Halloween – Ghosts and Goblins

Pirate Day

I couldn’t believe it! It was only the middle of September when I saw the first Halloween costumes for sale. Placed close to the entrance the sales rack had stopped a number of children in their tracks. Excitedly they checked the costumes and called:

“Mom, this is exactly what I want! Come, take a look. Isn’t this cool?”

I couldn’t help watching them. With rosy cheeks they would touch this one and pull out another; they started begging their parent to buy the one they liked best. They didn’t listen to Mom saying,

“Let’s go to other stores too, you might even find something better.”

No, it had to be right now! Many little boys want to be pirates and most little girls want to be princesses. Just a few years older and they want to be witches or devils or scary ghosts and even appear to be skeletons. It is amazing how many choices there were. What I couldn’t believe were the prices. They were rather high. When my kids were small we made the costumes at home since we couldn’t afford to buy any. I don’t even know if one could buy ready-made ones in the olden days because we never checked. Times surely are different.

dsc03802Next to Christmas, Halloween is big business with the highest turnover during the year. I read that in the USA alone people spend over six billion dollars for candies, decorations, and costumes. There is also the pumpkin business, fields of large and small pumpkins by the thousands and huge cases full of pumpkins in all the food shops. When I was a kid my mother would make a desert out of the flesh and if we were very good she would allow us to carve one for a candle. We collected and dried the seeds and ate them. We did not know then but I now know that pumpkin seeds are very good for your health because of the high content of protein, manganese, magnesium, and zinc. They make the best snack and are ‘antioxidant scavengers’ – busy to improve your immune system. A little-known secret is the enhancement of men’s sexual health.

Have you ever ask yourself what are the roots for this festivity? The history goes back about 2.000 years to the ancient Celtic festivities called “Samhain “. The Celts believed the ghosts of the dead came back on the evening before November 1st, their New Year’s Day, to haunt and scare them. They would light bonfires, wear costumes to fool the ghosts into mistaking them for their own kind and, to prevent the ghosts from entering their house placed food on the steps. In the 9th century, Christianity had created an ‘All Souls Day’ and the evening before was  ‘All-Hallows Eve’ and  eventually became Halloween or Hallowe’en.

Halloween came to America through the Irish immigrants and evolved during the last few hundred years to what it is today. It is big business for costumes, candy, pumpkins and all kind of decorative ghost items. A time for scary ghosts and superstition, apple bobbing (which goes back to the Roman times) and a much anticipated day for all the children, young and old. Don’t break a mirror on Halloween, don’t step on cracks in the sidewalk and don’t meet a black cat! I remember that I would not cross the road if a black cat had crossed it from left to right. It is bad luck! I would rather wait for another person to cross before I dared to do it. If the cat crossed from right to left you were not just alright but would be lucky!

halloween-costumesHave fun but be wary on Halloween! Make sure your children are safe and check their  harvest from trick-or-treating for needles in apples and tampered chocolates. It is sad but a fact that some bad ‘witches’ are still around. They are full of hate and resentment of  all the fun and don’t mind hurting innocent children.



An unbelievable paranormal or psychic story

Imagine receiving an e-mail from a person you have never met who lives in another country about a thousand or more kilometers away from you. The e-mail starts with an apology and the suggestion that you may not believe what she is going to ask or tell you and, if it would be her, she would not believe it either.

“Is your aunt Johanna alright? You have to warn her as her life may be in danger. Her husband Robert is abusive and one day things may get out of hand. I know she is ashamed of the abuse and she hasn’t told anyone. Please don’t think I am crazy and do warn her.”

She went on to tell me that she has psychic abilities, works for a court in XYZ (I like to protect her identity) and has once been able to tell the police of the body of a child missing for three years. She has solved other cases and is not happy about this ability but if she can pass on a warning she feels she has to do it.

I was startled by the message, stared at it and thought how weird is this? My aunt Johanna is long gone. This must be a person who has read my book “We Don’t Talk About That”. Because her husband was abusive but he is also gone, having died in WWII. There is a chapter in my book when aunt Hanni, as we called her, had come running to my mother, who was her sister and I happened to witness her breakdown and heard her sorry tale.

