Saturday, 1 November 2008

It is the day of the dead!

Here in Austria people are visiting the cemeteries and leaving flowers and candles. So I thought my first guests today should have something to do with death!

First up is author Nancy Haddock who was my first ever author guest here on Amberkatze's Book Blog. She writes for Berkley Publishing and her first book, La Vida Vampire is available now, and the sequel, Last Vampire Standing will be released May 5, 2009. The main character of her series is vampire Cesca Marinelli. She was buried for more than 200 years in a smelly coffin under an old Victorian house and works as a ghost tour guide in St. Augustine, Florida.

Keep reading to the bottom because Nancy has a great prize to giveaway!


Haunted Beach House?

Boo-rific greetings, readers! I’m Nancy Haddock, and I write paranormals because I love them. I’m into ghosts partly because St. Augustine, Florida is overflowing with them. Yet, for all the spirits in town, none resided in my little pink house on the beach … until now.

My ghostly tale begins with a lighted mirror in my bedroom coming on by itself at odd times during the day and night. The light is a three-way job, operated by touch. Admittedly, it doesn’t take much to turn on or change the level of the lights, but it does take more than mere vibration. Each time I saw the light on, I asked if a spirit wanted to talk. No response. Okay, I’d played this kind of game with ghosts in my Dallas area house. No biggie.

So, one day last week I realized I needed to – cue the spooky music and hold on for the horror – Clean The House. I grabbed a handful of rags and charged the dust dragons in the bedroom, muttering to myself that I wished the faeries would come do this job.

The mirror light suddenly blinked on. I was halfway across the room. Whoa!

I blinked, and asked, “Are you my house spirit?”

The mirror brightened to its next level. I took that as a Yes.

“Do you agree I need cleaning faeries?” I asked.

The mirror turned off, then back on to the lowest light level. Another Yes.

“I don’t suppose you’re that faerie, right?”

The light never flickered, so I took that as a No. Bummer.

“Do you have a message for me, or want to talk?”

Again, no change in the light.

“You’re just here to watch me slay the dirt, huh?”

The light brightened. All the ghosts in the world, and I get a comedian.

Still, it’s a treat to have a spirit around again. It quite makes my house a home.


Do you have a ghost in your house? Know anyone who does? Is the presence a good thing? I love ghost stories, so share yours and be entered to win a prize!

One lucky poster will win a signed copy of La Vida Vampire and a $10 Barnes & Noble gift certificate!

Rules -

You must post on this thread will an answer to be entered! You can earn an extra entry by posting about this contest somewhere on the net and leaving a link for me to confirm your entry. You can also win another entry by signing up to my newsletter by clicking this icon

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The contest will close on Thursday 6th of November at 2pm CET. Please check back to see if you won as I will pick a new winner if the prize is not claimed within 7 days.

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posted by Unknown at Saturday, November 01, 2008 |


At 1 November 2008 at 09:34, Blogger Tracy Garrett

Hi Nancy! (waving from beautiful Missouri) I don't have a ghost that I know of, but we have a resident one in an old lodge nearby. I think I'd love to meet her, but then again...

Loved La Vida, btw!
Tracy G.


At 1 November 2008 at 09:55, Blogger darbyscloset

No ghosts in this house yet in our community there is a trailer park supposedly built on top of an old settlers cemetery. Certain trailers have had ghostly occuances and I don't go around there much needless to say. Hopefully this is as close to a ghost story that I come!
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com


At 1 November 2008 at 10:17, Blogger SciFiGuy

No personal ghost stories but both the university and a local hotel claim to have ghosts. And our city boasts an official Ghost Hunting organization. Enjoyed the first book and glad a sequel is planned.


At 1 November 2008 at 10:48, Blogger ArkieRN

I don't have a ghost but my sister had one. The ghost liked for one particular stuffed animal to be on my niece's pillow. If the toy was removed and you left the room, when you went back in the toy would be back on the pillow.


At 1 November 2008 at 11:07, Blogger Ruth Schaller

The house I live in now isn't haunted! But when i was growing up I lived with grandmother in this huge house that was built in 1912. It was definately haunted. My aunt used to go away on the weekends for her business. I would sleep in her room while she was gone because she had a TV in there. Well, I remember several times that I woke up in the middle of the night and would hear someone coming up the stairs with a glass with ice in it, cause you could hear the tinkling of the ice hitting the glass, but they never made it to the top of the stairs. I know old houses have creaks and stuff, but this was not the house creaking or settling. Also there I would see dark shadows out of the corners of my eyes.

