Showing posts with label #ghost stories. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #ghost stories. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Lady by the Lake

All my life, I've heard stories told about a ghost appearing around White Rock Lake. The lake is a small body of water bound on all sides by commercial and residential properties in North Dallas. Sail boats dot the blue waters especially on a pretty Sunday afternoon. My husband and I lived blocks from there when our oldest daughter was young, and we hadn't yet had the two younger girls. Trees circle the lake. It's one of Dallas' most scenic areas.

This ghost story has many versions, but they always include a young woman in a white evening gown. She is dripping wet and asks to be taken home. Somewhere along the way while they drive this young lady to her destination, she disappears. The story dates back to at least the 1930s. In 1943, it was printed in the Texas Folklore Society's newsletter.

For more information on the Lady by the Lake, go to:

This lady is believed to have been a warning to people driving on the road around the lake when they're inching too closely to the water's edge. Some claim stopping for her saved them from plunging into the depths themselves. This will usually happen on nights with a full moon.

By the way, a full moon is due on April 4, so if you're in Dallas on that day, be careful if you cruise around White Rock Lake.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Ghost Legend?

Is there a ghost in Vernon, Texas?


Vernon is a city about fifty miles from my home in Wichita Falls. In the fall two years ago, our newspaper carried a story about the Vernon Ghost Tour and Folk Festival. That peeked my interest since my debut YA, Victoria and the Ghost had just released. The festival raised money for Vernon’s downtown reconstruction.


Now, it’s time to find a new ghost legend to build the last story in my YA ghost series around? And, I’m thinking Vernon would be super. Is there a ghost in Vernon?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Ghost Stories from Gettysburg

On this Weird Wednesday, how about two more ghost tales from children's author, Deb Hockenberry?
  Deb's stories of her mother's old homestead have thrilled and worried us for weeks. Today's tales will be no different. Take it away, Deb.
My mother used to live close to Gettysburg, PA. I talked to her every day on the phone, and she’d tell me about her previous night’s experiences. A few times, I experienced sightings myself.
Dress with mutton sleeves
One night, Mom saw two children looking and playing with the things on her bedroom dresser. A black arm (that’s all there was) came into the room and made the kids leave.
The arm, according to Mom, looked like an old fashioned dress sleeve...the mutton sleeves that women used to wear. The girl was dressed in a calico dress and the boy was in short pants.
The first time Mom saw the boy and girl she was woken by a noise and went out into the hall to investigate. She pinched herself to make sure she was awake. Mom saw the kids accompanied by a woman in a long dress. They were looking at all the family pictures hanging in the hallway. When the woman spotted Mom, all three simply vanished into thin air.
Oh, my, thank you, Deb, for reminding us today that weird things do happen--things we can't always explain.
 Find Deb Hockenberry at
Where Can We Have The Party? - Coming soon from 4RV Publishing 
Also coming soon from 4RV Publishing, my YA sequel, A Ghost for Shelley.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Penny Ehrenkranz's Ghost Stories

My guest today is Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz. I love her children's book, Boo's Bad Day. Naturally, I'm fond of ghost tales, so ...

Since this, after all, is Weird Wednesday, I interviewed Penny about her writing and about her upcoming middle-grade ghost stories. Here's my questions. Perhaps, Writing with God's hope blog followers will have more to ask in the comments section below.
Janet, thank you for inviting me to visit your blog today.  It has been a pleasure answering your questions. If people want to learn more about me or my work, my web site is


1.You're sure welcome, Penny. Now, tell us something of your writing journey.

Like most authors, I became interested in writing when I was a child in grade school.  I often entertained myself by writing books, illustrating them, and binding them with cardboard and ribbon.  In high school, my senior English teacher allowed me to work on a novel in lieu of doing homework assignments.  I have no idea what happened to that manuscript. I do remember being influenced by J.D. Salinger at the time.  After high school, I took some writing classes, but I was unable to sell any of my work and gave up for many years.  After my children were born, I did some grant writing for local non-profits.  When I realized I could make money from my writing, I took another writing class and this time, I made my first sale.  I began by writing non-fiction articles and short stories.  My middle grade novels, Ghost for Rent and Ghost for Lunch are the only full-length books I’ve written.  I still prefer to write 10,000 word or less stories.


2.       Your journey sounds a lot  like mine. I was inspired by an English teacher, and I started with short stories.   Is there a favorite theme in your writing?

I enjoy writing fantasy and science fiction, but I generally include a touch of romance.  I would say a common theme would be that families and relationships between people are important and should be nurtured.


3.                What books have you read recently?

I recently completed Room by Emma Donoghue (my book group selection), and11/22/63 by Stephen King (for pleasure).


4.                What other interests do you have besides writing?

I enjoy walking, water aerobics, gardening, spending time with my family and pets, crocheting, and of course, reading.


