Old Tarts and Blackpool Rock

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Sonia’s eyes almost popped out of her head. She cut me off mid-sentence and in a high-pitched voice that hurt my ears, she yelled,

“Your mam was in Blackpool with her fancy man, and you were there, too. Your mam is nothing but an old tart!”

Although I was only seven, I knew exactly what an old tart was.

Gripping my brown leather satchel tightly, I used all my strength, and swung it toward her. It was heavy with my reading books and the remaining sticks of Blackpool rock, and it flew through the air like a missile, whacking the side of her face. My anger gave me strength I didn’t know I had, and when it made contact with her head, her eyes rolled back and she sank to the ground, where she lay like a beached whale.

Yes, I write about ghosts and haunting, but I am who I am and every story has a little “ME” in it. That means there is a lot of truth and a little humor. Hope you enjoyed this small excerpt from Ghosts on the Sand, a story about a young girl who sees ghost and has unwelcome premonitions. 

Watch out for “Ghosts on the Sand and other chilling tales” coming out soon on Amazon. 

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Brompton-on-Swale

SandraBookCoverGhostsOnTheSand

I’d planned to have this book released by Christmas 2017. I know, it didn’t happen. I love writing so much I don’t have time to publish, and I certainly can’t afford a publisher. Oh well, when it eventually does get released later this year it’s going to be a bargain book for those of you who love England, especially the north-east. The stories packed into this book include;

Ghosts on the Sand (set in Blackpool)
Guy at the Bar (set in Brompton-on-Swale and Richmond)
Camera (set in Brompton-on-Swale and Richmond)
The Engineer (set in a fictitious village in County Durham)

Why are most of my stories set in the North East? Because it’s the best part of England. Northerners are genuine, down to earth and fun!

I was born in Bishop Aukland, lived in Shildon until I was 4 years old. I then fled with my mam to Etherly and Butterknowle to escape my violent dad. Mam finally found a job and house in Summerhouse, county Durham, where we lived until 1967. When she remarried we moved to Brompton-on-Swale, the village that shaped my life. Even though I live in the United States now (well until I retire to Italy), Brompton-on-Swale is on my mind a great deal. I wish I could become a famous writer. If I did I’d make sure to let everyone know where I came from. I’d tell them about that down to earth little village, where everyone knew everyone else and looked out for their neighbors. Many folks were born there and never moved away. They are the lucky ones. My wandering spirit won’t let me stay in one place too long. I pop back every now and again. Yes, it’s changed, but I still think of it as home.

Secrets of the Lake

Juliet was only LakeLadyfifteen the first time she saw the lady in the lake. She’s taken a short cut on her way home from theater class at school and stopped to rest under the shade of a Weeping Willow. With her back up against the trunk, she inhaled the sweet evening air.

The lake was a beautiful shade of sunset and she wished she had a camera to capture it.

At first she thought the shape in the middle of the lake was a log, but it was too tall. The lake was deep, very deep. Police divers had scoured it for a missing child a couple of years earlier and she’d heard one of them talking to her mam about it’s surprising depth.

Juliet stood up and walked to the water’s edge, hoping to get a better look. Were her eyes playing tricks with her? Clear as can be, in the middle of the lake, was a woman. She appeared to be waist deep in water, which wasn’t possible. Her face wasn’t visible because because she looked down into the water. Long black hair trailed on it’s glassy surface.

“Hey there, hello, do you need help? HELLO!”

No answer.

Shall I go for help?”

No answer.

There was a boat tied up by a little jetty on the far bank, but it would take a half hour or so to get there. The woman must surely be treading water, she’d be dead by then.

What do I do? I’m not a strong swimmer, if I tried to save her I’d drown!

She looked back at the lake, the empty lake, it’s smooth surface reflected the setting sun like a mirror. There wasn’t even a ripple in the water.

The light began to fade fast and Juliet knew she wouldn’t get home before dark. She shivered, eager to be away from the lake and its secrets.

She burst through the front door of her house, happy to be enveloped in warmth and light. Her dad sat in his favorite chair, watching television, he looked up when she walked in!

“Whatever’s wrong pet? You look like you’ve seen a ghost!”

In 2013 I published my first novel Dead of July – Amazon. Life has kept me pretty busy since then, but I’m writing again and soon hope to release a compilation of short stories – Ghosts on the Sand and other Northern Tales. I love writing stories about the North of England, its where I was raised. 

Fire and Darkness

Fire and Darkness, is almost ready for my copy editor. This book was originally published back in 2009 as Girl on the Beach. It was my second short story, but the first one I released. Now, it is completely re-edited and I think attractive to a much wider audience. If you like Ghost Stories set in England, this book is for you. It doesn’t fall into any particular genre, but I think would be a light enjoyable read for almost anyone, young and old alike. Have you ever been to Blackpool? Let me give you a taste of my book.

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Alone and terrified I watched the beach come to life. Strangers appeared, born from thin air. They spoke quickly in a different language as they ran towards the water. I looked in the direction they ran and saw something burning ferociously, flames emerging from the waves.

“Hey, what’s happening?” I shouted to a young man close by, but he ignored me. People gathered at the water’s edge, some wading towards the flames, but not getting far, it was too hot. A tiny hand slipped into mine and I looked down to see the tearful dirty face of a young child looking up at me.

And now let me give you a taste of Blackpool.

Blackpool Beach and Tower

Blackpool Beach and Tower

A 99 and a lime-split please

A 99 and a lime-split please

My current book is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

Dead of July – A German Ghost Story (Amazon)

Dead of July – A German Ghost Story (Smashwords)

Dead of July by Sandra Thompson

Three Ghosts – Alice Hobson

As I got ready for bed, thoughts of my parents were heavy on my mind. How they’d loved me, cared for me and tried to understand me. Their life had been so much different from mine. Their challenges were food rations and surviving the second world war. I was born in the late fifties. When I hit my teens there were different challenges to face, all involving temptation. Free Love, drugs, rock festivals, sounds selfish doesn’t it? My parents survived the second world war and I survived the free love and drug epidemic.

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I’m sure my mum and dad never slept while I attended these events. A handful of my friends died from drug overdoses. Many jumped off bridges or from windows after taking LSD and imagining they could fly. Hey, I tried things, who didn’t, but luckily I don’t have an addictive personality. I could, quite easily say NO, and after a few experiments, I did.

I lay down in my bed, knowing I wasn’t going to sleep, so I picked up my iPad and began to read. I couldn’t concentrate. I was saw lights dancing and flickering on the wall outside my bedroom door. It looked like candle light. I was about to get out of bed and take a look when I heard a gentle voice. I closed my eyes and imagined the face of my Grandma. Wow, I hadn’t seen that face in over thirty years. I smiled, she was a character.

The Fell

“Remember when we walked across the fell from Butterknowle to Cockfield? We saw your granddad by beck, he died before you were born, but he still watches you. We both do.”

“Grandma, I’m in America now, how do you see me?”

“We’re always with you, and your mam. Don’t trouble yourself anymore about your past. It’s behind you and you survived. Your mam was no angel pet, and she knows it.”

“I can hear you.” It was my mum’s voice. I heard laughter too.

“Remember Gordon?” My grandma said.

“The boy I went to school with when we lived on the fell?” Laughter. “He was nasty, he used to torment me.”

“You soon fixed that Ethel. Shall I tell your daughter what you did?” More laughter. “Alright I will. Your mum grabbed a handful of his hair from the top of his head and spun him around like a top. Took most of the hair from the top of his head in the process.”

My mum joined in, “He squealed like a pig and ran all the way home. He never bothered me again though.”

“No, but I had his parents to deal with.”

I heard laughter from both my mum and my gran. It felt so good. Alice and Ethel together again. The came back to cheer me up.

The laughter faded and I knew they were gone. I wondered if they had come to take me with them. but I slept well that night with a smile on my face, and woke up the next morning ready to meet whatever life threw at me. I knew I was never alone, my family may have faded into the background, but they still watched over me. They’re probably behind me right now, reading this and laughing. I hope so!

 

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Dead of July by Sandra Thompson

 

 

 

 

 

 

Escape!

shildon redworth road & inst m&lWhen the door slammed behind my dad, my mum breathed a sigh of relief. I stood helplessly looking at her as she lay on the floor. My dad always felt like a stranger, but I loved my mum and she was hurting. She smiled weakly up at me “I’m just catching my breath, it’s going to be alright, don’t worry.”

A four-year old shouldn’t worry, but I did. I was scared my dad would come back.

“Go grab my handbag Sheila, it’s on the table.” I did as I was told. When I brought it back to her she had pushed herself into a sitting position, clearly in pain. I was happy to see there was no blood. Slowly, using the wall for support, my mum stood up, wincing in pain as she did so. With a determined look on her face, she held out her hand and said “Come on pet, let’s go.”

I took her hand and we walked out of the front door for the last time.

“Where are we going?” I asked

“Redworth Road,” she said “I have to do Mrs. Mangles hair, she’ll be expecting me.”

It was a long walk to Redworth Road. My mum clasped my hand tightly, but spoke only to answer my repeated question of”Are you alright mum.?”

“Yes pet.” she would reply, but I knew she was hurting. I crossed the fingers on my free hand and hoped my dad would NEVER hurt my mum again.

