Monday, June 6, 2011

Do You Believe? by Catherine Anne Collins

Hello. It’s great to be here today and many thanks to Hannah for allowing me a place to introduce myself and ponder the mysteries of the Universe. Wait, don’t leave. We can keep it light and just ponder the mysteries of our own world. How’s that? J

I recently attended a writer’s conference in Salem, Massachusetts. What better place for a writer with a vivid imagination and two books set in Salem? While researching the first book, A Witch’s Lament, my husband and I managed time away from our business to visit Salem during our Christmas holidays. I’m not complaining, BUT, going to a tourist town when many of the attractions and exhibits aren’t open, is not necessarily a good thing. So, when the opportunity arose to visit in the nicer weather, I wasn’t going to say no.

I promptly booked a room at one of the older, supposedly haunted hotels, reserved my spot on the Saturday night ghost walk, grabbed my camera, opened my mind, and took to the road with a friend of mine. After 10 hours of driving and the constant chatter that occurs when two writers find themselves locked in a car together, we arrived in Salem. A city of contradictions. Narrow streets lined with historic homes of unique and beautiful architecture. Modern shops, museums, and attractions attempting to satisfy visitors fascinated with a bloody past. Lively with the bustle and cheer of a tourist town, yet laden with a sombre thread of the terror that stained the streets with evil and death centuries earlier.

Anticipating a busy and productive couple of days, I focused my mind on the work aspect of the weekend, not thinking overly much about ghosts and goblins. In spite of my lack of attention, or maybe because of it, the ghost wasn’t long in making her presence known to me. Yes, she. It seems the resident hotel ghost is a woman and her name…drum roll, please…Catherine. She had the nerve to throw my chocolate in the garbage. Not just any chocolate, but good truffles that I’d bought at Ye Olde Pepper Candy Companie

At first I thought I’d misplaced the delectable treats, so I scoured the room looking for them. Perplexed, I sat on the bed and mentally ran over everything I’d done since eating one of them. I had sat on the bed, logged onto the laptop, eaten a candy, eaten a chocolate, and put both packages on the bed beside me while I checked e-mail. When I reached for another of the addictive truffles, I couldn’t find them. I searched the room, under the bed, in the closet, in my suitcase…everywhere. Shelley came in at that point, helped me look, and kept insisting that I must put them somewhere and forgotten. I swore, and still do, that I never left the bed. That’s when an inexplicable urge hit me to search the garbage. There sat my chocolates, innocently perched under a piece of discarded paper. Shelley hadn’t thrown them out and I certainly hadn’t, so how would you explain it?

Wait, there’s more. The ghost was busy that weekend. J Falling asleep after such a spine-tingling experience wasn’t easy, but I managed, only to wake during the night to a strange

noise. Since it sounded to be right beside me, I wondered what my roommate, Shelley, had taken to bed with her that would make so much noise. Kind of a rolling, metal rattle. The sound continued all night long, sometimes loud, other times quiet, but always sounding right beside me. Morning arrived and I climbed from bed bleary eyed and edgy. Feeling bad for silently cursing Shelley most of the night through, I politely asked her what she’d had in bed that made so much noise every time she moved. Her blank stare stilled any hope that a ghostly being hadn’t been responsible for bothering me all night.

Once I explained what I’d heard, we shook the bed, jumped on it…did everything we could to determine the cause of the noise. Nothing. As with the chocolate, no earthly explanation presented itself. Strangely, the next night at the ghost walk, nothing happened to compare to the experiences in my own hotel room.

Am I a believer? I’d say I’m a hard sell, but definitely a believer. Too many strange occurrences in my lifetime have ensured that. But that’s a story for another day.

So, are you a believer?

If Salem, witchcraft and magic interest you, check out my books based in Salem, Ma. Just so you know, I’ll be giving a book of your choice away to someone who posts a comment. Take care and have a great day.


  1. Catherine,

    Funny how it takes some serious proof for som people to believe in ghosts. I always burn a white candle with sage or rosemary whenever I say somewhere new. If I don't, some local ghost will keep me up half the night!

    I already have a copy of A Witch's Legacy, and I LOVE it. So don't enter me in your drawing. Just wanted to stop by and tell you that!

  2. I am totally convinced re: ghosts...which is why I like new construction housing on previously greenfields...good thing about midwest. I cannot wait to read this book..I have a sister who claims she was previously a Salem Witch.

  3. Despite my interest, I've never seen a ghost

    I did finish A Witch's Lament recently and look forward to reading Legacy!!

  4. Having grown up in a house where some 'odd' things happened (sounds of light switches going on and off, hearing voices arguing, mirror taken down from wall-the last also happened in my own home) I'm definitely a believer. I'm going to have to check out your books because Salem and witchcraft has always fascinated me. Setting can really set the my upcoming March release my story takes place in New Orleans. Another 'haunted' city. Have a great day.

  5. Thanks, Renee. I never thought about smudging a hotel room before staying. Though, I don't mind a ghost as long as they behave themself. I think throwing my chocolates in the garbage constitutes a misbehaving ghost. :-)

    Hi, Traci. So glad you enjoyed A Witch's Lament. I enjoyed doing the research for both books.

    Nancy, WOW, about your sister. Does she have any memories about being a witch, or is it just a sense that she has? Thanks for stopping in and saying hi.

    Jenna, New Orleans is another fascinating city with a history that doesn't let go. I'll keep my eyes out for your book.

    People, make sure to check back to see who wins a book. I'll be posting later this evening.

  6. Shame on that ghost for messing with a woman's sweets...I look forward to reading this book! I personally do believe in ghost only because I know that my grandmother is still with me. I have seen her, smelled her perfume and felt her touch me on more than one occassion.

  7. I got bumped from the hotel due to construction. The only ghosts I met while there were in the library and the ladies room off the lobby. ;-}}

    Salem is a wonderful city and I look forward to reading your books.

  8. Okay, I used to generate a number, the winner of a book of her choice is....DarkIce. Major congratulations. I'll be in touch to find out which book you'd like.

    Bewitching hour...sorry you got bumped from the hotel. Hope you had a good time regardless and I always love hearing from new readers, so if you do buy my books, let me know what you think.

    Have a great day and thanks to all for visiting.

  9. Sound extremely creepy! But Salem is certainly the place for such things. I can't imagine how you were able to get any sleep after the chocolate in the garbage incident. That was just mean!

  10. LOL, Marie I agree. Mean, but in the end since I found the chocolate, I wasn't too upset.

  11. Yes, my sister does have memories...and has gone to Salem to check things out. She sort have has a way of giving witches a bad name, though, personality-wise, LOL