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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Guest Post with Author Marley Gibson and CONTEST!

Today I'd like to welcome author Marley Gibson whose latest novel, Ghost Huntress, Book 2: The Guidance is scheduled to be released September 7th 2009. Ghost Huntress is an exciting series about Kendall Morehead, a seemingly typical teen who moves to the historical town of Radisson, Georgia, only to find that her psychic abilities have awakened. Together with her new BFF, she forms a ghost hunting team. Ghost Huntress Book 2: The Guidance is the second installment in the trilogy.

Marley Gibson grew up in a southern town very much like her fictional Radisson. She never saw any ghosts growing up—that she knows of—although she has been on a few ghost hunts recently with the famed New England Ghost Project and has gotten some verrrrrry interesting pictures. Marley is a member of the New England Romance Writers of America (RWA) and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She is the creator and founder of Chick Lit Writers RWA. She lives in the Boston area with her best friend, personal webmaster, and hubby, Mike.She can be found online at marleygibson.com or at her blog, booksboysbuzz.com.

I want to thank Kim soooooo much for letting me blog today! Muah!! Thanks so much for all of your awesome support for my GHOST HUNTRESS series and getting the word out.

Since I penned this series, a lot of people have e-mailed me asking me to share some of my ghost hunting stories. Not just stories of Kendall, Celia, Taylor, and Becca’s adventures…rather REAL adventures that I have come across in my research. Wow! That could fill a blog for a year. LOL! But here are a few fun stories I’ll share for Kim’s readers.

Ironically, my very first experience ghost hunting helped me come up with the idea for the second GHOST HUNTRESS book, THE GUIDANCE, which is coming out next week. I went to an investigation with the New England Ghost Project at the Buttonwoods Museum in Haverhill, Massachusetts. The woman who is the psychic/medium for the group was not there that night because of a previous commitment, so we were pretty much on our own looking for paranormal activity with just our meters, cameras, thermometers, etc. Well, we’re in the attic of the museum (which used to be a residence way back in the early 1800s) and this woman in the group starts “channeling” a spirit of a little girl. Now, I put the word channeling in quotes because as I watched her, there was something in the back of my head telling me that it was a complete and total act. In the course of the evening, she “channeled” three times. Her friend said she had been “opening up” lately and that was why this happened. She was totally digging the attention from everyone in the group. After the event, I spoke to one of the people who ran the group and told him what I thought. He totally agreed with me. Then, I said, “wouldn’t it be funny if I wrote that into my GHOST HUNTRESS series?” And you know what…I did! LOL!! In THE GUIDANCE, Kendall’s nemesis, Courtney Langdon, begins to fake psychic abilities and she gets into a whole lot of trouble!

Last July, I was at the Darkness Radio event at Waverly Hills Sanitarium in Louisville, Kentucky. From 1926 to 1961, it was a tuberculosis hospital where over 60,000 people died. This place is amazing. It sits on the top of a hill and looks very ominous as you drive up and see it through the trees. This particular night, it was about a hundred ninety degrees and the air was heavy with humidity and the sound of millions of chirping cicadas. Every now and then, you could hear a UPS plane fly over (as Louisville is the hub for them), but other than that, it was pretty quiet. We were split into groups that night and were free to roam around the five floors of the former sanitarium. At one point, we got separated from the people we’d been wandering around with and ended up on the third floor in the hallway. Now, the third floor was known in the days to be the place where school was held for the children. (Think about it…if mom or dad had tuberculosis, the whole family had to be quarantined, so there were a lot of kids there who weren’t sick, but there as a result of their parents.) Rumors abound at Waverly about there being ghost children there that play on that floor. I was walking along and there was a blue ball on the floor. As I moved past it, it rolled into my leg. Didn’t just roll into my leg…it knocked into me, rolled away and then rolled back like it was trying to get my attention. For the next 45 minutes, we sat there on the floor and played ball with what was supposedly a ghost child. Now, I know what you’re thinking…there was a breeze blowing the ball. No…it was 98 degrees that night and we were praying for a breeze. Okay…so the ball had some sort plug on it that made it roll towards that side. Nope. No stops on the ball at all. Oh wait…maybe the floor was uneven. That’s not the reason either. It’s an institution that was built to code out of concrete. Gurneys and wheelchairs went up and down the hallways all the time…no uneven-ness. This ball was rolling around on its own. Not just rolling around, but changing directions, spinning underneath my finger and shooting into another room. I got eighteen minutes of this activity on video and was fortunate enough to be featured on a segment of A&E’s Biography Channel’s “My Ghost Story” showing the ball video. I can’t share the entire eighteen minutes, but here is a link to my segment:

