6 Things Haunting Me This Week

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Each Friday, I’m going to share spooky reads and products that are haunting me. Maybe it is an article I read that I cannot stop thinking about. Maybe it is something I cannot wait to purchase on payday. Please note, this post is 100% my recommendations. Products featured are not ads. I just really love them! 

Treats

Remember the story “The Green Ribbon” from the book In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories? If you are unfamiliar with the story: I’ve blogged about it here.

One of my favorite pin shops, Krystan Saint Cat, made these buttons. I gasped! You can buy them here.

I have been really obsessing over this account on Instagram. I mean look at these candles! Can you spot the tiny ghost, pumpkins, and cat? And those shades of purple.

This batch is appearing in a shop update on September 23rd, noon PST. Will you be refreshing your screen with me?

Reads

Halloween: Death Makes a Holiday – Nourishing Death

“I’m going to take a look at how the holiday and the foods associated with it have changed over the decades through sharing examples of menus and descriptions in various journals, cookbooks and magazines.”

Cursed Paintings: Ill-Fated Portraits and Unlucky Landscapes – Folklore Thursday 

“The cursed painting is an enduring urban legend that continues to have the ability to scare us, and also makes a good tabloid news story.” 

Sarah Chavez on Death Positivity, Grief, and Intersetional Feminism – Luna Luna Magazine 

Two people I really admire having a really great conversation. 

I came across this piece of folklore on Twitter. I love the idea of ghosts traveling internationally.

 

Featured Image: Photo by Gianni Zanato on Unsplash

6 Things Haunting Me This Week

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Each Friday, I’m going to share spooky reads and products that are haunting me. Maybe it is an article I read that I cannot stop thinking about. Maybe it is something I cannot wait to purchase on payday. Please note, this post is 100% my recommendations. Products featured are not ads. I just really love them! 

Treats

So, I have been really treating my self to ghosts lately.

I found this vintage (like 1970/80s) ghost luminary online and it watches me as I “work” on my dissertation. This piece was made using a Byron Mold, which is a company that produced molds for ceramics. So this piece was created (and painted) by some random person using the mold, which I think adds a personal touch to the piece. Maybe your grandparents had one?

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Want a cheaper ghost experience? Have a hot chocolate with a ghost Peep! Perfect for children or nostalgic ghost bloggers. Come on, it’s cute.

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Reads

Walking The Pendle Witch Trail – Inner Lives

“Ever since I started working on early modern witchcraft I’d felt the strange pull of Pendle, the borough in East Lancashire where – in one of the most notorious trials in England – eleven people were tried as witches in 1612, ten of whom were found guilty and hanged. Thus, one Friday in late June (just before the heatwave took hold), I found myself on a train to the North West to spend a long weekend in England’s other witch country.”

Ghosts and ghouls haunt the living with a message about life – aeon

“There is, it would seem, no greater chasm than that which divides the living from the dead.”

Mekurabe – Yokai.com

You all must know by now that I’m obsessed with this site. This recent addition to the Japanese ghost database really caught my attention! 

Hurricane Florence Gets Scarier with Sightings of the Gray Man Ghost – Mysterious Universe 

“Hurricane Florence was already being predicted to be one of the worst hurricanes to ever hit the coasts of North and South Carolina. Then the Gray Man ghost started appearing and people REALLY got scared.”

 

 

 

Featured Photo by Samuel Holt on Unsplash

6 Things Haunting Me This Week

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Each Friday, I’m going to share spooky reads and products that are haunting me. Maybe it is an article I read that I cannot stop thinking about. Maybe it is something I cannot wait to purchase on payday. Please note, this post is 100% my recommendations. Products featured are not ads. I just really love them! 

Treats

The Folio Society, creators of crafted editions of your literary favorites, just released their Autumn Collection. My personal library is 80% anthologies of spooky short stories and BOY AM I IN TROUBLE. They released The Folio Anthology of Horror Stories. The cover and accompanying illustrations are just beautiful. Can I add this to my wedding registry?

So, I love whiskey and Halloween. Luckily, I found an Old Fashioned glass from World Market with a cute vintage cat and jack-o-lantern. You can get a pair of glasses for less than $10 (+shipping).

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My usual Sunday morning is hot coffee, a good ghost book, and baked goods. One of my favorite autumn-inspired, Sunday morning breakfasts is Pumpkin Streusel Coffeecake from King Arthur Flour. There’s cinnamon filling, people.

