Update on October Event

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The paranormal meetup and investigation the weekend of October 24-25 (come one night, or both nights) is shaping up nicely. It was almost sold out two weeks ago, and I’m sure it probably is by now (I haven’t had time to call and check).

I hadn’t planned on bringing any books to sign and sell, but several e-mails from interested parties changed my mind. But not a lot. I’m bringing one copy of The Bell Witch, and maybe four copies of Ghostly Cries From Dixie. That’s all I have.

I’ve been working on a mini-movie for the event. The hour-long show features footage from several ghost hunts at The Thomas House earlier this year. I’ve made it a point to spend lots of time (and MONEY, for the creation software) and effort on getting it right, including the historical and story aspects of the place. I plan to show it at the October event and future ghost hunts (in person), only. It will mean more to people if they can watch it when they are actually there and experiencing the place. Also, I don’t want to dilute the movie’s value, or cheapen all the hard work I’ve put into it, by blasting it out to “the masses.” I want to make it special. Plus, the finished product’s file (which technically isn’t finished) is too big to upload to YouTube.

The only problem I’m facing with the mini-movie is a time to show it. This year’s event schedule is very aggressive, with a new activity kicking off every hour for half the night, each night. I think I will have to combine the movie showing with the book signing–at breakfast each morning.

If anyone is interested in the event, check out the link at the beginning of this post. It is likely sold out, but it never hurts to call and see, if you’re interested!

Upcoming Radio Interview

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I will be a live interview guest on The Paranormal Roundtable radio show this Thursday night, September 18, at 7 PM Central / 8 PM Eastern. We’ll be discussing the Bell Witch legend, and possibly some other cases. You can tune in by clicking the this link, and then clicking “Live Streaming.”

Fall Paranormal Get-Together and Investigation

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Where: The Thomas House Bed and Breakfast, in Red Boiling Springs, TN.

When: Weekend of Oct. 24-25, 2014 (pick one night, or stay all weekend!).

Join Southern authors and researchers Dr. Sue Clifton and Pat Fitzhugh for a weekend of fun, food, frights, and paranormal investigation, at CNN’s #3-ranked most haunted place in America–The Thomas House Bed and Breakfast!

- EVENTS (held both nights):

Afternoon …. Check-in.
5:00 PM… Introductory/historical tour for newbies (Clifton, Fitzhugh)
6:00 PM… Storytelling (Clifton, Fitzhugh, others)
7:00 PM… Country dinner buffet (David and staff)
8:00 PM… Play: “Ghosts of the Inn” (Tennessee Ghost Hunters)
9:30 PM… Haunted candlelight tour (Tennessee Ghost Hunters)
11:00 PM…Paranormal investigation of building, grounds, and church (Clifton, Fitzhugh)..lasts until the last person falls asleep.

- RATES (includes room, dinner, breakfast, play, tours, EVERYTHING but tax):

$75/one person/room/night (single occupancy)
$140/two people/room/night (double occupancy)
* Suites are available at a higher rate. Please
check with The Thomas House directly for information.

- RESERVATIONS

Call The Thomas House directly at 615-699-3006, and make sure to join the event’s official Facebook page, linked below, to RSVP.

- Adults only (under-18 teens accompanied by adult is fine).
– No alcohol on ghost hunt.
– No smoking inside building (but plenty on the balcony and porch).

The Thomas House is 1.5 hours northeast of Nashville, in the hills of Macon County, Tennessee.

Official Facebook Event Page — Click here!

New Venture in Video: ParaTakes (First Segment: Bell Witch)

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This is the first of many ParaTakes With Pat Fitzhugh that I intend to produce and distribute. A ParaTake is my short take on any topic related to the paranormal. The first few ParaTakes will cover popular myths and misconceptions associated with Tennessee’s infamous Bell Witch legend. Why the Bell Witch? Although there is more to my work than just the Bell Witch, I’ve spent two-thirds of my life researching the terrifying legend. Over the course of decades spent researching a legend, the researcher accumulates a list of pet peeves. And naturally, the researcher occasionally feels the urge to share them. Sounds like a job for ParaTakes!