One time my aunt, my grandma, and I were out in the kitchen. She had a small cubboard near the dining room door. A can seemed to jump about a foot off the top of this cupboard and then land right side up on the floor. Noone was near and to this day I couldn't tell you what made that happen. It just came off the top of the shelf and then straight to the floor. Everyone was just as stunned as I was!

That house was creepy!


At 1 November 2008 at 11:24, Blogger Angela @ Reading Angels

I have never seen a ghost, but I have felt the presence of my grandmother around me at different times :-)


At 1 November 2008 at 11:43, Blogger Kath Calarco

Hello, Nancy! I love your ghost story. Why have you been keeping it to yourself?

And now for mine. When I first met my husband, his friends got him to talk about the ghost in his apartment. (Not the most endearing thing to talk about when hitting on prospective squeeze). Apparently, strange things happened there, such as the coat hangers jangling, lights going on and off, etc. Next thing you know, I'm dating him. (Jangling coathangers aren't all that scary.) BUT, one night the phone in his bedroom started to ring, yet the one by the couch didn't. He picked it up and there was a dial tone - phone in bedroom still ringing. Another time, we went out and he left on a light. When we came back, that light was out and another on.

Then we bought a house and on moving day he had all his packed boxes out in the driveway, and...

the phone started ringing IN THE BOX. I told him to toss the phone, there was no way that was coming to the new house. Thirteen years later, no ghosts. I have to wonder if somewhere at a far away landfill there's a phone ringing endlessly.


At 1 November 2008 at 12:14, Blogger Cathy

No ghost in the house I am living in now, maybe it's too new. In the house I grew up in, my grandma would be a presence that I could smell and feel, though I never saw her. No one else in the house ever had that experience, but she always was there whenever I needed comforting.


At 1 November 2008 at 12:30, Anonymous Anonymous

I have no ghost stories and to be honest, I'm kinda glad about it, lol. When my dad passed, I wasn't by his side, but on my way there, I just had this feeling that he was up in "the sky" looking down at me and I started crying because I knew he was gone. That feeling wouldn't go away. When I finally got to the hospital and they told me what time he passed on, it was at the same time that I "knew".


At 1 November 2008 at 13:42, Blogger CrystalGB

Hi Nancy. No ghosts in our house. I lived in a trailer once that had a little boy ghost. He wasn't evil. Just turned things over and drew pictures on the wall.


At 1 November 2008 at 14:16, Blogger -.-

hehe, there isn't any ghosts in my house. Not that it needs it though, I freak myself out just by being in the dark.


At 1 November 2008 at 16:42, Blogger Shooting Stars Mag

Oh, please enter me!
I subscribed to the blog through my AOL, and I posted about the contest here:

As for ghosts, as far as i know..mine isn't, but I did stay in a friends' house for about a month when I was little and that house was haunted. thankfully, nothing happened while i lived there...and my friend no longer lives there either. however, his sister said one night she was trying to sleep, heard footsteps on the stairs, called to her mom (thinking it was her) and nobody answered...turns out it wasn't her mom. i think someone who used to live there died there or killed himself there...and it's just a really old house, in general, i believe.



At 1 November 2008 at 17:06, Blogger Nancy

Hi Everyone! My apologies for the delay in getting back to you. My computer is supposed to be fixed .. but maybe my ghost had other things for me to do earlier. :)

I LOVE YOUR STORIES! Tracy, next time I get to MO, we'll have to check out that lodge. Oooh, Darbry, the trailer park is atop an old settlers' cemetary? Cool!

Scifiguy, it's a kick that you have a ghost hunter organization in your town. Any word on whether the hunters investigated, and on what they found?

Arkiern, I love that the stuffed animal had to be placed just so. And, Ruth, the sound of tinkling ice in a glass AND the can flying off the shelf? Wow! That's impressive!

Angel and Cathy, I love that you've felt your grandmothers. Judi, I'm glad you sensed your dad, too. I think our relatives can watch over us.

