Showing posts with label A Ghost for Shelley. Show all posts
Showing posts with label A Ghost for Shelley. Show all posts

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, October 15, 2014

A Ghost at Fort Sill

A dear friend, Sue Watson, bought me a book titled, The Ghost of Fort Sill, by Robert R. Hiatt. This army fort, built in 1870, has been the site of many strange happenings through the years. Fort Sill, just north of Lawton, Oklahoma is only an hour from my home in Wichita Falls, Texas, so I find the stories in this book fascinating.

Hiatt’s book was published in 1989. He lists 20 documented sightings.
Today, I wish to share one of Hiatt’s tales.

This story is titled “The Lady with the Rustling Skirts.” A grey limestone house built in 1870 was, along with the other officer’s quarters, occupied in 1871.

A family that moved into the house in 1987 was warned that a ghost had been sighted there. A few days later, while the lady of the house was unpacking in her bedroom, she found a planter with flowers in it overturned. She picked it up but found it overturned again twice more. She never heard it fall. Finally, she moved it to another room where it never happened again.

The lady put her rocking chair near her bedroom. One night a sound awoke both the lady and her husband. The rocking chair squeaked as it rocked. Both of them saw it rocking. They investigated but never found any wind, and no firing had been going on that might’ve shaken the house. The chair moved forward as it rocked until the footstool in front of it made it stop. This happened three nights in a row until the lady of the house moved the chair to another room. The rocking stopped.

They forgot the incident. Weeks later, a sound alarmed the lady. When she went into the room, a lazy susan was spinning at a fast rate. The lazy susan stopped while she watched.

From time to time the couple heard the rustling of a skirt like a woman walking around the second floor. At the time of the writing of Hiatt’s book two years later, the couple continued to hear the rustling skirt, and the lady of the house would never go upstairs without lighting her way and keeping a close watch.


When you read my upcoming book, A Ghost for Shelley, you will notice I used the planter turning over by itself as one of my strange happenings.
How many of you have a ghost story to share? I would love to hear it.
Happy ghost hunting

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Lady in White at the Old Collin County Courthouse

     In downtown McKinney stands a tribute to North Texas history. When a new Collin County Courthouse was built, the old one became the home of the McKinney Performing Arts Center, and now provides live entertainment. Last year, the wonderful ladies that oversee MPAC provided me with a tour of the building.

     The old courthouse, by order of the judicial system, belongs to the people of Collin County. Since it can never be closed off to its owners, the east door remains open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Its called the People's Entrance. An iron gate separates the foyer from the rest of the building when MPAC offices or theatre are closed, but the foyer with a water fountain, restrooms, literature, and media board are never closed to the public.

     Ghost legends abound in many downtown McKinney buildings. Self-guided tours will take place during the McKinney Ghost Walk on Saturday, Oct. 18 and Saturday, Oct. 25 in 2014. During that time, the tale will be told of the sightings of the lady in white at the old courthouse. The courthouse was the site of the last public hanging. That, in itself, raises the eye of paranormal enthusiasts.

     During my private tour, I learned the story propagated by local people of the lady in white. Frequent sightings keep the story alive. In 1890, a young divorcee, last name Winslow, was found hung in the courthouse. It was never proven whether she was murdered or if she hung herself. She lived as an outsider with the pain of isolation because of her divorce. She was known to play the organ.

     At night, organ music has been heard coming from the second floor. The theatre is located there and houses a mighty Wurlitzer - Vintage theatre pipe organ. Different ones have spotted a woman leaving the organ as they entered the theatre, but when they follow her down the hall, she disappears.

     Others claim a view of the lady in white overlooking the eagle on the east side. Back in 1890 when Ms. Winslow died, the courthouse had a clear view of her home site to the east near the cotton mill. Now the bank with an eagle statue on top hides where she used to live.

     The second book in my YA ghost series will be released soon by 4RV Publishing. The title is A Ghost for Shelley. Shelley, the mean, all-country girl in the first book, Victoria and the Ghost, moves to Dallas. She and her dad clean the old Collin County Courthouse. Ridden with bitterness and guilt, Shelley adds fear to her list of emotions when she is visited by the "lady in white."

     That's my story. Read all about Shelley soon.