Freaky Friday Ghosts and Giveaways!

(Stop #2 – see JustRomanticSuspense for stop #1)

Since Halloween plays a critical role in the plot of my romantic thriller, FIRST DO NO EVIL, I wanted to do something special to celebrate the holiday.

At first, I thought about re-telling my favorite ghost stories from childhood. But we’ve all heard them before. Then I thought, what if….

What if – I poll my friends and find out if they have had some sort of TRUE paranormal experience. Wouldn’t that be fascinating?

It turns out several of my author friends have had paranormal encounters, and they were willing to share. The stories I have for you today may seem less dramatic than those childhood tales and urban legends…but these stories are TRUE.

I’ve got more stories posted on the other blog I’m doing today over at JustRomanticSuspense so be sure and drop by there to read more true life ghosties!

Samhain author Carey Baldwin (that’s me!): Blue-eyed Brown-eyed Girl

I make no warranties that someone else in my family may not have a different version of this story. Everyone seems to have his own way of telling it. But according to family lore, my grandmother, Bessie Baldwin, was clairvoyant. This much I know is true because I remember: She was a beautiful woman with very unusual eyes. One of her eyes was blue. The other eye was half green and half brown. Like a magical marble.

According to family lore, she frequently knew when trouble was about to befall someone near and dear, or had a premonition before someone passed. Only once, that I know of, did she have a vision that was not directly related to family members.

When I was a little girl, a python escaped from the Ft. Worth zoo. Everyone was hunting the python. Where had it gone? Was it injured? Would someone harm the snake or be harmed by the snake? The whole community became caught up in the human interest story of the lost python. Day after day news reports came in that the python was still missing and feared dead or lost forever. After a few days, my grandmother turned to my grandfather and said, “Call the zoo and tell them the python is curled up in the grasses behind her cage.”

My grandfather did what any sensible person would do- he refused. So my grandmother called the zoo herself. Sure enough, the python was there behind the cage, just as she’d predicted!

Three-time Golden Heart finalist Sharon Wray: Baboo the Friendly Ghost

I grew up in a haunted house with a real imaginary friend- a ghost -named Baboo. Although no one in my family believed me, ever since I was a small child I could sense when Baboo was around. My room had once been an attic, and every night at 3am, his pacing would wake me up. I’d tell him to please stop, and he always did. Eventually I learned to sleep through it. Every once in a while my dad would ask me why I was walking around at night. I’d just shrug and say I couldn’t sleep.

Baboo wasn’t an active ghost who moved things or tormented me, but he did have one habit which used to drive my parents crazy. Baboo liked to turn all the locks in the house. My dad would lock up the house every night, but some mornings all the deadbolts were unlocked. I used to try to tell my parents it was Baboo, but at an early age I realized no one believed me.

This went on for years – since preschool until I went to college.

But one day in middle school I came home early. I had a key just in case my parents weren’t home, and that afternoon I went into the house through the front door. Except every time I turned the key, it would relock.

The key would turn, open, then immediately relock as if someone were on the other side of the door turning the lever. I got so frustrated, I went to the side door. Four times I’d unlock the deadbolt, four times it would relock. Finally, I went to the lower basement door and it opened. As I went in, I heard noises upstairs. I just assumed it was my father who often came home for lunch and I’d missed him walking around the house. So I yelled, “Hi, Dad!” as I went up the basement stairs.

Just as I said that, the door ahead of me slammed shut and locked. I was about to pound on the door when I heard two male voices speaking – and I realized neither one was my father. A moment later, I heard a crash, a few curses, then a door slam.

I stood there shaking, not sure what to do, when the door in front of me suddenly unlocked and opened. I could barely walk, I was so scared. But I also realized that Baboo wouldn’t have opened the door if it wasn’t safe – so I went into the house. A few things were knocked over, some things broken, but the back kitchen door was wide open. Someone had broken in and I’d interrupted. The police found the two men later that night, trying to break into a neighbor’s house. Both men were carrying guns and knives.

Many, many years later my father asked me about that day. He asked me if Baboo had kept me out of the house. I said yes. He nodded and apologized for not believing me. He then admitted that he’d had an incident with Baboo the day before he sold the house, but he wouldn’t tell me what happened. Maybe he still didn’t believe it. My parents moved out of the house nine years ago, and I often wonder if the new family has met Baboo or if he finally found his way home.

