A few years ago when the first edition of my book The Haunting of Natalie Bradford was released, I was invited to speak at a local library during their monthly “Luncheon with Books” event. I was happy to oblige especially since the city that I would be visiting was on my “To Research List”. I remember walking into the reception area to see that it was already full of people without an empty seat in the room. After an hour of lecture about all things ghostly and supernatural, I signed books and visited with many people curious about my research. I then began packing up my things when one of the librarians stopped me and proceeded to tell me about a local man whom she thought I might be interested in researching. I remember her saying that he lived during the 20th century and that he had a “gift” of being able to find lost objects. She went on to say that he was somewhat of a local celebrity, and she had a newspaper file on him if I would be interested in seeing it. It piqued my interest for a moment, and I nodded affirming that I would follow up in the future.
The months wore on as I became engrossed in other writing projects, mainly the second book in the Bradford series and then my latest release, The Phoenix Mission. Although the librarian’s suggestion stuck in the back of my mind, I had no idea just how intriguing this “local celebrity” would become.
Just a few weeks ago, I pulled out my planning workbook and studied my list of projects. I had jotted a few notes down about the psychic from Mississippi who could find lost objects. Since my main character, Seth Phoenix (The Phoenix Mission) was based on this same type of phenomena, I decided this might be worth pursuing. I then put together a folder and binder for this project leaving the labels blank and jumped in my SUV. Thirty minutes later, I pulled into the Pontotoc County Library where Regina had already pulled the files that I needed.
I sat down and began thumbing through the newspaper articles. I scanned the pages looking for content that might prove the man’s gift of ESP or Clairvoyance. To my surprise, this man known as Seymour Prater went far beyond finding lost objects. Yes, he was a 20th century prophet with uncanny similarities to another modern day psychic known as the Sleeping Prophet, Edgar Cayce. And while Edgar Cayce was healing the sick through his sleeping visions and revelations, Seymour Prater was “seeing” the past in the present and even identifying a man’s killer.
I immediately became mesmerized by the stories of Seymour Prater. How did he do it? What was this gift that he had? He had the extraordinary gift of Clairvoyance. Although we all have gifts, most people aren’t aware of these specialties and even more unaware of how to develop them. Clairvoyance is the alleged ability to gain information about an object, person, location or physical event through extrasensory perception. A person who has this ability is called a clairvoyant (“one who sees clearly”). Hundreds of people seeking answers visited Mr. Prater in Mississippi during his lifetime. When asked to help locate a lost object or solve a mystery, Mr. Prater would usually place his hands over his eyes for a moment while he sat quietly considering the question. He then responded with the same introduction each time, “I see, I see….”
As I continued my research of Mr. Prater, I came across a story that stood apart from the rest. A story about a deaf man, beaten and killed in his store on January 3, 1931. His dead body lay in a pool of blood against the hard wood floor. The man’s corpse lay on his side still clutching a piece of peppermint candy in his hand. The densely populated town quickly began to talk about the “Floyd Place” and the haunting of Mr. Floyd. Soon the whole town was scared to walk past the property where Arthur Floyd had been attacked in the late evening hours. The Floyd family and local police struggled to find answers as the trail to finding the killer remained cold. The Floyds had run out of ideas until they decided to consult the psychic from Pontotoc County. And when Seymour Prater closed his eyes this time, images of the murder flashed before him as he began to track a killer through the eyes of a clairvoyant…
On April 21, 1867, the Mississippi Mystic was born. He died on his birthday April 21, 1945, but he left a legacy of supernatural wonder. To celebrate his birthday his month, See No Evil is FREE for a LIMITED TIME. HURRY!
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A few years ago when the first edition of my book The Haunting of Natalie Bradford was released, I was invited to speak at a local library during their monthly “Luncheon with Books” event. I was happy to oblige especially since the city that I would be visiting was on my “To Research List”. I remember walking into the reception area to see that it was already full of people without an empty seat in the room. After an hour of lecture about all things ghostly and supernatural, I signed books and visited with many people curious about my research. I then began packing up my things when one of the librarians stopped me and proceeded to tell me about a local man whom she thought I might be interested in researching. I remember her saying that he lived during…
‘Tis the season of hope. Enjoy a story in The Celestial Series FREE starting with The Visit this week…
New stories to come in this series, late 2019.
~Get it FREE!
An excerpt from The Visit
A Note from Sydney.
The Celestial Series is a fictional collection of short stories with a common theme throughout. You will find a message of hope here. A declaration of new beginnings and a sign that the supernatural spirit of God is as real as the darkness that surrounds us in times of despair. For more than three decades, I’ve witnessed unexplained mysteries and ghostly encounters, but the most life-altering encounters I’ve ever experienced will always be the times I’ve witnessed God in all of His supernatural glory.
