I’ve Met A Ghost…Have you? By Kieran Kramer

Hi all! Cynthia D’Alba here. I am so excited to have Kieran Kramer visiting use today to talk about Halloween and ghosts. I was lucky to meet Kieran when she agreed to be on a Published Author Panel for the RWA PRO Retreat this summer. She is a gracious and wonderful women…and a knock-out writer. So welcome Kieran to ENLR. Take it away, Kieran!

Everybody needs a little romance, and you know what? Around Halloween, everybody needs at least one ten-second episode of the heeby-jeebies. ‘Cuz it’s fun. And if you go back and forth between the words Halloween and romance for a long time, you start realizing that part of true romance is comforting each other through frightening times. Which is why haunted houses and scary movies are so popular with couples. They create great opportunities to hug each other and smooch away all those fears of the dark and monsters and ghosts we all have, even though most of the time we pretend we don’t.

It’s such a relief at Halloween to admit that, yes, we’re scared. Life is hard. And we’d like to have friends, family–and oh, a soulmate would be nice–to get through it all, not just on Oct. 31st but the rest of the year.

In fact, I’m going to stand up right now and make the claim that Halloween has the potential to be waaaay more romantic than Valentine’s Day. If you want to join me, just say “boo” right now. “Boo” as in ghostly boo, not a boo you’d make when your team is losing.

1-2-3, BOO!

And on that note, I’d like to top off my Halloween thoughts with a real ghost story that happened to me. Just thinking about it gives me that ten-second heeby-jeeby ride I mentioned earlier, which means I’m going to rush into my husband’s arms later tonight and really play up this story and get all shivery and scared again on purpose. Because it’s fun, especially when you have a stoic for a husband who rolls his eyes and can see right through you but is secretly flattered that you’re trying to wring some hugs out of him with a very old story that he’s heard a thousand times.

But here goes:

Okay, I have to start out by saying I have never seen a ghost. But I’ve been in the presence of one. My sister out-and-out saw the ghost, however. He was in our apartment. We’re both very common-sensical, skeptical types who don’t seek out the occult in any way. We don’t like horror movies or books. Nor do we follow any psychics, read our horoscopes, or do tarot. It simply doesn’t interest us.

Perhaps that makes us boring. But we’re also Irish, as fey as can be. And I think part of the reason all that stuff doesn’t interest us is that we believe things can happen. And we don’t want to stir anything up.

Living inCharleston,SC, it’s hard not to sense the past at every turn in the road, down every alley, in every old building. We were living in an older house on Bull Street near The College of Charleston when one day about noon, my sister was studying in her room, looked up, and saw a young man in his twenties dressed in a puffy shirt (remember that Seinfeld episode about the puffy shirt?) Well, this was a guy in a really old-fashioned shirt. And then the next instant, he was gone.

It was odd because this weird sighting of my sister’s came at a time where we were calling the property managers constantly to come out and find whatever was dead beneath our kitchen. Something dead was making an awful smell.

Well, the property managers came out several times that week and made thorough investigations of all the appliances (especially the refrigerator), examined the belly of the house below the kitchen, did their best with the walls, and found nothing anywhere. So they brought in pest control experts who were even more thorough. But nobody ever found anything.

A few days after my sister saw the guy in the puffy shirt, we were both standing in the kitchen chatting and eating when all of a sudden, our black cat Scout, who was washing herself on the floor between us, seemed to be lifted in the air in slow motion, turned upside-down, and put back on her feet. We know cats can do amazing gymnastic feats, but this was…weird. It was like someone invisible picked her up, turned her over super slowly, and put her down. Scout was freaked, too. All four of her limbs extended out, her paws dug into the wooden floor, and she looked around the kitchen with an expression on her face that said, “What was that?”

My sister and I felt something very present in the house at that moment. It’s hard to explain what I mean by present. Nothing was there, yet something was. (Even remembering now gives me a funny feeling).

We decided it had to be the young man in the puffy shirt trying to get our attention. So we told him out loud that we sincerely felt bad for him and that we knew he was there and we were sorry he was stuck in our house but that he didn’t have to bother us anymore.

And he didn’t. The next morning, the dead smell was gone. My sister never saw the ghost again. Scout never got turned upside-down again, either. And we moved on with our lives.

But neither of us has ever forgotten.

Do you have any real-life ghost stories to tell? I hope so. And even if you don’t, I’d love to hear something Halloween-ish from you. What scares you the most? Do you like popcorn balls and caramel apples? What’s your best trick-or-treating story? What’s your favorite Halloween candy? Do you have anything both romance-y and Halloween-ish to tell us about?

