Paranormal Perceptions ~ Ghostly Teen Experiences
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 a great friend and author of A Human Element, author Donna Galanti. (@DonnaGalanti)
I’ve had several paranormal encounters as a young adult. Thankfully none as an adult. This is probably a good thing as I now live in a 250-year-old house that’s fortified with three hand-forged locks on every door. To keep the Red Coats out? Hmmm…not sure, but I can imagine the bloody battles, deaths, and mayhem that may have gone on around this old house in Pennsylvania. I’m glad to not live with the ghost of a bludgeoned robber or poor murdered farmer defending his land (that I’m aware of!).
This was not the case with the old house I grew up in. It didn’t harbor a malevolent spirit though, but a sad one. She was a young woman who wore a high-neck lace dress with a cameo at her throat. She would float in my room, stand at the end of my bed, and look sadly at the wall over my head. Who was she? Someone who died there or lost a loved one? I’ll never know. (See photo of the haunted Upstate NY home I grew up in)
I would also hear hammering coming from our falling down “buggy” barn when no one was in it. Was it the ghost of the worker who long ago had been hammering on the three-story ceiling? He had fallen to his death below on the spikes that the horses were tied to.
Then there were the ghost horses in the barn that screamed wild with pain. Their screams floated on the winds to my room. Were they the horses that once fell through the rotted barn floor and had to be shot and cut up to be hauled out? It still gives me shivers.
One time a friend and I channeled an “evil spirit” through a ouija board who levitated the movable indicator. The spirit told us to find a boulder in the woods with an “X” on it as that would be where we would find hidden green treasure. We found the boulder but the only green treasure we found was the angry, verdant icy flow of the raging creek that nearly swept us away that February day. That was my last attempt to play with a ouija board.
The scariest spirit I encountered was at my friend’s house. She claimed a robber lived in her closet. He had been killed in her house during a bungled robbery. Her family and friends joked about it, but she was serious. She would leave the closet open for him a crack each night or he would get angry. He was dressed in black with a mask and carried a knife. I didn’t sleep over there too often and pulled the covers over my head when I did.
My friend wasn’t afraid of him, she said he just watched her–but I was. I only saw him once. I was in the bathroom and he passed by me in the mirror, knife poised to stab. I ran downstairs terrified of the mysterious man in black. And he became the basis behind my own watcher “Man in Black” in my novel, A Human Element. Only I molded my creation out of bad and good.
Whether I’ve outgrown my paranormal perceptions or not, they stay with me and have colored my characters in A Human Element–from Laura Armstrong, the young girl who can read minds and make objects move, to the Man in Black who can seek people out and see into the future, to X-10 who murders with his mind.
I’m waiting to see if my son, nearly ten, meets up with any spirits in this old house. If he does I won’t joke about it, that’s for sure. And if he does, I hope they’re fun, good-hearted, and mischievous–just like him.
Donna Galanti Bio:
Donna Galanti is an ITW Debut Author of the paranormal suspense novel A Human Element (Echelon Press). She’s lived from England as a child to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. If she couldn’t write she would bike, hike, and kayak every day. Donna lives with her family in an old farmhouse in PA with lots of nooks, fireplaces, and stinkbugs but sadly no ghosts.
About A Human Element: One by one, Laura Armstrong’s friends and adoptive family members are being murdered, and despite her unique healing powers, she can do nothing to stop it. The savage killer haunts her dreams, tormenting her with the promise that she is next. Determined to find the killer, she follows her visions to the site of a crashed meteorite–her hometown. There, she meets Ben Fieldstone, who seeks answers about his parents’ death the night the meteorite struck. In a race to stop a mad man, they unravel a frightening secret that binds them together. But the killer’s desire to destroy Laura face-to-face leads to a showdown that puts Laura and Ben’s emotional relationship and Laura’s pure spirit to the test. With the killer closing in, Laura discovers her destiny is linked to his and she has two choices–redeem him or kill him.
Praise for A Human Element:
“Be afraid. Be very afraid. And be utterly absorbed by this riveting debut that had me reading till the wee hours of the night. A thriller star is born. Don’t miss A Human Element.” – M.J. Rose, International Bestselling Author
“A Human Element is an elegant and haunting first novel. Unrelenting, devious but full of heart. Highly recommended.” – Jonathan Maberry, New York Times best-selling author
Purchase A Human Element here: