Be afraid! Be VERY afraid!by Patricia Grady Cox
When I volunteered to blog on the 31st of every month, here’s what I didn’t
realize: (1) I would have to do it this month, and (2) that meant I would be posting on Halloween, which made me feel somewhat obligated to carry on the theme of the day.
So … more than 2,000 years ago, the Celts began their new year on November 1st. They believed that on their New Year’s Eve (which eventually became our Halloween), the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead was thin. Visiting back and forth between the two worlds was known to occur.
This idea that fuels All Hallows Eve, All Saints Day, Halloween, and the Day of the Dead, this idea of visiting with the departed, of spirits and ghosts walking among us, fits in very well with announcing the imminent availability of my novel, Chasm Creek. Set in the 1880 Arizona Territory, the story is rife with spirits, ghosts, possessed coyotes, spirit-world wanderings, and so on. Well, maybe not exactly rife, but certainly sprinkled throughout. Sprinkled upon my three main characters. Sprinkles include:
Rubén Santiago meets his long-dead grandmother. He travels with her to events that happened on the Navajo reservation 25 years prior. Later, he encounters possessed coyotes and a ghostly Hataalii (Navajo medicine man).
Morgan Braddock is from a ghost town. He takes a long walk in the spirit world and sees dead people.
Esther Corbin doesn’t meet any ghosts but, boy, is there a skeleton in her closet!
I find, though, that I usually give the reader a choice regarding acceptance of all this metaphysical activity. Often the circumstances coincide with an accidental injury, a raging fever, or some kind of mental duress. Did the ghostly encounter actually happen? Or was it a result of pain, fatigue, wishful thinking? So it’s up to the reader: Was there really a supernatural event? Or was it just the manifestation of some physiological or psychological distress?
It can go either way. The reader gets to judge. As for myself, I lean toward the supernatural every time. Especially on Halloween.
Patricia Grady Cox is a member of Western Writers of America and Women Writing the West. Her nonfiction work has appeared in magazines, newspapers, and ghost-written memoirs. Patricia has volunteered at the Pioneer Arizona Living History Museum where she experienced, first-hand, the realities of life in the 1800s. Her love of the southwest – the landscape, the history, the culture – infuses her work with authenticity. Originally from Rhode Island, she moved to Arizona 24 years ago and currently lives in Phoenix. Her debut novel, Chasm Creek, will be available in November 2014. Patricia blogs monthly at Patricia Grady Cox, Writer. For more information, pleases visit her website.