-By Debbi Decker

Born in October of 1925, amidst the rubble and wreckage in a collapsed railway tunnel, he rose up and stumbled out of the smoke, a wraith-like silhouette against the fire lit sky. Those who hid in terror reported a visage of jagged and blood dripping teeth, skin shredded and hanging from the bones. A few hardier souls tracked the creature as he stumbled, moaning and keening, along the river and on to the cemetery where he disappeared into the entrance of a large Gothic tomb. Attempts to open the door of the tomb came to naught and the hysterical requests to the cemetery officials to open the tomb were denied. The gossip in the bars and homes in the days to come claimed the creature was a vampire. “How else?” they whispered. “How else can you explain the bloody teeth, never mind the entry into a sealed tomb?” The owners of the tomb did not stand idly by. “I heard they moved the family bones” a neighbor told another neighbor. “Had to have done it by day” the neighbor answered. Both nodded. Everyone knows that vampires sleep by day. No one questioned why the family did not destroy the vampire while it slept. With a stake to the heart. Isn’t that the usual way one dispatches a vampire?

Years passed and the legend passed along with them. Reports of strange noises from inside the tomb. Orbs and strange mists emanating from the doorway. Tales of Satanic activity and markings around the tomb. It is now 2015, and people still come from far and wide to view the Tomb of the Richmond Vampire.

As with all legends, there is some truth to this particular tale. A railway tunnel did collapse on the night of October 2, 1925 on Church Hill in Richmond, Virginia. A young man, Benjamin F. Mosby, managed to escape the wreckage bearing injuries much like the oft-described vampire in the tale. He was admitted to Grace Hospital, where he later died of his injuries. Not much is told of where Mr. Mosby was found or why he supposedly chose that particular tomb. William Wortham Poole was an upstanding citizen, a secretary/clerk who died at the venerable age of 80, and subsequently buried in the family tomb in 1922. Perhaps Mr. Mosby was trying to reach the river which travels along the cemetery borders. Perhaps he was only able to get as far as W.W. Poole’s tomb where he collapsed inside the dark entryway, thereby spawning the rumors that he disappeared into the tomb. To this day, there are still reports of strange noises and paranormal activity. Since we know Benjamin Mosby died at Grace Hospital, who (or what) prowls the shadows of the Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia? I am personally of the opinion that we do not have a vampire here, but the rather pissed-off ghost of William Poole, wandering and cursing the tale that led to his, and his family members, removal from the august family tomb to parts unknown.

Photographs “Tomb Of The Richmond Vampire” and “Tomb Of The Richmond Vampire-original” provided by Crazed Poppet Creations and are copyrighted images. To contact Debbi Decker for purchase of these prints visit her website.

Debbi Decker is proprietor of Crazed Poppet Creations Art & Assemblage Emporium. Check out her artist page to find links to her shop and blog to read more of her writings. Visit again next month for the telling of hauntings and ghostly tales by Debbi Decker.

The Watchers in the Woods

The Watchers in the Woods
-By Debbi Decker

It was not always like this. She has traveled through many woods in many countries. They always held a sense of magic for her, a sacred place to wander and to worship. Not these woods. The forests behind her new home hides something she cannot identify.
It isn’t that the forest is a fear-filled place. Rather it is the feelings it gives her as she wanders amongst the trees.

Tall trees they are too, with a high canopy that lets in just enough light to allow her to see her surroundings. The light never brings detail to anything to give her a real sense of safety. Covered in leaves and moss, the forest floor offers no bracken or shrubbery to hide within. So, why is there this sense of being watched, being weighed, and always being found wanting?

The paths through the woods are barely there, trodden only by beasts of habit. She is never sure what beasts these are. There are watchers in the woods. The eyes she feels on her sometimes feel like the eyes of something “other”, something elemental and only found deep within the forest. Babbling brooks and moss filled nooks take on a different meaning here. It is a dare to drink from the streams, knowing the stories told of enchantments placed upon the flowing waters and the fates that befell those who took those dares and drank.

Blame it on all those fairy tales she thinks. Red Riding Hood’s wolf and that gingerbread cottage in the depths of the woods. Funny how both of those tales speak of cannibalism. Death by a supposedly trusted or respected person. Both stories feature women who are not as they seem. Makes one wonder if the Gods of the woods require such sacrifices. Surely not, she thinks, but one never really knows when it comes to the Gods and their needs.

How is it that she did not sense this when she first viewed the house and the land? Had she known, she would have continued her search for a new home. She must have been dazzled by whatever lives in the shadows there. It must want something from her.

She feels compelled at times to pass through the forest as though some force or lost soul calls to her, luring her into the deepest, shadiest, darkest parts. The forest uncovers her darker side and throws it mirror-like back in her face, forcing her to embrace those secret bits of her soul. The bits that recognize the demons hidden within those fairy tales that tell of old women wearing wolf’s clothing and homes with deep ovens. Whose big eyes see everything you do and whose appetites can devour you right down to the tiniest crumb of your very essence. These woods feed on those bits.

No, this particular forest is not her friend, no matter how Pagan her soul and no matter that the Gods she worships revere this place. This forest is not for her and she passes through it only when called and only as a last resort. She wants to keep her soul. This is not her place. The Gods will understand after all. She hopes. Because no none ever really knows when it comes to the Gods and their needs.

Photographs “Watching”, “Green Man”, “Forest Moon and “Portal” provided by Crazed Poppet Creations and are copyrighted images. To contact Debbi Decker for purchase of these prints visit her website.

Debbi Decker is proprietor of Crazed Poppet Creations Art & Assemblage Emporium. Check out her artist page to find links to her shop and blog to read more of her writings. Visit again next month for the telling of hauntings and ghostly tales by Debbi Decker.

What Time Is It?

What Time Is It?
-By Debbi Decker

My mother passed recently and I had been spending time at her house, cleaning and gathering things to send to Goodwill and other charitable organizations. Towards the end of a 6-day stay, I was still trying to understand why the house felt so “clear”. It was not an after effect felt by me due to my mother’s death. I had noticed from the moment I walked in that the house felt empty. As if no one had ever lived there. I was confused, curious, and a bit unnerved. Houses imprint. Unless the place is brand spanking new, there are going to be elements that will resonate with everyone. I even commented to several family members and friends about the emptiness that I felt. My brother commented that he could feel it too but he felt that it would change.

The last full day I was there, I spent the day alone cleaning and sorting until late afternoon. I stepped out to get a bite to eat and to wind down from my busy day. After finishing my meal and checking the day’s e-mails, I decided to kick back in a very comfortable recliner in the living room and read until it was time to head to bed. Within a few minutes of reading, I began feeling a sense of heaviness in the atmosphere. As the evening wore on, and the sense of heaviness increased, I several times stop reading, looked around and tried to figure out exactly what I was feeling. The house was now occupied by someone or something other than me. I was not able to figure out who or what it was, but as the feeling got stronger I began to sense that it did not quite like me being in the house. It was not a hateful or hurtful feeling, but more of a “why are you here and you need to leave” kind of feeling.

At that point, I figured I would head to my room, read some more and then try to get some sleep. I noticed the digital clock at my bedside nightstand was not working. Thinking it was a battery issue, I went into my mother’s bedroom and rustled up some batteries and inserted them into the clock. The clock would light up, and then within 2 seconds the numbers would appear to melt from the top to the bottom and the clock would stop working. I fiddled with the clock trying to fix it for several minutes and it continued to react in the same manner. Assuming that the clock was broken, I went back into my mother’s bedroom to get a clock that was on her dresser. This clock, although battery operated, was not digital, had hour, minute, and second hands, and was running but the time was wrong. I reset the time and the clock stopped working. Again, I inserted fresh batteries, but nothing changed. That clock would not run either.

Now, I was two clocks down, with a house that was feeling creepier and heavier by the minute. I was frustrated and starting to get a bit edgy. Both clocks were put on my mother’s dresser in her room. I had to have a clock that worked though. It was important to me that night that I be able to see the time at any moment. Eventually, I found a small clock that was working, placed it on the nightstand beside my bed, and proceeded to read until my eyes were blurry. I was unable to get any sleep that night. It was a doze off, wake up, and repeat kind of night. I never did turn off the lights. And I was NOT leaving that room. For whatever reason, my room felt the least strange of all of the rooms in the house that night.