Filmed in Mississippi, this first ParaTake segment features my analysis of the so-called abuse theory, which has been used in several recent attempts to “explain” the Bell Witch legend. Before we watch the video, please take moment to familiarize yourself with the story. Here’s the condensed version…

“From 1817 to 1821, a Tennessee family experienced a series of terrifying disturbances at the hands of an invisible, malevolent entity. Known as the Bell Witch, the entity beat on walls and floors, tugged on the children’s bedcovers, sang hymns, and predicted the future. Along the way, she mercilessly brutalized the family’s youngest daughter, Betsy, and killed her father.

“Scholars have attempted to explain the mystery for almost 200 years. Although nearly everyone has an opinion about the so-called Bell Witch, a provable explanation continues to elude researchers. A popular theory posed in recent years suggests that the entity evolved from Betsy Bell’s subconscious mind as the result of her [allegedly] having been abused by her father.

“In this ParaTake, author and longtime researcher Pat Fitzhugh provides his take on the oft-controversial abuse theory.”

And now, the video…

ParaTake #1: The Bell Witch Legend’s Abuse Theory — Fact or Speculation?

The Death of Sarah (An excerpt)

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Below is a short paragraph excerpt from my forthcoming sequel to Ghostly Cries From Dixie. The excerpt comes from a chapter dealing with Tennessee’s infamous “Thomas House,” one of America’s most haunted places. Scheduled for release in the fall, the “Ghostly Cries” sequel follows in the terrifying footsteps of its predecessor by serving up a bewitching concoction of weird and ghostly tales from the American South.

The Death of Sarah

In the summer of 1929, eight-year-old Sarah Hanning and her parents visited the Cloyd Hotel and Spa in hopes of curing her rare stomach condition. Her doctor believed that bathing in the water from nearby springs would help her. She tried to stay active and cheerful throughout her stay at the resort, but her stomach ailment often brought intense pain and weakness.

Sarah’s daily trips to the spring did more harm than good; in just two weeks, the color had faded from her skin and a yellow puffiness had begun to fill her eyes. Her health deteriorated rapidly, and it wasn’t long before she couldn’t muster enough energy to get out of bed. One sultry July morning, Sarah began shaking violently and vomiting profusely. Over the next few minutes, she rolled around in her bed and covered her mouth with her hands to try to stop the vomiting, but to no avail. When the violent spell finally subsided, she developed severe chills and passed out. She lay motionless in her mother’s arms while her father and Mr. Cloyd went to fetch the local doctor. By the time they returned, Sarah was dead.

End

If you haven’t already snagged a copy of the first book, Ghostly Cries From Dixie, you can get eBook and paperback copies by clicking here and following the Amazon links. If you prefer a signed and personalized copy, click here. To keep tabs on all of my writing forays and initiatives, click here to join my official Facebook page.

Radio Appearance on February 3rd

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Monday, February 3rd — 8pm – 9pm Central

I’ll be discussing Memphis hauntings such as the Orpheum Theatre, the Sultana Disaster, and others, along with the Mississippi version of the Bell Witch legend, with hosts Stephen Guenther and Tanya Vandesteeg on the Expedition Unknown show at TMV Cafe Radio.

The above hauntings are discussed in Ghostly Cries From Dixie! So, if you have questions after reading the book, just listen to the show and ask them in the provided chatroom. I’ll be glad to answer–or to talk about whatever else is on your mind. You can listen LIVE at the following link:

http://www.tmvcafe.com/#!radio/c1x9v

Radio Interview on March 5th – Ghosts, Writing, All Things Paranormal

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I will be a guest on “Crossing the Void” radio show on Wednesday, March 5th, from 9-11P Central / 10-Midnight Eastern. We’ll be talking about ghosts, writing, hauntings, and all things paranormal. You can listen LIVE at Hey-Z Radio (The Energy Drink for Your Soul). Here is the link:

http://www.heyzradio.com

Chattanooga Trip Highlights and Info

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In a recent post, I mentioned going to Chattanooga, Tennessee for a few days. Now I’m back. What’s up with Chattanooga–why several trips in only two months?

The focus of my southeasterly travels has been the Delta Queen, a legendary, 90-year-old steamboat that is currently a floating hotel in Chattanooga. Only two hours down Interstate 24, the Delta Queen affords me three opportunities: 1) To see, feel, and essentially “live on” a boat I’ve been passionately interested in since my childhood; 2) to have a fun yet cozy “instant getaway,” anytime I need it; and 3) to study history and ghosts (two of my favorite subjects), and do some writing along the way. Ghosts? Yes. Read on.