Each installment in this series has a part of me and my life’s experiences with the paranormal. Although the characters and circumstances are fictional, their experiences have been mine and recreated here for you.
On December 31, 2004, I experienced an angelic encounter that will remain etched in my soul forever. I invite you to experience the same through my character, Elizabeth Chapman. I hope you enjoy The Visit.
Love and Light,
December 31, 2004
Elizabeth Chapman ran her fingers through her long chestnut brown hair and let out a heavy sigh. She peered out the front window of her home office and watched the snow fall silently to the ground. Pulsating beams of sunlight created a glistening background, and she envisioned Reece’s truck turning the corner of Winter Creek Road just as it always did every day at the same time. And then a familiar yet unnerving sound echoed from the dark, empty room beyond the office door.
The faint melody of a music box. The sound must have come from the small curio placed against the foyer wall, its shelves lined full of collectible music boxes. The melody carried only the first line of a familiar tune and then stopped.
Then. Three knocks.
“Beth” as she had always been affectionately called by her husband Reece, trembled as she pulled away from the window and tiptoed along the wall, inching one foot at a time. With a sudden pause, she stopped and stood rigid, almost melting into the drywall as she held her breath and waited. She knew what to expect. In three seconds, the creaking sound of the front door opening would fill the room and leave her motionless, her eyes wide open and fixed on the shadow cast across the floor. And then seconds later, this repetitive occurrence that had become a normalcy with no meaning or logic at all, settled over her with a strange calm as the house became still once again.
Beth took a long deep breath and walked into the hall leading to the master suite. Her eyes were heavy and her body felt fatigued more than usual. Although she had been battling insomnia for the past several months along with an unsettling and invisible presence that continued to taunt her, today’s vibration seemed to unnerve her with a mighty angst.
As she entered the master suite, her weakened stride resembled that of a decrepit woman. She paused with each step across the plush carpet floor. Finally she neared the king-sized bed and leaned forward allowing her body to fall against it. A thick, fluffy pillow enveloped her head as she landed. She slid her feet underneath the sheets and pulled the covers across her body. Within seconds, Beth Chapman was transported across a sequential path to a place she had almost forgotten. A place that had led her right where she was.
As an author of all things paranormal or supernatural, my enthusiasm for unexplained mysteries has spanned more than three decades and included visits to some of America’s most haunted places. But when I found out that Jamaica was one of the ports of call on the cruise that I took last summer, I knew that I had to see the famously haunted Rose Hall in Montego Bay. As a clairvoyant/medium, my excitement raged as I anxiously waited to get inside this historic mansion. Tales of a white witch who practiced voodoo and tortured slaves on this sugar plantation filled my internet search. I scoured through page after page as I researched Rose Hall before my arrival, but as I continued to study numerous articles, I was somewhat disappointed to discover that the legend of the white witch was most likely fictional. And yet numerous reports of the mansion’s haunting still continued to mount as I searched. I wondered whose spirit was lingering there. If Annie Palmer was not guilty of the horrific acts associated with her name at Rose Hall, then who could be haunting the mansion and why?
Upon arriving, I was stunned by the Georgian style mansion’s grandeur as it was more splendid than its online pictures. The house was built in the 1770’s by Fulke Rose and later became the property of John Palmer in the 1800’s, but suffered serious damage from a fire during the late 19th century. The mansion was restored twice during the mid to late 20th century and finally purchased by the former Miss USA World, Michele Rollins and her husband, John Rollins.
As we were led up the path to the mansion, I focused on the energy of the place while recalling what I had read before my arrival. Legend has it that the ghost of Annie Palmer haunts the grounds and mansion. According to the story, Annie was born in Haiti and spent much of her life there but when both of her parents died of yellow fever, she was adopted by the family’s nanny who introduced her to witchcraft and taught the young girl Voodoo.
Years later Annie Palmer, now seventeen years old, moved to Jamaica and married John Palmer, owner of Rose Hall Plantation. As the new mistress of Rose Hall, the legend has it that Annie soon tired of her husband and began taking slave lovers. When she was discovered in the bed with one of her lovers, John beat her but days later met his death when he was strangled to death at the hands of his wife. The story continues with Annie marrying twice more and murdering those husbands as well by stabbing the second husband to death and poisoning the third. But in 1821, Annie met her final demise when her slave lover, Takoo climbed the basement stairs during the middle of the night and entered the main house. He then crept up the main staircase and into Annie’s bedroom where he assaulted the sleeping white witch and strangled her to death. The next morning the slaves burned her clothes and personal belongings and then buried her body a short distance from the mansion.
