Archive for the Stories Category

HAUNTED HOUSE

Posted in Stories on September 28, 2016 by Dave Lapham
Ghosthunting Florida

May-Stringer House, Brooksville

Friday, October 21 —HAUNTED HOUSE

May-Stringer House, Brooksville, Fl

601 Museum Ct.

$5.00 PER PERSON

7:00 pm  –  11:00 pm

Kids area – face painting, games, photo ops

Snack Bar

If you are in line by 11:00 you will get it.

I will be signing books:  Ghosthunting Florida, Ghosts of St. Augustine, and Ancient City Hauntings.

HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE. IT’S GREAT FUN!!!!!!!

 

WEIRD BUT TRUE STORIES FOR HALLOWEEN

Posted in Stories on September 10, 2014 by Dave Lapham


SATU
RDAY, OCTOBER 18TH, 2014 AT 4 PM.     DON’T MISS IT!!!

Come join fellow author, Doug Dillon, and me for an hour of ghost stories and strange tales of the paranormal. And bring the kids! This is a family event.

Doug is a former Central Florida educator, and I am a retired Marine and former middle school substitute teacher. Both Doug and I write paranormal fiction and nonfiction for adults and young adults. We’ll be sharing true stories based on our research and ghost hunting experiences over the years.

We’ll have books for sale after the presentation, and we’ll stick around to gab and share experiences.

 

LOCATION:  The Orlando Public Library, 101 East Central Blvd, 3rd floor, Albertson Room.

LIBRARY CONTACT:  Christine Lindler, Program Coordinator, 407-835-7323

 

 DOUG’S BOOKS:                                                                           

     An Explosion of Being                                                                       

     The St. Augustine Trilogy                                                               

          Targeting Orion’s Children                                                            

          Sliding Beneath the Surface                                                         

          Stepping Off a Cliff

 DAVE’S BOOKS:

     Ghosthunting Florida

     Ghosts of St. Augustine

     Ancient City Hauntings

     The Throw-Away Kids

 

2013 in review

Posted in Stories on January 15, 2014 by Dave Lapham

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,200 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 20 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

FINIS

Posted in Afterlife, Ghosts, Hauntings, Paranormal, Stories with tags , , , , , , on February 15, 2013 by Dave Lapham

Hi, guys. Finally, I’m back. Normally, my posts are specifically about the paranormal, ghost stories, ghost hunting information, and such, but today I want you to read a really touching story by my friend and fellow ghost chaser, Joanne Maio who recently lost her beloved–ghost-haunted–house to foreclosure. I just hope the new owners, who are away of the paranormal activity in the house, will find as much pleasure there as Joanne and her girls have. In the meanwhile, I hope some of her spirits, which she talked about in her book, STALKED BY SPIRITS follow her to her new home.

(Vivian Campbell is Joanne’s pen name.)

Finis
by Vivian Campbell on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 1:29pm •
The old house was naked. For the first time in over 83 years, it stood exposed, stripped of its’ costume of well-worn furniture and framed photos and children’s school schedules and burned toast and humanity. It had fought the bloody foreclosure execution with threats and pleas and temper tantrums. No amount of tossed plates and stair-stomping and shadowy wraiths could stop the banks. Greed has no empathy.

It didn’t matter how the change had happened. It just did. The last time the house had seen this was in 1928, when it watched its’ birth-family, the people who had built it out of the remnants of a receded, black-soil lake, forced out of its’ womb by money-hungry men whose dark suits paled only in contrast to their darker souls. The family couldn’t pay the street tax, so they were forced out into it.

The next twelve years morphed into a tangled hodgepodge of renovations and short-term tenants, often culminating in months of abandonment. Finally, in 1940, my grandmother walked in and turned the lonely house into a home; over eight decades later, her descendants were still embraced inside its rooms.

We always lived in the castle…until now.

I sat alone on the wooden landing that broke the middle of the twisted, three-leveled stairway. It was the heart of the house; the vortex. It was the invisible revolving door for our resident and visiting spirits; it was the lookout point for my golden retriever when he sat, lion-like, to survey the goings on of the house; it was the place where I sat when I needed to think.

How do you say good-bye?

A few weeks ago, I had waved the white flag and signed over my homestead to a private investor, who would hopefully short sell the house and save me from bankruptcy and foreclosure. There was no way to save my broken heart.

