By Micheal Rivers © 2015
Should I take it from the beginning? All things considered, it would probably be the best. You should know how death can come in any form. October was my favorite month of the year. I stood in the middle of the street shortly after midnight, smoking a cigarette and watching a full moon overhead. Intermittent dark clouds floated slowly in front of it, reminding me of old horror movies from the 60s. It would have been easy to picture Lon Chaney transforming into the Wolf Man.
I was at an impasse, looking for something different to enhance my life and reputation as a ghost hunter. I needed to find a location that people were not familiar with nor knew what reportedly was happening there. Walking back to my home, my son met me just outside of my back door.
“I hear you are looking for the perfect place to investigate for Halloween.”
From the smile on his face, I knew he had been talking to his mother about my problem.
“You heard correctly. Do you have something in mind or are you just making conversation?”
He smiled again and placed his arm around my shoulder. “I have the perfect spot for you. It requires a little travel, but you can spend the night at my house. It would be much closer for you.”
I had doubts in the beginning, I must admit. “What do you have in mind?”
He beamed proudly. “I found an old Indian burial site in Indiana. A lot of people have said it is haunted. I never believed in what they said much until my buddy told me about an existing portal within the burial grounds. His grandfather told him about it and warned him to stay away from the grounds at night.”
I could hardly help but chuckle. “I have been told so many stories of portals and hauntings in supposedly Indian burial grounds, it isn’t funny. I really get a good laugh when everybody says don’t be there after dark. Have you seen any photographs or any other evidence of this place?”
He tried hard not to face me. “I did better than that. I found the place. I am not psychic or anything, but I feel like there is something there. I know I won’t go there by myself.”
Looking into the distance, I still saw the shadows on the moon. I had no desire to hurt my son’s feelings after he had taken the time and trouble to find this spot. “Okay, I will go and we’ll take some equipment. Just remember I have to be home on Halloween.”
The deal was set though I was sure it would be nothing more than a lot of stories to scare children or keep teenagers from trespassing. But, I am not always right in my line of thinking, and at times, curiosity gets the better of me.
We set our time to coincide with the rising of the moon. With a minimal amount of equipment, we carried only cameras and a digital recorder. The area seemed pleasant enough where we parked the car; and yet looking down the tree-lined walkway, my curiosity seemed to skyrocket. It was as if I was being summoned into the unknown. With my eyes turned toward the sky, I watched the clouds building in the distance.
Fifty yards in there was a small bridge ahead of us with steel guard rails about chest high. Considering there was very little water below and no way for vehicles to be in the area, I found this to be curious. We had been taking random photographs along the way with hopes of catching a glimpse of something out of the ordinary. My son stopped in his tracks near the center of the bridge. “Listen, there is no one here but us, but I keep getting voices from behind.”
His voice had risen with a slight tremor. I played back what I had recorded with the digital recorder and found he was right. What was being said was not comprehendible, but it was clearly more than one voice. I realized that the message was not spoken in English. I said, “Sometimes you will get that if an area is active. I think we’ll go to the end of the bridge and make our way down by the creek.”
I didn’t want him to see my excitement. I did everything possible to keep from rushing off the bridge to get below. At the end of the bridge, we climbed down about fifteen feet through a partial path heavily covered with undergrowth. I started snapping pictures immediately. After my son cleared the path, we stood and listened carefully. There were no sounds as we had heard from the top of the bridge. This was not a good sign. Usually a cricket or frog will start to sing again in minutes. The silence shrouding us can only be described as echoes of the grave.
We made our way down further into the overgrowth, stopping by the trickling water of the creek. The sound of the water was barely audible. I thought of a spirit whispering its message to us to beware. I have never feared anything, but I knew, deep within this place, it was to be respected. I could feel the change in the air. We proceeded with caution, gathering our photographs and recorded sounds. There were combinations of trees and limbs placed into strange configurations all around us. My son came to my side and pointed to our right. There was an arrangement of two trees and a large limb rolled to look like an archaic door of some type. The path was plain to see; the far side was all but invisible. A slight layer of fog began to cover the ground about knee level, swirling mist with each step we took.
