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Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween Blogfest: Fiona McGier

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Real-life ghost stories? Is that an oxymoron?


I used to think that phenomena like that didn't exist. Then I moved with my boyfriend into an old house that had a ghost. It wasn't malevolent...just there. It was my dog who noticed it first, barking at what appeared to be nothing, then things would happen near her...like coffee cups that jumped off the counter when they'd been nowhere near the edge. A sudden chill to the air where she was standing and barking. We got kind of used to it, so when we moved we invited the ghost to come with us, and switched the andirons in the fireplaces, telling the ghost it was welcome in our new place. It didn't come, so we figured it was house-specific.

When we bought this house we were a little disappointed that it was "uninhabited". But the house next door is an old farmhouse, obviously the oldest one on the block. The woman who used to live there got to be a good friend of mine. She once told me that she kept all of the lights on in the house because her daughters didn't like "the voices" that they'd hear in a dark room. I didn't think about that much until my dryer broke and she invited me to use hers while she was grocery shopping. I went down into the basement, which I had never been in before, and it had such a low ceiling that I almost had to stoop...and I'm a short woman. As I was putting the clothes into the dryer the hairs on the back of my neck started to itch and I felt a chill to the air at the same time as I started to hear "whispers". I spoke loudly, saying I was only there to do laundry, then I high-tailed it up the stairs and out the door! I waited until Eva was home to get my laundry. Years later when the couple who had bought the house from Eva split up and the woman moved out, Eva said to ask the woman if "the voices" were why she was leaving him and the house. When I did, she gave me a funny look and asked "How do you know about them?" The man who still lives there alone, keeps all of the lights in the house on, on both floors, whenever he's home.

The most recent contact I've had with the after-life was after my father passed on. He was an unrepentant atheist who went to the afterlife convinced he'd just stop thinking and that'd be it. My mom was struggling through the early stages of the dementia that took her away almost four years later. But soon after he died I had a dream about going to see her and she took a long time to get to the door. When she opened it she told me she was on the phone with my dad. I reminded her that he was dead, and they don't have phone service there. She told me, "See for yourself", and waved at the phone. I picked it up and my dad told me "Hi". I asked him where he was, and he told me he didn't know, but that he was walking a lot and enjoying seeing all kinds of familiar sights. (He died from colon cancer that brought on a stroke that had made him unable to get out of bed, but told me that in his dreams he was still able to ballroom dance.) I asked him where he was going, and he told me that he didn't know, but had seen some familiar faces also. Then he told me that he had to get going because he was getting to his destination. He told me he loved me and my family then he hung up.

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I'm excited that my next book, Prophecy of the Undead, debuts November 1, 2012, which is also El Dia De Los Muertos. It appears to be fate that a book about the Mayan prediction of the end of time on December 21, 2012, that features a 5,000 year old Mayan vampire who hates everyone, along with some vampires of varying ages who still enjoy sex, will be published in 2012 on the day the Hispanic culture celebrates the spirits of their dearly-departed. I usually don't write paranormal romance, but this story arc came to me in a dream, and when I hit a writer's block after the first two chapters, the hero introduced himself to me in another dream, telling me I was trying to write the wrong hero, since it had to be him. Then he smiled and flashed his vampire fangs at me. Hmm, more eerie stuff?

Find out more about all of my books at: www.fionamcgier.com, where the first page of my website is my blog.

And please leave a comment telling me whether or not you believe that the end of the 13th Baktun in the Mayan long-count calendar will bring us any surprises. In other words, will I still get to celebrate my late-December birthday? I'll choose one of the comments at random and send along an eBook of Prophecy of the Undead to that reader. Be the first among your friends to get to read it...but read quickly! Grin.

7 comments:

Jean MP said...

Enjoyed your post. My husband keeps talking about the Mayan calendar and its prediction, but I think it is because he is tired of his job and wants to retire *L*
skpetal at hotmail dot com

Debby said...

Enjoyed your post. Did you ever check with the new owners to see if they sensed her?
debby236 at gmail dot com

Faith said...

Wow, what an awesome blog post, Fiona! Really enjoyed reading this one. And as for your dad on the telephone...I watched something not long ago about how spirits often tap into phones to contact the people they love. I think maybe it has to do with the electric which boosts the power they need to communicate on our plane. Even if it's a cell phone, I think they're able to catch the signal since it's invisible, if that makes sense, and manipulate it for their purpose.

Anyway, your book sounds awesome, too!

bicknellbrown AT sbcglobal DOT net

pc said...

I think the Mayan calendar is off a little as the length of time is supposedly different from way back then.
ivegotmail8889@yahoo.com

Fiona McGier said...

Re: Jean and PC-December 21, 2012 will be here soon. I guess we'll find out then if the Mayans were onto something or not! Just in case, buy my book soon and read quickly! ;-D

Re: Debby-Interesting that you called the spirit in our old house "her"...we never felt it to be one sex or another, it was just "there". We were only renting that place, so we never got to chat with the new residents. But it certainly was interesting to have company even when alone!

Re: Faith-I went to a website that collects stories of folks who have had dreams of their departed loved ones, in an attempt to see if there's a pattern. I was told that my story would go into one chapter they devoted to only hearing the departed, as opposed to seeing them also. They said that the usual way is to dream about talking to the person on the phone. In a way I was relieved that I'm not alone in having dreams like that, but in another I was bummed that my dream wasn't as special and unique as I had thought.

But then, my Dad was a atheist who laughed at the idea of an afterlife. I still don't know if he was trying to let me know there is one, or if it was merely my brain comforting me in my loss. But I'm in NO hurry to find out!

Faith said...

No, I don't think any of us are in a hurry to find out, lol.

Fiona McGier said...

Okay, I worked all day, rushed home (well, stopped to sample some Spanish red wines on the way home at the local booze emporium), then I put the numbers into a hat. Drum roll...the winner is: Faith! I'll send you an email with the happy news. Thanks for all who commented on my blog here.