Showing posts with label #ghosts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #ghosts. Show all posts

Saturday, July 23, 2016

An Interview of a Character in Penny Ehrenkranz's New Book

Welcome, fellow "ghost" writer, Penny Ehrenkranz to Writing with God's Hope blog. However, today, I won't be interviewing Penny. We wish to talk with the main character in her new book, Wendy Wiles.
                   

 

Wendy, tell us a little about yourself and your family.

 

I was born in Portland, Oregon in 1983.  When I was eleven, my mom and dad separated for a while and we had to move to a small town thirty miles outside Portland.  I was bummed since I had to leave all my friends behind.

 

My dad stayed in Portland, so my older brother Mike and I lived with our Mom.  Mom’s a writer, but she wasn’t selling too much.  My brother is a pain. He teases me a lot, but we eventually become close. My mom likes to say, “Wendy, darling,” when she talks to me and that drives me crazy.  I’m not some Peter Pan character.

 

I like to write and read poetry, so that makes me a little weird I guess.

 

What was it like moving from a big city to a rural community?  Was it hard to make new friends?

 

I hated moving at first, but because I met Jennifer, it wasn’t long before I felt good about it.  Mom used say in the city Mike and I were little fish in a big pond, but in Scappoose we were big fish in a little pond.  We were able to play sports and do things we might not have been able to do in the city where there were lots of kids wanting to do those things.  Jennifer had a lot of friends and she introduced me to them, but she and I were best friends.

 

What is your new hometown and school like?

 

Scappoose is where I go to school. I actually live in Warren, which isn’t really a town. Scappoose only has about 6,500 people.  There aren’t very many stores and the library is so tiny, not like the one in Portland.  St. Helens is the next town over. It’s the county seat and has over 12,000 people, and it has a few more places to shop, so Mom goes there more often to get stuff for us. 

 

Our school is small, too.  There are only four classes for each grade. Jennifer is a grade behind me in school, but we still see each other at lunch and recess times.  Mike goes to the middle school, which is right next door to Petersen School where I go.  It’s different from Portland, but I like it. The teachers are really nice.

 

When did you first realize your home was haunted?

 

The day we moved in and I met Jennifer, she told us a story about her brother and some friends spending the night in our house when it was empty. She said they heard a piano playing but no one was there.  While she was telling us the story, a windstorm blew through the porch where we were hiding from the rain.  All of a sudden the leaves looked like two people dancing and we heard this weird music.   Then later in the house, I started seeing things.  Crazy, huh?

 

What did you think when you learned your friend’s family restaurant was also haunted?

 

This was much later after we figured out what was going on at our house.  Jennifer and her family moved to California, and Mike and I met the new folks who moved in down the road from us.  They have a son, Jon. His family had read about our ghost hunting, and his mom was really interested.  She’s the one who told me they heard the building they bought for their new restaurant was also haunted.  It freaked me out at first because I was pretty well done with ghosts by this time. Once we started helping out getting the restaurant ready to open, Mike, Jon, and I all got curious and started digging for clues to see what was going on.

 

Were you scared when you found out you could see and communicate with ghosts?

 

You bet I was!  I’d get goose bumps whenever they came around or I saw them.  I didn’t know what to expect. I eventually figured out they wouldn’t hurt me, but they still scared me when they’d show up. They just wanted someone to know what had happened to them and why they died.

 

How did you and your friends solve the mystery of the ghosts?

 

We actually had a lot of help from the ghosts themselves.  We used the library to look up stuff and followed clues the ghosts left for us.

 

What do you like to do when you’re not chasing ghosts?

 

I love to read and write poetry.  I even had one of my poems published in a magazine.  Even though my brother teases me, we play together and with our friends.  We like being outside.  There’s always something to do when you live in the country, like riding our bikes and swimming.

 

Wendy, thanks for stopping by to visit with us.

 

Now, Penny, you tell us your point of view about Wendy's story.

   
Wendy Wiles attracts ghosts, first in Ghost for Rent, when her parents separate and she, her brother, and mother move into a haunted house. The story begins in Portland, Oregon and quickly moves to small town, Scappoose, Oregon. Miserable at leaving her friends and beloved Portland behind, Wendy meets her neighbor Jennifer who tells her the house Wendy’s mom rented is haunted. After two of them appear to Wendy, the girls find themselves tracking down the mystery of who the ghosts are and why they "live" in the Wiles' home.
 
