Monthly Archives: September 2015

Halloween Special on all our books now through October 31, 2015

With Halloween just around the corner, Clerisy Press is excited to offer a special on all Ghost Hunting San Antoniobooks in the America’s Haunted Road Trip series including our latest release Ghosthunting San Antonio, Austin, and Texas Hill Country by Michael O. Varhola.

Simply visit our ClerisyPress.com and pick the ghost hunting books of your choice, then add them to your cart and make sure to enter the special coupon code GHOST15 before checkout to receive an extra 5% of per book on our already rock bottom prices. This is a total of 30% off the cover price for each book!

Let Donna Stewart, the author of Ghosthunting Oregon take you on a tour of the Heceta Head Lighthouse. The mere utterance of the name Heceta Head Lighthouse has become synonymous with the words haunted and ghost. Heceta Head Lighthouse is now a popular bed-and-breakfast that offers turn-of-the-century-style rooms at reasonable prices. So if you are of the adventurous state of mind and would like to take a brief step back in time, Heceta Head Lighthouse might well be the place to escape to on your next vacation. It is history, it is home, and you are treated like family. Even by the ghosts.

Prepare for Halloween with recipes from the dearly departed. Mary AnnWinkowski’s, the Beyond Delicious Coconut Kissesoriginal ghost whisperer, offers more than 100 recipes in her book Beyond Delicious: The Ghost Whisperer’s Cookbook: More than 100 recipes from the Dearly Departed

America’s Haunted Road Trip is a one-of-a-kind series of haunted travel guides. Each book profiles 30-100 haunted places open to the public. From inns and museums to cemeteries and theaters, the author visits each place, interviewing people who live and work there. Books also include travel instructions, maps, and an appendix of 50 more places the reader can visit.

This Halloween Special runs NOW through October 31, 2015.

Pumpkin Cookies from The Ghost Whisperer’s Cookbook

Right in time for Halloween a recipe from Mary Ann Winkowski’s book Beyond Delicious: The Ghost Whisperer’s Cookbook: More than 100 recipes from the Dearly Departed.

Mary Ann WinkowskiAn old friend of Mary Ann Winkowski invited her to join her for a Thanksgiving meal with her mother, Flossy. Her mom was living in a nursing home. Nursing homes and hospitals are always full of earthbound spirits. It’s not just the ten people sitting in the community area playing cards and watching TV, to me it’s the ten people plus the ten other people attached to them. That’s a lot of bodies—both physical and not—that Mary Ann would have to try to dodge, because she was not about to start walking through ghosts if she can help it.

To make her friend Fran happy she agreed to accompany her and they had lunch chatting while Mary Ann tried to avoid the eyes of any earthbound spirits for fears of cluing them in to what she could do. They got to talking about holiday cookies, and Flossy asked Fran if she remembered the pumpkin cookies Fran’s grandmother used to make. Fran mentioned that they were delicious and made with actual pumpkin, not just the spices.

They were at a table that seated eight people, and everyone started chiming in about these pumpkin cookies that were like small, cookie-shaped pumpkin pies. Then everyone started wracking their brains for the best recipe, but this being a nursing home . . . well, let’s just say no one could quite remember how these cookies were made. Suddenly, a ghost attached to one of the other guests at the table said that she knew the recipe.

The ghost did not expect Mary Ann to ask her about the recipe, and had it not been for everyone at the table going on and on about how delicious these cookies were, she probably wouldn’t have. The ghost was taken by surprise when Mary Ann asked for her name and the recipe for the cookies. But, the ghost who’s name was Mitzi did give her the recipe. Mary Ann jotted it down quickly while everyone else was still chatting. She offered Mitzi the chance to cross over, but the ghost had no intention of doing so and sort of slunk away from the table,

After the lunch, Mary Ann gave Fran the recipe and told her what had happened. Three days later Fran called her friend and said she’d made the cookies for her mother. Flossy had loved them and swore they were exactly the same as the ones her mom had used to make!

Mitzi’s Golden Pumpkin Cookies

Beyond Delicious Coconut Kisses
Beyond Delicious – The Ghost Whisperer’s Cookbook

⅓ cup shortening
1⅓ cups sugar
3 eggs, well beaten
1 cup cooked or plain canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 1/2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins

Cream shortening and sugar thoroughly. Add eggs, pumpkin, flavorings, and the dry ingredients, which have been sifted together. Add raisins, which have been dredged in some of the measured flour. Mix well. Drop by teaspoonful’s onto well-greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon. Bake in a moderately hot oven at about 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

For more information on The Ghost Whisperer visit Mary Ann Winkowski’s website.

St. Anthony Hotel Downtown San Antonio

Ghostly activity at the luxurious St. Anthony Hotel in Downtown San Antonio

St. Anthony Hotel Downtown San AntonioThree ambitious cattlemen, A. H. Jones, B. L. Naylor, and F. M. Swearingen, opened the St. Anthony Hotel in 1909 in anticipation of San Antonio becoming a tourist destination, and it quickly became a popular place for visitors to stay. It is located near San Antonio’s River Walk and the Alamo.

“Not only was it the first luxury hotel in the city, but in the early days it was also the only inn with air conditioning, a drive-up registration desk, and sophisticated automatic doors and lights,” the official history of the hotel states. “In fact, St. Anthony was so technologically savvy that it was considered among the world’s most modern hotels. By 1915, the hotel charged guests $1.50 per night, and booming revenues allowed the owners to double capacity to 430 guestrooms.”