Avon Impulse and Harlequin Intrigue Author Lena Diaz: Grandma’s Favorite

Most of my family comes from Kentucky. Since my dad was in the Navy, we traveled a lot, and we were living in Florida when my oldest sister woke up in the middle of the night and saw my grandmother standing at the foot of her bed – my grandmother who lived in Kentucky at the time. My grandmother didn’t say anything, but she smiled sadly and reached out as if to pat my sister, then disappeared. It totally freaked my sister out. She got up and ran into my parents’ room. My mom and dad tried to console her, and then the phone rang to tell my dad that his mom – the grandmother my sister had just seen – had just passed away. My sister was always my grandmother’s favorite grandchild and my sister has always believed that grandma came to her that night in spirit to say goodbye.

 

Dr. Skylar Novak: Halloween Havoc

Okay this story is not true and it is not a paranormal story, because Sky Novak is the heroine of my romantic thriller, FIRST DO NO EVIL. But it is a great read for Halloween!

FIRST DO NO EVIL opens on a Halloween morning. Halloween is the worst day of the year for Sky, the anniversary of her father’s murder. If you want to know more about Sky’s story, I’ve pasted the blurb below:

 

FIRST DO NO EVIL

One killer is in her blood. The other is in her house.

There’s a killer lurking in Dr. Skylar Novak’s family tree: the gene for breast cancer. That’s why her brilliant brother invented the Bella vaccine. But even if the miracle drug protects her from the cancer that took her mother’s life, it can’t save Sky from the flesh and bone evil stalking her in secret.

When the killer strikes, detective Daniel Benson finds himself in the wrong place at the right time. The bold detective manages to save Sky’s life…just in time for her to return the favor. Survival leads to seduction, and Danny risks everything—his career, even his life, to keep Sky safe. But will the buried sins they uncover cost him her heart?

Danny’s strong arms may hold her close, but only Sky can stop the terror that’s coming next…

Warning: Contents include: One heart-melting hero—good luck getting this delicious detective out of your head. One reluctant heroine—wielding a Glock was never on her to-do list. One crazed villain—an entire flock of baa baa black sheep won’t be enough to put you to sleep. And a lifesaving vaccine with one deadly side effect—murder. 

Commenters : We’ve got PRIZES GALORE! So please read carefully.

One grand prize, consisting of the following books, will be awarded to one lucky commenter: FIRST DO NO EVIL by Carey Baldwin, (Nook or Kindle copy); SIMON SAYS DIE, and HE KILLS ME HE KILLS ME NOT by Lena Diaz (winner’s choice of electronic or print), HOW TO DANCE WITH A DUKE by Manda Collins (winner’s choice of electronic or print copy). Leave a comment here, on Kiss and Thrill, to be eligible to win this grand prize.

But wait, today only, EVERYONE’S A WINNER

Are you the kid who never, ever, won the cakewalk, no matter how many tickets you bought? Well, not on my watch. Today I’m also blogging over at JustRomanticSuspense and everyone who leaves a comment by midnight tonight on this blog, AND my Just Romantic Suspense blog will win an electronic copy of FIRST DO NO EVIL for kindle or nook. Remember, you must comment on both blogs to automatically win FIRST DO NO EVIL.

So tell us please, do you have a favorite Halloween memory?

About Carey Baldwin

Carey Baldwin is a mild-mannered doctor by day and an award winning author of edgy romantic thrillers by night. What's a nice girl like Carey doing writing scare-you-silly romantic thrillers? When you are a former clinical psychologist, writing about psychopaths comes naturally, and when you are a hopeless romantic, well, you do the math! Look for Carey's upcoming release, CONFESSION, coming from Harper Collins this spring. Learn more at www.CareyBaldwin.com

Posted on October 26, 2012, in Carey Baldwin, Halloween, Lena Diaz, Manda Collins, Sharon Wray and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 77 Comments.

  1. My favorite Halloween memory is getting my kids ready to go trick or treating when they were young. I can still remember how excited they would be. Thanks for the wondeful giveaway!

    • Maureen, I’m right with you there! I miss my babies being babies. I think my favorite age was around four or five. So cute, and too young to sass yet! Good luck in the giveaway and thanks for visiting us today. And don’t forget to hop on over to JustRomanticSuspense.com for the other half of our blog spooktacular!

    • I have to agree with this one. Nothing better about Halloween than your children’s excitement. If only there were no tummy aches to go wtih!

      • Love the story of your grandmother and the snake, Carey. Hope she was written up in the paper after days of snake-hunting-panic!

  2. Carey, thanks so much for coming up with this fun post today!

    Sharon – that story about your friendly ghost totally touched my heart. I love that so much. Did you ever try to research that house to find out who the ghost might have been when they were alive? And yes, folks, I really do believe in ghosts!

