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Ouija 3I recently uploaded a vlog post on my YouTube channel, which is named after yours truly … Deborah J Hughes, about using the Ouija board. Link HERE. And I wanted to do a quick blog post here on WordPress as well!

There are three questions that I specifically want to cover:

  1. Is the Ouija board an instrument of evil?
  2. Does it really work? In other words…can you really talk to dead people?
  3. How do you use it?

Though I posted a link to the YouTube post in the first paragraph, I figured it would be okay to add a written blog as well. Don’t worry, I’ll keep this short and sweet!

So let’s discuss the first two question. Is the Ouija an instrument of evil?

Yes! BUT it is also NOT an instrument of evil. As with everything, your intended use determines whether it will be for evil or good purposes. If you are using it for evil purposes, then it will bring negative energy through. If you are using it for good, loving purposes, then it will bring positive energy through. But I do want to stress, because of it being such a powerful doorway to spirit, if the board is not CONTROLLED properly, you can inadvertently invite negative energy in! So careful handling is a MUST.

Now let’s discuss the second question. Does it really work?

YES! It really works, whether you believe it or not. It was created with the intention of communicating with “dead people” or, as I prefer to call them, spirit energies. I use “spirit energies” in a broad sense because it encompasses angels, spirit guides, demons (which is why usage MUST be done properly!) as well as people who have passed into spirit. Since that was the purpose of the boards creation, that’s the energy that was infused into the Ouija and people accepted it as such (usage of it spread quickly when it hit the market). Everyone who has heard of the Ouija knows what it is made for and so it strengthens the energy of the board’s purpose. It works. Like a charm, it works.

Okay, so we got the first two questions covered. Let’s discuss the important one … the third question. How do I use it?

  1. Do NOT do it alone! If you are alone and accidentally bring a strong spirit energy through, one you can’t handle or control, then trouble will ensue. BUT, two or more people helps balance the energy, thus putting more power in YOUR hands. This enables you to better control a strong entity, especially if you follow the next few steps!
  2. Remember to always put it away when you are done! Don’t leave it out and if you are not using it, turn the board face down. The Ouija is truly a beacon to spirit, so if you leave it out and facing up, it’s drawing all sorts of spirit energies to it … good and bad.
  3. Before you begin to use the board, determine your purpose, your INTENT … WHY are you using it? Do you want to speak to loved ones who have crossed over? Do you want to speak to a spirit that is haunting your house? Do you want to speak to your spirit guides? Make sure everyone involved knows what you are intending to do. This also sends a message to spirit, telling them your intentions. EVERYONE involved in using the Ouija must be in agreement as to what you are hoping to accomplish. If one of you is hoping to contact a demon (WHY would anyone want to do that!!?) and another wants to talk to a loved one, then BOTH might happen … or TRY to happen (your control of the board comes in to play here).
  4. Clear the board of stored energy. While focusing on your intention for using it, rub your hands all over the board and infuse it with your energy. You do this by imagining light emanating from your hands and soaking into the board. Say a prayer if you are someone who likes to engage in prayer! Ask for protection against negative entities. State your intention, why you are going to use the board and make it clear ONLY POSITIVE entities are welcome. Do the same with the planchette. Hold it in your hands and rub your energy into it.
  5. Open the session by asking for spirit to come through. If you are looking to talk to someone specific, call them to you. Yes, it matters not “where” they are, they will get your message! If you are seeking to speak to a ghost that you fear is haunting your house, ask for the spirit to come through but ONLY if they intend no harm and have no negative intentions.
  6. If the messages coming through start to sound negative and threatening … END THE SESSION. State out loud that you are done and are ending the communication. If you feel a negative entity has been attracted to your activities, order it to go away and then pray for protection (I address my guardian angels and, of course, God) and also ask that your home be cleared of negative entities. Thank those you were happy to speak with and say goodbye to them!
  7. If you aren’t going to put the board away immediately, turn it face down but be sure to store it away before moving on to other activities.

A couple of notes: Add common words to the board. Just place them randomly around the board, and write them far enough away from other words and letters that you won’t get confused by what the planchette is pointing to. This will speed communication along.

Ouija 4

If you feel cold air around your hands, that’s normal! It doesn’t mean that you have a negative entity. It’s a common phenomena. You also may feel cool drafts around you. Again, that’s normal. You might encounter scents … perfume, flowers, smoke … they will be associated with the spirit you are talking to. You might even hear knocking noises. That is another form of communication from the spirits. Don’t let it scare you unless it becomes more aggressive. In a case like that, ask the spirit to stop and tell it that you will not communicate with it if they are not going to play nice!

You truly are in charge so BE in charge! The physical world belongs to US not them! So, whether they like it or not, they have to obey our commands … at least in regards to the space around us.

So that’s it! Hope it helps! If you’ve had any experiences, please share.

Blessings and peace to all of you. Onward, upward and ever forward!!

halloween pic 1As a paranormal enthusiast, I LOVE the month of October. A month in which many believe the veil between our world and the hereafter is at its thinnest, especially during Halloween (October 31st). When this month finally arrives, the world moves into the rapid change from summer to fall and all things spooky is the theme of the day!

Everywhere you look are signs of the macabre … objects of ghosts, ghouls and goblins are decorating yards, to include pumpkins and other fall harvest paraphernalia.

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I love all of it, and oh what fun it is to ride around and see how people are expressing their joy in this interesting month.

But guess what … spirits are everywhere ALL THE TIME, not just during October and not just in haunted houses! Every second of every day, everywhere, our space is occupied by the those in the “otherworld”. We might FEEL them and even GLIMPSE them, but for the most part, we go about our business unaware. How is that possible, you might wonder, if we are sharing the same space. Well it’s because the otherworld (the hereafter, the other side, the spirit world … whatever you call it) exists on a different plane of existence or, as I prefer to think of it, on a different level of consciousness (accessed via meditation, altered states of awareness, or through the imagination).

So anyway, I just wanted to write a quick reminder that we are SPIRITUAL beings in a physical world and though we are very focused in our physical life (as we need to be) that doesn’t mean we aren’t connected to the spiritual world. Certainly some people are more aware of that connection than others … thus mediums, sensitives, psychics and the like … but every one of us has the ability to become AWARE (which in truth many of you are far more aware than you realize … ever get a hunch, a feeling, a sudden idea or thought? Has your heart started pounding for no apparent reason, or has your back crawled with unease, has the hairs stood up on your arms, have you broke out in goose bumps or in a cold sweat? All these are just some of the signs you get when spirit interaction is going on!).

More and more I find myself turning to my spirituality. It is my belief that our IMAGINATION is the way IN to spirit and boy do I have an imagination! Where I used to view it as fantasy and dreams (which it can be as well), I understand now that I’ve been channeling spirit for a long, long time. Impressions and feelings and sudden thoughts (all of which I believe comes from spirit) have been part of my life since as far back as I remember. My focus now is in learning how to properly tune into it for a better understanding, and clearer view, of what’s coming through.

Understand, though, that I am not special and don’t have any advantage over anyone else … we ALL can do this, connect with spirit, if that is truly what you want to do. For me, I do it to “see” my loved ones (including pets!) in spirit and to reassure myself that all is well with those I love and care about.

So anyway, enjoy this wonderful month, send mental “hellos” to those you love in spirit and know they truly are with you, now and always!

Blessings to all of you!!

P.S: For those who enjoy my books, I have a quick update for you! Book 9 of the Tess Schafer-Medium series, Spirit Matters, is nearing publication! Be sure you are following my blog for future notifications! All of my ebooks (link here if interested) will be on SALE through the last week of October, with the first in the series, Be Still, My Love, being FREE!

Peace out!




Ghostly image

Over the last several years, since creating this blog, thousands of people have written in asking for help or seeking guidance on ghost and/or spirit related issues. I’ve written several posts addressing a good majority of those questions, but my purpose for writing this one is to address the ones I get asked on a regular basis.

First, I’d like to clear up the difference between a “Ghost” and a “Spirit”. A ghost is residual energy generated from repetitive behavior or from an emotionally charged moment. The “ghost” replays the behavior or moment over and over again (think of a scene in a movie on continuous replay). Ghosts do not have a consciousness so you cannot interact with them. If there is one thing you do NOT have to be afraid of, it’s a ghost! A spirit, however, has a consciousness, making it possible to interact with them. Spirits can be good or bad (ghosts are neither) and since they have a consciousness (and thus a personality) they can manifest for good reasons or not so good. Most spirits, however, are not out to cause trouble. At least, in my experience that is the case.

So with that understood. Let’s proceed!

1. You get a FEELING that someone is watching you. Although you can’t see anyone, you KNOW you aren’t alone. If there are others nearby, you also know it isn’t them you are sensing. Sometimes you may even hear noises like footsteps or the rusle of clothes. You might even hear breathing!

