2017 – Ringing in the New Year!

PrintWith the advent of a new year, sensibilities rise to the forefront of our mind. Perhaps more than a birthday, the new year sings its own reverie to get our ducks in a row, to begin again to tow the mark, bids us to turn the page and start anew. Yes, the new year taunts us to envision the horizon and see the future by improving our focus. The festivities are over – winter is settling in and she proves to be a preponderance of resolution our inner being innately underscores in its need for reparation toward the achievement of our newest creative seeds and their triumphant emergence in the springtime for summer’s consumption and fall’s exuberance.

As a fledgling entrepreneur / small business connoisseur, having experienced equally great successes and failures, it is time to embrace the season and refresh business acumen, ideologies and direction. It is time to take successes into the future, and to comprehend lessons-learned from entrepreneurial failures of the past, in order to benefit clients, customers, readers and authors universally in our future.

In order to enact benefits, change is required. So, throughout the month of January 2017, change is the plan of the hour. And, will be introduced as the month progresses to enrich government and commercial clients and customers, as well as literary and non-fiction readers and authors.

Both dpInk Company Ltd. and DonnaInk Publications, L.L.C. wish each of you happiness, prosperity, and health throughout 2017!

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Tune me in and Turn me on!

flier1Author Lyn Gibson shares urban legends and haunted history every Monday evening!  All horror – all hour, just the way we like it!  Tune in at TUNEIN Satellite Radio or stream live at ARMED RADIO GLOBAL!  Replays on SPREAKER

Vampire Warfare

sexy     As difficult as it is to comprehend, there are those among the living who refuse to succumb to the embrace of the immortal.

For those of you who insist on stockpiling garlic cloves and spend your evenings whittling stakes, I thought you would have interest in knowing the history concerning Vampire repellents!

As you well know, legends of the undead have existed for nearly as long as mankind has walked the earth. Artifacts have been excavated from ancient dig sites which validate their long-lived legends.  Not all of these ancient relics exalt their existence, some, in fact, were created with the intention of protecting the bearer from the wiles of the blood sucking wretches that were known to both civilize and destroy.

The Lilith Amulet

lilith-51     This particular amulet (and others like it) were excavated at a burial site in Ur; it is dated back beyond 2500 B.C.E.   Lilith and her children were said to roam the land during this era.  (More information on the Legend of Lilith can be found in my past blogs)  It was a well known fact, in these times, that Lilith herself vowed no harm would come to those who wore the amulet, particularly pregnant women or their infant children.

Scarab Amulet

scarab     Also found in the same and later eras was the Scarab amulet.  Both the Egyptians and Sumerians associated the Scarab with the sun God Ra.  Ra was given praise for rolling the new sun across the sky therefor renewing the bodies of his worshipers both is a physical and spiritual sense.  The light of Ra’s sun was known to cleanse both humans and earth of the evil spirits that roamed the land during the dark hours.

Garlic

garlicherb     Everyone knows that Vampires detest even the sight of Garlic, but why?  Garlic was known to be a sacred herb, so highly regarded was it’s worth that half of the pyramid builders wages were paid in garlic.  The herb was used in the embalming process; it was believed that its powers would repel evil spirits from inhabiting the bodies of the deceased therefore prohibiting the soul of that person from finding his way back to his body in the afterlife.  The mystical powers of garlic do not end here.  Amid many other beliefs, ancient Europeans knew that the pungent aroma would deter blood sucking insects.  Other cultures, along with that of the Egyptian lore, believed that garlic cured infections and killed bacteria.  It was in early European legends where the conception of Vampirism was first initiated via a virus.