In Ghost for Lunch, Wendy’s friend, Jennifer, moves away, leaving Wendy sad until new neighbors and their restaurant in St. Helens bring ghosts back into Wendy's life. She, her brother, and their new friend discover the two cases are connected. Once again, the young sleuths use clues and lots of brainstorming to figure out who is haunting the restaurant.
 
While on the surface, these two stories appear to be about ghosts and the mystery of solving them, they are also about the importance of family and friends and working together to solve a problem.
 
        Ghostly Visions is available direct from the publisher 4RV Publishing LLC for $15.99 including shipping and handling: http://www.4rvpublishingcatalog.com/penny-lockwood.php.  It can also be ordered from your local bookstore with the following ISBN numbers: ISBN-10: 0982642326, ISBN-13: 978-0982642320, or through Amazon, https://www.amazon.com/Ghostly-Visions-Ghost-Rent-Lunch/dp/0982642326/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1465600196&sr=1-1&keywords=ghostly+visions.
 
Penny Lockwood (Ehrenkranz) has published over 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 genres 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, 4RV Publishing, and Damnation Books.  Visit her web site at http:// pennylockwoodehrenkranz.yolasite.com and her writing blog at http://pennylockwoodehrenkranz.blogspot.com/.
 
4RV Publishing has joined her two middle grade novels (Ghost for Rent and Ghost for Lunch) as Ghostly Visions. She recently released Boo’s Bad Day with 4RV Publishing and has one other children’s picture book under contract with them: Many Colored Coats. She has three romances published by MuseItUp Publishing: Love Delivery, Lady in Waiting, and Mirror, Mirror. Her short story collection, A Past and A Future, is available through Alban Lake Publishing and Smashwords.
 
Oh, Penny, I'm so glad the two books are available for purchase now. They sound wonderful. I need to get mine.
 
Does anyone have questions for Penny or Wendy?
 
 


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Haunted Jed Johnson Lake, Oklahoma

A favorite day trip from Wichita Falls, Texas is the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge in South Central, Oklahoma, near Lawton. If we travel a little over an hour, we reach a destination filled with wonder and fun. Buffalo, deer, and Longhorn cattle dot the plains. Mountains, tall on the Oklahoma horizon, rise in jagged peaks and form rocky canyons. For the fisherman, the park sports thirteen lakes. Children ooh and ah over the animals and run free over the boulders. The view from the peaks is breath-taking. For Christians, one area is reminiscent of Israel during Jesus' time on earth. Each year, this Holy City is the setting for an outdoor Easter pageant.

My husband and I drive to the top of Mount Scott, the highest peak in the Wichita Mountain chain. The next stop is usually the Holy City. Once, when we had our grandsons for a visit, we parked and hiked around Jed Johnson Lake. An old tower built in the 1930s stands guard over one end of the lake. The youngest grandson wanted to climb up the tower steps, but the way was blocked.


Since then, I have discovered that perhaps there's more than one reason why the steps are closed to that tower. The ghost of a woman who ran her car off the road and into the lake to drown was seen in that tower by explorers and workers alike. Wow, am I glad we didn't venture in. The outside was strange enough with its tall, thin stature like a park sentinel.

Still, it's rather fun to imagine a ghost in this remote location. When you're there, few people pass your way. An imagination could play tricks on those who dare.


For information on many other Oklahoma ghost legends, go to the blog for Haunted Oklahoma at:  http://hauntedoklahoma.blogspot.com/?m=1


Do you have a ghost legend a day trip away?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Is Wichita Falls haunted?

This Weird Wednesday, while I'm waiting for the release of my new YA, I got to wondering if my home town, Wichita Falls, TX had a ghost legend? To my surprise, it does. Here's what I found out about it.

