Monday, December 12, 2011

Holiday Hop! and 12 Days of Creepfest!

It's December 25. Merry Christmas!

Time to announce the winners!


1. Rebecca Treadway

2. Red Tash

3. Cherry Blossom Rain


1. Craig Smith

2. Paul Dail


And a big THANK YOU to everyone who stopped by! 

We all know somebody who's got one or seen one. 

My parents have one. 
He likes to appear at Christmas time.

He inspired a story I wrote called Santa's Bones releasing this holiday season through Muse It Up Publishing. 

Read to the end of my blog to find out how to win an electronic copy of Santa's Bones, a hard copy of the WTF!? anthology by Pink Narcissus Press, an electronic copy of Living Dead at Zigfreidt & Roy by Axel Howerton, a string of gnome holiday lights, and a stocking full of candy...

My parents' ghost is a dark shadow that walks up and down the hall.

 Sometimes he peers at you from a doorway. He plays tricks like turning the tv or lights on and off, turning objects around, causing drafts, making the senile cat chase after him...usual ghost stuff.  

He also does something I've never heard of a ghost doing. At night, if you wake up in the wee hours and open the bedroom door to step into the hall, you'll see a shower of sparks. It's like you've startled him and he's run off.  

I think the ghost becomes more active at Christmas because of the children that run through the house. The ghost gets all riled up. He's cranky. Children disturb his peace and quiet. 

It's also because of the visitors. My mom entertains a lot during the holidays.  

The ghost doesn't like all the commotion. And he especially doesn't like the children. That's why I think the ghost might be my great uncle. 

My great uncle was a loner who lived in a secluded cabin on a river in Oregon. My dad would bring me with him when I was little to visit my great uncle. 

I wanted to go because there was a wildlife park nearby where ostriches would tap on the window of your car as you drove through and because you could find fossils on the river in the summer when the water level dropped. I liked the snakes in my uncle's woodpile. He'd dangle worms in front of the crevices between the logs and the snakes would slither out. 

But my great uncle wasn't ever really sure what to do with a little girl around. He enjoyed my dad's company, but if I came along, or my sister, we kind of got the evil eye the entire time we huddled near dad in the dark cabin. My great uncle wanted to visit with my dad. 

Not with me or my sister.

There's one other thing the ghost does that I've never really heard of ghosts doing. Sometimes the ghost gets into your head. 

He does this when you're sleeping. You'll be dreaming the shadow man's next to you and that he's reaching his hand into you and trying to pull your insides out. Only it's not really your insides he's trying to get. It's more like your soul. 

You feel out of breath and sometimes wake up screaming.

It's pretty rare he does that, but when he does, it's like a few of us have the same or a similar dream around the same time. Maybe one day I'll have the dream and two days later my dad will have the dream.

We've wanted to have a psychic come to the house to find out what the ghost wants. 

But my mom refuses. 

She's afraid the ghost will get scared and leave. 

It doesn't seem to bother her that some of us get scared and never want to spend any significant amount of time at her house, especially after dark.

asked my friend, author Axel Howerton, for advice on the matter.

JJ:     I thought I'd bring up a creepy holiday situation... ask for your advice. Do you believe in ghosts, Mr. Howerton?

AH:  I've had some kind of spectral shenanigans in pretty much every place I've ever lived, some more troubling than others. One of the weirdest was when I was nine or ten and had this terrible lucid nightmare about someone coming into our house and slaughtering the entire family. In the dream I had barely escaped and ran outside to a park around the corner, where an old man beckoned me over and told me to be calm and that everything was fine, none of it was real and that he would always be there if I needed him. I remembered that old man's face vividly for years. Several years later I was in Toronto for Christmas and my great-grandmother showed me a picture of my great-grandfather, who had died decades before I was born, and whose picture I had never seen. It was the very man from my dream. Later still, I discovered that he was a well-known psychic and had helped police find a child-killer in the 30's. His "talents" apparently made him a miserable, hateful man and a raging alcoholic, which ostracized him from much of the family. I suppose, in a way, that all formed a lot of my interest in the occult and macabre and my predilection for spookiness.

