I am very pleased to have the talented Eileen Maksym as my guest blogger today. Her novella, Haunted, is a story about a group of friends in college who have a passion for researching the paranormal. While they are conducting an investigation of a haunted house, they discover that one of trio is in danger. I really enjoyed the story and was taken back to college - a time for discovering strengths and testing young love. One of the main characters is a female student with a talent for neurobiology and a stubborn streak. Eileen had me at smart and stubborn, but the paranormal aspects also rocked. You should check it out!
Hi, my name is Eileen, I write stories about the paranormal, and I have a confession.
I have never had a paranormal experience.
It's not necessarily because I don't believe in the paranormal. I have read many accounts of supernatural encounters, and I have friends who swear up and down that they have had their own run-ins with ghosts. I've seen pictures that feature glowing, vaguely human-shaped mists. I've watched videos of supposed apparitions, poltergeist activity, and possession. And I've listened to electronic voice phenomenon (EVP) recordings, where human voices, purportedly of spirits, seem to coalesce out of static or other white noise. I'm sure there's a lot of fakery out there, as well as a lot of illusion born of our innate tendency to see human patterns in random data. But I'm still willing to believe that some of those unexplained mysteries are explicable by the paranormal.
And the thing is? I would love to have an honest-to-god paranormal experience! I'm in a bunch of horror-related Facebook groups, and every time someone posts a picture of a huge dilapidated mansion, or a hulking abandoned insane asylum, and asks if people would spend the night there for a million dollars, my answer is always “Sign me up!” I love going to creepy places. I adore cemeteries, and I have taken my kids on outings to the famous ones in Chicago. I've been to the catacombs in Paris. Twice. Someday I'd love to go to see the mummies in Guanajuato, Mexico, or visit Robert the Doll in Key West. I'm actually particularly interested in Robert. Supposedly the doll is inhabited by an evil spirit. Maybe, if I'm very lucky, Robert will move for me. Or talk to me.
That would be awesome.
Maybe, though, I haven't had a paranormal experience because I expect them to be big and showy. Maybe I need to think smaller. Maybe we are surrounded by ghosts all the time, everywhere, and they are all communicating with us in tiny, simple ways. For instance, anyone who has ever had a cat knows that they will sometimes stare intently at open space, or will all of a sudden go tearing down the hall as if all of their little nine lives depended on it. Maybe it's a ghost playing with them with a ghostly ball of string. Or when my toaster randomly burns my toast into the vague shape of a human face. Is there such a thing as Toaster Face Phenomenon (TFP)? How about when my car makes that weird noise that I can't for the life of me reproduce for the mechanic? Clearly a sign that my car is haunted.
I think I'll keep a closer look out for the simple hauntings in life. In the meantime, I'm taking any and all recommendations for a place where a paranormal experience is a sure thing.
Note from Camela: Maybe I should mail Eileen this doll. My dogs barked at it for two weeks. Now they just give it a wide berth.
Freelance writer and Dark urban fantasy author featuring vampires with bite.