Have You Experienced the Unexplained? – Guest Post by Dunham Raynor

Paranormal Activity – An event or power that scientific laws cannot explain. Thought to involve unknown forces…

bonciutoma @ Stock.adobe.com

A sudden chill along your spine as you stand atop a darkened staircase. Distant footsteps in the next room when you’re sure no one else is home. The eerie feeling someone is standing just out of your line of sight. Are these sensations products of imagination? Or is something unexplained waiting in the darkness? As a psychic hounded by the Dead, I can attest many supernatural phenomena are real. Others, however, can be credited to bouts of fantasy. I have the benefit of visual proof given to me by the Ouroboros.

If your inclinations tempt you to indulge in Halloween festivities this year, my dear reader, then be wary of the shadows. Heed my advice and search for the signs.

Signs of Paranormal Activity

  • Floating Ghost Lights or Orbs – Many a nighttime traveler glimpses ghost lights floating in the distance. They could be residual energy from a soul chained to our Earthly Realm. Or it may be a devilish will-o’-the-wisp trying to lead you astray. Trust your own lantern, Friend.
  • Shadow People – Have you ever fancied you’ve seen a human-shaped shadow just at the edge of your vision? Experts debate whether these Shadow People act as guides or have bad intentions for those who see them. I do my level best to ignore them.
  • Sudden Temperature Drops – Openings in the Veil between the afterlife and our Earthly plane cause a plummet in temperature. Life is warm. Death is eternal cold for those who don’t pass on.
  • Unexplained Feelings of Dread – Some souls are sensitive to the supernatural. Trust your instincts. They may just keep you from evil.
  • Disembodied Sounds – Hauntings usually occur when a ghost has a strong attachment to a place. You may hear footsteps or laughter from stranded souls trying to cling to their former lives.
  • Items Moving of Their Own Accord – Poltergeists are vexing. They rarely listen to reason and insist on clinging to a place or person that no longer wants them. Do not engage, as they can be extremely dangerous.

A warning, my friends: the list of signs I’ve provided is not comprehensive. We are in the season of monsters and mayhem. The safest place is in your bed, under the covers. Then again, if you are a kindred spirit and seek out the bizarre, Halloween is the perfect time to explore the fantastical. If you dare!

Dunham Raynor’s adventures can be found in his documented exploits, THE VENGEFUL DEAD.

Preorder Your Copy Today!
Advertisement

What Type of Halloween Fan Are You?

So, you think you’re a Halloween fan? Take the quiz to see how you rank in the Spooky Season Fandom. And don’t forget to put your results in the comments section. We’re curious to see how many hardcore Halloween fans are out there.

Siam @ Stock.Adobe.com

Halloween Fan Quiz

Question 1 – Summertime is here, and you are thinking:

  • Does this beige shirt go with my beige shorts? (0 points)
  • Should I have hamburgers or hot dogs for the July 4th BBQ? (1 point)
  • Halloween is three months away. I better start decorating soon. (2 points)

Question 2 – I put my Halloween decorations up on this date:

  • Dude. I never take them down! (2 points)
  • Halloween decorations are for little kids. (Negative 20 points! Kidding. 0 points)
  • I love celebrating the season by putting my Halloween decorations up on October 1st. (1 point)

Question 3 – I ___ when Trick or Treaters come to my house on Halloween:

  • Shut the lights off and lock the door. (0 points, and shame on you!)
  • Usher guests into the Haunted Maze I built in my garage. (2 points)
  • Hand out awesome candy and make a fuss over their costumes. (1 point)

Question 4 – Halloween night is over, and you:

  • Start planning your next Halloween Party on November 1st.  (2 points)
  • Procrastinate about putting away your Halloween decorations until the weekend. (1 point)
  • Nothing. It was just another day. (0 points)

Add those points together, and see below for your results!

Preorder Your Copy Today!

Halloween Fan Quiz Results

Hardcore Hellion (6 to 8 points) – You are the Halloween Star of your neighborhood and everybody’s favorite house to visit. Well done!

Moderate Monster (4 to 6 points) – Welcome to the Fun Group! You are a Halloween Fan and are a blast to be around during the Spooky Season. However, you don’t go overboard. So many holidays, so little time.

Dead On Arrival (0 to 3 points) – You need a pumpkin spice and candy corn infusion, Stat!

Please share your results in the comments. I’d love to hear from my fellow Halloween Lovers!

My 2022 Spooky Season Recommended Reads

Happy Spooky Reading! N.Savranska @ adobe.stock.com

Nothing ushers in the Spooky Season for readers like a nail-biting, nerve-shattering whopper of a scary story. I’ve found three book series guaranteed to make your hair stand on end.

