witches

Radio Appearance on February 3rd

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

Advertisements

Year-End Thoughts

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.

Replay of Bell Witch Interview

For those who have asked where they can hear my recent “Bell Witch” radio interview:

First, my warning and disclaimer:

Pros: 1) Great interviewer. 2) Great questions. 3) Huge, awesome listening audience!

Con: Due to my chronic allergies, I sounded like a skinned mouse in a blender that was on steroids; and, whenever I cleared my throat, I sounded like two whales making out to Barry White. Disturbing, I know.

Warning given.  If you’d still like to listen, or even download the audio file, please click hereThanks!

Radio Interview Reminder – The “Bell Witch” Book

Monday, April 22, 8PM Central / 9PM Eastern

Author Pat Fitzhugh joins host Alex Matsuo of Paranormal Insider Radio to discuss the infamous “Bell Witch” legend of Tennessee.

Known as “America’s greatest ghost story,” the legend centers on a pioneer family that endured four years of mayhem and terror at the hands of a sinister, demon-like entity named, “Kate.” She beat the Bell children mercilessly; she argued with the clergy; she told of people’s pasts and predicted their futures; she spoke in multiple human voices, sometimes even in tongues; and she inflicted a horrendous disease upon a man, which led to his slow and grueling demise. And now, almost two hundred years later, “Kate” still remains a mystery. Theories abound, but the truth eludes us. Kate’s lingering presence is still sometimes felt in northwestern Robertson County. Pleasant dreams.

The Bell Witch is the subject of the 2006 motion picture, “An American Haunting,” starring Sissy Spacek and Donald Sutherland (and in which I appear, also), and the 2003 movie, “The Bell Witch Haunting,” by Willing Hearts Productions. The Bell Witch: The Full Account was released in 2000, and updated in 2003 and 2009. The book’s Thirteenth Anniversary edition, which includes new information and a complete rewrite of the original book, is due October 13, 2013. For more information, including news and progress reports, make sure to “Like” the book’s fan page on Facebook.

Paranormal Insider Radio is an outlet of the Paranormal Research Society (PRS), from A&E’s “Paranormal State” TV show. The interview will last two hours.

Listen live at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/paranormalinsider/2013/04/23/americas-greatest-ghost-story-the-bell-witch   Also, I’ll be taking questions by phone during the show. The listener call-in line will be: (347) 324-5969.

Facebook Page for New Bell Witch Title

I’ve received several private messages with questions about the rewrite/13th Anniversary edition of “The Bell Witch: The Full Account.”  That’s great!  I intend to publish a FAQ about the rewrite in the coming days.

The “Rewrite FAQ,” as well as progress reports and excerpts, will be posted to the book’s existing Facebook page.  The new edition will not have a dedicated page; it will use the existing Bell Witch page.

For those with questions about the new book, or who would like progress reports and excerpts, please make sure to add the following page to your Facebook “Likes.”  Thanks!

The Bell Witch on Facebook

Progress Report on Forthcoming “Bell Witch” Title

I’ve been busy typing away on the update and complete rewrite of The Bell Witch: The Full Account, scheduled for release on October 13, 2013. The book’s first edition debuted on Friday, October 13, 2000. Yes, Friday the thirteenth of October, in the year 2000.

The 2013 update, which is a full rewrite available in both paperback and eBook formats, coincides with the book’s thirteenth anniversary. There’s just something about that number–thirteen.

Two weeks have elapsed since I [finally] located the book’s original file–created in Word 97–and opened it for the first time in thirteen years. I could’ve sworn my computer’s screen turned yellow and began to smell musty, it has been that long. Here is what I’ve done over the past two weeks:

  • Reduced the page count from 406 to 348!
  • Removed three entire sections (not reflected in revised page count).
  • Added 24 new pieces of new information about the case.

The copy and developmental editing will continue over the summer. New covers, both front and back, will also be added. The promotional campaign will begin in May. Also this year, I have two more books to finish and a busy lecture/signing schedule. Please send prayers and coffee.