A hang-out for a group of boys fifty years ago, brought about the ghost legend of Pinky's Cave. The spooky tunnel is actually a three-mile concrete drainage ditch that snakes under neighborhood streets between Ardath and Kell Boulevard. Running clear under Kell, it was built by the city of Wichita Falls in the 1960s to prevent flooding in the Brook Village area. A teenager by the name of Robin Pinkman lived near there then and claimed the tunnel as his own, forever branding it as Pinky's Cave.
Photo by Claire Kowalick was featured in the Wichita Falls Times Record News on 4/10/2010

Reading about that reminded me of two things. One: As a teenager along with my cousins, I explored a concrete drainage ditch in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas. What fun, what mystery, what carelessness. Two: one of my favorite authors, Bonnie Lanthripe, wrote the middle-grade book, The Ringleader, about teen boys who solve the mystery of the drainage ditch in their home town. I could envision ghosts in a tunnel like the one where I played.

Pinkman, who is now a local teacher and rancher, says he remembers the ditch as being his and his neighbor friend's private clubhouse. They often spent the night there and told ghost stories. Now, I never had the nerve to do that. Of course, my aunt wouldn't have let us, anyway.

The boys told one tale of a man who lived in the cave and would "get you" if he found out that you doubted. The roar of the wind and the rumblings of cars overhead created echoes and thumps that complemented the made-up stories. Sometimes, the boys hid in the drain pipes built into the tunnel and would jump out and scare the girls.

In the tornado of 1979 that blew away much of Wichita Falls, many people were saved by hiding in the ditch. My husband and I moved to the city two years after this storm. I still remember the fear exhibited by the residents every time a strange cloud would form.

Nowadays, the entrance to Pinky's Cave is heavily spray-painted. Lewd words and drawings sprawl across the walls belying the early-time innocence. In the days of drugs and gangs, neighbors worry about what goes on in the under-the-street cave.

Still, many Wichitans remember the days of ghost tales and harmless fun and wonder if the ghost of Pinky's Cave is real.



Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ghostly Excerpt from My Upcoming YA

It's Weird Wednesday, and I have no new ghost legends to tall today. I've chosen to give you a ghostly excerpt from my upcoming YA. Watch for details later this year.


     “Shelley, go to that small closet on the other side of the wall and bring down the huge screens. The city will be running pictures of Lincoln and Washington.”

     She opened the side door, flipped on a light, and stepped into a closet. Wind swirled her giving an instant chill. Wisps of her hair tickled her cheeks. The sleeves on her paisley shirt molded to her arms. Wind moved rubber edging back and forth. She searched for the switch to the picture screens and turned it. The wind roared in her ear. She took one step back and searched for an air duct. This was crazy. There was no outside wall, no fan or air conditioning vent. She left the closet, and the wind stopped.

     Now, her heart was pounding like she’d jumped to the ground after a fast gallop on Trophy. She swallowed attempting to rein in her runaway pulse. Overhead florescent bulbs gave off light enough to highlight anything out of place except for dark corners. No wind blew in the storage room now.

    Curiosity got people in trouble, but never let it be said Shelley played it safe. She rode her horse like there was no tomorrow and won play-days when others feared her speed. She inched the door open and moved ahead with her right foot, bringing her left one beside it. Wind plastered her shirt to her chest.

     “Shelley, turn it off. We don’t want that. Turn it off.”

     Dad’s voice was calling from the party room. Turn what off? She took a deep breath and eased away from the closet. Too afraid to stop watching, she backed out to where Dad and Victoria waited. “Turn what off?”

     Dad stood just over her right shoulder. “We don’t want that video going on. I don’t even know where it came from, but turn it off.”

     Shivers raced up and down her spine and exploded at the base of her neck. She did a half swivel to face him. “I didn’t turn on any video. I just hit the switch to bring down the screens.”

     “It had to have come from you. Why didn’t you answer? I kept calling.” Dad’s face reddened. His jaw looked tight.

     What was he talking about? She marched into the party room to the other side of the screens and looked for herself.

     Victoria slid to her side and pointed. “Those words keep flashing, one at the top, then one at the bottom, then the middle overlaying the others. What does it mean?”

     “Save me. Help. Lost. Grain. Husband. God.” One word after another spread across the screen in some weird-had-to-be-haunted pattern reminiscent of the screen at the people’s entrance.

     “Where did you find that? Show me,” Dad demanded and stomped his foot. “Maybe you hit another button close to the switch for the screens.”