Morning came, and I managed a sleep-deprived stagger into the kitchen to make some coffee and get ready for the day. My sister was due early to assist with the sorting of mom’s clothes and further cleaning out of closets. Although the house felt a bit better than it had the night before, there was still a sense of occupancy and some heaviness.

My sister arrived and we began our day. Going back into mom’s bedroom to retrieve some items we needed, I happened to glance at my mother’s dresser. Both clocks were up and running perfectly, with the right time displayed on both! The heaviness I’d sensed the night before seemed now to be centralized in my mother’s bedroom. I quietly walked out and shut the door behind me.

I’m sure you can imagine all the swear words I was speaking under my breath. I let whatever or whoever it was that messed with those clocks the night before know that I was not amused. And I left a day earlier than originally planned and drove home.

Debbi Decker is proprietor of twistedpixelstudio Art & Assemblage Emporium. Check out her artist page to find links to her shop and blog to read more of her writings. Visit again next month for the telling of hauntings and ghostly tales by Debbi Decker.

Living On the Other Side.

Living On the Other Side.
-By Debbi Decker

Have you ever had a dream that felt upon waking so real that you could swear it was happening in real life? Traveled in your dreams to a place that felt so natural and real that you knew where you were going and recognized the places you went in the dream?

I do this. All the time. And have done so since I was a small child. I have vivid memories of dreams that occur in locations that I can map out for you and give you directions of where to go in those places. When I visit these locations in my dreams, I usually enter them at the same “entrance”, although after arrival I may visit a different spots within these places. Just like visiting a well-loved place in real time, my dream locations are full of variable weather patterns, textures, scents, landscapes, tastes and people. I come off the “exit ramp” into my dream worlds and go on to visit just like I would in waking life.

Strange you say? It gets even stranger. What about having a dream friend that you seem to see on a regular basis and have continual adventures with them?

I have a special friend that visits me frequently in my dreams. Each dream is a different dream, but always there is a sense of knowing, of peaceful togetherness, and total happiness that we are together. I get that feeling not just from me but from my friend too. There is never a sexual element but there is a sense of completeness. I always wake up from these visits with a smile on my face and overflowing happiness that will last for days. I will not give a detailed scenario of any of these dreams here since really the details only have resonance and meaning to me and would not really bring you any greater level of understanding or belief.

How to explain this? I am no stranger to dreams. I have studied them since I was a young girl, and understand the concept of the who, what, and why of how they occur. I do dream interpretation for others who are curious about their dreams and what they could possibly mean. The science is not lost on me. What IS lost to me, however, is how these dreams are so real to the point that I can still, more than a year after one particular dream, still feel the weave of my friend’s shirt on my fingertips in my waking state.

Some people would say that these are manufactured scenarios that my subconscious mind has cobbled together in order to send a message to me. Some would say that I am a lonely individual who feels the need to have interaction with someone even if it only occurs in my dream state. I reject these explanations out of hand simply because I have investigated these possibilities many many times in an effort to explain this phenomena. After all, I am a Virgo. It is second nature to dig deep, analyze, and find answers to questions presented. I am also a fairly social person with various types of relationships in my life and am finally at a place in life where I am pretty much happy and content with myself and my lifestyle. Sure, there are things I would change, as anyone would. That’s why the caveat “pretty much”. If I were to be completely content, there would be no room for growth and new things. So “pretty much” is actually a great state to be in.

So, yes, I do not subscribe to the theories given above. The main reason is that after receiving a dream visit from my friend, upon waking there is no yearning, no sadness, no wishing for” what if?”. These visits are full of detail, sensory perceptions, and activity. Not all of these dreams are completely happy. Sometimes we have moments of sadness or difficulties just as anyone would in real life. There are no nightmares here. No strange beings, fantastical beasts or fantasy. Just living a normal life on the Other Side.

Given my personal spiritual beliefs, I believe that my friend is my soul mate who, throughout time, has been with me and will continue to be with me, no matter who I become or who my friend becomes. There is a deep love between us. We played together in my dreams as children, and grew up together. We share our feelings and the details of our lives on this side. Once, in a dream, I told my friend that I was old. My friend, said “No, you are not. You are you.”

