From Faraway




” Follow me ” she whispers from Faraway

where the night is forever

and awake is dream she used to have

a very long time ago.

” Follow you? ” he calls down to her from Faraway

where the night is forever

and all but a handful of stars have burned out

from his sky

a very long time ago.

Follow Me, Follow Me, Follow Me

her voice echoes from Faraway

where awake is a dream and the night is forever and all but a few stars still burn in the sky.

From The Diary Of

Bancho Church

June 20th 1911- October 31st 1992

True Love Never Dies

It is said that true love never dies.


If you bury it, it will rot in the ground just like anything organic will.


Archaeologists with the University of Leicester uncovered remains of two skeletons holding hands believed to have been resting that way for at least 700 years…

And here ends today’s Lesson In Life And Death


Anita’s Bridge.

How My Light Is Spent


Delarious Mandusa and Quash Mowers  work in a Funeral Home and they had great stories ( that they made up ) for how it was they came to be Grave Diggers that had nothing to do with reality but they were great stories.

The problem was nobody ever asked.

Delarious guessed that people assumed he dug graves for a living because of his name and Quash guesses that the fact he had born with a parasitic twin attatched to the top of his head ( his parents had named it Lawton ) that was removed a few months after they were born- was his reason for working at the Cemetery.

But those weren’t the reasons- and the story about finding graves with their names and dates of  birth as the dates of death on the hundred year old headstones wasn’t even remotely close to the truth.

The Grave Diggers with the colorful lives and equally colorful names became grave diggers because of a girl named Harley  Sandeen.

Years ago, when Delarious and Quash were kids they lived next door to each other and one day a little girl with big brown eyes and tangled brown hair moved into the   Bronson  House across the street.

Her name was  Harley Sandeen and she collected bugs, comic books and bubble gum.

She chewed it out of eyeshot of her Mother who wouldn’t allow Harley to chew gum because Harley’s mother said that the gum would wear Harley’s teeth down to stumps and then where would she be in life?

” I guess I’d be living somewhere with stumpy teeth and a tree full of chewed up bubblegum.”

Akela looked down at her daughter and said, ” Harley, why on earth would you stick your chewed up gum on a tree?”

” That’s how I get bugs for my collection.”

” Oh  Harley. That’s just awful.”

” I know, but look at it this way Mom, if anyone ever decides to collect bug’s legs they’re not going to care if I have a mouth full of stumpy teeth. They’re just going to be glad I was a bubblegum chewer.”

So Harley continued to chew bubble gum, which when she snapped it between her teeth was as loud as gunshot and she also bought comic  books once a week at the 52nd Street Best Mart which is where Delarious and Quash met Harley.

” The world is full of comic books and they’ve only got six titles here- can you belive that? And look only one scary one ” she said to them as they stood behind her waiting for their turn at the spinner rack.

” We don’t collect those- we collect the Archie Comics. My friend had a parasite twin attached to the top of his head, show her Quash. ” Quash took off his hat so that Harley could see the top of his head which was flat and angled to the left.

” That is amazing.” Harley sighed.

” Yeah. We got plenty real weird in our life. “

” Oh. Did you have a parasite too?”

” No, I’m Delarious Mandusa.”

Harley’s mouth fell open and her gum fell out and stuck to the front of her t-shirt. ” You got named after the guy who found the Flying Dutchman?”

” He was my Granfather.”

Harley pulled the gum off her shirt and popped it back into her mouth.

” You guys are the coolest human beings ever.”

” You’re a pretty cool human too, ” Quash who was falling in love with Harley right then and there in front of the comic book rack said.

And Harley laughed.

So Harley and Quash and Delarious grew up together and goofed off together and on the day Harley’s family sent her away to go to school in ” the old Country ” they made one last trip to the empty building where they first became friends.

The comic book rack was still there and Harley told them, ” you just wait. One of these days you’re gonna see one of these things full of books and comics by Harley Sandeen.”

” What? I thought you were going away to learn the family  business.” Quash said.

” Yeah. Then I’m going to write about it. I figure I better get something out of being sent out to the middle of nowhere to learn how to find dead people. Geeze. Like that’s hard. “

” I thought your Mom said that wasn’t the hard part- she said the hard part was killing them.”

” Blah blah blah.” Harley said.

” But you don’t have a choice- right? I mean, you’re family hasn’t ever done anything except for-” Delarious mimicked  putting a stake to his heart with one hand and with the other pretended to pound it in with a mallet.

Harley pulled a green square of bubblegum out of her pocket and tossed it into her mouth. ” Yeah. But I think there’s more to life then chasing around pale people with pointy teeth and bad breath. It ain’t like the movies guys. Those things are so dumb that they still haven’t figured out that if they don’t want to be found they need to quit putting their real names on their tombstones. You know what’s worse? I’ve got to go to the other side of the world and get a college degree to learn about them.

Geeze, all my family has to so is rent me some movies and buy me a stack of comic books- they’d save themselves a ton of money and they’d save themselves the embarrassment of the sucky novel I’m going to write about them based on the Santa’s Village Incident.”

” The Mountlake Mall will probably never get another guy to do the Santa thing at Christmas and forget getting anyone to dress up like elves in this town again.”

” Yeah. Well. That  entire deal was a train wreck just waiting to happen.”  Harley  said  and like the good friends the boys were they agreed.

It was about four years after Harley’s second book was turned into a movie that Quash and Del decided to chase after their own dream- and that dream involved the smell of fresh cut grass and heavy machinery.

So instead of chasing after ghosts, or going out of your way to make sure that the world never found out that the parasitic twin that was removed from your head was alive and screaming in silence in a jar in a museum basement and that it was still growing – Harley’s friends took her advice.

And in case you’re curious.

Yes she did write about their story and their friendship and she dedicated the story to

Del And Quash.

See You Soon

Green Lake, Seattle WA 1907

from my writer’s journal 

When I as a kid we lived about a block west of Green Lake, in Seattle WA.

I grew up on a lot of stories about Green Lake- and given my family’s love of  Macabre Tales I never heard about the Picnic grounds at the lake which I believe were put in sometime before the 1900’s or the vision people had of creating a beautiful place where people could go and have beautiful thoughts about nature, life and themselves.

What I heard about were the dead people in the Lake.

I was left with the impression, as a child, that they drowned and that they never left Green Lake.

Here’s the story I heard:

Back during the 1920’s maybe the 1930’s,  people kept drowning in Green Lake-

they weren’t out there swimming alone, they would be out there swimming with a friend or in a group and all of the sudden one person would start thrashing around and screaming and then they went under and they stayed under….

sometimes for minutes, sometimes for hours sometimes for days.

And then shortly after the bodies were recovered people would see the Floaters walking towards the lake.

Or back into the Lake.

