“The Haunted Swamp”

Ahhhh…. The Haunted Swamp. Nefarious place or a peaceful location? I guess that’s up to the individual and their experience.

Recently, my husband and I checked out a place called Bear Creek Swamp located in Prattville, Alabama. It was nearly a three hour drive that we took early in the morning to attend our son’s football game that was scheduled to occur later that night. The reason why we left so early was because my husband and I had already researched the city of Prattville, which was founded by industrialist and architect, Daniel Pratt in 1839. We love historical places so we took the opportunity to look around!

Upon our research, we looked for areas known for paranormal activity. That’s when my husband stumbled across some online articles about Bear Creek Swamp, also referred to as “The Haunted Swamp”. What he shared with me were some pretty interesting things. We read about ghostly sightings of Confederate soldiers, Creek Indians, early settlers, and even an apparition of a woman desperately in search of her lost child that will lash out at anyone who repeats three times, “We have your baby!”

People have even made reports of seeing floating orbs and phantom car lights that chased them down the road, that’s if their vehicles didn’t stall without plausible explanation. Yep, some say that their cars have actually “died” and wouldn’t start back up while encountering the freakishly paranormal activity of The Haunted Swamp.

Also, sightings of none other…. the big, hairy beast himself, Bigfoot! His echoing howls have been heard by various people claiming the validity of this creature. Oh, and we dare not leave out the elusive, legendary Chupacabra whose sightings have been reported as well.

And as if all that wasn’t enough to make one want to become a nail biter, there’s the Creepy Doll Graveyard where 21 porcelain dolls were found on top of bamboo stakes back in November, 2014. Who or what was behind this macabre creation? Who knows? The origin of such a morbid finding has never been discovered, or revealed.

Now, in finding Bear Creek Swamp, it seemed like it took my husband and me forever before we finally found it. Of course, we used our GPS and it sent us to a bridge that crossed over Bear Creek on Alabama State Route 14. We knew that wasn’t the exact location mentioned in the articles. Keep in mind, we weren’t able to find any road signs about Bear Creek Swamp, but did that stop us from our search? No way! We were determined to see what all the hype was about with The Haunted Swamp!

We traveled down a couple of paved roads that were near the bridge, but quickly knew that we were still in the wrong spots. My husband and I were just about to give up when we passed a dirt, gravelly looking road. He said,  “Hmmm…. wonder if that was the road?” Getting tired of driving around I asked him, “Wanna go back to see?” He was like, “No, uh huh… let’s just keep going.” But when he said that, I could tell that he really did want to go back to see if that old road was the correct one. “What would you do if you were me?” I asked him. “Go back.” He said without any hesitation.

That’s when I found the nearest place to turn our car around. I’m glad we did because once we turned down the old road, we were in awe of our surroundings! We weren’t even a mile away from Alabama State Route 14 when we noticed the swamp that was on both sides of the road. It was lush and green with a beautiful serenity about it! It was a road that appeared not traveled much and had very few residences on it. The entire time we were on the road, not once did we encounter another vehicle. It was absolutely quiet there. The only sound we heard was from a small, man-made drainage culvert. Trees were all over the place, moss was abound and I couldn’t resist taking some of the beautiful moss home. (The next day I put the moss into a crystal bowl and added some tiny, white wire lights to create a stunning coffee table centerpiece. One word…. “Gorgeous!”).

While going down the road we did stop and get out of our car a couple of times. Did we experience anything ghostly or otherworldly? Did we see our beloved Bigfoot and/or  Chupacabra? Nope! Didn’t see anything, hear anything, nor smell anything of the sort. (Smell? Why would I say that?? Because Bigfoot has always been known to have a foul odor about him. Poor guy…. you’d think that with all the water around there that he would take a bath every once in a while. 😉 )

Everything that we researched basically had supernatural activity at night. We didn’t stay there until nightfall because the main reason why we were in Prattville was to attend our son’s football game, which was far more important to us. So, that’s why we visited Bear Creek Swamp during the day.

What we did experience at The Haunted Swamp was tranquility and beauty. It was like stepping back into another time as we made our way down the unpaved road. No sounds of the hustle and bustle of a nearby city, no streetlights and buildings. Only vibrant green scenery and tall trees surrounded us. The occasional breeze that blew off the water was cool to our skin, taking away the humid, August day’s heat.

