Saturday, February 2, 2013

Ghosts Stories Inspired by These Places

When I wrote my collection of ghost stories (NO REST FOR THE SPIRIT AND OTHER GHOSTLY TALES), I placed the stories around the town I was currently living in--Cameron, Texas. I grew up in a smaller town about nine miles away, so I'm fairly familiar with the area.

I haven't lived in the area for around ten years, and a lot of changes have taken place. In many ways, it's a very different town. In Ledbetter Park, the swimming pool is gone--no trace remains. The old cemetery behind it that was neglected--overgrown with brush, weeds and trees--has been cleaned out. I actually walked through the cemetery for the first time about two months ago. Marlow Bridge is no longer sitting over Little River in the Marlow community. It's been moved, and now sits over a section of the pond or mini lake (which ever you want to call it) in Ledbetter Park.

All these places and many more were the inspirations for my ghost stories.

 This picture is one view of the pond/mini lake that is the center of Ledbetter Park in Cameron, Texas. It is a pretty place to go out and have a picnic. The short story 'Lost Spirits' is set here.

 Here are two views of Marlow Bridge. As you can see, the bridge is designed as a single lane bridge--one car at a time. Many of these type of bridges are still in use throughout Milam County (Texas). And I am totally scared of them! I have no problem driving across the Houston Ship Channel, going through one of the tunnels under the channel, or driving onto a ferry, but I can not drive across one of these bridges. They creak and groan. Sometimes you can see between the boards, and of course the boards do move a bit. I don't really know why I'm so terrified of them, I just am. Maybe it's partly because I don't know how to swim.

Before I took this picture, I did something I never thought I would do--I walked across this bridge. Yes, I was terrified. My heart was pounding in my chest, but I did it. Am I going to look for one to purposely drive across--NO WAY!!!

 Even though it looks like you could still drive across it, they've fixed the bridge so that only foot traffic can go across. This bridge is featured in my short story 'Marlow Bridge Specter' because it's the perfect place to have a ghost or two wandering around.

 I was actually standing in the cemetery when I took this picture. When I was a teenager, I couldn't have done this unless I cut my way through the brush, weeds, and trees. Walking through the cemetery, I have no idea how many of the graves are now unmarked.

Many of the tombstones are damaged or have started sinking into the ground. I tripped many times over stumps and pieces of tombstones.

'No Rest for the Spirit' was inspired by this cemetery.

I wrote about this topic over at Downtown YA. If you haven't checked out the article, go take a look.