Once the Lake got them, they couldn’t leave – they had to go back.

I am only mentioning this story because when I write my stories I usually mention a Lake or a body of water and the image I have in my mind’s eye is that of Green Lake.

The Green Lake that killed people and keeps their ghosts like trophies.

That story got to me over 40 years ago.

And like I said- once the Lake gets you, you have to go back.



Reflection Of My Love


” What are you looking at Jingle? ”  Milo Hungerford asked his wife.

Jingle was standing in front of their bathroom mirror with her hairbrush in her hand and she turned slowly towards him and said, ” I don’t know. “

He came up behind her and stared into glass and shook his head.

” That’s not right Jingle. “

She put her hand to her face and looked into the mirror again and when she turned back towards Milo she started to cry. ” Milo what’s happening to me? “

Milo  pulled Jingle to his chest and turned her away from the looking glass.

” Is it still there Milo? “

Milo held Jingle tighter and said, ” yes. “

” The one in the foyer- let’s try that one too. “

” Jingle- it won’t…” he started to say and then when he saw the look on her face he nodded. “okay, we’ll try that one too.”

Milo held his wife’s hand and they walked down the dark halls to the entrance to their home and together they looked into the mirror there and Jingle burst into tears and grabbed her face.

” Oh Milo- oh Milo what’s happening to me? ” she cried.

Milo looked into the mirror and there in the glass he saw his wife holding her hairbrush, her dark hair framing her face- all alone except for the darkness that was their home and he turned her gently towards him and said,

” I don’t know how it happened Jingle…but I think you’re alive. “

It Caught My Eye


When I first found this picture on the  Vintage Resources site I grabbed it because at a glance it looked perfect to illustrate a story I’d just finished.

Once I put the story and clip together though I noticed something strange on the left hand side of the picture that I hadn’t noticed when I’d first pulled it down from the Clip Art site.

There was a faded image of a child leaning against the railing and that child seemed to be present in a way that the more visible children weren’t.

I could think of at least three reasons for that image to be there and two of them made me glad I wasn’t in the house alone- so with all the lights in my work area on I put the picture up all alone at my Owl Creek Bridge with a caption that read ‘Almost There’.

Later I found out that child wasn’t a ghost- not in the way you’d define ghost-  but at the time this picture was taken the ‘ Almost There’ child was indeed dead.

While researching the subject of Post Mortem photography for questions I had received about something I’d written, I learned that this sort of photograph was created as a memorial to people who had passed on.

This is the way it was done:

The family would pose for a picture and then an image of the deceased was superimposed onto the new photograph.

That’s what was done with this photograph…that’s why it was created- it’s a memorial to a dead child.

Like I said, there were two reasons I could think of for that image to be there and when they first creeped into my head I was glad I wasn’t in the house alone.

I wish that were true right now.


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

They Left Them There


Photograph(s) copyright Shaun O’Boyle


Mia and Akela were sitting on a park bench just across the street from the Lander House and they saw the camera crews and the ghost hunters and the famous Medium, Mr Newport doing whatever it was one does to get ready to tape a tv show.

” I think Mr Newport is so debonair.” Mia sighed. ” I wish I lived in a haunted house. I would love to have him sit across from me and take my hand in his and help me bring light to the dark places that haunt us all”

” The where? Are you serious here Mia?  He’s a ghost hunter. Tell me. What does one do with a ghost they’ve hunted?”

” How should I know?”

” Well. You’re such a fan. So take a stab at it. Do they cut their heads off and nail them to a wall? Turn them into rugs or belts or umbrella stands? All hunters take trophies Mia. It’s the nature of the beast.”

” You have no Soul Akela. None. You could travel around the world and end up sitting on this park bench across the street from that awful building and still wonder if Becks still makes strawberry milkshakes with fresh strawberries and not frozen.”

” Becks makes the best strawberry milkshakes Mia.”

” Well. I don’t care what you say. Mr Newport is my favorite TV star. I think he really believes in what he’s doing and he helps people Akela. What’s wrong with that? Look. It’s not like he’s actually hurting anyone. I mean. Seriously. He can’t, can he now?”

” He certainly cannot.”

” I’m glad you agree with me.”

” I’m not agreeing with you, I’m stating a fact. ” Akela told Mia.

” I just don’t understand why you hate him so.”

” I hate him, ” Akela said for the hundredth time that month, ” because he’s vain and stupid and that accent of his has got to be fake. That’s the worst. That stupid accent. I mean, he doesn’t even try to be convincing. He has got to be the worst actor on the face of the earth and he must have a million fans. How does something like that happen?”

Mia shrugged and looked away from Akela.

” Mia. This guy is so bad. Look over there. The Lander House. The Infamous Hospital where the story says  the staff disappeared and the patients were all found murdered in their beds and instead of taking all those dead people to a cemetery they buried them on the grounds behind the hospital because there was so little left of the bodies to bury. Why Mia did he chose the Lander House to look for ghosts?”

” Because it was the scene of a terrible tragedy and sometimes tragic events imprint themselves onto things in the physical world and they get replayed over and over again.”

” You got that from the tv show, didn’t you?”

” So?”

” So the Lander House wasn’t the hospital, The Prefontaine Hotel-” Akela pointed to a large brick building behind them ” was the hospital where the staff did disappear and twenty patients died and they were buried on the grounds because the Prefontaine was a charity hospital and in the old days that’s what they did to people who died there. The only weird thing was them turning it into a Hotel. Still.  Do you know who gets that history wrong? Historians and Ghost Hunters- and do you know who duped them into looking at the wrong building? The Developers that turned the Hospital into a hotel.”

”  Well. The Lander House was a hospital and I’m sure there are ghosts there.”

” Mia, there isn’t a single one. It’s just a building with a bunch of junk in the halls and paint peeling off of the walls. That’s it.”

” Well. I think Mr. Newport’s heart is in the right place. I think he really does want to understand the next world. I can see it in his eyes.”

” Oh Geeze.”

” Mia, I don’t care that he’s never actually seen a real ghost or been to a real haunted house or that he’s got a silly accent. He wants to find those things. He’s a true romantic.”

“Well. He’s not going to find them over there. That’s for sure. And if you and me went over there right now and told them that boring brick building across the street was the…”

” Hotbed of paranormal activity.”

Akela took a deep breath and ignored that last comment from her friend. ” real scene a terrible tragedy and mystery they wouldn’t care because that…” she pointed to the Lander House ” looks better on film than that…” she said waving her hand at the Prefontaine.

” He could be sensing something at the Lander.”

” No, he isn’t.”

” Well. He’s not going to sense anything at the Prefontaine either.”

” No kidding.”

” Poor Mr. Newport.” Mia said.

” I wonder what his real name is.” Akela asked.

