FOREWORD from The Haunting of Natalie Bradford~
I began my research twenty-five years after Liz Bradford’s death. Unknown to me, there was a hidden story within a story. The synchronistic findings were incredulous, and I found myself bewildered as I uncovered a prophecy that seemed to be predestined for Natalie Houston. Was she simply in the wrong place at the wrong time? Or, was she being used as an instrument to reveal a prophetic message?
My research carried me to the graveyard where Liz Bradford had been buried. I looked all around, not knowing which way to go. I closed my eyes and concentrated on the area while listening for my sixth sense to guide me. I then opened my eyes and walked directly to the site where Liz Bradford lay! A new tombstone was laid on Ms. Bradford’s grave. It was larger than the old one I remembered, and it had an inscription.
Trees had grown to maturity from the hillside gravesite hiding the front view of an abandoned Lindenwood. The grass seemed to be greener and thicker than it was years ago, and I noticed a new bouquet of flowers resting at her headstone. I will never forget the uneasiness that swept over me as I stood in the same place where I had stood twenty-five years before.
Later, my research took me to the courthouse in search of the court records from Devon Bradford’s trial. It took almost three weeks to locate the transcripts. Of all the files in the room, the Bradford case had mysteriously been misfiled in a box stacked out of place. I wondered if someone was trying to warn me to stay away. Each day I sat in the small, crowded storage room of the courthouse and studied the transcripts as if I was in a hypnotic trance. The more I read, the more scared I became. My research continued to turn up more and more bizarre coincidences that sent chills creeping up my back.
A few months after the first draft of this book was written, I came in contact with the bartender on duty the night Liz Bradford was murdered. During my interview with him, he told me that Liz Bradford’s suitcase sat packed just inside his stepfather’s office door. He said it sat there for many weeks, maybe even months. I was saddened for her. She never came back to pick it up.
Years later, I found myself living in a house behind The Rex Plaza where Liz Bradford was murdered. Not knowing the history of the house, my husband and I bought it as an investment and later found out it was haunted. I still do not know the origin of the spirit, but I can promise you, it scared the hell out of me. We lived there five years. Many days I sat on my redwood deck in the backyard of my home and gazed across the fence at the parking lot of the prestigious motel. I daydreamed of the days Liz Bradford once walked the floors of the lavishly decorated lounge serving cocktails to the wealthy guests and out of town patrons looking for some nightlife in Elvis’s town.
I still visit the restaurant where she worked and try to imagine myself as a customer on the night she died. The parking lot and facility is still standing in the same structure it was 38 years ago. The spirit of Liz Bradford is still prevalent to me when I walk in the restaurant.
Today, I live in a house that is ghost free. After many years of extensive study and dealing with the paranormal, I have to say I don’t miss the unnerving chaos that ghosts can cause, but some ghosts such as the spirit of Liz Bradford need us to tell their stories. Sometimes, the person they pick to tell the story may not be a coincidence. Natalie Houston was a non-believer in the spiritual world, but she got an introduction that would change her thinking for the rest of her life and her sleep. Sweet Dreams, Natalie