Devlin Marsh’s Wife

” Why does Devlin Marsh’s wife  hang pictures of dead people on her walls?”

There are pictures of people in laying in coffins or sitting in chairs and they are surrounded by flowers and mourners and in one a dead girl,  her eyes flat and dull stares at you from forever.

I think Devilin’s wife is  named LaVerne, but I could be wrong.

I have never asked and most people don’t want to know about Devlin Marsh’s wife who came into the world on a night where a storm tore through her home town and the lighting strikes almost burned the hospital she was born in to the ground and after Devlin’s wife grew up most people wished it had.

Devlin Marsh’s wife, whose name could be LaVerne has pictures of old people and young people dressed for the grave hanging from the walls in her hallways and sewing room, in her sitting room and there is even one hanging in her pantry in a heavy silver frame where the dead man in the faded picture  looks all day at the food Devlin and (I think her name is) LaVerne will eat for their meals.

Devlin’s wife is good with a knife and she is a fine and patient cook- so Devlin has said  about his wife.

If I could ask- I think her name is LaVerne- one question I think I would ask about the one place in her house that does not have pictures of dead people hanging from a single wall.

It’s on  closet door in a spare room.

And it is nailed shut.

From the inside.

So I have heard.

She Had No Face


 A few years ago my friend and I went on a ghost tour of Seattle.

One of the stories has stayed with me, not because it was creepy or scary.

It has stayed with me because it is such a tragic event.

In the story a woman checks into a nice hotel, with no luggage and no wedding ring- in those days I guess nice women didn’t visit nice hotels with no luggage. She told the Clerk that her luggage was on its way, would he please let her into her room so she could get some rest?

She had been traveling for so long, so the story goes.

A few hours later the woman’s luggage did show up and when they took it up to her they found her dead on her bed.

The room was undisturbed, nothing out-of-place. It looked like she had walked in, laid down on the bed and died.

Of course she just didn’t just die- she had committed suicide and she had used cyanide to do it.

Nobody was ever able to trace where the cyanide could have come from, her luggage gave no clues to her identity. There were no personal effects in them. She had, it appeared, taken great care to establish a new identity and she was so good at it that  over 50 years later it’s the only ID she is known by:

Jane Doe.

Jane Doe came back to haunt me, in her subtle way when I was watching a show about ghosts and came across a story from the 1800’s  about a husband and wife who arrived on a mysterious ship. The woman was ill when she arrived and her condition worsened as the days went on.

When she died her husband swore the people around them to secrecy. He asked that they never reveal their identities and they never did.

And the only story I can offer here is from my own travels.

One Summer I left work early and decided to take a side trip.

I wanted to poke around in one of those abandoned buildings I had seen while driving to an out of the way Doctor’s Office to get a Death certificate signed.

It was a little hotel- I think at one time it had been painted white with blue trim which I suppose was supposed to give it a seaside resort feel, but this hotel was inland and the closest body of water was a lake about 40 miles away.


I pulled in, got out and went to the room I had parked in front of. That way I figured, if I had to leave quicly my car would be right there. Not that I expected any trouble of course.

The door wasn’t locked. In fact, the door almost fell in when I turned the knob and went in. The only furniture in that room was a little nightstand sitting where a bed used to be. To the right of the night stand was a bathroom door.

It was shut.

I went over, put my hand on the knob when I looked down on the table and there was a pink rat tail comb, a tube of lipstick and a handful of bobby pins. They were covered with dirt and mold and looked like they had been here for a very long time.

I looked around the room.

There was nothing in that room but dirt and that little table and what was on top of it.

Without thinking I turned the knob…and it wasn’t locked.

It was stuck.

The knob wouldn’t even turn.

” I’m sorry, ” I called out ” I think I’m in the wrong room.”

I backed away from the door and as I did I thought I smelled perfume.

I think what unsettles me about these stories is not that these women were nameless, its as if they had no faces.

I wonder if they ever did.

Jane Doe



Tomb Of A Female Stranger

The Stranger

The Story Of The Female Stranger

The Ghost Of The Female Stranger


Top Ten Haunted Hotels of The United States

Haunted Hotels, Inns and Castles

Washington State Ghost Towns

The Return Of The Georgetown Morgue and Jake




If you live in Washington State you have the choice of visiting a great  Haunted House hosted by a local radio Station and  in addition to that choice  ( you lucky Devils ) you can also opt to go on  Ghost Tour and learn about Seattle’s real life haunted past.

Its back and brought to you by KUBE radio.



” The Legendary Georgetown Morgue.”

Visit the site


The KUBE 93 Haunted House is going to scare you senseless this year at the creepy, insanely authentic location at the former Georgetown Morgue south of downtown Seattle.





And if you want to add to your Halloween Fun then consider taking

The Haunted Seattle Tour

I happen to love a good story and I love the ones with that taste of reality in it. Unlike the Haunted Houses, which are fun and you should do at least one in your life time, tours like the one Jake will take you on will leave  the ‘what if’ door in your mind’s eye wide open.

And do you know what walks into doors that are left wide open?

Anything that wants too.

For me that’s scary

(from the website)


                                Jake, a local ghost enthusiast, takes you on a van tour visiting haunts like:

The Elegant Hotel
The Mortuary
The Market
Gambling Den
Poor Farm
The Voice
The Castle
Old Burial Ground
The Basketball Player
Haunted Theater
Notorious Rooming House

Seattle Ghost Tour Link HERE 


Jake Your Seattle Ghost Tour Guide

Jake Your Seattle Ghost Tour Guide

 So there you are.

From Me To You,

 Halloween Treats to savor.

May I suggest enjoying them to the





It Does Not Get Much Better Then This


Photograph(s) copyright Shaun O'Boyle

Photograph(s) copyright Shaun O'Boyle

This very, very short story has given me nightmares and inspired me to write a few of them down and turn them into stories.

Here it is:

Thomas Bailey Aldrich wrote this circa 1870:

“A woman is sitting alone in a house. She knows she is alone in the whole world; every other living thing is dead.

The doorbell rings.”


Bravo Thomas, Bravo!

Thomas Aldrich

The Pink Store



“ Just get the suntan lotion and be quick about it. “ Lilly Thorn told herself “ just go into the store, back to shelf where they have probably  kept the Personal Care and Beauty aides in the same place for the last 40 years and go. You don’t even have to be nice to the clerks because they don’t know you, they can’t know you, not only are you not 6 years old anymore you are just old, all those people who used to work there are either dead or moved on to work in other Mom and Pop Grocery stores by now and if they are still the same people working there they are not going to recognize you.


– so just get the Suntan Lotion and go.”


So, what kind of person forgets to buy Suntan Lotion  when they’re packing for two weeks in Hawaii ?


A person like Lilly Thorn-that’s who- and for that stupid oversight she guessed she deserved to have to make a pit stop on the way to the airport to pick up Suntan Lotion at a corner Grocery Store where she had the misfortune of peeing on the floor when she was six years old.


If you don’t think it could have gotten worse for Lilly after doing something like that in front of her friends and neighbors your’re wrong.


The worst part of the Pee Incident came after an angry phone call from the store’s owner. Mrs. Lee. Not only did  she bar Lilly from the store for life in that angry phone call to Lilly’s Mom, she also demanded that Lilly come to the store and get on her hands and knees and scrub the floor herself.


Lilly’s mom made her do it and Mrs. Lee watched.


The thing of it is, nobody ever asked Lilly why she peed on the floor and she wished they had because then maybe the ghost that Lilly met at the Pink Store that day wouldn’t have worked it’s way into her head where it has lived now for over 40 years.


When Lilly and her family lived up the street from Lake William all of the kids in the Neighborhood used to go to the Pink Store and buy the penny candies. If you had a little more money  you could also buy candy bars and comic books or in Lilly’s little candy tarts called “Sweet Sprees “that came in packages with pictures of people sailing in boats or walking on beaches or hiking on mountain trails.


The candies were hard and always tasted slightly dusty but the pictures were pretty and Lilly used to collect them and used them for posters in her Doll House.


One day, after school Lilly and her friends went into the Pink Store, which back in Lilly’s Grandma’s day used to be a Speakeasy called 32 Pinkerman (the building number and street address, back then places like the Pinkerman didn’t have real names-sort of like the shady characters that owned and ran them.) when she looked over at her friend Domino and asked, “Hey that’s my Grandma’s favorite song.”


“What?” Domino asked as she started to choose her candy from the baskets on the shelf.


“That song- “Lilly pointed up “my Grandma sings it all of the time.”


Domino shrugged and went back to her baskets, she didn’t hear anything and she didn’t bother to say anything because when your Mom was feeling generous and gave you 50 cents to spend on candy- choosing fifty pieces of penny candy took all of your concentration.


Especially if you weren’t exactly proficient at counting to fifty yet.


So as Domino counted Lilly could hear the music get a little louder and then the air started to smell like Lilly’s Mom and Dad’s house around the holidays (only there wasn’t the smell of Christmas Trees or roasting turkey woven into the mix) and then someone walked by (though she would always think of it as through ) her and Lilly looked up into the face of a man with a black eye.


He was talking to someone standing in back of her and too afraid to turn around Lilly kept looking up and the man with the black eye was holding a black bag up and saying,


“I’m telling you I never opened it, I went to Greene’s like always and made the pickup. I never open these things, you know that Ben. Come on Ben put that thing down. You gotta believe me Ben I’d never cross you. I’d never cross anybody. You know that”


When Lilly looked around the store was gone and the candy was gone and so was Domino and there was Lilly at 32 Pinkerton, six years old and watching a man beg for his life.


“Ben, please …” Lilly saw an arm over the top of her head and she saw something in it’s hand and she saw the gun pressed against the man’s forehead. “ This isn’t right, it’s not-“


There was a bang and Lilly watched the man with the black eye snap his head back and then his head slumped to the side and then she watched him fall to the floor.

When she looked up again everyone in the store was watching her pee all over herself.



After that Lilly went through her life always feeling that someone was standing just behind her, someone faceless and monstrous, somebody who could make a grown man cry and then shoot him in the head and then haunt the only witness to the murder- a six year old girl at least 50 years after it committed it’s crime- for the rest of her life.


Trips to Hawaii ? Her Wedding Day? Her Divorce Day?  When she buried her only child who died when he was only 12 after being knocked off his bike by a car and could have survived if only one of the dozens of cars that day that drove by him had stopped to ask if he need help.


On all of those days Lilly was never really there because part of Lilly was still at The

Pink Store and the part that was here was thinking about and feeling that dark soundless thing behind her.



She guessed then it was normal that on the day she went into the Pink Store to expect she wouldn’t be going into it alone.


It was funny then how alone she did feel as she pushed the door open and the Pink Store-, which had been outfitted with new shelves and stainless steel coolers and even bigger windows.


She walked –

 no she ran by the aisles where the candy and comic books and spin racks where the paperback books used to be-

 and when she got to the back of the store she got lost.


Everything was different- The Pink Store wasn’t a grocery store anymore, it was more like a walk in refrigerator lined with coolers full of beer and energy drinks and frost covered boxes of pizzas.


The shelves in the middle of the store were shorter now, which didn’t matter because there was nothing but cases of beer and more energy drinks waiting to go into the coolers and as far as personal care products- unless you counted can openers cans of soup with faded labels and packages of cookies and bread and peanut butter that in all likelihood would be consumed or used by one person there wasn’t a personal care section.