Reads

Before TV, Kids Would Flock to Midnight Ghost Shows – Paleofuture

“Midnight ghost shows (sometimes called “spook,” “voodoo,” or “monster” shows) promised a night of creepy and playful stunts. There were glowing ghosts, floating objects, psychic readings and dozens of other illusions, all playing off the nation’s interest in spiritualism between the two World Wars.”

Kay’s Cross: Polygamists, Cult Leaders & Satanic Panic – The Dead History 

A new post from my favorite blog! Jennifer, a paranormal researcher and historian, finds the human voice in urban legends! 

“Telling the Bees” – JSTOR Daily 

“In nineteenth-century New England, it was held to be essential to whisper to beehives of a loved one’s death.”

 

6 Things Haunting Me This Week

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Hello. I’m going to try something out. Each Friday, I’m going to share spooky reads and products that are haunting me. Maybe it is an article I read that I cannot stop thinking about. Maybe it is something I cannot wait to purchase on payday.

Please note, this post is 100% my recommendations. Products featured are not ads. I just really love them! 

Treats

I just came across a new (to me) spooky candle company: Werther & Gray. I am especially in awe of their packaging. I cannot wait to get a hold of my first candle!

One of the first Halloween purchases I’ve made this season was this ghost mug from Pottery Barn. Good quality, decent price, cute ghost face.

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If you are in the market for a new tarot deck, might I recommend The Marigold Tarot? The skeleton imagery is simply breathtaking. I was able to get my hands on the gold gilded deck, but it’s sold out! You can wait until the restock or buy the Classic deck.

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Reads

Do Animals Experience Grief? – Smithsonian.com

“A growing body of evidence points to how animals are aware of death and will sometimes mourn for or ritualize their dead”

Ghosts on the shore – aeon 

“In Japan, ghost stories are not to be scoffed at, but provide deep insights into the fuzzy boundary between life and death”

7 Questions to Ask Before Buying Halloween Decor – Spooky Little Halloween 

If you like Halloween decor like me, it’s hard to control those impulse buys! Here’s a helpful post from Spooky Little Halloween to help make responsible and fun purchases.

Featured Photo by Marko Blažević on Unsplash

Spooky Road Trip: The Haunted America Conference

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This Saturday, I drove nine hours total (in some very foggy conditions) to hear some of my favorite paranormal scholars speak about ghosts and other supernatural beings. Since this was my very first conference in the area of the paranormal, I did not know what to expect. I have been to many academic conferences, which can sometimes be very intimidating and stuffy. What I found at the Haunted America Conference was a friendly and welcoming group of people, with interesting stories and insights. I left with my commonplace book full of new avenues of research, along with ideas for growing my own “ghost business.”

The conference was two days with a variety of speakers during the day and activities in the evening. I, needing to work on my dissertation, only attended Saturday’s day sessions (woke up at 3 a.m….I love ghosts!). The evening activities looked so interesting–ghost hunts, a dumb supper, technical workshops, walking tours–and I look forward to signing up next year. When not in sessions, I walked around the Vendors Room and conversed with folks promoting their podcasts, publications, ghost tourism businesses, and products (candles, pendulums, jewelry). There was also an extensive raffle that read like my Christmas List. Unfortunately, I didn’t win the Ouija cheese board and Walking Dead wine.

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A view of the Vendors Room.

Below are some of my conference highlights.

  • I  finally met Colin Dickey and Sarah Chavez! Colin, author of Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places, presented on American grave robbers. I especially enjoyed how the history of medical colleges were woven into the narrative. Sarah Chavez, my favorite death feminist, spoke about the relationship between food and death. Check out more of her work at Nourishing Death and Death and The Maiden. Side note: Sarah had very cool nails.
  • I met one of my favorite bloggers, Jennifer Jones of The Dead History. Once a paranormal investigator, Jennifer now runs a blog full of very extensive historical research on haunted locations and tombstones. I really appreciate the humanist approach she brings to her research.
  • I read so many Rosemary Ellen Guiley books when I was growing up. In her presentation “Strange Encounters and Strange Things,” Rosemary shared stories about werewolves, aliens, cursed objects, and other strange creatures.
  • I also grew up reading the website Prairie Ghosts, so I knew I had to attend a conference hosted by Troy Taylor and his Haunted America team. Troy has written 120 books on ghosts, hauntings, history, crime and the unexplained in America. So, he knows his stuff. He presented on the relationship between music, death, and the devil. He’s a very entertaining speaker; he reminded me of a very cool radio DJ. 
  • I met the very kind folks of the See You On The Other Side podcast. Their website describes their work as “a rock band’s journey into the afterlife, UFOs, entertainment, and weird science.” Their podcast, as I understand, discusses a supernatural topic each episode and includes a song inspired by the subject matter. A creative idea, right? They entertained us during breaks the entire conference. I look forward to giving their podcast a listen!

