GUEST WRITER # 2: GHOST WRITER V.L. MURRAY

INTERVIEW WITH

GHOST WRITER V.L. MURRAY

Ghost (1)  Check out Lynne’s ghostly contest at the end of the interview!

Lynne Murray isn’t a ghost writer in the sense that she anonymously writes for other people. She sometimes writes about ghosts, and since she’s my guest today, I just have to ask her if she actually believes in them.

Do you believe in ghosts, Lynne?

Why yes, I do.

And have you had any ghostly experiences yourself?

Funny you should ask. I have had several experiences with ghosts and ghostly things. Years ago when I was in my early twenties, friends asked me if I would like to move into the upstairs of their 200 year old farmhouse back in Ontario. I first noticed voices in the orchard. Every time I would go in there, I could hear voices all around me. I asked Sue, the gal who lived there, what was up, and she said she figured the place was haunted because she could hear them, too. It was as if people were talking to each other in every part of the orchard. I heard the same thing as did many others. Very creepy if you were alone. It turns out the place used to be a business for over a hundred years and so we figured we were hearing the memories of days gone by.

I had to prepare the attic room which I was going to move into and so I was there one Saturday morning painting the baseboards. There was an old-fashioned iron grate connecting the rooms and allowing the hot air from the furnace to come into both rooms. I became aware of the sound of footsteps pacing back and forth in the connecting room. Knowing no one was home except me, I felt a sudden clenching of fear around my heart and so started singing hymns very loudly. It didn’t stop the footsteps so I thought I should check out what was going on by having a look.

I decided to peek through the wrought iron grate instead of going into the hall and looking in the door. I got on my hands and knees, took a deep breath and looked through. A pair of black buttoned women’s boots walked past the opening with taffeta skirts swishing around them. I didn’t know what to think really. So I lay down on the floor and just stared for awhile. The feeling of fear left and I decided I needed to see her for myself. So I quietly stood up, tip-toed out of the room with the intention of looking in from the hall. But I guess she must have heard me, because she met me in the hall. We looked at each other; I noted the holographic appearance of her person and the fact I could see the room through her. Her mouth fell open as did mine. We locked eyes for a second and then she turned and floated down the stairs into nothing.

I decided it was time to go home. I told my mother about what had happened and she proceeded to tell me about my uncle have a similar experience years before.

What about the time ripple that allowed your characters their glimpse into the past. Do you believe in those?

Yes, I definitely believe in those. I know of people who have literally driven through time. A friend was going down a street back east, with his wife and young son in the car. They found themselves driving through what appeared to be a shimmer in the air. Suddenly they were in what looked like an older version of the street. The people were dressed differently. Cars were older. Very weird. They noticed a similar shimmer straight ahead and gunned it, making it through just in time as it closed up behind them. Who knows what would have happened if they hadn’t made it.

I have often experienced the sound of other times and places around me, but I grew up with psychic things being taught to me. My great-grandmother was a medium so it wasn’t unusual to experience that sort of event in our house. I often see other beings pass by and they aren’t ghosts. They are in other dimensions. It’s really obvious if you know what you are looking for.

People whose beliefs differed from those of the general populace, or who had ideas and knowledge ahead of their time have, throughout history, met with fear and loathing. They no longer tend to get executed because of this, but do you think things have changed in that regard, or are they still social pariahs?

I think it is a mix, now. Many people are very sceptical and a lot of people refuse to believe anything they have not experienced themselves. I am like that in some respects. I have had people get in my face occasionally if I tell them something they don’t want to hear. I think they are afraid. But most nowadays are really interested and just want to know what is out there. I taught classes for years on psychic phenomena. Most people are cool.

I learned something from you story, in that, in America, witches were hung rather than burnt at the stake as they often were in Europe. In the course of your research, did you ever happen to find out if any ‘witches’ were executed in Canada, and by what means?’ 

I’m pretty sure no one was. Remember the US is a lot older, as far as organized political structure, than Canada. Plus we didn’t have Puritans and such up here.

You say at the beginning of your story that you discovered the work of Edgar Allan Poe at a young age. Did any other writers feed your craving for the supernatural as a child/teen?

He certainly fed it and I read pretty much everything I could get my hands on. John Wyndham had an effect on me as well. His book The Chrysalids was about telepaths who had to hide their gift. I found it very interesting when they described how they sent out psychic thoughts, that it was how I did it myself and so I was able to hone my skills by reading some of the book and practising. We watched a lot of shows on TV that added to the thrill. The original Dark Shadows TV series was shot nearby and I could sort of watch it on our old television. Reception was nothing like it is today. My mother was into psychic things so I had lots of material there. It was an unusual childhood, I guess, though I thought it was normal. I was really into history and anthropology so was reading about Ancient Egypt and Crete etc. so The Mummy with Boris Karloff added a dimension of excitement when the movie came out. I was very much into reincarnation at the time and fascinated with that world.

I read Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys plus a few other teen mystery series and always wanted to be a detective. That probably fed my love of the unusual and mysterious as much as anything.

Is Halloween one of your favourite holidays? And, if so, why?

Hallowe’en is traditionally the witch’s New Year. It is called Samhain—pronounced Sow-han) and is the celebration of the ending of autumn and the beginning of winter. It is like Persephone going into the Underworld and then coming out in the Spring to bring new life. So Samhain is thought of as very good. It is also a time when the worlds—as in dimensions—are very close and so you can see the other side and feel your ancestors who might be gone already, closer to you, if they are still around.

I like it because it’s fun to dress up and be silly. There is also a lot of energy around at that time and so it’s very powerful. Plus there are always lots of great movies on TV like Practical Magic and Hallowe’en Town. I am such a kid at heart. I usually have to hide the candy from my husband. :o)

Thank you so much for stopping by today, Lynne.

More information on Lynne’s A Hallowe’en Tale is below. If you’d like the chance to win a free copy, leave a comment in which you share a ghostly experience of your own and Lynne will pick the one she thinks is the most intriguing.

A HALLOWE’EN TALE     Murray

Blurb: It’s the most exciting night of the year in their town, as Olivia and friends prepare for the annual Hallowe’en celebration

When the teens set off for the party, Olivia’s mother asks them not to take the rural back lane to the old southern mansion where the event is to be held. Ignoring her mother’s request, they find themselves crashing into trees in the near darkness before reaching the rear grounds of the mansion.

When a gallows suddenly appears out of nowhere, the teens realize they may be about to witness a hanging. Could this be the ghost of Olivia’s ancestor? The one executed for witchcraft? Olivia’s stubborn curiosity overwhelms her friends’ fear, and she leads them into an adventure the teens could never have foreseen when they encounter a glimpse into history.

A Hallowe’en Tale is available for purchase at:

MuseItUp Bookstore: http://tinyurl.com/n5wnpxc

Amazon.ca: http://tinyurl.com/m3ledtu

Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/lc4dcw6

 

V.L. Murray

Lynne Murray (V. L. Murray) is a published author, poet, composer and editor. She hails from Oshawa, Ontario and spent the first half of her life playing with music: teaching, composing, arranging, and performing. She has an undergraduate degree in music instruction from the Royal Conservatory of Music, University of Toronto.

Somewhere in the midst of all that sound, Lynne began to reach into alternative realms to explore the Medicine Wheel, Hatha, Kripalu, Astanga and Bhakti Yogas, the Vedas of ancient India, Buddhism, nature religions, New Age thought, Meditation, spiritual growth, psychic healing and awareness, and Herbal Medicine, to name but a few. 

The result was years leading classes and workshops, and now writing books on those topics and more. Lynne loves to write stories that intertwine the mystical and divine into everyday life and seeks to remind her readers that the other side is only a breath away.

She is a content editor and member of the staff of MuseItUp Publishing, a Canadian publishing house, out of Quebec. She loves the sound of the spoken word and believes that form and punctuation are just other ways to make it sing.

