Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Guest Blog and Giveaway with Kalayna Price

Thanks so much for having me here at Fang-tastic Books, Roxanne. As it is nearly Halloween, the day when legend says the veil between the living and the dead is the thinnest, and as my newest book, GRAVE WITCH, features quite a bit of the Land of the Dead, I thought I’d take this opportunity to talk about ghost stories.

Now, there are a couple different kinds of ghost stories. There are those that are purely fictional for entertainment. There are those meant to terrify. And then there are those based on legend. While the first two are fun (and right up my alley as a fiction writer) it is the last type I find the most fascinating—especially around this time of the year.

I’m not saying that I do, or that I don’t, believe in ghosts, but I think anyone who has ever passed through an unnatural cold spot or heard a door suddenly creak open for no apparent reason has probably wondered about the existence of ghosts. Stories and legends have been told throughout time and across nations. Some legends portray ghosts as malicious, others altruistic, and still others seem completely uninterested in the living. Some are stories of revenge, or warnings, or messages. No matter where you’re from, you’ve probably heard stories of haunting. You might even know someone who knows someone who’s seen a ghost.

As I’m from the Carolinas, one of the ghost stories I grew up with is that of the Grey Man. If you’re not familiar with the Grey Man, he’s a specter who haunts the beaches of Charleston, SC and is usually portrayed as a benevolent spirit whose presence warns the residents of deadly hurricanes. Many people have reported seeing the Grey Man wandering the beach prior to storms. It is also said that those who see him and heed his warning to flee the island tend to fair better in the storm—sometimes to the extent that their house might be the only house surviving on a street. A helpful ghost? A warning omen? I’m not sure, but I’ve met people who swear they’ve seen him!


What ghost stories and legends did you grow up hearing? Any favorite legends?

Answer the question to enter to win a copy of Grave Witch

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Kalayna Price is the author of the Alex Craft Novels, a new dark urban fantasy series from Roc, and the author of the Novels of Haven from Bell Bridge Books. She draws her ideas from the world around her, her studies into ancient mythologies, and her obsession with classic folklore. Her stories contain not only the mystical elements of fantasy, but also a dash of romance, a bit of gritty horror, some humor, and a large serving of mystery. She is a member of SFWA and RWA, and an avid hula-hoop dancer who has been known light her hoop on fire.

To find out more, please visit her at http://www.kalayna.com/


cait045 said...

Being from South Jersey my Dad loved making up stories of the Jersey Devil. He really could scare the crap out of me.


mmafsmith said...

The first house I remember living in was a 100 year old refurbished school house in Amelia Ohio. I grew up being told that it was haunted. The light bulb in the stairway was "original" to the house. My brother and I slept up stairs and my mother would swear that our furniture would move around at night while we slept.

I was so little I don't remember. I just remember the tin roof and pool that looked like a boot (deep end was the deep part and heel was the kiddy pool)!

Thank you! Maria Smith (mmafsmith@gmail.com)

SandyG265 said...

There is an old stone house on the end of my street. We wouldn't go trick or treating there because the older kids would tell us it was haunted.

Robin K said...

As kids we were always frightened of the woods. I think there is also a ghost story about a hitchhiker with a hook or some such thing.

robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

Autumn said...

We lived in a house in Arkansas that was a certified haunted house. I swore that the ghosts in that house told me to make a sandbox in my closet. My mom wasn't too happy about that. But all kinds of weird stuff happened in that house. After we moved out it mysteriously burned to the ground except for one beam that held up a porch swing that we had left behind.

Pamk said...

we grew with the legend of green eyes. The ghost the supposedly haunts out local Civil War park.
scrtsbpal at yahoo dot com

donnas said...

We had the tradional spooky hollow and christmas carol but every year on Halloween we would also have Little Orphan Annie, and someone would read the story when we got back from trick or treating.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Danielle @ Romance Book Junkies said...

The only things I can remember is the boogie man that would come get you in the night and the ghost of bloody Mary that would appear in the mirror after saying her name three times in the dark.

romancebookjunkiesdanielle at yahoo dot com

booklover0226 said...

I grew up on a dairy farm which used to be a plantation, complete with manor house and chapel.

My uncle swore that a portrait of the original owner scared him because the eyes followed his movements!

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

debbie said...

My parents had no imagination, so stories weren't told at my house. I just remember the boogey man.

Estella said...