     “I’ll show you." Would there still be wind? Goosebumps on her arms broke out like measles. Tiny hairs on the back of her neck stood out like they’d been spray-netted. She formed an o with her mouth and blew out air. With Dad at her elbow, she reopened the closet. “All I did was mash that switch.” She touched it.

     He pushed past her. His brown hair waved in the breeze. He quickly stepped back hitting his elbows on the side. “What ̶”

     “I don’t know,” Shelley said. “It happened to me too.”

     The red on Dad’s face drained away like rain into a dry ground leaving paleness. “I’m pulling up the screens.” He entered and flipped the switch down again. Before she could count to two, the wind stopped, the screens in the next room cranked up to the ceiling, and Shelley caught hold of her dad’s arm with a death grip.

     His face was still colorless. “I don’t know what happened there, but we’re leaving those screens alone.”

     “Sounds good to me.”

 
Hope I've increased your interest. Watch for the release date of A Ghost for Shelley, due out later in 2015.

Post a comment, e-mail me, or shoot me a Facebook post or a tweet if you know of a ghost legend anywhere that you're willing to share.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A Ghost for Shelley

How would you react if you experienced ghostly happenings?

On Weird Wednesdays at Writing with God's Hope blog, we learn that a lot of people have stories to tell. In my upcoming young adult book, A Ghost for Shelley, Shelley refuses to believe in ghosts until so many scary things happen to her while working to clean the old McKinney, Texas courthouse, that she must face her fear.

Here's a excerpt from the book:

     Shelley scooted the washbasin on wheels from one room to the next. When she opened the dark room, she fumbled to find a light switch. The side wall was smooth and cold. She dropped her hand. She opened the door wider and felt against the wall on the other side. Something touched her. “Yow!” She flinched.

     “What’s wrong?” Dad called from the next room. “Are you okay?”

     When she yanked back her hand, a cobweb draped each finger. She wiped it on a rag hanging from her pocket. A cold sweat gave her a strange Saturday bath. Staring into the room’s blackness, she couldn’t see nor retreat. No sound escaped her closed throat

     Before she could relax, a squawk from the dark room sawed off her last nerve. She bolted and didn’t stop until she reached the elevator. She punched the button.

     Cranking from below, the elevator made its slow ascent.

     Dad came up beside her “Stop it, Shelley. Where do you think you’re going?”

     Bending at the waist, she panted and labored to calm her body and mind.

     Dad put his hand on her shoulder. “What happened?”

     “A … cob … web … squeak … scare …” Finally, her panting lessened. She gulped for oxygen. “When I tried to turn on the light in that room, I got cob webs on my hand. Then, I heard a squeak and got scared.”

     “You jump at everything. I never knew you to be a scaredy-cat.”

 
Are you a scaredy-cat?
A scoffer?
Or, a believer?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Ghosts at Denton, Texas?

Who knew?

I searched for new ghost tales.

Who knew I'd learn about one less than two hours from my home. Denton, Texas (just north of Dallas) boasts its own ghost tour of the courthouse that has a gravesite on the property. Author, Shelly Cumbie Tucker conducts tours at 8 p.m. every Friday and Saturday nights throughout the year, weather permitting. Ones interested are asked to meet her at Jupiter House Coffee to the east of the haunted courthouse. She tells us there are so many ghosts stories in Denton that she tells a different tale each tour.

Tucker has released a book called Ghosts of Denton. It is available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Ghosts-Denton-history-mysteries-small/dp/1500190020/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407858037&sr=8-1&keywords=ghosts+of+denton

Of course, you can buy a copy of the book when you take the scary but historical tour of downtown Denton in the dark.

Shelley Cumbie Tucker will be the featured speaker this year at the North Texas Book Festival in April. Now, that would be a good time for a ghost tour and look at books on the same day. A win-win.

I'm busy editing my latest YA in the ghost series, and researching other tales for a third book. I'm still looking for ghost stories. If you know one, leave me a comment, or e-mail me at Janet.hope@att.net



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Research on Guthrie, Oklahoma

It's Weird Wednesday again, and guess what? I find I need to take a trip north. Someone told me that Guthrie, Oklahoma had a ghost tour. My antenna went up.