I was raised as a country girl, so I found myself extremely comfortable there. It made me reminisce the times when I was growing up on the old road that I did with my best friend. Together, she and I were always finding our way down hidden trails that passersby often forgot about.

My husband found himself reminiscing as well. He loved the place, too. We will happily go back at the next given chance!

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

~ Sheila Renee Parker on YouTube: Sheila Renee Parker

 

 

 

My artwork titled, “The Haunted Swamp”.

The Haunted Forest 3

(“The Haunted Swamp” ~ Digital artwork by Sheila Renee Parker. Prints available at Fine Art America!)

 

 

(The coffee table centerpiece that I created using the moss from “The Haunted Swamp”.)

 

 

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“Spooky Random Fact: #16”

“Spooky Random Fact: #16”

Do you have a fear of ghosts, anything ghoulish that goes bump in the night and causes fright?

Well, if you do, then don’t worry because millions of others do, too. It’s a very common fear known as “phasmophobia”. The word “phasmos” derives from the Greek language referring to “phantom” or “supernatural being”. It’s also known as “spectrophobia”. “Spectrum” is Latin referring to a specter, or an image of a thing, or an apparition.

Symptoms of phasmobia can typically be found in most disorders that lead to anxiety. A sufferer can go through feelings of dread, rapid heartbeat, panic attacks, also nausea and severe vomiting. It’s even been reported that a person suffering from phasmosphobia can develop OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) in order to conduct rituals to negate any kind of ghostly presence.

Is there treatment for such a phobia? Read more at Phasmophobia: A Ghostly Fear

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

 

 

 

 

Hellhounds: Such Naughty Lil’ Pooches

Popularly known as “The Bearers of Death”. These mangled, black furred, dog-like beasts have existed in legends for centuries. They’re reported to be supernatural in nature and possess ghostly characteristics with a foul odor. They’re also known to terrorize their victims with their gnarling sharp teeth and razor claws. They have red glowing eyes, super strength and speed, and may even have a fiery appearance with hellish abilities.

According to European folklore, many have claimed that if a person stares into a hellhound’s eyes three or more times, or hear its terrifying howl, it could be an omen or possibly the cause of that individual’s death.

These naughty little pooches’ purpose? Often, to protect the entrances to the realms of those who have passed on, like burial grounds and cemeteries. The nefarious beasts may be responsible for other ghastly duties like protecting unearthly treasure and/or hunting the souls of the lost.

The tale of these ferocious creatures is well-known throughout Great Britain. The Isle of Man has their own version referred to as “Moddey Dhoo. Wales has their’s known as “Gwyllgi”. The “Cadejo”, according to Central American folklore, is a large black canine that haunts those who walk late into the night on country roads. 

As stated earlier, hellhounds are referred to as “The Bearers of Death”. These creatures were given this title because it was alleged that they were created by ancient demons to serve as heralds of death. Sightings have been documented all throughout history, including locations within the United States: Louisiana, Kentucky, Connecticut, Hawaii, Ohio and then even abroad in Vilseck, Germany. The hellhound known as “Black Shuck” roams the Norfolk, Essex and Suffolk coastline of England. It has been seen lurking around graveyards, dark forests and crossroads. According to Catalan myth, their version of the foreboding beast is referred to as “Dip”: The Devil’s emissary who sucks its victim’s blood.

Just a few years ago the London-Based archaeology group, DigVentures discovered the skeleton of a gigantic dog from a shallow grave less than two feet deep in the ruins of Leiston Abbey, Suffolk. According to the archaeologists, they stated that the dog’s height was more than seven feet on its rear legs and weighed around 200 pounds. The DigVentures team believes that the skeletal remains likely date back to medieval times. It is possible that the canine was a rather large hunting dog and perhaps possibly the initial spark that created the legend of “Black Shuck”.

So, makes one wonder doesn’t it? Do nefarious creatures like the demonic hellhound really exist? Or are they the product of superstitious minds who possess wild imaginations?