After sleeping and mulling it over I decided to answer this strange e-mail and asked a few questions. I thanked her for the message and stated that she must have read my book “We Don’t Talk About That”. I could not imagine otherwise. I did tell her that I also had several unexplainable psychic experiences in my life and no, I did definitely not think she is crazy. But I am curious how she would know about Johanna and her husband Robert. I suggested she read my book – if she hadn’t done so already.

I received another e-mail, quite a lengthy one. And no, she had not read my book at all. It was a dream in which she was Johanna and experienced the abuse. That’s how these ‘experiences’ established themselves within her. She knew about a gorgeous wedding dress Robert had given her and explained it in detail. She also mentioned that Robert was somehow arrogant and felt he was better than the family Johanna came from. This was also true since at my parent’s wedding he had teased my father that he was able to give Johanna a horse if he wanted to and my father could only give his bride, Johanna’s sister, a horse whip. Johanna never got a horse but surely she experienced the whip. The dream had disturbed my correspondent a lot. She went on to Google with the two names she had, Johanna and Robert as a couple, and tried to guess the year of a wedding in Germany. She did not give up and finally her search brought her to my website and my picture gallery. She had found my e-mail address and the rest is history.

Recently I wrote to her again and inquired if, by now, she had read my book. I told her that I would like to keep in touch since I am fascinated with the topic of otherworldly experiences. She answered, No, she still hasn’t read my book for several reasons. She is very busy with work and she doesn’t want to invite other possible disturbing revelations. Life has a way of going on and hers is quite full.

I understand that. But in the meantime, I have been thinking a lot about paranormal and psychic happenings or abilities. I remember after my last experience years ago, this time in a hotel room in China, I begged God to please take this ‘gift’ from me. Apparently he did because I have never had another unbelievable thing happen to me. Now I wish I did have a “Crystal ball”.

Oh, you want to know what happened in China? Okay, I’ll tell you. It was the year of 9/11. I had a single room and was securely locked in. I woke up from a dream with a start and just knew there was someone in the room. I switched the light on and checked but all was quiet and I was alone. After my heartbeat had slowed down, I fell asleep again but the dream went on. The husband of a friend who was dying of cancer in Vancouver, Canada was in my room. I screamed at him “what are you doing here?”

He started to laugh and said quite clearly: “Don’t be afraid, I just came to say good bye.”

I woke up again, switched the light on – nothing. I came home to Canada a week later. I phoned my friend to tell her I was back and asked how her husband was doing. She was slow to answer.

“He died. He had a very tough time and I am glad he is at peace.”

I was almost afraid to ask her on what date he died. Yes, it was the date when I had that disturbing dream.

A Different Type of Addiction

McleanMe? Addiction? Can’t happen to me! You know I am into history, reading and writing about it, telling you about the books I read and how I learned more from reading history books than I ever did in school. One day I came across a review of a book called a fantasy-thriller, science fiction  and, because it mentioned kayaks paddling under the Burrard Bridge, I went to Amazon.com, put in the title “The Gift: Penance”, clicked on ‘Look Inside’ and read as much as was possible. After that I even wrote to the author, J.P. McLean, and the rest is history. My book reading history changed.  I read the whole thing, a genre I have never ever even given a thought to. My webmaster did too and we were both ‘hooked’. One day we met the author. Jo-Ann McLean lives on one of the Gulf Islands nearby and we exchanged books: Since I had read the fourth book of her “Gift Series” I was happy to receive the first one, “The Gift: Awakening”. After reading it I can’t wait to read number two, “The Gift: Revelation”. And you know what? I know I will then go on to book number three: “The Gift: Redemption.” I have read book number four (The Gift: Penance) already but I know there is now also a book number five. These books take me away from my own writing. I apologize for not having written a blog for several weeks, I just couldn’t! My mind was occupied with weird stuff. Sorry, folks. Forgive me.

Gift awakeningI am addicted. If this is what addiction is like: Thinking about it all the time, even a few weeks after I finished reading the book, trying to figure out how the h… anybody can come up with the ideas, the ‘invention’ of something that may even one day be possible with the way the technology is going; thinking back to the time when we didn’t have trains, planes, submarines, bikes, cars, washing machines or vacuum cleaners, radios or television, telephones, cell phones, computers, i-Pads or even self-driving cars, safer than any driver could drive.  Even more astounding was the first man on the moon and, if we have enough money, now booking a future trip to Mars. So how did Jo-Ann come up with the idea of a human being able to defy gravity, lift off and fly, doing somersaults in the air, having fun and in this particular scenario even be able to be invisible…

As a growing child I loved reading fairy tales. As a teenager I started to realize that fairy tales carry a subliminal message, not really thought for kids but for the grown-up who reads the story to the child, or later for an adult to finally understand it. One of the best books in this kind of genre is “The Little Prince” (by author A. Exupéry) – his love of his prickly rose, his travels to planet Earth, his encounters with different types of people, how could any child understand what all those stories mean? Anyway, I started to collect Fairy Tale Books from all over the world. For quite a number of years I lived in a “Fantasy World”. But now, in my senior years, I should start reading thrillers? Science Fiction-Fantasy? I remember my son writing an incredible fantasy story for his English class when he was thirteen years old. I wish, oh, do I wish he or I would still have that story! It was something similar to Star Wars…and a bit like what J.P. McLean is writing about. I remember being absolutely engrossed and fascinated by it when he read it to me. He has the mind to be able to write something like it but he is too busy living, working, and what else people in middle age do.

Let me tell you: If you want to dive, sorry, fly into another world, read J.P. McLean’s first book of the series, “The Gift: Awakening”. It starts a bit slow, at times your mind rushes faster forward than your eyes can read, but this author has a ‘gift’ herself for spinning a tale like a net and you are in it. Trapped! The setting, the characters, as during the story more and more enter the plot, the danger, the love scenes (oh my goodness, I could never write anything like it!) and as I said before, you will want to go on to the next book.

Maybe you are stronger than I am and will not become addicted.


Hope You Are Not Superstitious #Ghosts

My new home

My new home

Waiting in front of the elevator door I heard people talking a floor below in the parking garage. The elevator door was being held open and made rattling noises as it tried to close itself. When it finally came up to the lobby I entered and said “Hi” to the friendly looking lady already on board.

“Hi, Miss”, she smiled, “my name is Marge and I am the caretaker of this building. Are you visiting?”

”No. I bought Mr. Bailey’s suite. I want to take some measurements before I move in.”

”Oh! Congratulations! It’s a nice place. I hope you aren’t superstitious. Well, I’ll be seeing you.”

With that she exited on the fourth floor. Apprehension built within me as I continued up to the eighth floor. I had just come from the lawyer who had handed me my keys. MY DOOR! While I was still trying to fit the right key into the lock the door beside me was opened rather abruptly. It made me jump. A tiny, pale white haired lady peaked around the corner and stared at me:

“Oh,” she said, “I thought someone was breaking in. Are you the new owner?”

”Yes”, I replied. She looked at me with her steel blue eyes and exclaimed:

“Congratulations! You bought a beautiful place. I just hope you are not superstitious.” She was about to withdraw when I stopped her: “Wait a minute, why did you say that? You are not the first one to make that comment. What is this about?”

Coming a step closer she confided in a low voice: “Two women died in there, mother and daughter, first the mother, then a year later the daughter, in the master bed room in the same bed, on the same day, at the same hour.”

She explained that the widower, a man of over ninety, had never used the room again and had slept in the back bed room. A grandniece was his only family now. For several years after moving into a care home he did not want to sell the apartment which held so many memories for him. His grandniece brought him to visit it occasionally. When he was ninety-four and not well she persuaded him to let it go.

So that was it! I had met the grandniece when she sold all the furnishings. Her aunt had been a painter. The walls had been covered with her work. All the paintings were sold except for one, a rather large one of oriental lilies in soft pink, green and lilac tones. I did not think it valuable enough to pay the price she was asking but told her to just leave it so something of her aunt’s beauty loving soul would remain.

View from the balcony

View from the balcony


With mixed feelings I entered the apartment. I walked up the long hallway towards the kitchen, stood a moment in front of the sink and enjoyed the view out of the west facing window. I turned and went into the living room. My heart soared! The room was bathed in sun light. It was large, very bright and absolutely gorgeous. The front wall was glass from floor to ceiling. To the left was an oversized sliding glass door to the large balcony. I stepped out and felt as if I was in a dream. The ocean shimmered and glistened, a light breeze curled the silvery water slapping against the rocks of the Seawall. Tug boats, sail boats, fishing vessels and the cries of many seagulls enchanted me. The outline of Vancouver Island was barely visible.

To the west a lighthouse at the end of the mountain range on a high rock jutting out to sea looked solid, trustworthy and eternal. It blinked at me. At least I thought so… I inhaled the salty sea air deeply and understood why the old gentleman could not let go of this place after he lost both the women he loved.

“No”, I said aloud, “I am not superstitious.” I thought it kind of him to let them die at home and not in the hospital. The daughter, sick already when the mother died, might have cried herself to death on the first anniversary of her mother’s passing. I wandered into the front bedroom, the room in which they had both died. There were the lilies, the painting that did not sell. I looked at it, talked to it, promised to love this place just as they did. The flowers seemed to grow towards me, reach out to me. Yes, I thought, I can handle this, it is alright. I’ll respect their spirits.

It was fall. I had lived in the apartment for more than a year. One dark evening, I decided to bake a cake. Standing in front of the sink I was mixing the dough with a hand mixer when I heard the happy laughter of two women behind me in the hallway. A cold chill ran up my spine. I just knew I was not alone. I slowed the mixer and turned it off. Ever so carefully I turned around and willed myself to walk down the hall to check the entrance door. The dead bolt was in place, the safety chain was on. Nobody could have come in. I opened the closet doors when it dawned on me: “It must be them.” So I started talking to them, soothingly, and hearing my own voice helped me to calm down. I felt terribly alone, yet not alone. On unsteady feet I went back to the kitchen and continued mixing. After all the ingredients were added I filled the cake form and put it in the oven.

There! There it was again, this time close to my kitchen entrance. Now it was more like a giggle, a secretive chuckle and I heard quick running feet right behind me. I hunched my back and felt my hair stand up, I wanted to scream. Heavens, I was a grown woman. “Come on, Giselle, be realistic! Your mind is playing tricks. You are overtired.” Again, I willed myself not to lose control of my actions. Slowly I turned and tip-toed towards the living room where they had gone. I talked to them again before I switched the light on. There was nothing, absolutely nothing. But the room seemed grey, strangely quiet and empty. The painting with the lilies now in the living room appeared darker than usual. The clock on the book shelf showed nine thirty. My heart was racing. My skin had goose bumps, my scalp prickled.

An hour later when the cake was done I went to bed in the room in which they had died all those years ago. I had a water bed and I was happy it had a box under it tightly hugging the floor. Did you think I felt safer because nobody could hide under the bed? You betcha!

When I left my apartment to go to work in the morning, my neighbor with the steel blue eyes yanked open her door:

“Giselle, have you heard? Mr. Bailey died last night around nine thirty.”

I felt faint. “Oh my God”, I whispered more to myself than to Mrs. White. She stared at me “Why are you so shocked? You didn’t even know him!”

It seemed impossible but she turned even paler than she was when I told her about my experience the night before, exactly at the time he died. She whispered: “I told you. I warned you. But you thought you were not superstitious. You even told me you could handle it. You see? I always believed there is more between heaven and earth than meets the eye.”

Acrilic, paid 350.00They never visited me again. I lived peacefully and happily in the apartment where they died for nearly twenty-five years. The painting with the lilies has been with me ever since. I had tried to sell it, but it never sold. I am looking at it while writing this…