The house knew when I had given up the fight. For the past year, it had watched and felt my stubborn battle against the Big Brother Banks. The jig was up when I began raiding local liquor stores, not for their booze, but for their cardboard packing boxes. On the first day, every dusty book from our library room evaporated into the cardboard cluster. Three days later, my great-grandmother’s bone china was wrapped in newspaper and bubble wrap. Photo albums disappeared. Suitcases were jammed with clothing that would never return home again. The ghosts vehemently protested the abortion. Frying pans whisked through the air in the middle of the kitchen, in an effort to escape capture and moving box imprisonment. The stairs shook with angry stomps climbing up and down and up and down them. Not even visiting friends were spared:

“There was something standing at the top of the stairs, just now! I saw it!”

“What happened to that black cat that just ran in through the front door and disappeared in the boxes? No, it didn’t climb into the box; it freakin’ disappeared into the side of the box!”

“Oh, my gosh. I swear I just saw a WOLF standing in the doorway! It was there just a second …”

The biggest kicks happened to my older daughter, Erin, as she packed her room. One night she heard a sound like something sliding across the hardwood floor. Turned out to be one of her toys, a stuffed cat, which was flopping its little kitty arms and writhing like a ballistic zombie … all by itself. The next night, Erin heard scuttling coming from her dresser, on which she had placed seven empty horseshoe crab shells that we had found over a year ago. The crafty little things were moving all over the top of her dresser, just as if they were alive. Somebody forgot to remind them that they were dead.

Boo.

Despite the ghosts’ spookiest efforts to thwart the move, the rented Hertz van appeared. The wraiths watched in helpless agony as my daughters and I loaded furniture and boxes like frantic passengers escaping the Titanic. All through the day, Erin saw shadow people marching on my heels, mimicking my determination as I marched in and out of the house and cavernous back of the van. One time, I walked up behind Erin and asked her if she had a big marker with which I could mark another box. She jumped, whirled around to face me and exclaimed, “You’re behind me!”

I stared in confusion at my daughter. “Uh… yeah…”

“Mom, I just saw YOU walk out that open front door, like, a second ago!”

I had been upstairs for the past five minutes.

Packing up five generations of my family’s legacy was emotional water boarding. The house and I gasped for breath together.

One Sunday, it happened. The house and I were suddenly alone. Not a speck of furniture or boxes remained; only dust and memories. The investor and his renovation crew had kindly elected to leave the house early that day, purposefully leaving me alone to say good bye. I was grateful. It needed to be done. But, how ….?

So, there I sat on the stairs, just me and my spooky old house. It was time for me to cut the umbilical cord, at least physically. I had already baptized the place with three hours of tears. I walked from empty room to empty room, retelling tales from each. I spoke the names of every, single person that I could think of associated with the house, beginning with my grandmother. My epitaph had begun mid-afternoon, as the Florida sunlight was still streaming in. My house listened. It shared my sorrow. It wasn’t even angry … not with me, at least. When I was in the hurricane’s eye of my tears, I wandered upstairs to find the bathroom light switched on. I smiled. The house understood.

Now, I sat silently on the stairs. My stairs. Afternoon became early evening. The sun sank and the shadows lengthened. The quiet began to disappear. I felt the house’s demeanor change from empathetic friend to serial killer patience. It was waiting; a monster ready to snap at the next bug of a human who crossed its enchanted threshold. By the time darkness had completely engulfed the house, even I couldn’t stand to remain there any longer, even though it posed no threat to me. I had been one of its three matriarchs, along with my grandmother and the woman who originally built the house in 1927. The house respected me. We were entwined. The next residents would have to pass its test.

I walked to the open front door, inserted my key into its lock for the last time, then turned back toward the mass of empty, breathing rooms that had been my forever home.

“I love you. Good bye.”

I shut the door and walked away. Part of my heart stayed with my house. It will always be there.

PLAYMATES Part Two

Posted in Afterlife, Entities, Ghosts, Hauntings, Kids, Paranormal, Saturdays, St. Augustine, Stories, Updates with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 8, 2012 by Dave Lapham

For Alice Sue’s part she enjoyed every minute with Rose Marie. In addition to coming and going through the closet, she asked some funny questions, like “What is that thing on the table next to your bed?”

“You mean the lamp?”

“Lamp?”

“Yes. Here, I’ll turn it on.” Alice Sue pulled the lamp chain and the light came on.

“Oh,” Rose Marie exclaimed and jumped back.

And there were the shoes. Rose Marie wore what seemed to Alice Sue old-fashioned handmade slippers. And Rose Marie was astounded by Alice Sue’s Skecher Twinkle Toes with pink laces and leopard spots and which lit up with every step. Alice Sue let her try them on, and the girl was so enthralled with them, Alice Sue gave them to Rose Marie.

