Thursday, August 26, 2021

Ghost Hunting Tips from Loren Rhoads #GhostHunting

Some of my ghost adventures appear in This Morbid Life, but here are the things I've learned from interacting with ghosts.

1) When you live in a haunted house, remember that the ghosts were there before you moved in. They have as much right to be there as you do. If the ghost(s) are malevolent or dangerous, then yes, by all means, chase them out. But if the most they do is startle you or harmlessly move things around, consider letting them stay.

2) In my experience, most ghosts just want to be acknowledged and can be bargained with. When I told the ghost who touched me at the Haunted Mansion Writers Retreat that I was glad to know she was there but I needed to get some sleep, she left me alone. One of the other writers wasn't so lucky—but then, he was a former skeptic that cursed her after she shook him awake. There's a lot to be said for not being hostile to invisible entities.

3) Is there a message they are trying to communicate to you? Before his death, my friend Blair promised to come back if he could. When I saw his ghost the last time, he was full color, wearing black jeans and a red plaid shirt, as he had in life. He made me jump, grinned at me, then vanished. He looked healthier than he had in the whole year before his death. I got the feeling he just wanted me to know that he wasn't suffering anymore.

4) If you go looking for ghosts, have a ritual to make it clear that they can't follow you home. After ghost hunting at Oakland, California's Mountain View Cemetery, I felt the atmosphere change when I left the cemetery through its pedestrian gate. Still, I poured a little water out of my bottle for anyone who was thirsty.I told them that they had to stay behind. No one was welcome in my car. It helped that I had to drive across the Bay Bridge to get home. I was certain nothing would cross all that running water.

5) Some ghosts won't come, no matter how much you would like them to. I've never seen my brother's ghost. Because he died suddenly, we never got to say goodbye. I would've really liked the chance to talk to him one last time, but I didn't want to interrupt his peace to comfort myself. It didn't seem fair to him.

This Morbid Life
No Rest for the Morbid 
Book One
Loren Rhoads

Genre: Non-Fiction/Memoir/Horror
Publisher: Automatism Press
Date of Publication: August 22, 2021
ISBN:  978-1-7351876-2-4 (paperback)
ISBN: 978-1-7351876-3-1 (ebook) 
ASIN: B09C11J43W
Number of pages: 200
Word Count: 58 K
Cover Artist: Lynne Hansen

Tagline: What others have called an obsession with death is really a desperate romance with life.

Book Description:

What others have called an obsession with death is really a desperate romance with life. Guided by curiosity, compassion, and a truly strange sense of humor, this particular morbid life is detailed through a death-positive collection of 45 confessional essays. Along the way, author Loren Rhoads takes prom pictures in a cemetery, spends a couple of days in a cadaver lab, eats bugs, survives the AIDS epidemic, chases ghosts, and publishes a little magazine called Morbid Curiosity.

Originally written for zines from Cyber-Psychos AOD to Zine World and online magazines from Gothic.Net to Scoutie Girl, these emotionally charged essays showcase the morbid curiosity and dark humor that transformed Rhoads into a leading voice of the curious and creepy.

Excerpt from "The Ghost of Friends":

On Thanksgiving morning, I was making coffee when Jeff strolled out of his room. I debated what I should say. When my hands were busy filling the pot in the sink, I said, “I saw Blair’s ghost last night.”

“I haven’t seen him,” Jeff said, “but I’ve been pretty sure he was here.” I don’t know what I expected to hear, but that wasn’t it. Jeff is very down-to-earth, feet on the ground. If he could sense the ghost, then something must surely be there.

He told me, “One morning I was lying in bed in that half-awake state, thinking about the ghost. I felt a blast of wind blow straight up the length of my body into my face. When I opened my eyes, there was nothing to be seen—and nowhere for the wind to have come from.”

I shivered. Jeff slept in the bed where Blair suffered and died. It was all I could do to make myself sit on the bed when we watched a movie.

“Did he speak to you?” Jeff asked.


“I wonder what he wants.”

Of course, it could all be shrugged off as the power of suggestion on susceptible minds. I was very high, then sleepy; Jeff was half-awake. But it makes sense to me that if you don’t have a corporeal body to affect real space, you have to work in those times and spaces when people will be most likely to sense you. Or maybe he’s there all the time and we’re only able to perceive him when we’ve lowered our resistance.


The last time I saw Blair’s ghost, he was full color. He wore a red flannel shirt over black jeans, just as in life. His hands were linked behind his head as he lounged on the bed, ankles crossed. His black hair had grown out to the velvet stage. He looked healthier than he had in the entire last year of his life. His dark eyes sparkled as he grinned at me: Gotcha.

Immediately, I turned back to the stereo. It was Monday. Blair had died on a Monday. He’d died in the afternoon, in this room, on that same side of the bed.

All that flashed through my mind, followed by a rush of fear. I did not want to have my back turned to Blair’s ghost.

I whirled around so fast that I stumbled against the bookshelf and had to reach out to steady myself. The bed was empty again. Blair was gone.

I reached the incense down from the bookshelf and lit a stick of Blair’s favorite sandalwood. I waved the smoke over the bed and myself before leaving it to burn on the bedside table.

“Be at peace,” I wished him, but I had the sense that he was.

About the Author:

Loren Rhoads is the author of 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die, Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel, a space opera trilogy, and a duet about a succubus and her angel. She is also the editor of Morbid Curiosity Cures the Blues: Tales of the Unsavory, Unwise, Unorthodox, and Unusual and Tales for the Camp Fire: An Anthology Benefiting Wildfire Relief. This Morbid Life, her 15th book, is the first in the No Rest for the Morbid Series. Book 2, Jet Lag and Other Blessings, will be out in 2022.

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1 comment:

Loren Rhoads said...

Thanks so much for publishing this!