    • I actually did do research on the house, but couldn’t find anything that might lead to a ghost. The house was built in the early nineteen-thirties on the site of an older cabin. And there were a lot of Native American sites in the area so Baboo could’ve come from anywhere.

      I had chills reading the story about your grandmother–what an amazing story!

      • What an amazing, amazing story, Sharon!! Even more amazing that your Dad came to believe you and have his own encounters.

        Did you name him Baboo or did he tell you his name?

        • I honestly don’t remember. I was young when I first “met” Baboo, but I also had a speech impediment. So who knows what his real name was. I wish I could remember, but I can’t.

          • That is so cool, Sharon! So you talked to the ghost? We had a ghost in our summer house. It wasn’t until we had moved out that we all admitted to hearing him/her walking around at night. I was way to scared to encounter it, and my sister would go out on the roof to hide. But we were older- middle/high school.

  3. We don’t celebrate Hallowe’en where I was born– we’re more of the Mardi Gras persuasion, which also involves fancy dress but no spookiness! I’ve only been trick-or-treating once in my life (living in a British colony at the time) when I was in my teens, but I have fond memories of the silliness of putting on a fancy dress costume & going out asking for candy with hordes of little kids. And the sugar rush! 🙂

    Scariest Hallowe’en memory: my high school chemistry teacher (living in N. America at the time) adjusting the drooping diapers he’d used for breasts when he dressed up as a woman whilst he lectured at us about acids & bases. Good times.

  4. I grew up in a small town. The businesses actually gave out soap and chalk to us and we had contests for the best soaped windows and chalked sidewalks. It kept us out of trouble and the next day the fire department would wash everything down. It was just a big block party (we actually had 3 blocks).

    • That sounds like a great idea. I love small towns, but grew up, in a big city. I’ve never heard of soaping windows before. That must’ve been so much fun! Thanks!

    • How cute! We have something called “Boo-ing” (just leanred of it this year with so many new elementary kids in our neighborhood.) It’s a lot like Secret Santa. You fill a bag with goodies and a ghost-shaped sign that says “You’ve Been Boo-ed!” Place it on the doorstep of a neighbor, ring the bell and run. They not only have to guess who boo-ed them, but now it is their turn to fill a bag and pick another neighbor.

      Of course I figured this was a kiddie thing, right? Nope. The doorbell rang last Tuesday, 8pm, and no one was there. On the mat was a bag with “Freakshow” labeled wine (oh God, it’s someone who knows me!) and Ghiradelli chocolates (yikes! Someone who REALLY knows me!)

      Even though this is an elementary school neighborhood activity I was thrilled to be boo-ed! It’s so fun receiving treats and even more fun Boo-ing someone else. (There’s a wine label called “Poison,” how appropriate is that?!) I have to confess though…I didn’t ring the doorbell and run. Too old and too slow. I waited until just before I knew the couple arrived home after work to put the bag on their doorstep. 🙂

  5. I would’ve loved to meet your grandmother Bessie. Any thoughts of writing a story about a woman with a clairvoyant grandmother?
    Wonderful post, today. I love ghost stories!

    • I agree, what a heartwarming story of a quiet goodbye, Lena.

    • She was a remarkable woman and beloved by her family. Sadly (why is there always a sadly?) she died when I was quite young- and her youngest child was 12. But I vividly remember her and her eyes. Tessa Dare has a little laugh on me because I described my first hero (in my first unpublished manuscript) as having “crazy tiger eyes”. Now that I think about it, maybe that was subconsciously influenced by my Grandmother’s eyes. Hmm. Maybe if I had a clairvoyant grandmother I could bill it as a paranormal 🙂

  6. What a FUN BLOG today! Great that we linked with JRS, kind of like trick-or-treating (for books instead of candy!)

    Halloween is huge in our small burb (within the city of Houston..we aren’t Houston per se.) I can guarantee we will have 250 kids storm the block before 8:30p. How do I know this? We buy 250 pieces of candy and you can set your watch every year. By 8:30p on the dot we’ll have run out and are turning lights off as fast as we can. (All kids still trooping up the walkway get money!)

    Personal Ghost Story: (I’ll share another on JRS.) Dec 2010, my beloved Uncle John was dying of cancer. His 66th birthday was Dec 30th and my husband and I flew out to Chicago to spend that day and New Years Eve/Day with him.

    I didn’t realize until I walked into his house that he was so far gone to the disease. The shock of his wasted body and obvious suffering was indescribable. All I could do was sit at his bedside, hold his hand and let him know over and over that he was loved.