Stupid, Lilly thought to herself, why didn’t I just buy the lotion at the airport or in Hawaii? Why do I always do these dumb things and then she knew, as she had always known that Lilly was never really all there.


As she turned over the many, many ways she could screw things up she heard her Grandmother’s favorite song and instead of looking up into the face of the Man with the black eye she found herself looking into the face of a teenager with a black eye and behind her she could feel-


It was going to say something to her, after all these years of making her less without actually saying a word to her it was going to speak and it said…


“ Let’s go.”


“What.” Lilly felt something she hadn’t felt in years, if ever.


It was rage.


That was it? Lilly’s brain screamed in her skull, after all of these years of saying nothing by making me afraid by just standing there it says…”


“Let’s go…”


Lilly turned around and he was a man, just a ghost of a man with a gun still clenched in his hand.


“I’ve spent my entire life scared of a man who shoots unarmed boys and haunts little girls? And I let you ruin my life?  Are you serious? God. You don’t even look like a killer; you look like my fourth grade teacher. What was I thinking?”


Lilly wasn’t finished talking.


  “ Hey, here’s a thought.  No. We aren’t going anywhere. I’m going though…and so is he.” She pointed to the boy. “ You. You stay here. “ She put her face close to his and said “ Coward.”


And as he became less Lilly became more and on her way out the door she fought off the malicious urge to pee on the floor.


Instead she grabbed a gritty bottle of suntan lotion jammed between some cans of cat food that went off of the market  six years ago, put it into her purse without paying…


And then she went to Hawaii.



Kelsev and George

Kevin Rosseel
Photo By: Kevin Rosseel

Years and years ago something very bad happened in a little house on a corner of a street called Litman Avenue South.

The house was just a house- built mostly of wood because back in the day Seattle was a logging town- and the glass windows weren’t the sort of windows that opened which meant the little white house with the wide doors and very big basement always smelled like flowers, even after everyone was gone and the house was full of dust because the little house on Litman Street was a Funeral Home.

It had never been used for anything else, two men  Conry Kelsev and Semple George built the house themselves and when they were finished they opened for business almost a week later and two weeks after that Semple George and his new wife the former Herma Dawn Bishop moved in.

Conry met Herma Dawn for the first time in the kitchen of the Home where she was making a pie. She had a streak of flour across her forehead and she was whistling which was something Conry couldn’t say he ever heard a lot of women doing- mostly they sang he thought.

” So it doesn’t bother her, ” Conry asked Semple as they left the kitchen for the basement ” having those bodies downstairs and such. “

” Not a bit ” Semple said with a smile ” she says she really feels at home here.”

And it was right then, at that very second Conry knew something bad was starting to happen in that house.

Conry and Semple had been friends all of their lives, and the only time they were apart was for the six years Semple had moved to the Midwest to take over the family business, which was a funeral home home in Iowa.

By the time Semple came back, Conry- who was a carpenter by trade had decided to spend the summers out in Iowa making caskets was already doing more work in the Funeral Parlors around town- decided it wasn’t such a bad line of work and readily agreed to open a Home right there in Seattle.

However, work was work and Conry knew for a fact that he would never be able to live in the place he worked, especially if dead bodies were involved.

So when Conry was done for the day, he went home two miles away and if for any reason he had to go down into the basement of the house on Litman Street after dark he was quick about it because he was sure that after dark the dead and the living had no business being around each other.

Conry turned out to be right.

The true story about the infamous Kelsev And George Funeral Home, and the story that led to a group of people who wanted to turn an old buidling into a dance club with a gothic theme ( what could be more perfect then a Goth Club in a real Morgue? ) strays from the Reality Street to Fiction Ave- starts right here.

One night Conry got called out to the O’Hara’s place on the bluffs, Mrs O’Hara had lost her second child as she did the her two others to burns from a fire that her children had been in over the weekend.

The last child to die was the youngest and Conry carried the little girl, who’s hair had been burned away ( she had always kept it braided he remembered and someone had tied a silk bow around her skinless forehead ) wrapped in a blanket carefully against his chest down to the basement and he nearly dropped her when he pushed the door open and heard voices coming from below.

He called himself a fool when he realized he recognized the voice as Herma Lee’s and he guessed as he made his way down the steps she was talking to Semple.

Only the voice that answered Herma Lee’s wasn’t Semple’s voice it- was a child’s voice and by the time Conry got into the basement he realized that there were two children down there with Herma Lee.

The children down there with Herma Dawn were Darlene and Violet- Darlene and Violet were Herma Dawn’s and Semple’s children.

” Will it take long?” Violet was asking her Mother as Conry stared into the blackness that was fighting for space in the well lit room.

” No. It’s almost done .”

And then Conry let himself look and there was Herma Dawn with a streak of flour across her forhead and a knife in her hand and on the embalming table, head to foot were two small bodies.

And on a small table next to her was a pie.

Herma Dawn was making a pie

And  her daughters were helping her.


Conry guessed he had to do something.

The first thing he did was to walk up the stairs and out to the hearse where carefully laid the little girl across the front seat. After, he closed and locked the door and then he went out to the shed and found an axe and then he went down into the basement.

When he was finished he waited for Semple, he never did find out where it was Semple had been all night because he didn’t show up until after sunrise.

But there was dirt under Semple’s finger nails- which Conry saw as he swung his axe down and Semple threw his hands up…and Conry also saw it was in Semple’s hair and teeth too.


When he was done Conry couldn’t bring himself to bury the George Family in a graveyard, he wasn’t sure he would burn in hell for what he did to them but he was sure there would be a price to pay for putting them anywhere near a dead body.

So Conry took all four of them- piece by piece to the new building that was going up across the street- some people said it was going to be a hotel one day-and he buried them in the basement.

And he wondered if that would hold them.

He doubted it.

In all of the years he knew Herma Dawn he was sure of one thing-he had never seen her outside of the house- her or the girls.

He figured no matter how long it took, they would find their way back to it.

And they would keep finding a way to make pies.

That’s probably why he went home, to his house and hung himself in his attic.


So Conry Kelsev left behind a mystery, nobody ever figured out what he did to the bodies, the legend that the Club Owners built their Halloween House and future business on says Conry burned the George Family alive in the Funeral Home’s Crematorium but anyone with common sense realized the home didn’t have a crematorium, still it was a morbid story and that was the one that gets repeated the most.

However, the locals who fancied themselves as Detectives of sorts guessed that he  buried the family in a cemeteries that Semple and Conry had access too, or more then likely somewhere on the grounds of the Funeral Home itself.

And then because Kelsev and George was not the sort of story you want floating around while you are trying to get funds for Urban Renewal Projects all the theories went away until the Morgan Group decided to open the club up in the Kelsev and George Funeral Home.

The problem the Morgan Group had was this: they had a good story to build on, but when Jeff and his brother Val went out to look at the Kelsev and George Funeral Home ( it was still there and still empty ) they were disappointed.

” Damn, it looks like a house a regular old house- are those flower boxes under the windows? Damn it to hell…”

Jeff was pointing to something across the street.

There were tears of joy in his eyes.

He  was pointing to a sign, it was partially covered by Ivy and the paint was blistered and peeling

but none the less the sign said this building, with the fancy lentil work above the windows, the crumbling gargoyles peering down from the roof and the rusted iron bars running up and down over all of the windows and doors was for sale.

And the name of the building was still visible above the doorway.

It was the Dennison Hotel.

The Dennison did well for awhile and then it closed down and during the 1960’s it’s lobby was turned into a series of offices, it’s upper floors went the same way and eventually it was turned into a meat packing plant.

I kid you not.


So the Morgans opened their club by hosting a haunted house there, which they called the Kelsev and George Morgue.

Soon after they bought the house across the street to use as offices and while he was out on the road Val called and said he had moved into the old house, that he was going to start refinishing it and that he aslo had a surprise.

The surprise answered the door and it had a streak of flour across her forhead and she said as reached out for him, ” Jeff, it’s so good to meet you at last.”

” And you are? ” He asked.

” Well, when I worked for your club they used to call me Chef but now days they just call me Val’s wife.”

” My name is Herma Dawn.”


The Cry….A Treat For Halloween…

I’ve reposted this article  by BERNADINE SANTISTEVAN, DIRECTOR OF  “The Cry” because it’s Halloween



 ” The Cry ” is now avalible through Amazon!

So check out the story behind the creation of this movie, and then check out the film!

Buy Your Copy HERE at Amazon.Com


Bernadine was kind enough to make a trip to Owl Creek Bridge in order to share some stories about making her Supernatural Thriller Based on the Legend of La Llorona.

I hope that you enjoy her story and that you are as inspired by her determination to see her creative dreams realized as I am.




I first heard of La Llorona when I was a kid growing up in a small town in New Mexico. Ever since I can remember, we were told stories of a woman who drowned her kids in the river—basically to get revenge from her lover who had betrayed her. But after drowning them, she realized what she had done and let out a horrifying, heart-wrenching cry. From that moment she was condemned to roam the rivers forever, crying and searching for her children. 

As kids, our parents always told us that La Llorona would take us away if we went by the river to play alone, or if we misbehaved. On top of being completely scared stiff that La Llorona was going to get me, the whole idea that a mother would kill her own child absolutely terrified me.

When I decided to make a movie, there was no question in my mind that it had to be about La Llorona. On the one hand, I definitely wanted to do something focused on my culture. And from a more personal perspective, having grown up in a very superstitious environment (a combination of old Spanish beliefs dating back to the time of the Inquisition mixed with Native American beliefs), making a movie about La Llorona was a way for me to conquer my some of my fears/demons, with La Llorona being a big one.

Like most of the more than 28 million people in the U.S. who grew up with stories of La Llorona, I originally thought that this ghost was from my small town. After learning that she’s basically everywhere and has been a strong force in the Latino world for five centuries, I set off on a search for her across the U.S. and Latin America. I dug up historical material on her dating back hundreds of years, interviewed people who believe they’ve seen or heard her, and collected stories, artwork, poems and songs about her from all over the continent. You can see some of my research on my website I also went on to explore “Lloronas in other cultures,” and found several similar legends from all over the world like the Greek Medea, the Jewish Lilith and the Irish Banshee. In the end, it took me 5 years to get to a place where I felt as though I knew La Llorona well enough to write a script that would truly capture her essence. Then it was writing, rewriting, finding money, shooting, finding more money, post-production, distribution…what seemed like endless work.

Since it’s Halloween, I want to mention a few creepy experiences that I had while making The Cry—moments where I definitely felt La Llorona’s presence. 

The first creepy experience happened one day when I was shooting in Spanish Harlem. Some santeros (traditional saint makers) from New Mexico had carved a wood statue of Death in the form of a woman (Dona Sebastiana). It was quite difficult to transport the santo to New York because it was a large, life-size carving and very fragile. In any case, the day my best friend, Horacio, and I were unloading Death from the vehicle, a freak accident happened where I was hit in the head—just a hair above my right eye—

with something flying through the air. It felt as though a brick had hit me, and I almost lost my eye. I remember grabbing my head and seeing blood pouring into my hand. Horacio ran and caught me just as the world started spinning and I was falling to the ground. The experience totally freaked me out not only because it happened when we were moving Death, but also because in The Cry the way that I physically show La Llorona’s curse on people is through their bleeding eyes. A few months later when I was doing post-production on The Cry, one morning my project manager suddenly had some bloody tears coming out of her eyes. She never did find out why that happened. 

