Sunday, October 30, 2011


Happy Hallowe'en!
Here we are on the last day of our SPOOKTACULAR GIVEAWAY HOP and it's Hallowe’en. Please remember to leave a comment which includes your email if you wish to be entered in the giveaway. I'm giving a free pdf of one of my books (winner's choice) to one lucky commenter as I have each day of the SPOOKTACULAR GIVEAWAY HOP. This includes international readers. A follow, signing up for my newsletter, and/or subscribing by email count as additonal  entries, so be sure to tell me if your participation includes any of these. But to be entered, all you have to do is leave a comment. I'll announce my winners tomorrow. The SPOOKTACULAR GIVEAWAY BLOG organizers will announce the winners on November 2nd.

As promised, I have a scary tale alleged to be true. From TEXAS TEARS AND TEXAS SUNSHINE: VOICES OF FRONTIER WOMEN, edited by Jo Ella Powell Exley, this is the book's only incident involving a this sort of fright. Are you ready?

Amelia Edith Barr
 In early summer of 1868, yellow fever came to Galveston, Texas. Scottish transplants Amelia and Robert Carr moved their children to a home away from the city. The house they rented on the beach had been falling down. But a Mr. Durr repaired the stonework and refurbished the building with fresh paint and wallpaper. Nevertheless, Amelia--a psychic--found the house radiated an unclean feeling. Even with two large lamps lit in the parlor, she said the room remained dull, gloomy, and full of shadows. A sense of foreboding hung heavy on Amelia as she moved into the house, but all was well for a few months.

Tiny frogs by the thousands
filled Galveston's streets
(Yes, this is a tree frog, but
he's so cute I used his photo)

By July, the fever had progressed within two or three blocks behind the house. Soaking downpours alternated with distressing heat. The result was streets full of grass alive with tiny frogs in such quantities that pedestrians could not avoid crushing them as they walked.

In August, Amelia strolled with Robert into town. The beds of the dying were drawn to open windows. Hardly a dwelling remained without someone in the process of expiring. Everywhere they walked, the fetid smell of yellow fever greeted them.

Jean Lafitte
 That same month, they learned their home was once a pirate's nest inhabited by Jean Lafitte in the days when Galveston was called Campeachy. Mr. Hall, the man who told the tale, said the house was painted blood red in those days. The vilest of men lived there, engaged in the foulest of deeds that included the slave trade. In fact, Mr. Hall said Lafitte sold slaves by the pound. 

Mr. Hall continued, "...for I know what fiends once made Galveston Island their home. Do you think they have forgotten the place of their sins and cruelties? No, Furies of ancient crimes are here, revengeful souls full of unsatisfied hatreds..."
 After midnight on the 20th of August, Amelia was too restless to sleep. She sat in a rocking chair facing an open window screened by green blinds made of thin wooden slats. She heard a faint stir among the leaves of the Japonica hedge that surrounded the place.

There fell upon the closed blinds--on which my eyes were fixed--a blow so tremendous, that I was sure they must be shattered...before I could rise, another blow of less intensity followed, and then a third not quite as crashing as the second. I never for an instant thought the blows were made by any instrument. I was sure they were made by a hand.”

Afraid to approach the window, Amelia kept her back to it. She checked on her husband and children, but they were sleeping. Until dawn, she prayed for God’s mercy. When Robert awoke, she told him what had happened and together they examined the window. The thin wooden slats were not broken. The shape of a hand twice as large as any human's left an indention in the slats!

In her autobiography, ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE, Amelia wrote, “Why were the blinds not broken to pieces by three blows from a hand like that? And how could the thin strips of wood be made to bend and take an impression? This evidence of physical force made by some spiritual entity remained for every one to see as long as I lived in the house.”

Yellow Fever
 Tragically, the entire family soon contracted yellow fever. Due to space constraints, I am forced to omit many eerie details. Sorry. Robert and the two sons died, and an unknown "man" spirited them away. In November, Amelia and her daughters moved to New York City where she wrote several books.

Do you believe Lafitte’s ghost dwelled in the house? Do you believe an unknown demon attacked the window? What do you think made the indention on the blinds?

Don't eat too many treats. Have a Happy Hallowe'en!
Thanks for stopping by!


katsrus said...

That is a creepy tale. Don't think I would of looked out the window either. I can believe they had something there. That is so interesting that the blinds didn't break. I have heard stories of things being broken one minute and next put back together although I have never seen this. I always need proof. I do believe in ghosts, spirits, demons.
Sue B

LuAnn said...

Interesting tale! I'm not sure that I would be able to put much stock in it, though. After all, these people were suffering from high fevers and were possibly delirious, too. But, it's fun to wonder, isn't it?

reading_frenzy at yahoo dot com

clenna said...

I love tales like this. As it was passed down , I'm sure it was embellished. But still a good yarn,