Research takes a lot of an author's time. Even if we mostly avoid writing historical novels, like me, we can't avoid research. Even writing fiction requires research. What if someone reads your novel that knows all about that profession, or hobby, or setting? If it's inaccurate, that reader would close the book.

I wrote a YA ghost story, Victoria and the Ghost, that highlighted a real Texas ghost town, Clara. Soon, the sequel to that story, A Ghost for Shelley, will release. This book will tell about the ghost legend at the McKinney Performing Arts Center, which used to be the courthouse. It's in McKinney, Texas just north of Dallas. I began Weird Wednesday in anticipation of the new book.

So, I'm offering real ghost legends here on Wednesdays.

I researched Guthrie online and learned the following things:

1. Guthrie offers ghost tours throughout most of the year (weather permitting) every Friday and Saturday evenings.
    (Check)
2. Guthrie is 22 miles north of Oklahoma City just off I-35.
    (Check)
3. Guthrie came to be in one day.
     (Check - weird, yes, must investigate this)
4. Guests on the tour visit 6 -8 historic places.
     (Check)

Find Guthrie on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Guthrie-Oklahoma/112280128788125

Yep, I figure Guthrie, Oklahoma is about 3 hours from me, so when the weather warms up (please, Lord, soon) I intend to go on a research trip. Who knows? A new ghost story might be on my horizon.

How about you? Anyone ever been to Guthrie?
Have you ever taken a ghost tour anywhere?


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Real Ghost Legends for My YA Novels

It's Christmas Eve, and my family and I are so excited. Remembering Christ's birth is the highlight of every year.

What a year 2014 has been for me and my husband!
A beautiful table runner made by a sweet friend.
Financially, it's been one of those years you look forward to having over. But, otherwise, 2014 has been a year of learning to balance writing with family and church endeavors, a year of fun and travels with husband and friends, and another year to enjoy my family and my God.

Since today is Weird Wednesday, I wanted to remind you why I began this segment on my blog.

In 2012, 4RV Publishing released my debut novel, Victoria and the Ghost, featuring a real ghost legend out of a Texas ghost town, Clara. Click on the page to the bottom right that tells about that book.

Hopefully, 2015 will be the year of the release of my second inspirational paranormal YA. Weird Wednesday began in honor of the upcoming release.

A Ghost for Shelley reverses the plot of the first book, by sending country girl, Shelley Halverson, to live in the big city of Dallas.


A guilt-ridden country girl, forced to move to Dallas, confronts betrayal, arrest, and a loss of faith but meets a jet-set jock with a heart for God, and a ghost with a message just for her.


I hope you'll keep stopping by on Weird Wednesday as well as my Saturday posts on this Writing with God's Hope  blog. I'll let you know when Shelley  arrives on the scene.

Until then, Merry Christmas and a happy 2015 to all who stop by.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Welcome to Author Brandy Herr

On Weird Wednesday today, I welcome Brandy Herr, an author I met recently while visiting Granbury, Texas. This lovely, quaint town southwest of Fort Worth teems with history and ghost legends. (See my previous post on the ghost tour I took in Granbury on another visit).

The town was hosting an arts and crafts festival. My friend and I stopped by Brandy's booth, and I purchased her book. (Authors must support each other) Besides, the book tells of many strange happenings in Brandy's hometown.

I asked Brandy if I could interview her today, and she accepted. First something about Brandy for those who have not made her acquaintance.

Brandy Herr is the co-founder of the Granbury Ghosts and Legends Tour and the annual Granbury Paranormal Expo.  In February 2014, her book, "Haunted Granbury," was released by The History Press as part of their Haunted America series.  She is a member of Research and Investigation of the Paranormal and has participated in several ghost hunt investigations in the Granbury area.  Born in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area, Brandy attended the Pennsylvania State University where she received her Bachelor's degree in public relations.  She currently lives in Granbury with her husband, their rescued dog, and two rescued cats.

Now, to my questions for Brandy:

  1. Do you believe in ghosts? Have you ever had a ghost experience? If so, tell us about it.


  1. I absolutely believe in ghosts.  Growing up, my family always had ghostly experiences occur to them, especially my grandmother.  She would see my granddaddy and other past relatives, she would get feelings about things that would turn out to be true, things like that.  I never started having experiences until I started getting older, which is unusual, since it's often more common for children to be susceptible to spirits.  I guess I just started noticing it more.  