Another creepy experience happened when I was shooting some of my flashback scenes in New Mexico. Basically, I had spent several days looking for the perfect river location to shoot La Llorona drowning her kid, and found it months before we shot there. The place had a strange, haunting feel to it that made it perfect for The Cry. What was creepy about this was that a few weeks before we shot there, my sister, Rita, who still lives in NM called me to tell me that a woman named Bernadine—my name, which is pretty uncommon—had gone to the same location and drowned her two kids and herself. When I heard this my stomach fell to the floor. As I was shooting my scene I remember looking out over the river and feeling La Llorona’s presence more than ever.

The last creepy experience that I want to mention happened when I was in the final stage of post-production. In The Cry, I am the voice and cries of La Llorona. It took me quite some time to figure out what La Llorona would say, and this is something that I wrote only after digging deep into my knowledge and “relationship” with her. On the day I was in the studio recording La Llorona’s voice, something very strange happened. All of a sudden, something moved through me, taking control of my body and my voice. It felt as though for that slice of time, I was outside of me, hearing someone else’s voice come out of my body. It was a haunting, yet amazingly experience. The sound team that was recording in the control room was frozen stiff with how scary my voice sounded. You’ll get a taste of it yourself when you see The Cry, and you can read about more creepy experiences on my blog

Making The Cry is definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. (Details included in my next horror film.) But despite all the unbelievable struggles, if given the choice, I’d do it all again. The film helped me learn so much about myself—my culture, my power as a woman, how to face and fight my fears—not to mention how to make a film. Though I have to say that perhaps the most important thing I learned by making The Cry is that nothing is more fulfilling, empowering and magical than pouring your heart and soul into a dream and making it come true. 

As per La Llorona, we’ve been together for many years now, and I know her well—perhaps better than anyone else on the face of the earth. And although I no longer fear her, I am now more certain of one thing than I ever was before: There’s nothing worse than a mother who murders her child…and La Llorona is real.


I hope you enjoyed Bernadine’s article.

Please visit Bernadine’s Sites and check out her wonderful work.


In Memory Of A Pracitical Man


Mattie Greaves sat across from Mr. Sawyer Day, the owner of a small and all but forgotten funeral home in Seattle, Washington and together they were quietly discussing  a suitable coffin for Mattie’s husband Tabor.

” My husband is a practical man ” Mattie told Mr. Day ” and he wouldn’t like anything with those fancy gold handles and he certainly wouldn’t approve of things like this ” Mattie was pointing at a catalog opened to a  glossy page of coffins painted blue and gold and even black with ducks and eagles flying around their edges.

” I understand ” Mr. Day said ” and I have several models for you to consider that are more traditional. I’m sure we can find one here that your husband would approve of. “

Mr. Day is almost 65 and he had taken over Morning Ridge Funeral Home from his Mother’s family right after he had turned 30. He had started working there right after he turned 16 so that means that for over 50 years Mr. Sawyer Day had heard and seen it all.

So when Mattie Greaves asked if the traditional model she was looking at came with a comfortable pillow Mr. Day didn’t even look up. ” From what I understand it does, however in the past some of our families have brought in their own blankets and pillows. “

” My husband is very fond of candy as well. ” Mattie whispered. ” Now his doctor told  him he needs to give up sweets but you know, he’s along in years and he’s been through so much. I ask you Mr. Day how could I take away his salt water taffy?”

” My Mother was the same way, she was fond of her Cuban Cigars. Not only did she refuse to give them up we could never figure out how she got her hands on them to begin with. In the end, we just let it go.”

” So of course I can…”

” Of course you can Mrs. Greaves, whatever you think would have made your husband happy.”

After going through a few more books Mattie decided on a solid oak model with bronze handles and a lovely cream colored liner. She passed on the flowers.

” He’s allergic ” she told Mr. Day.

Mr. Day and Mattie went through numbers and she was about to pull out her check book when Mr. Day said, ” We’re almost finished Mrs. Greaves all we have to do is discuss your choice of a grave liners..

Mattie dropped her checkbook on the table and looked at Mr. Day for almost two minutes before her face turned a little red and tears welled up in her eyes., ” Oh my, that sounds so final.”

” Mrs. Greaves, I’m very sorry.  I don’t mean to rush you. If you need more time to go over…”

” No Mr Day…you’ve been very kind and patient with me. It’s my fault. I’m the one who has been doing the rushing. I should have explained…my husband just needs a coffin until the one he normally uses arrives from back home.”


Legend Of The Georgetown Morgue



:::click on the picture below:::

Today I read an article that debunks the story about The Georgetown Morgue.

 I don’t do the haunted house tour thing ( you know, after you’ve worked in a Funeral Home and had to visit real morgues and years later all you can remember is the taste of McDonald’s French fries because you were consistently assigned removals in the afternoons- just before lunch)- Morgues don’t exactly scare me-

 the thought of them now just makes me hungry.

For French Fries.

The super-sized serving.


I thought the setup for the Georgetown Morgue was a fun idea, a very neat story and the building the “morgue” is staged in is way over the top and looks the part.

Most funeral homes, let’s face it, were supposed to blend because they were either near churches or in neighborhoods and people actually lived in them.

However subtle- some of them are they are weird if you know what to look for the weirdness- take a look at the garage doors and back doors which are wider then normal to accommodate you know, things which require a lot room to move through, and though the writer of the above mentioned article does toss in the small smoke stacks at the Evergreen Washelli Funeral Home and how unscary they are but he fails to mention the actual creepy thing is the mirror mounted on the roof and tilted upwards towards the smoke stack.

The Funeral Directors use this mirror to make sure the smoke doesn’t turn dark during the cremation process…see CREEPY.

You just need to know where to look to find it.

However- there’s always an however isn’t there?

 On a visit Dubque Iowa, I saw this amazing funeral home called Behr’s- which looks scary by any measure.

So what do I think about the ‘debunking’ of the Georgetown Morgue?


I’d say the writer who did this didn’t prove anything other then the only story he could come up with was the deconstructing of another writer’s work.

Creating a world and a story and legend for you to follow isn’t easy, placing it in terms that invite readers to want actually walk ( or drive ) to  that door is actual work, bringing a building and people who never existed to life, takes effort, writing a vindictive little hit pieces to ruin the moment for people who wanted to visit the “Georgetown Morgue” ?

Geeze- now that’s just mean spirited.

So visit the setup site for the Georgetown Morgue, it’s actually well done- I thought the way they wove bits of Seattle’s real history into the ‘legend’ was pretty clever – the earthquakes, the hint of the Wa Mee Massacre, the death of a famous local musician wrapped in media hype- made it possible for present day for local residents to ‘relate’ to this building and to the story.

So no- I wouldn’t visit the haunted house- I couldn’t even be bribed with French Fries…however…if someone were to tell me more stories about the Georgetown Morgue– they would have my undivided attention.

After all, this is what we do during Halloween- we spin yarns, tell tales and for one night not only do we get to face the monsters-

we get to face them down.

It’s all part of the fun.



A few of you, more then others…

to have a

Happy Halloween.

Kube93FM Haunted House

The Georgetown Morgue: Gruesome true story or fabrication?


The E-Mail Soul Eater


Yesterday me and my best friend Amihan were shopping at the Mall for hats ( I love those old lady styled hats with fruit and birds on the brim…the one I was wearing that day had little cats dancing around the edges ) when she asked me if I had heard the story about the E-Mail Soul eater and I was very sorry to have to say I had not heard that one.

” Well,” Amihan ” tells me- “the E-Mail Soul Eater is this demon who sits in this Library and sends out this picture and if you don’t pass her picture around she’ll come out of your computer and kill you.”

” Yeah but why…”

” She doesn’t have a Soul, so she eats them to stay alive.”

” Oh she does, does she?”

Amihan opens up her purse and takes out a couple of pieces of paper and I see that one is a copy of the e-mail and the other is the picture and I say to her:

” You have got to be kidding me.”

” No, it’s true. I mean I think it is.”

“Listen Amihan- Demons are old world. They do things the old fashioned way, that’s in their nature -they are hands on and in your face. Please Amihan, e-mails?”

” What the Hell kind of stupid story is that? ” I ask and then I took the picture from Amihan and folded it up in a neat little square and I put it in my back pocket.

 ” I know, I know, I took the e-mail and the picture and if I don’t pass it along the E-Mail Soul Eater will come and get me. Well I hope she does. “

Amihan is near tears and she says, ” Why did you do that? “

” Hey Amihan, don’t worry about it. “

Amihan does look worried so I shrug and say as I pull my hat down over the little horns on my forehead ” Don’t worry about her, Soul Eater, Soul Thief, whatever- all I know is I don’t need the competition.”

:::to read about the real “E-Mail Soul Eater” go HERE:::

The Elevator Ghost

A few days ago someone sent this to me-

it’s one of those Urban Legend stories about a ghost

that shows up on a security camera.

It made me think because

I have an elevator ghost story.

We have an old freight elevator at work

and the repair men who run the inspections- and its always a different inspection team from year to year- tell the same story about a building just two streets over from where I work.

This is a story ( it’s just a story I’m sure ) about a woman who was murdered on a service elevator that wasn’t used very often (she was moving boxes from her apartment to the basement ) over a holiday weekend and her corpse rode that elevator for three days.

Her remains were discovered after the long weekend was over when someone in the building complained about the service elevator running up and down all night long without stopping.

Nobody could get the elevator to stop and apparently the people in the building had a hard time finding a service crew to come in because of the holiday weekend.

So everyone had to listen to those gears and that motor humming and hissing and running up and down on that last night.

 Finally the repair crew made it in and when they finally got the elevator  stopped they were able to open the doors there she was.

Her neck was broken and her eyes and mouth had been sewn shut.

That was done, I learned before her neck had been snapped.

The elevator always had problems after that and no matter what they did they couldn’t fix it, so eventually the elevator was taken out and the shaft was turned into a staircase.

And sometimes, the people in the building say you can hear clicks and hums all night long coming from the stairwell.

So this story may just be an Urban Legend, like this video.

But the fact is as a writer I know that stories, all stories, were inspired by something or somebody

that was alive and real

That is,

until one day….

Miss Dabble’s In 4-A

Back in 1864, exactly 100 years before she was born the hotel that would one day become an apartment house that Mylee Dabbles would one day call home opened for business. 

On that day in 1864 all of its rooms were freshly painted, the doors had just been hung and the floors creaked and popped as they settled into place.

There was nothing extraordinary about the rooms at the Davenport House- except for a small problem in 4-A.

One of the closet doors  wouldn’t stay shut.

It was always swinging open-

all by itself.

Exactly 144 years to the date Mylee Dabbles turned up at the Davenport and she arrived, as she had promised the Manager, just after dinner on September 5th.

Mr. Teachman- Rodney Teachman the Manager of the Davenport and Mylee Dabbles chatted about Mylee’s trip- most of which she had taken by train- and the weather which was unseasonably cold and then she signed the last of the paperwork and gave him a check for her rent and for her moving in fees.

