Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ghosts, A Haunted Hotel, and the Coffin Hop Win (with Photos)

Here I am mugging with my newest library edition, which author Kevin Lucia, graciously provided from the 2011 Coffin Hop tour. (The Coffin Hop Tour is a great way to blog hop for Halloween and meet other dark fiction authors, plus enter book giveaways like this one.)
I won this signed copy of Five Strokes to Midnight by sharing my best ghost story, which I'll share with you here (with pictures). But don't get too excited -- I didn't capture any ghosties on camera, just their cribs. *grins*

For anyone who wants to know more about the book, click this.

For anyone who wants to see some fun pictures, just keep reading.

So my ghost story won ... I told about my trip to Savannah last December, which I've been blogging about lately, since it's inspired my writing. I've shared pictures of Bonaventure Cemetery with you and historic downtown Savannah. Now I'm going to share my tale of the haunted Marshall House and my pictures, since we all know I am obsessed with the lens.

In December of 2010, I traveled to Georgia where my husband stayed for three months on business. We have family in Savannah, so on the weekend, we hopped in the car and to our booked haunted location. (Yes, I love my family of in-laws, but I couldn't pass up staying in a haunted hotel. Would you?)

The Marshall House was built in 1851 by Mary Marshall. It still boasts its quaint 19th century charm, with gorgeous wood floors, windows, and moldings. It's been used as a Civil War hospital (which accounts for some of the ghostly activity) and was the writing site of Joel Chandler Harris, the author of the compiled Uncle Remus stories. Click here to read more history.

My ghost story began the first night we stayed. My husband and I had read online about a Civil War nurse who is said to check people's pulses in the middle of the night. We weren't really expecting to have any ghostly encounters during our visit, but we joked about NOT wanting the room with the child ghost known for biting people in the shower. (We'd read about that online too.)

As soon as we stepped into our room, the charm of the hotel took over. I fell in love with the bathroom, though I was a little leery of ghost-biting children. Haha!

When we left our room to meet family for dinner at the haunted Moon River Brewery, our phone was resting comfortably in its cradle. When we came back, it was off the hook. This I chalked up to the maid being our room, though I wasn't sure.

We climbed into our comfy king-size bed and settled in for the night. It was quiet in the hotel. It always is before something interesting happens. And boy did something interesting happen! In the middle of the night, my husband awoke accusing me of touching him on the wrist and bothering him.

"I'm not touching you," I insisted.

Typical man, it took some convincing to get him to believe me. We realized then the Civil War nurse had paid us a visit. A few short moments after my husband went back to sleep, I experienced the same thing, though also typical -- the husband was asleep and I was left to contemplate my own experiences in the dark by myself.

The next night I had another experience in the dark. Again, by myself. Seems like husbands will sleep through anything -- including ghostly encounters from beyond the grave. I woke early in the morning and wasn't sure why. Then I realized I heard heavy boot steps outside our room's door. I chalked this up to another visitor pacing loudly and rudely and was going to call the front desk to complain when suddenly, they came closer and closer to my door. I huddled beneath the covers instinctively not wanting whatever was outside my door to come inside and see me.

The boot steps got louder and louder, until it seemed they really were going to walk right through my hotel room door. And then the dragging of something heavy above me and the distinct clanking of chains echoed overhead. At this point, I would have peed in my pants, if I hadn't gone to the bathroom before bed. I rationalized that someone was on the roof working, since we were on the top floor, but part of me knew it was really late for anyone to be up there. Perhaps, some guests broke onto the roof to party? Nope. The next day I asked at the front desk if there was any work being done on the roof late at night. The desk clerk just smiled, looked at the bellhop, and didn't say anything. And I had asked jokingly to stay in one of the "most haunted" rooms. Not sure I actually stayed in one registered, but the ghosts sure put on a show during my stay.

My husband and I wandered all over the hotel taking pictures of the Civil War artifacts found during reconstruction and the hotel itself. I also photographed our room. Here are my pictures:

We stayed here!

Our shower minus a bitey child ghost.
Charming nonworking fireplace in our room.

Nifty picture of a copy of an original picture of the hotel. LOL

The grand staircase in the lobby. Note the nice pineapple detail
on the railihng. Gorgeous wood!

Swanky lobby lighting.

View from the lobby.
Look! This one's a pineapple. How cute.

Another lobby tree.
Checkers anyone?

The hotel bar.

The secretariat I couldn't fit in my suitcase.
These are pictures taken in the hallways and on the stairs:

And these are all the collections displayed throughout the hotel:

For more information about the hauntings of The Marshall House, check here:

Ghostly Talk

Dark Destinations

Do I believe in ghosts? YES.

Is The Marshall House haunted in my opinion? YES.

Should you book a stay there? HELL, YEAH! It's fun.

As always, happy writing and happy reading, folks.


shah wharton said...

Lol - fabulous post. Not surprised you won. Congrats! I never heard of the hop - or if I did I didn't pay attention. I have so many ghost stories! Damn. But mine are boring as none took place in a haunted hotel! I'd love to go. Shpooky! :D XX

Erin O'Riordan said...

I would go just to see the Civil War-era artifacts.

From the CoffinHop, I won 'Killing My Boss' by Colin F. Barnes, 'Sunshine Boulevard' by J.Q. Rose and the right to name a character in a zombie apocalypse novel by Jamie Friesen!

Nora B. Peevy said...

Thank you, Shah. I hope to have a linky up to the Story challenge this week. I have been really tired and just started on iron pills for anemia recently. Shah, it's amazing. You should hop next year and clean up on books. The authors are great and the giveaways are nice. And it's a wonderful way to meet other writers too. You can also do a giveaway and draw more readers yourself. It doesn't have to be your work. You can giveaway anything. Someone even gave away a zombie finger puppet. LOL

Erin, I guess you made out like a bandit as well. I remember that zombie contest. Congrats! I won other stuff too, but am saving that for other posts. They're book reviews. Woot! And thanks for the Beltane book today. My fave holiday or one of them.

Sheila Deeth said...

Great post. That table needs a chess set.

amy@ Souldipper said...

Oh boy...better you than me! Congrats...not surprised you won. I'm combing the hair on my arms down!

Nora B. Peevy said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone. I've been AWOL loopy on meds for a bad back right now. LOL

I do recommend this hotel for anyone interested. It is a great place to stay and the service is superb.

Not Just Another Mother Blogger! said...

Wow! Sounds like you had a great time, despite the ghosties.

I am visiting from WOE.

Nora B. Peevy said...

Hi there, Mommy Blogger. It was BECAUSE of the ghosts I had such a great time. I love ghosts and creepy things. My house is a museum of creeping. LOL I even own a snake and more than one lizard, though I consider them cute and scaly.

Robin Hawke said...

Christmas in Savannah seemed extra-special, forgive me, Robin

Nora B. Peevy said...

Robi, the trip was great. No worries. I know what you meant. I wish I had been there for the holidays, but went home before. It was good to get away and see my husband who was out of state working for 3 months. It was a lonely time for me and the scaly and furry bunch here by ourselves in TX. LOL

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