Miranda, The Ghost Next Door

miranda1I read a book about a ghost named Miranda, when I was about 12, and I’ve been haunted by it ever since. I could not remember the title, the author or anything else very helpful. But, it seems I had a lot more in my mental storage than I thought.

On impulse I searched for “Miranda ghost book” today and I found it! I was sure it was the same book as soon as I saw the book cover! I felt that connection to myself from so long ago. I remember how I felt then. A feeling of loss, sadness and the drive to never forget Miranda. I even decided I would name my first daughter, Miranda. (I never had a daughter but today I’ve read at least two other women named their daughter Miranda based on this book).

The book was written by Wylly Folk St. John and is titled The Ghost Next Door.

The best place to read more about Wylly Folk St. John was all the blog posts and photos from  Elizabeth Harper, her great-niece.

I don’t have a clear memory of the facts from the story but all the feelings are still there. Looking into the book again today the feelings are coming back, almost as fresh as the day I turned the last page when I was reading the book.

The book seems to be out of print now. Maybe the publishers thought the story had become too dated to sell. There is another edition but it lacks the illustration from Trina Schart Hyman.


GoodReads: Wylly Folk St. John

GoodReads: The Ghost Next Door

Sherry Alston had never been told about her dead half-sister Miranda. So when Sherry came to visit her Aunt Judith, no one could explain the odd things that started to happen. Who was the elusive friend Sherry said she saw in the garden? Was she an imaginary playmate – or could she be the ghost of Miranda who had drowned in the pond years ago? Uncanny reminders of Miranda began to turn up – a blue rose, a lost riding whip…

Wylly Folk St. John’s house has been preserved as part of the historic preservation society.

Amazon: Wylly Folk St. John

Disney made her Secrets of the Pirates’ Inn into a TV movie. I found the full movie (1969) on YouTube.

Ghost Writer Fades to Black

You just can’t ghost write your way into being a thought leader.

via Content Used to Be King. Now It’s the Joker.  | Scoop.it Blog.

This is an excellent quote and describes how I have been feeling about the blogging/ web writing and publishing I have been doing for the past year. I’ve listened to what people tell you Google wants. Well, Google is not king and Google does not read this or any other blog.

For now this site is on hiatus until I am ready to create my own content again. 

No more ghost writing.

Seeking Ghost Hunter

Here’s another ad for a ghost hunter in Ontario.

Haunt ad

What Halton Paranormal Group is looking for in a ghost hunter:

• Technically inclined: The team works with lots of equipment including video cameras, still cameras, voice recorders and K2 meters. The ideal candidate would need to be comfortable working with this equipment and the footage they collect.

• Fearless: Halton Paranormal’s investigations are conducted at night, often in abandoned buildings with no electricity or light sources. If you’re afraid of the dark, creepy buildings or unexplained noises, you need not apply.

• Quiet: A lot of the investigation requires sitting for long periods listening and observing. A quiet, still individual would be well suited for ghost hunting.

• Trustworthy: Ghost hunting requires trust between all the team members so they can accurately gauge their observations and experiences while investigating a potentially haunted area.

• Belief in ghosts: Not necessary. The group always tries to debunk its findings.

via Toronto-area paranormal investigators seek ghost hunter – thestar.com.

Ask a Question a Day

Pick a time frame, a month, a week, 2 weeks… and ask yourself a question each day. Post it to your blog and see what your readers will answer as well.

I’m going to write a self questionnaire and leave it here for anyone to add their own answers.

  1. What would you choose for your first name if you could choose anything to replace the name you were given?
  2. Do you believe there really is a Lost City of Atlantis, a Loch Ness Monster or life on other planets?
  3. If you were a shapeshifter, what type of animal would you choose to become and what would you do while you were that animal?
  4. What do you really want for Christmas this year? Don’t give the world peace type of answer, be selfish.
  5. What book (of all those you can remember reading) have you never forgotten?
  6. What legendary character (pirate, ghost, vampire, old world explorer, mad scientist…?) would you be if you could be in the pages of a good book?
  7. Which is your favourite season and why?

