Paranormal Perceptions ~ Residual Hauntings
The Paranormal Perceptions series was created to gather some of the most interesting authors that are using paranormal elements in their stories. Every author has their own perceptions and provides their own insight on all things paranormal, ranging from urban legends and paranormal research, to myths and inspirations. This week on the guest series is author of Hidden Salem, author Kiki Howell. (@KikiHowell)
Residual haunting or place memories are something my main character, Makayla, deals with a lot in my paranormal suspense novel, Hidden Salem. For those not familiar, here are some explanations given by researchersinto this sort of event.
“Place Memories: A location that captures the energy of an event (usually an emotional one such as an important birthday, a death, etc.) and later replays that event topercipients. Donald Michael Kraig” - http://www.llewellyn.com/encyclopedia/term/Place+Memories
“Living people release energy, especially when experiencing a traumatic or emotional event. This energy can be recorded by the environment. Some people, who are sensitive to this information, can then pick up on, read these impressions of past events and feelings which have been stored in objects, buildings, and the environment.
Place memory is an old recording. It can't react, or interact with you, the way a ghost can. There is no consciousness involved. However, it's critical to understand that that place memory is made by the living. And that means that you person who created it could still be alive and well, living in Cinncinatti. It cannot be created by the dead (although I did find one case where they used that place memory as a kind of energy store they could draw on).
Perhaps the easiest way to think of it is as a case where the environment acts like a camcorder. If the conditions are right (involving sufficient repetition, environmental factors, and/or really strong emotions), then events can get recorded. People sensitive to this information (like psychics) can later play back what was recorded, like with psychometry. In these cases, there is no ghost, simply an old rerun of the past. It won't interact with you and the story always remains the same one. Not a lot is known about the actual way place memory is stored, but the recordings themselves seem to have an electromagnetic component.” - http://m.pamelaheath.com/faq-33.php
I like the explanation of a camcorder. This is exactly how my own personal experiences with place memories or residual haunting have worked. I step on a piece of ground, and it is like pressing play on an event that happened there in the past. Yes, a lot of the research for my Salem novel comes from personal experiences with the paranormal, fictionalized truth if you will.
In fact, my first place memory in Salem became the backbone of the first chapter in my novel. The descriptions of the place memory experienced by my main character, Makayla, are exactly as I experienced Mary on Pickering Wharf when I visited Salem in 2010. In fact, I called the person my main character saw Mary as well. Now, you might think this all a bit much, and believe me, so did my aunt and my mother who were with me at the time. LOL And, even I was overwhelmed by the clarity of this place memory in Salem, never had one played out so strong for me as in this magical place. If I wanted to try to disbelieve what happened to me, as my character often does in the book too, I couldn’t, because I got confirmation when I walked into a shop in Salem and the witch/psychic who owned the store walked up to me and simply said, “You met Mary.” Yes, I used that little bit later in the story as well.
There are other paranormal experiences as well that Makayla deals with in the novel such as scrying demons, shadow people, actual ghosts, etc. These I assure you all came strictly out of my imagination, well for the most part *winks* I don’t want to give away all of what is fiction based on life or just pure fiction. LOL
Ever since she was young, Kiki Howell has loved to listen to a well-woven tale with real characters, inspired plots, and delightful resolutions. Kiki could spend hours lost in a book, and soon she knew that creating lives, loves, and losses with just words had to be the greatest thing that she could do. To that end, she pursued her study of literature and writing, earning a bachelor’s degree in English. She then followed in a Master’s program in Creative Writing.
She has now had over thirty stories published between eleven different publishers. She could not be more thrilled or grateful to see her creations polished and out in the real world. In May, 2011, Kiki was chosen as an Ohioana Book Festival author for her novel, Torn Asunder.