5.                What is your writing routine?

Routine? Hum… I really don’t have one.  I’ve never felt that I needed to write every day to call myself a writer.  If I write, submit, and get a story or article accepted, I feel I’ve accomplished my goal of being a writer.  When I am working on a project, however, I do better in the afternoon and early evening when I tend to feel more creative.  I am a “pantser,” so I don’t outline, although I will keep track of my characters names, descriptions, quirks, etc. I will often see a scene running through my mind as though I’m watching a movie.


6.                What song best describes you?

Sorry. I don’t have an answer for this one.  I’m a classic rock kind of gal, but I’m afraid what I would have answered when I was younger doesn’t really fit now.


7.                Have you ever felt like giving up? If so, how did you get through it?

Since I don’t feel obligated to write every day, I suppose one could say I give up quite often.  I rather think of it as taking a break to do what needs to be done to care for family, finish up a major task, or take a vacation.  When I get an idea for a new story or article, however, I am refreshed and ready to get started.


8.               Interesting way to view it. What’s your favorite quote?

I’m not sure who said it, but my favorite quote is “These things, too, shall pass.”


9.               Ah, good one to remember. What’s next for you?

I retired from my day job (office manager for our county district attorney) in 2008 and promptly hired on as an editor for a couple of small publishing houses.  When family obligations became more demanding, I retired again and gave up my editing jobs. Now, as time permits, I’m working on a fantasy, working title Raven’s Story.


I am currently under contract for my middle grade novels, Ghost for Rent and Ghost for Lunch as well as a picture book, Many Colored Coats. I am waiting on illustrations for all three of these books and hope to see publication with 4RV Publishing in the next year.


10.          How would you answer the question, "do you believe in ghosts?"

I do believe in ghosts.  The first time I saw a ghost was after my dad died when I was a child.  I looked out the window of our house and saw him walking up the street from the bus stop, suitcase in hand, headed home. Of course, he never arrived, but to this day, I can still picture it in my mind.


The second ghost I saw was when I was in my 20s. Several of my friends and I had rented a ski lodge in New Hampshire during the off-season.  I was home alone one evening, sitting in the main living room.  The clock struck thirteen (yes thirteen). I looked up and saw an opaque form floating up the stairwell to the second floor. When I ascended the stairs to investigate, no one was there.

I don't have cover art for my two ghost stories, yet, but here's what my main characters look like in my mind:

Mike Wiles, age 13

Wendy Miles, age 11

Tell us a bit of what the stories are about. I find the titles catchy.

First in the Series

      This middle grade, paranormal, ghost story is aimed at youth in grades four to six. It is approximately 16,418 words, 11 chapters, and 61 pages long.

      The story begins when eleven year old Wendy Wiles learns her parents are planning to get divorced.  Forced to leave her beloved city home for a cheaper country place, Wendy, her mother, and her thirteen year old brother move to rural Warren, Oregon.

      On move-in day, Wendy meets a neighbor girl who tells her their quaint country home is haunted.  Events proceed quickly as Wendy, her new friend, Jennifer, and Wendy’s brother, Mike, see ghostly figures dancing in the woods.  Despite Mom’s claims that “there are no such things as ghosts,” paranormal events persist in the Wiles’s home. Meanwhile her brother Mike, arch-tease, continues to torment Wendy, claiming he’s causing the unusual happenings.

      Wendy searches through library records to get to the bottom of the mystery.  Finally with Jennifer’s help, Wendy begins to unravel the truth. At last, even Mike can no longer disbelieve and decides to aid Wendy in her search.  By the end of the story, the three young sleuths have uncovered an accidental death, a suicide and a murder.
Second in the Series
            This middle grade, paranormal, ghost story is aimed at youth in grades four to six. It is approximately 30,365 words, 13 chapters, and 110 double spaced pages.
            Wendy Wiles, her brother Mike, and her family have lived in Warren, Oregon for almost a year.  When they moved into their new home, they found it haunted. With the help of a new friend, Jennifer, Wendy and her brother solved the mystery of the haunting in the first book of this series, Ghost for Rent.
            This story begins as Jennifer and her family move to California, leaving Wendy bereft of her best friend with only a new kitten to help remember her.  Shortly after Jennifer leaves, Wendy and Mike meet their new neighbor, a thirteen year old boy, Jon Adams.  Jon is cute, and Wendy is attracted to him, but everything is thrown into turmoil when Wendy learns Jon’s family bought a haunted restaurant in St. Helens.
            Wendy, Mike and Jon soon become good friends.  Jon’s mother is a bit odd.  She loves ghosts and wants to learn more about Wendy’s experience.  She invites Wendy to help clean the haunted restaurant, hoping that Wendy’s presence will make the ghosts more active.
            Wendy agrees as long as Mike is there, too.  As soon as they arrive at the restaurant, Wendy becomes aware of the ghosts.  She sees shadows in the upstairs windows; she hears a young boy calling; she feels blasts of cold air.  Although Mike, Jon and Jon’s family are all there, too, no one else sees or feels anything.  Wendy is frustrated until one of the ghosts attaches himself to Jon’s dad.  It’s impossible to ignore what happens, and Jon and Mike both admit they now believe Wendy.
            The children embark upon a quest to find out who is haunting the restaurant and how Wendy, Jon and Jon’s dad are connected to the ghosts.  The children follow clues they find in old newspapers, a note left in the restaurant’s kitchen, and a ghostly apparition that causes Wendy to have a bicycle accident.
            By the end of the story, the children solve the mystery.  The restaurant is haunted by none other than Steve Milhouse, the husband of the young woman who took her life in Wendy’s home almost a century ago. In Ghost for Rent, Steve’s skeleton was found in Wendy’s attic although he never haunted the house.  Wendy was left wondering why.  Now, in Ghost for Lunch, the answer is revealed.