Several of the Cabin Deck’s rooms (106, 109, 110, and 111) — the last two, in particular–have seen their share of weird, unexplainable activity. This includes water faucets turning on and off by themselves, guests feeling “watched,” personal items being moved or rearranged, and “whispering” sounds emanating from the walls. Also on the Cabin Deck, The Forward Cabin Lounge (aka the main lobby) has seen spooky activity in the form of ghostly figures of old ladies and men decked out in suits and ties peering into the lobby from the decks outside. This phenomenon is especially noticeable in photographs. Although plenty interesting things happen on the Cabin Deck, it is only the beginning; ghosts inhabit the entire boat.

Staterooms on the upper decks often experience the alarming sound of someone (or something) desperately trying to open the doors to the rooms. The sounds range from the repeated jamming of a key into the locks, to the doors actually being jarred back and forth, violently, as though someone were trying to force them open. Startled guests have awoken to the noises and, when not too terrified to move, tried to find the culprit. They never find anyone outside their doors; and the 285-foot deck is void of people. Another upper-deck room has, on one occasion, echoed a woman’s mischievous giggles. The incident occurred about 4AM, when most guests were asleep. No one was staying in the adjoining cabins.

Perhaps the most haunted place on the Delta Queen is the expansive Dining Room, named “The Orleans Room” and situated on the vessel’s lower deck. From the shoreline outside the boat, visitors have reported seeing “shadow people” moving about the dining room at all hours of the night, even when it is closed. Others have noticed a heavy, dark shadow suddenly looming over them as they worked in the kitchen. The shadow disappears after a second. Phantom footsteps are also commonly experienced in the Dining Room, along with the sound of dishes being clashed together and moved around in the kitchen, even when the kitchen is void of people. On one occasion, the piano on the Dining Room’s entertainment stage reportedly played by itself.

What proof do we have that the Delta Queen is haunted? The most convincing evidence comes in the form of unaltered photographs, their authenticity to which I can attest. Also, over the past few years, paranormal investigation groups have obtained very convincing EVP’s. In my opinion, there are TWO parties happening simultaneously on the Delta Queen. The first is the here and now; the present day, you and me. The second party happened many, many years ago, and is constantly replaying itself with the passengers, crew, sights, sounds, and even smells, of a bygone era being played out aboard the Delta Queen. And, at rare moments when the veil thins, we can partially see and experience the ghostly sights and sounds. But, aside from the boat’s glamorous, romantic past, a few tragedies also deserve mention.

In World War II, the Delta Queen served as a hospital transport boat in San Francisco Bay. It transported severely injured and mortally wounded soldiers from ocean-going “hospital ships” to medical facilities in San Francisco. Shortly after the War, Greene Steamboat Lines of Cincinnati, Ohio purchased the boat and began offering cruises of the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, and Cumberland Rivers. From 1947 to 1949, Captain Mary Becker Greene, America’s first female steamboat captain, was at the helm of the Delta Queen. She died on the boat, in room 109. She was 80. A benevolent spirit, her presence is consistently felt throughout the vessel. Later, in the 1950s, a chef in the kitchen was killed with a meat cleaver after he pulled a knife on the butcher (go figure–you DON’T pull a knife on a butcher, ever), over a poker debt. Others also have died on the boat. Packed with such tragedy and triumph, and blanketed with the spiritual residue of four generations, it’s no wonder that the Delta Queen is literally infested with ghosts.

That’s all for now, but I’m sure I’ll write more on the Delta Queen in the coming months. Also, the full Delta Queen story, including all of its haunted history, will appear in my next collection of ghost stories (the sequel to Ghostly Cries From Dixie).

Last but not least: Here is a link to the boat (hotel’s) Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/DeltaQueenSteamboat

 

Year-End Thoughts

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It was a busy 2013, with lots of promotions, writing, editing, and new research–the usual stuff. Ok, I’ll take some of that back. I didn’t do much writing this year; instead, I chose to concentrate on editing and promotion. Promoting my current titles and platform will build a stronger base from which to release my 2014 and 2015 titles. Likewise, editing moves those titles along to completion. Yes, my eyes are on the future. With 2013 being a paradigm-shifting year for authors, publishers, and most of all, readers, it was important to reevaluate, redesign, and rebuild my author platform. The REAL “three R’s.” I hope other authors have done this, too, as times are changing.