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Photo by omar alnahi on

This is very common and I would even venture to say that MOST people have experienced it. Sensing the presence of others, be it a person, spirit or ghost, is your extra-sensory perception at work. We can sense them because we are beings of energy and as such can naturally sense other energy bodies (be they physical or spiritual). This is especially important because its a defense mechanism as well, a sort of safety-design feature in our DNA makeup.

If it’s a ghost you are sensing then you might also hear a repetitive sound, like walking, sobbing or laughter. Ghosts do the same thing over and over, which is why people often report similar experiences in places known to be haunted. If it’s a spirit, however, then whatever it is they are doing, it isn’t repetitive. It’s usually a one-time event that is often (but not always) accompanied by other paranormal phenomena. For example, a rocking chair might suddenly start rocking and then you might feel someone touch you or breeze past you. Both are separate, non-repetitive events. Ghosts do not make chairs rock. Well, if it was a repetitive behavior they often engaged in they might do that, but then you wouldn’t also feel them touch you or breeze past you. Besides, ghosts do not do any touching and you certainly won’t feel them breeze past you. They simply are on “automatic rewind”, doing something over and over. As I’ve explained, ghostly apparitions are caused by emotionally charged events or repetitive behavior. For instance, if a person often paced in a particular room of a house and their emotions were charged (the emotional factor is what creates the ghostly event), that repetitive, emotionally charged behavior might become part of that room, making it possible to still hear their pacing long after the person has passed into spirit! It’s a crazy, interesting and sometimes scary phenomena.

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Another explanation for those feelings of being watched (and the most likely one, especially if nothing else accompanies the feeling … i.e. no sounds) is that you are sensing your spirit guide or your guardian angel! Both are with us ALL THE TIME. We are most likely to sense them when we are at rest … such as when we are napping or retiring for the night. So, if you are just FEELING like you are being watched or sense that someone is near but you don’t hear any accompanying noises or other phenomena, then it is likely your spirit guide or guardian angel. How comforting, right?


So what can you do about it? Well the first thing you should do is protect yourself because, after all, you aren’t sure what it is you are sensing. You do this by focusing on your spiritual energy (which is very powerful) and then giving this energy an intended purpose. One way to envision your spiritual energy is to imagine a bright ball of light glowing within you, near the center of your being. To activate it for the purpose of protection, you simply see this light (in your mind’s eye) expanding throughout your entire body then glowing outward around you. While imagining this, know that your purpose for this imagery is for protection. Negative entities (of the spirit world) cannot enter your spiritual light and if you are not comfortable with loving entities being within it, then ask them to leave. Anytime you feel scared in this regard, just envision that light glowing in and around you! It’s that easy, folks. Seriously. In fact, whenever you are encountering negative energy of any kind, you can activate your spiritual light to protect you from becoming engulfed or influenced by it!

If it’s a ghost you are sensing, your spiritual light (powered up by your visualization) will dissipate its energy. Although there is no need for protection because ghosts can do no harm, it’s still comforting to know that you have a safety net cocooned around you!

If it’s a spirit you are sensing, your protective spiritual light will keep you safe, even if it’s a particularly nasty spirit. YOU are in power here in the physical world and when you consciously take charge, they are powerless against you. Since I expect you’d rather the spirit not hang around, you can order it to leave you in peace. But do this while your spiritual power is boosted by your visual stimulation. You might not be able to vanquish a spirit forever (they, too, have free will after all), but at least it will leave you in peace for that moment. Negative spirits shy away from spiritual light and loving spirits will leave because you asked!

If it’s your spirit guide or guarding angel but you aren’t SURE, ask them! Seriously. Put out the mental question … Are you my spirit guide? Are you my guardian angel? The first answer to come to you, without having any time to THINK about it, is likely their answer. Take comfort in it. Don’t ask them to prove it somehow, they don’t play those games and besides, it’s likely to only frighten you if they did! You should feel a sense of peace within you when you acknowledge their presence. They truly do promote good feelings within you. Trust me on this one!!

2. You feel a sudden chill or a sudden warmth, encounter a cold or hot spot, are suddenly overcome by a sense of dread, become nauseous or smell something that has no logical explanation for its source.

If what you are sensing is unpleasant, then it’s likely that it’s either a negative spirit or a horrendous past event took place there. If what you are sensing is from a horrendous event from the past, then you should encounter nothing more than the unpleasant sensations. No harm will come to you. People who have visited the concentration camps in Germany, for example, have often experienced some of the above mentioned phenomena. The location of where the twin towers in New York used to stand is another area that might cause these unpleasant sensations.

If you are sensing a negative entity, however, then get your protective light powered up!

In the case of it being residual energy from a past event, there isn’t much you can do other than leave. But if you are stuck there for whatever reason, you can try to dissipate the negative energy to make it more tolerable for you. You do this by envisioning the area glowing with bright, bright light. Picture the light (in your mind’s eye) coming from above (though “heaven” is not ABOVE you, per se, the imagery of light coming from above is symbolic of God, or whatever higher intelligence you believe in). This visual represents the awesome power of spirit and your use of it, which we all have the ability to do, simply by using our imagination. It also wouldn’t hurt to activate your personal protective light just to be on the safe side!

burning sage

If this is happening in a place where you will be visiting often or spending a lot of time, then try smudging. Smudging is the use of sage or sweet grass (or a combination of both) to dissipate negative energy. Other herbs or incense can do this as well, but this is my preferred method. You light a bundle of it on fire then blow it out and the resulting smoke is waved about the area. Disseminate the smoke from the smoldering bundle as much as possible. Another thing you can do is say a prayer over the area, asking for it to be infused with love and spiritual protection.

All those measures just mentioned can also be used to dissipate the energy of an unpleasant spirit. In addition, however, while envisioning the area infused with light, say a prayer of protection, requesting that negative entities not be allowed to return. Ask the angels to protect the area as well and then, for added measure, place something of meaningful spiritual value in the room. Such items can be a cross, an angel figurine, a picture of Buddha, ANYTHING that means something to you. Not only will that promote positive energy, but whenever you see it, your understanding of WHY it is there is reinforced! Another added visual is to imagine the doors and windows sealed with a force of light. Such areas are portals to the spirit world and “sealing” them in this way closes the portals. And don’t forget the fireplaces if one is present. The chimney, after all, is an opening to the outside and thus another port of entry!

grayscale photo of man holding tobacco pipe

Photo by Leah Kelley on

Now sometimes people get pleasant smells, like flowers or a perfume that reminds them of someone who has passed into spirit. You might smell tobacco smoke or the aroma of a pipe that is associated with a loved one who has passed. Unexplained smells that remind you of someone in spirit is very likely that person coming around for a visit! Embrace these special moments, open your mind to them, picture that person being with you and enjoy their company!

3. Objects fall from their location, are moved or are moving, are suddenly found though you haven’t seen them in ages, or they disappear altogether.

Why spirits take things, I cannot tell you. I know it happens often and has happened to me more times than I can count. Sometimes I find them again and sometimes I don’t. It’s very frustrating and annoying. I have had things disappear that I just set down only seconds earlier! And the question of the day is … where in the frick do they go? Someday I might actually get an answer to that one.

As for objects that have fallen … like a picture off the wall or a personal item off a shelf … these situations are attempts by spirit to get your attention. For example, if a picture falls from its location or is found out of place and it is someone who has transitioned into spirit, it’s likely that person, or someone closely connected to them. They aren’t doing it to frighten you, they are trying to let you know they are with you. If a personal object falls or is moved elsewhere, let’s say a trinket that belonged to your grandmother, then it’s likely your grandmother trying to communicate with you. It might even be your grandfather since he is closely connected to her as well. In many cases like this, they don’t have any particular message other than wanting you to know they are near and still love you and care about what is happening with you. Although many people try to dismiss such incidents as coincidental … well that in itself is proof. A coincidence is spirit in action. Many people have told me about discovering a photo of a deceased loved one and finding it in a place that it should not be. This often happens after they were thinking about the person in question. When you put your focus on a loved one, it will draw them to you. Every time. Without fail.

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4. You see shadows moving about or the dark silhouette of a person. Sometimes you  might even notice lights blinking or flashing about the room (this one I see a lot!) or you might see a hazy mist or perhaps just a distortion in the air.

Spirits have many ways of manifesting into our physical reality. Those listed above are some of the most common. Another interesting phenomena is that you are more likely to see them from the corners of your eyes. I was watching a TV show once about the human body and it said that our eyes are particularly sensitive there. It’s believed this was developed as a defense mechanism for survival. Early man, as you can imagine, had a lot of enemies to worry about. Having that extra sensory perception of things approaching from outside their normal line of sight was a life-saving feature. But it also had the added benefit of allowing us to see spirits.

