Under the pseudonym, Sapphire Phelan, she writes erotic and sweet paranormal/fantasy/science fiction romance. One of these, Being Familiar With a Witch, is a Prism Awards 2010 winner and a EPIC Awards finalist 2010! The sequel, A Familiar Tangle With Hell, was released June 2011.
She admits she can always be found at her desk and on her computer, writing. And yes, the house, husband, and even the cats sometimes suffer for it!
Find out more about her at: http://FantasticDreams.50megs.com and at http://www.SapphirePhelan.com for Sapphire Phelan.
“O Death, rock me asleep, bring me to quiet rest, let pass my weary guiltless ghost out of my careful breast.”
In my current nonfiction ghost book, Virginia’s Haunted Historic Triangle: Williamsburg, Yorktown, Jamestown, And Other Haunted Locations, I report, “History has a way of causing hauntings.” But that’s only part of the reason for hauntings. Modern phantoms still hang around after death, too.
No matter why they still are here, or if they come back and forth, they are with us lingering in our homes and places, at lonely crossroads or crowded bars and restaurants. They are the stars of stories we tell around campfires or before a fire burning in a hearth, terrifying us or awing us in myths, legends, and folklore too.
Who hasn’t said, “Bloody Mary” while staring into the mirror in the hope that a ghost appear? There’s the tale of the hitchhiking woman dressed in an evening gown that’s picked up and climbs into the back seat, giving directions to an address to the driver. But once they arrive at the house, the driver discovers that she has mysteriously disappeared. When he goes to the door, he is told that his hitchhiker is the daughter of the owner of the house, who had been killed just after she left a party several years before, never making it home. Stories like the hitchhiking ghost existed for a long time. Before it was a car, it was someone driving a horse and buggy that picks up the hitchhiker.
What are spirits? In traditional belief, a ghost is the soul of a deceased person or animal that can appear, in visible form or other manifestations, to the living. Descriptions of the apparition of ghosts vary widely: The mode of manifestation in photos or seen by the living’s eyes can range from an invisible presence, shadow people, translucent or wispy shapes, and orbs, to realistic, life-like visions—solids. The deliberate attempt to contact the spirit of a deceased person is known as a séance. Paranormal investigators use equipment to find proof of paranormal activity and to make contact with phantoms.
Ghosts were often thought to be deceased people looking for vengeance, or imprisoned on earth for bad things they did during life. The appearance of a ghost has often been regarded as an omen or portent of death. Seeing one's own ghostly double or "fetch" is a related omen of death.
Ghosts are also termed spook, spirits, phantoms, fetch, haint (a common feature of southern oral and literary tradition), wraith, revenant, apparition, spectre, shade, and entity. Poltergeist, German for a “noisy spirit,” is for a spirit said to manifest itself by invisibly moving and influencing objects.
Besides the poltergeist phenomena, there are three other types of hauntings. First are residual hauntings. These are a recorded playback of what happened in the past. Maybe it could even be a time warp (one idea of mine, though I can’t prove this, but who knows, a feasible one like any other theory). There is no interaction with the living -- the ghost does not see or hear you because the ghost is not actually there. Only his/her energy remains, it is a remnant of his living form that you are seeing, just like when you watch a video. This cycle continues in the same place at usually the same time of day or year indefinitely until the energy is exhausted or diminishes to a low enough level that it is undetectable by human perception. One account of I know of this concerns the Civil War soldiers that march into Centre Hill Mansion in Petersburg, Virginia every year at certain time in January.
Traditional, or intelligent, hauntings are the second. Whether actual human spirits that had not crossed over into heaven and had some unfinished business with a living person, or a message they wanted to deliver before they could move on, or even those that just want to stay in a place they lived in life or be on our plane of existence (more and more, I suspect they can travel back and forth between here and the “other side.” These ghosts will unlock doors and open windows, run the faucets and even interact with you directly because they are an "intelligent" presence, the personality of a person who was once alive but has stayed behind rather than passing over.
The third type of haunting, and undoubtedly the most frightening, is a demonic, or inhuman, haunting. To me personally, I think when a human was evil in life, they too would be considered under demonic. There have been stories of where priests have gone in to exorcise a possessed person, and instead of a inhuman demon, this one claims to be the parent or someone alive once, tormenting the person.
The entity is similar to a traditional haunting because the spirit is intelligent and are existing in the present moment with you. These spirits are malevolent and hostile, suffering from psychological instability or distress stemming from an unresolved conflict with the people who are being subjected to the demonic activity. Demonic presences tend to be ‘unleashed' in order for them to manifest. This is one reason why the use of an Ouija Board is customarily discouraged among many ghost hunters. So if you find one in the game section of the store, don’t buy one. Not understanding and without protection, one can open up a portal, letting in things they can not handle and most times, demonic in nature.
I enjoy investigating haunted places for my books. Unlike my fiction, I learn things. I learn snippets of history I never knew and most of, interesting stories that seem too unbelievable to be true, but many times are.
Read a chapter from Virginia's Haunted Historic Triangle: Williamsburg, Yorktown, Jamestown, and Other Haunted Locations.