Kath, the disconnected phone rang in the box? Okay, that is wild! Crystalgb, kid ghosts can be a hoot, but having one draw pictures on the wall has to be one of the most unique stories I've heard!

Popinfresh, keep your night light handy! I will say the vast majority of ghosts/ spirits I've met aren't harmful, but we don't tend to remember that when we hear footsteps on the stairs. Right, Lauren? :)

It's so great to hear from you all. I haven't blogged in a while, and I've missed your friendly faces! Thank you for taking the time to visit and comment, and please enjoy your weekend! Also, encourage your friends to share their stories if you like. This is an endlessly fascinating subject!



At 1 November 2008 at 17:48, Blogger Unknown

Luckily, I don't have a ghost in my house. I couldn't handle something spooky happening, especially when my husband is on a business trip and I'm alone with the kids. I'm paranoid at those times anyway without things going bump in the night. Although, I do love to watch Ghost Hunters on the SciFi channel!


At 1 November 2008 at 18:25, Blogger StyleVamp

one time at home I woke up and saw a shadow of my mom in the hall way..but something told me that it wasn't her..I closed my eyes and the shadow wasn't there...I got up & went to my mom's room and she was sleeping..I asked her the next day if she had woken up in the middle of the night & she said "no"

Yea I can't explain what i saw..I'm just happy that it hasn't happened again...I know it's spooky..


At 1 November 2008 at 20:39, Blogger Nancy

Janel, I love Ghost Hunters, too, tho the live marathon wasn't as interesting as I'd hoped. :)

Tanya, that experience with your mom is spooky! That happened to me with one of my children once. Really freaked me!

May those of you who don't want the weird stuff to happen be shielded from it!



At 1 November 2008 at 20:59, Blogger Edie Ramer

No ghosts, but if one cleaned I want it! Or fairies or elves. I'm not fussy.

Fun blog, Nancy!


At 1 November 2008 at 21:32, Blogger Nancy

Hi Edie!

Oh, yes! My little beach kingdom for a housecleaning faerie or elf or sprite. Heck, I'd take a housecleaning dragon!

Where IS that white tornado of the old commercials when you need it?

Thanks for dropping by, Edie! I know you had a busy day, and I hope it was fantastic fun!



At 2 November 2008 at 01:28, Anonymous Anonymous

No ghost in our house, is only 15 years old and the neighbourhood is even newer than our house. Seems like a pity, but the only other house where we lived where you could have expected a ghost was the parish house in the middle of Helsinki, and even there you didn't have any unwanted ghosts walking around. Guess it had something to do with being in the garden of the church and no people being buried there.
Would have been nice though if there would have been :-)


At 2 November 2008 at 07:11, Blogger Diana Cosby

:) A comedian house fairy. LOL A wild thing that happened to me was while I was walking through the witch houses in Salem, Mass, I could sense a darkness within the house. Very eerie.

Diana Cosby
Zebra/His Captive/Alexander MacGruder
Zebra/His Woman/December 08/Duncan MacGruder


At 2 November 2008 at 08:29, Blogger Marlene

Hi there. My granny from my mom's side was Irish. My mom told me a story. Her and her granny were always very close. granny died and my move moved to The Netherlands. She married my dad and first got my sister and then i was born. One night she was staying with her mother, my dad was in the army at the time. we my sister and me were sleeping. I was a baby.Suddenly she felt that my granny was in the room, telling her "Pat, go upstairs, something is wrong. My mom was scared but thank God she listened and ran upstairs and there she discovered I was suffocating. I forgot why. I never forgot this story.


At 2 November 2008 at 08:37, Blogger Diana Cosby

Okay, a woo woo moment popped into my mind. *G* My mother-in-law, who was one of my biggest supporters of my writing, loved silver. When I first began writing, I was working in the Viking era. Sadly, my MIL passed away. After her death, one of my friends on the other side of the country, out of the blue, stumbled across a silver viking helmet charm. She felt compelled to buy it and send it to me. I interpreted it as my MIL sending me a sign that she was still with me and encouring me to fulfill my dream of becoming published. I assure you, a chill went up my spine - a good one - upon opening that package with the silver charm. Yes, I keep it where I write.

His Captive/Alexander MacGruder
His Woman/December 08/Duncan MacGruder


At 2 November 2008 at 08:54, Blogger Michelle

I posted your contest info on myspace can use this link & then click on my blog:


At 2 November 2008 at 08:58, Blogger Michelle

Yes, and it was a good mom was around for a time after she passed away & would try to communicate with us...particularly at night when the house was quiet...


