Guest Post: Susan Schreyer

I am an expert on ghosts — have been since 1990.

Seeing a ghost is one of those few experiences in life that can qualify you as an expert the very first time it happens. And by the way, it is nothing at all like that crazy TV show with 200x300 STQODthose guys running around taking pictures with night vision cameras in places that are dangerous by virtue of the fact that they are falling down around their ears. If you need a visual here, think more along the lines of the movie The Sixth Sense. Ghosts, my friends, appear to be solid — even in bright light. Yup, they look real and can be mistaken for real. The difference is they tend to appear and disappear for no apparent reason (pardon the pun). Let me tell you my story.

A number of years ago I had the good fortune of having a group of friends who made a point of getting together on a bi-weekly basis to laugh, eat, and talk. Although I will admit to consuming large quantities of chocolate and other yummy desserts, none of us indulged in even a single glass of wine since no one wanted to get busted for driving home tipsy.

On this particular evening, we were at Patty’s (not her real name) home, gathered at the dining room table and grazing happily on the dessert du jour. From my seat, I had a straight-shot view into the living room of the single-story new home. Patty, by the way, had quite a flair for decorating, and an impressive talent for quilting. A new quilt, of her design, hung on the wall in the living room and throughout the evening I found my gaze wandering admiringly in that direction.

Then what to my wondering eyes did appear? No, not reindeer, but a brown cocker spaniel dog. Yup, a dog. It proceeded to trot across the well-lit room and disappear when reaching the sofa.

I paused.

For a long moment I considered keeping my mouth shut, but — and this is so “me” — I could not.

After shifting around in my chair and clearing my throat a couple of times I said, “So, um, does anyone here happen to have a brown cocker?”

Patty all but leapt from her seat. “I do! Did. I did. My darling Angel was a brown cocker. She died two years ago. I miss her so much. She was the best.”

She sighed and got a bit teary at this point and though I wondered if I should mention what I’d seen least my friends think me nuts, you’ve got it right, I opened my mouth anyway.

“Well, I believe Angel is here. I just saw a brown cocker trot across the living room.”

Much to my surprise, no one scoffed — not even Patty.

“I knew it!” she said. “I knew she was here! For the past few nights I’ve had the feeling that she’s been curled up at the foot of my bed, just like she used to do. I’m so glad you saw her!” She scampered around the table and hugged me.

It shouldn’t have surprised me to find out how accepting my friends were of the paranormal since I’d known them all for several years, but it did. And, I wasn’t the only one surprised. Once that cat (so to speak) was out of the bag, another one of my friends, emboldened by my blurted observation, confessed to being a closet psychic. It was something she didn’t consider so much a gift as a cosmic bad joke that made her into a freak. We all refrained from the “didn’t you see that coming?” teasing, and no one snuck up behind me and yelled, “WOOF!” Such a thoughtful and sensitive group.

So … after all these years, do I include these things in my stories?

Of course I do, although I don’t write paranormal, per-se. I write mysteries with people and relationships who have lives that are slightly off-center from what we usually experience. Sure, it is fiction, but it has to be as close to real life as possible — which is why you’ll find some of the paranormal twined in. It is real life, after all.

***

Susan Schreyer lives in Monroe, Washington with her husband, two adult children and a whole bunch of cats. Her horse lives within easy driving distance. When not working diligently on mysteries about people in the next town being murdered, Susan trains horses and teaches people how to ride them. She also works part-time in a veterinarian’s office where she pretends to possess secretarial skills. In addition, she is co-president of the Puget Sound Chapter of SinC — mostly because no one else wanted the job. Susan is the author of the Thea Campbell Mystery Series, of which there are six mysteries and one romantic comedy available. The first in the series, Death by a Dark Horse, is available free as an e-book on every platform.

Susan can be run to earth at any of the following locations;

Susan Schreyer Mysteries website: www.susanschreyer.com
Things I Learned From My Horse blog: http://thingsilearnedfrommyhorse.blogspot.com
Writing Horses blog: http://writinghorses.blogspot.com
Twitter: @susanschreyer
FaceBook: Susan Schreyer Mysteries

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22 thoughts on “Guest Post: Susan Schreyer”

  1. That is so cool!I’m glad your friends were as accepting as they were. Ghosts just make sense. Matter is energy, we are matter, matter cannot be created or destroyed. So, even after we leave, we are all around. It just takes a special gift to see it!

  2. Hi Kait and Cynthia! Thank you so much for inviting me to sit around your campfire and tell ghost stories! I haven’t done this in a while and had forgotten how much fun it was. Kait, I’m sure you’re right — about the energy. I’m not so sure I have a special gift, although that’s a pleasant thought …. hmm…..

  3. I do think you have a special gift, Susan. Thanks for sharing your story! It’s gratifying to know that our dearly departed pets remain with us. I love stories where the paranormal twines in with real life, and I look forward to checking out your books.

  4. What a great story. I think normal human abilities like this are beginning to be accepted as just that–normal. Not everyone has them. But not everyone can sing well, either.

  5. Welcome, Susan! I got chills reading your description of what a real ghost looks like. I agree with the others that it is definitely a special gift!

  6. I SO enjoyed your story, Susan. Like Patty, I also know my two angel dogs still sleep with me. They move around on the bed and wake me up, just like they did when they were earth dogs. At first, it used to freak me out, but I’ve come to love the experience. I wish I could see them, too, but I’ll gladly take what I’ve got.
    I also realized from reading your bio, that we are neighbors. I live in Anacortes, WA. I’m off to check out your blogs.

  7. Thank you, Sue, Theresa and Sarah! I’m not sure I have a special gift, so much as I was in the right place at the right time. Whatever the case, I find it a comfort to know our beloved pets stay with us. I treasure that experience for the glimpse into something that is beyond what we accept as our daily reality. It fires the imagination!

  8. Oh, Kathleen! What a wonderful experience for you! If my departed pets gathered on my bed, I’m afraid there would be so many that there would be no room for me! How fun that you live in Anacortes. What a great place, nestled up there between the San Juan Island and Deception Pass! (And psst, don’t tell anyone, but my next book will feature Deception Pass!)

  9. Welcome, Susan. Can’t say as I’ve ever seen a ghost, although the top floor of one of the dorms at my college was supposed to be haunted, as was the room I lived in my sophomore year. Enough wacky things happened that year that I’m perfectly willing to believe in at least a little bit of the paranormal .

  10. My parakeet, Sam, used to see things–I don’t know what, but his responses were very specific. Sometimes, he’d react with anger and try to attack. Other times, he’d seem very happy to see whoever–whatever–was there.

  11. I think you’re entirely accurate, although that’s not at all how I portrayed a ghost in BROKE. But then, I’ve never seen one. But people DO think they’ve seen a real person sometimes. Other times, I think they are rather wispy. Well told tale! Now if someone could find out what cats are chasing when they tear through the house all of a sudden.

  12. LOL! Kaye, I don’t think we’ll ever know about the cats — possibly the ghosts of mice who have met their demise at the paws of the cat? As for the portrayal of ghosts in books, etc., I think that’s creative license — whatever the story needs!

  13. Good one, Diane! I think a word of caution is necessary for all of us “Fox Mulders” out there. We have to be careful not to be taken in by those who would take advantage.

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