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Monday, July 20, 2020

Paranormal Investigator Pamela K. Kinney: A Ghost by Any Other Name Would Still Haunt the Living + giveaway

“A Ghost by Any Other Name Would Still Haunt the Living” 

What are spirits? Where did the words come from? People watch paranormal TV shows or read regional ghost books, and they discover that there are so many different names or terms for them.

In traditional belief, a ghost is the soul of a deceased person or animal that can appear, in visible form or other manifestations, to the living. Descriptions of the apparition of ghosts vary widely: The mode of manifestation in photos or seen by the living’s eyes can range from an invisible presence, shadow people, translucent or wispy shapes, and orbs, to realistic, life-like visions—solids. The deliberate attempt to contact the spirit of a deceased person is known as a séance. Paranormal investigators use equipment to find proof of paranormal activity and to make contact with those who may be haunting the building, cemetery, or land.

The belief in manifestations of the spirits of the dead is widespread, dating back to animism or ancestor worship in pre-literate cultures. Certain religious practices—funeral rites, exorcisms, and some practices of spiritualism and ritual magic—are specifically designed to appease the spirits of the dead. Ghosts are generally described as solitary essences that haunt particular locations, objects, or people they were associated with in life, though stories of phantom armies, ghost trains, phantom ships, and even ghost animals have also been recounted.

The English word ghost continues Old English gást, from a hypothetical Common Germanic *gaistaz. It is common to West Germanic, but lacking in North and East Germanic.The pre-Germanic form was *ghoisdo-s, apparently from a root denoting "fury, anger" reflected in Old Norse geisa "to rage." The Germanic word is recorded as masculine only but likely continues a neuter s-stem. The original meaning of the Germanic word would have been an animating principle of the mind, in particular capable of excitation and fury. In Germanic paganism, "Germanic Mercury," and the later Odin, was at the same time the conductor of the dead and the "lord of fury" leading the Wild Hunt.

Besides denoting the human spirit or soul, both of the living and the deceased, the Old English word is used as a synonym of Latin spiritus, also meaning of "breath, blast" from the 9th century attestations. It also denoted any good or evil spirit, like angels and demons. The Anglo-Saxon gospel refers to the demonic possession of Matthew 12:43 as se unclæna gast. Also, from the Old English period, this word might also mean the spirit of God: the "Holy Ghost."

The synonym spook is a Dutch loanword, akin to Low German spôk. It entered the English language via the United States in the 19th century. Alternative modern words included spectre (from Latin spectrum), the Scottish wraith (of obscure origin), phantom (via French ultimately from Greek phantasma, compare fantasy) and apparition. The term shade in classical mythology translates Greek σκιά, or Latin umbra- in reference to the notion of spirits in the Greek underworld. And "haint" is a synonym for ghost used in regional English of the southern United States, and the "haint tale" is a common feature of southern oral and literary tradition. As for poltergeist, that is the term for a German word, literally a "noisy ghost," for a spirit said to manifest itself by invisibly moving and influencing objects.

Wraith is a Scottish dialectal word for "ghost, spectre, and apparition." It came to be used in Scottish Romanticist literature, and it acquired the more general or figurative sense of "portent, omen." In 18th- to 19th-century Scottish literature, it was also applied to aquatic spirits.

A revenant is a deceased person returning from the dead to haunt the living, either as a disembodied ghost or alternatively as an animated ("undead") corpse. Also related is the concept of a fetch, the visible ghost or spirit of a person yet alive.

Another widespread belief concerning ghosts is that they are composed of a misty, airy, or subtle material. Early beliefs were that ghosts were the person within the person (the person's spirit), most noticeable in ancient cultures as a person's breath, which upon exhaling in colder climates appears visibly as a white mist. This belief may have also fostered the metaphorical meaning of "breath" in certain languages, such as the Latin spiritus and the Greek pneuma, which by analogy became extended to mean the soul. In the Bible, God is depicted as animating Adam with a breath.
In many tales, ghosts were often thought to be deceased people looking for vengeance or are imprisoned on earth for bad things they did during life. The appearance of a ghost has often been regarded as an omen or portent of death. Seeing one's own ghostly double or "fetch" is a related omen of death.

White ladies were reported to appear in many rural areas and supposed to have died tragically or suffered trauma in life. White Lady legends are found around the world. Common to many of them is the theme of losing or being betrayed by a husband or fiancé. They are often associated with an individual family line, as a harbinger of death. When one of these ghosts is seen it indicates that someone in the family is going to die, similar to a banshee.

The stories of ghost ships have existed since the 18th century. The most notable of these is the Flying Dutchman.
Ghosts can also be angels and demons. In some paranormal circles, it is believed that demons are non-human, while other spirits who did terrible things (like murder) but human and passed on without the benefit of being forgiven, are not.
Whatever we call them, apparitions are among the living, unseen and sometimes seen. 

Are they proof that there is existence beyond death, or something else? 
What do you think a ghost really is? 

Answer the question by leaving a comment to be entered to win a Kindle of my latest ghost book, Haunted Surry to Suffolk: Spooky Tales Along Routes 10 and 460. Please, one comment means one entry per person.

Pamela K. Kinney
Journey to worlds of fantasy, beyond the stars, and into the vortex of terror with the written word of Pamela K. Kinney.

Haunted Surry To Suffolk: Spooky Tales Along Routes 10 and 460 
by Pamela K. Kinney
April 5, 2020
Genre: Nonfiction Paranormal Ghost
Publisher: Anubis Press
ASIN: B086SNXJXW Paperback: 9781733548298
Number of pages: 254
Take a journey along Virginia’s scenic Routes 10 and 460 eastbound to enjoy the lovely countryside and metropolises that spread around these two roads. Most of all, discover that some historical houses, plantations, battlefields, parks, and even the modern cities, have more than touristy knickknacks, ham, and peanuts to offer. Many have ghosts!

