Sunday, October 20, 2013

THE OLD FARMHOUSE: Deborah J. Hughes

As we approach Halloween, many of us turn our focus turns towards all things ghoulish, spooky and horrorific. The fact is, Halloween is the time of year when the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest and ghostly encounters are more likely to happen!

Although I love getting involved with paranormal situations, I didn't always feel that way. Going back a few years (or several) to my childhood, I still recall with uneasy shivers one of my scariest moments in that haunted old farmhouse my family and I lived in for seven long uncomfortable years.

I was in eighth grade at the time, and rather than wait an hour or so for the bus to come take me home, I decided to walk. It was a gorgeous day and I wanted to enjoy it. Though I faced the possibility of arriving to an empty house, I was hoping that wouldn't be the case and my mom would be home from work. She wasn't.

So I let my little dog Tippy, a poodle/Chihuahua mix, out of the house and we settled on the front step while I conducted an internal pep talk with myself. I was really thirsty and wanted to go in for a drink but I knew by this point that our house was haunted and I wasn't all that eager to encounter a ghost while totally on my own.

Thirst, though, won out, and so I convinced myself that the day was too nice and hot for ghosts to be lurking about anyway. Aside from that, I had Tippy. He didn't like the spirits haunting us and he always let us know in his going-bonkers-over-apparently-nothing way when they were around. So I stood up, turned around and entered the cool, dark interior of the house (it was always dark and cold...even in the middle of a hot, sunny day!). Shoring up my nerves, I walked down the hallway toward the kitchen entrance.

My back crawled with the uncomfortable feeling that someone was right behind me but since Tippy didn't seem to notice anything, I ignored the feeling and crossed the kitchen to the small room partitioned off of it that we called the pantry. I hated that room and I especially hated going in there alone, but that's where the refrigerator was located, and if I wanted a drink, I had to do it. Tippy didn't come in with me, but then it was the one room in the house where he refused to go. So he plunked down on the kitchen floor a short distance away and watched my every move with dog-like curiosity (I'm sure he was anticipating a treat as well).

I opened the fridge, pulled out the pitcher of juice, turned to the counter behind me to grab a glass and congratulated myself on my bravery. Although my back continued to crawl with discomfort, it was something I was used to in this creepy old house so I didn't think much of it. My confidence was building. No ghost was going to scare me. No sirree, I was fine. Just fine.

But as I started to pour the juice into my glass, Tippy began to growl low in his throat. I literally froze. I'm not even sure if I could breathe at this point because his growl turned almost instantly into angry snarls and he scrambled in frantic haste to his feet. A few low warning growls and he began backing away. I tell you, I wanted to turn around and look but I was scared to death and couldn't move even if I wanted to. That whole "frozen in fear" thing? Totally real. In all honesty, I didn't WANT to see what Tippy saw.

Finally, somehow, I managed to turn my head and look behind me. Nothing (oh thank God for that!!). I then looked at my dog. His eyes were focused on the corner of the kitchen to my right of the pantry doorway. Though I couldn't see the area in question and I was terrified to think what could be there, I was still quite relieved that whatever had just joined us wasn't in the pantry with me. I set the pitcher down and turned around.

Tippy was now snarling quite viciously, his little teeth bared, his ears flat back and his tail tucked between his legs. His entire body shook so much his toenails clicked rapidly on the linoleum floor. I knew I had no choice but to step forward and look around the doorway into the kitchen and I dreaded it with every ounce of my being. But I HAD to look. My heart pounding so hard it actually hurt, I took a step and leaned forward just enough to view the area in question. I saw nothing and yet I knew, just KNEW something was there.

The corner Tippy was focused on so intensely had three items occupying it: the washer and dryer and a chair. There was nothing visible to account for his ferocious snarling and that made it all the scarier. Besides, he wasn't even looking at those items...his eyes were fixed high above them near the ceiling. In the few seconds that I stood there trying to decide if I had the nerve to make a run for it, Tippy began moving backwards across the floor until he was under one of the chairs pushed against the dining table. I scooted down and called him to me and though he glanced my way and whined pitifully, he clearly didn't dare to come anywhere near my location.

I started praying in earnest at this point. I believed then as I do now that my best defense against the evil in that house was my faith in God. And though I was pretty sure he'd keep me safe from harm, I didn't quite dare take that leap of faith and leave the pantry. So I continued to plead with Tippy to come to me and he actually started to do so, but after a few reluctant steps, he suddenly scrambled backwards as if something had charged at him. His snarls turned into yelps of fear, his high-pitched cries scaring me even more than the snarls for they indicated his fear level was now responding to a worse threat. He moved further under the table. Obviously feeling a bit safer there, his pitiful cries turned into earnest barking, that were punctured every now and then with some ferocious snarls. I can't tell you how desperately I wanted out of that house. But I was too scared to leave the pantry.

