Scary Stories to Tell Anytime

“I think ghosts are just people who’ve moved into a slightly different dimension than ours. And I think some people just have antennas strong enough to pick them up.”

~Victoria Winters, Dark Shadows (the movie)

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Scary, spooky, otherworldly, ethereal or plain out fiction; however you think of ghosts and the “paranormal”, we’ve all enjoyed a good ghost story or two, around a campfire or at a sleepover.

If you read these growing up, your childhood was awesome!

If you read these growing up, your childhood was awesome! Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and the accompaniment books, are still available, however I’ve heard some of the art has been changed from the original.

I’m a full-on believer, as is Craig, and I crave great ghost stories, especially those based on true stories like The Conjuring , or one of these other 50 horror movies based on true stories. The Haunted America Book Series is one of my favorite reads, at any time of year. When you’re a hairstylist and may only have a 5-10 minute break here or there, “short” stories are great because you can have the satisfaction of knowing the outcome without having to re-read half a chapter later, after being interrupted. Plus, I’m a total sucker for anything based in truth, as I mentioned.
Let’s face it; every “myth” starts somewhere.

Another of my favorite childhood books, 'The Pumpkin Smashers'. The fact it was a Scholastic (man, I miss those book fairs, and the little flyers that came out beforehand!), and printed in black, white, shades of grey and touches of orange is a memory I'll never forget!

Another of my favorite childhood books, ‘The Pumpkin Smasher‘. The fact it was a Scholastic (man, I miss those book fairs, and the little flyers that came out beforehand!), and printed in black, white, shades of grey and touches of orange is a memory I’ll never forget!

Craig and I “ghost hunt” as a hobby, and after my earlier rant, I’m in a Halloweenie mood. So, I thought I’d share some ghostly (and otherworldly) goodness, not only because that’s what I’m in the mood for, but also as a precursor to this week’s Freaky Friday post.

Craig and I are a bit past amateur with our hobby, but not quite professional. We have EVP meters and recording devices, as well as my blessing/curse of being able to detect and communicate – which he’s learning.

Watch the black orb, or ball, move and grow in this series of photos. Craig took these in 2010, at a house we were looking to buy.

Watch the black orb, or ball, move and grow in this series of photos. Craig took these in 2010, at a house we were looking to buy. Look to the left.

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We’ve gotten a lot of pictures or the unusual, but these are still, by far, the best. These were taken just before dusk, with a camera phone, too. If you’re interested in trying to get some of your own paranormal photos, this article may help.

A lot of what you can expect to find will be regional – for example, we’re in Arizona, so looking for Mothman or The Jersey Devil isn’t going to do us a lot of good. However, we have spent a few nights in Tombstone and seen, heard, felt and experienced some amazing things.
Most areas will offer some kind of haunting tour, especially this time of year, so check the internet or local indie newspapers to find out the details of what’s going on near you. Afterall, every place has history.
Honestly, while we’ve never done a group tour ghost hunt, I’m not sure I’d want to. I think the more “living” activity, the less chance of a spectral, or shall we say spooky, encounter. Kind of like Elmer Fudd says; “Shhh! I’m huntin’ wabbits!”.
I feel the same philosophy holds here.
You might first look into some American Folklore , to see what creepy history you might be delving into. Again, I cannot praise the ‘Haunted America’ Book series enough, and you can usually find them at used bookshops for a couple bucks.
Jersey has its devil, and out here in Arizona, we have the Chupacabra (which translates loosely to “goat sucker”); everyone has heard of Bigfoot and his/her cousin the Yeti. Here’s some more Native American Monsters that might inspire your search.

Vintage Halloween. Back when Halloween was still spooky.

Vintage Halloween. Back when Halloween was still spooky.

If you’re really into spooks and spectors, you might plan a vacation to one of America’s 14 creepiest places or, if you’re not in the US, maybe one of these places will be a bit more feasible.
Of course, the East coast is rich in witches, ghosts and vampires, but some forests are forbidden to explore due to their terrifying legends.

Until you can get out and hunt on your own, these 10 totally freaking real ghost stories might tide you over.

The biggest piece of advice I can give (well, there’s two) to anyone who wants to pursue the paranormal?

1.Keep an open mind.
Remember, movies and T.V. shows are edited, altered and enhanced. You probably won’t see a full bodied apparition walking towards you, your first time out. Orbs (like in the pictures I shared) are far more common, as are those fleeting images from the corner of your eye. Be alert to all your senses and follow your gut. Just because you don’t see it with the naked eye, doesn’t mean it’s not there. The pictures Craig took (above), neither of us saw anything until we looked at the pictures after. We then inspected for any dirt or debris that could have caused it. When in doubt, take pics and look later. In this day and age, you can delete them if they don’t pan out, as opposed to waiting for developing and wasting a roll of film and the cash involved.
2. Be respectful.
To the living and the not so. Don’t go traipsing through graveyards at ungodly hours. Don’t disrespect graves, headstones or other areas that may be a final resting spot for someone. Don’t antagonize those on another plane of existence, or critters that may exsist amongst us, just for the sake of doing so. And, of course, be mindful of people who may live, work or otherwise occupy the areas you’re hunting in. No trespassing means just that, and don’t go trigger happy on some dark shadow in the woods – that could be a person, a pet or other “innocent” being.
If this all seems hokey to you, grab the kids, make some s’mores and have an end of summer camp out! Even if it’s just in a sheet and pillow tent in the living room! A fun way to transition from surf and sand into the spooky season ahead!

Images: cracked,Imagur,Pinterest,personal

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5 thoughts on “Scary Stories to Tell Anytime

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