Perhaps I am crazy. Who cares? After hearing that comment by my friend in that dream, I would not trade crazy for the world. Would you?

Debbi Decker is proprietor of twistedpixelstudio Art & Assemblage Emporium. Check out her artist page to find links to her shop and blog to read more of her writings. Visit again next month for the telling of hauntings and ghostly tales by Debbi Decker.

Walpurgisnacht. It’s coming. The doors are opening. Are you ready?

Walpurgisnacht. It’s coming. The doors are opening. Are you ready?
-By Debbi Decker

Directly opposite Halloween on the calendar, the night April 30 is the other day of the year when the barriers are down between our world and the other side. Things slip through, ghosts are walking, and those who are in the know are casting spells and divining the future. And much like Halloween, there are bonfires to drive away the evil, and in some countries, pranks are played on the unwary.

“Walpurgis” is the name of an 8th century German nun who preached against witchcraft and was later canonized as a saint in 779 AD. Because her saint day was near the time of an ancient Viking festival of spring, the two celebrations were combined into the Catholic calendar to create Walpurgisnacht (nacht is the German word for night).

Walpurgisnacht is celebrated in many European countries as the last night the witches could gather before spring/summer took hold on the land and the sun was at its most powerful. Masking, the wearing of talismans, and the use of Holy Water were some of the ways people used to ward off the evil that could cross over from the other side. Scarecrows (straw men) were also made, spells were cast upon them to draw in all the bad luck and evil from the previous year and then thrown in the bonfires to burn and hopefully bless the New Year going forward.

Because the doors to the other side are open, this is also a night to communicate with the spirits and seek guidance for the coming year. Sit outside under a tree during this night and you may hear the bells of the Faerie Queen as she rides by looking for mortals to take to her realm. Burn a special incense that has a floral scent and pass tokens of special meaning to you to cleanse them and make them powerful for the coming year. If Walpurgisnacht coincides with a full moon, take a bowl of water that has been blessed with the smoke of fire, and carry it outside to gather the moon’s rays. This powerful water can be bottled and used in rituals throughout the remainder of the year.

And, since the next morning is Beltane (May 1), once you have completed your Walpurgisnacht rituals, go out at dawn to gather the morning dew to wash your face. Your complexion will be magical and flawless for the remainder of the year!

Debbi Decker is proprietor of twistedpixelstudio Art & Assemblage Emporium. Check out her artist page to find links to her shop and blog to read more of her writings. Visit again next month for the telling of hauntings and ghostly tales by Debbi Decker.

My Mother’s Ghost.

My Mother’s Ghost. -By Debbi Decker

What is it about the end of the year that brings out the paranormal? Are we sending out a different kind of energy that allows for these entities to pass through more easily? Or are we more open at this time to see things we would not normally see or hear and feel things that we would not normally hear or feel simply because we are poised to enter into a new year and we are opening ourselves up to hopes for what it will bring?

My mother is not normally open to paranormal events. She believes that spirits are good, the souls of those who are in heaven and the souls of loved ones, invisible to mankind but felt by us. Ghosts are visible and bad, evil people who will never reach heaven and wander the earth in various shapes and forms. Over the years I have tried to convince her that while I understand her choice of words, ghosts and spirits are really one and the same. She would never allow herself to be convinced. That is, until last Thursday night. She now believes they ARE both one and the same, and that it is how the spirit or ghost presents itself that matters.

She had just turned out the light in her bedroom and was sitting on the side of her bed. Her bedroom is never really dark due to all of the many electronic components. Glowing clocks, computer lights, telephones, and other assorted sundry items that give off light. As she was sitting there she looked up at the window beside her and saw a full bodied man come through the curtains, walk around the foot of her bed, walk out of her room into the hallway and into the bathroom where he immediately disappeared. It was a young man, wearing a white t-shirt with the sleeves rolled up the way the boys would wear them in the 1950s. He wore faded blue jeans and his hair was neat and cut short. She could not see his face as his head was bent down but she had a sense of seeing something in 2D. Mom said she felt that she could see through parts of him but it was not readily apparent that he was translucent. Just a sense that she was. She also could not see his feet. The apparition actually walked around the end of her bed, turning to go through the door! Just as if you or I would have done had we been looking out that window and decided to leave the room and go to the bathroom!