I don't remember ever hearing any legend stories and I don't have a favorite.

kissinoak at frontier.com

Roxanne Rhoads said...

Growing up a local ghost story in my area was "crack the whip". A local cemetery has statues fo children who supposedly died while playing "crack the whip". At night the cemetery is filled with the ghosts of the kids.

In high school the teenagers would go there and party.

Not me. No way.

I have no idea if anything is true other than that cemetery having creepy statues that totally look real. I know I won't visit that place after dark not even now.

Coley said...

I never really grew up being told any ghost stories or legends, although I did read a great deal of them on my own. One of my favorites would have to be the old ghostly hitchhiker story where the ghost is just trying to make it home.


heatwave16 said...

My favorite is the Headless Horseman, that is the only legend I can think of that was always talked about.

All of my other favorite ghost stories come from Scooby Doo. :)


*yadkny* said...

I didn't really hear any ghost stories or legends growing up. I lived on a farm and the only thing that we thought might be ghost infested was the old barn by our house.


Nancy Marsh said...

I grew up in so many different places one of my favorite stories is about the devil baby born in Chicago. I have also heard the stories about Black Beard when I lived in North Carolina. Pretty gruesome stories about ol Edward Teach. I also lived in the same house for many years that my father passed away in...certain areas of the house were creepy after that, doors creaked and opened up, i remember my mother calling it "George" and laughing it off.
Thank you!!! Nancy Marsh (darkhuntress75@hotmail.com)

Rosie said...

In Cleveland, there were a couple of ghost stories, one was Franklin Castle . . . a large victorian home that was said to have lots of spirits and also Lakeview Cemetery where lots of historical figures are buried has talk of ghostly presences. Oh, and Mansfield Penitentiary . . . said to be really haunted.

Andrea I said...

I don't really remember any ghost stories from growing up. I had a funeral director for a father.


Sherry said...

Growing up I didn't hear a lot of ghost stories and the only one that I can remember is Bloody Mary and a few more that involved looking in the mirror and repeating a something three times. I was always to chicken to do it though.


Anonymous said...

Bloody Mary scared the crap out of me when I first heard about it. I know about the Grey Man! I've never seen him but I remember going to Charleston when there was a storm and I was so sure I was going to see him!

twilightforever.edward at gmail dot com

Barbara E. said...

The only legend I can remember hearing when I was growing up is the story about the hook left on the car door.
When I was younger, we lived near an old grave yard and there was a building (maybe a mortuary?) that was burned down with a crypt with a barred gate underneath it. We used to go there and tell each other scary stories about what happened there and how it burned down. I always loved those stories.


Taffy said...

We always thought grandpa walker's house was haunted. At night it sounded like someone was running around. When I got older, I found out it was mice in the walls!

Shaiha said...

I wasn't really told any ghost stories when I was a kid. Instead I was being taught spells to use when the veil is the thinnest.


stacey said...

My Favorite Legend is the Stories that thay have of Little People living the Mount we have up here I Live a hour and a half from mount Shasta in Ca there has been many legends to to with the mounts here.

Jessica said...

Just your traditional ones like The Hook Man, Aren't you glad you didn't turn on the light...both ones used in Supernatural!

And a few others that I can't really think of. But nothing really local, just the old tales that everyone knows!

Amanda Makepeace said...

We have a ghost story in our family. When my grandfather was a boy there were rumors that the dead wife of a farmer could be seen late at night going from the house to barn, and back again. Her old routine of checking the cows in the middle of the night.

Cecil, my grandfather, being the adventurous type, convinced his younger brother to sneak out one winter's night to catch a glimpse of the ghost. It turned out to be the perfect night. The snow had fallen all day, but was now still and calm.

The boys made their way over to the farm and sat hidden in a ditch. They watched the house for hours and were nearly about to leave when they saw a light. A glowing orb hung suspended in the air and floated from the house to the barn and back again.

Cecil and his brother were terrified, but pulled themselves together long enough to wonder if it had been a trick. They sneaked up onto the property. When they reached the spot they could see in the moon's light there were no footprints!

They ran all the way home. Sat up all night frightened that the ghost of the farmers wife might come after them.

The story was told to my mother as a child, and she told it to me. Since then, I have passed the story onto my own daughter. :)


Mindy MacKay said...

Growing up in San Antonio, I was told the legend of the Weeping Woman, or La Llorona. Apparently, she drowned her children in the river in a jealous rage after her husband lost interest in her, and now she stakes out the river at night, looking for her lost children...

