Things that Go Bump in the Night Contest!

I love Halloween. It's my favorite time of the year. The weather's turning cooler, the leaves are changing, and crunch underfoot when you walk. The sharp scents of mums and wood smoke linger in the air. It puts me in mind of Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" or anything by Poe.

We study Poe every October, my students and I. He confuses the heck out of the 8th graders at first. When they start to get it, I love seeing their eyes widen in joy at understanding, then at horror when they fully comprehend. Eventually, the conversation always turns to ghosties and the things that go bump in the night.

Now, I also admit I'm a chicken. I love Halloween, but I love cutesy Halloween more than "the veil is thinnest" Halloween. I love ghost stories. One of my students once gave me a book called Haunted Heartland a book of "true" ghost stories from Illinois and the surrounding states. I honestly don't know what happened to it. My husband took it away and hid it.

My students always ask me if I believe in ghosts. Of course, they live in a town that's been in the Guiness Book of World Records for having more dead residents than live ones, so it's a question that comes around every year. I always tell them the same thing: I personally have never experienced anything, and I'm perfectly fine not having anything prove its existence to me to rid me of my disbelief. So, I suppose I do believe. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio.

So, what has been your most spine-tingling moment? Or what do you like about the spooks and spirits seasons? Leave a comment and I'll put your name in a drawing for a copy of Ribbons of Moonlight (print or ecopy, your choice) and a special surprise "treat!"

I'll choose the winner on November 1st and let you know through email! So make sure I have some sort of contact info!


  1. Hi Rebecca,

    I've got two spooky moments - both related to my grandmother...

    My grandmother passed away in May 2001 (of natural causes). My father, who was the executor, made arrangements for a cremation, and as soon as he finalised all the details he received the cremated remains of his late father in the mail.

    The spooky part about it is my grandfather had died in 1973.

    The second spooky moment happened a few months later. When my grandmother was alive, she had the habit of humming old songs from her childhood in the early 1900s in England (I really regret never asking what they were about). So there I was, getting ready for bed, when I suddenly heard her voice humming that tune. I wasn't thinking about her at the time, so I doubt there was any autosuggestion going on.

    To this day I am certain it was her.

  2. This is a great site! About 100 years ago I was camping with kids and hubby. We were all alseep in sleeping bags, no tent, and I woke up to see somebody hunkering down by the fire. I rolled over, thinking it was my hubby and he was beside me. I quickly looked back and he was gone!

  3. My turn, cuz! When I was little I was tucked in by mom and my bedroom light was shut off. I was lying in my bed on my side with my arm outside of my blanket and I SWEAR I felt someone graze or touch my arm. I immediately startled and turned onto my back and saw no one in front of me! It is such a vivid experience I remember it to this day, about 20 years later, and since then I ALWAYS have to sleep with the blanket up to my neck with both arms under it. It was eerie...Love reading your blog, by the way! Love ya!


  4. I've stayed in Galena many times, at various locations but this time was different. We stayed at the DeSoto Hotel and we were given a room that looked out over Main Street. It was a nicely decorated room and I looked forward to staying there because of the history behind the hotel,President Lincoln stayed there. Well, this is where the eerie thing happened. There was a picture on the wall of an old historial figure, a man, I can't remember his name but as I walked around the room the eyes seemed to follow my every move. My husband wasn't in the room at the time and I felt a weird sense. Needless to say when my husband came back to the room I told him about it and he laughed. But I took the picture down and put it against the wall. They say the hotel is haunted, I found this out about 3 years after that and I truly believe it.


  5. I spent about ten years working in the Museums around Concord, Mass., and in one of the houses, there is a weird acoustical trick where your footsteps sound like they are coming from behind you as you walk from the pantry into the parlor. My friend and I were hosting a tour one fall day, and had to open the house and air it out before the program started. And as we went up the stairs into the top floor garret, we both turned, wondering who was coming out of the rooom we had just left...which wasn't the room with the acoustic issues. We both turned and looked at each other and just KNEW the other one had heard something. It was interesting to watch the tourists during our presentation and try to see if they heard anything inexplicable, too!

  6. This is such fun! When I was four, I had my own room, but I was scared of the dark. So I would get up and walk, in the dark, up the stairs to crawl in with my sister. (I know, it makes no sense to me, either.) One night, I was climbing those steep stairs and there was a tall man standing at the top of them. I didn't know him, but, for some reason, I wasn't afraid of him. I merely walked around him and went into my sister's room. NOW it scares me!

  7. I love Halloween and spirits! We live in a house that was built in 1923. One of the former owners passed away in the house. Frequently at night, my cats will look up and stare as if someone is there! I was so freaked out the first time it happened, I spent the night at a friend's house. My husband was out of town, so I was alone in the house. Over the years, I've become use to the stares of the cats and have gotten so I greet the former owner by her name!

  8. First of all, thank you so much to everyone for playing along. I thought it would be a nice way to ring in the start of the holiday season.

    Drumroll . . .

    The winner is: Diane!

    Congratulations! You win your choice of an ecopy or print copy of Ribbons of Moonlight and a special surprise "treat."

    I hope you'll all stop by again. I have another contest going at The Romance Reviews around Thanksgiving.


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