The most astonishing thing to me about this event is not that she saw a full body apparition, but that she was not in the least scared or in any way upset. She said that when he disappeared she said out loud, “well hello and goodbye to you too!” Where most people would have been terrified, she said she felt calm and happy during the whole event.

My mother is no stranger to the paranormal even though in the past she has not been open to the possibilities it brings. She feels the presence of her mother nearby and she sometimes feels her mother sit down on the side of her bed that her mother would normally sit when visiting. Mom has also remarked about seeing shadow people walking the halls of her house, taking the same path every time. The shadow people are just that, dark shadows with no details that travel the hallway and always go into the rear bedroom. She has heard doors opening and closing when she is alone, and she also has heard heavy boots walking on wood, even though the house is fully carpeted and there are no wood floors. She also has visitations that she believes are a long deceased cat who would spent a great deal of time with her in her bedroom and would jump onto her bed and land on the same spot pretty much every time.

While discussing the event, my mother kept commenting about how calm she felt throughout it all and how amazed that she was afterward that she was not afraid. We talked about the fact that she may have some pre-conditioning regarding these types of events because of all of the strange things that happen in her home. I know that for me, it has become “just another day in the neighborhood” or the “new normal” because of all of the things I have seen and experienced throughout my whole life. You can get used to these strange things. So, perhaps she was in a more accepting frame of mind when the young man came through.

These kinds of manifestations are considered the “holy grail” of ghost hunting and I will admit to a wee bit of jealousy that she got to experience it. But how wonderful for her that she did! Mom now understands what it is that those of us who experience these kinds of things are trying to explain. She gets it now. Whether this understanding will leave the door open for other manifestations, only time will tell.

My mother is elderly and lives alone and does not get out much anymore. On several occasions she has stated that she needs a hobby, something to keep her busy and to engage her mind.

Hey mom! Guess what? You have a new job now. Ghost Hunter. Investigate the presences in your home and learn about how they manifest and perhaps even get some sense of who the young man could have been and the connection he has to the house or to you.

I am excitedly waiting for the answers you find. Oh, and yes, there WILL be a test!

Debbi Decker is proprietor of twistedpixelstudio Art & Assemblage Emporium. Check out her artist page to find links to her shop and blog to read more of her writings. Visit again next month for the telling of hauntings and ghostly tales by Debbi Decker.

Set An Extra Plate at the Thanksgiving Table. Company May be Coming.

Set An Extra Plate at the Thanksgiving Table. Company May be Coming.-By Debbi Decker

Halloween has come and gone, and for many it is a time to put away the decorations, and begin thinking about the next big celebration, that of Thanksgiving. No more spooks, no more worries of black cats, hobgoblins, witches and monsters. The door to the other side has closed.

But has it really? While there are two times of the year where the other side bleeds more readily into our everyday world (Halloween and Walpurgisnacht), the fact is that spirits can visit us readily at any time of the year. Especially when it’s a big family event such as Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving as we celebrate it today is a far cry from what it originally was. In far older times, it was a harvest festival celebrated by many cultures during all times of the year, depending on the growing season. A “last meal” was created using what was left over from the harvest, and everyone gathered to eat and share memories and stories from days past. In some regions, it was believed that the spirit of life remained in the last ear of corn harvested. Corn dollys or corn mothers were created using the husks from the last of the harvest, put in a place of honor at the table and kept until the next year’s harvest. Because so much depended upon nature, weather, and the will of the gods involved, harvest celebrations were a way to thank the forces for a good harvest, or in the case of a bad harvest, to propitiate the spirits in the hopes that they would look favorably on the next growing cycle and therefore bring about a good harvest.

Many of these celebrations were also a time to honor the ancestors. Food was given to effigies or placed on altars as a tribute to the ancestor or spirit. As western man and western civilizations grew, and different religious groups came together, other celebrations and rituals would spin off the harvest festival, giving birth to what we now know as Halloween, Day of the Dead, and All Saint’s Day, just to name a few. If you think about it, the holidays just mentioned are in reality a celebration of the dead and the harvest is simply the end or death of the growing season.