Bullpucky to keep us unruly lilluns from playing around the river at night, but it always entertained me.


LSUReader said...

I grew up in Louisiana, and we heard lots of voodoo and loup garou (werewolf) stories. My Dad was great at telling all kinds of stories. (Email in profile.)

ladydi6497 said...

Where I grew up there were not many legends. But, now I believe that we have a ghost following us from house to house. This is the third house that I have had strange activities.


Heather B. said...

The primary legend/ghost story from AR has to do with the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs. The TAPs group have been there once and may come back. here's a link to their page.


Amy said...

I grew up hearing about the story of Bloody Mary. Many kids in my elementary school dared each other to go into the bathrooms and do the "summoning" ritual of calling her name three times in the dark. I was always too scared to try it.


jmspettoli said...

I can't recall any ghost stories that I've heard but I definitely love scary movies and Urban Legends was one of my favs when I was younger.

spettolij AT gmail DOT com

mbreakfield said...

There are supposed to be some haunted antebellum mansions around Natchez, and I think there is a haunted church around here somewhere.

Jolene Allcock and Family said...

I grew up hearing of my mom's experience with a ghost when she was a child. She tells it so well and nothing ever changes and all the details are the same, she can even draw a pic. of what the ghost looked like. My mom gew up in an old house in Santa Barbra, It was an old victorian two story house. One night she woke up with an odd feeling that someone was watching her. She sat up in bed and was shocked to see a lady sitting in her window. She had on a white dress that buttoned all the way up the neck and her brown hair was in a bun. My mom said she thought she was beautiful and couldn't understand how she got up to her window. She said she had an almost white like glow to her, like she was seeing her in Black and White. The lady told her not to be scared and asked my mom her name. After a minute of nothing, she just dissapeared. The story still creeps me out


Julie said...

There were a couple of silly ghost stories kids told at sleepovers, like the bloody mary one where you supposedly see her in your reflection if you say her name in the dark.


k_sunshine1977 said...

the only big one i remember from when i was younger was bloody mary....and the stories from those scary stories to tell in the dark books! creepy stuff!

k_sunshine1977 at yahoo dot com

Stephmartin71 said...

The ghost girl & suicides are stories I've known about. The Mafia & Animal stories I just learned about when I looked this up for approx dates of the ghost girl sitings & suicides.
North West Indiana: Hauntings of Reeder Rd:
Supposedly in the 30's, Reeder Road was used to dump bodies by the Chicago Mafia. Back then no body traveled that road because it was out in the middle of no where.
20 years later, in the 50's, a girl drowns in the swamp, inside the car on Reeder Rd. It's said that the ghost girl can be seen on Reeder Rd @ night, waiting to get a ride back home & that people did pick her up to take her home but as they passed Ross cemetery, she disappears from the car.
Later, in the 60's, when the area started to develop, bodies were dug up & found. It was discovered that they were dumped by the Chicago Mafia. Bodies continued to be dug up until the mid 90`s after the area was done developing. Which is also about the time, when high school kids, would go to that same road and go into the woods & commit suicide.
Late 90's is when this road was closed off to regular drive through traffic & only those living there on that street would be able to drive on that part of Reeder Rd. Her Ghost is still seen & voices are still heard to this day. The animal story that's new to me: Animal body parts (both wild & domestic) are found dead in the middle of Reeder Rd. Never whole animals, just parts & mostly it's of their cutoff heads.
Hope you all will enjoy this history from NW Indiana ;D

Cybercliper said...

I grew up in the Appalachian mountains part of a large Scott/Irish family - so stories abound aplenty and trust me when I say we are a pretty superstitious lot.

It seems the oldest legend is about some kinda "Big Foot" like creature. Lots of old timers said they'd seen it and a few hunters here in recent times. There's still a lot of wilderness out there so I guess anything is possible. Trust me when I say I don't go looking for it...annhonATaolDOTcom

BJ said...

As I was growing up I was always told that Santa was real, the tooth fairy was real, Big foot was real, Ghoats are real...and on down the line....So far Santa was real long ago but in a whole different idea then we have now, the tooth fairy...have no clue what on earth they were going with there...LOL....Big foot...hmmmm Still no proof either way on a gaint walking monkey....and as for Ghosts,,,I've seen thigs move by themselves and turn on and off, but have never seen anything other than that...so that could be bad wires and someone playing tricks...so the judge is still out...Who knows...