Rodney asked if she would need any help taking anything up to her place and she pointed to her two suitcases in the hall and told him she could manage.

” Well, I mean if you need help with your furniture of anything big like that. Being you’re up on the fourth floor and we don’t have elevators it’s a task but the Assistant Manager’s sons don’t mind helping new residents out and they’re  used to moving things up and down those narrow stairs, so if you need help just let her know.”

” Oh that. Yes, well thank you for the offer but I’ve got it covered.”

Rodney usually took new tenants to their door but Mylee Dabbles reached out for his hand and gave it a small shake and then she smiled at him and thanked him for letting her in after hours and on his own time.

Rodney Teachman tried to smile back and he couldn’t quite do it- instead he waited until she left and then he went into the bathroom and scrubbed his hands until they were raw.


After that first night Rodney only saw Miss Dabbles a few more times- he saw her on the stairs going up to the fourth floor and he also saw her once in the courtyard reading a book.

It was called, ” 101 Magic Tricks Made Easy.”

She was laughing as she read it.


It only ever took the tenants of the Davenport 72 hours from the time they first moved in to get into the private lives of the new residents.

Except for this time – no one really had a take on Miss Dabbles- all they had  to say about her was that she was so quiet it was like 4-A was empty and that no one lived there at all.


It was on Halloween that Mr. Teachman got a call to 4-C. 

4-C was the Bayer’s place and one of the little  Bayers had jammed something into one of the electrical outlets and now all of the power was out up on the 4th floor.

Everyone up there was annoyed-everyone except for Miss Dabbles.

She was taking her keys out of her bag just as Rodney came up the stairs and she moved just as easily in the dark as anyone else would in a well lit room.

He wasn’t sure why he did it, but Rodney was about to shine his flashlight at her door to help her find the lock when he heard a click.

He lifted the light to her face and saw that she was smiling at him with her mouth, and her teeth…

but not her eyes.

Those were as flat and dark as the blackness around them.


Worse then that look was the feeling he got she started to talk. Rodney backed up a little at the sound of her voice and when he realized how foolish he must look he tried to step forward and so did she.

She was still smiling.

” Would you mind taking my rent check with you now Mr. Teachman? I’m going away to visit some friends- they’re only in town for a few days and I must fly. “

” Well, I don’t have my receipt book…”

” Just tape it to the door” she said and then she reached out and pushed at his wrist and the beam from the flashlight went over her shoulder. ” If you don’t mind.”

No I don’t mind doing that, Rodney thought to himself, what I mind is standing here in the dark talking to you and I especially hate the feeling that I have right now that you can see my face and the rest of the hall just as easily in the dark as you can during the daylight.

I don’t think you’re normal Miss Dabbles.

” That’s funny, it usually dogs and sometimes cats who feel that way about me. “

” Excuse me? “

” Nothing, nothing at all, now if you don’t mind I would really to take care of my rent- “

YES I DO MIND his brain screamed and Rodney tried to hold his voice steady and he said, ” not at all.”

Just then the lights clicked on in the hallway and  then all of the lights in the apartments came on…all of the lights except for the ones in  Dabble’s place because…

from where he stood, with the door wide open Rodney could see that there were no lamps in 4-A.

 There were no bulbs in the over head fixtures there wasn’t a single piece of furniture in the living room or a picture hanging on the wall and right next to the entrance way to the kitchen Rodney could see Miss Dabbles two suitcases leaning against the wall.

Rodney could even smell the cleaner that the maintenance people used on the carpets and from the kitchen he caught a whiff of the vinegar and water mixture they used to clean the refrigerators.

” I’ll just grab my bag- it’s on the kitchen counter.” 

Just before she got to the kitchen she looked down the hallway to the back of her apartment.” Oh…you’re early, well I sup…”

Rodney watched her turn the corner and he only waited for a few seconds before  he called out, ” Miss Dabbles? Miss Dabbles?” and then he added ” Are you there Miss Dabbles? “

He walked into the apartment and he looked into the hall Miss Dabbles had just walked down and he could see that the bedroom and bathroom doors were wide open and that both rooms were empty.

Empty of any signs of life- and empty of Miss Dabbles.

And then to his right, in the kitchen he saw the broom closet door swing open and then it shut…

all by itself.

Denio Litman Gets The Message

On a building near the train station, carved into a wall plastered with handbills and handmade posters announcing the time and dates for concerts and magic shows is a message.

There are only six words in the message and they have been carved very deep into the plywood wall that is starting to sag a little as the sidewalk under it sinks a little each day.

The message reads:

Give It Back To Me Rusty

That was all it said.

Nobody who saw it wondered who Rusty was or what it was Rusty had taken.

Eventually though somebody did notice and that somebody was Denio Litman.

Denio was 42 and in a month he was going to be 43 and the one thing Denio wanted for his birthday was a tattoo. That tatttoo was something he promised to give to himself every year since the year he turned 40.

Last year he had almost made good on the gift to himself- last year he had actually gone into the Tattoo Parlor and looked through the books. That was a step up from the previous years when he hadn’t even bothered to pull into the parking lot.

He did, however, drive by very slowly.

But this year was different.

This year it was really going to happen.

Denio was so certain of that fact that he had started to collect drawings and pictures of tattoos that he liked and he now had about a half dozen books next to his bed about the history and culture of tattoos.

And then one afternoon as he ran by the wall he noticed the message to Rusty and he wondered who would stand there and take the time to carve something like that into wood-each letter was about four inches tall and each letter was starting to splinter around the rounded letters so Denio guessed that not only had somebody put their back into carving the message they must have nearly carved their way through the plywood itself.

Now that, Denio thought, took commitment and that’s when he decided to take getting his tattoo seriously.

A few days later the wall was gone- there was a new plywood wall in it’s place and a boardwalk covering the place where the sidewalk used to be  and hanging from the wall were six posters for the same event which was:

“The Sixth Annual Twilight Tattoo Festival”

Denio stopped to look at the poster because this could be the place where his tattoo could happen-the needles and ink and the stinging could be happening to him…

this Friday.

Well- that was sudden.

Then Denio really looked at the poster and he couldn’t help but to notice that it was covered with lots and lots of women and that none of them had tattoos- though they did have very nice smiles.

Well, it was an Ink Fest alright, but Denio guessed that at this Fest the ink probably washed off with soap and water and that it was probably fruit flavored ink to boot.

Denio breathed something that he would never admit was a sign of relief and when he let that breath go he looked up and saw,  written in blackmarker just above the poster’s top edge was

Give It Back To Me Rusty

of course.

Denio’s birthday came and went and Denio had bagged the tattoo idea again, which was sort of present he had secretly given to himself. However, the people in Denio’s life gave him actual presents and one was a gift card for coffee from Club Earth which was just around the corner from his office.

Denio used his gift card on the day he forgot his lunch and because it was the lunch hour Denio figured the lines at Club Earth were going to be pretty long so he decided to cut through the alley to get over to Bonnie Street before the Office people from further uptown made it down for their hourly fix.

Standing in those coffee lines was a nasty situation- all of those people shaking because they were going through caffeine withdrawals and reeking like designer perfumes.

So to avoid that Denio cut through the alley which only sounded bad- as far as alleys went the one that led over to Bonnie was clean and well lit and it looked like a picture from an old fashioned Christmas card because of the low doorways ( bricked over now) and the cobbled street (paved over in most places) and along the outer walls you could still see the frames that the windows used to be in ( boarded up).

Only now, in addition to that, starting at one end of the alley and ending at the other were the words







The message had been written in chalk and as Denio stood there he could see the little puffs of yellow chalk dust coming up off the letters and he saw it get caught up in the breeze and then he watched it drift and settle all along Bonnie Street.

In the evening, when Denio got home from work he started to pay attenition to the news, he even checked the news services on the Internet and read the papers.

He was looking for Rusty- and unlike his tattoo- it wasn’t something planned to do, he was really doing it.


One evening at the train station, ,  Denio saw someone in a grey hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans facing  the wall that was now stripped of the Twilight Tattoo Festival posters.

Their arm was raised up and he could see  in their hand a can of spray paint.

He could also see that there were two letters under the hand:


“Hey” Denio asked with a laugh- at least he hoped it sounded like a laugh “what did this Rusty take from you?”

The figure’s hand moved slowly from side to side, just a little and then the paint hissed out of the can:


” Come on…what did Rusty take from you? ”  Denio reached out and touched the figure’s shoulder and as he did Denio’s thought to himself:

I really wished I’d gotten that tattoo.

The hooded figure turned towards him and as it did the paint can dropped to the ground and Denio heard it rolling all the way down the steps until it reached the train tracks below and stopped.

It’s probably still there.



When I sit down and think about what it means to be possessed and trapped, all the while knowing that someone can be amused by my panic and that raspy sound I make when I’m so scared I have to force myself to breath I think about Mrs O’Hara’s garage.

In Mrs O’Hara’s garage, stacked against a wall covered with pale green wallpaper are pictures in heavy gold frames and cracked silver frames that range in size from something you could fit into the palm of your hand to ones that could only be moved by at least two people and a pickup truck.

It didn’t take us long to figure out that everyone in those pictures which were turned so that they faced the wall was dead.

Me and my friend Delilah found them the summer we had taken to breaking into people’s garages.

We had broken into every single garage on our street- we never took anything.  We were 11 years old and bored and nobody else would hang out with us because me and Delilah looked ” Arabic ” according to Mrs. Lee and to make it worse we looked like we had ‘some Mexican ‘ in us too ( according to Mr Lee ) and both of us had white Fathers and ” foreign looking Moms” so all we had was each other and because of that me and Delilah learned to make a heck of team.

Anyway we would bust into these garages and go through boxes and look through magazines and books and we use to cover our hands with chalk dust and leave imprints on the floors or sometimes we would get into the parked cars and pretend to drive to ” Arabic ” where apparently everyone looked like us.

Mrs O’Hara’s garage was the last one we broke into and the one we always went back to because every Friday Mrs O’Hara would drive up in her Station Wagon and take a new picture into her garage.

We must have spent the entire Summer trying to figure out why Mrs. O’Hara had pictures of dead people in her garage and it got to the point where we decided to either forget our once a week trip into Mrs. O’Hara’s garage or we find out, once and for all why she had pictures of dead people…

facing her garage wall.

Finally we came up with a plan to strike up a conversation with Mrs. O’Hara and it involved Mrs Swanson.

We were always trying to find ways to get at Mrs Swanson because she wouldn’t let us join her Girl Scout Troop- every single girl in the neighborhood belonged to that Troop and when she said that me and Delilah couldn’t join because we weren’t ” Girl Scout Material ” that put the nail in our social coffin. 

 Services were held shortly thereafter that and we never were accepted by any of our neighbors.

I know- it’s sad.


Every year Mrs. Swanson’s Girl Scout Troop sold cookies- someone would show up in their Scout Outfit with all these badges and pins on their chest and they’d unload boxes and boxes of cookies onto Mrs. Swanson’s front porch.

Right after they showed up me and Delilah would sneak up to the porch and we would each steal once box of cookies from each of the big boxes.