Crucifixes, silver and sunlight

crucifixsilversun    Three of the most commonly known Vampire deterrents known through history all hale from the same legend.  The story of Judas Iscariot, betrayer of Christ, is one of the more well known Vampire origination theories.  Judas, after having been paid in silver coins to betray Jesus, was so distraught by his own actions that he hanged himself in a nearby tree.  This is where the story ends in most traditional religious literature.  Ah, but as legend would have it; there is always more.  After Judas’ soul abandoned his body, God brought him back to life, in a matter of speaking.  Judas was cursed by God to wander the earth in darkness until the day of reckoning.  In his eternal wandering, Judas would know the pain of losing all he knew and loved lest he cast his own curse upon them.  Never again would Judas feel the warmth of the sun on his face and forever he would thirst for the blood of the living.  It is because of Judas’ betrayal that Vampires loathe the symbol of the cross and silver, it is an ever present reminder to them of how they came to be the tormented souls that they are.

Running water repels Vampires

river     This belief stems from both Greek and Asian legends.  It was thought that the purity of running water was seen as offensive to the Vampire.   The Greeks would often relocate those suspected of being or becoming Vampire to isolated islands with the belief that they would not be able to tolerate the salt water for long enough to make their return to the mainland and feast on those that had opposed them.

Wooden Stakes through the heart

stake     The act of staking or impaling has endured for centuries, even in the time of ancient Babylonia.  The belief was a stake driven through the heart of a possessed or reanimated body would rid it of the evil that had claimed it.  Later in European regions, anyone that dies while suspected of being or becoming one of the undead was typically staked to the ground and decapitated thus preventing the body of rising from its grave.

Vampires and OCD

seeds     European folklore concerning Vampires often depicts them with arithmomania, such as a compulsion to count seeds or grains of rice.  It was for this reason that seeds would be scattered about the grave of those suspected of being or becoming Vampire.  Legend states that the newly undead would be so distracted by counting that they would never make it far from their grave before sunrise.

 

 

So there you have it, the history behind most of the well known Vampire deterrents known throughout legend and lore.  Much more information concerning the legends of Vampire origination can be found by searching my blog.

Comte de St. Germain – the history of Vampire Jack

Author Lyn Gibson

Visit DonnaInk Publications, L.L.C. for a copy of, "Adrian's Fury" or "To Be His Soulmate!" St. Germain

After a recent one hour on-air interview, I have been contacted by several parties that have either requested more information or have volunteered first hand experiences concerning Jacques d’Saint Germain, The New Orleans Vampire. Since the show I have begun to research him a bit further. This blog is the first of more to come on Saint Germain, I will start here from the beginning:

Comte de St. Germain was said to have been born in 1712, details of his birth and life as a child are obscure, however Germain was said to have been the son of Francis II Rákóczi, the Prince of Transylvania. In contradiction to this date are two statements, one by Rameau, a relative of a French ambassador from Venice who testified that he had known St. Germain in 1710 and that he then had the appearance of a man near his fifties. The…

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Author Lyn Gibson to attend Geekonomicon 2015

69       Top Selling horror novelist and Vampire Historian, Lyn Gibson is slated to attend Geekonomicon 2015.  The event will be held at the Gulf Coast Coliseum December 11th-13th.  Gibson, author of “The Adrian Trilogy” “Short & Gory” and her soon to be released novel “The Wicked Truth” will be accompanied by the “Adrian’s Fury Dragster”.

“This is the long awaited debut of our dragster” Gibson states.  “We are excited to have her make her first appearance at a fairly local con.  This will be our first year to participate at Geekonomicon, we’re excited on a lot of different levels.”

Gibson has attended cons and other like events frequently in the past 2 years and has accumulated a following of over 73,000 on her social media, fan pages and blogs.  Her writing style is unique.  She has the ability to weave legends and lore throughout her story lines leaving her fans eagerly awaiting her next release.

“I adore the Steampunk scene, I believe that Geekonomicon holds a world record on having the most Steampunk enthusiasts in one place at the same time” Gibson adds.  “The Dragster will be in the Guinness book of world records soon as well.  She is a hand crafted, custom build that is like no other as far as top fuel front engine dragsters go.  My husband will also make the record book for being the tallest NHRA certified driver.”

geekGeekonomicon boasts being far more than an event:

       Geekonomicon is a community of like-minded geeks and nerds who want to create an environment on a regular, not just yearly, basis where people can gather together for networking, entertainment, and educational events to share ideas and connect without fear of judgment. On this quest to grow our community we will promote awareness in society of our unique culture, its differences, and similarities, in order to foster a better mutual understanding. In December were we can all celebrate a family friendly Geekmas together.