Bacon’s Castle has spirits haunting it since the 1600s. Stay in a cabin overnight at Chippokes Plantation State Park and you might find you have a spectral bedfellow. The city of Smithfield has more to offer than the world’s oldest ham; it also has some very old phantoms still stalking its buildings. Take a ghost tour of Suffolk and see why the biggest little city is also one of the spookiest. Discover the myths and legends of the Great Dismal Swamp and see what phantoms are still haunting the wildlife refuge. And if that’s not enough, Bigfoot and UFOs are part of the paranormal scenery. These and other areas of southeastern Virginia are teeming with ghosts, Sasquatch, UFOs, and monsters. See what awaits you along 460 south and 10. No matter which road you take, the phantoms can’t wait to SCARE you a good time.

Excerpt from the Bacon’s Castle chapter in the ghost book:
Bacon's Castle is the oldest building in America, with the oldest formal English garden, too, and is a rare example of American Jacobean architecture. It is the only surviving "high-style" house in the nation from the 17th century. It is one of only three surviving Jacobean great homes in the Western Hemisphere—the other two are in Barbados. It has the oldest formal English garden in North America and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1960.

There is one love story with Bacon’s Castle that can’t be proven, and so might be a myth. A young woman in the 1800s met her lover, a farmer, in secret on the side of a cornfield. Her father didn’t approve of him. But when she had returned to Bacon’s Castle one evening, carrying a candle upstairs to her room, she tripped, and her long hair caught fire from the candle flame. Not wanting her father to know she had been out, she kept quiet and ran from the house, back to the cornfield and her lover. She died in his arms, severely burned.

Bacon’s Castle is rife with hauntings, and there are those who say it is the work of the Devil. Someone in connection with another historical building and cemetery, whose wife works at the house, told me a story about some paranormal investigators who had recorded an EVP of a diabolical laugh and voice in the basement (where the large fireplace is). He believes it to be the Devil himself. Others hold the belief that it is the return of Nathaniel Bacon’s men. Although it’s unlikely that every historic building in Virginia is haunted, there are several that have an undeniably eerie allure to them—like Bacon’s Castle. And let’s be honest, with so many years of people living there, it could even be members of families who owned the house, slaves, and much more.

Paranormal investigators who have investigated there believe that many of the disembodied spirits are those of the slaves who were subjected to unbearable living conditions. While the mansion was decorated lavishly, the slave quarters hardly had any furniture at all. In place of beds, servants were expected to sleep on piles of hay and rags.

Whatever the spirits may be from, there are numerous sightings, from moaning in the attic to strange noises, floating heads, and unseen entities passing by. The one about the fireball is interesting.

Seen as a pulsating, red ball of fire, it rises from the graveyard of Olde Lawne’s Creek Church, which is south of Bacon's Castle. It soars to the castle grounds, “floating or hovering” there before heading back to the Olde Lawne’s Creek Church graveyard to vanish.

There were reports of sightings of this fireball over the years. What can it be? Skeptics say it can be explained, while others call it a manifestation of the Devil. One legend tells of a servant a century or two ago, late doing his chores. As he walked home in the dark, a red object appeared out of nowhere and burst, covering him in flames and burning him to death.

Another story talks about hidden money in the castle and that two men had found it years ago while removing some bricks in the fireplace hearth in the second floor’s west room. No one had ever found the money, and no one has seen the light since.

About the Author:
Author Pamela K. Kinney gave up long ago trying not to listen to the voices in her head and has written award-winning, bestselling horror, fantasy. science fiction, poetry, along with nonfiction ghost books ever since. Three of her nonfiction ghost books garnered Library of Virginia nominations. Her third ghost book, Virginia’s Haunted Historic Triangle: Williamsburg, Yorktown, Jamestown, and Other Haunted Locations, has reached a second printing and is now a 2nd edition with extra new stories and ten new ghostly images added. Her horror short story, “Bottled Spirits,” was runner-up for the 2013 WSFA Small Press Award and is considered one of the seven best genre short fiction for that year. Her latest novel was her first self-published venture, an urban fantasy, How the Vortex Changed My Life. In 2019, she had a science fiction novella, Maverick Heart, released from Dreampunk Press. She has horror and fantasy short stories in anthologies and magazine, plus her own collection of horror stories, Spectre Nightmare and Visitations, published by Under the Moon. She will have a horror short story, Hunting the Goatman, which will be in the anthology, Retro Horror, releasing in 2020. Of course, she is working on various horror and fantasy short stories and has finished a supernatural horror novel and is also working on edits for a Young Adult apocalyptic urban fantasy novel.

Pamela and her husband live with one crazy black cat (who thinks she should take precedence over her mistress’s writing most days). Along with writing, Pamela has acted on stage and film and investigates the paranormal for episodes of Paranormal World Seekers for AVA Productions. She is a member of both Horror Writers Association and Virginia Writers Club. You can learn more about Pamela K. Kinney at

What do you think a ghost really is? 
Answer the question by leaving a comment to be entered to win a Kindle copy of my latest ghost book, Haunted Surry to Suffolk: Spooky Tales Along Routes 10 and 460. 
Please, one comment means one entry per person. 

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  1. I am not sure but I think it is a remnant.

  2. I'm really not sure probably just a house settling.

  3. I believe ghosts could be due to dimensions crossing. Meaning they are alive and well in their time, but we are picking up on them via our modern technology when certain conditions that we may not yet fully understand are met.