The first real encounter I can think of was a few years back.  I was walking into a pizza restaurant while my mother waited in the car at the curb just a few feet away.  The restaurant was in a deserted strip mall, so no one was around.  The front wall was entirely made up of windows, and as I walked up to the door, I saw in the reflection behind me a woman about my age with her hair pulled back in a messy pony tail.  She was carrying a little girl with pig tails, around two years old, who was passed out asleep on her shoulder.  They were walking right behind me, obviously intending to enter the same restaurant I was.  So I reached the door, opened it, and stepped back to let them through first... only to find not a single person behind me.  I looked all around, but everything was empty.  For good measure, I went back to the car and asked my mother if she had seen the two walking behind me.  She said, "There is no one in this strip mall at all!"  

 
That was my first notable contact with a ghost.  Of course, since then I have had tons of experiences with my work on the Granbury Ghosts and Legends Tour and with my ghost hunt investigations as a member of the team Research and Investigation of the Paranormal.
 
  • What caused you to write your book, Haunted Granbury?
 
My mother and I started the Granbury Ghosts and Legends Tour in 2010.  We were working at a restaurant together located on Granbury's historic square.  We had numerous experiences with the ghost there, and people would come in asking to hear our stories.  One time, we were chatting with a couple of ladies, and they asked, "Does Granbury have a ghost tour here?"  That gave us the idea to start researching.  

 
Since we started doing the tour, I had toyed with the idea of making it into a book, but it kept fading to the back of my mind.  Then, I saw an ad from a publishing company saying they were looking for people to write books about local ghost stories.  Excitedly, I sent them an email, sure they were going to accept my idea.  Their response was, "Ehh... we don't think Granbury is a very good market for the book."  I wrote back and explained, "Granbury may be a small town, but it's a great tourist destination!  We are only about an hour from the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, and we have people coming from all over the country and joining us on our tour!"  The email replied, "Well, you can go ahead and write up a proposal and I will pitch it, but they are probably going to say no."  
 
 
 
So I got a bit discouraged.  Then, not even a month later, I got an email out of the blue from The History Press (a completely different publisher) saying, "Hello!  Would you like to write a book about the ghosts of Granbury?"  I said, "Well, as a matter of fact, I would!"  It turns out that a friend of the scout had joined us on a tour one evening, and she had suggested to her friend that she contact us.  I still had to draw up a formal proposal and get it approved, but luckily they said yes!  I am very happy with The History Press; they turned my book into a beautiful product and have been wonderful to work with, so it was quite the blessing that the first publisher turned me down!
 
 
  • Oh, I think all we authors understand about rejection, and you're right, sometimes it's a gift from God. Is this your first book? 
 
I have a children's book out, but am working on getting the rights back from the publisher, so I am not really pushing that one right now.
 
 
  •  I understand you run a tour for tourists in GranburyTexas. Tell us about it.
 
 
The Granbury Ghosts and Legends Tour was started by my mother and me in April of 2010.  It's an hour-long walking tour around Granbury's historic downtown square.  We tell you the ghost stories, legends, and history of the different buildings.  Tours are Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:00 and at 9:15, or we can do private tours as available.  Tickets are $10 per adult and $7 for children 12 and under.  So far we have been featured on FOX 4's "Lone Star Adventures" and on NBC 5.  You can visit http://www.granburytours.com/ for more information.
 
  •  How did you research the history of your area?
 
 
  • When my mother and I got the idea from those ladies at the restaurant to start our tour, we immediately started researching, first by going door to door along the square asking the employees and business owners about their experiences.  We were amazed at what we found!  A common question I get when I promote the tour or the book is, "What buildings on the square are haunted?"  I reply, "Pretty much all of them!"  I then did supplemental research by looking in old newspaper and magazine articles as well as historical books of the area.  That's where I got the historical background, along with some added ghost stories as well!
 