Before Mia could answer they saw a woman from the Ghost Hunter crew pointing towards them and then she waved at them and crossed the street to where they were.

” Hi, nice afternoon isn’t it?” the young woman held her hand out and said ” my name is Lissy Peterman, I’m with the crew.”

Akela kept her arms folded across her chest and Mia said:

” I love your show.”

“Wow.  Thank you. We appreciate that.  I was wondering if you ladies would like to be in one of our interview segments.”

Akela told Lissy Peterman, ” there aren’t any ghosts over there  you know.”

“I think there are. ” Mia added.

” Well, if you know any background about the Lander- we’d love to hear your stories.”

Akela looked at Mia.

” Okay. Sure. Why not ” Akela said. ” We’ve got the time.”

Mia stood up first and smoothed her white Nurses Uniform with her pale hands and as Akela did the same  she whispered into Akela’s ear ” take it back.”

” Hey. There aren’t any ghosts at the Lander….yet.” 


What Would The CSI Guys Say?

Lizzie Borden- she was a woman- she was a killer -and she got away with two of the most hands on brutal killings in American History.

To refresh your memory, Lizzie lived in a state where  ( in 1692 anyway )  you could just accuse a woman of being a witch and have her executed…just like that.

Another thing to keep in mind is that in 1892 women ( including Lizzie ) didn’t even have the right to vote-

that didn’t happen until 1920.

Anway- I think she did it but to this day Lizzie has her supporters and they say she’s innocent.

One of the arguments in her defense- which I think underscores the fact that Lizzie was found innocent because of her sex- was based on the time lines established for the killings.

Lizzie’s  Stepmother was supposed to have been killed an hour or so before her Father.

The theory is that it was very unlikely that  someone ( like a WOMAN ) who inflicted that kind of damage on a  person with an AX could have left a dead mutilated body upstairs and gone on with her day  and then come back later and did the same to someone else.

Have you ever seen the pictures of Andrew Borden?

Whoever did that was good and angry, they had worked themselves up into a mindless rage and that kind of rage can happen in the blink of an eye or it can build up…


over an hour or so.


Link Photos From: The Chancery House

And visit: Lizzie Borden Virtual Museum and Library

On The Second Day Of Halloween


On The Second Day Of Halloween

It’s all about

 The Strange.


I was watching a show about Haunted Houses.

A couple of them had the funeral home/ morgue theme going on.

I think that is a fun idea- even though I worked in a funeral home and for me

the magic is gone.

Funeral Homes don’t scare me.

Not even a little.

I’ve never seen a ghost at a funeral home, I’ve never seen the undead walking through the cemetery at night, and in the prep room we don’t cover the faces of the dead.


There were a few times, when I had to work late at night

and for no reason at all

I would start to feel like

I didn’t belong there.


And on those rare nights when I felt like an intruder in a place I considered my home away from home

if something would have tapped me on the shoulder

and if I had turned around and found that nobody was there

I wouldn’t have been surprised.

Not in the slightest.








Body Talk

  Indiana Medical History Museum

“You couldn’t have wished for more in body” Sydney Poor was telling the other ghost about his corpse as they sat out in the corridor waiting for their autopsies to be finished.

The other ghost was a woman named Tamara and she told Sydney, “ Well I could have. I would have asked to be taller and blond and impervious to speeding cars. So do you know what…” she  shook her head “ sorry, what’s your name again?”

“ Sydney.”

“ Sydney. Sydney I could have asked for more. In fact, this time I’m going in with a laundry list of things I want this time around.”

“ I’m not sure you can not do that.”

“I don’t care what you’re supposed to do. Do you know why? Because not only did I get hit by a car, it rammed me into another car and it nearly cut me in half. I didn’t die right away. Also the woman who hit me drove off and I’m willing to bet you dollars to donuts that someone driving an expensive car like hers will ever find herself in a court room explaining her actions of October 3oth 2009. So as you can imagine I’m feeling a bit wronged here.”

“ She might.”

“ She might what Sydney?”

 “ Get caught.”

Tamara rolled her eyes up and slouched down in her seat.

“ I wonder how long this really takes.” She mumbled.

“ Well. Until they’re finished I suppose.” Sydney said.

“ So what happened to you?” Tamara asked Sydney.

“ Well. I’m a little embarrassed to say…”

Tamara straightened up in her chair and leaned over to Sydney and said “ Go on, your  secret is safe with me. Dead men tell no tales you know.”

“ But you’re a woman.”

“ Oh come on. Tell me.”

“ My neighbors -this man and woman. Well. They thought….that I was…well …”

“ A what?” Tamara said suspiciously as she leaned away from Sydney.

“ They thought I was a Vampire.”

Tamara’s mouth fell opened.

“ They snuck into my house, dragged me down into my basement and drove a stake through my heart. Then they stuffed my mouth full of garlic and cut my head off.”

“ Oh wow Sydney. Oh wow.”

Sydney’s face was turning bright red.

“ Oh wow. That was a freaking weird death.”

“ Yes” Sydney agreed “ yes it was.”

“Still.  What a way to go.”

“ I’ll say. But Tamara a vampire? How could anyone mistake me for a vampire?”

Tamara shrugged. “ I don’t know Sydney. People are funny things if you ask me.”

Tamara hopped out of her chair and went to the doors and waited. When they whispered open she told Sydney. “ Sydney. Come take a look. They’re right in the middle of  working on you. You have to see this- a woman is pulling the garlic out of your mouth with her fingers. I must say, that doesn’t seem very hygienic to me.”

“ That’s my dead body you’re cracking wise over you know.”

Tamara snorted and then she focused on what was going on in the autopsy room.

“ Sydney get over here, I’m stuck to the inside of the body bag.” Tamara laughed.

“ You’ve got a very odd sense of humor Tamara.”

He got up and when he got to the door Tamara grabbed his arm and dragged him into the autopsy room.

“ I really hate these places Tamara.”

“ Don’t we all.” Tamara said as she dragged Sydney up to the table her body was laying on.

“My word you are mess.” Sydney said.

“ Yeah.” Tamara said with a tinge of pride in her voice.

“ I mean it. A mess. You look like you melted. Wait. What’s that on your head… are those scars?”

“ Bullet wounds.”

“ You’ve been shot?

“ Yep. Good thing for me the people who did that were lousy shots otherwise you’d be sitting here all by your lonesome.”

“ And what about those marks on your hands?”

“ Knife wounds.”

And before he could ask she said, “ I caught on fire  a couple of times.”

“ You’ve led a very interesting life Tamara.”

She didn’t answer.

“ So. How long until …”

Tamara didn’t answer. She was trying not to laugh and failed.

