Struggle

A state of endless darkness
Every day a constant struggle against the inky black
Light always just out of reach
Teetering on the edge
So close that you can feel yourself falling
The unknown calls relentlessly
Giving in to an end
To free yourself from all the pain and self doubt

 

©Kristen Ricketts

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/black/

Night Awakens

Every night I dream of us dancing under the moon, the stars twinkling against the sable sky. A cool breeze lingers on our skin, giving relief from the hot summer air. Our song, the rhythmic cadences of the crickets. As we sway, the night comes alive and I feel whole again as beauty fills our meeting place. For just a few hours before daybreak we can be together again.

© Kristen Ricketts
https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/dancing/

Book Review: The Demon of Brownsville Road by Bob Cranmer and Erica Manfred

Being from Pittsburgh, when this book was first released in 2015 I remember seeing it all over the news channels. At the time I thought, “Wow! There’s a house this close that’s haunted enough to have a book written about it, I can’t wait to read it!” Unfortunately, life got in the way and over the last two years I’ve thought about it a few times, but it wasn’t until recently when some of my coworkers were discussing it that I finally picked it up.

To get into the review, there are some parts of this book that are creepy and moments when I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Truthfully, I can’t understand how the Cranmer family stayed in the house after dealing with years of having a demon terrorize their lives. If it were me, when things began to escalate I would’ve fled. The chapters of the book that I enjoyed the most were about the history of the house and the potential reasons that caused the demon to take residence inside. Dating back to the 1700s this place had quite a dark past and it only makes sense that they were still dealing with remnants of those times.

However, I think much of the book was filler. From a personal standpoint, I think a lot of the political and religious aspects could’ve been left out to create a better read. There was an insinuation that was made in the book that I took some offense to. The author was describing the change in his children, they were suddenly listening to loud music and wearing black clothes, he attributed this to demon influence. As a child growing up in the 90s myself, I can assure you that there was no demon influencing my decision to wear a lot of black clothing (and I still do) or listening to heavy metal/rock.

That being said, if you are looking for a book about a house that has a dark history and the steps that were taken to rid the premises of a demonic infestation and can look past the filler, then this might be a book for you. Personally, I think that if I had a second chance with this book I would pass and find a different one to try.

You Were Meant to Know the Night Writing Prompt Challenge: One with the Night/Kristen

I recently submitted this piece to the blog Brave and Reckless. Hope you enjoy it!

Brave & Reckless

“You were meant to know the night,” she whispered into my ear. Her hold strengthened with inhuman force as she braced me against her body; steadying me for what was about to come. I had long since given up the struggle against this exquisite creature. The power she held over me was unrelenting.

The edge of time seemed to be nearing at a quickening pace, the unyielding hunger in her eyes expressing her desire. Tracing their way my chest to my throat, her icy fingertips lingered for a moment over the gently palpitating skin. I knew that she could feel my pulse quicken as the seconds dragged on.

Paralyzed from fear of the unknown, I waited for an eternity. She had forewarned of the indescribable pain would soon consume me as I take my last breath and awaken a nocturnal animal; forever destined to lurk in the shadows.

Her scent…

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Locked Away

I look
Once again through the keyhole
At sights unseen
Obscured by darkness
And everything in between

Lost in the abstract
Of a world unknown
A place locked away
From the prying eyes
Of those who come by day

No one can fathom
What I feel
As I sit here alone
With nothing but solitude
Just skin and bone

I’ve dwelled within these walls
Unable to break the chains
The light of day
Warm against my skin
Keeping the demons at bay

But when night falls
They return
To plague my reality
Unable to escape
I will never be free