At 2 November 2008 at 14:12, Blogger Nancy

Hippolein, how fun to have experienced a parish house in Helsinki! Even without ghosts. :)

Diana, I've not been to Salem, but I can imagine some leftover darkness might be there. I love the sotry of the Viking helmet charm. You had a great MIL ... still do!

Marlene, wow! Your grandmother was certainly your angel, too. Thanks for sharing your wonderful story!

Michelle, bless you and your mom. I love the stories of relatives contacting and protecting us!

Thank you all for taking the time to visit Amber's site, and to comment on the blog. It's a pleasure to see "old" friends and meet new ones!



At 2 November 2008 at 14:19, Blogger Stephanie

No ghosts in my house, thank goodness. I was very careful to pick a home that gave me no scary ghosty vibes, because I'm sure I'd be freaked out even by the sweetest, friendliest ghost in the world. When I was a kid, though, I was firmly convinced that our basement was haunted. I had no evidence other than a feeling that I was being followed whenever I crossed the family room or walked up the stairs, but it was enough to convince me at the time.


At 2 November 2008 at 14:53, Blogger Kimberly B.

I haven't had any personal experiences with ghosts, but I grew up in the city of Sunnyvale, CA, which famously has a haunted Toys 'R' Us. Toys fall off shelves, there are mysterious cold spots, and a couple of people have seen a young man in his 20s or 30s who then disappeared. It's supposed to be the ghost of a man named Johnson, who was a ranch hand for the Murphys, Sunnyvale's founding family. He was in love with their daughter, Elizabeth, who ran off with another man. He accidentally chopped his leg off with an axe and bled to death. Luckily he's the prankster type of ghost, not malicious at all. But I never visited that store because I was too scared!


At 2 November 2008 at 19:22, Blogger Lori T

I have never seen a ghost and I don't know anyone who has, but I definitely believe that they are out there.

I am always interested in shows about real ghost stories!


At 3 November 2008 at 14:08, Blogger catslady

Unfortunately, I haven't seen or don't know anyone either who has seen a ghost although I am very open to the idea.


At 3 November 2008 at 16:39, Blogger Nancy

Hmmm, looks like my earlier response didn't go thru. Sorry!

Stephanie, I wondered if your basement made you uneasy because of the "fear cage" factor. I look twice for wiring and ducts when I'm in a place that gives me the heebies. :)

Kimberly, I love the story of the haunted Toys 'R' Us in Sunnyvale, CA! I'm putting that on my list of places to visit in CA!

Lori and Catslady, do you watch Ghost Hunters? I'm amazed by the evidence they sometimes catch! Oh, and I do see ghosts occasionally, but mostly I feel them. Y'all let me know if you ever see one!

Thanks again to all of you for taking the time to come play and comment! Have a fantastic week!



At 3 November 2008 at 17:12, Blogger Asylumgirl

My husband brought home a topiary one time that seemed to cause strange occurences. The kids were young but seemed to be seeing things we couldn't see. It kind of freaked us out as you can imagine. We ended up burning the topiary and had no more trouble.

deidre_durance at


At 3 November 2008 at 22:26, Blogger Calliope

I live in one of those big old houses full of creaks and rattles. Whenever one of us is home alone, we can hear someone walking around in the basement, their footsteps echoing on the hardwood floors. When we sneak down to investigate - there's no one there. The footsteps can be heard only by someone who's home alone. If you're upstairs, the footsteps are in the basement, if you're downstairs, then the footsteps are above. It's so creepy!


At 4 November 2008 at 02:21, Blogger LadyVampire2u

I have grown up living in haunted locations so ghosts spook me when they appear out of no where but not as much as other people. The house I live in now has been blessed five times and I still hear something walking in the attic and see the odd piles the ghost makes of my stuff up there. Here's one of my spookier experiences though:
I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of my dogs barking furiously. Grabbing a robe and some slippers, I hurried to see what was going on. But instead of a robber as I was suspecting my dogs were barking at...nothing. They were looking up at one of the corners near the ceiling of my kitchen and barking like mad with the fur on their backs bristling. I swear the temperature in the kitchen was cold and I was getting scared watching the dogs literally follow after whatever this invisible thing was across the kitchen ceiling. At some point I think it lunged at my animals because they snarled and jumped back before returning to barking. I ran for my bedroom, began shoving on clothes intending to hussle my dogs and I into the car and away but just as I was finishing putting on my shoes, the dogs stopped barking. When I walked back in the kitchen, everything was silent but for their panting. Even the air was warmer. I was awake for a while letting my nerves calm down when about an hour later I got word that someone near me had died. Someone I was not very fond of. Was it him or not? I don't know. But its still odd that the events occured at almost the same time.