“They thought you were a vampire.” Tamara grabbed her stomach as she doubled over laughing. “ What city were you living in? Stupidville? “

“ And that woman who hit you and drove off what town did she come from? “ Sydney asked

“ Very funny Sydney. The woman who hit me  was a cold hearted wretch.  I got in her way and smoosh here I am. I was no more then a dog to her. “

“ Well. At least you weren’t mistaken for a vampire in your final moments…speaking of- how much longer do you suppose.”

“ It’s a full moon tonight, this is going to go pretty fast. So tell me do we keep the old models  or snag ourselves some new ones?” she asked pointing to the room where the bodies were wrapped in plastic and neatly stacked on shelves.

“ Well. I can tell you this much. I never want to be mistaken for a vampire again.”

“ Oh come on Syd, I’m sure there are a lot of vampires who have been mistaken for Werewolves before and I’m willing to bet they aren’t as bent out of shape about it as you are.”

Sydney looked over to the autopsy tables and then through the doorway.

“ Once we take possession, they’ll be fine- on the other hand- you know we could get some new digs. What do you think?” Tamara asked.

 “ As far as bodies go, like I said before, was a good one. It used to belong to a writer. His name was Bancho Church”

“ Hey. I read his stuff. He was cool. I didn’t know he, you know moved on.”

“ Yes, well he did.” Sydney looked down and cleared his throat. “ Sort of.”

Tamara watched her body being washed and then it was bagged and someone took it to the backroom.

“ Cheer up Sydney, it’s Halloween, there’s a full moon and the night is young.”

Sydney’s body went through next and Tamara followed it “ Come one Syd, if we shake a leg I’ll bet we could get a little Trick or Treating in.”

“ You don’t…” he said.

“ Yeah. I shift and knock on doors. I swear last year I scored about five pounds of candy and got my picture taken about a thousand times. Imagine that, people  have a picture of real …

“ Mental  case.” Sydney interrupted her “ Okay after what we’ve been through we could use some fun. It’s a date let’s go.”

Tamara  said “ Yeah. It’s a date. Happy Halloween Syd.  And just so you know, I’ve ruined lives  of those who stood between me and Choco-Bursts.”

Sydney waited for Tamara to laugh and when she did not, he did it for her.

And she let him.


glow pumpkin

Next Stop


Cilla Breck works as receptionist in a Funeral Home, her husband is a Grave Digger for the County and Cilla’s only other living relative beside her husband is distant cousin named Georgina who until her appeals run out will be sitting on death row in a State that has never executed a woman before.

Cilla wakes up hoping that the world will not start paying attention to  next and so far it hasn’t.


She stood alone at the bus stop where she waits for the S-4 where sits alone in the back of the bus.

Cilla does not say hello to the driver she does not from left to right and it’s debateable that she actually focuses on anything in front of her as she makes her way to the last seat.

Like most nights, Cilla set her backpack on her lap and looked out the window and began to wonder what she should make for dinner, or maybe she should have a Pizza delivered when she felt something  bump her elbow.

She looked over and sitting there right next to her was a man in a blue suit.

He smiled at her.

She did not smile back.

“ Chilly tonight, isn’t it?” he asked.

She did not answer.


She was busy thinking, he didn’t look familiar so he wasn’t a regular rider. She guessed he was a new rider.

And a chatty one.

Cilla hated chatty bus riders.

She was looking out the window when a thought crept up behind her and tapped her on the shoulder.

It said.

“ Cilla, did you see this guy at the bus stop?”

No, Cilla told herself.

“ Did you see him when you were walking to the back of the bus?”

Can’t say I did.

“ Doesn’t that bother you Cilla?”

Does what bother me?

“ Well, first of all that you don’t seem to focus on anyone-which seems to be something a lot of people are guilty of. But look at this awful position you’re in because of that. Some guy came out of nowhere and touched your elbow. He got that close to you Cilla. He touched your elbow. And he’s talking to you”

Cilla ended her one sided conversation and looked at the man from the corner of her eye and then she looked out the window.

She saw him sitting next to her.

He was looking out the window and that’s where their eyes met.

Cilla turned back to him and stared into his face for moment.

And then she turned back to the window.

She never saw him coming.

He got close enough to touch her.

And now he was staring at her.


“ I don’t think I’ve ever seen you on this bus before.”

“ I ride it every night. “ he told her.

“ This bus?”

“ This bus.”


Cilla pulled her shoulder away from the man and she said bluntly. “ I’ve never seen you before.”

“ I’ve seen you.” He said.

Cilla did not doubt that.

“ I’ve even  sat next to you a few times. “

Cilla looked straight ahead.

“ I’ve even gotten off at your stop  with a couple of times.”

Cilla wondered if anyone noticed the two of them talking.

“ But mostly I get on at  the stop on Second and Washington.”

Cilla clutched her backpack to her chest.

Nobody used the stop on 2nd.  Cilla didn’t even use it,

That stop was located by the Southwall- back in the old days that’s where the John and Jane Does were buried.

The women were buried in simple dresses and the men…

In Blue Suits.


I am sitting next to a ghost, Cilla told herself. I am sitting next to the ghost of a dead man.

He knows that I know what he is and people are looking right at us and they don’t know what they are looking at.

She looked ahead as the bus pulled up to a stop and  when she turned to look at the Dead Man in the Blue Suit…

He was gone.


She looked out the window and she saw him at the bus stop standing next to a woman talking on her phone and a man reading a book.


They were looking around the Deadman and right at the Deadman and Cilla guessed they weren’t actually seeing the Deadman.

But he saw them.

He was looking right at them.


The Break Room


” I really hate masks. ” Melanie told her friend at lunch in the break room  at work.

Her friend, Libby, was trying to open a bag of Cheesy Twists and she asked ” Why?”

Actually Libby  wasn’t really listening to her friend. What she really focused on  was to getting into the bag of Cheesy Twists which was a chore because the stupid bag wouldn’t tear open.

Libby loved Cheesy Twists, she loved to pop them into her mouth one by one and just let that cheesy goodness melt on her tongue. She could make a handful of Cheesy Twists last a half hour because of the way she ate them.

” I guess I hate them because they have that one expression- it’s like looking at the face of a corpse. I don’t care if it’s a scary mask or a cat mask or a feather mask. They bother me.”

Libby got up and went to the counter and started to look through the silverware drawer. She found a fork and stuck it into the bag and tore it open.

” That’s weird.” Libby mumbled as she looked at the previously indestructible bag.

” I know it’s weird.” Melanie said ” And what are the stores full of right now?”

Libby hoped they weren’t full of Cheesy Twist bags like the one in her hand.

” Halloween masks. They’re everywhere and they freak me out Libby. I mean, why do people need to hide behind those things? They’ re hot and smelly and if someone tried it on before you, well…”

” Ugh.” Libby said as she dropped a Cheesy Twist onto her tongue.

” Exactly. It’s to disgusting for words.”