Later, Mrs. Swanson and her little troopers would show up and they would pull out these check lists and figure out they were about a dozen boxes short and Mrs Swanson would go into heart failure because in Mrs. Swanson’s world there wasn’t room for funny looking kids with mismatched parents or for shortages on her order forms.

So she would call in her missing cookie count and then she would race up and down the street trying to find someone who would be home during the day to receive the cookies.

I’ll give Mrs. Swanson this much- she was so focused that she didn’t even notice me and Delilah following her up and down the street with cookie crumbs smeared all over our faces.

So we were strolling behind Mrs. Swanson who was talking to Mrs Parnell about the cookies when I told Delilah, ” if I have to eat another cookie my guts are going to blow. “

” We could give them to your dog “

” Or…” I said as Mrs O’Hara’s station wagon purred by us ” we could sell them to Mrs. O’Hara”

In the end we decided to use the remaining boxes of cookies as bait, looking back at it thinking of the cookies as bait should have told us something about Mrs. O’Hara.

Mrs. O’Hara was late returning home from Picture Day but we were ready for her. We walked up her driveway with an assortment of cookies and offered to sell them to her.

Mrs. O’Hara had this round face and tiny blue eyes and white teeth that clicked when she talked and she said, ” Since when did you girls become Scouts. “

” We’re helping them out. ” Delilah said.

” That’s a relief. I thought you girls had joined them. I was sure you both had more sense then that “

Mrs O’Hara agreed to take the cookies off of our hands for half the price we had asked for and of course we didn’t press the point and after she took the bags of cookies from us she pointed to two small portraits on her back seat and asked if we would take them into the garage for her.

Glad too we told her.

So we each took a picture into the garage and leaned them against the wall with the rest and that’s when we saw that the pictures we had carried in were of a babies with a rose clenched in their chubby little baby fists and even an 11 yeras old kid could pick up on the fact that babies and roses just don’t look right together.

We looked back at Mrs. O’Hara.

“Twins.” she told us and then Mrs O’Hara reached over and turned both pictures against the wall.

” Who were they?” I asked looking at the rows and rows of pictures.

” Those are pictures of dead people. They all died a very long time ago. It hardly matters now to learn their names now, does it?”

” Why do you want pictures of Dead People Mrs. O’Hara? ” Delilah asked.

We turned back and looked up into Mrs. O’Hara’s round pleasant face and she smiled down on us and said, ” Some people believe  that when you take a picture of a person you steal their Souls…and I have stolen all of these…so that means ” she said as she rested her hand on one of the frames ” that means they’re mine now.”

Mrs. O’Hara either laughed or growled- I’m not sure which and then she said in her real voice:

” Mine. “

Far, Far Away

There’s a little post card that Ramona Jinx has just tacked to the bulletin board in the breakroom at work.

It says in orange and red letters:

Welcome To

Hotel de Sol

Enjoy your Stay!

Dwarfing the pen and ink style drawing of the mountains behind the hotel and engulfing the beach and the water below it…

is the Sun.

The sun is trimmed in read and filled in with streaks of orange and crimson and Ramona, whose Grandmother used to use the post card as a bookmark said that she liked having it around because the picture made her feel like she was burning up.

” And that’s a good thing? ” Ramona asked.

” It is when your bones get old Ramona” her Grandmother told her.

At the time that made sense, Ramona’s Grandmother was 97 when that particular conversation took place and Ramona guessed that by that age your bones must feel like ice-besides her Grandmother had  liked things that were ” hot and spicy ” and red…

Red was her favorite color- of course.

So that’s what was the color of the dress they buried her in when she passed away a few weeks later.

After the Funeral Ramona and her Mother were went over to Grandmother’s House to start packing up her Grandmother’s belongings when Ramona found the card next to the lamp on her nightstand.

” Can I have this? ” Ramona asked her Mother.

Her Mother looked at what Ramona was holding and she shook her head, ” I never had any use for that place, Mother could never get enough of it though. Honestly that woman…”

” This place is for real? “

” It certainly is Ramona, and it’s hot there, its hotter then Hell.”

Then her Mother laughed and even though she wasn’t sure why she did it-

Ramona laughed too.


It was on the bus ride to work that morning, when Ramona decided to take the card to work to hang on the bulletin board, that she acutually  saw what was written on the back of the card.

The ink was faded and Ramona guessed that at one time the writing had been done in purple ink. But you could still make out most of the writing and Ramona instanly recognized her Grandmother’s small neat precise block style printing.

The letters were all capitlized and the message read:

Sometimes Wishes Come True

Most of the writing under that was worn away but at the bottom of the message box you still read in part:

Hold This Near and

Fr m The Bottom Of My H art I C n Honestly Say

” I Wi h You W re  here “


Where it’s hotter then Hell Ramona thought to herself and she wondered who would want to go to a place like that on purpose?


Bitsy Freemont was the head Cashier at the store Ramona worked at.

Bitsy didn’t like Ramona.

Bitsy told anyone who would stand still long enough for her to talk too that Ramona dressed funny, and that Ramona didn’t have much of a personality and the worst thing of all-despite of all of her obvious shortcomings Ramona manged to land herself a great fiance.

Bitsy was standing there when Ramona tacked the postcard to the bulletin board.

” Well that’s interesting. ” Bitsy said as Ramona stepped back away from the card “Look how big the Sun is… and the water…is it boiling? “

Ramona put her face next to the card and and then she looked back at Bitsy. ” I don’t think it’s water”

Bitsy turned her nose up at Ramona and she snorted…she actually snorted, ” well what kind of silly picture is it? “

” It’s a picture of a Hotel” Ramona said “it’s a picture of a hotel on the Sun.”

” Is that supposed to be funny? “

And then Ramona understood what the card said, what it did and she put her hand on top of it and then she looked into Bitsy’s pinched up overly made up face and said,

” From The Bottom Of My Heart, I Wish You Were There. “

There in the breakroom one card on the bulletinboard moved around a bit and then it settled back against the board and Ramona went back to work.

Bitsy Freemont- of course-

never did.

Washington Street

On the corner of Washington Street, just down the street from where I get off the bus in the morning was the rusted ruined shell of a phone booth standing in the corner of a Parking Lot.

The glass was gone, the coin box was gone and the metal cord that connects the receiver to the phone was gone too.

All that was left intact was a phone book that had to be about 6 years old.

One day I saw someone who looked looked like my childhood friend standing in the booth with the receiver to his ear.

 As I walked by he held it out to me and said,

” it’s for you. “

It’s not you- I thought to myself-

 I haven’t seen you in years

not since the first day of work when my code that was supposed to open all of the doors

wouldn’t work  and the Manager had to key his code in for me and  he couldn’t stop aplogizing because not only could I not get into the work area I also couldn’t get into my office  or to the room where we kept the keys for the cars or the supply room


when the door to the work area swung open there was my friend

laying on the cot.

My first best friend

was the first person I embalmed.

It’s not you

I thought to myself as I walked down the street.

And the man in the booth called out to me.

” They’ll try you again later.”

A week later the phone booth was gone – the city was about to start construction on a new building across the street- and that corner was now being used for the Job Sight Shack.

The New Building is up now

The Parking lot is back

and so is the phone booth.

 I don’t walk on that side of the street anymore.

I can’t.



Back in the early 70’s I used to watch Cliff Hangers before I left for school in the morning.

I used to watch Flash Gordon

and a few others, but Flash was my favorite.


In the spirit of those Cliff Hangers I invite you to visit Anita’s Owl Creek Bridge and

follow the adventures of

Milo and Jingle Hungerford.

There are no Spaceships or people in capes… or exotic looking women who rule the universe

but that can change.

Stay Tuned for More


A long time ago a young man named Milo Hungerford asked a woman named Jingle to marry him at the Rainbow Beach Drive-In during intermission.

Jingle  said yes just as an army of little popcorn boxes went dancing across the screen  and a soft drink cup wearing a top hat stood on a box of Honey Bits  and invited you to visit all of his friends at the snack bar soon.

” I want to be with you forever. ” Milo told Jingle with tears in his eyes.

Then Milo took Jingle’s hand and put a ring on her finger that he had made for her himself.

Jingle held the ring up to the light from the movie screen and then she held it to her cheek and then  Jingle took Milo’s chin in her hand lifted it up and she said- as she sank her teeth into his neck-

” I am so glad to hear you say  that Milo. “

The Beginning

by a.m. moscoso


In The Mind Of The Beholder

When I was a kid I was fasinated by stories about Head Hunters.

My favorite was one about an Island where the trees were so thick that the sunlight never reached the ground and the people that lived there were so firece that Soldiers and Pirates to this day leave the Island off their maps and if they sail by it for any reason they make sure everyone is awake when they do.

Now in this particular story I learned the important part in taking your head was the Hunt- it was very important that you never see the Hunter coming, that you never see your body falling away from you, it was important you never realize you were dead.

After a month of prepartions ( you never do realize you’re dead ) the Head Hunter would  take your shrunken head and hang it from a tree that is grown especially for this sort of thing.

For a little while if anyone walked under your freshly shrunken head they would be abe able to see hear your nightmare or dream people walking around under the trees lost and calling for their dreamer so they could go home again.

Eventually the person who took your head could wake you up and your dream people when they wanted to- it was like turning a radio off and on.

The Head Hunter, when he or she got bored with you, could use your dreams to find other heads and it was bad news for you if one of those Head Hunters found you because it was only a matter of time before you ended up on that Island under those trees where the sun never reached the ground.

Like I said, it’s just a story that I learned when I was about six years old from my Grandfather.

” What did the Head Hunters want from those heads? ” I asked once.

” They wanted what was inside of them. ” he said.

” Their brains? ” I asked.

” No, what was inside their brains…their stories. “

I considered this and then asked, ” so if you have lots of stories? ” I asked with my hand up near my neck.

My Grandfather looked very serious and said, ” the Head Hunters have lots of stories too- if you are brave enough to go and take them. “

In case you’re curious

I am

anita marie moscoso

She Will Never Give You Up


Once I was sitting on a beach late at night when a man walked by me and said, “It’s  dark down there ” and as he walked away from me I realized he had been looking to his left as he spoke…and from his left I thought I heard an answer


nobody was to his left …

except for the Ocean.

All these years later I’m glad for one thing…that I never got a good look at his face.

Strange things happen at Sea…This true story is one of them.

Crewman’s disappearance during rescue in Alaska unexplained

Crewman's disappearance during rescue in Alaska unexplained
Story Updated: Mar 29, 2008 at 10:02 AM PDT

By JEANNETTE J. LEE, Associated Press Writer

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – As the fishing vessel Alaska Ranger sank to the bottom of the Bering Sea, crewman Byron Carrillo and 1st Assistant Engineer James Madruga struggled to stay afloat in the rough and frigid waves.
With Carrillo drifting into hypothermic shock after nearly five hours, the arrival of a Coast Guard rescue helicopter was a blessing, Madruga said Friday. He told the rescue swimmer to “take Byron first” and watched the panicked crewman being loaded into a dangling basket.
But when he reached the helicopter himself, Carrillo was nowhere to be seen…
 ( full story HERE )

The Dansing Tree


Sometimes on  my way to Whopperville ( that’s what I say when I’m working on a story…I’m heading out to Whopperville ) I’ve run across some true stories that haunt me-  they give me nightmares or creep me out for days.

