Saturday, October 8, 2011

Ghosts, Goblins, and Vampires. Oh my!

by guest blogger Krista Davis

Halloween is in the air. No longer just the domain of children, the bewitching holiday overcomes normally sensible adults, suddenly possessing them to wear costumes to work and to transform the fronts of their homes into graveyards. I confess that I’m partial to wearing cat ears and painting whiskers on my cheeks.

My most recent release, THE DIVA HAUNTS THE HOUSE, has a Halloween theme. As you can imagine, Halloween is the perfect time for a mystery. Candles, costumes, howling winds, and dry leaves rustling along the street make it a natural for spookiness.

Ghosts and goblins, or in my case, ghosts and vampires, make appearances in the book. My protagonist, Sophie Winston, finds herself with twelve-year-old houseguests who believe in ghosts and vampires. To set their fears to rest, she tries to reason with them. However Sophie is in the role of an aunt, not a parent who is used to dealing with children’s imaginations, and she quickly finds herself wondering where she should draw the line.

That led me to question my own beliefs. What would I say to a couple of scared pre-teens? After all, it’s fun to believe in spooks one night a year. What about all those vampire books and movies that are so popular? Do kids think they’re real? Is it fair to dampen their desire to suspend reality and believe in the undead?

Complicating matters, Sophie suspects that she has a ghost living in her kitchen. She and her ex-husband inherited the house from his aunt, and Sophie’s former mother-in-law drops in occasionally to chat with her deceased sister. So Sophie (and I) had to think about this dilemma. Is it fair to say there are ghosts but not vampires?

You may think neither one exists. Fair enough. I didn’t either at one point. As a child, I had plenty of Halloween fun, but I was never really afraid because I didn’t think ghosts were real. One of my best friends was the daughter of a local undertaker. Their home over top of the funeral home was warm and friendly, and not the least bit ghostly. Of course, that didn’t prevent her father from teasing us by saying we could have the candy bars in his desk drawer if we dared to venture downstairs to get them. Oh, the squealing and screeching! We scrambled back up the stairs faster than we ever moved in our gym classes. It was all in fun, and we knew that.

So I find it a bit odd that I am more open to believing in ghosts as an adult than I was as a child. Have I seen one? Maybe. Or maybe it was a trick of the mind. I have, however, experienced my share of quirky moments and unexplained events that give me pause. Some of my friends and relatives have admitted to equally peculiar occurrences. For the time being, I’m on the fence. After all, it’s just plain fun to believe in ghosts and otherworldly creatures on Halloween!

What about you? Do you believe in ghosts or vampires?

Krista Davis is the author of the Domestic Diva Mysteries. Her first book, THE DIVA RUNS OUT OF THYME, was nominated for an Agatha award. Her most recent release, THE DIVA HAUNTS THE HOUSE, inched up to number 27 on the The New York Times Bestseller List. Visit Krista at her website or at Mystery Lover’s Kitchen .


Dru said...

I have had four incidents happen before my eyes with no visible person performing these acts. There's something out there.

Krista said...

Dru, I've heard this from so many people! I have friends who thought all ghost tales were nonsense until they experienced an event themselves.

~ Krista

Barbara Monajem said...

I'll believe in anything that makes a good story.

I once wanted to spend a night in a haunted castle, but my parents (I was twelve at the time) wouldn't let me. Waaaa! I really wanted to know. :)

Mollie Bryan said...

As a child I saw a "ghost" standing by my bed. But I called it an angel because I really had no idea what a ghost was. It really didn't scare me. But the idea of vampires scared me then, as it would now, if one were standing in front of me. I don't think there would be anything sexy about it. But perhaps I'm wrong. ;-)

Krista said...

Barbara, it's not too late to spend a night in a haunted castle! I think it sounds like fun.

~ Krista

Krista said...

Your experience with angels is fascinating, Mollie!

I agree that vampires are scary. Obviously, a lot of people find them sexy!

~ Krista

Barb Goffman said...

I don't believe in ghosts or vampires, but I sure do love Halloween. I'll looking forward to reading your book, Krista.

Lisa Shafer said...

I don't believe in vampires, but I write about them. :)

Your book looks good. I'm going to amazon to check it out more closely.

Diane said...

Vampires, ghouls, etc, no. Ghosts? Yes, I do believe in them. Or rather - as I've never seen/experienced one - I believe in the possibility of ghosts. After all, if religion is right, there is 'life after death'. So how can one say that there is life after death, yet also say there are no such things as ghosts?

The Cat Bastet said...

Vampires: no (but I sure love Charlaine Harris's books!).

Ghosts: maybe. I want, too, want to spend the night in a haunted castle or house.

Krista, I **loved** The Dive Haunts the House. I bought because I love Halloween so much. I enjoyed the plot and character so much that I want to buy the rest of the books soon. :)

Cathy Akers-Jordan
Davison, MI