A little something to think about while sitting alone in a slightly dimmed room on a dark and stormy night. And don’t worry if you hear slight scratching on the window beside you. It’s probably just the wind blowing a tree limb that’s causing the noise, or…. maybe it’s not….. perhaps it’s a hellhound trying to claw its way in……… 😉 ***HOWLS!!!***

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

 

 

 

 

 

A Board Known As The Ouija

The night was calm, dark and still. To this day, I remember it extremely well. However, many a year ago, it was a Saturday, a horror story of bold. Two other girls and I, together we were three, collected around a board known as the Ouija. Slowly, we placed our fingertips upon a small piece of wood called the planchette, dreading impending moments of regret, with fears of memories we wouldn’t forget.

With bated breath we deeply inhaled, then proceeded to ask things in great detail. For with the hereafter we wanted to converse, in a series of questions that were unrehearsed, like “is there anyone here?” and “how did you die?”. Then seconds later we got a reply. As scary as it was we were told “yes”. One simple word that made us become speechless. For we weren’t the ones who had replied, it was quite obvious by the fear in our eyes.

We continued with questions of more and we were answered with terror galore. With whom we had reached from the other side, was trying to come through with nothing to hide. Their answers were clear and their actions then too, for they were knocking over candles in the adjoining room. A room unoccupied with only a dim glow except for the entity’s unwanted show. Their presence was felt with heavy intent and we three girls were starting to resent unleashing this darkness that wasn’t fervent.

We stopped that night all due to fright and quickly put the board away locked up and tight. Our hearts raced without skipping a beat from what we had just witnessed that made the facts concrete. And even though it’s been so many years since that night with the swelling of tears, never again in front of me has there ever been another board known as the Ouija.

 

(A poem by Sheila Renee Parker inspired by one of her actual                                                                         paranormal experiences.)

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

 

 

 

 

 

“Spooky Random Fact: #13”

“Spooky Random Fact: #13”

“Yes”… “No”…. The spirits will tell you so, or do they really even know?

The Spirit Board, more commonly known as the Ouija Board, actually is based from the American 19th century obsession with spiritualism which is the belief that the deceased can communicate with the living and vice versa. On a scary note, many people believe that by using a Ouija Board, one can open doors leading into the gates of Hell, allowing demonic beings into our own world. After people use the board, several report hearing strange noises, seeing dark shadows, witnessing objects move mysteriously without reason and some extreme cases even claim experiencing possession from what they believe they brought through the “portal” or “opening” of the Ouija Board.

It’s not just a game. Once you’ve played with one, your life may never be the same. For you’ve been forewarned, what lies beyond the ghostly door shouldn’t be opened with a Ouija Board.

Read more at Ouija Board ~ a.k.a. Spirit Boards

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

 

 

 

 

“Spooky Random Fact: #12”

“Spooky Random Fact: #12”

Eeekkk!!!! It’s almost Friday the 13th!!! Hope you’re not superstitious…. 😉

Paraskevidekatriaphobia…. What is this centipede of a word aside from the fact that it also looks like a serious tongue twister?! For anyone who fears Friday the 13th, they know this phobia all too well. Sufferers of paraskevidekatriaphobia have been known to be so affected that they will disregard normal routine by staying indoors, taking the day off from work and some are so extreme that they won’t even get out of bed. There is belief that the Middle Ages could possibly be the origin of such a superstitious day, birthing from the story of Jesus’ last supper and crucifixion where thirteen people were present in the Upper Room on the thirteenth of Nisan Maundy Thursday, the night prior to Good Friday which was the day of Jesus’ death.

The misunderstood date with such a bizarre story…. Read more at Friday the 13th

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

 

 

 

 

“Spooky Random Fact: #10”

“Spooky Random Fact: #10”

“It’s the safest place in the world to be.” So often I hear this when it comes to the reference of cemeteries. Why? People always tell me it’s because the dead are not a part of the living any longer and it’s impossible for them to inflict harm to anyone. Then why is there such terror in the hearts of the individuals who suffer from coimetrophobia?

Coimetrophobia is the fear of cemeteries. Those who live with this phobia say that when they are in or around cemeteries, they experience shortness of breath, bodily shakes and breaking out in a sweat, just to name a few. More severe cases even experience heart palpitations and a sense of temporary paralyzation, preventing the sufferer to move. In fact, some people are so terrified by cemeteries that they avoid them all together!

 

Fascinating stuff, huh?! I know it intrigues me….. 😉

 

Read more at A Grave Fear

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html