Thanks for stopping by! I’m going to give away a signed copy of When Harry Met Molly and another of Dukes to the Left of Me, Princes to the Right to two commenters. And everyone, have a great Halloween!!!

Cynthia again…Thanks Kieran! Personally I got the heebie-jeebies with that story! I’ll add my ghost story to the comments.

Find Kieran at her Website, Twitter, and Facebook

Kieran’s next book, If You Give A Girl A Viscount, comes out 11.1.11. For more information, watch this video 

You can follow any of the links below to buy Kieran’s new book…

B & N | Indiebound | Powell’s | Borders | Amazon

As a Kieran Kramer fangirl, I can testify that she can tell a great story! I can’t wait to get my hands on her Viscount book.  So let’s hear those ghost stories.

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33 Responses

  1. First, thought – I’ve not had time to read your books, and they are so on my towering TBR stack if not for the titles alone. Love them! I’ve been so super busy writing on tight (did you hear a squeak?) deadlines for the past few years that I’ve been missing out on so many authors. But never fear, I’ll get around to them since Regency is one of my passions.

    Okay, that’s a creepy story, but I believe it. Especially in Charleston. I lived not far away (Beaufort) for a year and one day at my Officer’s Wives Club meeting we had this conversation about ghosts, and you wouldn’t believe how many pragmatic Captain’s wives had seen or experienced ghosts in military housing. I vowed never to live in any of those big old Officer houses on base. No thanks. Some had actually experience naughty ghosts that broke things.

    Thanks for visiting with us. Love having you here.

    • Liz, my husband lived in that old officer housing on the Charleston Navy base!! In fact, his house used to be the hospital. I’m definitely asking his mom if she ever experienced anything creepy or if anyone else on the Navy base did!!!

      Thanks so much for stopping by. And I love your cover for A LITTLE TEXAS!!!! Speaking of Texas, my 14-year-old has taken a liking to the Rangers…we’ll see what happens tonight!

      XO

  2. Hi Kieran! Love having you here today.

    My dad’s office was haunted. Many many people saw an older man there. (Dad’s building used to be a duplex apartments.) Dad said when he was there alone, it was common to hear the file drawers opening and closing. The other employees hear those too. Plus doors opening, the sound of a man walking around. The little girls down the street came down one day and asked to talk to the old man who lived there. They’d met him yesterday. One day Dad was working on his computer when a smiley face floated up behind his monitor and hover above it for a couple of minute and pop! it was gone. The ghost was never heard from again. Dad thinks the smiley face was his was of saying bye.

    • Cyndi!!! That story gave me chills down my spine!!! Even if he WAS a friendly ghost, LOL!!!

      After what I went through, I totally believe that sometimes, somehow, certain people have some leftover energy that takes a while–if ever–to dissipate.

      Fern Michaels lives less than a mile away from me…she always talks about her ghost in interviews (I’ve never met her myself; she’s very private). But if you go to this link and scroll down, you can read a little bit about her ghost: http://fernmichaels.com/biography/

      Thanks for having me here today! You are TOO kind. I can’t wait to hear more spooky stories….

      :>o <—— that 's my BOO face!!!

  3. Welcome Kieran! What an eerie experience. Yikes! We had a psychic come and speak last year for one of our chapter meetings. Talk about scary stuff! According to her, you did exactly what you were supposed to in telling the spirit to leave you alone. 🙂 I guess it really does work!

    • Hi, Melissa!!! Yeah, it just seemed the thing to do, to acknowledge the presence and then say, “But we don’t need any more reminders.” It really did seem to work. I still can’t believe I’m talking about this as if it’s real–again, I am a HUGE skeptic of all the paranormal activity I read about. But you just can’t deny your own eyes (seeing our cat turn like that) and the smell and that weird, totally real presence we could feel. Not to mention that my super practical sister saw a man in a puffy shirt! I hope it’s our last brush with ghosts. It’s a little out of my comfort zone, LOL!!!

      Thanks for stopping to visit!!!

      :>)

  4. Hi Kieran 🙂 I love your books, they make me giggle and the kind of happy you get when you see a rainbow.

    My college in Newport, Rhode Island was made up of old gilded age mansions…ghost stories were rampant. In my dorm freshman year I would wake up early before class to get my homework reading done, and I’d be sitting on the couch in what once was the entryway but was turned into a common area, and I would see shapes out of the corners of my eye on the large, elaborate main staircase. It being a dorm, I would look up ready to greet my fellow classmates and there would be nothing there.