It took some tearful pleas but eventually Tippy tried again to join me. He got about half-way across the kitchen floor this time, moving nearly on a belly crawl, when he suddenly made another terrified scramble back to the safety of the table, yelping the whole time as if something was hurting him. Since he wasn't writhing in agony, I figured it was fear that made him cry that way and not actual pain. At this point, I was pretty much in tears and I think Tippy realized my desperation. His snarls lowered into whines and it truly seemed to me that he was trying to figure out a way to get to me. Though he looked at me from time to time, his focus remained fixed high on that corner. I paid close attention to that gaze and I don't know what I would have done if it had slowly moved toward my direction!

It was only a matter of seconds, but it seemed an age had passed before he finally left the kitchen table and ran behind the big cast iron stove that took up quite a bit of space to my left. Keeping close to the wall (actually rubbing his body against it as he moved along), Tippy slowly made his way to me though he kept his head lowered so he could see under the stove (it stood off the floor on thick cast-iron legs about three inches). His attention never wavered from that corner. When he got to the end of the stove, there was about three feet of floor space between him and me. Tippy stood there and whined, glancing my way with such longing in his terrified eyes that I wanted to answer his silent plea. He wanted me to go get him and I wanted to do that. But I didn't dare. He had to be the brave one. Poor little bugger. I loved that dog.

I inched over as far as I could go in the pantry doorway and leaned forward, stretching my arms out to him. A quick glance at the corner to my right continued to reveal nothing I could see so I turned back to Tippy and prayed to God it wouldn't attack us. Tippy glanced from the corner to me and back to the corner. Then he made a run for it and jumped up into my arms. I was so relieved, so comforted by that. I knew he couldn't save me if the entity decided to get nasty, but at least I would know if it was coming after us and where it was.

Once Tippy was nestled in my arms, he immediately twisted about so he could keep an eye on that darn corner. His tail remained tucked between his legs and his shivering was out of control. He wrapped his front paws securely around my hands and though he whined a little, he was no longer growling. We HAD to get out of the house and there was only one way to do it so I said another prayer asking for protection and a successful escape. Thank God for my faith. Otherwise ... well, there is no otherwise.

Holding Tippy in front of me like a shield (he was my eyes, my spirit barometer), I stepped out of the pantry and made sure to stay facing my unseen threat. If this meant backing out of the kitchen so be it, but I was NOT going to turn my back on that THING...or whatever it was. Tippy continued his low whining and that helped my bravery somewhat for it meant whatever he saw was keeping its distance. We nearly made it to the hallway entrance when Tippy began to growl. My heart did a little lurch of fear and my feet refused to budge another step. There's nothing worse than having your body disobey your brain, especially during a moment of impending danger!

Suddenly Tippy started lunging and snapping repeatedly at the air as if he was actually fighting with something! My God, I was so darned scared in that moment that I feared for my life. As Tippy continued to bite at the air and snarl viciously, my feet finally started moving again. It's hard to walk on shaking legs but I did it!

Once I made it into the hallway, I knew I was going to have to make a run for it so I turned and ran as fast as I could for the open doorway. Tippy twisted his way out of my arms and hit the floor running. We both flew through the doorway as if the hounds of hell were after us. The skin on my back cringed with fear that something would attack me from behind but there was no stopping me now. I jumped off the steps and literally hit the ground at a full run. Tippy was ahead of me now and making little yelping cries. Together we ran out of the yard and up the road. I ran until I couldn't catch my breath and had to stop. When Tippy saw that I was no longer running with him, he came back to join me. I collapsed on the ground and he jumped into my arms and licked my face. He was as happy as I was to be free and alive!

I'll never know what Tippy saw that made him react that way and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't WANT to know. One thing for sure, that incident convinced me that we did indeed share a house with something evil and the day we finally moved out was one of the happiest moments of my life!

Not every ghost is evil. In fact, most of the time there is nothing bad about them at all. But sometimes negative entities come around to bother us and it sure helps to have your faith to keep you safe. And a dog is a good idea too!

So that's my story, my scary moment, and I thank Wendy for allowing me to come to her blog and share it! 


At the tender age of seven, Deborah Hughes moved into a haunted old farmhouse with her family. Sharing a home with dead people is sure to put a new perspective on things and once she was old enough to read, she devoured book after book in the hopes of gaining some understanding of what she and her family were going through. But the more she learned, the more she realized how little she knew. This realization has led to a lifelong exploration of the paranormal world.