The Cheesy Twist in Libby’s mouth was stale. It was as hard as a cough drop.

” What?” she said as she spat the Twist out into her hand.

” The way people hide behind masks. The way they’re willing to suffer to hide behind them.”

” Oh yeah.” Libby shook the little bag in her hand and dropped two fat, golden orange Cheesy Twists into the palm of her hand.

” I wonder why anyone bothers. I wonder why they just let their real faces show- I’ll bet they’d end up looking just like those horrible masks anyway”

 Libby tilted her head back and shook the little bag into her mouth. “Mmmm.”

” I mean. Why pretend to be something you aren’t? Why not just be what you are? Doesn’t that make more sense?”

When the bag was empty Libby wadded up her empty Cheesy Twist bag into a ball and then she shot it into the garbage can.

She made her shot and hissed, ” yessss….”

Melanie looked over to her friend and she nearly cried in relief. “You don’t think I’m weird for hating those things. Right?”

Libby woke from her Cheesy Twist dream state and was able to focus on her friend’s pain filled face.

” No I don’t think you’re weird for hating Halloween masks Mel. And I’m sorry. I wasn’t listening to you at first. All I could think about was my snack. And you’re my friend. I’m a jerk Melanie. So look. If you hate masks so much…

Libby reached under both sides of her jaw with her hands,” I won’t wear this thing around you anymore.”

Photo By: patriciaegreen

Photo By: patriciaegreen

And Whatever Walks There…


wah mee 1


A few years ago my friend and I were walking by the Maynard Alley and she asked me if I had written any stories based on the Wah Mee Club Massacre.

What she really wanted to know was, had I written any ghost stories based on the Club.

I told her I had not.

She told me that was a good idea.

 This is the reason why I haven’t done it:

Whenever I walk by the Alley I think of these lines by Shirley Jackson:

Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.”

I think that something walks alone in the darkness of the Wah Mee now

and it will walk alone there  forever.

KCPQ Channel 13 toured recently with Jake of  Private Eye Tours . They visited one of Seattle’s most infamous haunted spots featured on Haunted Happenings: A Seattle Ghost Tour 

Wah Mee Club entrance

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





Pirates- Its What To Be For Halloween

 There are Zombie Pirates


and Keith Richard Pirates ( thank you for that Johnny Depp )


and of course

Pirate Wenches

Pirate Wench

But there is only one

Ching Shih.

Ching Shih was the most awesome Pirate ever: Ching Shih and her fleet were known to rob markets, towns and villages from Macao to Canton.

She was unstoppable- so the Chinese Government offered her ‘amnsesty’ and she retired.

In the end she got to keep her loot, her freedom and she died at the age of 69 which is something like 100 in Pirate Years.

Ching Shih-

My First Choice


 what to be





for some

fun pirate stuff-

A Fun Pirate Song:


And last but not least

some fun

Pirate Clipart Sites:


pirate 3


I should mention: I grew up in and around Seattle, so there is no WAY I could not mention the

Seattle  Seafair Pirates.

They are awesome they are Sprit of Seattle and I forgive them for the time they took my little sister at a Seafair Parade in the early 1970’s


Seattle Seafair Pirates

Pirate Kings Of The Pacific Northwest since 1949


My Favorite Pirate Flag

My Favorite Pirate Flag

One October Afternoon



An October Memory:

One late Fall afternoon when I was a kid my little Sister was walking around our front yard picking flowers.

She held a small bunch them in her chubby little six year old hand and I remember that she started to sing:

Mama Had A Baby And It’s Head Popped Off

And then with a flick of her finger the head of the flower shot up into the air and then it hit the ground.

 I asked my Sister why she was doing that to the flowers and she turned to me and said:

Anita Had A Baby And It Had No Head.

a memory

 a nightmare

that belongs to all of my Octobers.




Photo By: Siilur
Photo By: Siilur

“My Mother wants WHAT on her headstone?” Esme asked the Funeral Director.

The Funeral Director, who had the misfortune of being named Vladimir  Petgrave, looked down on file in front of him and said

” Queen of The Zombies. “

Mr. Petgrave folded his hands together and tried, very successfully to not blink, twitch a muscle in his face or to look as if he were arranging a funeral for what could possibly be the most insane family to lay to rest  a loved one in the 100 plus years of  this Funeral Home and at that precise moment in time he was sure that was exactly what he was doing.

Esme sat back in her chair and then she leaned forward suddenly.

Vladimir almost pushed his own chair back but did not.

” No. She can’t have that. Absolutely not.”

Vlad found his feet firmly planted on the ground again and he looked straight at Esme and said, ” Yes she can Mrs. Stroud. In fact, she already has. The headstone has already been delivered and after the service it’s going to be set in place. It’s in your Mother’s Pre-Arranged Plan.”

” Well, bless her heart for being so thorough. Mr. Petgrave, do you know what my Mother collected?”

Vlad considered that and then bit his tongue and shook his head to keep from saying exactly what he thought.

” She collected Pez dispensers. Do you know what those are?”

Esme didn’t wait for his answer.

 ” Pez Dispensers are little plastic toys that dispense candy. You get the get candy by pulling the toy’s head back. The candy pops out of it’s neck  and you eat it. My Mother owned thousands of those things. I don’t mean that figuratively. I mean that literally. Do you know how I know that? She had them all numbered.”

Esme folded her arms against her chest. ” So, how soon can I get another headstone?”

” I can’t go against the final wishes of a woman who liked to eat candy that you get  out of  a toys neck.”

” She had a three-legged cat. Do you know what happened to its fourth leg? It attacked a fireman who was putting out a brush fire that started in my Mother’s front yard on the Fourth of July. When they pulled it off, which I thought was a time waster and they should have just used an ax and chopped that darn animal off of him. That vicious little beast was holding on to that man’s leg so tightly that  it’s leg got stuck in the Fireman’s boot  and when they pulled it off it broke in so many places it wasn’t worth saving.”

Esme said, ‘” Do you know what its name was.”

Mr. Petgrave stared back at her.

” It’s name was Itsy Bitsy. “

” I see.”

” So, what choices do I have for anothe headstone? “

” You don’t. ” Vladimir said.

” My Mother was some sweet old eccentric woman Mr Petgrave. Don’t think that for a single minute. Do you know what she did for a living?”

Vlad shook his head.

” She traded in curios. She went around the world looking for dead mutant animals and dead deformed  people and then she stuffed and sold them to roadside freak shows and gas stations in the middle of nowhere. Her curious weren’t fake Mr. Petgrave they were real. That’s what my Mother did for a living. What may I ask did your mother do for a living?”

” She was a librarian.”

” Yeah.”

” Mrs. Stroud, does it really surprise you that your mother wanted this carved on her headstone?”

