Twisted Sisters is touring with Xpresso Book Tours. Click the link to follow the tour.
In honor of the tour, I'd like to share a post about my first paranormal experience. It happened quite recently which, considering how long I've been hunting the paranormal, is odd to say the least. It happened in a place I'd never expect- the hotel, not the city...
My First Real Paranormal Experience
By Kimber Leigh Wheaton
After years of reading about the paranormal and visiting numerous haunted sites, I finally had my first experience in a place I least expected—New Orleans. Yes, I know it’s one of the most haunted cities in America, but my experience didn’t occur in a cemetery or on a ghost tour… it happened in my hotel room at the Holiday Inn.
I was in New Orleans for the Author Reader Convention in August which was held at the Holiday Inn Superdome. I knew nothing about the hotel, other than the location. Upon checking into my room on the sixteenth floor, I immediately felt uneasy. I chalked it up to traveling alone and proceeded to unpack. The feeling of being watched intensified to the point that I could no longer ignore it. I started a rather embarrassing search of the room for a hidden camera. Checked the peephole—it seemed fine. Peered behind the pictures and mirrors and didn’t see anything. I wasn’t able to look in the vents or smoke detectors, which is for the best since by then I felt absurd. I left the room and went to the bar to meet some friends.
That night I didn’t sleep well, though I never felt scared, just odd. I attributed my lack of sleep to the wildly varying room temperature which I’m sure was related to the older A/C unit blowing from the corner. Plus my room overlooked a busy street, and I’m not used to traffic noise. As it turned out, I didn’t sleep well the entire time I was there. The feeling of being watched never went away, and the only place I didn’t feel it was in the bathroom. Thank goodness, right! I started dressing in there even though I had the entire room to myself. I just couldn’t shake that horrible feeling.
The last day of my trip, I met a local who told me the tragic story of the hotel. January 7, 1973, Mark Essex gained access to the hotel, then a Howard Johnsons, through a fire escape and shot a couple on the eighteenth floor. He then set fire to the room and headed to the eleventh floor where he killed two of the hotel managers. Several more people were shot from his perch on the eighteenth floor where he holed up when police arrived. All in all he killed 19 people, 10 of whom were police officers.
Lots of negative vibes in that hotel. To this day, I don’t know if I felt the spirit of the shooter or one of his victims in my room. All I know is that the room had a somber feel to it, and the hair on my nape was at attention more in four days than in the last decade. My husband attributes it to nerves since I was traveling alone. I don’t know what I think, but this was the closest I’ve come to a paranormal experience.
So what do you think? Nerves, spiritual energy, or something else…
Now I'd like to share a small passage from Crimson Reflections, book three in The Orion Circle series. This is a work in progress, so it hasn't undergone editing or proofing :)
Omens come in all forms. Sometimes it’s a gut-wrenching feeling in your stomach, intuition warning of a certain path. Others see omens in things: dark clouds, tea leaves, a black cat… silly if you ask me, but there you have it. And sometimes the omen is so obvious only an idiot would ignore it. That idiot? Me.
A glorious day. Last day of school before winter break—over. My best friend, Celia, aced her driving test, and we spent the afternoon cruising around in her brand-new, powder-blue Mini Cooper. As we pull up to the curb in front of my house, my laughter ceases. Abruptly. I don’t know what to make of the odd scene spread out on my lawn among Santa’s reindeer. Tammy Hayes, our Orion Circle doctor and my dad’s girlfriend, loves to decorate. Her apartment downtown doesn’t have the space, so she decked out our house in holiday splendor. Gaudy, blinky, enough-to-make-me-gag splendor.
I’m pretty sure she didn’t plan for the reindeer to be covered in crows during her decorating plans. My familiars perch on each of the four reindeer, so still they look like statues. Poe, their leader and my main familiar, sits on Rudolph’s nose. Curled up on top of the presents in Santa’s sleigh—Logan’s twin cat familiars, Samson and Delilah. They adopted him two weeks ago during our investigation into the twisted ghosts at the sorority house. He and I both ended up in the hospital thanks to those malevolent spirits. I’m fully recovered, but Logan still has two broken fingers and torn intercostal muscle in his side.
Lying on the grass, my goldendoodle, Kodiak, finishes the odd scene. He was closed in a kennel inside the house. How did he manage to escape? As I sit in the passenger seat pondering, I remember Logan complaining about his familiars and their odd cat burglar skills. Did Samson and Delilah get into my house and free Kodiak?
“What’s going on?” Celia asks, her wide eyes gaping at the strange scene. “Is Logan playing a joke?”
“I don’t think he could get Kodiak or my crows to do what he wanted.” The skin on the nape of my neck prickles, and I feel odd. There’s a strange energy in the air… like the world just took a breath and is waiting for something to happen.
“What do we do?” Celia’s voice comes out a tremulous whisper.
I glance away from the odd display on my front lawn to gaze at my best friend. We met six years ago when she was plagued by a nasty spirit invited into her house by her dimwitted mother and her spirit board séances. Since then, Celia has been terrified by anything remotely paranormal. That we remained friends for so long despite her fear never ceases to amaze me. She worries at her lower lip as she stares intently at the steering wheel.
“You go home,” I say, trying to sound as bright and nonchalant as possible. “I’ll figure out what the familiars are up to.”
“No buts.” I pause when her eyes tear up. “I’ll be fine. Promise. It’s a Circle matter anyway. There isn’t anything you can do.” Several tears fall from her eyes.
“Jake?” I ask. She and Jake broke up yesterday. They were inseparable for several months, then he dumped her. Just like that, no why. Nothing.
She nods. “It’s stupid, I know. I mean I was planning to break up with him anyway… he’d been so distant lately.” When she sniffs, I dig through my bag for a tissue. She takes it and blows her nose—just a delicate puff of air. I’d sound like a goose if I was crying the way she is now. “To see him with Cherrie today. It hurt. Bad.”
“I know.” What else can I say? He’s a rat… no that’s an insult to rats everywhere. “I’m sorry. He isn’t worth your tears.”
She lets out a tiny laugh. “That’s what Daniel said.”
“Daniel’s a good guy,” I say, thinking about my fellow actor and Circle member. He is clairsentient, which means he reads things and people through touch. It can make normal life difficult at times. “Listen to him.”
“He’s cute,” she whispers. “And sweet.” She wipes under her eyes with the tissue. “Any damage?”
“No.” I assume she means her makeup which is still perfect even after shedding some tears.
“Let me know what this means.” She sweeps her arm out, gesturing at the animals in my yard. Freaky things haven’t moved.
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