21 October 2011

Haunted Halloween 2011: Guest Post - Cat Patrick

I’m afraid of everything.
I blame it on my parents, who callously moved me into my own room when I was five. (I’d been sharing with my sister, then we moved to a bigger house and voila! Torture.) My evil parents let me pick my plush carpeting (coral) and magical wallpaper (unicorns and rainbows) and forced me to sleep in a gloriously large room next to the bathroom for easy access, with a lovely walk-in closet that anyone except a fearful 5-year-old would love.
I just knew there were ghosts in that closet. Specifically, ghost—I thought it was a little girl. It wasn’t that I was afraid she’d do anything to me. The terrifying threat of a merely seeing her was enough. Then I’d know that ghosts were real, and be stuck with that knowledge like the creepy kid in Sixth Sense. I didn’t want that for myself.
Afraid of my closet and everything else, I’m jumpy. I blame that one exclusively on my mom. She got carried away with the whole Peek-a-Boo thing and extended it way beyond the baby years. To this day, she thinks it’s really funny when other people gasp or jump: I’ll admit that I inherited that gene even if I don’t particularly like to be the person gasping or jumping. If you’re startled, I’ll laugh: It’s a fact. So, in college, one of my favorite pastimes was to strategically place a cardboard cutout of a (hot) guy that I’d received as a birthday joke outside the doors of my roommates’ bedrooms, inside their closets or next to the shower curtain in the morning. Those were some funny times. (I'm still laughing.) 
Once in college, some friends and I were playing a Where’s Waldo slash Hide-and-Seek sort of game with the cardboard cutout. We’d take turns hiding him in the house, then the others would try to find him. It was a hilarious night; one of those nights when you go to bed giggling.
But in the pitch dark middle of the night, something strange happened. I woke from a dead sleep, and at first I was unsure why. I was on my side, my arm dangling from the mattress. Then the cloud of sleep lifted and I realized that what woke me was a touch: Something or someone had gently grazed my hand. I opened my eyes to see a ghost.
It was a little girl, and she was smiling.
Knowing my tendency to be skittish, you’d think that I went barreling into the next room or down the stairs and out of the house, screaming like I was being chased by zombies. But it was the middle of the night and I’d been sleeping so hard that all I did was roll over, tuck in my hand, ignore the goose bumps and go back to sleep.
I've never forgotten my ghost sighting.
As an adult, I’m still a little afraid of closets, and I still believe in ghosts. Semi-recently, one of my daughters told me there was a ghost in her room, and tugged me by the hand to investigate. I sat down on her floor and said, “There’s no ghost in here.” 
“Yes there is,” she said. 
“Right next to you.”
It might not have been my finest parenting moment when I sprung to my feet and quickly suggested that we have a dance party, but it’s the truth. The other truth is that I don’t sleep with my arms out of the covers anymore for fear that the little girl or someone scarier will touch my hand again. You might think I dreamed the whole thing. And maybe I did. 
But you know what? I'm not so sure.
It's possible that the little girl ghost haunted my closet in the unicorn room--that I was right, Mom.
It's possible that she watched me--laughing, too--as I startled my roommates in college.
It's possible that she wanted to tell me something that night, so she reached out and touched my hand.
You might think I was dreaming. And who knows? Maybe I was.
But maybe, just maybe...
she's real. 
Available now from Little, Brown! 
Synopsis: Each night when 16 year-old London Lane goes to sleep, her whole world disappears. In the morning, all that's left is a note telling her about a day she can't remember. The whole scenario doesn't exactly make high school or dating that hot guy whose name she can't seem to recall any easier. But when London starts experiencing disturbing visions she can't make sense of, she realizes it's time to learn a little more about the past she keeps forgetting-before it destroys her future.

Part psychological drama, part romance, and part mystery, this thought-provoking novel will inspire readers to consider the what-if's in their own lives and recognize the power they have to control their destinies.

Order Forgotten Online:

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Cat, thanks for today's story and thank you for participating in this years Haunted Halloween! It was great to have you and we hope you'll come back to visit with us again soon!

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  1. Mary DeBorde
    zenrei57 (at) hotmail dot com

    *rotfl* - Cat is so funny, I love how she tells her story!! And while it's almost impossible to know if the ghosts or whatever are really there, or just products of our minds, I once did almost the exact same thing - just rolled over and went back to sleep. ;P

  2. I think your non-reaction at the time when you met your ghost is kind of hilarious. And it is kinda creepy that you may have your own personal ghost.

    melorabrock {at} gmail {dot} com

  3. Never had my own ghostly encounter, I think I want to have one too much! Oh well!


  4. O love your writing style! I can tell you would be a fun person to talk to! Your are so brave btw! I would've done exactly the opposite and run around screaming :)

    Email: osnapitzAngiex3(AT)aol(DOT)com

  5. Ohhhh creepy.


  6. Fun post...thanks
    My son when moved to his own room experienced much the same...he was sure there was a ghost in his closet...he came running out. "Mom Mom Mom there is a skeleton in my closet" "really son what is he doing in there?" With a straight face and a shaky voice he replied, "He is singing and Mom it's Jingle Bells!" It was June so he must have been a "spirited" ghost.

  7. LOL this sounds just like her book! I was afraid of the things that went bump in the closet too. Of course, it didn't help that we lived in a big old house and the closet door would just randomly open for no particular reason!


  8. Ghostly encounters aren't too out of the norm. At least around here ;)

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  9. I too am afraid of anything! Thanks for sharing Cat's story:)

    bchild5 at aol dot com

  10. I have had Forgotten on my wishlist for a while and it is definitely moving up the que:) Thank you so much for sharing your ghost story with us today.


  11. Great post! Downstairs behind the "storage room" in my house, we have a tank room that is full of pipes and things and always smells dank and dusty. My sibs and I were utterly certain that there was a monster living in it and whenever we had to go past the room at night we did so as quickly as possible. I still hate that room. :)


  12. Thanks for the great post! Can't say that I've every had an actual ghost sighting but I scared myself as a kid convinced that the shadows in my closet were real :)


  13. Ghosts can be scary because, hello!, they're ghosts. But little girl ghosts? That's like 1000x scarier than just your run of the mill ghost.

    And I don't blame you for jumping up when your daughter said there was a ghost next to you. I would have jumped up and booked it out of the room.


  14. I have never come into contact with a ghost. But I do have experience with jumping out and scaring people. I still do it all the time and so do my mom and sisters. It is kinda a game to see who can scare who the most. Great story.


  15. Heebie Jeebie dance! I'm always afraid of my kids telling me that they see something from beyond the grave. So far it hasn't happened but I dread the day it does lol


  16. Aw, thanks for all the sweet comments. This was fun!

  17. I've never seen a ghost and I'm glad for it!
    tlabunski **((gmail))**
    Pabkins @ Mission to Read

  18. Great story!! Loved it!!

    AmethystDaydreams at zoho dot com

  19. That was actually a nice story. Love it.

    thenarcissuslibrary at gmail dot com

  20. Loved the story. If it makes you feel better about your fear of closets, I have a fear of trees thanks to the scary tree outside my window growing up and my big brother letting me watch Poltergeist when I was six. ::shudders::

    tommygirl828 (at) gmail (dot) com

  21. Great story. I am kind of the opposite about closets though. When I was a kid, I used to sit in my closet and play. Alone. In the dark. Then again, I was a weird kid.

    the imagine tree at aol dot com


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