    In that same dorm, my friend (who was a year ahead of me, but lived in the same room all 4 years due to health reasons) had a most peculiar thing happen to her….it was the first day of moving into the dorm, and she had just come from a hall meeting where they paid particular attention about not putting new holes in the wall, but to use pre-existing ones. So, after the meeting, she went back to her room and very carefully hung up her pictures with her purple sparkly thumb tacks being extra careful to use holes already there. The next day upon returning to her room she noticed all her pictures were down, and the thumb tacks were missing. She looked all around, before finally looking up….and there, in the ceiling, were all her purple thumb tacks. Now, it should be mentioned that my friend is short – maybe 5’2″ at most. And because this was an old mansion, in the old servant quarters, the ceilings were about 8 feet high. Even standing on her bed, or desk she could not reach the ceiling to get the thumb tacks down. She had to find one of the RAs, a young man on the basketball team, to get them down for her.

    Now, the next year when I entered as a freshman and met that same friend, funny things always happened in her room. We would be sitting on the floor and hear a rattling noise. When we found what it was, we were surprised – it was the tray inside her microwave rattling back and forth on the track. Now she was on the 3rd floor….and nothing else was moving, there were no rattles or vibrations.

    It was said that our dorm was haunted by the son of a servant. One who was playing with a ball, and tripped and fell down a very steep narrow stair case leading from the 3rd floor to the second floor. TVs liked to turn on by themselves, the sound of a ball bouncing could be heard, funny things would show up on the security cameras…to the point that security finally disconnected them. And once, while in my boyfriends room, we heard what sounded like someone writing on the dry erase board…but when we opened the door, no one was there, and there was no message to be found.

    • And apparently I had issues with the name & email forms..

    • Wow, VintageDreamer!!! You have some amazing ghost stories to tell!! And can I confess something to you? What you said about my books and rainbow made me tear up! I felt SO honored to read that…thank you very much.

      By any chance, was your college Salve Regina??? My ex-SIL Dr. T.J. Wray taught there in the Theology Dept!!! She’s an ex-SIL, yes, but an amazing, brilliant lady…wouldn’t it be funny if we’re talking the same school? That’s a gorgeous campus, and I have no doubt that if there are any ghosts in Newport, they’d be roaming through those old mansions.

      That son of the servant sounds like he likes to play funny, juvenile sort of tricks. That makes me sad, in a way, because he must have been young when he died. But I’m sure he enjoys the attention!

      Thanks for stopping by, and please do visit me again sometime on my Facebook page, my website, or Twitter (the links are above). That goes for everyone, of course! I love to keep up with my reader friends.

      XO

      • It WAS Salve Regina!!! I never took a class with Dr. Tina Wray (I was English Lit & European History), but my friends who were theology minors and majors had nothing but good things to say about her.

        It really is a small world, huh?

        I currently still live in Newport, RI though I will hopefully be moving closer to Boston in the near future, and there are quite a few tales to tell about this town. It’s only to be expected from a place steeped with so much wealth and poverty, and scandal (pirates! oh, my!)

        I keep hoping that Salve will show up on Ghosthunters, but it won’t anytime soon because it’s a Catholic university…but one of the old dorms, Carey Mansion aka Seaview was recently featured on Ghosthunters.

        Aw 🙂 I’m honored that you are honored. I really do enjoy your novels…thank you for writing them 🙂

  5. Hi, Kieran, I definitely believe in ghosts but I don’t ever want to see one. I once heard someone speak to me (more like the words were planted in my mind)and I knew it was a particular deceased person whom I’d never met. That was enough. And when my husband and I stayed at a castle in northern England that was supposed to be haunted, I refused to go into that particular room and I don’t think I slept a wink that night!! LOL

    • Judith, so scary to hear a voice. Y’all are giving me all sorts of heeby-jeebies today!!! LOL!!!

      My mom had a similar incident at an old plantation house in Moncks Corner, SC…Gippy Plantation, which was bought by a friend of ours in the 1970’s. It’s actually a pretty well known plantation. Franklin Delano Roosevelt visited a couple times…I think his cousin owned it for a while in the early 1900’s.

      Anyway, I’ll never forget when our friend was giving us a tour of the house, and my mother stopped on the threshold of a room and said, “I don’t want to go in. There’s something not right here.”

      I was like, “MOM!! You’re embarrassing us.”

      And our friend said, “Actually, I’m not surprised. This was the gun room, and a slave was killed here. That slave is supposed to haunt Gippy.”

      Well, my mother didn’t know a thing about any slave being killed at Gippy! I guess that was the fey Irish in her.

      The owner kept up with us and told us a couple REALLY creepy things that happened to him in the following year. He was divorced and had custody of his two boys. Well, they were young teens, and one night, he went out on a date. The next morning at breakfast, the two boys said, “Dad, what was that party you had going on downstairs? It kept us up, all those people talking.”