At the Stanley Hotel in November last year, I saw my first FBA. That’s what we ghost hunters call a “full bodied apparition.” It’s really hard to get across the true emotions of this encounter. I’m a writer, yet I don’t have the words to fully describe the moment. There were several of us walking around on the third floor at The Stanley in the pitch black dark. We turned a corner and I saw someone standing at the end of the hallway about thirty feet in front of us. I thought we had happened upon another group trying to do EVPs or something in that hallway and I called out “sorry.” But when we shined the flashlight at the end of the hall, there was no one there. I turned to the person on my right and said, “Did you see that?” She said, “Yes.” I turned to the person on my left and said, “Did you see that.” He said, “Yes.”

At that moment, I realized that I had seen an FBA. I broke out in chill bumps all over my body and my eyes filled with tears immediately. The rush of emotions was so intense…it was…wow…see, I don’t have the words for it. I mean, in one moment, I thought I had interrupted someone’s EVP session…and then in the next moment when the person was no longer there. Not just not there…but…disappeared. It was…phenomenal. And the fact that other people witnessed it at exactly the same time showed me that what I saw was real.

One last story…when I was in Bethany, New York (near Buffalo) at Rolling Hills Sanitarium, I was in the basement when Jason Hawes from Ghost Hunters asked me why I hadn’t gone down the back tunnels yet. I told him I was a little skeeved out to do it. He laughed at me and said, “What kind of ghost huntress are you?” Okay…he called my bluff! So…I went down the tunnel with a few other people. They were standing about half way down the tunnel, stopped and looking at the room at the very end. Apparently, there are three rooms at the end of the tunnel that were used as treatment rooms when Rolling Hills was an operating sanitarium. The moon was providing us with back lighting and casting shadows. But not of real people. Shadow people. There was no one in those rooms, yet we saw the shadows of people moving around in the moonlight. I wasn’t exactly buying this, but I stood there and watched the shadows moving around and crossing from one room to the next. As an experiment, I called out to them. No response, but they continued to move around. I thought…okay…let me try something else. I lifted my hand over my head and waved back and forth. To my surprise, a shadowy hand lifted…and waved back at me. I was in awe. It waved to me! Now…what is a shadow person? It’s thought to be an anomaly that appears as a human-shaped shadow, but without any other body definition. Some researchers believe they’re not human ghosts, but non-human entities. All I know is that it looked like a person and it waved back at me, like I was a long-lost friend.

Well, there you have it! Some of my most incredible moments of ghost hunting. I have to say that I have been fortunate to go on investigations with people who really know their stuff…Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson from Ghost Hunters, Patrick Burns from TruTV’s Haunting Evidence, Chris Fleming from Biography’s Dead Famous, Mark and Debby Constantino, EVP experts, John Zaffis, the nephew of the famed couple Ed and Lorraine Warren, Chip Coffey from A&E’s Paranormal State and Psychic Kids, and Dave Schrader from Darkness Radio. All of these people have taught me so much about the field and every time I go out and investigate, I learn something new.

I’d love to hear from your readers if they have stories to share or questions to ask. I can be reached via my website – or email me directly.

Thanks again to Kim for this opportunity and for your support!
Marley = )

The Guidance (Ghost Huntress, Book 2) by Marley Gibson
Publication Date: September 7th 2009

Kendall and her ghost hunting team is the talk of Radisson, Georgia, but one person isn’t so pleased. Courtney Langdon doesn’t appreciate Kendall’s new popularity or her relationship with Jason, Courtney’s ex.

So Courtney begins dabbling in the paranormal world. At first it’s all a game to draw attention away from Kendall. But Courtney doesn’t know what she’s getting into—or what wants in her. This is one game that’s about to turn deadly serious.

And for more about Kendall and the ghost huntresses, check out the website!

To Enter:
Just leave a question for Marley along with your email address-

It can be anything topic related to this post (ghost hunting, her books, questions about your own ghostly encounters, etc). Note: You must leave a question and email address to qualify.

Marley will answer as many questions as possible and we will randomly select winners from all the entries!

Rules: Open to US Residents Only
Contest Ends September 10th 2009


D Swizzle said...