Researchers have found that the legend was most likely born from a Jamaican novel, The White Witch of Rose Hall, written by Herbert G. De Lisser in 1929. Findings have now concluded that Annie Palmer was a fictional character and not to be confused with the plantation’s former mistress, Rosa Palmer who reportedly had four husbands during her lifetime but was always known as a faithful and devoted wife. I will admit that I was somewhat disappointed to discover that the legend was purely fictional, but if Rose Hall’s past still lingered beneath its walls in the form of ghostly apparitions, I was about to find out as soon as my feet crossed the threshold.
I took a deep breath and stepped inside the front room of Rose Hall. My eyes immediately lifted to the ceiling and corners of the room as I admired the interior’s high ceilings and dark, rich wood along the walls. Our tour guide introduced us to the mansion by giving us a few details of the home’s history before leading us into the dining hall, but I was somewhat discouraged because I did not feel a spiritual presence upon entering the house. Until…
As the guide moved our group into the dining room, I noticed a female apparition wearing a long, light blue dress with a tiny flower pattern. I guessed that she was probably in her early thirties and had lived during the early 19th century. She had dark hair that was pulled into a tight bun. She seemed to be oblivious to us as she walked around the dining room before disappearing at the corner of the table. It was if she stepped into a doorway to the other side!
I gave instructions to my son and daughter, who were traveling with me, specifics of what to notice (bodily sensations) as we toured the house. I told them to let me know if they felt anything unusual. Since neither of them has ever been on a paranormal investigation with me nor do they know much about being an empath, I was curious to see if either of them had the “gift”. As I expected, my son was first to inform me of the crushing sensation that he felt on his chest as we began entering the second floor where the “reported” murders had occurred. But as we walked from room to room, I again sensed that the energy just wasn’t matching the story that I was hearing as the tour guide led us into each of the rooms where Annie Palmer supposedly murdered her husbands. If there were ghosts on the 2nd floor, I assumed that they were hiding, but as I entered the red bedroom that supposedly belonged to Annie, I felt a strong presence that had been there for almost two hundred years.
I stood still near the foot of the bed and gazed all around the room. As a pair of ghostly eyes studied me, I began snapping pictures of Annie’s bed and the candelabras that seemed to light up each time I took a picture. Although the candelabras were not lit, a flame appeared in the photographs. I lingered in Annie’s room for a few minutes, satisfied that I had discovered where the ghost of Rose Hall likely resided until we passed into another room. My body jerked as I turned to see a man sitting at a small desk inside the next room. He was writing something on a tablet and as my mouth hung open in stunned silence, my eyes fell to the floor where I noticed one of his feet turned on its side. His shoes were cream colored loafers with a black buckle.
I then became distracted by my son taking pictures of Annie’s favorite mirror. He continued to snap pictures hoping to catch Annie’s reflection, but his efforts seemed pointless until we later reviewed his pictures and were amazed by a reflection that showed up in the mirror. Could this be the corpse of one of Annie’s husbands?
Perhaps one of the most convincing paranormal encounters that I experienced while touring Rose Hall was the energy that still lingered in the downstairs basement, now a gift shop and snack bar. Orbs and light portals seemed to burst forth in every picture, and I suspect that these spirits are not just confined to the basement but may roam about the mansion.
If you decide to visit Montego Bay, Jamaica and love a good ghost story, put this place on the MUST SEE list. The spirits are here. Although I did not sense anything malevolent from the entities, I was aware of at least two intelligent hauntings in the mansion, and I believe that the basement has a portal where souls are entering and exiting the house. If I could spend the night at Rose Hall with a team of paranormal investigators, I believe that the spirits would eagerly tell me their side of the story. And what a story it would be! I’m going back…someday.
The Ghosts of Chattanooga’s Historic Read House Hotel
The Crutchfield House Hotel aka/ The Historic Read House Hotel, Chattanooga, TN Circa 1847
Chattanooga, Tennessee could probably be sited as one of the most haunted locations in the United States. The mid-size city’s Civil War past harbors one of the bloodiest battles in the War Between the States with approximately 34,000 dead and wounded soldiers, second only to Gettysburg. It’s a city of enormous beauty and quintessential history that is sure to please those like myself who love to hunt haunted locations. Perhaps that is the real reason that I am intrigued by ghosts. I’ve been a lifelong paranormal researcher studying the unexplained since I was able to obtain a library card and check out books. It’s a fascination that began after I experienced my first encounter with the living dead, and the rest is history.