Overall, it was definitely worth the nine-hour drive. I look forward to attending next year. Maybe I’ll see you there?

January Hiatus

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While not too much of a shock, the blog is taking a hiatus until February. This will give me time to finish work and school projects, while also giving me the opportunity to plan future posts for this site.

Sorry for the delay and thanks for being a friend!

 

My Spooky Christmas Reading List

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This December, I am embracing the holiday spirits. I have decided to (1) read a ghost story every day until Christmas and (2) learn more about the pagan origins of the holiday. Any excuse to buy more books right? The following are books I plan on reading this month. I have also included some online articles for those interested in additional and shorter readings on the season.

My Christmas Bookshelf

Below are books I am hoping to consume or have already this holiday season (except for The Ghosts of Christmas Past and Classic Ghost Stories: Spooky Tales to Read at Christmas which I’m still waiting to have delivered).

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I ordered two books from my favorite online used book seller La Creeperie: Christmas Ghosts and Mistletoe Mayhem. Both books are anthologies filled with short ghost stories. I mostly purchased these books because of the covers. I mean…

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I highly recommend La Creeperie for rare anthologies and some fun covers (along with any horror and occult books you desire). The store gets most of my paycheck. 🙂

My favorite anthologies from the batch are The Valancourt Books of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories. The stories chosen did not overlap with my many other ghost story anthologies, so I was extremely happy. Each story comes with a brief introduction about the author and where it was first published. Each volume also comes with an interesting historical overview of the Victorian tradition of ghost stories at Christmas.

I am also reading some Charles Dickens’ ghost stories for obvious reasons.

In an effort to learn more about the pagan origins of the season, I purchased two Llewellyn books. While I have not had the chance to to read The Old Magic of ChristmasI flew through Yule: Rituals, Recipes & Lore, which is part of their Sabbat Essentials series. Even if you are not a practicing pagan, the book reveals the reasons behind some common traditions and gives you ideas for some new ones.

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I unknowingly read a Christmas ghost story at the very end of November. Richard Matheson’s Hell House is a Christmas ghost story like Die Hard is a Christmas movie. The book follows two mediums, a parapsychologist and his wife on a investigation of the “Mount Everest of Haunted Houses” during the days leading up to Christmas. This novel is a mix between The Haunting of Hill House and Eyes Wide Shut.

My Christmas Internet Favorites

Christmas ghost stories: Dark Christmas by Jeanette Winterson, The Guardian

Ghost stories: why the Victorians were so spookily good at them, The Guardian

Folklore of Food: Traditional Christmas Food, Folklore Thursday 

The Monsters of Christmas, Atlas Obscura 

Happy Holidays! 

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I am sharing the stories I read each day leading up to Christmas on my Instagram stories if you are interested!

Well, It’s October…

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It is finally October, the best month of the year and the beginning of Halloween (because it is a season, not just a day). I have already blew my paycheck on Halloween decor and pumpkin everything (cookies, tea, body cream, candles, figurines, etc). I am just so damn excited and wanted to share a quick glimpse into my daily spooky life outside the notebook.

I made a cemetery terrarium or a cemeterrariumI am always saying I wish our property had a small cemetery, so I decided to create one. I found some small figurines (a cat, gravestones, skulls, and bones) at Michael’s (a craft store) and plants from my local greenhouse and my yard. This is my first of many. I plan on putting some of the bones and skulls in the soil to create the look of buried bodies with the next one. You might also consider adding small LED fairy lights and/or glow-in-the-dark fillers/sand.

IMG-8297.JPGI have decided to read a spooky short story each day this October. The short story is my favorite genre and I have so many anthologies on occult fiction. I really have no plan; I am just picking up a book and reading what grabs my attention. I will post a final list early November, but will share what I’m reading daily in my Instagram stories.

Since most of my October involves surgery recovery and a couch, I’m really excited about Turner Classic Movies’ Halloween Marathon (here is the schedule). I will also be reading through past collections of Jezebel readers’ scary stories (all the links are on my Library page).

I have been buying so many Halloween items to decorate my writing space (for the entire year). Below are some pictures. Not pictured: my ridiculous drawer full of Halloween office supplies and stickers.