Although the things mentioned above are nothing to be concerned about, if you don’t want them to stick around then ask them to leave, but activate your protective light first. If it’s a negative entity, however, they might not want to do as you ask but with your protective light powered up, it’s unlikely they will stick around. If they do, though, your protective light will keep you safe. Good spirits will comply with your wishes. And, by the way, flashes of light, or blinking (twinkling) lights are often representative of angels!


5. You hear your name called, or hear disembodied voices, often indistinguishable.

I have learned that this seems to happen most often when one is about to fall asleep. I think this is because your mind is relaxed and you are sort of “between worlds” (the physical and spiritual realities). It’s a great way for spirits to actually get through to you, enough so that you can physically hear them. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do much more than startle you, worry you and then make you wonder … who did it, why and what do they want. In all honesty, I just don’t know what they hope to accomplish. Maybe it’s just a good joke. You know, the “wait until they are about to nod off and then yell your name and scare the bejesus out of them” kind of joke. Ha, ha. Real funny. But seriously, I don’t see how a spirit thinks that is going to open the doors of communication. A medium might respond with a “Okay what do you want?” but most people are wondering if they really heard it and then are worried that they did! I do want to add that sometimes a spirit will call out your name and startle you awake. They might do this if you were suffering sleep apnea or were having a bad dream (for example) or they really want you awake for other reasons … fire perhaps, or someone needs you. They can be really helpful and I find that most comforting.

If you are interested in who called your name and are not afraid, then try to relax, calm your mind and invite the spirit to talk to you. Just be sure to activate your protective spiritual light first! Better to be safe than sorry, especially when working with spirit.

6. Your bed shakes.

This one is particularly scary and I’m not sure what circumstance prompts a spirit to do this. Because it is more of a scare tactic, I tend to think that it’s not a friendly spirit doing the deed. This has happened to me and it was such a frightening experience that I will never forget it. I mean, that memory is ingrained into my mind and when I recall it, I do so with crystal clarity. In fact, along with the bed shaking, I saw an object get batted around the floor. Having two different paranormal activities occurring at the same time is pretty unsettling. Again, the BEST defense when it comes to spirit is to activate your protective spiritual light (I can’t stress this enough!). Just imagine it as I’ve outlined previously and then, for good measure, imagine that light filling the room and soaking into the bed. Negative entities will retreat. Good ones might stick around and bask in the light but if you ask them to leave you in peace, they will. Again, though, I must stress that it is unlikely to be a good spirit if they are shaking your bed. In fact, it’s probably a pesky, troublesome poltergeist, unless, of course, it was just a quick shake to wake you up. That’s different.

7. You suddenly get a very strong memory or feeling about someone who has passed.

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Photo by Juan Pablo Arenas on

Sometimes, like “right out of the blue” you will suddenly think of someone who is now residing in spirit and the memories just fill your head. Depending on your mood, it could be a funny memory, a tender one or even something unpleasant. Usually it’s good memories and they bring with them good feelings. That is a loved one’s way of giving you a spiritual hug. They can get through to you easily enough by influencing your thoughts about them and along with those thoughts are often feelings of love. Enjoy those unexpected moments! In fact, sometimes you might even see other signs from them as well. For instance, on one of my birthdays I was driving down the road and thinking about buying myself an iced coffee at McDonald’s when suddenly I thought of my grandfather. It was a totally unrelated thought, the “right out of the blue” moment. It was a good memory and I enjoyed thinking about him. Then I said out loud, “Grampy, if you are here with me, can you give me a sign?” Seconds…like TWO seconds later, a car comes out around me and its brake lights come on as it stops briefly in front of me. Guess what was on the license plate. His NAME! I kid you not. And, by the way, it’s not a common name either. Grampy’s name was Lafayette and that was the name on the license plate. Oh yes, my dear grampy, I got your sign.

8. Your animals suddenly seem disturbed or they lock their eyes on something you can’t see. In fact, babies will often do this as well (track something with their eyes that you can’t see). They may even smile, laugh and bounce about with excitement.

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Photo by Mircea Iancu on

As for animals, dogs are especially sensitive to spirit and can often detect when a presence is around. In most cases it doesn’t frighten them though they aren’t always sure what to make of it. Let me reassure you that if it does happen to frighten them, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have a bad spirit in your midst. Some dogs are skittish and such things confuse and frighten them, just like people. However, if your dog goes into defense mode, baring teeth, hackles raised, ears low … then you likely do have a negative spirit energy around. Activate your protective light and mentally encompass your pet within its glow, then order the spirit to leave you in peace. If at all possible, it would be good to leave the area for a while and allow the entity’s lingering energy to dissipate. Later, when you get an opportunity, smudge the area or, at the very least, imagine your spiritual light filling the room and infusing it with positive energy.

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Photo by Victoria Borodinova on

As for babies seeing spirits, it is most often their guardian angels or a loving family member they are seeing. Babies, you see, still have their “spirit eyes” for they have not yet become blinded by the veil of physical reality. In fact, our “spirit eyes” (also called a 3rd eye) are often open through the toddler years, which is why children are most often caught talking to “invisible” companions.

Babies are in no danger from these wonderful visits, but if you notice them crying or appearing frightened, then you can activate their spiritual light for them (just imagine them glowing from the inside out) and say a prayer of protection over them. Further, ask their guardian angels to keep them safe. You might think this is automatically done, and for the most part it is, but sometimes we must ask for intervention. Guardian angels do watch over us but they must let life take its course, though they can intervene when ASKED, especially for protection.

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9. Light bulbs blow out or electrical equipment acts up.

Sometimes the spirit energy is so strong or chaotic (in situations involving poltergeists especially) they can cause light bulbs to blow or they can turn things on or off. Spirits can cause radios to change channels or cause static in cable reception. In the haunted house we lived in as kids, our light bulbs were forever blowing out and my parents had to keep a good supply of them on hand. In addition to blowing light bulbs, they sometimes turned lights on or off and they also liked to play with the tuner dial on my dad’s clock radio. One night the spirits turned the heaters in our tropical fish tanks all the way up and killed all of our fish! Yet another time they turned a blender on full blast in the kitchen. We’ve even seen the burners of our gas stove suddenly light or the water faucette come on full blast.

All these things are scary because they are not “normal” and since a spirit is involved, that makes it even spookier. But keep in mind that none of these things have hurt anyone (well, except our poor fish!). For the most part, with the exception of poltergeist activity, these things are done to get your attention. Spirits want you to know when they are around. They are always eager to communicate, at least to a degree. Don’t expect them to give you answers to everything you ask them and don’t ask them about the future. They are not prophets.

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Poltergeists, however, are chaotic, confused and negative energy. That problem takes a bit more professional help to resolve. You should probably enlist the aid of either a medium, a witch or a paranormal group experienced with such things. Additionally, besides poltergeists, some spirits are just plain bad. I hesitate to call them “evil” for that’s a bit strong, but they definitely have “issues” and those spirits will take extra help to restore peace … to both the spirit and you.

10. You see loved ones who have just passed into spirit and they seem as real and alive as ever! Or you have a very vivid dream about them.

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It is a common occurrence for people to be visited by loved ones who have just crossed over. They don’t usually say anything, just look at you, but it’s a confusing experience, especially when you find out later that they’ve just transitioned into spirit. Consider this a goodbye and a blessing! Sad as it is to lose those we love, they will visit you often, especially when you are thinking strongly about them. They will do whatever they can to let you know they are there … make their picture fall or move an object out of place that you might associate with them, they might induce the smell of their cologne or perfume or they might come around as a bird or butterfly! I read a story recently where a woman told her daughters she would come visit them as a Cardinal (a bird whose presence often indicates a visit from a deceased loved one) and one day a Cardinal came and landed on one of the daughter’s arms (you can find that amazing story here). It wouldn’t leave though she tried to get him to fly away. How special is that? Butterflies are often used by spirit as well. They are delicate creatures and easy for spirit to attach to, and when one flutters persistently around you, know that you are being visited by a loved one!

As for dreaming about visiting with your loved ones, well those are NOT dreams, they are very real. In our dream state we are as close to our spiritual selves as we can be (other than during meditation) and so it is easy for our loved ones to visit with us in this manner. If, however, you have nightmares or bad dreams … those are NOT visits from your loved ones. They will NOT cause you stress and anxiety and guilt. That’s not how it works. As for why you are having bad dreams about them, well my guess is your feelings (based on worry, concern or upset) is causing the bad dreams. Believe me, when our loved ones pass into spirit, they don’t care about the stuff that happened to them “back here” in the physical world. They realize in that moment, that none of this (here in the physical world) really matters. We are here in the world to experience things … good and bad. Now when I say it doesn’t “matter”, I am not saying that we aren’t accountable for our actions while in the physical world. Oh no. We still must go through a “life review” and if bad things were done, we will be horrified and will seek redemption immediately. How that is achieved, I cannot say. My personal belief is that reincarnation will help balance such karma.