Avery and Carter Book Series by Shane Carrow (Nail-biter)

I promise you that the vampires and werewolves in this series aren’t sparkly! These classic monsters deliver terror. Both books are fast-paced and riveting. I stayed up way too late finishing the stories.

VAMPIRE ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS

WEREWOLF ON THE WESTERN FRONT

Lance Brody Series by Michael Robertson Jr (Engaging, Heartfelt Characters)

Lance Brody was conceived in a graveyard…Thus begins the interesting life of Lance Brody. He’s a unique character who has a special relationship with the Dead. Forced to leave his hometown 24 hours after a terrifying personal tragedy, Lance begins a journey driven by his unique powers. I don’t want to drop spoilers and ruin the series for you!

DARK BEGINNINGS – Prequel. *Highly recommend reading this before Book 1.

DARK GAME – Book 1

James Asher Series by Barbara Hambly (A Thinker. Requires Patience)

Former spy for Queen Victoria, James Asher, has settled into a new life as a professor and married man. He returns home one night to discover a vampire in his house. The creature demands Asher help him find out who is murdering the vampires of London. His wife’s life is at risk if he fails. Summon your patience for this engrossing read. The book can be slow in places. However, the author masterfully incorporates historical details to make this an interesting read worth finishing.

I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

THOSE WHO HUNT THE NIGHT – Book 1

May your cider be hot and your reading spooky!

Available for Preorder!

Madame Midnight Tells Your Halloween Fortune

Madame Midnight Tells Your Halloween Fortune – © ratpack223 stock.adobe.com

Welcome seekers! Madame Midnight SEES all. She calls forth the spirits to guide her hand.

Concentrate. Look upon the letters below. Which one draws your attention? Keep it firmly in your mind and scroll below for your Halloween Future.

L or A or U

Concentrate! © SamsonFM – stock.adobe.com

L – Madame Midnight Sees New Love for you on Halloween

Tall, Dark and Horrible! © taufan – stock.adobe.com

Ghoulishly Gorgeous! © Sara Showalter stock.adobe.com

A – Madame Midnight Predicts Abundance for your Halloween

I hope you plan on sharing! © Elena Schweitzer stock.adobe.com

U – Madame Midnight Predicts “The Unknown”

This is awkward. Better stay under the covers until November!

Have A Happy Halloween! © bazzier stock.adobe.com

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well. And be Silly!

My Pick of The Top Three Funniest Horror Movies

Halloween is the perfect time to indulge in one of my favorite movie genres – Horror Comedy. Master movie makers begin with terrifying scenarios capable of scaring the pants off their audience. Then they mix in a little humor and boom! You have classic movie gold.

Zombie Party! © sergo77 – Stock.Adobe.com

My Top Three Favorite Horror Comedies

# 1 Top of my list – Shaun Of the Dead – Simon Pegg and Nick Frost at their finest!

Shaun (Simon Pegg) tries winning his girlfriend back during the Zombie Apocalypse. Reconciliation is a challenge. Hmm. Maybe they should’ve avoided the Winchester?

# 2 Boo! A Madea Halloween – Tyler Perry’s Madea mixes hilarity and horror in this fun movie.

A college fraternity sets out to deliver some scary revenge. Has Madea met her match?

#3 Young Frankenstein – Classic Mel Brooks!

Gene Wilder, Marty Feldman, Terry Garr, Madeline Kaun, and Cloris Leachman lead this stellar cast in a funny take on the classic Frankenstein legend.

Special Mentions

Army of Darkness and Bubba Ho-Tep – Bruce Campbell! Need I say more?

Eating Raoul

Gremlins

Housebound

Tremors

Creepshow

Happy Halloween!

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

Halloween Book Sale!

Five Ideas to Get You in The Halloween Spirit

Hello Halloween! © Elena Schweitzer – Stock.Adobe.com

Celebrating during the time of COVID can be a little daunting with so many restrictions and safety precautions. We NEED Halloween this year with its spirit of fun and mystery.

Here are some ideas to get you into the Halloween Spirit despite the pandemic:

  1. Plan a Scary Movie Watch Party with your friends. There are many Web-based platforms you can use: Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Facetime, Webex
  2. Have an Autumn and/ or Halloween themed cocktail party online or by practicing social distancing
  3. Read a scary book. Check out Horror.org for ideas from my fellow Horror Writers
  4. Contact your city or local organizations to see if they are planning Safe Social Distancing Halloween events Social Distancing Friendly Ghost Tours (Check your Botanic Gardens or Zoos)
  5. Make the Face Mask Fun! Check Etsy.com for spooky Halloween Mask ideas

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

Halloween Book Sale!