” No. What surprises me is that it doesn’t light up and make haunted house noises when you walk by.”

Vlad took a deep breath, looked up and tried to show no fear.

” Oh bloody hell- she did not.”

Esme stood up. ” Well. I can see this is going to go nowhere.  We suffered through the weirdness that is our Mother  for our entire lives and I guess the way to look at the situation now is that we will never have to suffer through her or her weirdness ever again.”

Esme pulled her oatmeal colored jacket off of the back of her chair and put it on over her simple white dress belted at the waist with a simple tan belt and she reached for her functional purse which was sitting on Mr. Petgrave’s desk.

They went over small details about the service as they stood  and as Mr. Petgrave opened the door for Mrs. Stroud and they were met out in the hall by- he could think of her by no other name- The Zombie Queen’s Family.

They all wore the same colorless clothes, and they all wore the same colorless expression on their faces and after promising them all quietly that he would be waiting for them at 1:00 the next day Mr. Petgrave turned back into his office. He went to his desk and sat down and looked down at Funeral arrangement Plan for Mrs. Stroud’s mother and thought to himself:

How funny, she’s going to be buried two rows down from a man who insisted that in life he had been a Vampire.

Mr. Petgrave had thought for certain, at one point,  the man had not been a Vampire. Now he had to reconsider his position.  After all, Mr. Petgrave knew, for a fact that at 1:30 the next day he was going to bury

The Queen Of The Zombies.


Lonelee and Faraway


Photo: A.M. Moscoso

Photo: A.M. Moscoso


Her name is Lonelee Darrow and the man walking next to her is called Faraway  Braine.

Strange name or no name- it doesn’t really matter because what matters here is that Lonelee and the man named Faraway are walking down towards the Water Front  to a  store that sells Salt Water Taffy and little bars of clear soap with Scorpions inside – they sell postcards too.

” I don’t think this is a very good idea ” he tells her.

” Well. I do. “

” There must be an easier way for you to make a few dollars Lonelee.”

She stops and jabs her finger into his chest. ” Yeah. Well, it won’t be your few dollars. And those are the sweetest bills in the entire Universe right now.”

He picks up his pace and pulls ahead of her. ” You are one bad tempered woman Lonelee.”

” I told you not to push me Faraway. I’m betting you this won’t work and you have to argue. That’s all you ever do. Whine and argue. You just can’t admit when you are wrong.”

” Ha. I knew I was wrong the minute I said hello to you.”

” Bite me.”

They are still arguing when they get to the Shop on the Pier with the Scorpions in embedded in the bars of soap and Jars of Salt Water Taffy. They quiet down just a little as they pass by the racks of postcards and then they start to raise their voices again when they get to the back of the store where there  is a woman in a glass case.

In her plaster hand are a bunch of yellow cards.

” Ask her. “

” Fine ” Faraway says. ” Fine. I’ll do it.”

” Go ahead. “

” Okay.”

” Anytime Faraway.”

” Are Ghosts for real?” He asks the woman in the glass case.

” Feed her some silver Faraway.”

Faraway reaches into his pocket and pulls out some change. He drops it into the coin slot and right after he does he and Lonelee can hear gears begin to grind  and then there’s a click and the Woman In The Glass Case moves her hand towards them and drops a little yellow card on the table in front of her.

They look down and read:

You Will Have Good Luck In The Winter

Oooh she’s good Faraway.”

” I’m telling you, yesterday I asked her the same question and she answered it.”

” She told you that ghosts are for real.”

” Yes she did. “

Lonelee holds her hand out and Faraway gives her some coins.

” Okay. I’ve got a question. “

The Woman waits patiently in her case and Lonelee asks before she gives over her change, ” Are there ghosts here right now?”

Your Confidence Will Lead You On

” We came all the way down here for this?  Are you kidding me? I hope that at least the Taffy is good because you’re buying and you’re buying a lot of it. “

Lonelee is walking up the aisle towards the candy shelves and she yells over her shoulder. ” Let’s go Faraway. “

Faraway buys the Taffy and after he does Lonelee sweeps the bag up off the counter. ” I told you. Ghosts are not for real. Fortune Tellers aren’t for real either and the ones in glass cases  are for sure not real. You shouldn’t have bet me Faraway. I always win. You should know that by now.”

She  goes to the door and pushes it open and lets Faraway walks out first and Lonelee follows him.

 As  they make their way back up the street Lonlee is looking up into the bright blue sky and shading her eyes from the sun and then she asks  Faraway  impatienly, ” Do you remember where it was we left the ship?”


When Monsters Kill

…he will be taken from the jail at three o’clock in the afternoon

he will be hanged by the neck until dead

and it is further  considered   by the court

that after the execution is done

your body will be delivered to Doctor J.W. Canfield, a surgeon

for dissection

and may God have Mercy on your soul

That was the price

Antoine LeBlanc

paid for the murders of Judge Samuel Sayres and his family

However, legend says that after Le Blanc was pronounced dead he wasn’t even close to completing his sentence:::

After the execution, Dr. Canfield of Morristown took the body, and with the help of the esteemed Dr. Joseph Henry of Princeton University, passed electrical current through it to see if it could be resurrected. Although they were able to make the limbs contract, the eyes roll, and the mouth grin, the corpse stayed lifeless.



By: L’Aura Muller

So who was the monster and who was the beast and why did a Judge find it necessary to kill a man twice?

Just a little thought for you to turn over in your head on Halloween.

From Weird N.J.


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.”


Secret From Under The Bridge

photo by captain oddsocks

photo by captain oddsocks

I have a secret.

I love pumpkins…year round, not just for Halloween.

But that is not my secret.

Let me explain.

I collect pumpkin knick knacks and pictures of pumpkins and I cross stitch them on all sorts of things  and I always have stickers with pumpkins on them and I slap them on anything that isn’t moving.

And if it is I’ll slap one on anyway.

Most people think I like pumpkins because I love Halloween.

In part that’s true.

The truth of the matter is- I like pumpkins because they look like severed heads-

 and when you carve faces on them.



3:43 at 5th And Cherry Street

Gemi Ranney catches her bus at 3:43 on the Corner of 5thand Cherry Street Mondaythrough Friday.

You could set your watch by Gemi.

She shows up at her stop at exactly 3:38 and five minutes her bus, the 408 shows arrives and then Gemi gets on and she’s home a half and hour later.

Nothing surprising ever happens to Gemi on that short walk she takes to her bus stop after work.

She sees the same people withthe same expressions on their faces- sometimes they smile and sometimes they don’t and sometimes they say hello- but one day Gemi noticed  it truly was always the same.

Gemi started to wonder how they could do that- how they could smile the same, sound the same when they said hello and even wave the same way to the same people they passed on the street every single day.

