Balls of Light

Several years ago, on a balmy, summer night in Florida, my girlfriend stepped outside to take pictures of the full moon. She walked her yard, snapping her cell phone camera at the sky from various angles. When she peeked at her neighbor’s trailer house, she witnessed transparent orbs floating around the home…

Orbs from Terry

Provided everything else has been ruled out (rain, dust, etc.), supposedly, there’s a ghostly explanation for orbs. We will never know for sure, but upon further investigation, my girlfriend had learned the elderly woman who lived there was scheduled to enter hospice.

If the hovering balls of lights were, by common definition, spiritual, the romance writer in me chooses to believe they somehow represented the woman’s ancestors or guides helping her transition.

I’ve been asked where my ideas come from. The answer always boils down to, they come from everywhere.

“The supernatural is the natural not yet understood.” – Elbert Hubbard

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Fort Worth, Haunted Hotel

In between writing, revisions, and signings, I’m forging ahead with my third blog-site reboot (lost everything…twice). This time with an emphasis on creating a space for pure, paranormal fun, and of course updates and author promotions.

Recently I scrolled through my photo library and collected images from a few previously posted favorites.

One of the most memorable was an RWA local chapter group trip to the Fort Worth Stockyards for an overnight stay with ghosts. April, 2014, I believe.

Stock Yard

I’m a hands-on writer when it comes to research. While I make good use of Google, I’d rather interview people with actual experience in a particular arena, or try something myself to better understand whatever it is I’m writing about. For this reason, for me, ghost exploration is not only fascinating, but informative. Even in observing the fear associated with hauntings. Many of my characters are naïve when it comes to supernatural occurrences. It helps to see how different people react.

Anyway, our destination was a quaint historical remnant called, Miss Molly’s.

MM Entrance

Nothing says eerie like a steep, creaky staircase…

MM Stairs

Antiques in the communal area transported me to another time period, and the guest books on the coffee table inked with ghostly encounters of everyday people who had visited the hotel reminded me why we’d driven two hours north.

Guest books

Authors Nese Lane and Susan JP Owens…

J & S Reading Guestbooks

According to the Inn Keeper, Miss Molly’s was an old bordello whose occupants died of the plague.

The Madam, Miss Josie (pictured below) adored rose scented perfume which wafted throughout the hotel when least expected.

Miss Josie

Author Debra Jupe and I camped out in Miss Josie’s room. On occasion the door would close and required muscles to open. Eventually we realized if we asked nicely, the stubborn door would open without anyone breaking a sweat.

D & L Miss Josie's Room

Miss Amelia’s room…

Miss Amelia's Room

Miss Amelia had a daughter named Emma, and Emma had a beloved doll. The mother died before her daughter and supposedly, Emma suffered from incurable heartache before she too passed away from the plague. Today, when the doll is placed on Emma’s bed, a child’s imprint appears next to the toy. I had a photo of the indented sheets, but can’t seem to find it.

Emma's Doll

Other spooky rooms complete with unexplainable shadows and out of nowhere odors, such as, pancakes and cigars…

Room Seven

Another Room

We took a break for dinner and margaritas.

Nese Lane, Lorelei Buckley, Debra Jupe, Linda LaRoque & Susan JP Owens.

And woke up to hot tea and coffee in the morning…


While the hotel is riddled with activity, the atmosphere wasn’t creepy with the exception of this room…

Creepy Bathroom

Records state a bordello customer had dropped dead of a heart attack in this bathroom.

During one of our check-ins, the pull-chain started circling by itself. When I accepted what was happening I thought to get my phone. Click on the ghost video link and you’ll see the tail end of that phenomenon, as the chain slowed down…

ghost video

I’ll be heading to another haunted hotel soon and I’ll have more to share.

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Undead at Sea

It’s summertime, season of beaches, ocean, and ghost ships.

Twenty-something years ago I traveled the Caribbean on a forty-foot, eighteenth century designed schooner with some girlfriends and an Italian Captain named Gianni, also known as Son-of-the-Sea. A nickname earned by his ability to woo oceanic creatures and single handedly manage a four man ship.

Captain Gianni

We sailed the American Virgin Islands starting in St. Croix, visiting St. Thomas, and finally anchoring in an isolated cove off the shore of St. John, a breathtaking unspoiled rock.


Wasn’t smooth sailing either, we pushed through a soul-refining storm determined to feed us to Poseidon, skipped daily showers to conserve water, and rationed meals, just in case. We also watched tear jerking sunsets while Italian opera blared in the background, observed the Son-of-the-Sea partake in games of tag with schools of barracuda, and slept under a zillion diamond chips sparkling in the pitch black sky. One of the best experiences of my life.

Nikka and I couldn’t get enough of the salt-scented breeze, so we slept on deck. Everyone else snoozed in the cabin. There we were, anchored and silent in REM.


Sometime in the middle of the night, bells chimed. I opened my eyes. Another sailboat anchored nearby. As I crawled from my dreams, I noticed a crew of men descending the vessel onto a dingy, which then headed in our direction.

My skin numbed. I sprung up and screamed, “Gianni! Gianni!”

Nikka woke up, spotted the sea thugs, and yelled, “No!”

Within seconds Captain Gianni emerged. “Lorelei, what is it?”

“Pirates!” I turned and pointed at…nothing. The ship, the dingy, the terrifying crew had all vanished.

Nikka’s mouth fell open. She stumbled to the side of the boat in disbelief.

Captain Gianni nodded and said, “You two witnessed a ghost ship. They’re common.”

Even stranger, Nikka and I had identical sightings and described in specific detail the dark bandana around one guy’s neck and the thick, brillo like mustache of another. Truth be told, when we realized what had happened, it was exhilarating.

Years later, in fact, not long ago, I attended a fundraiser with my husband. The speaker, the brave and engaging Captain Phillips, had inspired a movie of the same name about his endurance during a hostile pirate siege. He shared several stories.

Captain Phillips1

Naturally, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to discuss ghost ships. The abandoned but tangible vessels wrapped in seaweed, floating wherever the wind blew, and those of a supernatural form, spontaneously visible beyond the veil that divides life and the unsettled dead.


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