At 4 November 2008 at 06:16, Blogger Book Sp(l)ot

So the one time I don't copy the text of my comment before submitting it tells me it's duplicate and I get nothing ;)

Let's see if I can get this whole thing done again....

I don't think there's anything haunted in the town I live in now, but that might be more due to people not wanting to admit to it than to actual lack of hauntings. (I'm pretty sure that near to here there are some places--I just don't recall specifically what they are).

Several years ago, though, when I lived somewhere else entirely, we lived across from and old, abandoned Catholic schoolhouse. We were sure it was haunted in some way or another be it ghosts or some other sort of spirits. (It was a school that I think was built in something like the 1870s-thought I could be off about that but all the houses and the church were so I doubt they'd stick a school in way later there--and then more recently they'd started to try to make it into apartments to the point of adding some stairs and leaving some exposed nails..that sort of thing)...

My brother and best friend and I were always sneaking in there to explore (which I'm sure was all sorts of dangerous) and hearing things and having other things happen that I cna't even remember. And I'd see things (not people things) in the windows quite frequently...

So that's my 'ghost' story...I'm not sure if it's ghost per se, but I'm pretty sure it's something.


At 4 November 2008 at 08:47, Blogger Shelbycat

No ghosts in my house as far as i'm aware, but i do keep expecting one because my house is over 200 years old. My cats do stare at things that aren't there sometimes so maybe i do have a ghost but it's just really polite.


At 4 November 2008 at 10:38, Blogger StyleVamp

Hi Nancy..

I really don't share some of these unexplainable things that I've seen much..
But I feel better to know that I'm not the only one that has gone through it..(I'm not happy that it happened to you) but it makes me feel less

I'm sure I could have said that better..

Love your blog & interviews..Deep sigh..gotta get back to work.


At 4 November 2008 at 15:30, Blogger Jami

back in the 1980s my mother's sister comitted suicide in the upstairs of our home. it was a tragic thing. now and again my dog barks at an unseen presence on the stairs to the second floor. i catch a glipse once in awhile of a supernatural being.


At 4 November 2008 at 19:23, Blogger Wendy

There's no ghosts in my house but when I first move in, I thought there was! :)


At 5 November 2008 at 08:19, Blogger Nancy

Hi All! Sorry for the reply delay again!

Diedre, how interesting that the topiary seemed to have a spirit with it. I will say that, in my Dallas area house, I had a lot more activity, and I think part of it was due to having so many house plants. Plant spirits ran around everywhere! :)

Calliope, your spirit footsteps are elusive, aren't they? Maybe they move depending on where you are bec. they think they you won't hear them. :)

LadyVampire, your story gave me goose bumps! I wouldn't be surprised if the dogs were barking at the spirit of the person who passed. Sounds like the barking drove him off, too!

Bookspot, public buildings such as schools can easily have leftover energy. That gets stirred up when changes are made to it. I'm glad no one was hurt exploring the school, and wouldn't it be interesting to have your brother tell you if he remembers anything spooky?

Shelbycat, as with Ladyvampire's dogs, animals do sense and see what we don't. I've had both cats and dogs stare at something I don't see. Dogs will often bark, but cats don't tend to vocalize, do they?

Tanya, thanks for stopping by. I understand and honor your silence on the subject of what you've seen.

Verses That Hurt, what a tragedy for your family! Your aunt may well be there, or you could have a whole 'nother presence. At least the spirit is benign!

Wendy, no ghosts is a great thing for those who don't want 'em! And, if you by chance do, well, who knows? I know you'll attract only a good spirit, tho, so it's cool!

Again, many thanks to all of you who visited and commented. I MUCH appreciate your support, and good luck in the drawing!



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