My Top Three Favorite Halloween Traditions

Spooky Halloween Traditions – © JenkoAtaman – Stock.adobe.com

Halloween boasts fun traditions: scary costumes, yummy candy, spooky stories, and pumpkin spice. Based on the sacred celebration of Samhain, our modern parties have given this ancient custom a pop culture flavor. Simple masks to ward off evil have been replaced with “Sexy Nurse” costumes. Soul cakes will no longer do for 21stCentury kiddies. Now we buy $15.00 bags of assorted sugary candy to appease the little boys and ghouls.

I may sound nostalgic for the old days, but I’m not. Give me my scary movies, a pumpkin spice latte, and some Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I’m ready to be entertained.

Top Three Favorite Halloween Traditions

Jack O’ Lanterns

Glowing pumpkins line our streets every Halloween Night. These orange guardians against evil weren’t the original food medium. That honor belonged to the lowly turnip. Carving and illuminating the little root vegetable began in Ireland to shoo away Stingy Jack. This mythical man, known as the stingiest man in the land, is believed to have outsmarted the devil. Jack hated to spend his own money. He tricked the devil by convincing him to turn into a coin to pay for their drink. Jack then pocketed the coin next to a silver cross, preventing Satan from turning back into his original form.  He freed the devil sometime later, but the tricks didn’t stop. Jack convinced the devil to climb an apple tree, then he carved a cross into the bark and trapped Satan again. This time the devil agreed to leave Jack alone.

Stingy Jack, however, was too clever for his own good. He died and went to Heaven, but God wouldn’t give him entry. Jack had been too stingy and wicked during his life. Then he traveled to Hell, but the devil had made a promise not to take Jack’s soul. Satan sent him packing with a single burning coal to light his way throughout eternity. Folklore tells of a bobbing light moving aimlessly across the open land. It is Stingy Jack or Jack of the Lantern still wandering the Earth. People in Ireland and Scotland carved and illuminated turnips, potatoes, and beets to keep Stingy Jack and other evil spirits away.

Trick or Treat

Our tradition of Trick or Treat dates back to the Middle Ages. There is evidence this custom may have originated to the pre-Christian Celts. People dressed up as ghosts, spirits, and witches to scare away evil on Samhain. They’d dance around the bonfire and partake of treats to appease the spirits. The Celts and others celebrated their sacred Samhain to honor the dead.

America’s Influence – Halloween and Trick or Treat Traditions were Americanized into our Pop Culture in the 1950s. Peanuts and Disney firmly established Halloween as the Kid-oriented holiday it is today with their cartoons.

Ghost Hunts, Haunted Houses, and Graveyard Tours

Halloween season is a popular time to seek out the scary. We, against our wiser nature, join other thrill-seekers inside graveyards after dark in the hopes of spotting a prowling ghost. It is the Spooky Season, and we want to be scared. Why? Maybe we want to feel the thrill of terror in our otherwise mundane lives? Or perhaps like our Celtic ancestors, we want to connect with the dead? I go on ghost tours to catch a glimpse of the supernatural. One day, I might see a bit of real magic.

Bonus – Bobbing for Apples

I ran across this little tidbit while researching my blog post. Did you know bobbing for apples was part of an ancient Roman celebration of Pomona, goddess of agriculture, and abundance? The Romans brought the festival with them when they conquered the British Isles. Bobbing for apples stuck and is still played at Halloween Parties today.

Don’t Forget Your Jack O’ Lantern! © yellowj – stock.adobe.com

Happy Halloween!

Halloween Winners

Congratulations to the Grand Prize Winner of the Creed of the Guardian Halloween Giveaway and the Where The Readers Grow Instagram Winner!

Winners!

Creed of the Guardian, Book Three in the Heart of the Warrior series, is here! 

Dark Fantasy Books

Order Your Copy Today!

Protect the Innocent. Punish the Guilty.

Seth the Ice Lion, now an Apprentice in the Jalora Legion, reluctantly travels aboard ship with his new battalion. Western Beta’s mission seems a dull assignment. Guarding miles of bogs and old ruins should be a simple task, but Seth soon learns nothing is easy for the Bearer of the Lion Ring. The Jalora is the embodiment of Good and the source of Seth’s power. It commands he search North Marsh for a relic capable of saving his homeland from the ravenous appetite of the Jackal invaders. Surrounded by deadly bogs and savage beasts, he must find the relic before the Lion Spirit inside of him takes control of their shared body.

Invaders from across the sea hold a firm grip on Valdeon, but their thirst for blood remains unsated. They lust for the riches of Andara. Using fear and greed as weapons, the Jackal enlist aid from the continent’s unscrupulous mercenaries to prepare for a larger invasion. They build a stronghold – Stone Fang Fortress – in the Bloodtooth Mountains of the north. It is here they prepare to conquer the free world.