But the admiration wasn’t one-sided. Alice Sue loved Rose Marie’s clothes, which were so well-made and so different. One day she came out of the closet wearing what to Alice Sue was a beautiful pink dress, with ruffles all the way down to the hem, a wide pink ribbon at the waist, and little pink bows all around the scoop neck. She had to have a dress just like it.

Weeks later as Alice Sue’s birthday neared, Betsy asked her daughter what she wanted. Immediately, she said, “A dress, a pink, full-length dress.” And she described Rose Marie’s dress in minute detail. Betsy thought it odd, but she told her that’s what she’d get, and she wrote down the description Alice Sue had given her.

Finally, the day came. Alice Sue and her mother knew no one in St. Augustine, so the “birthday party” consisted of just the two of them. First, Alice Sue opened her gifts at home—and immediately put on her new dress. Then they walked up the street for lunch at the Casa Monica Hotel. At the end of the meal, a waitress came out with a piece of cake, a candle burning on it, and all the wait staff sang “Happy Birthday” to Alice Sue. She laughed as she blew out the candle and ate the cake but soon was anxious to rush home.

She ran down the street ahead of her mother and was waiting at the door when Betsy arrived. Then she bounded up to her room and closed the door. Shortly after, Betsy heard squeals and giggles coming from upstairs.

When Alice Sue turned toward the closet she saw Rose Marie standing there—in her pink dress. Rose Marie’s jaw dropped and she broke into a big smile. The two little girls stood looking at each other, eyes glistening. Rose Marie reached out her hand and took Alice Sue’s. She led her to the closet, and the two walked in, closing the door.

Alice Sue was never seen again, but to this day one can hear two little girls giggling and laughing in the bedroom upstairs at the end of the hall in the old coquina house on Marine Street.

PLAYMATES Part One

Posted in Afterlife, Entities, Ghosts, Hauntings, Kids, Paranormal, Saturdays, St. Augustine, Stories, Updates with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 1, 2012 by Dave Lapham

Betsy Slavin knew the house was haunted when she bought it. The previous owners were candid about it. They’d told her about the little girl, Rose Marie Slater, who had died in the back bedroom upstairs in 1837, during a typhoid epidemic. They’d told her she was still there, not menacing, but present. Betsy didn’t care. She didn’t believe in ghosts anyway. She wanted to live in St. Augustine.

As a single mom Betsy had struggled for several years, until a long-lost uncle left her with millions. Tired of living out in the sticks in Hastings, she turned her eye toward St. Augustine and quickly found this fine, old coquina house on Marine Street. The asking price was $950,000, a little steep perhaps, but Betsy had the money. Why not? She could afford it. The house had been built in 1794 by Don Hector Vitorio Montalvo de Sevilla, during Spain’s last possession of Florida. It was one of the oldest structures in the city. The history of St. Augustine fascinated Betsy, and she snapped up the house as soon as she saw it.

Seven-year old Alice Sue loved the house, too. She ran through all the rooms, laughing, inquisitive, and instantly was drawn to the back bedroom. “This is my room, Mommy,” she shouted to her mother out in the hall. Betsy, knowing the room had once supposedly belonged to Rose Marie Slater, smiled and said, “Of course, sweetie. You can have the room.”

The property was narrow but ran from Marine Street all the way over to Avenida Menendez with a wall surrounding it. The previous owners had done a wonderful job of landscaping the back garden with little nooks and crannies, vine-covered pergolas, and hideaways. Betsy thought her daughter would be enthralled by it all, but from the very first Alice Sue preferred her own room overlooking the beautiful garden.

Alice Sue loved her room, because she had found a playmate there, another little girl about her age who arrived and left through the closet. Alice Sue thought that a bit odd, but the little girl was otherwise a wonderful friend. Her name was Rose Marie. She said her father was an American and her mother Spanish. Her black hair and dark complexion contrasted nicely with Alice Sue’s light skin and blond hair. And she didn’t come just to play. Sometimes she came at night and slept with Alice Sue, because she missed her parents.

Betsy often passed by her daughter’s door to hear giggling and laughing. She might have been concerned at least enough to look in on Alice Sue, but the child had always had imaginary playmates. Betsy thought this was the case again, just an imaginary playmate. She did think about Rose Marie Slater but quickly dismissed the thought. Besides, if Rose Marie was the “imaginary” playmate, what harm was there.