At the moment I’m working on a story about a Hanging Tree and in my research I found out that the slang name for these trees were ” Dancing Trees “

I’ll let that visual sort of sink in there.

At first blush some of my friends with more refined literary tastes thought I was making a poetic gesture when I floated the first draft for this story out to them.

You can stop laughing now.

The image that came to my mind about Dancing Trees came to me one night and woke me from a dead sleep.

And there was nothing poetic about it.

I saw a group of people sitting under a large shady tree on a hot day  having a picnic. They were dressed in their best summer clothes and as they laughed softly and admired the beauty around them I knew they are blissfully ignorant to the fact that

…many years ago someone danced…

for their lives

right above t their heads

And when I looked up I could see…

they still were.


I found this article at BBC

It’s about a Hang Man’s Tree

That’s located in…

  Kings Mills, Wrexham Wales

Let The Danse Begin…


Hang Man’s tree

Last updated: 31 December 2007

Bernie Griffiths shares her experiences and spooky encounters at a local beauty spot known as ‘Biniki’ at Kings Mills, Wrexham, and the Hang Man’s tree.

 There is a mill by the river but to get to the really spooky part you have to walk under a bridge. It belongs to the National Trust. Anyway, by the bridge in Biniki there is a tree where events have occurred for centuries.

We normally go there during the summer months and sit on the side by what is called Hang Man’s tree for obvious reasons. There has always been a presence there and I can sense paranormal activity quite easily. That’s why everyone comes with me.

This one night though it got very scary indeed, so much so I told everybody to get up and make for the road. My niece, myself and my husband got across the bridge in time but as we turned to scream for the others they had been blocked off with what can only be described as a distorted shape of mist. It was just floating there and when they moved, it moved.

We screamed for them to run but it followed. They ran through the river but it didn’t cross. As we ran nearly a mile to get out of there it was on the other side of the river along side of us every inch of the way back to the mill where it stayed in the woods. Quite an experience.

I spoke to someone many weeks after that and I asked them when they were younger did they ever experience anything there. They described the same shape even though I had not mentioned it. We have been back there and it has happened a few more times at the same time around about 2.25am.

We have only ever managed to stay there once through the night. This is only one area that has activity. Coming back from there another night we couldn’t stay because it was getting a bit uneasy there. We started to walk back though and got out safe and sound.

However as we passed through the gates on the opposite side of the old mill me and my brother saw a man walking straight at us, we moved apart so he could pass between us. We said ‘hello’ to him but he ignored us.

Anyway we turned to make sure my husband was OK because he was straggling behind. As we turned the man just walked straight through him. I looked at my brother and he looked at me. My husband was oblivious to it all and said he saw no-one there. All I can say is there are many discssions about Biniki but you have to be there at the right time and the spirits seem to love being there when I am. 

King’s Mill Wrexham, Wales



News From A Distant Bridge

Iowa county board gives initial OK for ghost hunters to investigate asylum built in 1855

Iowa county board gives initial OK for ghost hunters to investigate asylum built in 1855

By Associated Press


IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – County officials have given their informal OK for ghost hunters to check out a one-time insane asylum to see if any spirits are lurking about.

The Johnson County Board of Supervisors took the initial action on the request from the Johnson County Historical Society, which gives tours of the 153-year-old building.

Brandon Cochran, museum operations assistant for the historical society, said there have never been reports of ghosts or bizarre happenings at the building and that bringing in a paranormal team is “kind of taking the pre-emptive approach.

He wants an Iowa-based paranormal investigative team to come in for one night. Cochran said he hopes they don’t find any paranormal activity and the investigation can put to rest any speculation.

A four-person Carroll Area Paranormal Team will use thermal imaging equipment and voice recording systems, Cochran said.

A date for an investigation wasn’t set and an agreement will have to be drafted releasing the county of any liability before the supervisors formally approve the request, Cochran said.

The remaining wing was built in 1855 and housed mentally ill patients who were deemed insane. It was a self-sufficient 160-acre site with residents growing corn, potatoes, wheat, hay and tobacco.

The building is now called Chatham Oaks, and houses people with physical and mental disabilities. Chatham Oaks officials said there wouldn’t be a problem with the paranormal team coming in as long as it didn’t disturb residents, said county facilities director Dave Kempf.

It Was Only A Dream

 Last night I went to a place

where people were learning to dance.

Some people were doing better then others- they moved in perfect time to music I couldn’t hear.

Their faces were set in hard grim lines appeared that appeared  with each perfect step they took.

And a few others were not dancing as well.

 They stumbled over the steps, they lost their places, but they tried to work their way back into the steps and I think it’s because at times they couldn’t hear the song they were supposed to be dancing too.

There was  person standing next to me said- a person whose face and voice I didn’t need to see or hear to recognize- and this person said ” that woman you know is having a hard time with this. “

” Why is she having a hard time? ” I asked.

” Some people just learn this faster then others.”

We watched the dancers who were moving to music we couldn’t hear and I said, ” What happens when they don’t learn as fast as others? “

The person standing next to me pointed to the woman and few others  and said, ” we mark them- it helps. “

There were three white lines over their chests now.

And it did help.

Now they moved back and forth in perfect time with those line etched onto their black clothes over their hearts and with each step they took I think the music got just a little louder.

” I know this Dance. ” I said ” I know this danse! “

And then I yelled, ” I know this dance and you have to stop! Can you hear me? You have to stop.”

I saw the woman I know and a few others fall into perfect step with the others and they couldn’t hear me- even though I was screaming.

In that place where I saw people learning to dance I don’t think they can really hear anything.

Not anymore.


It’s For The Best Emalee Cupid


Towns and Cities can disappear and die just like people. 

Some small towns disappear because the main highway is moved and that brings on death just as surely as if you sever an artery in you arm or leg or neck.

And some small towns disappear from the world because they want to.

Just like people.

First Down Turn disappeared from road signs and then it disappeared from road maps.

At some point most of the phone lines that fed into Down Turn fell against trees and into ditches with the storms that always hit the Olympics during the Winter and Spring. When the last set of lines came down in 1979 no one from the outside world noticed because by then Down Turn had all but disappeared from the rest of the world.

You’d think that the people living in Down Turn must have planned their escape from the world, that it must have taken them years to figure out how to erase the tracks they left as they moved in and out of Down Turn when they went to work or for drives or on vacations.

Nothing that grand happened in Down Turn.

The town just faded away bit by bit- just like a photograph encased in a frame with a dusty sheet of glass hanging on a wall that takes the sun for hours at a time.

If you lived in Down Turn you wouldn’t have noticed that you were cut off from the rest of the Universe or the main highway which was less then three miles away, after awhile you couldn’t hear the trucks or cars going by when the traffic was heavy anymore.

Nobody noticed.

Emalee Cupid was just like her neighbors and friends and co-workers. She was just like the people who came into the town’s library looking for ‘stories’.

She didn’t question why in over 20 years no children had been born or why no one ever changed their hairstyle or clothing style or had even bought a new car.

Emalee Cupid lived along and worked alone and now that the rest of life seemed to mirror the life she had resigned herself too all she felt was…


One day, it was probably sometime during the start of the week Emalee was fixing the spine on a Stephen King book and she wondered why no one seemed to be writing new books anymore.

The thought was a whisper but it was loud enough to make her wince and that’s when she turned the book in her hands over and saw that the title which should have read

” Salem’s Lot ” now read ” Alems Ot”

” That’s not right. ” she whispered to herself and she slid her thumb over the title thinking there MUST have been something covering the letters.

But there was nothing there- unless you counted the blank spot where the ” S ” and the ” L ” should have been.

Emalee looked around the library hoping that no one else was there to see her mistake.

How on Earth could she have not noticed that the cover of a book that she- the town librarian- had received to stock herself when it first came out had a huge problem like a type error on it’s cover?

She dreaded what she knew she had to do next.

She opened the book and as she flipped from page to page she saw that here and there the page numbers were missing, that words were misspelled and that in some places even the pen and ink pictures that were under the Chapter numbers were only partially visible.

Emalee went to the door and locked it and in a panic she went from book to book, magazine to magazine and found the same exact problem.

So just after lunch Emalee closed the Library and decided she had better talk to somebody- anybody about this awful thing she had let happen in her own library.

For years she must have been buying defective books with the towns money.

There was no hiding this- she had better talk to the person who hired her and that was the Mayor.

Down Turn’s Mayor was Mr Ferndale- the Mayor also owned the little General Store with the post office in the back and he also owned the garage and gas station just across the street.

His Offices were above the Gas Station and that’s where he was the day Emalee Cupid came in with her four defective books and two atlases with entire countries missing from the colored plates inside.

Mayor Ferndale was on the phone and he smiled as he motioned to Emalee to wait.

It didn’t seem right to Emalee to watch him so she went to the window and that’s when she saw the stop sign on the corner.

It was red- like it should be- only the words STOP were…

” What can I do for you Miss Cupid? ” the Mayor asked.

Emalee pointed out the window and found the words she need were …gone.

” Yes. They’ve been missing for a few days now, but really, I think we all know what to do at a four way corner, don’t you? Besides, it’s not like there’s a lot of traffic out there nowadays.”

Emalee walked to his desk and put the books down. ” The words. ” she whispered ” The words are missing. “

” Yes, it’s been happening all over the place. Mrs Carlyle at the Pharmacy is having quite a time adjusting but she’ll make do.”

” This isn’t right. ” she told Mayor Ferndale, you can’t just make do when words start to disappear.”

” Some of us don’t have a problem with it Miss Cupid. Some of us don’t like the clutter that’s made it’s way into our town and into our lives. And words- they’re nasty beasts. Those little monsters suck the very air out of your lungs before you have a chance to scream ” no ” and the racket they make as they tunnel their way into your brain.

It’s deafening. Deafening and messy.

 Really Miss Cupid- think about it, don’t things seem much more quiet  and orderly now?”

” No it isn’t.” Emalee went to his desk and snatched the books up and held them to her chest.Don’t you get it Mr. Ferndale? Those words aren’t clutter, they’re ideas, they’re dreams, they’re voices and if you take them away.”

” What. ” Mayor Fernadale asked

Emalee turned her full attention to the Mayor, she looked him straight in the eyes and when she did she saw the faintest outline of the bookshelf he was sitting in front of looking back at her.

” You take us away too.” she said to the faint outline of Mayor Ferndale.

” It’s for the best Emalee Cupid. You’ll see, it’s all for the best.”

The Fork In The Road

This is from a writing project I’m doing at

The Soul Food Cafe


PT 2


The Fork In The Road is a diner- the only one in the town of Five Corners and it’s done up to look fisherman’s shack complete with white sand on the floor and sea shells and starfish hanging from the walls and ceiling.

The owner is named Mr Darkmouth and when Alona walked in dripping wet  he didn’t look surprised or even a little annoyed at the mess she was making.

He didn’t even flinch when she dropped one of her bags to the floor and little jets of muddy brown water sprayed the counter he was sitting at.

” Does it ever, even for a minute stop raining around here? ”

” Can’t say it ever has.”

” Really? It never stops raining? ”

Mr Darkmouth shook his head and he smiled…just a little.

” Well, that sucks. Look, I’m headed out to Rainbow Beach, which is the best way to get there?”

