Proofreading Ghost?

I know, I’ve been away a long time. Guess my life has been more “normal” than paranormal lately.

About a year and a half ago I switched genres and went from writing historical children’s novels to contemporary adult romance novels, which I write as Marina Martindale. So, last night my good friend, “Ginny,” was helping me fine-tune a manuscript before it goes back to the editor. We were rewording the dialog in a conversation between a private investigator and an FBI agent, and, as I’m reading out loud to her, I notice a faint shadow going across my keyboard. Keep in mind, my hands were not moving or nor were they on the keyboard at the time, nor was it a power surge. I stopped reading and I asked her if she saw it. Ginny is a sensitive, if not out and out psychic, and she also has the ability to see spirit people. Yes, she saw the shadow all right. She then tells me that the entity is a man, but he is not my father. It is someone who I do not know. At this point I’m not exactly feeling warm and fuzzy, but, since the dogs are all asleep and not barking, she tells me it’s a good sign and that he is not a negative spirit.

My latest novel, The Deception, is both a romance and crime story, and she seems to think that the ghost of a police officer may have overhead us as he passed by, and that he possibly took an interest. I never had any friends or relatives who were police officers, but she tells me that spirits can roam, just like we do, and if something gets their attention they may stop to check it out. She also reminded me that there is an electrical substation directly across the street from my house, so there may be a portal over there.

Needless to say, that ended working on the novel for the rest of the night.


Where to Go For Help

As an accidental ghost hunter people will sometimes ask me where to go for help. Strange and frightening things may be happening in their homes or workplaces and, in some instances, their children may be too afraid to sleep in their own rooms.

Since I’m an accidental ghost hunter I’m not equipped to visit their home and do a professional ghost hunt, but that doesn’t mean I can’t help.

It’s been my observation that The Atlantic Paranormal Society, TAPS for short, is the most professional and helpful service for those who are dealing with this type of disharmony in their homes. These are the folks who do the Ghost Hunters and Ghost Hunters International shows on cable TV. They use state of the art equipment, and they do their best to debunk, or find non-supernatural explanations for what may be causing problems in the home. It is not uncommon for electrical or plumbing issues to make strange noises or cause funny things to happen.

TAPS has affiliate members all over the country. Just visit their website at, and click on the ‘Family Members” link. Their services are free, and they will do their best to help.

And just so you all know, The Accidental Ghost Hunter is not affiliated with TAPS.


A Particularly Scary Ghostly Encounter

Most of my experiences as an accidental ghost hunter have been benign. In fact, many times I’m not even aware that I’ve had a ghostly encounter until I get my pictures developed. There was, however, one instance when I was very aware, and it was my most frightening experience to date.

This past summer I’d gone to Tombstone, Arizona, for a weekend event to do some storytelling and sign my books. Whenever I go there I usually stay at a motel in the nearby town of Benson, and being a frequent visitor to that part of the state has given me a wonderful opportunity to befriend some of the locals. I always look forward to seeing them whenever I’m in town.

I had just gotten settled into my room in Benson when one of my friends called. He’d borrowed a friend’s convertible and he wanted to take me for a ride. I was happy to accept the invitation.

One of the wonderful things about visiting small, rural Arizona communities in the summertime is the chance to do some stargazing. Most of us live in cities, and light pollution makes seeing the stars from our own backyards difficult, if not impossible. I told my friend that’s what I wanted to do, and he knew the perfect spot. It was along the side of a road near an old western movie set.

We had just pulled over and shut the engine down. I looked up at the sky and marveled at the billions of stars. It was like looking into an ocean of lights. As my mind began to wonder I thought about Star Trek, and I wondered if perhaps someday we really would explore the stars.

We’d only been there a few minutes when something very unexpected happened. I heard a strange sound. It was the sound of footsteps. Loud, heavy footsteps, and they were coming towards us.

I asked my friend if he heard them. He said yes, he did. We looked at one another in started disbelief as my mind raced with all the urban legend ghost stories I’d heard as a youngster about the young couple whose car runs out of gas on the back road in the woods…and then one of them gets murdered in a grizzly way by an unseen stranger. My friend said something to the effect of let’s get the hell out of here. He started up the car and we took off — fast.

My friend isn’t a man who scares easily, but whatever this was sure scared the bejeebers out of him. We racked our brains trying to figure out what we’d heard, but we’ve never come up with any reasonable explanation. The footsteps were too heavy to be human, and he said they didn’t sound like any animal that lives in the area. We can only conclude that whatever it was, it was inhuman, and not friendly.