Honoring the dead is not uncommon in our culture today and Thanksgiving is another time where we can do so. Because we gather together and talk of times past, or events of the prior year, we bring an energy to the table that is easily tapped into by the spirit world. Simply telling our stories and the stories of our ancestors calls out to the dead and invites them in. How many of us have felt the presence of a long gone family member when sitting around the table and sharing memories?

So, set an extra plate that the table at this year’s Thanksgiving feast. Put a picture of a loved one on the plate and honor them by telling their stories. You never know. They might just stop in for a visit.

Debbi Decker is proprietor of twistedpixelstudio Art & Assemblage Emporium. Check out her artist page to find links to her shop and blog to read more of her writings. Visit again next month for the telling of hauntings and ghostly tales by Debbi Decker.


EEKS!-By Robyn Madison

Eeks, What Was That? …I Don’t Think I Want to Know!

I’m a little obsessed with TV shows about paranormal subjects. I frequently tune in to such shows as my little guilty pleasure. My husband looks askance and goes to another room when I do. And there is a wealth of spooky reality shows on television – Ghost Hunters, Paranormal State, Haunted Collector, The Long Island Medium, Ghost Adventures, Celebrity Ghost Stories – to name just a few of those I can think of off the top of my head.

While I have had my own experiences with various psychic phenomena of which mediumship, i.e. contact with disembodied spirits, is a type, the more hair-raising contact [with those who have left our plane of existence] that is ghost hunting is something different all together. I have to admit, while the concept of ghost hunting is titillating to me – I’m sure I’d run away screaming if I personally experienced the first sign of ghostly activity. So, I’d rather watch someone else do it at a very safe distance through the airwaves.

Oh, I have all the buzz words down. I know all about EVP’s, EMF’s, orbs, full spectrum infrared cameras, spirit boxes, full-body apparitions, residual hauntings, intelligent entities, poltergeist, etc. (But again, all at a safe distance.)

I’d just love to be a fly on the set of one of the paranormal reality shows just to see what is real and what is staged or even fabricated. It really does not seem possible that paranormal activity will just happen on demand as is often portrayed in these shows. And while some of the supposed “evidence” certainly looks convincing, there is undoubtedly a bit of chicanery involved to close out production of any one episode.

That being said, it still gives me a little thrill to hear an electronic voice recording of something in the Lizzie Borden house in Fall River, MA saying “…but I was a good daughter!”, or misty figures of soldiers appearing while investigators film at Gettysburg, PA, or a flashlight being knocked out of an investigator’s hands by an unseen force at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO (setting of The Shining).

But I think being a distant spectator (not spector!) is about as far as I’m willing to go. That, and maybe working off some of my curiosity about other-worldly things through my artwork as a member of the Halloween Artist Bazaar. As members of this consortium of artists, we all have a certain fascination with things paranormal. We are perhaps offering a little peek through the “veil between the worlds” through the sometimes bizarre things we make. After all, Halloween is the time when that veil is the most penetrable, thus it is our main theme.

Bringing that sense of something extra-sensory versus what we experience in everyday life into our artwork, with a sense of humor and whimsy to mitigate any true evil, is a common theme among the HAB artists. Each artist works out in her/his own way a curiosity & fascination with things a shade darker than daytime allows.

So, I think I’ll just keep my ghosts in my art and not go seeking them out myself, how about you? If I ever do encounter one, I’ll let you know…that is, if I survive the experience…

Robyn is proprietor of Shrine Maiden. Check out her artist page to find links to her shop.

A Matter of Perception.

A Matter of Perception.-By Debbi Decker

You walk into a room where a conversation is taking place about a recent ghost sighting. On the table there are several pictures, and your eyes immediately lock onto an old, creased and frayed picture of a woman taken during the early 1920s. You think to yourself, that’s the ghost she must be talking about.