      The Con has a broad list of guests ranging from Authors, Film producers, Actors, Artists and more, much more.  The event is jam-packed with games, movies, panels, contests and other activities for attendees of all ages.  For additional information visit the Geekonomicon website at the link above.

 

 

Haunted Louisiana – The Magnolia Plantation

magnolia  The Magnolia Plantation still stands in all of it’s glory today, a aged reminder of prosperous cotton and tobacco industry that once thrived in a pre-Civil War Louisiana.  Originally constructed by Ambrose LeComte III in 1830 in order to expand the family cotton plantation which represented up to 5000 acres at one point; 2000 of those acres were cleared, planted and harvested by slave labor.  The crops that were harvested here would allow the family business to expand even further into to additional plantations.  The Magnolia plantation would remain the family home and business headquarters.

The grounds of the plantation still host over 18 individual improvements, ranging from slave quarters to a general store.  All of the buildings have long since been restored and stand in their former glory today, a far cry from the dilapidated and abandoned eyesore that they had become in the late 1980’s and 90’s.  All 3 of the family plantations had weathered the civil war era badly, the Magnolia would be the only to survive, at least until the 1970’s when cotton was still being picked by hand.

The haunted history of the Magnolia is mostly represented by the slave labor that built her.  Legend states that LeComte and his overseers were rather cruel and were known to torture the slaves ruthlessly.  The quarters, though provided for the slave families, were tiny, sometimes as many as 10 family members were housed in under 500 square feet with nothing more than a tiny fireplace as an amenity.  Devices of discipline such as leg stocks, have been uncovered on the property as well, a never forgotten symbol of past atrocities performed by those in a position of authority.

In 1897, after the Civil War had ended, the main house was in such a state of disrepair due to constant looting and vandalism.  LeComte would rebuild and exact replica of the original home on the same grounds, much of the lumber used in it’s construction was taken from the slave quarters, perhaps implanting the ghosts of mistreated slaves into it’s very foundation.

The slaves of the Magnolia were known for their practice of voodoo.  Many signs of their faith are still found on the grounds today.  Slaves that worked in the blacksmith shop on the plantation grounds were tasked with creating elaborate metal crosses for family grave sites.  The results were breathtaking but within the ornate decor of the crosses are voodoo symbols placed discretely by the creator in an attempt of seeking revenge upon the souls of their oppressors.

One of the most noted apparitions is that of a slave known as Aunt Agnes.  Agnes was known among the other slaves as a healer.  She is seen frequently around what is now known as cabin 1, thought to have been her home while living on the plantation.  During a paranormal investigation performed by the Travel Channel, equipment had been padlocked into the tiny improvement at the end of the day.  The next morning when the crew went to retrieve their equipment they found a line of yellow powder had been strewn across the threshold and the padlock was missing.  Inside they found that the equipment had been moved from one side of the cabin to the other, but nothing was missing other than the padlock.

On the grounds many other apparitions may be encountered.  Those that are brave enough to investigate may even hear the sounds of voices chanting at night, reminiscent of old voodoo rituals that were performed on the grounds.

Another of the famous haunts is said to be that of Mr. Miller who was known as the overseer of the plantation during the Civil War.  Mr. Miller met his demise one night when soldiers moved in on the estate with intentions of burning it to the ground.  Mr. Miller stood humbly on the front steps begging the soldiers to leave his home be; he was consequentially shot dead where he stood and is buried somewhere on the plantation grounds.  When things go missing around the plantation, it is typically Mr. Miller who is blamed.