  •  Do you plan on writing another book? If not, what lies ahead for you?
I have other books in the works, though so far not another ghost book.  Once I get the rights back to the one children's book, I hope to get that re-published, and I have several more in the series already written.  I have another children's book series started, and I'm hoping to get that one published soon.  There is another idea bouncing around in my head for a narrative non-fiction book, I just need to buckle down and start researching it.  So I really hope to further my writing career while continuing to build up the Granbury Ghosts and Legends Tour.  I have also had numerous speaking engagements at various venues and conventions, so I'm hoping to increase my exposure in that manner as well.
 
  • Wow, another children's book writer that has a penchant for ghosts. I love it.
 
  •  What other career interests or hobbies do you enjoy?
As far as hobbies go, reading of course tops the list.  I also love anything nerdy; my husband and I collect old video game consoles and memorabilia, we love going to museums, and really just exploring anything we find unusual.  My other passion is animal rescue, and I am a huge supporter of the local rescues here in Granbury.  That's actually what the new children's book series is about.  For careers, I am quite happy doing what I am already doing.
 
  •  If your life was a song, what would be the song title
 
If you are looking for an existing song, my choice would be "Daydream Believer" by The Monkees.  For one thing, it's my absolute favorite song of all time (and favorite band!).  The title is perfect for me, though, since I come up with my best ideas during daydreams.  That's how I write most of my books, by laying in bed trying to fall asleep, and the words start coming.  Plus, I have always been encouraged to follow my dreams and pursue what I love.  I graduated with a public relations degree from Penn State.  The logical path I should have taken would be to get a job with a PR firm and hold down a steady paycheck with a 401k.  Who would have thought I would wind up running a ghost tour and writing books?  Life takes you on some random twists and turns, and the important thing is to believe in your daydreams to ultimately do what is right for you.
 
  •  Anything else you’d like to share?
 
Thank you so much for inviting me to be a part of your blog!  I really enjoyed answering your questions.

To find out more information about what I do, check out the following links:

Granbury Ghosts and Legends Tour
Twitter: @GranburyGhosts

Haunted Granbury

Granbury Paranormal Expo (an annual event hosted by the Granbury Ghosts and Legends Tour)

Research and Investigation of the Paranormal (my ghost hunting team)
 
And now, about your book . . .
 
 
 
Established after the Civil War, the small town of Granbury has had time to stock its streets and historic buildings with ghastly tales and haunting stories. Legend has it that the notorious John Wilkes Booth escaped to Granbury after assassinating President Lincoln and that his spirit now haunts the Opera House, living out his dastardly crime day after day. On Houston Street, passersby may encounter the little faceless girl who met her maker after falling from a window watching a traveling circus. In Granbury’s old jailhouse, past inmates haunt their cells and leave messages for unwitting intruders. Author Brandy Herr delves into the devilish history of Granbury’s most haunted locations and delivers a healthy dose of a frightening and mysterious past.

 
Thank you for telling us about your experiences. I know some of you that frequent Writing with God's Hope blog don't believe in ghosts. Any comments?
 
 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Another Ghost Legend from Fort Sill, Oklahoma

It's Weird Wednesday.

This is my third and last story that I found in The Ghost of Fort Sill by Robert R. Hiatt published in 1989. Especially if you live in the area, I recommend the book. Since it contains maybe twenty-five more ghost legends around the old fort, you just might find the book fascinating, as I did.

 

Hiatt titled one chapter “The Old Post Quadrangle Appearances.” Ghostly figures walking in the dark across the Old Post Quadrangle are fairly common through the years.

 

Occurrences date back to the 1920s. A veteran of the old Army from that period told Hiatt that the tale of the “old Indian” that walked at night was common knowledge, and was seen by several.

 

In the 1970s, a lone walker faced off with another walker. As they neared, he got a good look at the ghostly-appearing man dressed like someone from the 1890s. The spirit stared straight ahead, continued on his path, and disappeared.

 

These two reported ghosts appear to be two different spirits, both seen late at night in the same area.

 

So, for those stationed or visiting Fort Sill, be careful if you walk the Old Post Quadrangle late at night alone. You might just meet a ghost.

Weird Wednesday is looking for more ghost legends. If you have one, please e-mail me at Janet.hope@att.net
 
Remember my ghost story, Victoria and the Ghost is based on real ghost sightings at Clara Cemetery in the ghost town of Clara, Texas. It makes a great Christmas present especially for a girl aged 13-17.
Click on that page for further information.
 