      And he’d come back alone!

      And then one day (I still get goosebumps about this one), he was trying to hang a chandelier in the main hall, which went from the front of the house to the back. He was on a stepladder, and he was holding the light fixture, when he heard a door slam from the back and then heard footsteps coming down the hall…toward HIM. He said he has never moved so fast with an expensive chandelier in his hands! He got down off that ladder and went straight out the front door!!

  6. Poor kitty. That would have been a scary experience, but it’s nice you exorcised the smell. It does seem that energy lingers in places, and gives them a certain feel. During college I was a Theater Arts major, and spent plenty of time alone in empty theaters to feel the ghosts of performers past. One theater was good and truly haunted, things would move about and turn up missing.

    I read quite a bit of Heather Graham’s work, and really like her Bone Island Trilogy which has a interesting take on ghosts.Another author who talks about ghost quite a bit is Sharyn McCrumb.

    Interesting that your book comes out on 11.1.11 that must mean something in the spirit world.

    • HI, Gayle!!! Yes, theaters are notorious for being haunted. Isn’t that interesting? I suppose actors are particularly passionate people, and maybe this shows up in the afterlife!!

  7. *shivers* I do believe in ghosts even though I have never encountered ones. I’ve always been curious about the unknown and satisfy them with stories like yours from people who have encountered them. There was a time I believe I was in the presence of one but I’m hesitant to say it was a ghost because I’m just not sure. I was in the kitchen cooking and felt two hands push down on my shoulders -it was so real I dropped the pot. I looked around thinking a family member had done it but no one was around. It wasn’t my imagination (I think) because my body physcially reacted to being pushed.

    • Na, that’s an interesting story!!! It sounds rather frightening…I don’t know what I would have done. I agree with you that it’s best to be skeptical…I’m sure there are all kinds of things going on in the natural world that humans have yet to understand. But you never know, LOL!!!

  8. Our local RWA chapter (Diamond State Romance Authors) has been on two ghost hunts (i.e. field trips. We like those!) I’ve seen nothing. Heard nothing. The last ghost hunt was at Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs,AR. It is known as the most haunted hotel in America. But nada.

    However, when we were on the tour in Hot Springs, AR, we went to one of the oldest cemeteries in the county to look around (about nine p.m.) The coolest thing happened to Delilah Devlin and Elle James. There were in a family plot. The first headstone gave the family name as “Ghost” The next one was Johnson. Next one Johnson, Johnson, Johnson …all the way through the plot. They went back to the first headstone which now read “Johnson” Neither of them said anything to the other about seeing the word “Ghost” until it disappeared. Spooky!

    • Cyndi, that story truly scares me!!! I think if ghosts exist that most of them are harmless, but it’s the idea that there might be some kind of power out there that we can’t control and don’t exactly understand…

  9. oh no no nonononono. I would have been hiding under the covers somewhere peeing myself and it would have taken weeks for me to have actually slept well again.

    I don’t do well with all these creepy stories—even if they’re friendly or not!

    • Thanks for listening in, Keri!! You know, every storyteller needs an audience, so the same goes for ghost storytellers!!! You’re a good audience, getting all freaked out and hiding under the proverbial covers, LOL!

      :>)

  10. Hey, Kieran! Thanks for joining us on the blog. I can’t wait to read VISCOUNT. Your books all make me smile, just like you do whenever we talk. =)

    I’m boring. I have no ghost stories or creepy things to share, but I’ve enjoyed reading yours and all those in the comments. Wow! So, hmmm, my favorite candy is Reese’s peanut butter cups. In fact, I’ll think I’ll sneak a few now. 😉

    • Thanks for always being so supportive of my books, Gwen!

      Reese’s are beloved by every person in our house–it’s the only candy we ALL like, so it goes fast when we get ’em.

      Thanks for having me here today–it’s been tons of fun tawking ghosts!!!

      :>D

  11. Kieran, I loved the way you combined romance and Halloween!

    I don’t have any live stories to share (like Cyndi, I’m like ghost repellent or something), but back in college, my now-husband and I rented The Changeling, a 1980 movie with George C. Scott. It was a pure psychological thriller, and the SCARIEST thing we ever saw. BOTH of us had to walk sideways everywhere that night, even though the frat house was extremely well lit. And we had a pretty tight hold on each other while we watched it. 🙂

    • See what I mean about Halloween and romance?? I’m going to have to tell my husband about THE CHANGELING…he’ll watch it and see if I can stand it. I’m such a scaredy cat. I think it’s because I’m naturally high strung, so I avoid scary movies, psychological thrillers, and violent movies. Which leaves me with–

      Romantic comedies!!