Although determined to grow up and become a published author, her sense of adventure led to a career in the United States Air Force. Instead of making books she was making bombs, not quite what she expected to do with her life but she certainly was experiencing an adventure.

Despite her busy life and demanding career, Deborah continued writing the stories streaming through her mind and demanding to be told. It's a calling no writer can ignore.
Now that her military career is behind her, she is finally focused on doing what she loves most...writing the kinds of stories she loves to read. Stories that involve her interests in the paranormal, the supernatural and the spiritual (though she does like to throw in some romance if it can be worked in!).

She hopes her readers will be as intrigued with her books as she is!




Today is a truly awesome giveaway. For those not familiar with this popular novelist, it's a chance to get both feet wet from her brand of paranormal chills! Two separate prize packages are offered for two lucky winners. They are:

ONE PRINT COPY (and it's just out in print form) of NO MATTER WHAT.  


ONE ECOPY of all THREE of the TESS HARPER MEDIUM SERIES. The winner of this second package will receive: BE STILL, MY LOVE, HIDDEN VOICES and VANQUISHING GHOSTS.

How do you win? Go to HALLOWEENPALOOZA's OFFICIAL EVENT PAGE on Facebook and comment "I WANT TO WIN PRIZE PACKAGE ONE" or "I WANT TO WIN PRIZE PACKAGE TWO". One person cannot win both! 

Good luck and Happy Ghost Hunting with Deborah as your guide! 


A personal loss throws medium Tess Schafer's beliefs into question and severs her communications with "the other side". Unable to move on with her life, she takes a healing vacation to a haunted resort on the coast of Maine. Her arrival triggers a spike in paranormal activity and the return of her spiritual connection.

As the spirits of two young lovers reach out to her, Tess soon finds herself in the middle of much more than a tragic love story. Why are they afraid and why are they warning her away? Personal doubts, skeptics, a growing sense of menace and a distracting attraction to another guest will not stop her from uncovering the resort's secrets.

When medium Tess Schafer hears of a tombstone marked with images of a witch's curse, she decides to investigate the supernatural legend.

From the moment she arrives in the small town of Bucksport, Maine, Tess begins experiencing intriguing paranormal activity and now more than ever, she's determined to solve the mystery surrounding town founder Jonathan Buck and his cursed graveside monument.

Hindering things, however, is strong, imposing male spirit. Who is he, what does he want and how in the world is he connected to the curse?

He's not her only problem, however, for her presence hasn't gone unnoticed among the rest of Bucksport's ghosts. Although she's getting more than she bargained for, Tess reasons the place is haunted for a reason and she means to find out what it is.

One thing for sure, the town has secrets and its ghosts have decided it's time to bring those secrets to light.

From the first book in the Tess Schafer-Medium series "Be Still, My Love" to this second adventure in "Hidden Voices", Tess is learning to hone her medium skills and converse effectively with the dead. In book 3 Vanquishing Ghosts Tess's faith in her ability is sorely tested!

When medium Tess Schafer buys a haunted house in the small town of Bucksport, Maine, she's delighted with her find and eager to make it her home. But something evil lurks there and now she must discover who it is, what it wants and then vanquish it to hell.

Book 3 of the Tess Schafer-Medium series has what you would expect in a classic haunting tale! It's a modern-day Gothic! Romance, suspense, mystery and enough spooky elements to make your scalp tingle and your spine crawl. This is a story for the paranormal enthusiast, those who enjoy ghost stories or for those looking to suspend disbelief and escape "the norm"! An interesting choice for those looking for a creepy read on a dark and stormy night. Just leave a light on! 

Past Lives, Reincarnation and Ghostly intrigue all play a part in this creepy supernatural drama!

When Robert and Mary Michaels buy an historical estate in Paddington, Massachusetts, they are hopeful it will give them what they need...solace for their daughter Lynn. Of course, they have no idea the place is haunted by young Clara Mallory. Lynn, however, soon discovers this little secret and the two girls form a quick bond. But they are meant to be much more than friends and once the parents find out what's going on, all hell is going to break loose. First, however, Robert's new psychiatric patients must help him suspend disbelief and accept what he has always thought to be impossible. For their troubles stem not from this life, but another, one in which they committed a horrendous crime. And now everyone is in place to make right what went horribly wrong before. But at what cost?


  1. Wow, and you made it for seven years?? Sane? Congrats! Aren't dogs the most wonderful companions put on earth?

  2. Dear you should write about ghosts in their own cities in