Gemi couldn’t stick to any sort of routine, she never wore her hair the same way, she never signed her name the same way, she never made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches the same way and she only ever used three ingredients when she did that. 

So one day, because she was early, Gemi took a another route that was a little longer and as she walked towards 5th she ended up walking behind one man she always saw at the Cherry Street bus stop.

He always said ” hey there you ” with a little wink and a click of his tongue against his teeth.

As she walked by she said hello and he turned his head and looked down at her and as he did Gemi saw a little bug run from his ear into his nose.

” I think something… ” Gemi pointed to the side of his head and as she did he said,

” Hey there you ” with a little wink and a click of his tongue the way he always did but this time he said something different.

This time he said, ” Mrs Grayford did this to me. ” and then he took his same place at the bus stop and he pulled a newspaper out of his backpack and Gemi had the feeling it was the same paper he looked at every single day as he waited on the corner of 5th and Cherry.

After the bug in the nose incident Gemi started to walk different roads to her bus stop and every once and awhile she would see some of the people from her stop going through their usual routines.

But now Gemi started to see not only the sameness in what they did every single day she noticed that they were wearing the same clothes and carrying the same books and sometimes from the smell she was sure they were carrying the same lunches and coffee cups too.

And sometimes they would stop and say to her, with dust in their hair and dust in their slightly frosty looking non-blinking eyes and the occasional  bug running across their foreheads or out of their mouths, a little desperately before their eyes frosted over again

” Mrs Grayford did this to me.”

Eventually, of course, Gemi did begin to wonder who Mrs. Grayford was. And when she thought about it too much she realized that doing that probably wasn’t a very good idea until that day at her office.

Gemi worked in an office supply store that sold pens and pencils and old fashioned things like erasers and they even sold business cards that were printed on a printing press and not a laser jet printer.

Gemi’s job was back in the warehouse and sometimes she had to work up in the office processing paperwork- which she didn’t mind because it was a break in the routine that was her work day.

So true to her nature after about 15 minutes of filing and initialing of order forms Gemi switched screens on her computer and typed in Mrs. Grayford and she put in Dearden, Washington.

She learned one thing, there was only one person named Grayford who lived in Dearden and exactly three months ago she opened a Funeral Home just 4 blocks up from Cherry Street.

” Well that’s just creepy. ” Gemi said to Rochelle who worked in Accounts Receivable- and Gemi only started talking because Rochelle was into her numbers and paperwork and wasn’t going to pay attention to anything you said unless it involved an invoice.

So as a rule, Rochelle didn’t talk to anyone at the office, and that especially included the human tumbleweed that was Gemi Ranney.

Now the beauty of this situation for Gemi was that she could say out loud this idea that was giving her nightmares. And the thought was crazy sounding but the person who was about to hear it wasn’t going to be listening to a word she said, let alone care what she had to say.

This brief and short conversation with Rochelle was Gemi’s way of dragging a vampire out into the sunlight and killng it. 

” You know what Rochelle? I think that someone is making Zombies at that new Funeral Home up the street…mindless Zombies that do the same thing over and over again until they fall apart. I’m hoping that I never run into the person that asked for this to be done. I’d rather stab myself in my own ear with a pencil then to be anywhere near a person like that.

 That’s what I think.”

Rochelle didn’t look up at Gemi just like Gemi new she wouldn’t and Rochelle continued to fill in numbers and mark pages that needed to have the date hand written into one box and  her initials written into another and then she started all over again on another form and then Rochelle slid something across her desk towards Gemi and Gemi saw what it was.

It was a pencil.

And then from her ink and paper filled hell Rochelle said said to Gemi

” Mrs Grayford did this for me. ” 

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

This is the very story that made me decide to become a Writer.

I was about 10 when I heard it for the first time.

It was years later that I actually saw the film.

It was fitting then, that the first time I saw it on TV was on the Twilight Zone.

What follows next, before the video posted here, is the Closing Narration from the Twilight Zone, but really, it was the Opening Narration for me.


An occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge—in two forms, as it was dreamed, and as it was lived and died. This is the stuff of fantasy, the thread of imagination…the ingredients of the Twilight Zone

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge – part 1


An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge – part 2

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge – part 3




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….

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.


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?


By Livia Longyear


Every Halloween people pay good money to stay at the Longyear Hotel in a little town called Duwamish Bay.

By candlelight they listen to stories about the odd  history of Duwamish Bay and the strange story about a woman who wrote books  for another person whose name is very famous in the world of horror and about how she buried the dead by night and how sometimes she would haunt the roads and hills by moonlight looking for stories.

Once a man from a little town in Kansas flew all the out to Duwamish Bay and he checked into the hotel and asked for Livia’s room.

” Guests don’t stay in that room, ” Mr Longyear, the owner of the Inn said. ” We actually rent out her writing room, which if you’d care to see it-”

” I wouldn’t ” Parker Overland said ” I’d like to stay in Livia’s room, isn’t that your stock and trade here? Stay in the room where a real, how do you put it ” Ghost Writer ” once lived?”

” Sir, that’s what I’m saying…she wrote her novels upstairs in the sitting room – she didn’t write them in her bedroom…”

” I understand you, what I’m saying is, I want to stay in Livia Longyear’s bedroom, I want to know what she saw just before she fell asleep at night and I want to know what it was she saw when she opened her eyes. That’s what I want.”

” Mr. Overland, it’s bare bones in there and not very comfortable. Livia’s bedroom is the oldest room in the house. Her sitting room though is available for private parties- and we do have a few hours free where you can have the room to yourself. We even have a guide available to – ”

” Look Sir ” Mr. Overland glared down into the small dark face of Mr Longyear ” I want to get inside of this writer’s head, I want to know why she wrote stories for someone else that made them famous and why she allowed her to die in obscurity as a retired gravedigger in a town whose main stock and trade is a permanent Sideshow and an abandoned Insane Asylum. I want to understand it all.”

” A lot of people ask those questions Mr Overland and they don’t need to stay in Livia’ bedroom to do it. ”

” Of course they do, but this woman has been inside of my head for over 30 years and I think it’s only fair that now I get inside of her head and walk around for awhile.”

Mr Overland’s face was not filled with excitement or curiosity. It was not earnest. He looked like a man who had spent a sleepless night being tormented by a mosquito.That’s what Mr Overland looked like and he was doing it right in the middle of the place Livia Longyear called home.


An hour or so later Mr. Overland had his way which was no a surprise to him. 

Parker Overland was used to getting it and at the moment he was very annoyed at the short uppity man with the funny name who thought he could change that simple fact of nature.

Mrs. Longyear came into the Parlor with a little drink for Parker and she handed it to him.

” I’ve called my daughter in to get Livia’s room ready. She takes care of those things for me. “Cardela Longyear held her hands up; they were twisted and swollen with arthritis. This is what happens when you get old I suppose.”