The final edit of From Turkey Creek – A Memoir is now complete, and I’m still looking for a suitable cover. I’ve been searching the past three years and haven’t found anything that comes even close to visually capturing the “Turkey Creek experience.” But then again, that’s why I’m writing the book in the first place–it was the most unique place on earth! I’m not releasing the book until I “get it right,” which includes the front and back covers. Regarding other titles, the new and updated Bell Witch book is coming along nicely; I’ll continue writing until June, and then I’ll do the pre-edit before sending it to a REAL editor. Also, several awesome short story and research opportunities have surfaced lately, and I plan to become heavily involved with all of them.

I have finalized the list of stories that will appear in my next ghost story book, which will be similar to Ghostly Cries From Dixie.

Over the next few days, however, I’ll be in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to research another haunted location–one that’s completely INFESTED with ghosts–and I might do a little writing, as well.

“Elly Hays” Book Release Tour — Stops Here Nov. 6th!

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Elly Hays of Tennessee

by Lori Crane

 

At 2:15 a.m. on December 16, 1811, residents of New Madrid, Missouri were shaken from their beds by a 7.7 magnitude earthquake. The ground rolled, snapping trees, destroying homes and barns, and creating large fissures in the earth. In some places, the mighty Mississippi flowed backwards, and some people simply disappeared without a trace. The earthquake was felt in an area as large as 50,000 square miles. (In comparison, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake was felt in a 6,200 square mile area.) Church bells rang as far away as Charleston and Boston, sidewalks cracked in Washington, D.C., and chimneys toppled in Cincinnati. The initial earthquake was followed by two more large quakes: one on January 23 at 9:15 a.m. that registered 7.5, and one on February 7 at 3:45 a.m. that registered 7.7. The year 1812 saw more than eighteen hundred aftershocks shake the region, registering between 3.0 and 7.0.

In late 1811, Shawnee Chief Tecumseh was traveling the south, encouraging the various Indian Nations to unite against the white settlers. Somehow, he used a prophecy of coming earthquakes to convince the nations to follow him. He promised arms and ammunition from the British, who were gearing up for the War of 1812 and who needed help from the Indians to defeat the Americans. For the Creek Indian Nation of Alabama, the difference in opinion as to whether or not to join Tecumseh resulted in a civil war called the Red Stick War. Alabama saw the Creeks fighting among themselves, against the U.S. governments, and against the white settlers who were continually encroaching upon their tribal land.

It was during this time, a white pioneer family left their shaken land and destroyed home in Greene County, Tennessee and moved to Alabama for a fresh start. Unknowingly, they were moving into the middle of Creek territory—into the middle of a hornet’s nest. The Indians taunted them, stealing their livestock, destroying their crops, and the final straw, burning down their house and everything in it.

The wife and mother of this pioneer family was Elly Hays Rodgers, and she is the heroine of my new book, Elly Hays. She is in fact my 5th great grandmother, and her story is one of courage, fortitude, and determination. She was a brave and protective mother who faced the frightening Creek warriors head on. “Elly Hays” is the third book in the Okatibbee Creek series, following Okatibbee Creek and An Orphan’s Heart. They are stand-alone stories and do not need to be experienced in order.

Elly Hays is the epic saga of a fearless warrior with nothing to lose and a young mother on the verge of losing everything.

"Elly Hays," by Lori Crane

“Elly Hays,” by Lori Crane

 

GIVEAWAYS

1. EBOOK!  Every comment on this post during the Elly Hays book tour (Nov 4-16) will be entered to win an ebook of the 1st or 2nd book in the Okatibbee Creek series, OKATIBBEE CREEK or AN ORPHAN’S HEART. Your choice of Kindle or Nook. One winner will be chosen. Prize will be delivered by email. Winner will be posted here in the comments on November 17, 2013. Visit each stop of the tour to increase your chances. An ebook will be given away at each stop. Tour schedule is posted at www.LoriCraneAuthor.com.

2. $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD! If you sign up for Lori’s newsletter by November 16th, you will be entered into the drawing for a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card. One winner will be chosen. Prize will be delivered by email. Winner will be announced in the newsletter on November 18, 2013. Sign up at www.LoriCraneAuthor.com.

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Lori Crane

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