Those both sound interesting. I can't wait to hear that they've released. Be sure to let us know when they do.
Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz has published more than 100 articles, 75 stories, a chapbook, and her stories have been included in two anthologies. She writes for both adults and children. Her fiction has appeared in numerous genre and children’s publications, and non‑fiction work has appeared in a variety of writing, parenting, and young adult print magazines and on line publications.  She is a former editor for MuseItUp Publishing and Damnation Books.  Visit her web site at http:// Her writing blog is located at
She has three romances published by MuseItUp Publishing: Love Delivery, Lady in Waiting, and Mirror, Mirror. She recently released Boo’s Bad Day with 4RV Publishing and has three other children’s books under contract with them: Ghost for Rent, Ghost for Lunch, and Many Colored Coats.  Her short story collection, A Past and A Future, is available through Alban Lake Publishing and Smashwords.
Now's your turn. If you have any questions or comments, click on post a comment below.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Ghost of Clara

My first Weird Wednesday ghost tale wound its way to me several years ago when I first moved to Wichita Falls, Texas. Clara is certified as a ghost town about 30 miles northeast of town. On a lazy afternoon joy ride, my husband and I discovered Clara Cemetery, a well-cared for oasis in the middle of the sparsely-populated North Texas plains.

We entered the archway to the cemetery and walked the concrete paths to view graves marked mostly by German surnames. Set out in the middle of nowhere was this cemetery, a church, and a rectory. I researched the area. Many former occupants now live in nearby Burkburnett, Texas, and any children are bused into Burkburnett schools. I interviewed several such as Raymond Schroeder and Phoebe Todd. The North Texas historian, Dick Vallon, shared history on the area. The town once sported a post office, a school, a general story, and a bustling population.
What's more interesting than a ghost town in your backyard? I learned the answer; a ghost legend that sprang up from the area.

Clara, Texas was founded by a German, Colonel Hermann Specht. Texans gave him the title but he was never in the military. Colonel Specht was instrumental in moving Germans from several states to North Texas. His dreams were high, and he set about to make them come true. He named the town after his beloved wife, Clara.

Colonel Specht's life faced a tragic end. He traveled to visit his brother in Germany. World War 1 broke out, and he was stranded. He died for away from the land of his dreams.

A woman by the name of Dorothy Crowder probably started the ghost legend in her book "Tales of the Red River Valley." Here's an excerpt:

     The ghost of Colonel Hermann Specht can be seen on foggy nights walking between the headstones at the Clara Cemetery. Specht's back is rigidly straight in a military bearing, but he has a distinctive limp as he drags his left leg behind him. He is over six feet tall. His clothing includes a Prince Albert coat with boutonniere in the left lapel. Specht uses a cane to support himself. His face is gaunt, his eyes sunken. When he turns to see who dares to follow him, he shows no animosity, only sorrow. For Hermann Specht was a man who had a dream which withered and died before it was born.

     ... Colonel Herman Specht's ghost came into being one October morning when a reporter from KAUZ-TV called to ask if there were any good ghost stories in Burkburnett. He was told, "no, not in Burkburnett, but there is in Clara."

And, so the story spread.

When I discovered it, my granddaughter, Victoria, was going through her rebellious teens. As I love to do, I asked myself, what if ...

 What if a young girl sad from lack of friends and feelings of rejection, met up with a sorrowing old ghost. Had Colonel Specht still work to be done in Clara Cemetery?

And, so the story Victoria and the Ghost was born. It's an inspirational, paranormal YA.



At fifteen, Victoria, a city girl, loses her mother’s love and copes with country isolation, no friends and no one who cares, until she meets a ghost.




Well, that's my first ghost legend for Weird Wednesdays, and the one that sparked my interest in ghosts. Watch next Wednesday for the ghost legend that I explore in the sequel soon to be released by 4RV Publishing. It's titled A Ghost for Shelley.

If you have a ghost legend, you'd like to share on Weird Wednesday, let me know. See how to contact me under the "Who is Janet, and Where Can You Contact Her" page.