Hm...have you ever found a REAL ghost??

Dani. said...

Have you ever watched the movie Ghostbusters?
And if so, did you like it? :)

Unknown said...

HI Marley! I really enjoyed reading this!My question to you is this--is there one haunted location you would be just too scared to go on a ghost hunting trip for?


Erica said...

Do you have any of ghostly plans for future books?

donnas said...

Awesome stories. What was your favorite place to investigate? And if you could investigate anywhere, where would you love to go?

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Unknown said...

Hi Marley, I'd be WAY too scared to go to any of those places! My question- do psychics often accompany the ghost hunters on these trips? Do they help out the team alot?


Sita said...

I've often heard that people who see ghosts/Shadow people, etc. are more susceptible to seeing such things if they have been involved in occult activities, such as playing with Ouija boards. Have you had any experience with Ouija boards? Did you know that Toys R Us has pink ones?? (Personally, I'm a big scaredy cat, so no way could I play with one!)


haleyknitz said...

How long did it take you to write your novels? what was the editing process like for you? (i am thinking about publishing in the future :D)

haley mathiot at yahoo dot com

cait045 said...

Does having a real active imagination you have to have to write these books sometimes get the best of you? Do you get scared sometimes?


Zombie Girrrl said...

My question is ghost related.
Did you ever have any ghost encounters when you were a child, and when did you first start believing in ghosts?
zombiegirrrl21 at aol dot com

Marley Gibson said...

Wow! Thanks so much for posting all of these questions. Let me answer them in a few postss:

Dannie...have I ever found a REAL ghost? Well, it depends on what you consider a REAL ghost. Is a shadow person a ghost? Is a full bodied apparition a ghost? I don't know the answer. No one really does. I know I've had angels in my life...but as for a person materializing in front of me and then disappearing...no. LOL!

Dani...of course, GHOSTBUSTERS is a fav! I'm proud to say I'm old enough to have seen it in the theatre when it came out. Eeek! I love that movie.

Sophie...I have to admit that I'm not scared when I investigate only because I'm never alone. I'm always with a group of people. Because of that, I look at it more as a research thing than something that's going to frighten me. I'm more frightened by the living and their unpredictability, quite frankly. LOL!

More answers in more posts...

Marley Gibson said...

Erica...ghostly plans for future book? Hmmm...well, there are two more books added to the GHOST HUNTRESS trilogy and I hope to write even more. Since people are comparing the books to "Nancy Drew meets Ghost Whisperer," then I'm happy to write more stories as long as people are enjoying them.

Donna...I really love The Stanley since it was one of the first places I went to and I immediately got results and evidence. I would love to go back to Paris, go underground to the catacombs and do some EVP work. That would be...amazing!

Kate...yes, a lot of times investigators use psychics or mediums -- just like in my books. A psychic or medium is another "tool" in your investigative "kit" that can provide additional evidence. For instance, if a psychic says, "I'm picking up a spirit in the corner" and then you point your temperature gauge and get a drop in degrees, it can serve as a back up to what the psychic says.

Marley Gibson said...

Sita...as far as a Ouija board is concerned, I don't mess with them. Okay, okay...I admit to playing with one when I was like eight years old at Melissa's house when we were little, but knowing what I know today, I don't mess with them. I wouldn't encourage teens to play with one because in doing so, you're opening yourself up to whatever unknown spirits are out there who could come through. I'm not trying to scare anyone, but it's just not a toy and shouldn't be used as entertainment.

Haley...good luck with your writing! For the GHOST HUNTRESS books, it took me about 4-5 weeks per book (first three are done), but that's just me. Other people take longer, other people write faster. There's no right or wrong answer for how long it should take to write...just focus on your characters, developing them, giving them sympathetic traits, making sure they have goals, motivations, and conflicts, and just have fun while you're writing. As for the editing, I have a DREAM editor! She's wonderful to brainstorm with and she catches my mistakes that I couldn't see if they walked up and talked to me. I'm am blessed with her experience and knowledge.

Cait045...LOL on my active imagination. Yep...it's one of my strongest qualities and yes, it helps me write like nobody's business. I am the queen of "what if" meaning I ask questions in my head of how a situation could turn out for my characters and then it's like a light going off when I come up with the "answer." I highly encourage active imaginations...embrace it and run wild with it! LOL!!

Marley Gibson said...