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© Kristen Ricketts 2017

Haunted Histories 4 Part 2: Gettysburg Battlefields

Like I mentioned in the first post on Gettysburg the Farnsworth House Inn offers different kinds of ghost tours. One of the tours that we decided on was a tour that gives you the opportunity to use paranormal equipment to investigate one of the bloodiest battlefields in the area. Oddly, this also happens to be directly behind a local school’s football field.
Reading the descriptions of the tours offered now, the Farnsworth House Inn still offers a tour where you can use the equipment but the locations have changed a bit. Now, they offer the opportunity to investigate the basement, and after my experience there I would love to go back and take this tour!
On the night of the tour, my husband and I met up with the rest of those who had also booked this excursion. We did a quick tour of the area then we were broken up into smaller groups. Armed with dowsing rods, an infrared night-vision camera, and a digital voice recorder the four of us (we were paired with two teenage girls) set out onto the moonlit battlefield.
Dowsing rods are supposed to interact with the spirit’s energy whenever a question is asked. Ours were L shaped rods that we held  apart, and in response to a yes or no question they should either come together and cross or move further away. During this investigation, we didn’t get any replies using these.
As for the digital recorder, the guide collected everyone’s recorders for review. She had said that if she got anything good she would email us but we didn’t hear anything back.
At the time of this trip, neither one of us had watched many paranormal investigation shows so we weren’t at all familiar with the equipment. The groups were spread out over a large area and we were using the infrared camera. All of us stared at a black screen, not realizing that it wouldn’t show anything other than the infrared light spectrum. We continued walking, and out of nowhere a bright white figure materialized on screen. Thinking that it was the group ahead of us I stepped in front of the lens completely obstructing this incandescent form. When looking at it, it had the distinct shape of the human figure and we were even able to make out that it appeared to be wearing a forage cap, common to civil war era soldiers. We watched in awe as this being walked across the battlefield only to dematerialize into the ground without leaving any trace.
Keep in mind, this was the time of the low resolution flip phone camera so neither one of us even thought to take it out to take a picture or video of this unexplained event and the infrared camera frustratingly wasn’t equipped to record anything. Had we have known better, I would’ve used my digital camera that I had on me to document this.

Here are a few photos from our ghost hunt.

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Orb in Gettysburg Battlefield

 

I don’t want to lead anyone on what I see in the photo below, so if you are able to make anything out feel free to comment below.
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Under the football field bleachers
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While touring the area, there is a respect for the grounds and the history that I haven’t felt before. It’s somewhere I would recommend going if you are into either history or paranormal. The monuments that are built to commemorate the great battle are miraculous and hold the memories of those who lost their lives during the Civil War.
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Monument with large orbs

 

Haunted Histories 4 Part 1: Gettysburg: Farnsworth House Inn

Let me start out by saying I had every intention to only do one post for my number 4 Haunted Location: Gettysburg, but I feel that it would be better suited broken into 2.

It’s been almost 10 years since by husband (at the time we were just dating) and I went to Gettysburg. I had been there before with my family, but it was his first time visiting. On a whim, while googling places to stay I came across the website for the Farnsworth House Inn. Touted as one of the most haunted inns in Gettysburg, I was immediately interested and easily talked him into staying there. See, I’m the kind of person who believes in most things until they are proven otherwise but my husband is the complete opposite. For him, he is a skeptic first and foremost until he sees it for himself. This is probably how I get him to go along with all of my crazy ideas.

For this trip I booked us in the Custer Room, which is located outside of the main house with its own private entrance. At the time, I also booked two different ghost tours through their website. I’ll be detailing the first ghost tour in the 2nd post.

 

Inside the Custer Room

On night two, we were supposed to go on a walking tour of the battlefields but due to extensive rain the conditions kept us from continuing onto the walking part of the tour. Instead, they took us into the Farnsworth House basement where they told us stories of the property. The guide was very knowledgeable about the location, and the stories were extremely interesting. I hung on every word that was spoken until all of a sudden I felt pressure on my legs. I leaned over to tell my husband what I was feeling but I  just tried to play it off as dampness in the air. That was until the guide made mention of the spirit of a child that liked to sit on people’s laps in the basement. I couldn’t believe that more than one person had experienced the same odd sensation that I was feeling.

As the story of the child continued, the guide stated that he liked to move objects in the rooms as well; that if you left a quarter in one place you would find it on the bed. I was intrigued, and instantly wished we had left some change or something out on the nightstand to see if it would be moved when we returned.

Around 10:00 we made our way back outside and up to our room. I decided to wash my face, and when I looked at my hand I was missing my ring that I knew I had on when we left the room earlier. The ring had fit snuggly around my finger so I knew it didn’t just fall off, but I started to panic. I asked my husband if he saw it when we went to the basement and he said that not only did he see it, but had felt it on my hand. The entrance to the basement was on the outside of the house and since it had rained almost nonstop, there had been a giant puddle at the bottom of the steps. In order to make it over without falling into the water (which I am more than capable of doing) I grabbed onto his hand to make sure I made it over, and it was here that he noticed that I was wearing it.

Not wanting to wait till the morning to try to find the ring, we started out the door to retrace our steps. I turned to make sure that we had the room key, and across the floor something shiny caught my eye. I went over to it, and there behind the leg of a luggage holder was my ring on the floor. Now the first reaction would be It fell off of my hand, but the floor was tile and we would’ve heard it hit then roll to where it lay. I was relieved that we had found it, and I was anxious to get a good night’s sleep before having drive back home the next day.

But, as fate would have it a peaceful night’s sleep was not to be had. At about 2 am, I woke to the feeling of an icy hand grasping my shin. To this day, I can still remember what it felt like that night with the imprint of a hand lingering on my skin.

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featured image from Farnsworthhouseinn.com

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