Three years later, when my nasty violent father was nothing but a bad memory, I attracted a guardian angel. She appeared to me for years, helping me when I most needed it. If only my mum had a guardian angel back then, or maybe she did!  She escaped with her life after alll. Currently I am editing a short story called ‘Girl on the Beach’ which tells you when my angel first appeared. 

My first novel ‘Dead of July’ is available by clicking on the book cover  below. This story is set in the eighties and is about a young British Army wife and the trouble she got into in Dortmund Germany, where she tangled with both the living and the dead. With the help of her Guardian Angel, she lived to tell the tale. 

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Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
I liked this book a lot. The mixture of supernatural with real-life danger was very well done. I’ll be looking for more books from this author.
By Leslie
Format:Kindle Edition
A fun, fiesty heroine, creepy criminals, and an even creepier paranormal twist make this book unique. It’s a fun read, partly because it takes place in Germany in the 80s and it’s interesting to learn about that time period. But mainly because it’s got so many twists and turns that you never see coming.

Sheila is a British woman in Germany who does a good deed for a stranger in trouble, and before you can say “haunted,” she’s in all kinds of unexpected trouble herself from enemies alive and . . . not so alive.

I don’t want to spoil any of the fun, all I can say is you’ll never react to the smell of cigarettes in quite the same way again!

If you read my book, please leave me a review on Amazon, they mean the world to a new writer. Thanks for stopping by.

Demons be Gone – A Ghost Story (the end)

Blackpool Beach“Yes mum, I remember Blackpool Beach, I got lost and you came and collected me from the ‘Lost Children’s Van. I had to eat your ice cream because it was melting.  I thought I would never see you again. I had a nightmare which seemed so real. I was scared, but you came back and made everything right.”

It was more than a nightmare, I thought to myself, it was a premonition of a plane crash, a crash that made the news a week later. A crash that killed someone my mother loved.

“We had a lovely time in Blackpool didn’t we? You were a good girl, you saw way too many things a child should never see.”

Did my mum mean the regular beatings my fist dad gave her, or did she know about my premonition on Blackpool beach?

“You and I were close, we did lots together. We struggled through life on a hope and a prayer until I met your step dad.” she continued.

She’s right. I thought, We lived on very little other than love and the clothes on our back. 

“Mum, I wasn’t very nice to my step dad was I”

“You were a teenager, he understood. He never stopped loving you.”

“How do I put things right? How do I feel good about myself again?”

“Live for the future,” she said “like who you see in the mirror. Treat people well and live a good life. If you do this, you will reap what you sow.”

I smelled Lilly of the Valley again, my mother’s favorite perfume. I was surrounded by warmth and love, but I felt my mother pull away. I wanted her to stay, but knew she must leave. 

“Mum, I love you. I’m sorry for all I put you through. Are you happy?”

I couldn’t see her smile, but I felt it. “Your dad says hello. His heart is strong now and we go for long walks together. Don’t grieve for us because we are with you all of the time.”

She faded away and all I saw was the sun, golden and beautiful, shining through the trees. A new day was dawning and with it a new me. The demons were gone and I had my whole life ahead of me. 

Graveyard

 

My first novel DEAD OF JULY is available on Amazon by clicking on the link below.

A German Ghost Story

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The Grey Lady – A True Ghost Story

I was seven years old when I had my encounter with the Grey Lady. Did I imagine her? Maybe! Was I scared to death? YES! I am going to change the names of people I was with at the time because I am no longer in touch with them and unable to get their permission to use their names.

Brief History – Walworth’s paranormal residents are many. From ghostly footsteps being heard in one of the turrets on stairs that are no longer there, to the often sighting of a Grey Lady floating down a hallway on the first floor. Residents have woken from their sleep to the feeling that someone is in the room with them.

walworth_castle_07My friend Sonia’s mother was a housekeeper at Walworth Castle and the family lived in what looked like a miniature castle on the grounds. I loved their house, which was more appealing than the castle, which looked downright scary to me.

One day, after school, when I went to Sonia’s house for tea and she asked me if I would like to go inside the castle. Not wanting to show how scared I was, I said yes. Sonia walked me through the grand rooms with their dramatic high ceilings. I had never been in a castle like this before and soon forgot my fear. I was smitten by its beauty. “Oh I would LOVE to live in a castle like this,” I said, as I stood and stared at the blue and white ceiling. It looked like the top of a wedding cake turned upside down. It was gorgeous.

“Sonia?” Where had she gone? I didn’t hear her leave the room. “Are you hiding?” I said, looking forward to a game of hide and seek.