Will Seth find this powerful relic before the Jackal swarm invades Andara? Or will his people be enslaved under the iron fist of the Jackal Lord? Seth’s answers hide in the deadly bogs of North Marsh…

Excerpt

Chapter One

Seth D’Antoiné punched his fist into a helpless bundle of hay secured in the airship’s hold. Trapped like mindless livestock, he and his best friend—his squire, Riley Logan—had been herded inside a reinforced section of the hull. The suffocating enclosure was typically used to house mounts for the Jalora Legion’s traveling rangers. Fortunately for all concerned, the battalion wasn’t taking horses with them to North Marsh.

“Great gulls! Would you stop? I’m near death, and you want to punch things.” Riley gripped the porthole with one hand and covered his mouth with the other.

“You’re already airsick? We haven’t set sail yet. Our journey to North Marsh Outpost spans three days. The trip will be a rough one if you don’t settle your stomach. Can’t you make some concoction?”

Ignoring Riley’s glare, Seth leaned against the hold wall. The Lion Ring on his finger pulsed to the beat of his angry heart. It, too, resented being caged by their uneasy allies. The Jalora was the force for good on Erthe. Its Legion consisted of men, each of whom had been bonded in service by a Heart of the Warrior ring. Every such talisman clung to its bearer’s left middle finger, feeding off the host’s blood. Seth lifted his Lion Ring and regarded it. His blood surged and ebbed with the tide inside the yellow crystal.

“They’ve no right to cage me like a beast! I have things I must do.”

His thoughts returned to the hidden passageways boring through the granite body of the Obsidian Citadel, his former duty post. A few hours before the Legion caged him, Seth had chased his murderous half-brother, Julian, to the battlements. Mercenaries had been waiting for him there, ready to fight. His new Lion Friend, Lord Fausto De Quintaro, and the men of Valdeon had stood with Seth to drive the villains from the stronghold. Fausto had vowed to return to Valdeon with rebellion in mind. Seth desperately wanted to go with him, but the Jalora Legion had other plans in mind for the new bearer of the Lion Ring.

“Aye. But you’ve been grousing for the last half-hour. Please give me a little peace so I can calm my aching head.” Riley swayed forward with a groan. “Tell me what happened when you met with that foul-tempered uncle of yours. As quietly as possible, if you please.”

Seth’s uncle, Esteban D’Antoiné, was a prince of Valdeon and bearer of the Hawk Ring. His very name sent Seth’s temper surging. Esteban’s intrigues had ripped their family apart.

“Hawk was the ranger who bargained with the assassin Pavel Sandor on Marianna,” Seth reminded his friend. “My uncle found Mother when I was a baby and promised her he would protect us by keeping my existence secret. Hawk assumed he had Pavel under his control. We both know his madness was uncontainable.” Seth ran a hand across his face. “My uncle claims he sends us with the Phoenix for my protection.”

Riley sighed. “Who knows what waits for us at the end of this journey. I’m not sure I trust that uncle of yours. It seems to me he should have waited for Cardinal Dragon to return.”

Find out more about the series on my website: www.crrichards.com

The Funniest Alien Invasion Ever

Watch The Skies! © BibiDesign – stock.adobe.com

You hear those piano keys pound, and the distinct fifties sound begins. Immediately, you recognize the prologue of THE best horror comedy to come out of the 80s. I’m talking about Little Shop of Horrors, of course! Admit it. You just started singing the lyrics. I watched the movie two days ago, and I can’t stop the Da-doo.

This unique movie was adapted from an off-Broadway musical by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman that they based on a 1960 film. In 1986, Frank Oz gave it his magic touch, and a classic was born. Who can forget Audrey II, voiced by Levi Stubbs of the Four Tops? Feed Me, Seymor!

Beware the Greek Chorus

Crystal, Ronette, and Chiffon are the mysterious girls who appear throughout the movie as musical narrators. You know something’s about to happen when they start singing. I love their costumes and hairstyles. Each look fits the song and circumstances perfectly.

The strength of their voice talent adds to this outstanding musical score. Every song is gold. They get stuck in your brain until you have to sing along.

Cosmic Comedic Cast

The cast of Little Shop of Horrors is a list of “Who’s Who” in the comedy scene of the 80s. Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, Vincent Gardenia, Steve Martin, Bill Murray, Jim Belushi, John Candy, and others I’m sure I’ve forgotten.

We can’t overlook the amazing puppeteers behind the inner workings of Audrey II. That was one huge plant, and I’m sure it took a large crew to make this flowery invader come to life.

I give this movie Five out of Five Intergalactic Green Thumbs!

It’s Release Week!

Pre-Order Your Copy Today!