Gathering our thoughts, we scouted left and right before going through the archway. It was still deathly quiet all around us. The instant we stepped through the archway, the surrounding area changed. We could see a small body of water with small trees lining the banks. A cold chill crept up my spine as I looked around. My son seemed nervous and began to stick closer to me. Within seconds his camera had died, the batteries drained of all energy. I replaced them, and the minute he turned it on again, the camera refused to take pictures.
I had this happen to me on many investigations, especially prior to getting good evidence of paranormal activity. I immediately tried to use my camera and found it to be fully functional. With a sigh of relief we continued forward toward the creek bed.
Without warning, something hit the water to our left with a loud splash. The small trees came to life as we watched small fluorescent green balls leaving the tree limbs and dropping into the water. I say dropping, and yet they hit the water with an unusual force. We tried to catch photographs of the fluorescent balls without success. Closer inspection proved to us, there was no one in the tree line or around the trees that could have thrown the balls of light. Never once did the balls of light cause as much as a ripple in the water.
Within seconds of approaching the trees, the voices started whispering again, coming from all around us. It was as if we were being ordered to leave. We saw patches of mist forming that looked like deformed figures in the night. My son turned quickly and shouted. “There is someone here beside us! Listen!”
We heard footsteps in the brush surrounding us, but our flashlights showed we were alone. The voices came forward in sound, then easing back to mock us for daring to enter this place lost in time. I mentioned before, the voices seemed as though they were speaking a foreign language. I suddenly realized what we were hearing was not a foreign language but one of the dialects of Native American languages. Tsulagi is the language of the Cherokee Nation, so I called out a simple greeting in Tsulagi in hopes of getting a response. The woods around us came alive with voices. At first, it felt like a welcoming, but we soon discovered that it only angered the spirits more by trespassing on what seemed to be their sacred ground.
Within seconds, the area gave the impression that we were to be forced out. The feeling of impending danger emerged and pursued us all the way back to the bridge. We climbed the embankment and stood looking down into the area beneath the bridge. The archway was not visible from there. My son tried his camera again, and it came to life as if nothing had ever happened.
“I think we pissed something off down there tonight.”
I looked at my son and then glanced quickly around me. “I think you are right. I have never had this to happen to me on an investigation. We better leave. I have the impression that we are not alone.”
The trip back to our car seemed long. As my son scouted ahead, I kept looking over my shoulder and snapping pictures. I still had the feeling that something was close behind us.
Within an hour, we were back at his home and sat down for dinner. We were both so eager to see what we may have captured on our cameras that we wound up with half-eaten sandwiches. The mist that had formed held perfect faces; their stares seemed more a curiosity rather than warnings of any kind. We found the face of warriors in different places and an almost perfect shot atop a log close to the archway. I may be deceived, but the face displayed a Death face. Native tribes used several different styles of painting their faces. There is War face, Dance face, Death face, and what we had witnessed is known as Death face. The topic then turned to my investigations as well as people I knew. My son beamed his golden smile laughed and asked; “Have you ever brought anything home with you from an investigation?”
His wife saw no levity in the question. She was of Latin American descent and taught to have respect for the dead. Her beliefs were deeply ingrained and knew spirits should be left in peace and never disrespected. She feared we had brought something from their world home with us. Her view of dishonoring them was to enter their domain without permission.
I closed my eyes and tried to remember some of the tales I had heard over the years. “I understand there have been a lot of people that brought home a spirit or two. Some of the spirits were not very nice. One man lost his wife and family and was physically ill due to bringing home something from the other side. I don’t know how much of this story is true, other than he was very ill and his wife said some really strange things had occurred. She left him to protect her daughter. All of this happened after his team had investigated an old hotel with documented evidence of a haunting.”
My wife chimed in with a smile and said, “At least you have had good sense not to bring anything home.” I could not help but wonder why she had never felt any fear of the paranormal.
Jokingly I replied “Lord, I tried, and I am here to tell you that that ghost was sexy beyond belief.”
I did joke about something like that happening to me, and yet on this night it did not seem so implausible. The conversation went on into the early morning hours. I still had an uneasy feeling and tried to keep from looking over my shoulder. It was then when my son announced he was going to shower before going to bed and wished everyone a good night.
He had only been out of the room a few minutes when he came back into the living room. “I hate to ruin a good party, but we have a problem. My sink faucet just came on by itself.”