    He made it through his 66th birthday. New Years Eve arrived and we ate a quick breakfast at the Chicago B&B and hurried back to Uncle John’s. The deterioration in him overnight was mind-boggling (like he’d stayed alive determined to reach his birthday.) There was no doubt in my mind that this was his last day. I played his favorite hymns and never left his bedside, even to eat. By nightfall though, he was still fighting the good fight and we left him with his hospice nurse and headed back to the B&B.

    Now it’s winter. It’s windy Chicago. And it’s bitter, bitter cold. At 11:30p (we were sound asleep, no champagne and revelry for us) one of the windows in our B&B somehow opened and slammed shut so violently I jumped out of bed. Within minutes my cell phone rang. My cousin had just gotten a call from the hospice nurse that Uncle John had passed away.

    Of course I lay awake crying and listening to the wind the rest of the night. But that window never opened, slammed or barely rattled again.

    • Sarah, thanks for sharing that with us today. It’s interesting to me, how common it is for paranormal events to be related to someone we truly loved. I don’t know if we somehow generate the events ourselves out of need, or if it truly is the spirit of the loved one. All I know is some things you take on faith, and loved person is never gone from our hearts.

  7. Carey, it’s awesome that your grandmother knew where the snake was. She was either psychically gifted, or really understood the nature of an animal. 😉 Fun post today!

    Wow, Sharon, you totally freaked me out. Your story is both scary and heartening at the same time. And, Lena, kind of spooky, but really cool too.

    • Gwen I think it was a case of a little of both- there are a lot of family stories about her predicting loved ones dying, arriving unexpectedly etc. But yes, the nature of an animal might have led anyone to that particular spot.

      • I don’t think I’d want to know her predictions on loved ones dying! And that ability would be a curse, I think.

        • It was more of an “as it happened” sense like, Lena’s sister and grandma. She felt their passing somehow, even when unexpected. One cousin died in a scuba accident, and she knew at the moment of the accident he was in trouble. But yeah, it must’ve been difficult. She handled it with grace- didn’t go around telling people the hour of their death or anything creepy.

    • I know! Sharon’s story and Lena’s stories really make you wonder. I was fascinated reading them!

  8. A favorite memory is dressing up for Halloween and going trick-o-treating with family and friends.

  9. We had a ghost in our historic house in Galveston–a woman in white who hung around the staircase. My husband and I had both seen and sensed her many times but hadn’t told anyone else. My friend Julia stayed in the house alone for a couple weeks and when we arrived for the weekend asked us who the chick on the stairs was. Nobody was afraid of her, in fact she seemed quite nice.

  10. Wow, what a story about Baboo! I am so glad he was there to keep you from getting hurt.
    I have such great memories of Halloween… the costumes, the candy, the fun time, etc… Now when I answer the door, I truly enjoy seeing the little ones come around in their outfits… always puts a smile on my face!
    Happy October & Happy Halloween! 🙂

  11. These are all great stories, ladies. Maybe everyone should be writing paranormal! There’s certainly a wealth of ideas.

    I’ve got your book, Carey and love it. Continued good sales with it.

    One of my memories at Halloween was when my girls were little, and some crazy mean people started putting razor blades in kids’ candy. We don’t hear too much about that anymore, but you do need to check out the stuff your kids bring home, even if you only take them to people you know. Often the “bad guys” live among us disguised as us. Happy Halloween, all.

    • Thanks for the kind words about my book, Marsha! Unfortunately I remember the first year my parents refused to let us trick or treat because of reports of razor blades etc. I know in some areas, hospitals offer to x-ray bags of candy. What a shame that’s needed! But so many neighbors organize partys etc. Maybe that’s the plus side. Everyone comes together to make a safe Halloween for kids.

    • SERIOUSLY, Marsha? I’ve heard the urban myth my whole life and never came across someone it happened to. Did it happen with your kids?

  12. Wow, what incredible stories! Every child should have a Baboo. 🙂 Of course I was scared of my own shadow as a kid so I never would have slept.
    When I was pregnant with my daughter, (now 17) I lived in an old Victorian house that was divided into two apartments. Three times I came across ghosts in that house. Once I woke to an angry little girl staring at me as I slept. When I lifted my head and blinked, she sort of drifted backward and faded away. After that I refused to sleep on that side of the bed. About a week later, I woke and lifted to roll over and found the same little girl standing next to a woman, both watching us sleep. I slammed my eyes shut and stayed frozen for hours. I don’t know why I was so afraid, but I’m sure it had to do with the angry vibes I got from the little girl ghost.

    This was a great idea. I loved reading all the stories, and I can’t wait to check out your book, Carey.

    • Thanks so much, Dana! Wow, that’s another fascinating encounter. I love that you thought to escape the ghost girl by changing sides of the bed 🙂 . Thanks for sharing that great story!