” I suppose. “Parker held the glass up to Cardela and downed his drink and placed it back on the tray and then Cardela turned her back and right there in front of Parker Overland eyes the world filled with stars and then darkness and he fell into it over and over and over again.


” Done? ” Cardela called to her daughter who was working in Livia’ s room.

” Yeah Ma, but let me tell you it wasn’t easy. Wow that was a mess. Whose idea was it to let her bedroom? Lolo’s?”

” It was your Father’s.”

Sunny leaned against the door and asked, ” how come this guy? ”

” Your father has a good sense about people Sunny. If he thought it was best to give this man what he wanted then it was the best decision. Besides, this Mr. Overland was specific. He wanted to see what Livia saw when she opened eyes.”

” Whatever. People are weird. When’s dinner I’m starved…”

Sunny was about to walk by her Mother when Cardela swiped at her daughter’s arm. Sunny grabbed it as if a board had just hit her and she hissed, ” Cool it Ma that one hurt.”

” You’re not done, I’ll bet you left the lights on and a mess in there…go finish.”

Sunny rolled her eyes up and opened the little door that led from the kitchen to Livia’ s bedroom downstairs.

Everyone in the family knew that Livia wrote her books in her bedroom. And in Sunny’s opinion it would have made her family a lot more money if they’d just told the truth.

But Cardela didn’t want people walking in and out of her kitchen all day so they moved Livia’s  desk upstairs and left all the rest downstairs.

Besides, Livia’s desk was the important thing- that’s where the family would find her neatly written manuscripts waiting for them to send out when she was done writing.

Sunny walked across the room she had fixed up and she guessed, as she swept up the dust from around the marble crypt in the center of the room,  that just about now Mr. Overland was about to see what it was Livia saw when she opened her eyes.



Cavana Devaney


Cavana Devaney’s house has windows between its walls.

The windows have been painted black and they’ve been nailed shut and even though there is no sunlight here they are still warm to the touch.

” Almost done? ” A voice called into Cavana’ s house, ” It’s getting late and I don’t want to drive over Old Creek in the dark. That place creeps me out. ”

” Oh yeah? Why’s that? ”

” Cause it’s haunted. ”

” Please.”

” But it’s true, I heard that years ago some crazy woman buried some Aliens under the Bridge and when they started to rot everyone in town got sick.”

Cavana’s House listened and the lace curtains that covered her windows stopped stirring and in the darkest corners a little light made it’s way in.

” You work in a funeral home you ding bat, have you ever seen a ghost?”

” No.”

” Then why are you afraid of that Bridge? ”

The Strange voices wandered through Cavana’s House, stopping here and there to smooth, straighten and make right ruined pieces of furniture.

They fixed and restored fixtures.

And with skilled hands they brought Cavana’s House back to life.

” Because it’s haunted. ”

” Fine, it’s haunted, but by what? ”

” Ghosts. Look, just because I’ve never seen one doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Maybe we’re just not looking in the right places.”

” Geeze, are you going to close up here or should I? ”

” Go ahead.” Roman Droguett said to his partner Lister ” But you’ve been out there, you know something is out on that Bridge. Everybody knows it. Everybody’s known it since the year that woman found those bones hanging from the tree at the north end of the Bridge.You’re just so blind you can’t see what’s under your own nose.”

” How true ” thought Cavana’s House as the Mortician named Lister closed the incision just above her collarbone with heavy white thread ” How true.”


Nightfall From Faraway

this is a story from my crypt.

I bring it out when the weather gets bad.



In my hometown, which is a place called Faraway, a man named Mr. Nightfall stands under a pear tree full of light green poisonous fruit and waits for the Sun to set.

Mr. Nightfall is my neighbor and our streets, like all the other streets in Faraway are lined with deadly fruit trees and deadly gardens. All these dark shady places are kept and tended by people with pale faces and empty eyes and here in our town Faraway no one is Sane and no one really lives because no one is really alive in Faraway.

When Mr. Nightfall comes from Faraway sometimes he brings storms and in that wildness all you’ll see, all you’ll hear is Mr. Nightfall.

When Mr. Nightfall crosses your path and he settles over your town you’ll know he’s there because your skin will start to feel to tight and you won’t be able to pull air into your lungs.

Everything will seem… Faraway.

That’ when you’ll know Mr. Nightfall is close enough to put out his cold, dark hand and lay it over your shoulder.

Once I followed Mr. Nightfall to a city with stores and cars and a coffee stand where the woman who served me wore a picture on her chest of a creature with stars in her hair.

 I asked if the creature in the picture was from  the Well of Angra Lei and the Woman squeezed the cup of coffee so tight at the sound of my voice that the top popped off and the scalding hot coffee filled her eyes and mouth and she didn’t cry out.

Not even a little.

The woman had turned to stone, her face was frozen into a mask and her eyes had rolled up into her head and I could hear her someplace deep inside screaming and screaming and screaming and she will never stop.

They never do when they are taken Faraway.

Mr. Nightfall didn’ come back for me, he never turns back but he did call out to me and I followed him through the town and the entire time he cursed and spat and hissed like one of the cats that’ not really a cat from back home in Faraway and he said, “They know I’m coming.”

“Of course they know you’re coming Mr. Nightfall, don’t they always?”

“No, not like this they haven’t known me like this for centuries I don’t like this Miss Praecox. No I don’t like it at all.”

This time the people in this little town by the sea knew Mr. Nightfall was coming.

There were candles in windows and there wasn’t a soul on the street. They were locked behind doors and the curtains where drawn and they knew they were very aware Nightfall was coming.

As Mr. Nightfall crossed the city I stopped here and there and looked in windows and when I could I found people and I touched them, carefully, quietly with my left hand and I told them my name and their minds stopped liked old clocks.

I could hear it loud as thunder as gears and cogs and wheels that turn their minds
ground to a halt and I could hear what they took with them to Faraway.

My name.

” Enjoying your visit Miss Praecox?”

” I always do Mr. Nightfall.”

He reached out to pat me on the head and thought better of it, ” Just like you’re Mother, we were a team in our day to. We worked well together.

The Praecox have always done their best work with Nightfall.”

” So what’s happened here Mr. Nightfall, where is everyone?”

He held a newspaper up and showed it to me. I couldn’t read it of course and he ran a cold dark finger under the headline and read it to me.

” Hurricane Force Winds expected to Strike Seattle, Power Outages State Wide, locals ready for Nightfall and freezing temperatures.

 They were ready for me this time. Lord I hate the press”

” Killjoys” I said with feeling.

” Well, there’s always tomorrow, isn’t there Miss Demetia Praecox?”

I agreed because everyone knows Nightfall comes from Faraway and sometimes it brings madness with it.


read more adventures from Faraway