When you believe in something, it gives it strength…
I firmly believe in that theory. Have I ever seen a ghost or entity? I don’t think so. Have I seen things I couldn’t explain? Yeah. Have I ever had that feeling? You bet.
I have always loved a good scare. In my childhood, I watched Creature Features with my stepdad on the weekends and went to the Candlelighters Ghost House in my hometown of Fremont, California. As an adult, I’ve had many escapades including haunted tours, haunted hotels, and working in a haunted building...Yes, I have recently come to believe that I work in a haunted building. Okay, maybe I’m not being totally serious with that, but strange things are afoot for sure. I fell in love with horror as a teen, both movies and novels by Stephen King, Anne Rice, Clive Barker, and Dean Koontz, and that love continues to this day. But one of my favorite things to do is read about other peoples’ experiences with the paranormal and go to the places where the dead apparently still roam.
My favorite book on this subject is A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven by Corey Taylor, lead singer of Slipknot and Stone Sour. Those who are familiar with my brand of Rock ‘n’ Romance will know that I have a deep admiration for the singer, actor, and writer, and this book was a great insight into the things that have influenced him as an artist. I highly recommend the audiobook, though, because he reads it in his irresistible voice. You’ll love the experience. Another book I absolutely love is called A Haunted Love Story: The Ghosts of the Allen House. It’s about a guy and his family who buy a mansion in the South and, duh, it’s haunted. While hunting for the source of the insanity in the place, the owner stumbles upon a series of love letters between a previous owner and the man she had an affair with for many years. Her tragic death is finally explained, and the owners get some closure. It’s super cool. The author is Mark Spencer and I highly recommend it.
Some of my favorite adventures have been with my best friend Chrissy and my writery partner-in-crime, our beloved Carissa [editor note: LoveRomanceReads founder]. Chrissy and I have taken the Haunted Bus Tour of Chicago and visited such sites as the Hull House and Cabrini Greene, where several stories have emerged of hauntings and tragedies. It’s the history behind the horror that always fascinates me the most. A couple of years ago I visited a local historical site called the Meek Mansion in Hayward and we learned about Victorian-era death rituals from a “ghost” in period costume. I was particularly amazed by the hair wreaths that were made. I saw some examples of that as well when I visited Virginia City as part of the Romantic Times Convention in Reno, Nevada this past spring (more on that another time, but I’m itching to go back and I’ve got a paranormal series planned to be set there). When I went to Boston with my family, we went on a night tour that was hokey but had some really cool stories involving cemetery flooding and the theft of headstones for patio decorations. I’ve toured the haunted Old Town district in San Diego and the cemeteries of New Orleans, and there are still so many more places I want to go! What’s your favorite haunt?
But probably the coolest adventures I’ve had have been with Carissa. From the elegant Weller House Inn located in Fort Bragg, California, to the creepy and awesome Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley, we’ve had some pretty cool experiences. Carissa, our friend Rob and I went into the “most haunted room” in the Holbrooke and had either an electrical hiccup or a visit from beyond. Carissa was visited by a specter in the night, and the second time we went, someone/something tried desperately to get into my room from the balcony door and a large shadow rose up from the corner of my room and then dissipated. Was I visited? Was I seeing things? Was I suffering indigestion? Who really knows? But perhaps the more open you are to something like that, the more that energy, residual or from beyond, can have a tangible effect.
I’m currently experiencing all kinds of weirdness at my work site. The Winchester boys would have a field day. I do know, sadly, that we have had a tragic death on this campus. Most of the school was locked up for years and only recently reopened for new programs like mine. Lights flicker in the hall randomly and then they are normal for weeks. The bathroom…dude…it’s so not fun to have the toilet start flushing itself and keep flushing until you leave the restroom. And don’t get me started on the creepy crawly feeling I get when the lights go out or they flicker and I’m left in the quiet. Or the banging on the roof that is apparently “crows.” Yeah, well if the crows came straight out of Hitchcock’s film, I might believe it. If I let myself dwell on it, I’d probably really start to freak out, but for now, I’ll just accept that there’s some interesting energy hanging around.
Do I get scared? Absolutely. But the fright makes me investigate. I’ve really been enjoying The Haunting of Hill House, a Netflix original, like so many others of you, because it moves out of the scary, external frights to the ones that haunt your very being. There are things I’m haunted by, and those things are the stuff of nightmares. They aren’t external, which makes it that much more difficult to be rid of them.
To sum up, I believe that things are possible. I don’t believe I’ve seen a ghost, but I’ve had too many situations where unexplained things have happened for me to believe that some sort of energy is around us that can impact our lives. In many of my books I flirt with the things that have happened to me and the things that fascinate me that walk the line of the spiritual, ethereal, supernatural, and I love that aspect of storytelling. The Haunted series and the Minded series, interconnected stories of how folks are affected by life, death, and love, definitely explore issues involving all the things we don’t know about our world around us. The most “horror-ish” works I’ve written exist in the universe of The Banes of Lake’s Crossing. Book two has an imminent arrival, so stay tuned for that!
Enough of the “woo woo” this morning. I hope you all will spend some time thinking about these things in your life, and feel free to share them with me here in the comments, on my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rlmerrillauthor, or sign up for my website to keep in touch and see what creepy things I’m up to! My Rock ‘n’ Romance blog will be delivered all snug as a bug into your inbox that way and I like to send all kinds of things such as new releases from authors I admire on Friendy Fridays, quirky writing exercises I do for Wordy Wednesday, and concert and music reviews that pop up on Music Mondays. You can also join my Facebook group Ro’s Roadies of Romance for more hijinks and shenanigans.
Thank you to Carissa for having me on the Love Romance Reads blog today. I hope the remainder of your October is gloriously fun and full of creepy crawlies of the best kind!
On Samhain, the veil between the spirit world and the material world thins. Anything can happen, including the rebirth of those souls who weren’t given the chance to live to their full potential. One such soul had accepted her early death as her destiny. Fate has much more in store for her.
Discover a sweet tale of new life, new love, and puppies! All proceeds from this novella for the month of April 2016 will go to benefit Autism Awareness.
For ages 18 and up due to adult content.
Once upon a time... A teacher, tattoo collector, mom, and rock 'n' roll kinda gal opened up a doc and started purging her demons. Several self-published books and a debut from Dreamspinner Press later, with more tucked away in her evil lair, R.L. Merrill is still striving to find that perfect balance between real-life and happily ever after. You can find her lurking on social media where she loves connecting with readers, being a mom-taxi to two brilliant and busy kids, in the tattoo chair trying desperately to get that back piece finished, or headbanging at a rock show near her home in the San Francisco Bay Area! Stay Tuned for more Rock 'n' Romance.
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