But wait. As the story unfolds, you realize that the conversation is centered on another picture. A picture of a young man taken in the past year. A young man who passed away just a few months ago. The details are blurry, and really, you are not listening now to any of the conversation because your mind is adjusting to the shock of the fact that the ghost is not that of the 1920s woman. That picture was simply on the table because the owner was working on a family album.

It’s a matter of perception. A matter of the brain processing details that stand out or are out of place in the current environment. A matter of preconceived notions of what should or should not be. Someone walking down the street in jeans and a cowboy hat is not going to startle you. But someone walking down the street in a pin-stripe suit and a bowler hat will give you pause. That person is out of context, out of the realm of what is perceived to be the present norm. A ghostly apparition? No. The person in the pin-stripe suit and bowler hat is on their way to a costume party. The person in jeans and a cowboy hat? That was the ghost. You might even have felt something off about that person as you passed them by. But, given the context of when and where you saw this apparition, and the modernity of the dress, you probably passed off the “something” you felt as a normal reaction. You don’t like cowboy hats. Maybe the jeans were not to your taste. You gave yourself normal explanations for the fact that you felt that “something”.

Ghosts are not always see-through apparitions, grey misty beings floating three feet off the floor and passing through walls. Ghosts can look just like you and me. We hear stories all the time of the recently passed coming to visit their relatives and loved ones. So, if those ghostly visits are given recognition and consideration, why not the possibility that at any time and in any place, you might just have walked by a ghost?

The next time you are out and about, and you feel a little tingle and the hair rises on your arms, take note. That little old lady you just passed by, walking her dog in that pretty flowered dress… Could it be?

Debbie Decker is proprietor of twistedpixelstudio Art & Assemblage Emporium. Check out her artist page to find links to her shop and blog to read more of her writings. Visit again next month for the telling of hauntings and ghostly tales by Debbie Decker.

A Haunting At Christmas

A Haunting At Christmas-By Debbi Decker

The stockings are hung, the tree is decorated and the fire is flickering. Gather ‘round. It is time for a ghost story.
What?! Wait! It’s Christmas!
Not the time of year for that kind of thing!
We want stories of Santa, and Rudolph!

Believe it or not, telling stories of hauntings and ghosts during the Christmas season was a popular Victorian pass time. You are perhaps familiar with the story written by Charles Dickens and published in 1843, titled “A Christmas Carol”. The story not only features three different ghosts, but many historians also believe that publication of this story brought about the mid-Victorian revival of lost Christmas traditions and beliefs. This Victorian revival drew heavily upon the old pagan symbols such as the Yule log, caroling, the holly and the ivy, and the “Father Christmas”, the precursor of our modern-day Santa Claus. All of these practices had their roots in pagan festivals such as Yule and Sol Invictus, and it was believed that during the Solstice season, the barriers of the earth are at their thinnest and ghosts cross over to complete unfinished business.

Merry Olde England is awash with tales of Christmas hauntings. Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII, has been sighted each year on Christmas Day near Hever Castle, her ancestral home. The White Lady of Cornwall appears each year on the day of the Winter Solstice, and it is said that to see her is to bring misfortune. Small white swine or pigs with red ears are said to cross the road every year on Christmas Eve in Calcutt, Wiltshire. These, and stories like these, were told during the Christmas season each year.

It’s almost a lost art. There are, however, some more modern instances that recall the practice of telling ghostly Christmas tales. Dr. Seuss’ 1957 publication of “The Grinch that Stole Christmas”. Tim Burton’s “Nightmare Before Christmas” which was aired in movie theaters in 1993. And, have you ever truly listened to the words to that popular Christmas song “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”? This song was written in 1963 by Eddie Pola and George Wyle, and recorded by Andy Williams. I call your attention to this verse:

“There’ll be parties for hosting,
Marshmallows for toasting, and
Caroling out in the snow.
There’ll be scary ghost stories and tales of
The glories of Christmases long, long ago.”

The stockings are hung and the tree is decorated. The fire is flickering. Let us gather together, revive an almost lost art, and tell tales of ghosts and hauntings this Christmas season.

Debbie Decker is proprietor of twistedpixelstudio Art & Assemblage Emporium.Check out her artist page to find links to her shop and blog to read more of her writings. Visit again next month for the telling of hauntings and ghostly tales by Debbie Decker.