A Trio of Hauntings
By Jeff Salter
What a cool change of pace: to host THREE Guest Foxes on Hound Day. Today I have Kay Springsteen, Kim Bowman, and Bridgett Lashbrooks. All three are among my many colleagues at Astraea Press. Our topic this week is “houses everybody says are haunted” and since it’s only one day after Halloween, it’s still the perfect time to consider these spooks.
By Kay Springsteen
I hesitate to refer to my home as “haunted,” but since I moved in to this little fixer-upper three years ago, I have been acutely aware of a certain higher level of energy. I have dogs, and no, they don’t bark at shadows or growl for no reason.
But it’s little things… the aroma of cooking food cooking sometimes wafts into my office from the kitchen at the other end of the house. Often it’s a roast of some kind, baking cornbread, and sometimes boiling collards. I don’t live sufficiently close to any neighbors for their cooking smells to reach me, especially in the winter through closed windows. Sometimes, the aroma of cigarettes invades. I once took that with the proverbial grain of salt. After all, anyone can by on the street outside with a cigarette. But it usually occurs in the wee hours of the morning at a time when not many people walk in my neighborhood.
Apart from the smells, things get moved. I find plates in the glass cupboard, my shoes next to the front door instead of by the back where I left them. Most disconcerting of all is the haunted toilet seat, which is frequently left up. Since I live alone and don’t have a tendency to raise the seat…
My house is located on what was once the vast estate of George Cabell, Sr., a prominent Virginia physician. His home, Point of Honor, was completed in 1815, and the estate had several outbuildings supporting it. While it would be quite romantic to think that my “energy” comes from 200 years ago, my house was built in 1906, and the “manifestations” feel a lot more modern.
Abiding Echoes by Kay Springsteen
Justin’s love for his wife, Beth, has only strengthened over the years since her life was tragically cut short. He’s longed for the time when he’d see her again. Finally, that time is here. Who has the greater claim on him, his family… or the love of his life?
The House on the Hill
By Kim Bowman
When my sister, Michele, was eleven, she was with a family friend. They happened upon an old abandoned house. The front door was wide open. After some coaxing, the friend convinced Michele to go inside with her. Michele doesn’t like to talk about it much, but she has said that when she stepped on that porch, the hair on the back of her head stood on end. In one room, they found a pentagram spray-painted on the floor. Michele wanted to leave at that point, but the friend assured her that it was ok because, “The pentagram wasn’t perfect so probably just a bunch of kids messing around.”
In the next room, there was a perfect pentagram with candles and other ritual things. On the wall was written: John will die. Soon John will die. John will soon soon die. This was written over and over like a chant. My sister freaked and started hyperventilating. The friend hurried her back to the front door. It was closed and locked, but they’d left it open. Several black robes hung on the wall behind the door. Michele started scream and ran out the door. The family friend stayed a few minutes more.
Michele said it felt like someone was watching her and breathing down her neck the whole time she was in the house. The friend informed the police, and they investigated. The house was torn down not long after this, and 25 years later, the spot is still empty.
The Duke of Christmas Past by Kim Bowman
The only thing Donovan Ellis, Seventh Duke of Gatewood, wants for Christmas is for it to be over. But when a ghostly apparition visits him, claiming the past can be fixed, can Donovan believe? Can he trust the duke of Christmas past? Or will meddling bring more heartache than he already has?
No buy link yet – releasing Nov. 1. You can just search amazon.com
Kim Bowman works as a senior editor with Astraea Press and writes paranormal and Regency Romances.
By Bridgett Lashbrooks
We were young and pulled in by the romance behind a haunted church and grave.
Legend had it that the man who haunted the church and the bridge right next to it was the most evil of sorts. He’d beaten his wife to death for looking at another man. The chain he used was supposed to be buried with him. Each Halloween, another link would appear on the stone. Once the chain was free, he would be free.
We didn’t believe it. And when we went on Oct. 31 it was daylight and there were six of us. We were just fine.
Our first stop was the grave, and we ran our fingers over the twenty-two links of the chain visible on the stone. We made jokes and laughed, pretending to be frightened. The basement was all we’d expected an abandoned church to be, dark, spooky, dusty. But nothing haunted or evil.
So we thought.
When we came out of that church basement, hours had passed. And six girls were alone, in a graveyard, on Halloween night.
A flashlight blinded me; I screamed.
The cop demanded to know what we were doing there; we stayed at his side while he examined the stone. His words still chill my heart when I remember them. “Twenty-two, and twenty-three...just what I expected. Go, now...”
(FYI, I married that cop—11 years later! We still live in the same area as the stone. And no, I don’t plan on ever going back there…)
B.G. Lashbrooks is a writer, editor, cover designer, wife, mother, and Border collie tamer. She and her husband and baby live in beautiful southern Indiana. Her books are all set in the same area—her latest release, a Christmas novella, is being released on Nov. 1st from Astraea Press.
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No Room at the Inn by B.G. Lashbrooks
Greta Nole loved the old hotel more than any other place on earth. She’d do whatever she had to do to get the hotel in tiptop shape before the new owner arrived after Christmas. Owen Levi III had no clue why his father would buy such a relic as the Jubilee-Resort. The only recommendation Owen could make was to tear it down! Greta and Owen have tangled over hotels before, and neither would ever admit defeat!