I walked towards the door, thinking she was hiding in the next room. IT SLAMMED SHUT!

“Not funny,” I said as I turned to the other door, which I knew led to a hallway and the front door. IT SLAMMED SHUT TOO!

Before I had time to scream or even think, the room grew cold and took on a foggy hue. My surroundings became blurry. Running to the door, I tripped over a rug, banging my head hard on the wooden floor. For a moment I felt disoriented and dizzy, but managed to sit up. Rubbing my head I looked around the room. There were shadows in the corners, they seemed to be moving, growing. For some reason I was unable to stand, so I crawled slowly to the door. It took all of my strength. I felt like I was making my way through quicksand.

I used the door knob to pull myself up and rattled the door frantically. “Sonia, this isn’t funny, let me out.”

In the distance I heard someone calling my name, I saw a grey lady beckoning me. She had long bony fingers. I squeezed my eyes tightly shut and screamed as loudly as I could.

Someone touched my shoulder and I froze. I knew it was the grey lady. She had come for me. 

“Sheila, hey, whats wrong, why did you lock the doors?”

It was Sonia. I looked around the room. No more fog, no more grey lady. Everything was as it should be.

Shakily I stood up, took a deep breath and then ran like my life depended on it. I ran out of the front door, down the gravel drive, and sat on the grass by the main road. No amount of coaxing would get me to move. I couldn’t even bring myself to look at that castle. Sonia and her mother I sat with me by the roadside until my brother came to pick me up.

“Whats wrong with you?” he asked as we drove away, “You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

I burst into tears and cried all the way home.

Walworth Castle is now a Best Western Hotel. I think it will make an interesting stay.

My first novel ‘Dead of July’, is now available to purchase from Amazon. If you enjoyed hearing about Sheila and her child hood adventures, you will certainly enjoy the trouble she got into when she reached adulthood.  Her adventures became much more complicated and extremely dangerous. Give it a try! amzn.to/1aXh4Md

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TRAVEL TALES AND MISHAPS

A German Ghost Story

A German Ghost Story

Talking a night off to talk about ME!

I was born in 1957 in Bishop Auckland County, County Durham. My father was a violent man and beat my mother while I watched. I was only four when he gave her the beating that scared her so much she left him for good. She took hold of my hand and we walked out of the house with nothing more than the clothes we on our backs. We never looked back. She raised me on her own, working as a housekeeper in a large farm-house in Summerhouse County Durham. Although this photograph was taken recently, this is where I lived until I was ten years old.  Lovely isn’t it?

We found a home of our own.

We found a home of our own.

I saw my first ghost when I was five years old. I saw a relative who had died as a child. It really scared me, mainly because I was confused.

I had my first premonition when I was seven. My short story ‘Girl on the Beach’ is based on my first premonition.

When I was ten years old my mother re-married. My step father was a good man, but I resented him because I was no longer the center of my mother’s world. I became a troubled teen.

Girl on the Beach Cover Art Flat with Title (Small)

 

I had many strange unexplainable encounters during my teenage years. I saw my granddad after he died, before I even knew he was dead. He visited me in my bedroom just after he committed suicide.

“Granddad, if you can see me, I did what you asked me to do. I hope in heaven you don’t have Parkinson’s disease anymore. I never knew you well but the smile in you lively blue eyes was beautiful.”

At the age of seventeen I was chased home from my local pub by a nasty man who had lecherous thoughs in his head. He was twice my age. I based my short story ‘Guy at the Bar’ on this experience. Guy at the Bar (Blue Text)[11]

I didn’t trust men very much when I was young.

I was only 20 when I got married to a British soldier. My life changed a great deal. We moved around the country and I made many good friends. My confidence returned. I still had premonitions. I often had visitations from the deceased. My husband even experienced them. None of them were scary or threatening. A little inconvenient sometimes. They certainly scared our neighbors.

In 1984 my husband was posted to Dortmund, West Germany (the Berlin Wall was still firmly in place). We had a blast in Germany. I loved living in a foreign country.

‘Dead of July’ is written about my time in Germany. It is my first full length novel and is due to be published in the fall. I am very proud of this book. It is with beta readers now, prior to being edited. I know this story off by heart and have lived it several times. It may never be a best seller, but it took my three years to write and to me, it’s a masterpiece.

‘Girl on the Beach’ and ‘Guy at the Bar’ are no longer for sale, as I am re-writing them both and having them edited. As I write more (yes I have another book in the works), I want each story to be perfect. Both of these short stories will be available before Christmas. They tell you how I became who I am. I hope you enjoy them.

Now its time for me to say goodnight. It was nice to share a little of ‘me’ with you all. I may not be Stephen King, but I still tell a good tale.