The Bell Witch – Major Rewrite, eBook in 2013

To celebrate the book’s thirteenth anniversary, The Bell Witch: The Full Account will be offered as an eBook for the Kindle, Nook, and iReader, beginning October 13th. But that’s not all.

In addition to being offered as an eBook, the thirteenth anniversary edition will feature a major update–developments over the past 13 years–and a full rewrite of the original text. When asked about his reason for rewriting the book, author Pat Fitzhugh stated, “I am loyal to my readers, and I want to give them my best–my very best. My writing has developed and improved over the past thirteen years, and I want my readers to enjoy those improvements. Also, a rewrite allows me to flow the book into a newer, more prolific genre.”

The Bell Witch: The Full Account, which reveals many previously unknown facts surrounding the infamous case, raised the bar for Bell Witch research and caused two previously published Bell Witch books to be rewritten after its publication. And, nearly every Bell Witch book, video, and article produced since “The Full Account” has drawn extensively from its research notes and appendices, sans attribution. Over its life, “The Full Account” has attracted two motion picture options and has twice appeared on the State of Tennessee’s Suggested Teen Summer Reading List.

“Several theories have been put forth in recent years, and they need addressing,” says author Pat Fitzhugh. “I’ve also learned more about the real people involved with the legend, especially one individual,” Fitzhugh notes. “Their keen observations were hastily dismissed nearly 200 years ago, but when those observations are added to what we’ve learned over the past couple decades, we unmistakably identify a culprit with a genuine, provable motive; closure is likely on the horizon.”

The Bell Witch rewrite and eBook conversion will be Fitzhugh’s main focus over the coming months. The sequel to Ghostly Cries From Dixie is still planned, but its release could fall in early 2014. From Turkey Creek – A Memoir, Fitzhugh’s childhood memoir, is now in final edit and should released in time for the holidays.

To keep up with the Bell Witch eBook project’s progress and other news pertaining to The Bell Witch: The Full Account, please join the book’s official fan page on Facebook.

#WIP #indiepub #storytelling #AmWriting #paranormal “Ghostly Cries” Sequel Coming Soon

The sequel to Ghostly Cries From Dixie is well underway. The first three drafts are edited, and the fourth is almost complete. Only two more drafts to go! The sequel, with a working title of MORE Ghostly Cries From Dixie, will feature more weird and ghostly tales–and haunted locations–from the land of moonshine and magnolias. The release date has not been set, but both the paperback and Kindle editions will be on shelves in time for Halloween 2013!

Speaking of Ghostly Cries From Dixie… if you haven’t read the first book yet, now would be a great time to snag a copy. The Kindle edition is now on sale for only $2.99!

Click here to purchase and download your copy instantly!  Pleasant dreams.

Pat Fitzhugh's "Ghostly Cries From Dixie" -- Front cover.

“Ghostly Cries From Dixie” — Front cover.

#Ghosts #Paranormal #AmWriting How to Write a Ghost Story (My Way)

But first…. Ready for fright season? Get your copy of “Ghostly Cries From Dixie,” TODAY! Kindle and paperback editions available. Click here! Pleasant dreams.

Checking my stats this evening, I noticed someone had found my site by using the search term, “how to write a ghost story.” How to write a ghost story? I’m flattered, indeed, but I’ve yet to offer any insight into writing about things that go bump in the night. Until now.

What is a ghost story? A story involving a character(s) of a ghostly, paranormal nature? A story about a ghost that swipes cookies from the kitchen, wakes you up, and sucks all the energy from your body while regurgitating said cookies? Could a ghost story be a journalistic approach to solving, or trying to explain, a haunting? I suppose it could be any of the above, but I deal only with the latter, the journalistic approach. Neither a believer nor a skeptic, my unbiased approach to a haunting entails digging up lots of information (records), analyzing the information to separate fact from hocus-pocus, and presenting my findings–anything factual or noteworthy–to my readers.

Assuming I’ve completed a five-day trip to a haunted location 1000 miles away, and analyzed my findings, the example below is how I write the story. The example is NOT a perfect (edited) story. It flowed from the top of my head to my fingers, and then to my keyboard, as I thought it up. The example is based on a historic hurricane, but I know neither the date nor the particulars–I only know it happened at one of my favorite places. I borrowed the example’s main character from my book, Ghostly Cries From Dixie, changing her name from Marie LaVeau to Madame Treme’. Without further ado, here’s how I write a ghost story.

The Intro
The Intro sometimes includes a ghostly hint before transitioning into the main story. By “story,” I mean the story of a real-life tragedy that caused the haunting. Here is an intro with a hint:

For years, people have heard the thunder of Voodoo drums and seen scantily-dressed characters dancing along the shore of Lake Pontchartrain. The eerie thumps and fervent apparitions fade into the early morning fog when approached, leaving witnesses terrified and searching for answers.

The Story
Other times, the intro goes straight into the story (no intro):

For over fifty years, Madame Treme’ led exotic Voodoo rituals involving animal sacrifices, drunken orgies, live boas along the shores of Lake Pontchartrain. These rituals would begin around 10 o’clock at night and last until daybreak.

 

The Tragedy (the reason for a haunting)
Ok, let’s assume we’ve done the intro and a three-page story, thus far. Now it’s time to seal the story with a tragedy:

Just before daybreak on a sweltry October morning, Madame Treme’ and her followers experienced what they thought were the gods. Thunder boomed and roared, the howling wind picked up, and lightning crackled in the usually dark sky. Weather warning systems didn’t exist in 1835; people were left to fend for themselves when they saw bad weather approaching. At night, there was no way to tell how bad an approaching front would be, until it was too late. The Voodoo ritual grew more intense as sheets of rain swept the now whitecapping lake and trees buckled. Within five minutes, a powerful hurricane changed the face of Lake Pontchartrain forever and buried Madame Treme’ and her followers in the lake’s murky depths.

The Transition (get your spook on)
Tragedy accomplished. Boo hoo. Now, let’s transition to the paranormal and create a ghost story:

Long lost, but not forgotten, Madame Treme’ was the most notorious Voodoo queen in Louisiana history. Men loved her, women coveted her, and the organized clergy cursed her. She weilded sceptre over those who followed her, sacrificing to the Loa, manipulating the human psyche, and destroying those who dared to cross her. And now, almost 180 years later, Madame Treme’ still wields her sceptre, more forcefully than ever, from her watery grave!

The Evidence (why we think there’s a ghost)
Paranormal transition accomplished. Now that we’ve got our spook on, we need to provide evidence to back our claim.

Anglers frequently report seeing an older Creole woman wandering the shores of Lake Pontchartrain at daybreak. When spoken to, she smiles and quickly turns in the opposite direction, then disappears. In 1998, two college students who had camped in the woods near the lake reported hearing Voodoo drums and seeing people dressed in Voodoo attire late one night. The figures danced near the shore and wailed repeatedly. The drum’s beat grew softer over the course of five minutes, and the mysterious revelers faded into the fog.

That’s not much evidence. For a real story in a book, you will need to interview more people. Make sure to get their names and make them sign releases, too. Now we need to present possible theories:

The Theories

Some say the anglers and campers were smoking crack, and they hallucinated. A local scientist says the mysterous dancing figures, which are hard to discern at night, represent concentrations of methane gas, and that the drumbeats are the rumbling of nearby towboat engines. However, most people in the hamlet of Port Manchac feel the eerie sounds and apparitions are none other than Madame Treme’ and her followers, trapped in the worst hurricane on record, and trying to complete their rituals.

The Close

Despite many oft-conflicting theories and generalizations, one thing is certain. Something is wrong, very wrong, on the shore of Lake Ponchartrain. Is it evil? Is it religious? Will it hurt you? Your children? Should you dare to find out for yourself, make sure to carry a cross and watch our back.

And finally, if you’d like to see detailed examples–REAL ghost stories–you can snag a copy of Ghostly Cries From Dixie at Amazon for only $2.99 (Winter Special).

Pleasant dreams.