      • It came down to being afraid to turn off the lights. Six months into my pregnancy, I was put a bed rest and was stuck home alone a lot. I was not happy about it. I eventually had to move. But admittedly I’m a serious chicken. The Sixth Sense scared the pee out of me and I couldn’t sleep for weeks after. 🙂

    • Jeez, Dana, that’s creepy. I imagine encountering any angry ghost/spirit would be frightening, but there’s something about an angry child that’s hugely unsettling!

      • Oh, agreed! She was downright creepy. People tried to tell me it was my unborn child. Ha! No thanks! Fortunately my daughter has a very settling and happy disposition.

    • Dana I totally got chills reading your story. Oh my gosh. Scary!!!!

  13. I remember in elementary school we would have a half day so that we could have a Halloween party right after lunch. All the teachers would pass out candy.

  14. I’ve always wondered what it would be like growing up in a haunted house. I’m pretty sure I would be terrified even if it’s a friendly ghost! Baboo sounds harmless enough, though unlocking and locking doors would be a clear indication of a paranormal activity. My favorite memory of Halloween is staying in and watching scary movies. It’s a tradition my family still does.

    • I’m with you, Na. My local RWA chapter sometimes does a retreat at a haunted hotel…I’m too scared to go!
      Thanks for commenting!

    • Oooo…not for me, Na! Snuck in (under-age) to ‘Carrie’ and never saw another scary movie again…learned my lesson something fierce!

      Our local cable company is showing a lot of Tim Burton flicks right now, and that’s more my style!

  15. One year my Grandma made my brother and I a rabbit costume and a mouse costume. I believe my mom still has the costumes. My three sisters also wore the costumes on halloween.

    • I’m so impressed with people who actually MAKE costumes! I visited my neighbor last night at 10p and, exhausted as she was, the woman was sewing a spectacular purple princess gown for her 5 year old! All I could think of was “it’s probably $11 at Target…and you could be sleeping!”

      Thanks for visiting, Deb! Happy Halloween.

    • I always wanted to be the mom that made Halloween costumes. But I didn’t get to do that often. One year we made robot costumes from spray painted boxes…
      Yours sound adorable!

  16. I found it freaky when my tiny daughter wore an old woman mask one year. This big old face on her little body!
    This looks like an interesting site so I signed up.
    Jan

    janet_kerr(at)msn.com

  17. My favorite Halloween memory was when my grandfather allowed me to have a black cat because my parents wouldn’t allow me to go trick-or-treat with my friends.

    I have loved that black cat because she was my first cat, pet, and friend.

    kmccandle(at)yahoo(dot)com

  18. Hi Carey, I don’t have any ghost stories to share so I’ll share my favorite (and Kiss&Thrill appropriate) Halloween costume: dress as a box of cereal impaled by knives 🙂

  19. I’d have to say my memories are tied up with Halloween movies & stories. Love the thrill.

  20. Thanks for the great post and giveaway! Ummm… not really. I came from a religious household growing up so we didn’t get to really participate. Now its fun to hand out candy to all the kiddos 🙂

    efender1(at)gmail(dot)com

  21. Thank you for sharing with us today. I think I may have missed the 12:00 deadline, as I am on the other coast LOL, but I wanted to join in on the fun anyway. I think my most memorable Halloween was when my son was a baby – his first Halloween he was dressed as a baby lion and I remember walking through the mall with him and so proud. Thank you for reminding me of that awesome memory.
    dz59001[at]gmail[dot]com

  22. I had an absolutely fabulous time today, guys. I’ll draw the winner of the multi-book giveaway for this blog. I’ll also tally up all those who commented on both blogs and post a list of winners on MONDAY at Kiss and Thrill. I’ll send out emails to the winners to confirm so please be on the lookout!
    Thank you all for such a wonderful time!
    And a special shout out to my wonderful critique partners and Kiss and Thrill cohorts for being such good sports!
    Boo!

  23. Oh my goodness, what incredible stories, especially yours, Sharon. It had me in chills. Did you know that Babbo in Italian means father? I know your ghost was Baboo, but i’m wondering if he gave you a variant of that word since he was protecting you in a very fatherly fashion. Have you ever contacted anyone who lived in that house and found out anything more?

    Sending you all hugs for a Happy Halloween

  24. Reblogged this on Diana Belchase and commented:

    Great post by my friends at Kiss and Thrill!

  25. I have not one specific Halloween memory. All those fun filled celebrations, trick-or-treating as a kid, eating too much candy… All of these things have made my Halloween great.

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