Many rich and famous Americans were among the visitors to the St. Anthony, its restaurant, and its bar. They have included Fred Astaire, Lucille Ball, George Clooney, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Judy Garland, Greer Garson, Rock Hudson, Betty Hutton, General Douglas McArthur, Matthew McConaughey, Demi Moore, Gregory Peck, Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco, Mickey Rooney, Eleanor Roosevelt, John Wayne, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Shriver, Patrick Swayze, and Bruce Willis.

Paranormal phenomena people have experienced at the St. Anthony Hotel include seeing strange shadowy outlines, feeling unseen presences, seeing doors opening and closing for no apparent reason, and hearing disembodied footsteps following behind them.

Ready for some ghosthunting combined with a luxurious stay?
St. Anthony Hotel Downtown San Antonio
300 E. Travis St.
San Antonio, TX 78205
Tel: 210-227-4392
Website: St. Anthony Hotel

For a journey to some of the most haunted and fascinating places in San Antonio, Austin, and Texas Hill Country check out Michael O. Varhola’s book Ghosthunting San Antonio, Austin, and Texas Hill Country.

The author at Ye Kendall Inn
The author at Ye Kendall Inn

About the author: Michael Varhola is a writer who has authored or coauthored 34 books and games — including the swords-and-sorcery novel Swords of Kos: Necropolis, and two fantasy writers guides. He has also published more than 120 games and related publications. He is the founder of game company Skirmisher Publishing LLC, editor in chief of d-Infinity game magazine, and editor of the America’s Haunted Road Trip series of ghosthunting travel guides. He has edited, published, or written for numerous publications, including The New York Times. He also has an active online presence, notably through Facebook and a variety of other blogs, forums, and sites. He lives in Texas Hill Country.

 

 

Kids and Ghosthunting

L’Aura Hladik Hoffman shares with us her view on Kids and Ghosthunting

L'Aura Hladik
L’Aura Hladik

As parents we strive to raise our children with good manners, good moral compasses and positive self-worth. As a ghost hunter, well, it gets a little trickier to raise a junior ghost hunter. Over the years, parents have approached me and inquired about bringing their child to one of our NJ Ghost Hunters Society’s monthly meetings or joining the organization so they could go on the cemetery hunts. My knee-jerk response was always, “no.” However, I would see the disappointment in the parents’ eyes and then inquire, “How old is your son/daughter? What’s their maturity level?”

Here’s the thing: children have a much brighter aura – the light body that surrounds the human body. “Newbie Ghosts” may mistake this bright aura as “the light” and follow it and unwittingly attach to it. Thus, little Johnny brings home a stray ghost from that jaunt in the cemetery.

On the flip-side, ghosthunting is a painless and enjoyable way for youngsters to learn History. Take a child to Gettysburg (Pennsylvania) and watch them glaze over with boredom while taking an auto-audio tour of the Battlefields. However, tell them to pay attention to the historical information for use on tonight’s ghost hunt of the same Battlefields, and witness the difference in their attention level.

It’s also a great way to develop a child’s scientific skills of research, documentation, and empirical testing. Any ghost hunter will be the first to admit that data review is the natural cure for insomnia; however, it is an integral part of the ghost hunting experience. Kids learn patience and develop their ability to see a project through to its completion simply because they’re so intent on hearing that Class A EVP from their audio recordings or spotting that full body apparition on their video recordings.

As for the best age to start your child ghost hunting, I say 11 or 12 years old – again depending on their maturity level. Metaphysically speaking, a child’s aura is “sealed” by age 7, meaning their Third Eye Chakra is closed down. The imaginary friends, who probably weren’t so imagined, have gone away by this age. I add in the four or five years to make sure they’re capable of handling the equipment safely.

About the author: L’Aura Hladik Hoffman is the author of Ghosthunting New Jersey and Ghosthunting New York City. She is also the Founder and Director of the New Jersey Ghost Hunters Society.

 

Haunted Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill and the Black Cat

DC Capitol LRNumerous ghost stories have been associated with the Capitol building itself over the years and it is widely believed, by those inclined to believe such things, to be haunted. Indeed, if conflict, strong emotions, and unresolved issues are among the basis for ghostly phenomena, then it certainly makes sense that it would be.  Phenomena people have reported over the years have included seeing figures animate and move about in Statuary Hall; a variety of ghosts – including people purported to have been killed in the building and the ubiquitous Civil War soldiers – throughout the building, especially the Rotunda; and a black cat that is supposed to appear in the basement just before a national disaster occurs (e.g., the 1929 stock market crash, the 1963 Kennedy assassination).

Library of Congress InsideAnother reputedly haunted site on Capitol Hill is the Library of Congress. Paranormal phenomena that have been reported in its labyrinthine stacks over the years have included inexplicable banging sounds and heavy exhibit cases moving on their own.  One specific story, supposedly corroborated by library staff, involves a police officer who helps people lost in the stacks find their way out and then, before disapering, tells them he was killed several years before.

Washington D.C. America’s Greatest Haunted City

An overview of haunted sites in the nation’s capital reveals it to be a city rife with ghosts and places where inexplicable events have been known to occur.  In fact, if you search long enough, you will discover that practically the whole city is haunted, and that the unresolved business of more than two centuries has bound within it an uncanny number o ghosts.

In his book Ghosthunting Virginia, Michael J. Varhola explores the scariest spots in the Old Dominion. The book dedicates an entire chapter to Washington D.C. and the  many haunted places in our nation’s capital.

Photo credits:
The Library of Congress courtesy of Carol M. Highsmith [Public domain], via Wikimedia