Here are my own answers:

  1. As a kid I thought I would like a different name but I really do like my name now and wouldn’t change it to anything else.
  2. I do believe in Atlantis, Nessie, Bigfoot, aliens and almost all the rest. Is it ironic that I don’t believe in the more accepted things like heaven and hell?
  3. I’d like to be a crow or some type of raptor bird that can fly very high and see the world from above. I’d like to explore places no human usually sees, the high floors of old buildings, tops of bridges and so on. I’d also like to be a shark and explore old shipwrecks too.
  4. Usually there isn’t anything I really want other than to be slimmer or something like that. This year my brother may be getting me an ebook reader/ Kindle and I’ve started getting interested in that. I’m thinking I will also look at a handheld scanner after Christmas when the Boxing Day sales start.
  5. “We Have Always Lived in the Castle” by Shirley Jackson.
  6. It’s hard to pick one but I think a witch combines most of the things that interest me.
  7. Winter because Summer is too hot and I like walking through the snow on a day when it all sparkles in the sunlight.

A Ghost Book

This was painted by Mark Ryden. It reminds me of Miranda, the ghost girl in a book I read about 30 years ago. I wish I could remember the book, who wrote it. When I read it I knew it was a book I would want to read again when I was older and would understand more of it. But, it’s long forgotten, like a ghost itself.

Write about a ghost book. Decide what a ghost book would be to you, it might be something with a different story from mine. What is the story of the ghost book as you think of it?

Is There a Happy Medium?

I think the main problem with ghost hunting and people trying to prove there are ghosts is the fact that we just don’t have the knowledge of how to see them in a way that works for the living mind. Maybe it will be some certain technology that will come along. Or maybe our minds have to evolve in some different way. More likely, I think we just are not meant to see what is left of life once it passes on into death. We are the living and that is where we are meant to be right now.

What do you believe about ghosts? Whether you have seen a ghost, felt a presence or had any kind of experience, or not, would you want to be a psychic and not have control over having paranormal experiences? Write mini story about a character who is terrified by the ghosts she sees.  Is there a happy ending or is it a tragedy?

Time Needs Batteries

There is something kind of strange, sort of supernatural, about having your clock die in the early hours of the day the time changes back an hour. My little Indiglo bedside clock died. If I had only it to rely on I would have woken up thinking it was just after 5:AM. It’s a reliable clock. No sign it needed a new battery until the very end when it just gave up the ghost. The Indiglo still works. It will let me check the time in the dark. Of course, it will be the wrong time. Isn’t that a trick or treat?

Think of something small, with a supernatural feeling, that could foreshadow some kind of change or danger in a story you are writing (or could write, or just write a scene for fun).

Different When You’re Not There

As seen on ZenCopy: 6 Questions to Transform Your Writing

How would the room you are in be different, if you were not there?

This is like the thing about the light in the fridge going off when you close the door. Or, if no one is there to hear it, does a tree still make a noise when it falls in the forest. The whole thing about not being there bugs me. If I am not there, how are things different? If I miss my bus one morning, is the bus ride as uneventful as usual, or do I miss something? What happens if you happen to turn left instead of right? The road not taken.

Would the room be different if I was not here? Yes. For one thing I’d turn off the computer, the TV and the lights before I left if I was planning on being out of the room awhile. Dust would be able to settle where I am currently seated in the chair. What about other things, little things and minor details? If I step out of the room is that lucky for me? Is that the very moment the old tree finally gives up the ghost and falls on this half of the house? Or is it unlucky? If I’m out of the room is that when the dust bunnies really start to mess things up?

Talking to the Peanut Butter Loving Ghost

There’s an odd smell in your house. Like a really strong perfume that almost chokes you with scent. It’s that damned ghost again. She’s likely in the kitchen trying to open the fridge. Silly thing still doesn’t know she’s deceased and can’t eat peanut butter and jam sandwiches any more. She can’t even open the fridge.

You go ahead and make the sandwich, sit at the table while she tries to eat it and then just pretends she is, to humour you. What do you talk about with her?