Website: www.vlmurray.ca

Blog: www.natterandreview.wordpress.com

Twitter: @vlynnemurray

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/vlynnemurray

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21 comments

  1. Thanks for the visit, Renee. That was fun!

  2. Fascinating interview, ladies. A perfect post for Halloween. Thanks for sharing your ghostly experiences, Lynne!

    1. Hi Pat! I bet you have some interesting experiences but probably more with dairies, eh? Thanks for dropping by.

    2. Never try to reply to WordPress from an IPHone. That was interesting. Well, I meant to say Fairies, though you may have more experience with dairies as well. Who knows? Maybe you would share some of your fairy experiences, Pat. I have had a few myself.

  3. In addition to being an exceptional storyteller in her own right, Lynne is also an excellent editor. Authors out there should consider contacting Lynne for her outstanding editorial services. My novel, The Boy Who Delivered The Wind from Museitup Publishing, benefited immensely from her careful review. Tom Peters

    1. Tom it is good to see you here. I have missed our visits. Thank you so much for your kind words. I must admit I love your work. It was fun doing The Boy Who Delivered The Wind, plus you have so many other great stories available in the same feel. Super for young readers and adults, like Gracie and The Preacher and my favourite, An Imperfect Miracle.. Renee you should think about interviewing Tom and exploring his work. Thanks again, Tom. For those of you who are interested in a freelance editor, check out my website at http://www.vlmurray.ca and if you submit to Muse and wish to have me as your editor, just let Lea know when you submit. Or get in touch with me beforehand. Thanks.

  4. What a great interview. I already knew a lot of what Lynne said because she is my editor after all and I write paranormal, but it was very entertaining and interesting reading about the experiences with the ghosts in the orchard and the pacing lady. Both are really creepy and I think I might avoid the orchard. I think it reminds me a little to much of “The Shining”. The lady on the other hand, I would love to know her story.

    1. Hi Donna, Thanks for dropping by. I didn’t like going into the orchard at all. You could clearly hear voices all around you and feel the sensation of people there as well. It was hard to know if they were actually ghosts or just memories. I pretty much avoided it once i moved there. Ah yes, The Shining. When I moved to Oregon, my husband took me to Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood where they filmed some of the outdoor scenes for the movie. I remember looking over at a row of trees and saying, “That really reminds me of…” And he said, “Yeah, they filmed some of The Shining here.” Another place to avoid. LOL! Renee, you would love Donna’s book ‘Nightmares’ and her sequel, “Visions” which I hope to be working on soon. Cheers!

  5. Nancy Bell · · Reply

    Nice interview with two of my favorite ladies.

    Cheers
    Nancy

    1. Thanks for dropping by, Nancy. See you at the SIWC this weekend, and you too, Renee! Nancy will be at the Surrey International Writer’s Conference this weekend, representing MuseItUp Publishing and taking submissions for our House. It will be held at the Guildford Sheraton Hotel on about 104th and 152nd in Surrey, BC.

  6. Fascinating post! I haven’t seen a ghost before, but I definitely believe in them, and Practical Magic is one of my favorites movies! 🙂 Your book is right up my alley, Lynne.

    Thank you for sharing, ladies! 🙂

    1. Hi Chris. Thanks for coming by. Sometimes I wished I’d never seen any either, but hey, seems to run in the family. I have watched Practical Magic so many times. Isn’t it great?! I am too scared to try jumping off a building with a large umbrella as a parachute, like they did in the end–so envious of that scene– but remember watching an episode of the Gilmore Girls where a group of Rorie’s friends did it. Thanks for dropping by.

  7. I loved your ghost experiences Lynne. I’m jealous. Loved your A Hallow’en Tale too.

    1. HI Wendy. Glad you stopped by. Glad you liked the story. I am working on a Native American shapeshifting story right now. Thanks for checking out the posting.

  8. Lynne,

    A fascinating post! I must visit your website more often.

    As for personal experience.