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Snow globe from TJ Maxx
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Ouija Board Tray from Target / Candle holder from TJ Maxx
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Ridiculous naked ghost only wearing boots from Target

What have you been doing to get in the Halloween spirit? 

31 Halloween Treats for All Those Other Days

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It has been a stressful year so far and now, more than ever, I’m counting down the days until Halloween. My current self-care method is creating short-lived Halloween celebrations in between my mundane work hours and depressing news. The following are some suggestions for what I call “Halloween self-care,” or ways to cheer yourself up with the magic of Halloween.

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Watch this History Channel special on Halloween from the 90s.

Have you picked out a costume? Are you making your own? Well, get to work.

Make Halloween-shaped cookies (or your favorite Halloween dessert).

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Have a Halloween movie marathon (while eating your favorite candy).

Look up all the haunted locations in your city/town and state. There might be some books on the subject at your local library. Visit if you want, but don’t trespass, break laws, or cause damage. 

Watch this 1980s animation of Camille Saint-Saëns’ Danse Macabre. Did anyone else watch this during music class when they were a kid?

Read your favorite scary story from childhood. Mine was The Yellow Ribbon.

Listen to Snap Judgement’s annual Halloween special, “Spooked.” This podcast shares true spooky stories every Halloween and it never fails to give me goosebumps. I recommend starting with “Spooked IV.”

Write a journal entry about your favorite Halloween memory from childhood.

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Wear last year’s Halloween costume while you do the dishes.

Every year, Jezebel asks their readers to share their true scary stories in the comments.  I have links to every year on my Resources page (I recommend starting with the early years), and I have also shared a lot of my favorites in my old Weekly Yuputka series.

Follow a Halloween-themed Instagram account (like this or this).

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Make your favorite fall beverage, put it in a travel mug, and visit your favorite local cemetery. You might do some research beforehand using the Find a Grave website or app. If you are into symbols, The Cemetery Club has a great guide on gravestone symbolism.

Make pumpkin bread pudding (add ice cream or homemade cinnamon whipped cream) and eat it while watching Practical Magic or Hocus Pocus. It’s like a hug.

Practice your Halloween make-up and send a selfie to all your friends without warning.

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Write a journal entry about your ideal Halloween day.

Ask your parents, grandparents, or older friends about their childhood Halloween memories. Record them if possible.

Share ghost stories with friends around a bonfire. Your own Midnight Society.

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Watch the Halloween episodes of your favorite TV shows.

Read some Ray Bradbury. Here’s 10 tales by Ray Bradbury to get you into the Halloween spirit.

Look up pictures of pets in Halloween costumes.

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Treat yourself to spooky scented candles. I recommend supporting Burke & Hare Co and Witch City Wicks.

Make Halloween cards for your distant friends and relatives (hold off on sending them until closer to the date). Maybe you can use these creepy vintage cards for inspiration (or…not).

Invite your friends over to watch The Craft and then play Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board.

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Start a commonplace book for Halloween topics. You might start with Halloween folklore and origins. The following links might be a good start.

Watch Caitlin Doughty’s Ask a Mortician Halloween special.

Read this list of 31 Ghosts.

Learn about Halloween folklore and superstitions from #FolkloreThursday.

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Make a spooky Halloween playlist for your commute. It could be literal. It could be classical. It could be Nick Cave. It could be witchy Stevie Nicks. You do you.

Look up some Halloween New Yorker cartoons.

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When Halloween does come around, buy all the stickers, pencils, and other office supplies and use them all year round. I usually hit up the dollar bins or the sales the day after Halloween.

Have something I can add to the list? Tell me in the comments! 

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A Book Giveaway for My Birthday

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My birthday is this Sunday (June 11th). Honestly, I am pretty stressed about other things and it’s summer (the worst season of all), so I’m very whatever about my birthday. I thought giving away one of my favorite books would cheer this birthday girl right up!

I am giving away a fresh copy of Colin Dickey’s Ghostland, which is the book I wish I wrote. According to Amazon:

An intellectual feast for fans of offbeat history, Ghostland takes readers on a road trip through some of the country’s most infamously haunted places—and deep into the dark side of our history.

NPR also named it one of its Great Reads of 2016! I named it one of my Top Ten, which is just as prestigious.

Giveaway Details

I am only accepting entries in the United States! I’m very sorry! 

All you need to do is:

  1. Follow me on Twitter (@notebookghosts)
  2. AND share this post on Twitter (make sure my Twitter handle is on there, so I can find ya). There’s a share button below!

The giveaway ends midnight (EST) on June 11th, and I’ll announce the winner June 12th.

Let’s get this party started!

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