GHOST WRITER V.L. MURRAY
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.
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
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.
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/vlynnemurray