JJ:     We’ll be spending a lot of time at Christmas with my folks at their place on the other side of town. Mom and Dad have a ghost that always becomes more active at the holidays. I think the ghost gets irritated when there's a lot of commotion in the house. It doesn't seem to be especially fond of children. I try to put myself in the ghost's shoes. If I were trying to mind my own business when some little kid barged into my room and disturbed me in the middle of whatever ghostly daily activity I was used to, I might get a little bent out of shape. Don't ask me to explain why I think this, but I'm pretty sure the ghost is a grumpy relative from my dad's side of the family.

AH:  The spirits I've been around have all been fairly benevolent. We had some pretty nasty negative energy going in the place I'm currently living, especially when our second son was born, but after a cleansing or two it seemed to dissipate. Of course now #2 son would probably have the ghost of Ghengis Khan running for a quiet corner of Hell.

JJ:     Everyone in the family has seen the ghost. Some visitors too. It's a shadow figure, tall and thin. Besides usual ghost stuff he does a couple weird, spookier things. If you happen to get up to use the restroom at night and open the bedroom door to step into the hall, you'll sometimes see a shower of sparks, like you've startled someone or something and they've taken off in a panic. This makes me wonder what Uncle Jerome is up to. The other thing is that he shows up in dreams. In fact, sometimes we have the same dream. The dream: the dark shadow figure hovers above you while you're sleeping and reaches out to you. It grabs you and tries to get you to come with it.

AH:  I hate those dreams. I've had those my whole life. Bloody ghost creepers, always trying to climb up on you in your sleep. I mean, I'm sleeping, man. You're an incorporeal shiftless mass of energy. What do you really think you're going to accomplish here? I'm no Barbara Hershey. This isn't some lurid 80's "horror" movie. Fuck off and let me rest, you bastard.

JJ:     The ghost sometimes plays tricks on little children. It got to one of my nieces a couple years ago when my sister and the girls spent the night at my mom's house. It freaked my sister and my littlest niece out so bad, my sister took off with the girls in the middle of the night. While the little one could only explain it in her words, I think she was a victim of the dream. The situation keeps my sister from ever wanting to spend the night with my parents. She'll come down for an afternoon visit, but that's about it.

AH:  As I mentioned, my kids are hellascary, and I've taught them the Ghostbusters lingo. There's a toy weed whacker in their room that looks just like a proton accelerator pack. They ain't afraid of no ghosts. That's my suggestion for little ones in an active haunt zone. There is nothing more terrifying than a kid with no fear. If they think they're tougher than that ghost, well, I would get your class three free-roaming vapor ass outta dodge if I was you, Casper.

JJ:     I've talked to my mom about having a medium come and try to connect with the ghost, to find out what the hell its problem is, but she won't do it. She says she worries if someone comes to the house, it'll scare the ghost and make it leave. She kind of likes having it around. Any thoughts on how to convince my mom it's a good thing to have this checked out by a non-ghostbusting psychic professional?

AH:  Oh, sure. Now that I've already dropped all of these Ghostbuster references. 

So...time for the contest rules. 

Two people will win an electronic copy of Santa's Bones, a hard copy of the WTF!? anthology by Pink Narcissus Press, Axel  Howerton's Living Dead at Zigfreidt & Roy, a string of holiday gnome lights, and a stocking full of candy (and maybe an extra goodie if you're lucky)...

Three runners up will win an electronic copy of Santa's Bones, an electronic copy of the WTF!? anthology, and an electronic copy of Axel Howerton's Living Dead at Zigfreidt & Roy.

How to win?

Comment with your thoughts on this ghost situation. Give me some sort of idea on how to figure out what my great uncle's ghost wants, why he's so grumpy, and how to make him enjoy the holidays with us (without calling ghostbusters per my mom's wishes). And if you have any idea what the heck the sparks are about (and the creepy dreams) please let me know your thoughts.