I thought perhaps it was just a little malfunction of some sort. “Maybe it is just a bad valve or something.”
“I don’t think so. All the faucets are new. This has never happened to me before. I believe we brought a visitor home with us from the burial grounds.” The sound of his voice did little to mask his fears.
I did not want to admit there was another possibility. “I suspect a faucet can be bad even in a new set. As for your visitor, I don’t think you should let your imagination get the better of your judgment.”
Walking into the bathroom, we checked the faucet and could not find anything wrong with it. I shrugged my shoulders and walked back to the living room. Before the night ended, the faucet and shower had turned on twice of its own accordance. Needless to say, he did not bathe that night.
I was not able to fall asleep. It was as though the room was stifling the air from my lungs. The next morning we had breakfast, and most of us had all but dismissed the events from the previous night. I could see my daughter-in-law was still not very happy about the thought that we may have brought a spirit into her home. She refused to talk about the night before. The faucet had again turned on full-blast, spewing water across the floor when my son entered the bathroom. This time he had a witness. His wife had entered the bathroom with him at the same instance the faucet gained a life of its own.
There were four days left until Halloween. I was happy I had a new investigation to report and I would be home to add my touch to the celebration. I had purchased some new items that would give the neighborhood children a real treat.
The atmosphere within the house seemed unforgiving, and we decided to head for Chicago for the day to spend time with the rest of the family. Leaving the house, we got into the car. I felt the need to use the bathroom and went back inside. I did not go to the main bathroom where the faucets came alive; instead, I chose the half bath in the hallway.
There were two small doors next to the floor beside the toilet. I watched as the one on the left slowly opened. Reaching down, I closed it and secured it with the latch. I tested both of the latches to see if they were faulty. They were not. I had barely sat erect when both doors opened ever so slowly and silently.
A feeling of foreboding crept into my soul. I gathered my clothing and left the room. Stepping into the hallway, I froze in place. Standing five feet from me was a large dark mass barely discernible and yet forming rapidly. I was petrified!
I felt like an eternity passed as it gained the form of a man with deformed features. My legs refused to move and take me away from this vision from hell. His face could only be described as horrid. The twisted mouth sagged, displaying decayed flesh on the inside of his mouth. Suddenly, the face of the monster turned and stared at me. His empty sockets that once had eyes controlled my emotions. Fear, genuine fear had gripped me from beyond and refused to let me go. His voice carried like an ill wind, cold and distant. Reading deep into my soul the entity spoke clearly; “You have questioned, is there life after death?” The last voice I heard was my beloved wife calling to me from the front door of my son’s home.
If you recall, I told my son I must be home for Halloween. I did not make it home in the sense I thought I would. Today is Halloween. It is also the day I witnessed all of my friends and family who gathered to see me one last time. They stood by the open grave as my coffin was lowered into the ground. I reached out, but I could not wipe away my wife’s tears. The dark figure standing next to me spoke once more. “Is there life after death? The answer is yessssss.”
THREE ECOPIES of either Micheal Rivers’ VERLIEGE or THE BLACK WITCH (your choice). There's also one print copy of VERILEGE and one print copy THE BLACK WITCH!!!! Because these are print copies, winners are limited to U.S. and Canada!
To win: go to the Official FB Event Page; find the post announcing today’s giveaway; and comment, “I WANT TO WIN PRINT (VERILEGE OR BLACK WITCH)” OR "I WANT TO WIN ECOPY" in that post and you just might!!!
BESTSELLING PARANORMAL THRILLER AUTHOR MICHEAL RIVERS won 1st Place Runner up at The Paranormal Awards 2014 and has won Supernatural Book of the Year 2012. His books have made the Kindle Top 100 Paid List several times and have hit #1 in Supernatural.
Micheal Rivers is the pseudonym for Mike Baugham. His Cherokee heritage prompted him to honor his great-grandfather and write under the name of Rivers. He grew up near the Outer Banks of North Carolina. His love of the sea and all it has to offer was the driving force of his first novel The Black Witch. As a child, he became aware of the supernatural world due to several experiences. A recognized authority as a paranormal investigator with more than thirty years of research, teaching classes and giving speeches provides his readers with some of his experiences woven into his paranormal thrillers. He is the lead investigator for the Smokey Mountain Ghost Trackers.
