon after guests of ours left. I was in a bit of a hurry. I rushed in, and then stopped. A vapor was right near the (Christmas) tree. It seemed to be hovering! Maybe it was looking it over, I don’t know! It moved as if it noticed me! It turned toward me, moved again and stopped!Then it moved all the way across the room! I just stood there stunned! All of a sudden I just chuckled and said aloud, ‘Helen is that you? How do you like the tree?’ Then I left it alone to do whatever it was doing.
Oakley Hall Plantation- The guys said they wanted to talk to us because they were concerned about something that happened to them. These two guys never drank on the job, they were dependable, every day type of guys, very reliable people. They smoked cigarettes but did not drink until after the workday ended.
They started with “Has anything unusual ever happened to you guys in the house? I ask because something happened to us this week.”
“Well we heard the house has some . . stories. What happened?” Don said.
“While we were upstairs working a man walked out of the wall and crossed the bedroom, never acknowledging us, and walked into the wall across the room.”
Also: The Babs Holtzman Story; Traveler’s Rest; Blount Cottage; W.A. Miles Hardware; Person’s Ordinary; Braxton Bragg; and many more.
Buy at Oakley Hall Antiques & Art on N. Main St. Warrenton NC or on Amazon.com
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.
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.
This collection of extraordinary poems tells the story of vivid, African-American characters who have passed through the life of the author in a small, rural town in the South. Sometimes they entertain and sometimes salty tears burst, overflowing the eyelid wells, for the terrible tragedy of a life. Park has reached deep into his soul to let you know that these people lived and died and mattered, without any judgment from him. If these characters were not noticed in life, they will remain with the reader for a long, lingering time.
In all his honesty, Park reports on events that happened . . . and didn’t happen. When dreams blossomed with hope for a community and were taken away leaving disappointment for many who worked hard, giving their all, to bring about ideal living. The author exudes love of his community. He shows this caring by continuing to encourage the arts, the love of words and writing to anyone who wants to participate. I love this book.
The September First Friday continues to exceed my expectations! I thought that the holiday weekend would bring us a small group dedicated to our efforts of bringing poetry and oral expression to Warren County. Instead, the Warren Food Works (WFW) was packed with a diverse crowd from 18 to 80 mingling, enjoying each other while eating, drinking, and soaking up the words cast out into the atmosphere.
A wide range of poetic subjects seeping from the hearts of writers-Warren County writers, and Virginia writers, too, silenced the room with absorption. The always-welcome songs sung so beautifully by Shavon Russell Jones and afterwards, her sister, (forgive me I didn’t get her name.) A big surprise to everyone when volunteer from behind the bar, Cris Hunter ended the evening with the most beautiful rendition of Nature Boy. It brought some tears for the beauty of it. Their voices were like melted chocolate, velvety smooth and mesmerizing to everyone.
Miranda Medlin offered a stirring presentation, taking all into her realm. Devonte, a poet from our last year anthology Sitting with a Drunken Sorceress gave us his words and Travis Bullock continues to bring people in just to hear what he has to tell us.
So many others came to read, to share thoughts, feelings, and to merely listen. It was a very full night; a night to show Thomas Park what his dream has wrought; a night to make him proud for all his efforts.
Yeah! It is finally here! Now you can read personal stories from those who have met ghosts and experienced the supernatural. Local legends are in there. Stories brought to the Lake Gaston area by people you may know are included. You can read about the book and excerpts from it at this location: http://booklocker.com/books/6459.html
I don’t have them in hand yet, but my order is on the way. Check it out on the Booklocker website to get the first copies available.
There are times when a person passes away but their spirit remains with the house. Possibly this is because he loved the house so much that he cannot bear to leave it. He remains out of sight as long as the family he loved remains there. Time passes and the family with it, either from dying off or moving away. The house is sold or rented to strangers and ghostly activity begins. After all, the spirit lived in the house when alive and for many years after it was no longer ‘alive’. He may consider the house still his and wonder who these new people are living in his house.
Some ghosts like the newcomers and remain quiet. Others seem to be unhappy with the new people and are just letting them know that the house is really theirs. As long as you respect that fact, you will get along fine. This situation happened in “People and Their Ghosts” Ann Herbert’s story in the “Ghostly Spirits of Warren County, NC & Beyond” the title itself tells where these things are happening or at least have happened. The book will be available shortly.
It’s true. I have been carrying a new life inside me, but this one took not nine months, but a few years and is called a book. The final proof is read and completed. The birth date of Ghostly Spirits in Warren County, North Carolina & Beyond should be in about a month. Whew! I remember going through labor with the boys, but time dulls the pain. I’ll be as happy to see the finished product now as I was then.
Brigette Norcross – Editor says: The book is so rich with details, you feel like you are witnessing the ghostly appearances yourself; it is a little unnerving. I could not put the book down.
And Nancy LaPonzina, author Nardi Point says: “Bice takes us on a contemporary journey of things that go bump in the night with her collection of present day narratives not from Hollywood, but from our own backyard. Every region and town has its story—these tales are from Warrenton, North Carolina (or Warren County). Not for late-night reading, proceed at your own risk! “
So now I wait, breathing deeply to stay calm through this last process…….or was that Lamaze?