As a writer sometimes you need to get away and re-charge your brain. The best way we found to light a fire under our dormant muse is to hang out with like-minded friends, brainstorming, eating chocolate, and drinking wine. We do this several times a year by going on a weekend retreat at a fun place in our state. And nothing is more fun for us than staying in a hotel that is supposedly haunted. For us half the fun is delving into ghost lore and learning the story behind the haunting then exaggerate it to another level.
A couple of years ago a group of our writer friends reserved the entire third floor of the Jerome Grand Hotel. Jerome AZ is an old mining town set on the side of a mile-high mountain now mostly home to artists who sell their work in the local shops. Originally the Grand Hotel was the United Verde Hospital, but as mine operations phased out the hospital closed and remained vacant until the building was turned into the Jerome Grand Hotel. Local legend tells the story of a lady who roams the building looking for her daughter who died at birth.
"What makes the Jerome Grand Hotel a worthwhile place to stay, is the fact that this is probably one of the most active haunted locations in the world," according to www.ghostlyfavorites.com
As we checked into the hotel we were told stories of strange noises coming from empty rooms such as coughing, labored breathing, and even voices. We were told not to be surprised if the lights or TV's turned on and off by themselves. Spines tingled in anticipation of a ghostly encounter as we made our way toward our rooms. The first night, several of the girls reported strange sensations and several said they felt cold spots in the hallway but nothing unusual happened to us…yet.
On Saturday night, the Jerome Grand took our group on a fun ghost hunt where we got some great orb pictures. We didn't see any ghosts while on the tour, but some creepy events happened to us after we went to bed. Our room phone rang at midnight waking us up, but when answered, no one was there. The ringing phone was a bit spooky, but the scariest of all was the feeling of panic Bev aka/Dani had as unseen hands tugged on her body as if trying to scoot her off the mattress. Since the hotel was once a hospital could it have been a nurse trying to move a patient? Convincing ourselves it was only a dream, we tried to go back to sleep, until Chris aka/Tia screamed that someone had yanked her hair. After that happened neither of us slept until the sun came up.
When we all met up for breakfast Kathy Twohawks complained that someone or something had pinched her hard during the night. She rolled up her sleeve and showed us the beginning of a large bruise on her arm.
Were all these incidents real or just active imaginations of creative romance writers? A personal experience can either change your mind or reinforce your belief in paranormal activity. We believe there are things that can't be explained. And, besides, who doesn't love a good ghost story?
Our next book has a couple who are trapped in time by an evil shape-shifter. We're finishing up the last chapter as we write this blog. Meanwhile check out our latest release, Time's Enduring Love. It's a time travel set in Kansas during 1866. We think you will enjoy reading it and we promise that you won't be scared.