Haunted Louisiana – Oak Alley Plantation

oak alley     Originally dubbed “Bon Sejour” (Pleasant Sojourn) by it’s original owner Jacques Telesphore Roman III, this majestic structure would come to be known as “Oak Alley” indicative of the 300+ year old oak trees, which line it’s .25 mile long driveway.

Oak Alley was constructed during a two year time span beginning in 1837 and ending in 1839; over 100 years after it’s mammoth Oaks were planted  by a French settler that had once lived on the grounds.   Though built to suit the high standards of Josephine Pile, the wife of Jacques, the elaborate estate would not hold her fancies for long.

Josephine had been well known among the most elite circles of New Orleans and yearned to return to the big city social life.  She would often return with her children to visit the city.  As time passed, the visits became more frequent and longer, leaving Jacques alone within the home that he had built for her.  Jacques would die home alone in 1848 of Tuberculosis.

After Jacques passing, his son Henri, would take over the family home.  During this period Oak Alley experienced many blows brought on by the Civil War.  Vandalism and looting brought her to her knees and by 1866 she was sold at public auction to John Armstrong.  The plantation would pass ownership through many hands until purchased by Andrew and Josephine Stewart.

The Stewart’s would spend the remainder of their lives restoring Oak Alley, which would become the first antebellum restoration in the South.  When Josephine died in 1972, Oak Alley was left to the “Oak Alley Foundation” a non-profit organization which she had founded.   In 1998, Oak Alley would be opened to the public as a bed and breakfast with guided tours.

History of Hauntings

While the original structure was under construction, a slave named Antoine was known by all as the head grounds keeper.  Antoine was known for grafting pecan trees and  is responsible for breeding what we know now as the soft shell pecan.  His original hybrid trees still stand on the estate grounds.

Antoine loved the estate and dedicated his life to caring for the grounds, it is said that he can still be seen meandering about beneath the sprawling Oaks and among the pecan trees which he had created and cared for.

Louise Roman, daughter of Jacques and Josephine, was raised to the same social standards of her mother.  During her courting years, Louise became angered by a suitor who had drank too much and in his drunken state, attempted to kiss her.  Furious over his actions, Louise ran away from him.  In her rage, she tripped and fell,  slicing her leg open on the metal frame of her hoop skirting.  The wound developed gangrene resulting in the loss of her leg.

Now seeing herself as damaged goods and no longer worthy of the attentions of those within her social standing, Louise retreated to a convent in St. Louis; she would return to Oak Alley in her late years in order to live out the last of her days.  She is often seen wandering throughout the home, many guests have heard her crying over both the loss of her leg and social status.

Josephine Roman is frequently seen wandering from room to room, making sure that everything is in order.  Josephine has been caught on camera many times both by investigators and guests alike.

Jacques died lonely in his beloved home, his shadowy apparition is sometimes spotted around the back of the estate.  He is always seen in a gray suit wearing his riding boots.  Jacques also makes appearances in a mirror that is now stored in the attic.

Josephine Stewart was said to favor the lavender room, perhaps that is why she is frequently seen walking about the room, sometimes she is seen sitting on the bed and is known to turn on the lamp at nightfall.

A fantastic list of apparitions, but that’s not all folks!  Things are known to be flung about, thrown by unseen hands.  Many items have been reported missing by guests, only to be recovered by the staff at a later date either near or in the same place from where they previously vanished.

On rare occasions the sound of a hours drawn carriage can be heard on the driveway as it approached the estate, the sound vanishes just upon it’s arrival at the front steps.

Oak Alley has been investigated by several well known paranormal researchers.  Sci-Fi’s Ghost Hunters, The Travel Channel’s, Ghost Adventures and TAPS have all reported intriguing activity citing both photographic and EVP evidence.  Many have had encounters during their stay.  One particular incident occurred during the middle of a guided tour.  Imagine the surprise of both the tour guide and 35 patrons when witnessing a candlestick fly from the mantle across the room!

Oak Alley has definitely earned her title as one of Louisiana’s most haunted, book your stay or guided tour soon, it’s definitely on my bucket list!