    My parents had very florid wallpaper with a design of exotic greenery and large flowers. At the age of four I was looking at it. the wall transformed – that is the only way I can describe it – a tiger sauntered between the greenery at ground level, and an Indian boy with large eyes and the blackest of black hair gazed at me from his perch on the fork of a tree.

    The boy and the tiger were real. The boy stared and me and, almost paralysed by curiosity, I returned his stare until, curious but not frightened, the scene faded and, once more, I was looking at the wallpaper.

    1. Oh wow, Rosemary, that is quite amazing. I am not sure what I would have done. It was probably lucky you were so young. Any older and you might have been frightened. Thanks for stopping by and sharing.

  9. Ooo, this gave me chills! I grew up in a house that was once on the Underground Railroad. One night when I was young, I looked across my room and saw a man dressed in old-fashioned clothing standing in front of the window. I realized that I could see through him. Instead of this being a scary experience, I felt a wave of peace flow from him. I didn’t tell anyone about this for many years. Later in life, I found out that both of my sisters had experienced similar “visitations” in that same house. After mulling it over for decades, I finally took that brief ghostly experience and used it as a springboard for my novel Dream Shade, which releases tomorrow. 🙂

    1. Hi Heather. Thanks for stopping by! That is an amazing story. It’s too bad your siblings didn’t share their experiences when you all were young. Congratulations on your book release. I think this link will bring readers to the page. http://tinyurl.com/n59r23v Your book looks wonderful! I am jealous of your degree in anthropology, something I always wanted to do. Thank you for sharing a cool story!

  10. What an awesome post! I love ghost stories and anything supernatural.

    One summer my in-laws rented a cottage at Sauble Beach. There were some bedrooms upstairs and one small bedroom downstairs off the living room. Our son was a toddler at the time.

    The first night we were there, I put my son to sleep in the small bed off the living room. It seemed a wise choice because we could keep an eye on him while we were still up.

    When it was time for us to go to sleep, my inlaws went upstairs. We decided not to disturb our sleeping baby, so I climbed into the bed with him. My husband slept on the sofa just outside the bedroom door.

    As soon as my head hit the pillow and I closed my eyes, I felt the creepiest feeling wash over me.

    I jumped up and called for my husband. He came running into the room.

    “I can’t sleep in this bed. Someone died in it!”

    He asked what I meant and I tried to explain that it felt like someone was murdered in that bed.

    Eventually I calmed down, told myself I was over-reacting, but convinced my husband to sit at the foot of the bed until I fell asleep. I was holding onto a flashlight for dear life while my husband waited for me to fall asleep. The bed was just sending off the most horrible vibes.

    The next morning, I felt so embarrassed. Everything looked normal in the daylight. I didn’t say anything about the incident, but it was decided over breakfast that I’d move with the baby to a bedroom upstairs.

    Our uncle arrived that afternoon at the cottage. He has M.S. and has trouble walking so it was only natural that he’d stay in the main floor bedroom.

    The incident was NEVER mentioned again at all. We were out and about and doing fun, cottage-y things all day.

    Bedtime came and uncle said goodnight to us. He walked into the room off the living room and shut the door. Dh and I were heading up the stairs when all of a sudden the door flies open and uncle comes stumbling out of it in a panic.

    “I CAN’T SLEEP IN THAT BED. SOMEONE DIED IN IT!”

    Our mouths hit the floor.

    Uncle grabbed all the pillows and blankets off the bed and slept on a couch. He wouldn’t step foot in the room again.

    1. Wow Tammy, I’m glad that never happened to me. I have enough trouble going into museums and antique stores without getting freaked out by almost everything in them. I would not have handled a bed where someone died. You have sufficiently creeped me out! Thanks for sharing!

  11. In honour of Hallowe’en, I have chosen the winner of A Hallowe’en Tale! Drum roll please……for the best ‘ghost’ story which apparently more than one person in her family has seen, I have picked Heather Brainerd to receive a copy. I will be sending you the story as soon as I have your correct email address. Thanks to everyone who participated in the contest; there were some very creepy paranormal stories in there. And a Happy Hallowe’en to all!

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