      Which is the kind of book I like to write, too…very lighthearted.

      But I still love Halloween. Getting scared once a year is the perfect amount!!

      Thanks for stopping by! :>)

  12. Thanks for coming our way — and I guess thanks for giving me shivers up and down my back! Very suitable for Halloween. I’m sure seeing a ghost would give me the galloping gobbles. When we stayed with our friends in Hastings in England in September in their “new” house (which was built in 1810), they told us there was a ghost that Wendy had seen in her bedroom. Next door to the room where we stayed! Jim said that for a while the doorbell at the back door had rung and of course no one was there. He’d disconnected it, being the practical sort. I thought the ghost or poltergeist (that’s such a fun word) had taken my small brush for four or five days until it suddenly reappeared on the top of the chest of drawers, neatly lined up with my other brush. At which point I realized the poltergeist was my beloved husband, who had apparently only very recently tuned in to my complaints about the missing brush. I guess he thought he’d found he had a new one!

    • Beppie, that’s so funny about your brush! I wonder how many “ghostly” things actually have simple explanations like that? But as for the rest of it…I hope it’s a Regency ghost!!! That’s so cool.

      Thanks for having me here. I had such fun!!! I hope all of you have a Happy Halloween.

      :>o <—the "boo" face!!!

  13. Thanks Kieran! It was a blast having you here today!

    Happy Halloween

  14. Definitely a topic that gives me heebie jeebies! I’ve experienced far too many paranormal happenings for my liking to be honest. Probably the most bizarre happening was when my 2nd oldest daughter accidentally fell out of a 2nd story bedroom window (a good 20 feet above a driveway) when she was two years old and I was 9 months pregnant with her “4th” sister (her first sister was stillborn at term 4 years before she was born in 94 and she knew nothing about her, I had one daughter after the stillbirth in 96, then this daughter in 98, the one I was currently pregnant with in 00, a son in 02, and my last daughter in 04). After escaping with nothing but a few scrapes and bruises that were only superficial, the ER doctor told me in the hallway (mind you this was a good ten yards away from the room she was in with my sister getting back into her clothes) that she must have had an angel watching over her. A few hours after her experience she started talking about the “angel” that saved her when she fell out of the window. After I gave birth to her second sister a few days later she completely forgot about the angel conversation for a year or so. Then out of the blue one day she tells me (she was probably like 4 at this time) “Mommy, do you remember when I said an angel saved me when I fell out the window?” so I told her of course I did and she said “You had a baby that died in your tummy before me and my older sister didn’t you?” so I told her yes (thinking that she had found out from one of her relatives somehow). Then she said “You named that baby Rhianna and she saved me when I fell out the window. She said that you shouldn’t be sad that she died because she’s in heaven now.”. Needless to say I am still totally stunned over my daughter telling me this and some of the other things that she would talk about regarding my childhood (which she would talk about like she had actually participated in these things i.e. “I remember when Grandpa Robbie used to take you to the horse stables to feed the horses” and he did this when I was probably 7 years old. My father passed away on the morning when my 4th child was born).

    • I’m glad I read that in the bright sunlight. 🙂 Scary

      But I have a friend whose daughter had “talked” to grandpa, except grandpa is dead.

      Thanks for coming by ENLR. Come back and visit anytime.

  15. Wow, that was some story, Lora!!! Thanks for sharing. And I do believe that if anyone’s out there watching over us in a ghostly fashion, it could very well be someone who loves us, which is a comforting thought.

    Have a great Halloween, everyone!!!!

    XOXO

  16. Here’s my ghost story: After the passings of four men in my family (my uncle, a step-brother, my father and my brother), each one came to me in different forms to let me know they were all right. My father was the most vivid. He actually came as a full-bodied apparition so vivid, not only did I know it was my father, but I could make out the expression on his face.

  17. I know what you mean by being Irish and just believing in that kind of stuff. Same here. My story is more of an near death experience. When I was 15, I had a ruptured appendix and literally flat lined. When I died for a few seconds, I looked up and saw several dozen people coming towards me in various period of dress. There was one lady in the front in particular dressed from the late 1800s. [My Grandmother of course “knew” I had died and said her Grandmother had come to visit her]. When I was recouperating, I looked through some very old photo albums that I had never seen. I saw the lady who was up front – it was my Grammy’s Grandmother! Even though the photo was in black and white, I described the dress that I saw in great detail and my Grammy told me it was her wedding dress that I saw (Navy).

    Please do not enter me into the contest as I already have all of Kieran’s books. 🙂

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