The people with the most creative and interesting answers have the best shot at the prizes.

Winners will be announced Christmas Day!

There are many more contests going on during the Holiday Hop! and 12 Days of Creepfest. Just click on Holiday Hop! or 12 Days of Creepfest to visit the other participating authors' sites for more chances to win cool books and other stuff!

Happy Holidays!


Red Tash said...

I may be off base here, but do you think those sparks are Ghost Farts?

I obviously live with a tribe of little boys.

Craig Smith said...

I think he wants your dad to sit down and have a good talk with him. Or he followed you home and wants to go back to his cabin in the woods? It does sound very nice there!

Maybe he's afraid of little girls? It's possible.

Maybe the sparks to get your attention or it could be static electricity?

Apologies for all the maybes!

Beth said...

Grumpy houseguests are bad enough in real life. Why does your mom want him around? Call the psychic!

Marissafarrar said...

That's one seriously weird story! I'd set him a place for Xmas dinner and see if he sits down to eat! Maybe then your Dad could tell him he'd be better off waiting for visits at the cabin (and promise not to bring you!).

Ash Krafton | @ashkrafton said...

Here I was, all ready to give some honest ghost handling advice, and the first thing I read here is ghost farts. Thanks for taking me there, Red...

srsly, though? Talk to him and offer him a closed, undisturbed room when people come over. Tell him he has a quiet spot to hang out where nobody will bother him. It may appease him.

And--Do. Not. Mention. Ghost farts. At all.


Ruth Barrett said...

My aunt had a ghost that endlessly paced up and down her hallway. She discovered the history of the place: that someone had died in a house fire, but that a child had survived. She sat down on the stairs and had a chat with the ghost- explained that the child was okay and that they could move on. After that, no ghost. Honestly- your uncle needs to move on (and likely wants to). Have your Dad sit down and chat. Give him some peace. Or maybe some worms.

Still giggling about ghost farts-- thanks Red!

Unknown said...

Wow. I can handle zombies (I have a machete in my closet just in case) and I can handle spiders (I just scream really loud and smash 'em) but the one thing that really freaks me out are ghosts. *SHUDDER*

Turn on the garage light and suggest the ghost GO TOWARD THE LIGHT. Then maybe you can convince him to move on to the street light. From there, hopefully he'll find his way to where he needs to go. Other than that, I got nothing.

Good luck, and Happy Creepfest!

JKP said...

Oh tricky tricky!!

Well... After watching a million episodes of Ghost Adventures, I'd suggest you to use a tape recorder and to ask questions to the ghost why he's so grumpy like that. You might be surprised of the responses you'll get.

About the sparks... Um. I say this guy is pretty creative, and has a hell lots of energy to spare. So I'd agree w Red and say he has some digestive issues. Maybe give him some Beano or something.

Great post!!

Unknown said...

Go ahead and enter into as many of these as you can. While you are searching come on over to my blog at Free Book Reviews

Come on over to my Blog and send me a link to your book so that I can include it in my Free Book Reviews Forum.

Anthony Rapino said...

Wow, so many great hops and contests for the holidays! Hard to keep up :-)

RL.Treadway said...

I've had experiences like this and they weren't related to the dearly department. It sounds like you have two apparitions in your house; one is your Uncle but the other definetely sounds like what is commonly referred to as a "Shadow person" THAT one you have to worry about since it's already attacked. There's a strong possibility your Uncle is sticking around trying to tell you that. The sparks could be a kind of kinetic-psychic energy - maybe it's your Uncle trying to warn you or giving this shadow the creature the brush off. You have to get rid of that shadow first. That's a lot of detailed "work" to do but one of the first steps is anointing your home and putting up "mental wardings" on every door's threshold in and outside of your house as you do so (pure olive oil dabbed above works). You don't need to call a psychic, you have the ability to do this yourself. After you do anointing tell your Uncle you've had problems communicating with his wishes and tell him either to communicate in a way that is not frightening - or to leave the house and continue on his journey because you are now aware of what the REAL problem is. Benign spirits do NOT attack people, no matter how restless or how much unfinished business they have. If you want more info shoot me a message, I have stories that would curl your toes :p

RL.Treadway said...