Mr. Darkmouth sat there in his cold dark Diner and he didn’t answer right away.

Eventually he said:

“Most of the time when people come in here asking for directions they ask for the fastest way, or the safest way out of Five Corners to Rainbow Beach. Sometimes they ask for the quickest way back home.”

” And I’ll bet you don’t just tell them what they want to know for free…I’ll bet it costs something doesn’t it?”

” Indeed it does.”

Alona left her bags and she said as she walked up to Mr Darkmouth sitting on his red bar-stool in front of his now mud splattered counter, ” I’m not paying for anything Mister …”

” Darkmouth- Mr. Darkmouth.”

” Mr Darkmouth it is. I’m out  here- Mr Darkmouth- to retrieve something that was taken from me.”

Alona stopped inches away from Mr. Darkmouth. ” Rainbow Beach. The best route- I want it.”

” Have you asked yourself-”

” Miss Darelyn.”

” Miss Darelyn why someone in your condition is willing to go to a place like Rainbow Beach.”

Alona looked over her shoulder out the window and up into the cloud filled night sky. ” All the more reason for you to get me out of here Mr Darkmouth.”

Mr Darkmouth stood up and from his apron he pulled out a little notepad and asked her, ” Rainbow Beach is quite some distance from your home- isn’t it? And I don’t mean the miles. No. Nothing as simple as that. I mean it’s far away from the kitchens and gardens and those soft sweet smells coming from those little drawers in our safe warm homes where we like to hide our special treats. ”

From the behind the dusty starfish on the walls Alona could smell peaches and wafting up from below the floorboards she could smell warm cornbread and coffee and as she dripped more water on the floor she asked herself-

exactly how much more wet and cold and alone could she possibly get then she was right now?

The Diner got a little warmer and Alona was about to sit down when Mr Darkmouth was at her elbow and pulling a chair out for her. ” What’s up at the Beach Miss Darelyn isn’t for you.”

” Not for me. ” She said slowly.

” Heavens no- someone like yourself Miss Darelyn is intended to know adventure. To chase life down and make it your own. A creature like yourself is intended to be in the light- isn’t that right?”

” I- I think so. No you’re right.  That’s what I do.”

From the kitchen behind the counter came the sounds of chopping and cutting and the warm smell of garlic and onions frying together in butter.

” The Beach and what’s there- well now common sense will tell you that belongs to the Night Miss Darelyn. It’s always Dark out there- darker since the tragedy of course. You don’t belong there.”

” No he doesn’t.” Alona said.

The sounds of chopping stopped and the smell of peaches faded- just a little.

” Excuse me? ” Mr. Darkmouth asked. ” Don’t you mean….”

” I mean Kanden. He doesn’t belong there. He’s always been afraid of the dark- he has been since we were children.”

The warmth golden smells coming up from the floor were replaced on a breath of cold air by the smell of wood-rot.

Alona’s dark eyes reflected the cold blue light of the diner back towards Mr. Darkmouth.

” I want that route .”

Mr. Darkmouth smiled and from his parted lips came the smell of fetid water. ” No.”

” Fine.”

Alona dropped herself into a chair and scooted up to a table. ” That’s just fine. But you know Mr. Darkmouth, someone in my- how did you put it- oh yes, condition is always being followed. I’m sure you know that. I’m also very sure that if you can’t smell them by now you can most certainly hear them. And I’m sure you are fully aware that the things that those things that are following me-”

Alona smiled a bright smile.

” Well…if they can’t have me, they’ll take you. Why not? You’d make a somewhat exotic trophy yourself.”

” Get out.”

” The route Mr. Darkmouth.”

Mr. Darkmouth grabbed one of the paper place-mats from out in front of Alona and then he wadded it up and threw it in her face. ” Take it and go. Don’t think I’m not getting something out of this Miss Darelyn. The one thought that will make me a rich man- that fill me with absolute joy, with pleasure, is knowing that you will die out there Miss Darelyn and it will not be an easy or a painless death.”

Alona reached down and smoothed out the wadded piece of paper. And then she took her time folding it when she was done she put it in her bag next to her postcard.

” You better hope that your wish comes true Mr. Darkmouth. Because if your luck turns on you I think I’ll be stopping back in in for a bite.” Alona opened her mouth and in the darkness her jagged pointed teeth glowed.

When she was sure Mr. Darkmouth got the point she snapped her teeth together.

Alona smiled, shook some of the water from her hair and then reached down and picked up her bags.

And then she started out for Rainbow Beach.


Pt 3

” Woven “

is coming soon

Last Stop

This is from a writing project I’m doing at

The Soul Food Cafe


Part 1



Rainbow Beach.

That’s where Alona Darelyn was going.

There was no doubt about it.

It said so on Alona Darelyn’s bus ticket and it was printed on the blue and green tags that were secured to the handles of the bags she had carried on the bus with her when she boarded it four days ago.

It was also written in faded blue ink on the postcard that had arrived in her mailbox three weeks ago.

The postcard showed one of Rainbow Beaches up and coming attractions- though the attraction that was featured had long since arrived and went years ago.

It was a picture of Sideshow.

And it promised you would meet a Congress of Living Freaks.

” Hope so.” Alona told the card.

The postcard was old, faded and worn and it smelled like mildew and spices and Alona guessed that maybe someone had found it in one of those bookstores that sold vintage postcards and posters with girls clutching Coca-Cola bottles to their shapely chests.

Or maybe, Alona thought someone had found it in an old address book that used to on her grandmother’s writing desk.

She lifted the postcard to her nose and sniffed.

And then she turned it over again and read her own name and address on the right hand side of the card and on the left was printed:

Kanden Birch.

Alona traced each letter and then she put the postcard back into her bag and watched the sun start to set and sometime during the night the bus came to the little town of Five Corners, the last stop before Rainbow Beach.

Alona took her bags out from the overhead rack and she got off the bus and as she watched the bus glide away into the night- out towards Rainbow Beach she guessed she wasn’t in a hurry.

Rainbow Beach and the Kanden were up there.

Waiting for her.

Pt 2

The Fork In The Road

is coming soon.

The Ghost Lady


My favorite part of Christmas wasn’t the presents or the food or even the free Sideshow that my family and friends provided that I in turn have shamelessy used in my writing years later

My family and friends are in ALL of my stories.


The best part was when we’d turn off most of the house lights, light some candles sit around the lit Christmas Tree and do the only thing you could do after a hard day of eating and drinking and making Merry.

We’d tell stories.

Everyone had a chance to tell a story- no matter how old or young – you got a chance to have the floor and tell stories like that one about that time when….

My Grandfather Saw The Ghost Lady

One of my Grandfathers was a dark haired Englishman and the other was a dark haired Filipino man and they both shared a similar experience.

They both saw the same woman at the same time- and they were living on opposite sides of the world.

So, in your minds eye picture my English Grandfather driving his 1940 Ford Coupe- his dark hair slicked back and wearing a snazzy suit- down the unlit rural streets of a town just outside of Seattle.

It’s a cold night because it’s Christmas Eve and it had started to snow a little that afternoon and the roads were icy and dangerous but that was fine with the dashing handsome man with my laugh that would one day become my Grandfather because he’s a good driver and he has no intention of not showing up at his family’s house in time for Christmas Dinner.

And somewhere in the Canefields on the big Island of  Hawaii my other Grandfather- a dark handsome man with jet black hair and my eyes- is driving  something called a Willy’s Jeep- through the dark fields towards his home along the bluff of the Waipio Valley where his family is waiting for him to bring home the treats for their Christmas Party.

And as they almost reach their homes they each see standing on the side of the road- a woman.

Her hair is white and her eyes are green .

She’s wearing a black dress and her hair is pulled back and she’s wearing rings on all of her fingers.

Each of them pulls up to the side of the road and asks the woman if she needs help.

” No” she tells them. ” I just need a ride.”

” To where ” they ask.

 She leans in and whispers, ” Why, I want to go to wherever it is you’re going.”

Both of them don’t like her- they don’t like the way her hand rests on the hoods of their car, they don’t like the way she sounds, they don’t like the way she seems very sure she’s going to get what she wants.

” You can’t come with me. ” they tell her.

The Woman slams her palm down and the Car and the Jeep tilt a little to the left and she says, ” I go where I want- do you hear me? And what I want is for you to let me in!”

Both of my Grandfathers start to pull away and that’s when they look down and see that the hem of the woman’s dress is floating a little above the ground- where her feet should be.

But weren’t.

When they looked backup into her face she was smiling.

” I travel these roads but I don’t walk them.”

Did she tell you how she traveled them? I asked over 30 years later.

Neither man answered me.

Their story always ended with them driving off and the Ghost Lady being pulled back into the trees at the side of the road or the canfields by the shadows.

I think she did answer and in the end when they died I think they won- whatever that Ghost Lady said, whatever curse or threat she made- got left on those roads years ago.

Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if they had let her in, would I be here to tell you this story?

I could answer it if you like…or you could leave it here on the side of the road.

The choice is yours.

Happy Holidays





Photograph(s) copyright Shaun O’Boyle

Inspired by The Soul Food Cafe Prompt:

Personality of  A Front Door

Have you ever stood in a dark hallway in a strange building all alone with a flashlight that you found rolling around in the trunk of your car?

It worked fine when you first flicked the switch on and it worked fine when you were with your friends but it was not fine when you broke away from the group to check out those doors- those doors that were shut when you first pointed your flashlight in their direction.

But you were sure that with the last weak beam of light you saw one door ajar- and you were just as sure when you turned around and the last of the light died away you saw the rest of the doors standing wide open.

What kind of things, you thought to yourself, would chose to live in the darkness- what kind of creature would wade through fetid water and be able to listen to the echoes of screaming rusted hinges that go on for ever and ever.

And what kind of monster, you thought to yourself, could stand next to those wide open doors- with the blackness streaming out-

And like it?

for more haunting and moving experience visit Shaun O’Boyle’s

Insane Asylum

The Ghost


This morning I walked two miles to a meeting – two miles on a route where I had to watch out for myself because on this route no one in a car or a truck or a train ever really sees pedestrians making their way from one side of the street to the other.

Then why take that walk?

Because this morning I went looking for ghosts.

The buildings here are old. The sidewalks and roads are breaking apart in some places and just below the surface in other spots you can see the bricks- red and rust colored – that once paved all of the roads down here. They’re still down there under all of that gray…buried alive years and years ago.

On some of the streets I crossed over I saw old railroad tracks that run for a few feet and in some places and  half a block in others.

Now instead of going somewhere else the tracks disappear into the sides of new buildings with names instead of numbers and electronic locks securing their doors instead of padlocks and chains.

I’m drawn to those deadlines and when I was young I used to have nightmares about lost trains and the dead people who still rode them.

I drifted by rows of small tool and cabinet supply stores- the type of stores that contractors and builders go to where the inventory is stocked in boxes instead of shelves and there are clocks with faces on the walls instead of digital clocks on desks.

These buildings have picture windows that face a hillside that was once covered with trees and now face a freeway.

Some of the small stores still have black and white tiled floors or fancy  carvings above their doorways that tell me once long ago maybe ladies bought hats here and maybe a druggist mixed and dispensed his medicines over there and sold penny candies to the kids who once long ago went to school in a building whose foundation is buried under a parking garage.

