03 October 2012

My fondest memories from childhood are of the family vacations we took each summer.  Full of excitement, we would pack our suitcases, grab a few favorite toys, then cram everything into the station wagon and get out of the city (and the state), leaving behind the familiar flat landscape as we headed for the mountains.  The trip itself wasn’t the fun part, although I admit I loved leaving the sweltering heat behind in favor of cooler temperatures, as well as the challenge of entertaining myself for hours in the car without risking motion sickness.  No, the true fun began once we reached our destination. 

After hastily unpacking our suitcases, we abandoned the station wagon and squeezed into the sturdy, four-wheel-drive World War Two era jeep my father found I-don’t-remember-where that really COULD go off road and cover all terrain.  Then, following some obscure old map or sometimes just a rumor, we left paved roads behind and followed barely discernible jeep trails to ghost towns.

We managed to find quite a few of them.  Most were small mining towns constructed, then abandoned during the 19th century and consisted of only a handful of crumbling structures that attempted to warn us away with dark, vacant eyes.  My dad, of course, preceded us inside, ensuring the buildings were sound before he turned us loose on them.  There was such a solemn creepy feel to the places.  A palpable sadness that contradicted their bright, beautiful surroundings.  Since this is a “true scary stories post”, I would love to tell you that, while stealing through this house or that with careful steps, marveling that some still contained hand-hewn furniture, I encountered a nineteenth century phantom.  But I didn’t.  Any shifting of shadows I’m sure were figments of my overactive imagination.  Any scuffling sounds I’m equally sure were made by whatever creatures had taken up residence long after the humans had gone.  Creatures that, ironically, probably would have scared me more than an actual ghost.

There WAS an incident in a cave we explored once.  Way off the beaten path, it was large and dark enough to devour the puny beams of our flashlights.  Once more, my dad checked it out before we were allowed to explore, ensuring no slumbering bears or other animals might linger within.  I shuffled inside, eyes wide, ears peeled.  A few yards in and the sunlight at the entrance began to retreat.  Then . . . a scuffling sound.  I paused, heart racing, and swung the flashlight’s beam in the direction from which it had come.  Nothing but darkness looked back.  The sound repeated, this time followed by a whisper that sent chills dancing down my spine.  A dark shape lunged out of the shadows with a roar.  Screaming loud enough to be heard in the next state, I tore out of there, legs pumping, and didn’t stop to look back until I reached the bottom of the substantial hill . . . and heard laughter.  Was it a ghost?  No.  My tease of a father had discovered a second entrance during his earlier inspection.  I admit, I still laugh when I think of it.

While I never encountered ghosts on those adventurous trips, memories of the ghost towns and the eerie feeling they exuded inspired me to include a ghost or two in my Immortal Guardians series.  I hope you’ll enjoy the encounters!  :-)

Dianne, thanks for sharing your story with everyone. It's always a pleasure to have you here on my blog and you are more than welcome back anytime!

Title: Phantom Shadows (Immortal Guardians, #3)
Author: Dianne Duvall
Publisher: Zebra, 390 Pages (October 2nd, 2012)
Add to: Goodreads

NOTE: This is an adult title intended for readers 18 years and older.

Synopsis: Dr. Melanie Lipton is no stranger to the supernatural. She knows immortals better than they know themselves, right down to their stubborn little genes. So although a handsome rogue immortal seems suspicious to her colleagues, Sebastien Newcombe intrigues Melanie. His history is checkered, his scars are impressive, and his ideas are daring. But it's not his ideas that have Melanie fighting off surges of desire. . .

Bastien is used to being the bad guy. In fact, he can't remember the last time he had an ally he could trust. But Melanie is different--and under her calm, professional exterior he senses a passion beyond anything in his centuries of experience. Giving in to temptation is out of the question--he can't put her in danger. But she isn't asking him. . .

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  1. I love visiting ghost towns or places where ghosts stories come from. It's so eery.

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

    1. Me, too. Those were the best times, both creepy and exciting all at once. :-)

  2. Oooo, I love her hair- it looks pinkish! Nice! Andddd that house looks really rickety. Creepy. Sooo would not go in there lol. Thanks for the guest post!


  3. I like to visit them as well, although there are not many near me. I also liked haunted houses! Been to our Lemp Mansion breifly, no tour sadly although I still want to do that!


    1. As far s I know, there aren't any around here either. We had to travel quite a distance to find them. :-)

  4. My mom still swears to this day that the house we lived in when I was 4-7 years old was haunted. It was about 100+ years old then and a old school house. One night while my brother and I slept and my dad was at work on the night shift our bedroom furniture was completely rearranged. complete with us in our beds. There is no way my tiny little mother could of done this so it is her only explanation. I do remember waking up with our furniture all in disarray. So who knows!

    mmafsmith AT gmail DOT com

    1. Now that's an experience! And how cool to live in a former school house! :-)

  5. My husband loves visiting the ghost towns, well all the abandoned buildings. I am sure there would have been large amounts of running and screaming from me if someone jumped out at me in a dark mine too.

    Ace5123 at yahoo dot com

    1. LOL. I don't I even screamed that loudly on roller coasters. :-) It's a great memory for me.

  6. Ghost towns and stories are so creepy but i cant help but be intrigued by them. Thanks for sharing with us! :)

  7. Loved the story about the author and her dad. I don't blame her, I would have also screamed and ran.

  8. I think old abandoned ghost towns, and mines, etc are just about the neatest places - but I'm way too chicken to go exploring underground. No way lol
    Your dad has a great sense of humor, but I still would have bopped him one! ;D
    Mary DeBorde M.A.D.
    zenrei57 (at)hotmail dot com

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.


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