Spark Farts.
LOL!!!And do enter me into the contest, thanks!

Feral Cats said...

He is still seeking peace and quiet and is holed up in the most familiar place he knows, where there are people around to "see" him. Keep it quiet, put out a good bottle of whiskey and a plate of cookies on Christmas eve to let him know you care. The dreams are your own subconscious telling you that you have unfinished business you need to clear up. Don't blame that on the ghost, Sister! And quit getting up in the middle of the night and scaring the poor guy! He is losing his ectoplasm each time you do that. I would be grumpy too. Those shrouds don't cover much to start with...Scaaaary Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Have you tried asking the ghost what he wants....I have had quite a few experiences with ghosts and usually I find they are more confused then anyone...they get stuck in repetition of past behaviors and don't know where you (the present people) come are tricky because they believe in ghosts and usually do not fear them...maybe your ghost is a dead uncle who just wants to be left alone or maybe even respected more by the kids. As for the shadow presence...I think that is something completely different...The important thing is to show no fear because these shadowy creatures live on our fears...maybe enlist your ghost "uncle" to remove the shadowy presence...just 2c worth
Great contest Julie!
Congrats on the release of Santa's Bones...
Happy Creepfest
- Kim
creeping from "Wrestling the Muse"

Georgina Morales said...

God, girl, that's a creepy Christmas. I'd hate to visit your parents house... I'm a coward, I know. I'm sorry I can really advise you on how to do this, but I'm with the ones who suggested you should help the ghost to cross over. It isn't healthy for anyone if he stays, not for him, not for your family. He'll be happier once he gets to where he's supposed to be, and the kids will have a much relaxed holiday.

Happy Creepfest from Diary of a Writer in Progress!

SandyG265 said...

I think he wants to go home for the holidays.

Anonymous said...

I think the ghost is grumpy cause he can't touch anything so he can't have the YUMMY COOKIES!!!!! you could make him happy by giving him a gift ad get rid of the bad dreams by having a glass of warm milk with honey, and some jerky.

Jesse Kimmel-Freeman said...

Well, maybe you could call someone to hunt around the yard to see if his bones are there and need to be put some where else...or maybe he just wants certain decorations up!



Unknown said...

Are you sure it's only your uncle? Unless he was willing to hurt or harm people (including kids) while he was alive, he wouldn't suddenly start doing that just because he's dead. It sound like you may have another, definitely unwanted visitor there. If it gets pretty intense, try burning sage incense or putting salt down in the bedrooms - it will add protection against the negative one, and wouldn't harm any positive spirit.

Anonymous said...

First, let me say, "yikes." That's some creepy stuff going on.

Then I would say that my first instinct was to agree with what Rebecca said, except I hadn't thought that there could be two spirits. My thought was wondering why your great uncle would be wanting to do bad things to you or your family, unless he was just confused/didn't understand he had passed/trying to get back to the world. So I also thought it was malevolent.

Just out of curiosity, I know you said he wanted to visit more with your dad, but was it your great uncle on his side? Do others in your family believe it is him also? If so, how much interaction did your mother have with him when he was alive? Just trying to figure out your mother's motivations.

But otherwise, yeah, I'd agree that you have at least one spirit you don't want around.

Good luck.

Paul D. Dail A horror writer's not necessarily horrific blog

books4me said...

Doesn't sound to me like your Uncle wants anything except peace and quiet.

books4me67 at ymail dot com

CherryBlossomRain said...

Maybe he wants to talk to your dad or maybe he just doesn't know where else to go. If your dad hasn't been to his grave in a while maybe convince him to go for a visit and sit and have a talk with your Uncle.

