Haunted…for Real?

Thanks to all of you who attended our Book Bogglers Halloween presentation, Haunted for Real, In Search of the Verifiable Ghost Story.  It was a pleasure to share my dilemma as a writer to create narrative nonfiction(!) spooky books for my publisher Bearport’s Tip Toe to Scary Places series for middle readers. Faced with the question of how to verify a ghost story, I soon figured out that the emphasis was not on ghost in ghost story, but on story–and that the great fun in writing Dark Underground Deserted Cities was discovering the history– so often weirder and more oddly coincidental than the sightings of spirits, attached to these events.

Special thanks to Prof. Brooke Stowe, Library Director at ASA College, for sharing his expertise not only in research, but also on Fala, the phantom dog said to haunt the long abandoned station below Grand Central Station, Track 61. (Google it!)

Having presented Haunted for Real five times in honor of the big night (10/31), I was delighted by the response of our 100+ participants and the many stranger than life stories many of you shared afterward.

So delighted, that I am pondering a Paranormal Soup for the Soul series, documenting and researching our own unexplainable events. If you’ve witnessed, survived or been told by a reliable source of a paranormal event, please click comment and tell your story! (Note for my Comp 1 students: this counts as a Bring Literature to Life points, or in this case, bring it back from the dead!)


  • Eileen

    My story goes back to my graduate school days at Brooklyn College. I was living in Flatbush, home on a Friday night, reading an Indian folk tale about a fish in a basket. I had spoken to my dad on the phone earlier in the evening to say that a hurricane was blowing into NYC that weekend, so I’d cancel my bus ride to Pennsylvania to visit. He sounded disappointed, but I reassured him I’d be coming up soon.
    For some reason, I didn’t understand the fable, and found myself writing over and over in my notebook: I’ve come to the end of the earth. Tears began streaming from my eyes.
    Confused by my own behavior, I went to bed and fell into a deep sleep. I dreamed of a boy walking with a man past a cornfield, and then they were passing a cemetery. I was awoken by the phone ringing. It was my mom to tell me that my father had died.
    Pop had been in and out of the hospital since I was four years old with heart problems, but recently having moved to the PA with my mom, I believed he was fine. That night he had suffered a heart attack, and was taken by ambulance over those country roads to a hospital in Scranton.
    Within a few days, the arrangements were made, and I was on the bus for Hamlin, PA. Even in my grief, and still to this day, I felt good that I had been with my dad on his last journey (?) on earth. later I wrote a one act play which was part of my MFA thesis entitled “Laughing Fish” recounting those days…
    Love you, Pop, still and always!

  • azu

    I have a story of my ex-roommate, a talkative cat named Ash.
    I lived with a couple from Brazil and they had 2 cats. Ash was the one of them which lived in our living room. Every Thu-Sat, the couple were away to took care of their grandson. Ash got lonely and always talked to me only while they were away. But I was not really a cat person, so I just responded “Don’t worry, Ash. They are gonna come back soon.” and did not pet him. I was always lazy communicating with him although he wanted me to be his company. On a Thursday in November, I felt sick and came back to home earlier than usual. I perceived something weird and omnious atmosphere in the living room. Very heavy air. So I immediately escaped to my room. As usual, Ash started to call me from the living room soon after. Somehow on that day, I thought I had to pet him so I did it for an hour. Also I took pictures with him which was my second time, The next day, on a Friday, I went to my boyfriend’s house and stayed over, At the night, I had a dream or maybe a vision, of a big white cat’s face image turned into a black cat. I again felt a bit scared because black cat is regarded as bad luck in my country. I was wondering what would be happening. In Sunday morning, I left my boyfriend’s house as usual to head to my school. Then I felt like I wanted to stopped by my room ( which I had never done) and found out Ash was sick. While his owner looked for a doctor, I took care of him, giving him a massage and asking if he was sick. Of course, he responded me like crying “Yes I am”. Soon after my roommate came back to home, I left my home to head to my school. It was the last time I saw him. Ash passed away few hours later. I believe that he called me for saying Good-bye because he was a talkative and lonely boy.

    • emerwin77

      Thanks for sharing the experience–it confirms what I’ve been reading on the subject of our telepathic connections with our pets. Here’s a book you might want to check out biologist and researcher Rupert Sheldrake Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home

      Bless Ash and your friendship!

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