Until then, beware ...

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Another Ghost Tale from Fort Sill, Oklahoma and a Book Giveaway

It's Weird Wednesday  on Writing with God's Hope blog. A few weeks ago, I told you a legend from Fort Sill, Oklahoma near my home. Today, I offer another tale. To remind you this one also comes from the book, The Ghost of Fort Sill, by Robert R. Hiatt. It was published in 1989 with over thirty ghost sightings from the old fort.

 

Today, my story is called “The Phantom Child of Quarters 424 East.” Sightings about this ghost were reported in the 1950s, 1960, and up to the 1980s.

 

On one occasion, the lady of the house hosted a card party attended by wives of other officers. During this middle-of the-afternoon party, she heard a baby crying. She assumed one of the ladies had brought her child who had now awakened.

 

“Whose child is that?” she asked.

 

No one had brought a child. All the ladies heard the sound. The crying continued and disturbed their fun. Finally, they went as a group upstairs and determined the sound was coming from the middle bedroom. The lady of the house opened the door. The room was empty. The crying stopped.

 

Near this period of time, a workman was inside this same house doing maintenance. A child crying unsettled him while he worked. He searched the empty house but found nothing.

 

Who knows? The story goes that a child was lost going to the out house and froze to death. The base tore down the out house in December, 1929. From then on, stories of hearing the crying have cropped up every few years.
 
Just another Weird Wednesday ghost story? Maybe, maybe not.
 
 
Next Wednesday, I'll tell you another from this book, so drop back by when it's Weird Wednesday, again.
 
I tried last week to host a Rafflecopter book giveaway, but because of my lack of tech-savvy, I never got it working correctly. The only way you could enter was to tweet about it, and many didn't use Twitter. I wish to thank Amy Cattapan for pressing through and tweeting to be the only one who entered for a chance to win a free copy of Victoria and the Ghost. Thanks to her perseverance, she wins a free book.
 
However, today, I wish to extend another chance to others to win a free copy of Victoria and the Ghost in time to give it for a Christmas gift.
 
All you must do to enter is leave a comment below, giving your e-mail address, so I can notify you if you win. I will draw a name after midnight on December 2 and announce the winner on Weird Wednesday next week.
 
So comment now and check out Weird Wednesday again on Dec. 3.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Ghost Tour of Granbury, Texas

In honor of Weird Wednesday, here's a story about a recent experience I had and the strange tales I heard.



Map showing Granbury, TX marked with the G

My husband and I took a fascinating ghost legend tour. The setting was historic Granbury southwest of Fort Worth. (See map. FYI I live in Wichita Falls to the north) Downtown consists of a square around a beautiful court house. Gift shops and snack places line one side. An opera house and restaurant holds down another side. A theatre with exciting music is the focus on yet another side. The fourth includes the Nut House Hotel.
The Nut House Hotel

 

Our guide is dressed in period costume to set the mood. His knowledge of Granbury’s history and ghosts is phenomenal. He keeps us enthralled for about an hour.

 

The Nut House Hotel is of particular interest. A long-ago cook, named Mary Lou Watkins lived in room four. Ask anyone who has stayed there. She’s still there in spirit.

 

On the right front corner looking from the court house, we learned about a ghost that leaves playing cards to remind others that he’s still around.

 

Our guide told us about John Wilkes Booth. He lived for awhile in Granbury. His ghost still shows up at the opera house.

 

The ghost of Indian Joe makes appearances at the jail on the back right corner. We shudder as we watch him swing from the noose.

 

A girl lost her life leaning too far over a balcony. We look up at that balcony. The tension is strong. We almost hear the circus that she wanted so badly to see. Often, this faceless girl appears in the window.

 

If you’re interested, here’s the link about the ghost tour.


 

They don’t guarantee you’ll see a ghost, but not many that walk that square with the guide, Boots Hubbard, miss spotting some spooky sites.

 

Don’t forget to get your ghost sucker when you leave.

 
Have any of you went on a ghost tour before? Heard a ghost? Remember a local legend? If so, please contact me. Weird Wednesday on the Writing with God's Hope blog is always looking for new stories.