He has been writing since 1993 and was first published in 2003. His works include supernatural thrillers, literary fiction and his ghost story anthologies are published by Schiffer Publishing. He is currently working on sequels and an action/adventure series.
Micheal is a USMC veteran and served during Vietnam. The passions in his life are his wife, family, Boxer Delilah affectionately known as DeeDee, and the great outdoors.
Visit Micheal's website http://michealrivers.com where you can be the first to find out about new releases and sign up for e-mail updates.
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Smokey Mountain Ghost Trackers https://www.facebook.com/SmokeyMtnGhostTrackers
CAN YOU BARGAIN WITH THE DEAD?
Alicia was everything to Adrian Bolt; long overdue success finally afforded him the dream of taking her to Germany. They purchased Castle Verliege while vacationing there. It was the optimal atmosphere for a writer. Their life took a new direction. A ghostly world lay in wait for anyone living within the walls of the castle; waiting, watching for eternity to keep the Mueller name upon its registers.
Verliege, a chilling paranormal and international crime mystery, begins at Arlette Mansion in the mountains of West Virginia. Prisoner and author Adrian Bolt was transferred there accused of the horrific murder of his wife. She was found brutally murdered by an antique sword. His conviction by a German court was as swift as the sword that killed her. Adrian had not spoken since her death …until… Dr. James Pellitere was able to break his silence.
A deal was offered to Pellitere. Traveling to Germany with a paranormal investigative team they searched for evidence that would clear Adrian and prove him innocent. While at the castle, Pellitere is confronted by the supernatural residents. A battle begins over the secret of the nine and a prophecy is in jeopardy of becoming unfulfilled.
"...Like Gilman, Hodgson, and Lovecraft, the richness of dialog is not lacking in Rivers's prose...Rivers does not so much stand upon the shoulders of these giants as he rubs elbows with them."
- Amy K. Marshall, Staff Reviewer, Dark River Press
“...A complex ghost story… that is dark and frightening and disturbing in so many ways…well-written, deftly plotted and continually surprising.”
- Sandy Penny, Founder of SweetMysteryBooks.com
"...I couldn't put the story aside..."Verliege" is a fast-paced supernatural mystery/thriller which keeps readers simultaneously intrigued and guessing "What's next?"
- Mallory - Mallory Heart Reviews
THE BLACK WITCH
AMAZON BEST SELLER
Supernatural/Occult and Parapsychology
The Black Witch is a profile in courage for those facing the uncertainty of death at the hands of pure evil. Set on the high seas in a vivid tale of desperation the characters come to life in this epic sea adventure.
It was said to be the sailing adventure of a lifetime. In an obscure marina in Maryland the Coe family discovered the schooner of their dreams. Reported dismantled off the coast of Australia the Black Witch returned from the dead. A naval architect and his friends gathered in May of 1935 and sailed the most unique schooner ever built.
The words of the former owners and their captains written in the ship's logs warned of a cursed ship. Disregarding the words of men of integrity the passengers and crew sailed the Black Witch into the murderous realms of illusion.
With madness plaguing Dorian Coe the command of the schooner was turned over to the first officer, William Barmer. Through the trials of battling a demon from the bottomless pits of hell, a ferocious storm at sea, and the escape from a treacherous island, William fought for the life of everyone on board. From the listing deck of a sinking ship their only salvation is the miracle of divine intervention. To lose your life aboard the Black Witch was to lose your soul. In the final round William and a small handful of survivors learn the end is merely a beginning.
The brogue of the Outer Banks of North Carolina brings the flavor of the sea throughout the turn of every page. It is a lesson of man's will to survive against formidable odds. The Black Witch brings you horror, mystery, murder, and the dangers of the supernatural world in a page turning volume of dark fantasy suspense.
"The Black Witch was a page turner; it had me in its clutches and didn't let go until the end. The book is such a well written horror tale that's full of action and mayhem, completely engrossing. Character development is outstanding, they are so well written the reader cares about all of the main characters; they are so richly fleshed out. I highly recommend this novel."
- Review by Michael Juvinall - Horror Society