As for the dreams it sounds like your uncle might enjoy scaring the pants off people. It might sound strange but try putting dream catchers on the walls above the beds. They are supposed to catch bad dreams so it might help with that issue.

As for the sparks maybe he's trying to get you to go away and leave him alone. If it only happens when you're getting up to go to the bathroom it could be that he's taking an other worldly leak and wants you to leave him to his business.

As far as finding out what your uncle wants maybe do some research and find a low level psychic that you feel you can trust and isn't a scam artist and have them come in just maybe let your mom talk to them so she has peace of mind that they aren't going to run off her haunter.

If you want him to enjoy the holidays with you guys maybe set a little side table up with a place setting and some of his favorite holiday foods. Just leave it there for the day with a candle and a picture of him and it might help. Sort of as an acknowledgment that you guys are aware of him and that you want him to know he's welcome.

Anonymous said...

If your uncle does't like commotion or little children, I'd say let your television run The Christmas Story the entire 24 hours that it plays beginning on CHristmas Eve. He will either have to give over, or got over, to the other side...and I agree with the ghost farts...

Susan Ricci via

Spot said...

That's a pretty creepy story. All the ghosts I've had in my life have always been benign and that soul-sucking shadow guy sounds suspicious. I'm with R.L. on this one- you need to get rid of him!

I don't think he's the same as your uncle. While your uncle sounds irascible, he doesn't sound menacing. He's probably just hanging out. I'm with your mom, let him stay.

Definitely call Ghost Hunters. Jason and Grant are all about it when little kids are involved. Plus, you'd get to be on TV. Don't call Ghost Adventures though. That Zak guy is redonkulous. If I come back as a ghost, he's the first guy I'm going after.

Good luck with your ghosties. Please enter me in your contest, but DO NOT send me the gnome lights. Seriously, gnomes are just creepy.


Anonymous said...

Great ghost story. Does he eat the leftovers?

Penelope Crowe said...

I think your uncle is angry because he is stuck somehow...either as a ghost or in the house. He is jealous of the living--and even more jealous of the kids because their life force is gigantic.
At night he is trying to suck YOUR life force out--he wants it, he wants to feel alive again.
I think part of our life force is electricity. Out brains works with tiny sparks and synapses. Maybe he is showing you HIS version of what he needs.
Turn on every light and device and computer and decoration and tell your uncle to help himself to all the energy he needs. He might be happy for the attention too.
Thanks for this contest! I had so much fun reading your great story and Axel's interview. So, so fun!! XOXO

Penelope Crowe said...
Sorry--forgot to leave my email. :)

Cayce said...

The ghost house as an idea is quite "romantic" and I like to read about scary stuff! Stephen King Forever! But in real life I'm easily scared, so I really don't want to have a ghost in my house!!
Get some help. Like priests, ghost hunters, anything!!!

Happy Ghostless Holidays!
cayce006 at yahoo dot com

Nora B. Peevy said...

First, ghosts tend to hang around people who acknowledge them and keep them around. If you talk to him all the time, he won't leave. He will just stay. How do you know for sure it's your uncle? A lot of spirits and things from other dimensions can play tricks and take on a loved one's form? It sounds to me like this thing is harmful, as you mentioned the stealing your soul. You should not be communicating with this spirit. I do not think it is your uncle. Your uncle loved you and would not harm you. This spirit wants to take your soul. You need to bless your house with sage and do the entire house. And not encourage any communmication with it. Do not use Tarot, ouja boards, etc. Anything. Those all open doorways that you may not prepared to deal with what comes through. And having a portal in your houses to the other side is no fun and hard to get rid of, trust me. LOL

I wish you luck. If you cannot bless your house, get someone else to.

CherryBlossomRain said...

YAY! Sorry I forgot to leave my e-mail address. I got absorbed in the ghost thing. it's a_breen87@yahoodotcom