Saturday, October 27, 2012

Amanda Stevens: Ghost Hunting in Houston

I write about cemeteries and ghosts and so I tell my husband we need to go on a little graveyard expedition in order for me to truly get into the spirit (ha!) of my stories.  Having been a long-time Art Bell/Coast to Coast devotee, this request does not faze him.  We plan our first excursion—Glenwood Cemetery in Houston.  I do a little research and learn that 1) the caretaker’s murder in 1977 remains an unsolved mystery to this day 2) the local paranormal society found significant EMF anomalies near the memorial of two children 3) the cemetery closes at five so orb-spotting will be difficult and 4) we should watch out for muggers and fire ants.

Off to Glenwood we go…

We enter the cemetery and discover it’s huge and awesome and beautifully doom and gloom with heavy curtains of Spanish moss hanging from hundred-year-old live oaks, tentacles of ivy curling around headstones and more Goth angels than you can shake a stick at.  It must be said here that we don’t own any ghost-hunting equipment.  We did, however, come armed with cell phones and mosquito repellant.  Locating the aforementioned memorial, we check for cold spots.  Neither of us experiences anything out of the ordinary and I don’t know whether to be disappointed or relieved.  The DH snaps a few shots on the off chance we might catch an orb or two and we move on.  

That’s when I see it…

Not an apparition or an orb or an entity of any kind, but a statue—The Weeping Angel—exactly like the one on the cover of The Restorer (Book One in my Graveyard Queen series).  Okay, so it’s not as cool as conjuring a spirit or raising the dead, but I’m easily excitable.  We take a picture and head for the exit, having been scorned by the ghosts of Glenwood Cemetery.

Our second excursion takes us to the Bear Creek Park area in northwest Houston.  There is an old graveyard hidden somewhere in the park nicknamed Blue Light Cemetery because of the eerie glow that emanates from the graves.  Legend has it that a nearby bridge on Patterson Road is haunted by the restless souls of Blue Light Cemetery.  If you park on the bridge and turn off the ignition and headlights, you will eventually hear a tapping on the windows, as if something wants in.  Maybe because it’s dark—well after midnight—and maybe because we’re sitting on a freakin’ bridge with our lights out, but this place already seems a million times creepier than Glenwood.  And maybe it’s only my imagination, but I do sense something…restless.  But that’s it.  No tapping on windows.  No swirling mist.  Nothing.

We call it a night and start home.  Less than a half mile from the bridge, the car suddenly fills with the scent of cherry pipe tobacco.  So strong it’s as if someone is smoking in the backseat.  An uninvited passenger that neither of us can see.  For a moment, the scent is overpowering and then slowly fades. 

I look at my husband.  “Did you—” 

“Yeah.  How weird was that?”

Very weird.

In honor of Halloween, my favorite holiday, I would love, love, love to hear about your graveyard excursions and ghostly encounters.  Or even your favorite scary movie.  Me?  I never miss Jeepers Creepers.  We’ll select one participant randomly to win a signed copy of the book of your choice in The Graveyard Queen series.

For more information on The Graveyard Queen or my new young adult series—Soul Jumpers—please visit my website at

***Amanda's winner is DonnaS!  Congrats!  Please email with your mailing details!***


Lory Lee said...

My favorite scary movie is "Exorcism of Emily Rose". I just love that movie so much. I think it's the first scary movie that I've watched without screaming or covering my face with my hand. It also made me sleep with a rosary in my hand. :D I'd also like to share this ghostly experience that I encountered last year, I was in the hospital (bec. of an asthma attack) While taking medicine from the nebulizer, I heard a humming coming from the comfort room few steps away from where I was sitting. It was like a mom humming a song for her child. The scary thing was, it was past twelve midnight, and I was the only one inside the emergency room.

Eli Yanti said...

my fave scary movie : supernatural, love dean actually :D

Na said...

I really like scary movies and one of my favorite is The Amityville Horror. I've never gone on a ghost-hunting adventure but want to.I just need to find a friend or two to come along and be brave!


erin said...

Thanks for a fun post and great giveaway! I never grew up with the fear of graveyards/cemeteries or had any spooky experiences. We lived next to one and it was a great place to walk the dogs :)


Pat Cochran said...

Honey and I, when we were dating some
52 years ago, spent a very short while
on the San Jacinto Battlegrounds after
dark. The monument and battlegrounds
are located midway between Houston and
Galveston. I say a short stay because
it was so oppressive and felt as if
everything was closing in on us. We
left right away. When we visited the
Alamo some years later, I again expe-
rienced a strange occurrence. At a
spot near the center of the chapel,
I suddenly was dizzy and could hear
a number of loud voices. Honey took
me out of the building and the stran-
geness went away. We've never been
back there again. My sister passed
away in 1975 and some while later
Son1 began to feel a difference in
his room, strange but not harmful.
He even heard her voice saying
"Hello, David." Some time later,
I was sitting at my computer when
I was engulfed in a 'cloud' of fra-
grance. It was my sister's favorite Nina
Ricci scent. She visited us for some
years, we say she came to see how her
daughter (who grew up with our three)
was doing.

Pat C.

Leah Weller (leahluvsmedieval) said...

What a fun post! I have a love for old statuary and effigies. Thank you for the chance in the giveaway! :)

Your question is so strange today as something happened to me at 4 this morning. I've talked to everyone about this today that would listen as it has boggled my brain. I have not one sewing needle in my house. Haven't had one for years. When I need something sewn I go to dad's and use his stuff to sew whatever button, etc., I need sewn. The pillow and sheet sets I've used for years so nothing new here. I woke up yesterday morning and went to bed and nothing was out of the ordinary. I woke up at 4 rubbing my fingers over something that felt odd. I was thinking to myself in that slumber/half awake state that it felt like a pin. I sat up, turned on the light, and there was a sewing needle in my pillowcase like someone had put one stitch in it. It was laying flat against the pillowcase with just a smidgen of material caught over the needle. I know if someone could have taken a picture of me at that moment it would have been hilarious! Sitting there half awake with my hair all over the place and my mouth hung open in stunned silence. What do I do? I put it in the drawer beside the bed and lay back down wide awake by this time and haven't been able to wrap my mind around it all day. Go figure. Freaky!


Barbara E. said...

Great post, I enjoyed it. I used to visit a cemetery frequently because I lived very near one as a child. The neighbor kids all played there, but we never ran into any ghosts, much to our disappointment.

Barbed1951 at aol dot com

donnas said...

I have not yet had an exciting graveyard excursion. Ive always wanted to tour the New Orleans ones though.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Mary Preston said...

I really don't like scary movies. I do enjoy movies with witches & magic in them like HOCUS POCUS and PRACTICAL MAGIC.

I have visited a lot of cemeteries when traveling around with my parents. So much history. Never at night though.