Zombiegirl...I did NOT have any ghostly experiences when I was a child...that I know of. I have, however, encountered three angels in my lifetime. One visited me when I was in the hospital with my cancer, another changed a tire for me on a dark highway, and another jump-started my car late at night. All three people disappeared...and in my heart of hearts, I feel they were all angels taking care of me. I have to say that I never really thought about believing or not believing in ghosts until I started researching for GHOST HUNTRESS. Based on the evidence I've gathered in my own investigations and things I have witnessed, I have to say that we're not alone and there are spirits out there with us. Who they are or what they are remains to be discovered.

jpetroroy said...

Do you ever get frightened by what you write?

Marley Gibson said...

Hey Jen...no, I don't get frightened by what I write, but I do get emotional. I've been known to cry over a scene, laugh hysterically, or have massive heart pounding as I'm fleshing out a scene. LOL!

throuthehaze said...

Do you plan on writing books about other supernatural things (other than ghosts)?

throuthehaze at gmail dot com

Lindsay Frost said...

Are you going to keep on writing more books??
I WANT to read this SOOO bad!!
Thankyou!! :D:D:D


Beth said...

Have any deceased relatives ever returned to you as a "spirit"? Thanks for the great giveaway. Please enter me.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Tonya H said...

question.. How do you get over that initial fear or shock after seeing a ghost?

tonyaharmati at gmail dot com

before you saw these ghosts did you believe in them, or did the belief truly settle in at your first encounter?

M.A.D. said...

Mary D
zenrei57 (at) hotmail (dot) com

WOW - I think this is the most interesting guest post I've yet to read!!!! (After reading it I am really stoked & wanting to win so badly I can taste it LOL)

The 'paranormal/metaphysics' is such a fascinating genre.

So, Marley - I was very curious about what type of experimentation, new techniques, and so forth do professional 'ghost' hunters have in the offing? Any new tech-toys on the horizon? And, besides the EVP stuff, how about reverse speech as well? Subconscious to subconscious communication? I would enjoy the chance to participate in something like that, YOU GO GIRL LOL - ! :)
Keep up your fantastic writing and good luck with any future ghostly endeavors ~

ps - you couldn't have PAID me enough money to go into that sanitarium in KY, UGH - it looked incredibly creepy

Wrighty said...

This was so great! I loved the stories you told Marley! I went to college in Buffalo, NY but I don't think I've ever been to Bethany. I know I've never been to the sanitarium. Eek! My college was next to an old psychiatric hospital and that was creepy enough.

I was wondering if you have any exciting ghost hunting trips planned and where will you be going? Is there an "ultimate" trip or destination that you would like to take and where would you like to go? Thanks so much for your responses and the giveaway!


Unknown said...

Hi Marley. In Book 1, Kendall uses one of the white noise machines to get some sleep--they kind of freak me out because of how it's said that dead people can be heard on them. Ever use one of those before? What do you think you'd do?! :)

Dena said...


Were you the girl in your group of friends who scared everyone else with all of your stories at slumber parties? :-)


ParaJunkee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ParaJunkee said...

Hi Marley, this was great. I'm very interested in ghosts, especially since I'm from New Orleans and have actually witnessed a 10 lb, decorative glass, jar filled with water & slices of citrus slide off the top of a refrigerator and fling itself on to the top of a 13 year old girl.

They have actually opened a paranormal museum here, called the Paraplex - its a really great experience, but they are now holding classes and amateur ghost hunting classes. I was just wondering if you thought something like this would be beneficial or if it might be just silly and scamish? The ghost hunts that you went on sound exciting!

Sorry I removed the post because I forgot my email: rrivera39 @ cox.net

Brooke Reviews said...

I love the idea of ghost hunting but I am a HUGE wimp. I'm scared of the freaking dark. One time two car loads of friends and I went up to the St. James Church in Ocala where the movie Jeepers Creepers was filmed. It was deserted. The property is actually owned by George Stienbrenner, so security came and we had to leave. LOL

That sanitarium is quite frightening, I bet that was an exciting experience. :)


kalea_kane said...

First of all, thank you so much for sharing these stories. I definitely believe there is some sort of activity out there. I use to live in a house in Johnston, Rhode Island that at one time was a home for the elderly for that last stage of life. Soooo many odd things happened there. Also there was a path down our street through the woods that led you to a cemetery.

Anyway...what is the one thing you think anyone should bring with them when they go on a ghost hunt?

Thanks so much!


Unknown said...