To conclude, the signs above are just a few of the many different situations you might encounter with a ghost or a spirit. These ten, however, are the most common. Please believe me when I tell you that you aren’t alone in experiencing these things and you are not crazy! Also, please know that believing in this stuff doesn’t mean you are a bad Christian (I get questioned about that a lot too!). We are spiritual beings in physical bodies and when our soul is done with this world, we shed our bodies and become spiritual beings once again, free at last from the restraints of physical life. Our love and concern for those we “left behind” never stops and that is why we get visits from “over there” and that is why they are always trying to find ways to communicate.

Before I finish this post, I want to apologize for not answering some of the questions I’ve received. Although I am busy writing, I intend to take time out of every day to attend to this blog. Speaking of my writing, I am busy with book 9 of my Tess Schafer-Medium series! Writing these books is my way of sharing my understanding about the spirit world, through fictional stories, and while doing so, I continue to learn for I believe that spirit works through me to assist with the story telling. I feel very blessed in this manner.

Until the next post, may your lives be showered with blessings! Please feel free to share your experiences with us and if you have a question, I’ll do my best to answer it. Onward, upward and ever forward! Peace out.













Please feel free to share your experiences with us! Blessings and loving light to all of you!

I lost a cousin recently. He died of a drug overdose. I don’t think he meant for death to happen but it did and now his mother (my dear aunt) is grieving over the loss of yet another son. Though many people are grieving, it’s particularly sad that his only child must now go through life without the benefit of his loving dad (for my cousin did indeed love his son!).

As the family grieves, we are reminded of other losses we’ve suffered and we comfort each other with such words as “he’s with his brother now” and “his grandparents were surely there to greet him” and “what a loving guardian angel he will be”. All are true, I am sure, but it isn’t what we wanted. What we WANTED is him back in the body and walking among us. Until we learn to live with this major, devastating change, nothing will give comfort.

As for me, I’m trying to put it all into my own perspective, to remind myself that physical death, while a sad change for us, is really just a release of the soul from the body. It is NOT THE END. It’s a CHANGE. The essence of who we are in life remains with us in “death” and our return to spirit (for it is there from which we came) reunites us with loved ones already “there”.  I put parenthesis around “there” because the afterlife isn’t a “place” so much as a state of awareness.

So I attended my cousin’s “celebration of life” and I swear to you that I could clearly “see” them (my family members in spirit) and I knew they truly were rejoicing in his being among them (on the same level of awareness) once again. They were all smiling and happy and dancing to the music (it WAS a celebration of life after all) and the joy in their souls was genuine. Their regret, if they had any (for seriously, I don’t think there’s much in the way of “regret” over “there”), is our unawareness of their actual presence. Oh we were saying things like “He’s here with us, I feel him” but did we all truly understand how TRUE those sort of statements were? Though I cried and felt incredibly sad, it was for the grief going on around me and for the things I missed while he lived among us. His little brother shared stories that made us laugh and cry. He helped us become a bigger part of his big brother’s life and he gave us new memories to share in. Thanks for that, Ed, you were amazing!

I want to tell you something … our loved ones don’t “go away” and leave us with this big, gaping hole in our heart (that’s what it feels like, doesn’t it? Like a piece of our heart was ripped right out of our chest?). What they’ve done, what’s REALLY happened, is they have entered spirit, and through the bond of emotional attachment they bind themselves into that hole. So yeah, that hole you think is empty, it’s really filled with your loved one’s spiritual essence and you carry them wherever you go. True story. Our hearts, like the proverbial cups filled with love, truly does “runneth over”!

Our emotions are like beckoning beacons of light in the spirit world and when we are focused on a loved one there, they are instantly with us. Our FOCUS, you see, is energy in motion (true here in the physical world as it is in the spiritual one!) and it alerts them that we are in need of their comforting presence. Thoughts of loved ones are a direct “call” to them and they answer our summons EVERY TIME. Here’s an analogy you might like: Their presence in our heart is like a cell phone with a direct link (and the signal is always four bars!) and no matter where we are or how many others are making the same call, they answer it with their loving, spiritual presence!

Now, I get asked about that last part from time to time. How can someone in spirit be with so many people at the same time, especially when some may be spread out all over the world? That’s an easy one. A simple answer. There is no such thing as “time” and “distance” (space) in the spirit world. There is only “here” and “now” and as such, my Nana (for instance) can be here with me in Maine and my cousin in Florida at the exact same time. Our emotional connection is never severed. Ever. Love is the glue that binds. No truer statement can be said! So when I’m thinking of her, no matter how many others may be thinking of her too, my “call” to her is instant and wham, here she is! In spirit, anything is possible! Anything.

Something I wish more people understood and believed is that those in the spirit world can cause effects in the physical world that are meant to let a loved one know they are around. For instance, a song that reminds you of a loved one in spirit can suddenly come on the radio, or you might see a flower they loved, or smell an aroma of something you associate with them. It could be something as abstract as a heart in a cloud or as simple as a  butterfly fluttering about you (they are often used as a way for those in spirit to be physically close to you!).

Although my grandparents crossed into spirit over 30 years ago, I miss them to this day and when I am thinking about them, I might see their name on a sign or a license plate, or a song will come on that I associate with them (Nana loved to sing and Grampy loved to dance!) or I’ll just get a very strong feeling (emotional connection!) that they are near. When those moments happen, I feel their spiritual hug. It doesn’t make me stop missing them, but I do enjoy those little reminders that they haven’t “gone” anywhere.

But even so, despite all that and KNOWING my loved ones (in spirit) are fine, I grieve when they cross over. Life isn’t the same when we lose the physical presence of someone we love and whose company we enjoyed. It isn’t the same. It’s different in so many ways and it’s a tough thing to adjust to. It was hard losing Grampy and I grieved deeply but we still had Nana and that helped. Then she crossed over three months later. I thought I would never stop crying. I couldn’t imagine ever being happy again. I did not want to live my life without them in it. Oh I knew I’d lose them someday (and I stressed over that a LOT as a child!) but I always prayed they’d live a long, long time. When I say that, I’m telling you that I literally prayed for this almost every night during prayers and if I forgot to pray for it the night before, I corrected it immediately the next day! Their dying when I was just 21 was a major shock to me. I felt betrayed. I mean, I PRAYED…every fricken night I prayed…and they left me at the young age of 21. Nana was still in her 60s and Grampy had just turned 72. That isn’t old. Not by today’s standards. So what the heck? WHY did they die so darn young?

So you see I am still not totally over it. I can still get worked up over my “loss” and yet they visit me all the time! I mean, they are right HERE in my heart and I have that direct link to their souls. I SEE them in my dreams and I get messages and feelings from them quite often and STILL I am upset that they aren’t here physically! We never stop grieving. Never. The tears may stop but the grief lives permanently within us and somehow we just go on living with it. As we should because there are other joys to celebrate in life and their “death” doesn’t diminish those other joys. I have three children, four step-kids and sixteen grandchildren to share my life with, not to mention the spouses of my kids, an amazing husband, my brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles and cousins and friends and so on and so on!! I am VERY blessed. But I STILL miss my grandparents and I still cry over the physical loss of my nephew, my sister’s oldest son, who died from suicide. I cry for her and I cry for the things I didn’t do or say and for the emotional pain he was in before he decided he’d had enough and returned to spirit.

My cousin’s death brought my nephew’s right back into focus and then, of course, it brought my grandparents into focus as well. Our emotional connection with those we care for is NEVER severed and so we are just always and forever going to feel grief when we think of them. The longing for their physical presence will never stop. It just won’t. We live in a physical world and as such, physical presence means everything to us. Given that, I am trying to make their spiritual presence just as important and meaningful. Which is why I felt them (my other family members in spirit) and “saw” them clearly in my mind’s eye during my cousin’s celebration of life. I did feel comfort and I shared smiles and winks and special moments with them.

But I still wish they were here in the physical world. And that, folks, is how it is always going to be … until it’s our turn to cross into spirit and rejoin them “over there”.

Blessings to all of you. And spiritual hugs from all your loved ones! They will use whatever means possible to get through to you and I happily allowed them to use my fingers to write those words! (smile)

Until next time, onward to better things, upward to greatness and ever forward to a bright, loving future!






Well I’ve done it again. I promised I wouldn’t let so much time pass before I posted to my blog and what did I do? I let a lot of time pass! Life really does get in the way of … well life! (smile) I had good intentions, I really did. BUT things happened and then more things happened and then suddenly massive amounts of time … gone! Ugh!

So anyway, I’m here now and I have an exciting announcement to make! But first, let me just tell you that since my last post I’ve had a few paranormal encounters. They weren’t anything major but were enough to let me know that spirit is as active as ever and it started me thinking about plots for my next book. As many of you know, I am an author and have published ten books. All are in the “ghost” genre except for one, which is a romance I fell in love with many years ago. And in case you are wondering … yes, I fall in love with my own books!

Seven of those ten are in the Tess Schafer-Medium series and since Tess is a very gifted medium, she is always encountering paranormal phenomena. Much as I enjoy writing all those scenes, it’s becoming quite the challenge for me to introduce something new. After all, I don’t want readers to get the same-ole, same-ole. You know what I mean? Besides, as a writer I don’t want the same ole stuff either! It becomes boring and uninspiring.

ho hum

So get this, not only do I like to introduce new things but I also like to include useful information! I’m not an expert on the paranormal by any means, but I’ve dealt with enough of it to know what works for me and what doesn’t. And seriously, who can be an expert on something as unknown as the spirit realm? Well I have an answer to that question and it’s this: any one! We are ALL spiritual beings and as such we each have access to the spiritual side of our nature. Given that, I believe information about the spirit world comes from spirit.


Let’s think on that for a second … the idea that spirit gives us information. Seriously, if it doesn’t come from “there” then where? Do we pluck ideas and thoughts and dreams out of “thin air”? So, given that spirit might be responsible for giving us information, I also believe that CREATIVITY is the divine spark of spirit interaction. AND, if that’s true then it stands to reason that spirit is highly involved with the writing of a book! Oh how I love that idea!! Like, a LOT!

To my mind, there is no other answer (about where ideas come from) but that given in the paragraph above! You see, when I sit down to write, I don’t have a specific idea on what I am going to say. I might have a very broad idea … Tess is going to encounter a poltergeist (for example) … but HOW that’s going to happen is nowhere on the mental radar. I’ve no fricken clue as to how a scene is going to play out until it is actually written. Seriously, I’m as clueless as the first-time reader! In fact, there are times when I THINK I know where a scene is going and then something out of the blue occurs and I’m like … WHAT!????


Given the above situation, I truly believe that CREATIVE thought (the bringing of something that is currently non-existent into reality) comes from spirit. Challenge me on  if you like, then prove it!

he he he

So anyway, I’ve been writing the Tess Schafer-Medium series since 2011 and each book was a complete surprise to me. I didn’t know what was going to be revealed or how things were going to play out until I actually wrote the words. And after the last book in the series DISTRACTING GHOSTS, I wasn’t sure where the series was going to go from there! I mean, suddenly I have a curse to deal with and witches are in the mix and all the other amazing revelations (a couple of which I didn’t see coming, not by a long shot!), and well I just wasn’t sure what the next story was going to entail.


As far as I knew, the next Tess book was going to take place on Prince Edward Island. I WANTED to write a story involving that location because I’ve always wanted to go there (yes, because I loved the Anne of Green Gable stories!!) and yet another story began to circulate through my head, one that took place somewhere else, like on the fictional island of Crystal Cove (located off the coast of Portland, Maine). Why there? Well that is the question, isn’t it?

So I thought, “Just go with it, Deb, and let the story reveal itself.” Day after day I sat at the computer and typed with anticipation, eager for the next sentence, the next scene and then one day, waaalaaaa, the story was done! PARANORMAL ENCOUNTERS was born! Straight from spirit to my computer.


Now I mentioned earlier about Tess encountering a poltergeist. She did do that in this latest story and I’ve wondered about that particular type of spirit energy since I was a young child (when my family and I dealt with it in the haunted old farmhouse we lived in). Poltergeists are often volatile and unpleasant. WHY? Well Tess has her ideas and I’m tending to agree with them. That’s another thing that is happening … as Tess develops her powers, I am learning things right along with her! Other self-proclaimed experts may agree with us or not and I say so what? I mean really … NO ONE KNOWS FOR SURE. They are just offering their best guess, which is based on the experiences they’ve had up to that point, and I am doing the same! We just won’t know for sure … about any of that stuff … until it’s our turn to cross over.

But the thing is, with each book and as Tess learns more and more about the spirit world, it all just seems so plausible to me. Certainly for some that isn’t the case. To them my stories are just fun fiction and they are right! But FACT sometimes is stranger than FICTION so keep that in mind! (smile)

so there

On July 27th, PARANORMAL ENCOUNTERS will be released in ebook format on Amazon. In the interim, I am HOPING to write a couple more posts about the encounters Tess experienced in the story (and maybe even in previous stories). It should make for a good discussion or two! I LOVE talking about ghosts and spirit activity so posts about those subjects will be fun for me to write. And who knows what else spirit will inspire me to say?! Stay tuned!!


If you are interested in the Tess books, you can go here to order them: Tess Schafer-Medium series. All books are stand-alone stories, meaning you don’t have to read them in order, BUT it is a better experience to do so since you see her gradual development as a medium. Each story plays off the last though they are not a continuation of the previous story.

Now, though I usually ensure all issues are resolved by the end of each book, the last one DISTRACTING GHOSTS did have that curse still going on! Even so, the main issues were resolved. The curse and the story behind it had me questing spirit for answers, and thus were the driving forces behind PARANORMAL ENCOUNTERS.

So that’s it, my exciting news. A new book is out and I have a couple blog ideas percolating in my head. If all goes well, those ideas will translate to posts and be out before the book (July 27th!) Pre-orders available here!

Until we meet again, may your life go onward to good things, upward to better things and ever forward to amazing things!!

PS: The Vagaries of Us book blog did a “cover reveal” and the links to my books can be found there as well. If you like books and reading, you should check out this blog! Seriously.







Ghostport in Bucksport!

Hello everyone! I recently had the honor of participating in Bucksport’s annual fall festival GHOSTPORT! The weather couldn’t have been any better. It was PERFECT for showing off Halloween costumes…even those that are often worn only indoors in Maine (because of the cold) or outside in warmer climates (like Florida!). The festival takes place along the waterfront, a delightful walkway bordering the Penobscot River, and its the perfect place for vendors to set up and display their wares. The view from my booth couldn’t have been any better! I mean seriously, just look at that view (on the left)! That’s Fort Knox that you see over there next to the Penobscot Narrows Bridge and the fort has its own ghostly event called Fright Night at the Fort!


As for my booth, I had all of my books on display and had the honor of meeting some of their readers! It was such a pleasure to talk to people who have read my books and were eager to purchase those they didn’t already have. Nothing is more fun for an author than to chat about books and plots and get feedback from the readers concerning their stories. I even found some new readers and hope they enjoy my stories as much as I enjoyed writing them! Although books aren’t typically on the minds of event attendees, the story themes in my novels almost always involve a GHOST and so we fit right in quite nicely! Hidden Voices  was one in particular that sold very well…and why not, the story is focused around Bucksport’s infamous legend about a cursed monument dedicated to town founder Jonathan Buck! I did a lot of research for that one and really enjoyed learning about Bucksport’s peppered and colorful past!

As for those who attended the event, to include the vendors and activity presenters, I think everyone had a good time! Thousands attended and I got to see nearly all of them pass my booth. Most of them were decked out in costumes and I was so impressed with the creativity of some of them. I even got to have my pic taken with a minion (who also happened to be my youngest brother!). I think what impresses me the most about this event is the strong sense of COMMUNITY that I get here. I grew up in Bucksport (and my Tess Schafer-Medium character now lives there) and so I know the advantages of growing up in a small town. This festival in particular really brings that sense of community to light and shows it off in the best of ways! In today’s world of unrest, it’s just so nice to see everyone having fun and enjoying themselves. From costume parades to coffin races to pumpkin launches to good food and interesting wares, this is one event I look forward to every year!


If you ever have an opportunity to visit Bucksport, give this cute little town a look, and don’t forget Fort Knox State Park and the Penobscot Narrows Observatory just a short jaunt across the river! Oh, and if you check out the Veteran’s Memorial located at the end of the bridge leading from Verona Island into Bucksport, you will find my name embedded on one of the stones, it’s right next to my grandfather’s stone (Lafayette S. Doughty)! I served for 20 years in the United States Air Force and my grandfather served in the United States Navy. It’s a funny thing that when I graduated from Bucksport High School (go Golden Bucks!) and joined the military, I thought I’d never come back and now I find myself wondering why I ever thought such a thing! Since my son and his three kids now live in Bucksport (not far from where I grew up and in an area where I used to play as a child), there are more reasons than ever to maintain my ties to this amazing town. Besides, my character Tess Schafer (a most gifted medium!) has a few more stories to tell and I am sure they will involve some of Bucksport’s ghosts!


Before I close, I want to give a shout-out to my daughter April Hughes’s new blog The Vagaries of Us. She, too, posted a piece about her adventures at Ghostport called “This Maine Town is Infamous for its Haunted History Plus Local Event”. You can check it out here. Her friend Catherine (and honorary family member) of Catherine J Gross Photography took all the pics for her blog and you will see that she is amazing with her camera! We have her at all our special events and are fortunate to book her for family portraits!

Okay then, it’s time for me to get back to work! I am in the process of getting new covers for my Tess Schafer-Medium series and the wonderful Anya Kelleye has done them all! She even came up with a logo for the series. And isn’t it weird that while I’m writing this post I hear knocking on my wall! Seriously!! My dogs even started barking. Thinking it must be a bird (woodpecker?), I went outside to investigate. Though I could hear the knocking sounds coming from that side of the house, I didn’t see a bird anywhere (cue the eerie music!). Hmmm. People ask me if I am a medium. Most of us are in one way or another and don’t even realize it. Sometimes I feel very attuned  with spirit and sometimes not. When focused on it, however, I can get in that groove. Interestingly, I don’t allow those moments very often. I think it’s because I have too much going on “here” to get involved with over “there”. BUT, when writing my books, I am very much in the groove of the spirit world. In fact, I had someone pass by my booth, do a double-take, and then she came over and looked at me. I thought she was trying to figure out if she knew me or not (I grew up there after all). Suddenly she leans over…”You are a medium, aren’t you?” Thinking she is asking me that because of my books, I reply, “Well I have done a bit of that but not on a regular basis. I do feel like I am channeling my books though.” And she says, “Oh you are definitely channeling them from spirit and you are more gifted than you think!” and then she walked on before I could ask her anything else! Certainly some food for thought.

I hope you are all having a great fall! I love this time of year. It is just so darned pretty. Okay, I have to do it, I’m going to include some pictures I’ve taken around the area. The one on the left is the Penobscot Narrows Bridge going from Prospect, Maine to Verona Island. Another bridge goes from Verona Island into Bucksport and both are part of Route 1 (which eventually leads to Bar Harbor, Maine’s most visited port city!). This wasn’t taken on the day of Ghostport’s event but a few days before. I loved the fog hanging over the town and just had to take a picture!



In fact, here’s one of the bridge at night (taken a few hours after the one above). I took it just before we entered it from Verona Island. Isn’t that cool? There is something about the fog that inspires drama, intrigue and ghostly imaginings, don’t you think?




I’ll end with this one, a typical scene throughout the state. Come winter we (my husband and I) love to skip town and head for Florida but you couldn’t pry me away during this time of year! Blessing to all and until next time…Onward and Upward and ever Forward!


Hello readers! It’s been way too long (again) and I thought to myself, it’s been so long, I want my post to be about something HELPFUL and smudging is definitely that. After all, smudging is a ritual performed to cleanse a space, item or person of stored negative energy. It is an effective ritual though many might question “why” it works! My thoughts on “rituals” is the INTENT of it is what triggers the desired outcome, the reason for the ritual in the first place.

I am in the process of redoing my Tess Schafer-Medium book series (they are getting new covers that are uniform in look, created by the incredible Anya Kelleye) and since I got publishing rights back on my first three in the series, I am giving them all a read-through. I’ve learned a lot about writing and about my characters in the past few years and so I am applying that knowledge during the read-through, though I promise I am changing nothing major. I am not deleting plot points or adding any. As I’ve received kind feedback from the books’ readers, I have taken those observations to heart! Thank you to all who have taken the time to contact me!

So anyway, in Vanquishing Ghosts (book 3), Tess’s home is haunted by an unsavory spirit, a particularly negative entity, and she performs a smudging ritual to neutralize the negative energy stored within her home. This puts her on better ground to fight the entity and secure her home from future evil hauntings. As I was going over that scene, I thought to myself … this would be a great blog post to write because smudging is so helpful, and Lord knows we can use all the help we can get in this challenging world!

I have included a link to a site that explains the smudging ritual as I do it. It’s simple and easy and rather than re-write it here, I’ve included the link to give credit where it’s due! This doesn’t have to be complicated! SIMPLE is the key to carrying out all spiritual-related rituals.

Just a quick word about rituals. Their performance helps us to focus on our INTENT, the reason for the ritual. All tools used in any kind of ceremony have a reason and purpose for their usage. For example, Tess (my series main character) uses a wand at one point during her fight against the evil entity haunting her home. The wand itself is not magical, it is but a tool, a way to focus and direct the energy coming from within you. ALL ritual items are tools of intent and purpose. Crosses, for instance, are ritual tools (and representative of the Christian faith). They give focus to the mind during prayer. Not only that but the beliefs people have about them give them the vibration of that energy. They are often used as a symbol of faith, protection, harmony, etc.

But back to the reason for this post. If you feel your home is harboring negative energy, then bundle up some sage or visit a metaphysical store to purchase some (they often carry them!) and perform this simple, easy and EFFECTIVE ritual! We need peace and harmony in our lives and though this doesn’t infuse anything with peace and harmony, it PROVIDES the means for those positive vibrations to filter in!! It neutralizes negative vibrations, or as I like to say “smudging levels the playing field”. Plus, there is something very satisfying about taking matters into your own hands! As a spiritual being you have the power within you to do what smudging does (without the use of any tools) but you have to admit, adding ceremony and ritual helps us to carry out this power. As an aside, and to give credit where it’s due, I found the image to the left at an interesting site about smudging that you might like to check out yourself! Just click on THIS  to give it a look!

As for the smudging ritual itself, click this Smudging link to read the five easy steps to cleansing your personal space!! And, if you are interested, the following is but one of many sites that offer other metaphysical tools and even guidance on spiritual matters: The Sage Goddess has lots of spiritual goodness to explore!

Until next time, may PEACE and HARMONY fill your personal space! Onward and Upward and ever Forward!




Not only do I have a new book coming out with this title (release date is 10 July!) but I thought it was a good title for this blog too. Ghosts CAN be distracting, especially if you don’t know what to do when one is bothering you … or scaring you as the case may be! Fact is, ghosts are everywhere, or their ENERGY is anyway, and that is because in the world of spirit…there is only HERE. What we perceive as space is nothing more than a different level of awareness over “there”!

In our realm (physical life), ghosts are actually energy from the past. You can’t interact with a ghost. You can’t communicate with it. You can sometimes see it and you can quite often “feel” it (sense their energy) and sometimes you can even hear it, but that’s about the extent of it. Despite what all the ghost-hunting television shows might lead you to believe, haunted locations are created by heightened emotional energy from people in a PAST event. They are not hang-outs for dead people who are waiting to scare us or talk to us!

The very essence of who we are is beings of energy and when our emotions are heightened our psyche’s energy level becomes so strong it can transcend time. Meaning it can be sensed by people in the future, who think they are encountering a ghost! I guess in a way they are since the people involved are dead (to us they are anyway).

It’s a complicated issue but let me try to explain by example. When someone is murdered (in a PAST event) and we are in the location where it happened, we can often pick up on the heightened emotions of the victim (and sometimes even the murderer!). We can do that because we are energy too and energy detects energy. So anyway, in situations like that (a murder), emotions are often highly charged and the energy generated can sometimes be picked up by others at a later time. It’s because of situations like this that haunted locations often make people uncomfortable. Given that, it’s no wonder they are scary places. You are, after all, tapping into the emotions of someone being murdered (or of someone doing the murdering) and either way it’s not a good feeling. Communicating with the “ghosts” in this kind of haunting is not possible. What you can do, however, is learn what happened. Psychics are great at this and you often see them in action on the ghost-hunting shows.

Now, if the murder took place in a building and it’s still standing, then people usually consider the building haunted, but get this, even if the building is destroyed the energy is still there because the location hasn’t changed, just what’s in the location. That’s why new buildings can be “haunted”, because they are built on the same spot where a highly charged situation took place.

Even knowing what a ghost is, they are still scary, certainly spooky, usually uncomfortable but not dangerous. They cannot hurt you in any way.

There are some hauntings where people think a past owner of a house was so fond of it they stayed there after they died. Not so. What is being detected in that situation is the fondness someone felt for the place (strong feelings of love also heightens emotions). Besides, they are STILL THERE because physics tells us that the past and present coexist!

Paranormal writers use the instances stated above to create tension and to raise the “spook” factor of a ghost story. I use it in my books as well. My main character in the Tess Schafer-Medium series (click the link if you are interested in checking them out!) understands that ghosts can do no harm and does what she can to ease the fear of the other characters in her story. One thing for sure, those situations certainly make for great ghost stories!

Now a SPIRIT is a whole different ballgame. Spirits are dead people who enter our realm of consciousness in order to communicate with us. Example: Miss Spooks dies and though she no longer has a physical body, she still exists as Miss Spooks, keeping all her memories and personality traits (though being “dead” is sure to put a whole new perspective on things!). So now she finds herself “over there” and wants to communicate with the living. Those are the spirits you can interact with.

As explained above, the biggest difference between a ghost and a spirit is the fact you can only communicate and interact with a spirit. Communications with them are usually a good experience. They are eager to talk with us and they often want to get messages across to those they care about…or to anyone that will “hear” them!

Spirits who hold strong negative emotions, however, have some unresolved issues and interactions with them are not so pleasant. They haven’t yet made peace with their new circumstances and they are the ones most often responsible for active hauntings. Poltergeists (negative entities) are attracted to those kinds of spirits and since they can move things around, they CAN be dangerous. Since like attracts like, they are attracted to the negative emotions of a troubled soul and they use those poor souls to get through to our physical reality. It isn’t the actual dead person that is posing a danger.

Negative entities are hard to explain but they are part of the spirit world and they lurk in the shadows of the afterlife. Most dark entities never were physical beings! But they can be a nasty influence and create confusion for a spirit with unresolved issues.

Now, even in cases involving a poltergeist, that doesn’t mean you are in danger. It just means that you need to be cautious. Reacting with anger, fear, hatred (any negative emotion) will “feed” their energy. Some of the BEST things to do when negative spirit activity is occurring are to pray (asking a higher power for protection), invoke your spiritual light to protect you (imagine a light shining IN and AROUND you), ask angels for protection and above all, stay calm (as best as you can anyway!).

As for Angels, they are in abundance and are absolutely everywhere. Best of all, they are quick to help whenever they are asked, so ASK!!

Given the scary nature of poltergeists, I use them in my books because having negative spirit energy raises the fear-factor in a story. Seriously, it is a good plot device for a ghost story. I don’t, however, make it the MAJOR plot device! Although my books are considered “horror” it’s only because ghosts are involved and not because they are horrific and gory.

The message I try the hardest to convey in all of my books is that here in the physical world, WE are in charge. Not only that but we have all we need to stay safe and protected from negative spirit energy. Our personal spiritual power is more than sufficient to keep us safe! Isn’t that comforting to know?

Now as I mentioned earlier, it sometimes happens that there are issues that went on here in the physical world that follow someone into the afterlife. Those are unresolved issues and spirits are so affected by this they will do whatever they can to communicate with us in order to find some closure. THIS is what I use most often as a plot for my books. To me, those sorts of circumstances make the best ghost stories.

More often than not, though, spirits are loved ones trying to communicate that they are well, they are happy and they don’t want their loved ones to be sad. No matter the circumstance of their death, most people are very pleasantly surprised when they cross over and learn the truth of things. In fact, they are so excited they want to share their amazing discovery with their loved ones!

Being physically dead does not break attachments though it is a different sort of attachment. They still LOVE those they were close to in physical life but they feel no sense of ownership. A deceased husband (for instance) isn’t going to be like “Hey! That’s MY woman you are moving in on!” (when another man develops an attachment for his wife). And he certainly does not think his wife is betraying him by caring for another man!

One thing I find most comforting is that loved ones who have passed are still connected to us and just thinking about them pulls them into our realm of consciousness. Whenever I think about my grandparents, for example, they are immediately with me and I sense them quite strongly. In fact, they often give me a sign of some sort to validate the experience!

Seriously, by focusing on someone who has passed into spirit, you draw them to you (because in truth, they aren’t “far” from you at all). The biggest frustration for those in spirit is not getting through to loved ones. But, they do what they can. They might make their picture fall or they might put something in an odd place so that when you find it, you’ll think of them and maybe even realize it was them that put it there. They might invoke a smell that you associate with them such as a flower they loved, a perfume they wore or a tobacco they smoked.

They LOVE it when loved ones go to a medium or turn to other means of communication … table tipping, Ouija, automatic writing (to name a few)! As for mediums, they are usually inundated with spirits trying to get through to loved ones here in our physical reality. My Tess Schafer character deals with this and I love her ability, her attitude and the way in which she handles things. I learn from her all the time! (smile)

So anyway, I wanted to write this post in celebration of my newest Tess Schafer-Medium book … aptly named Distracting Ghosts (you can click the link to check out the synopsis and even preorder if you are interested) and I’m dedicating it to my nephew Matt who died while I was writing the story. I thought about him so much while writing it and though the story has nothing to do with him, his death changed me in some way and that certainly has had some influence on my storytelling. I feel him around and he’s given lots of indications of his presence. Gone physically but not gone spiritually. Ahh, Matt, why did you have to leave us so soon?

Until next time, may your life be moving ever onward and upward. Peace out.

It’s been over six years since I published my first book and since then I’ve written nine! NINE! When I wrote BE STILL, MY LOVE I had no idea it would become part of a series. But one story sparked another and now I’m six books in with yet another in the works!


My character, Tess Schafer, has grown as a medium through each book and as she grows so do I. It seems that I learn more and more from her with each story. I can honestly say that her spiritual connections help strengthen my own. Honestly, other than book four, ROSEMARY’S GHOSTS, I have not plotted any of my books. The stories unfold as I go along. As for Rosemary’s Ghosts, that plot came to me in a flash. I was riding along in our car (my husband was driving), and thinking about book three VANQUISHING GHOSTS (which I’d just finished writing) when suddenly a plot for a new book enters my head. I was so excited about it, I couldn’t wait to start writing. Although I knew what it was about, I didn’t know how it would all unfold so I was just as excited to write it as I was the others.

People often want to know where I get my story ideas and I have to say that they come from spirit. I truly believe that. I don’t sit around trying to come up with an idea for a new book, they just come to me and often while working on another story! For instance, I knew while writing Be Still, My Love that I was going to write HIDDEN VOICES (book two) because the idea came to me while writing a scene that triggered the idea! When writing Hidden Voices, a scene from that story gave me the idea for Vanquishing Ghosts (book 3). Now, though I know the premise of the stories I am working on, I don’t know how they will unfold. For instance, in Hidden Voices (book 2) I knew I was going to write about Tess’s experience with a cursed gravestone in Bucksport, Maine (my hometown by the way!) and that’s all I knew. When the idea for VANQUISHING GHOSTS flashed into my brain, it was during a scene in Hidden Voices and all I knew was that I was going to write about Tess’s move to a new house which, of course, happened to be haunted.

What amazes me about the whole process is how well the books fit together. Information from one book will mesh with information from another and I marvel at the connections though they weren’t planned! This is why I feel they are spiritually inspired. Besides, the stories come from somewhere, right? I literally plucked them from the “air” (spirit) and I have found that if I try to interfere with the process … put my own spin on what I think is going on … it doesn’t work out. The story comes to a screeching halt. I interfere because I can’t think how an issue is going to be resolved and so I start trying to come up with ideas on resolving it. But those ideas don’t work out and the book falters and I get frustrated. Then I remind myself to just TRUST THE PROCESS! When I let go of trying to control things, the book starts flowing again. It’s all quite fascinating and I marvel at it, I really do! Sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t be accepting credit for authoring my books. I should say “Authored by spirit” written by Deborah! (smile)

Many of the techniques Tess uses to protect herself and commune with spirit are the same that I too use. Of course, she’s way more talented and can do things that I only wish I could do. Also, I don’t think I could handle her gift as well as she does! I’ll tell you one thing for certain … I believe in the spiritual light that Tess is always talking about. I don’t just BELIEVE we have the power to protect ourselves, I KNOW it.

When I was living in a haunted house, we knew there were several ghosts residing there and one of them was evil. I lived in constant fear and though I had no training in how to protect myself, the things that Tess talks about … prayers and guardian angels and imagining a light … I did all those things and they kept us safe until we moved away. The house is gone now but the spirits are still there, I feel them when we drive by and it gives me the “willies”. I even dream about that house to this day and always the dreams are of a nightmarish quality. Who those spirits are and why they are there, I just don’t know. I’ve thought about writing a story to try to figure it out. Maybe someday I will. After all, spirit knows what that is all about and maybe they’ll tell me.

So anyway, after nine books, I’ve grown as a writer and I felt it best to go through Be Still, My Love and fix the issues that readers have found with it. There were questions about why things happened that never were explained and so I think I’ve cleared those up with this new edition. My thinking at the time was to leave some things open to question. Why I thought that was a great idea, I can’t say and now I realize it wasn’t such a great idea. My apologies to those who have read the story already! I’ll be curious to see how the new edition will be received. There will always be critics and people who won’t like it, I get that and expect it, but for those who do like this kind of story, it’s their reception I am curious about. I say that because it is THOSE people I am writing for … the ones who like the kinds of stories I write. After all, I too am a reader and I write what I like to read. I have to because I end up reading it about twenty or thirty times! If I don’t like the story, there is no way I can force myself to read it that many times. Trust me!

With the new edition now completed, I wanted to give interested readers a few days to download it for FREE. So from March 10 through Mar 12, BE STILL MY LOVE will be FREE to download! Now, I’m not saying it’s perfect but I do think it’s better! That doesn’t mean some people won’t like it, some won’t. One of the things I was criticized on was the mention of “God” in the book. My character has a strong affinity with God and that is included in the story. Me and my character both believe that God is part of all existence and so there is no way to write a story about spiritual matters without the inclusion of God. So, if reading stories involving God bothers you … then Be Still, My Love might not be for you! That is as much of a warning as I’m going to give. I say that because I was told by some critics that I should WARN people of God’s involvement in the synopsis! WARN them? Really? Sorry, but that still surprises me.

I truly do love to hear from readers and so if you’ve read the book, either the old edition or the new, what did you think of it? Do you have any questions? Let’s talk!!

Until next time, God Bless and Peace Out!

I recently read the book DYING TO BE ME, MY JOURNEY FROM CANCER, TO NEAR DEATH, TO TRUE HEALING by Anita Moorjani (Dying To Be Me) and I just had to write a review and share it with you! As a brief overview of the story…Anita was suffering with cancer, stage 4, and her body was shutting down. She entered a deep coma and as doctors waited for her life to end, she was experiencing “the other side”.  When she regained consciousness (totally not expected), her cancer spontaneously healed and all her physical ailments improved. She is now a healthy and happy woman! She chose to come back, she says, and not stay “there” because she wanted to share her experience and their (Spirit’s) message with the world.

What I love about this story is that it is a documented case. Meaning there are actual FACTS backing up her story…as far as the cancer being present, her physical condition during her near-death experience and the spontaneous healing of her cancer.

I was inspired by the story for it had a wonderful, positive message. I was also excited to discover that some of the things Anita shared, mirrored sentiments that are expressed in my Tess Schafer-Medium series! I want to share with you a few of the things I got out of this book. I encourage anyone else who has read it to share their thoughts and what they got out of it as well! Or tell me what you think of this post!

One thing Anita learned was that “Religion is just a path for finding truth: Religion is not truth. It is just a path. And different people follow different paths.” I love this because it is something I can readily accept. There are so many religions and I used to wonder…which one is the “right” one? Her concept embraces them all and tells us that no matter the path we take (the religion we choose to follow) they all lead to God. (Yay!) How we learn the lessons we wish to learn is a personal journey for each of us. Even when it seems we are sharing the same path, it isn’t the EXACT same path. I find it quite comforting that we all will learn what we need to know…eventually.

Anita also states that “there was no other way of communicating in that realm other than through our emotions.” Wow! Not only does my character Tess Schafer state this quite often, but it is something I believe and have experienced myself! Communication with the spirit world is not always done with words. That’s why mediums have to navigate through their emotions very carefully. Their interpretation of the communication might not be how the recipient of the communication would interpret it.

Speaking of emotions, Anita says that “our feelings are actually what drive our physical reality.” Interesting! Another statement she made that gave me some peace of mind was that “Everything happens when we’re ready for it to happen.” This really makes a lot of sense because if we aren’t ready for something, then we aren’t going to understand it, or embrace it or learn from it. We can’t, because we aren’t ready! This is why I am always trying to “ready” myself by constantly seeking to learn new things.

Anita talks about connecting with her deceased friend Soni during her sojourn on “the other side” and says that “my essence merged with Soni’s and I became her. I understood that she was here, there, and everywhere. She was able to be in all places at all times for all her loved ones.” This was quite interesting to me because many people ask how it is possible for their loved one to respond to several people at the same time. If they were watching over one person, then it seems logical that they cannot be watching over another. Yet this shows that’s not the case. This is something I’ve always believed and I’m excited that her experience validates this belief for me.

Her experience with time was another issue that coincides with my beliefs and is also something my character Tess often refers to. Anita says “Time felt different in that realm, too, and I felt all moments at once. I was aware of everything that pertained to me–past, present, and future–simultaneously. I became conscious of what seemed to be simultaneous lives playing out.” Physicist have long laid claim to the concept that time…past, present, and future…happens simultaneously. This is where the concept of time travel comes from! How amazing that she came to understand this and experience it for herself. Also, she mentions her awareness of other lives! Since I am a strong believer in past lives and reincarnation, this resonated strongly with my own beliefs. So much so that I even wrote a novel based on this very concept titled No Matter What!

Another thing that struck Anita in a profound way was how she felt while “there”. In her spirit state she realized she was not who she always thought herself to be. She says “Here I am without my body, race, culture, religion, or beliefs…yet I continue to exist! Then what am I? Who am I? I certainly don’t feel reduced or smaller in any way. On the contrary, I haven’t ever been this huge, this powerful, or this all-encompassing. Wow, I’ve never, ever felt this way!

I loved that she realized her identity “here” in the earth plane is not who she is in the spirit plane! None of us are the same “over there” as we are here. In spirit we are loving entities and identify with no labels! Wouldn’t that be great if we could be like that here in our physical life? But we didn’t come here to be the same as we are “over there”. We came here to experience different identities and that is exactly what we are all doing. When we finally get to the point where we are the same “here” as “there” (when we cannot separate our identity in each realm) then there will be no need to come back (reincarnate).

Another point she learned from the experience is that one must “cultivate a deep love affair with yourself” and Anita believed it was a key element to her spontaneous healing! Once she figured it out that “to be me is to be love“, the lesson, she says, saved her life. The concept here, however, is that to love ones self means to love others as well for each of us are love. Being love, she says, “means being aware of the importance of nurturing my own soul, taking care of my own needs, and not putting myself last all the time.”

Another wonderful point she made is that we already have everything we need (for it lies within us) and that it’s accessible when we allow ourselves to open up to what is true within us. This piggybacks on the concept that all time (past, present, and future) exists at once. Since every possibility already exists, then whatever we desire (and not desire) has already come to pass. We just need to move through that reality and we do it through our belief in its existence! Our reality here, she believes, “is a playground of expression.” (what fun!) We are here (in physical life) to experience, explore and create. And guess what? The things we wish to obtain or attain to…is already ours to obtain or achieve! You just need to ALLOW it into your reality. That is done through belief and excitement!! Anita says that “everything I could ever want to happen in my life already exists in that infinite, nonphysical plane. My only task is to expand my earthly self enough to let it into this realm.” All you need to do is expand your consciousness to “allow universal energy to bring it into (your) reality”. Easy peasy, right?

What I particularly like is the idea that we contain “all the resources” that we “need to navigate through life” and that is because we are “One with Universal energy.” She further makes the claim that WE “are universal energy”! Each one of us, she says, “has this magnificent, magical life force coursing through every single cell”. How amazing is that? How awesome are we!!

The problem, of course, is that our busy lives and all the things we get caught up in “makes us forget that we’re connected to Universal energy and that we have these natural abilities”. When we start listening to and believing what others tell us, it turns us away from the knowledge of our own power. But, and I love this…”emotions are a doorway into the soul”. Wow. This is major. A big, freaking deal!! She says “our feelings about ourselves are actually the most important barometer for determining the condition of our lives!” Read that again. It’s worth it!

One thing that is important to understand is the concept of “being” and “doing”.  She explains it thusly: “Being doesn’t mean that we don’t do anything. It’s just that our actions stem from following our emotions and feelings while staying present in the moment. Doing, on the other hand, is future focused, with the mind creating a series of tasks that take us from here to there in order to achieve a particular outcome, regardless of our current emotional state.” One way to determine the difference is to identify your motivation…is it driven by fear or passion? If what you are doing is driven by passion then you are “being”. If what you are doing is driven by fear then you are “doing”.

A big point she brings up is that if we “stop judging ourselves, we’d automatically find less and less need to condemn others”. Wow. What’s that say for all the judgments going on in the world today? Speaking of the world, Anita says “The external world mirrors what we feel about ourselves.” If that’s so, and I believe it is, then our world is filled with people who are filled with fear! Is it because of discontent with our personal lives? I believe so and so does Anita.

“The Universe is contained with us, and what we experience externally is only a reflection”. She believes that no one is truly bad, not at our “core” (soul) and evil, she says, “is only a product of our fears”.  If everyone was aware of their magnificence “then we’d no longer be driven by fear. We wouldn’t need rules and jails…or hospitals.” Wow. That, too, is huge!

There’s a lot more shared in this book and it truly is worth a read!! I’ve read it twice and each time I gain more understanding.

I don’t get to read as often as I’d like for I’m busy with my own books but I sure am glad I found this one and took the time to read it! So what do you think? Do you agree or disagree with the things Anita shares?

Okay then, back to my own writing! Working on book 7 of the Tess Schafer-Medium series and finalizing a new edition of book one “Be Still, My Love” (I’ve learned a LOT as a writer since it’s publication and I’m applying those lessons to the new edition. Same story, but the telling of it, I believe, is better!!). Thanks to all for your support and encouragement! The letters and messages I have received about the Tess Schafer series are heart-warming and uplifting!

Until next time, blessings to all and peace out!

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