This place must be full of ghosts I thought- how could I not find one?

It was a lonely and quiet walk and at the end of it I guessed I hadn’t seen any ghosts or caught the echoes from the long gone sawmill that shaped the roads and buildings that are here now.

Even though it was sad was a sad and uneventful walk I’d decided  I’ll take again.

And then as I went by the last empty building, just before I went into the warehouse under the bridge I realized as I caught sight of my pale almost transparent reflection in a dusty window of a closed down store…I may not have seen any ghosts…

but I did learn something

Now I think I know what it feels like to be one.


Tomorrow, Saturday, November 3, WNJ’s own Joanne Austin and Ryan Doan will be signing their book Weird Hauntings: True Tales of Ghostly Places, at the Barnes & Noble store in Howell from 2 to 4 PM. The store is located on the northbound side of Route 9.




Weird Hauntings 
“Did you hear something?” “Is someone there?” “Did you ever get that feeling you were being watched?” Sometimes, fellow readers, there are no answers to these questions. At least no answers that make sense in our real, tangible, predictable world. Because there is another world out there – one that’s full of weird hauntings.And who better to bring otherworldly nightmares to you than Weird NJ’s own Joanne Austin, who has compiled the eeriest, strangest, most hair-raising, and true (as far as we mortals can tell) stories of ghosts that haunt our neighborhoods, battlefields, restaurants, roads, hotels, schools, and.….homes. All the dead are beautifully illustrated and brought back to life by long time Weird NJ artist Ryan Doan (

Whether it’s the specters that traverse Zombie Road, the Nob Hill Ghost, the spirits of weary soldiers at Antietam, or the antics of little Sarah who invisibly moves objects in an Ohio inn, you are about to encounter specters who will startle you, sometimes make you smile, and, more often than not, scare the living daylights out of you.

Weird hauntings are everywhere. And, good people that we are, we even include their addresses.

Sleeping with the lights on tonight? Don’t forget to check under the bed.

Halloween Fun At Anita’s Bridge

On Halloween Night we used to love to do things like test drive Mortality.

Here’s how we did it:


Bloody Mary

You know that legend about Bloody Mary? You’re supposed to stand in front of a mirror, in the dark ( well, use some candles I mean- duh- if you can’t see what’s going on you’re out of luck ) and chant the name ” Bloody Mary ” three times- then she comes out of the mirror and kills you.

I’m not sure how she does it- though I’m guessing sharp objects are involved.

I think the idea is to get somebody you don’t like to do this- but I could be wrong.

We tried it- doesn’t work

but it was fun.


The Girl At The Side Of the Road

Every Halloween some Dead Prom Queen is supposed to be on some road waiting for somebody to give her a ride home

 From what I understand this story involves a girl who dies in a car accident on her way home from the Prom and somebody will pick her up and drive her home and when they get there they turn to the back seat and she’s gone and her parents come out to tell you her sad story.

We went looking for her too- but we decided if we found her we’d make her go ” Shoulder Tapping ” with us.

Shoulder tapping is what we called it back in the 70’s when you’d hang around in front of the 7-11 and try to get people to buy beer for you- which shows you how smart we were- we always did it in our neighborhood so we were always sober by the end of the night.

And we didn’t see a ghost either.




Thirteen Steps To Hell

We have at least two cemeteries here in Washington with stories about how in one crypt or in one grave there are Thirteen Steps Leading to Hell. The Doorway to the steps is guarded by a Witch who will give you the Second Sight if you sell your Soul to the Devil who is waiting for you at the bottom of the 13 Steps to finalize the deal.

To bad the Sight doesn’t kick in before you get to the Bottom of The 13 Steps.

 Then You’d see clear as day that the Devil takes you to Hell and if your plan was to rule the world with your Powers-  you are so going to be disappointed- toasty- but very disappointed.


Message From The Beyond

Everyone goofs off with a Ouji Board on Halloween.

Everyone knows those things are demonic.

Everyone doesn’t get together three or so  friends, agree on a phone number

as the ‘message’

let their inncoent bystander ( and former ) friends call it

only to let them learn they’re dialing

the intake desk at a local Mental Hospital.

Hey, it’s funny-and like I said you shouldn’t mess with those things…

and on Halloween of all Nights.




To end this  let me remind you: 

Life is short-

Enjoy Halloween and all the

rest of the year too



The Scariest Thing

“Anita, you write stories about ghosts and the living dead…you worked in a funeral home so tell me…what’s the scariest thing you’ve ever seen? “

To be honest, I’ve seen lots of strange things but I’ve never seen anything that ever scared me. So I’ll laugh, joke and blow the question off.

Ask me the right question though and you’ll get a different answer- you’ll get THE answer

and here it is:

To let you know right off- I’ve never SEEN anything that frightened me but once I felt something that did.

I was working alone in a basement and for once I had the radio off and it was quiet, just still and calm. It was a nice feeling, sort of a ‘sitting by the lake at sunset’ feeling.

I was reaching for something up high on a shelf when I felt something tug at the bottom of my plaid work shirt- I always wear oversized plaid shirts when I’m down there because the dust is so bad it wrecks my clothes. I thought I’d caught my shirttail on something so I reached back and pulled it down.

Then I walked to the next shelf and just as I reached up I felt that tug again and I stood there with my arm halfway up in the air when I felt the same tug- up higher this time- under my shoulder blade.

 I knew I wasn’t alone.

And I knew if I turned around there would be nobody standing there.

Now, when I’m in trouble, or stressed out I give myself these pep talks and it’s always my Grandfather’s voice I hear.Only this time it was my Great Grandmother I heard- and let me tell you she was ‘snap your spine if you made her angry’ type of a woman.

 Comfort was not a word that springs to mind when I think of Nan.

” Don’t you dare turn around ” I was hearing, ” You keep those eyes forward and don’t turn around.”

Then I felt something tug at the end of my braid and I bit my lips really hard and tried to not yell. But I didn’t turn around and as I walked away from the shelf I didn’t look back.

If you can imagine it- worse then that tug on my shirt was that feeling that something was just behind me. Whatever it was wouldn’t go away and it followed me up the basement stairs.

When I got to the top steps and crossed over the threshold I turned around and pulled the door closed. And then I opened it again reached in and snapped the light off.

 This time I kicked the door shut.

That’s it; those five minutes are the one thing that scared me. You can make what you like of those minutes- after all I still wonder about them myself.

I’d advise you to not consider them when you’re alone though, I don’t.


A Midnight Dreary


I not only write ghost stories

I’ve lived some.



About 10 years ago my husband and our three kids moved back to Mountlake Terrace. When we moved to Terrace we moved into a brand new Apartment Complex, I think there had been less then a half dozen renters in the place.

So it was new and spiffy and energy efficient.

About two weeks after we moved in I was in my bathroom brushing my teeth before bed.

It had been raining and thundering all evening, so when I started to see flashes of lighting it wasn’t exactly a surprise.

Anyway, I was looking into my bathroom mirror- I saw myself, I saw my bedroom window over my shoulder and then I saw blinding white light in the mirror and then my teeth slammed together and there was this deafening roar and all I could think was, ” I’m in trouble. ”

I wasn’t in trouble- but the tree outside my bedroom window was.

 The next day we found out it had been hit by lightning and you could see the scorch mark down one side and two of its limbs were blasted off and another was left dangling.

The kids played and tugged at the damaged tree limb until it came off. I remember them dragging it around for a while and the maintenance man broke it up and threw it away.

It was shortly after that  when the ghosts came.


My youngest son is a social animal.

At the age of  7 and after only a few weeks of living in our new place he knew everyone. By that I mean he knew names and who lived where and what they did and their pets names and millions of other little details.

Don’t ask me how he did it.

Then he changed.

It was a gradual change-  my son started to sleep a lot during the day,  he started getting dark circles under his eyes and when he started hiding his favorite toys around the living room I thought that maybe the move had affected him after all.

One day I was pulling his collection of Ninja Turtles from out of my bookcase (he had hidden them behind the books) when he went walking by with his skateboard under his arm and said he wanted to take a nap.

It was about 2:00 in the afternoon and enough was enough.

I asked why he was so tired and he said, ” this little boy comes into my room at night and plays with my toys and he’s keeping me awake.”

” Is that why you’re hiding your toys? ”

” Yeah. ”

 Is it working? ” I said trying to play along.

My son shrugged and went into his room and took his nap.


It was a little while after the toys in the bookshelf incident when my Sister came over for a visit.

My kids had insisted on a pet hamster because not only did their Mom have a cat she had pet rats and the boys decided pets shouldn’t be something only Moms got to have.

They named  their new pet Scooter.

My Sister and I were alone in the apartment- the kids, my husband and her husband were all out buying pizza.

We were in the kid’s room playing with Scooter.

We put him into one of those little balls hamsters  can run around in and I remember my cat was sitting in the doorway and I was going to push the ball with the hamster in it towards him.

My cat had been raised with my rats and he had this thing were he wouldn’t go for rats or hamsters and my Sister didn’t believe it.

So we both look up to where Wolfgang had been sitting when this little boy ran right passed the bedroom door and down the hall towards my bedroom.

” Who’s that? ” my Sister asked.

” Probably a neighbor kid. They walk in all the time. ”

I went to get the kid when my cat sort of slinked around the corner and he looked up at me and growled.

I don’t mean that cat growl- it was big and deep and his ears flattened against his head.

I went to push him out of the way with my foot and he reached forward and grabbed my ankle with his teeth. Then he started to  jerk backwards with these little snaps to his neck and the entire time he’s doing this he’s looking up at me and growling.

Then he sort of turned without letting go and tried to pull me back into my kid’s room.

My sister was yelling, I was screaming  because my cat was holding onto my ankle and the blood was starting to run and no matter what we did or how loud we yelled he wouldn’t let go.

Then his ears went back up; he let go of  my ankle and he walked out into the living room.

” There’s no one in the apartment except us…is there? ” my Sister asked.

I remember I couldn’t answer because I didn’t know.


I’ll leave you with this final ghost story-

Out of a dead sleep I woke up at exactly 1:45 in the morning and standing beside my bed was my Grandfather.

I was really glad to see him- it had been about 14 years since he had died. He’d missed my Wedding and my High school Graduation and a million other great things.

Now I was going to get the chance to tell him all about it and I remember trying to wake up more so that I could get my husband to wake up and meet my Grandpa.

I was surprised- but not that my Grandfather was there but that he looked so young.

He looked like he did in his late 30’s- I’d only seen pictures of him in those days and I wasn’t sure why he looked like that and not like the man I’d known.

But that was okay- all that mattered was that he was here now.

This went on for a week- I’d wake up at the same time and there he was standing by me looking happy and relaxed and pleased to see me.

At the end of the week my Grandfather’s sister passed away.

I was heartbroken- she was a great lady and she use to tell this great story about performing in a childrens choir ‘back in the day’ for Prisoners in an honest to goodness Prison.

They were singing for genuine convicted killers and robbers.

I use to ask a million questions about what it was like inside of a Prison and she was happy to tell me.

Plus she could whistle through her teeth.

She had a great life if you ask me.

Anyway, I never asked what time she died- I was sure I already knew.


So there are my stories- are they true?

Did they really happen?

Did they?