Great idea. Question for Marley, What are your thoughts on the "reality" shows like Paranormal State? Do you think they are legitimate or more for show?


Marley Gibson said...

Thanks for all the questions! Let me hop to it!

Raelena and Lindsay...yes, I plan on writing more books about ghosts and paranormal. As I said, GHOST HUNTRESS series is up to five currently. As long as the books sell and you guys enjoy them and my editor keeps buying them from me, I'm more than happy to write about Kendall and her adventures.

Beth...I don't believe that I have ever been visited by a deceased relative, although, I have had two separate psychics tell me that my Grandpa Joe watches over me, as does my Grandaddy Escar. I have no evidence of it, but I think it's nice to know that a deep love like that doesn't have to end just because the person isn't physically with you anymore.

Tonya H...I have to say about the "fear factor" is that since I have never been by myself when I have had paranormal experiences, I haven't been frightened. I have been moved to tears and have had chill bumps at the realization...but I think an emotional reaction is perfectly normal. It's hard to say how I would react if I were alone. I just try to have an open mind when these things have happened.

Off to answer more questions...

Anonymous said...

What do you do when you are not writing?


~The Book Pixie said...

Hey Marley! Here is my question. I live in Georgia and was wondering, have you ever toured the haunted locations in Savannah?


Shawna L. said...

Shawna Lewis

Oh thanks for the wonderful review/interview you did here at Book Butterfly!!! I can't wait to read these books!!!!

OK MY Dear, I would really LOVE to know who picks out the cover for your books? Do you? or do you have much say in it? Or is it the book publisher who has the final say?

P.S. Love the picture of you above what a stunner you are & such amazing hair, love it!!!!

Winks & Smiles ;o) Shawna

Unknown said...

My question for you is what sparked your ineterest in the paranormal, and do you like science fiction movies too?

I think your books are awesome, i cant wait to read the second one!


Marley Gibson said...

Hey there...I've been on the road and attending Dragon*Con in Atlanta, but I wanted to finish answering questions if you guys are still reading...

Mary...you ask really good questions about new experimentations and techniques coming up. I have to say that I'm still a student of this field myself and I stand by and watch as people experiment on forms of communication. I witnessed one group using a telephone inductor (used to test phone lines) and had a two-way communication with something using morse code. It was amazing. People have also thought to use an etchosketch to try and communicate as the magnetic bits inside might be manipulated by energy. Ironically, I'm attending a Pscience Fair this weekend where there will be a lot of people talking about new devices and new ways to investigate.

Wrighty...sadly, Rolling Hills Sanitaruim closed...meaning the location closed as a place you can investigate. The owners weren't able to afford it anymore. The place might be torn down, which would be very sad considering how "active" the place was. I'd love to explore Paris with my digital recorder and see what kind of EVPs I can pick up.

Carrie...as for the white noise machine, I personally haven't experienced anything coming through one, but I have heard of others experiencing it. I like to sleep with a loud fan or air conditioner on, so there's no telling what may have come out of it that I just didn't hear. LOL!

Dena...LOL...no, I wasn't the one who told scary stories to everyone...but I am now! = )

ParaJunkee ... I'm sure you've got tons of stories living in NO. We were there over the summer and went on a ghost tour. There's definitely something about that city that's very airy and conducive for spirit activity. As for the class, I'd say check it out and make sure they're "teaching" in a way that is educational and open to the possibilities out there and not merely something trying to cash in on the ghost hunting craze or looking to get their own TV show. There are a lot of groups out there who want to educate that "next generation."

Brooke Reviews...being afraid of the dark might hinder ghost investigation. LOL! Although, if you go to a location that's known to have activity in the day light...then that would be the best time to investigate.

kalea_kane...interesting about your house in Rhode Island. I'd say the ONE thing you bring on an investigation...always...is an open mind. Having an open mind allows you to really see around you and question evidence as you find it. We address this in our book THE OTHER SIDE: A TEEN'S GUIDE TO GHOST HUNTING AND THE PARANORMAL.

Kate...regarding the TV shows out there about ghost hunting and investigations. I have to say that I enjoy them. I used a lot of them for research for my books. I've met most of the people on those shows and I respect them all for what they're trying to do. However, you do have to remember that they are TV shows and meant to entertain. There's no way to properly show a true investigation in 22 minutes (8 minutes for commercial), so just remember that what you're watching is edited for television and for enetertainment.

Anonymous said...

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