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Anna M. Taylor: Do You Believe In Ghosts? (Contest)
Thursday, December 17th, 2020

UPDATE: The winner is…Carol Cox!

I realize when I ask, “Do you believe in ghosts?” I’m really asking, “Do you think there’s anything stronger than the grave?” A Roman Catholic colleague of mine had someone ask her why she prayed to her dead grandmother. Her response was she didn’t believe death could kill all that love. No way was that connection gone. I agree with my friend. I believe love is stronger than the grave and that love wants to work to our benefit. That love is stronger than the evil often attributed to ghosts by the likes of Henry James and Edgar Allen Poe. Even phenomena like poltergeists are considered rare and tied to the unresolved issues of the living.

I was always attracted to the idea of friendly spirits who want to be helpful. Be they the ghosts from the TV show Topper or cartoons like Casper the Friendly Ghost. As a kid, my heart always broke for Casper when the kids he was playing with were dragged away from him by scared screaming parents. Maybe growing up in the turbulent ’60s and knowing people rejected people like me because of the color of my skin had me identify with Casper on a level I wasn’t aware of.

I know my belief in help from beyond the grave is firmly rooted in my belief in the resurrection. But I’m also sure my belief in helpful ghosts has been shored up by the various movie versions of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Published in 1843 as “A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas” Dickens had a similar themed story in his 1836 novel, The Pickwick Papers, entitled “The Goblins Who Stole A Sexton.” In that story a selfish sexton is visited by goblins who help him see the error of his ways much like the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future helped Ebenezer Scrooge see the light. Between you and me ghosts are much more appealing than goblins.

My interest in ghosts has led to loads of research about the parapsychology realm. For instance, I learned there are five types of ghosts: the interactive personality, ectoplasm, poltergeist, orbs and funnel ghosts. Who knew? Most stories naturally focus on the interactive personality, but I’m intrigued to learn more about the other four. I came across the Louisville Historic tours has some cool photos of each if you’d care to check them out:’ve even got a video purporting to capture an orb:

It’s also nice to know I’m not alone in my interest in manifestations from the other world. I went to and have discovered thirty-five paranormal societies I intend to check out here in New Mexico.

So how about you? Do you believe in ghosts as a quantifiable reality or the stuff of fantasy and wishful thinking? Share your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to give someone a chance at a $10 Amazon gift card. Hope your holidays have been merry and bright.

A Little In Love With Death

Ten years ago no one — not even the man who said he loved her — believed Sankofa Lawford’s claim she had been brutally attacked by a ghost. Ten years later an assault on a new victim brings her back to Harlem to a mother going mad, a brother at his wits’ end and a former love who wants a second chance. Sankofa longs for her family to be whole again, for love to be hers again, but not if she must relive the emotional pain created by memories of that night.

Mitchell Emerson is convinced science and reason can account for the ghostly happenings at Umoja House. He resolves to find an explanation that will not only satisfy him but earn back Sankofa’s trust and love. Instead, his own beliefs are shaken when he sees the ghost for himself.

Now reluctant allies, Mitchell and Sankofa learn her family was more than a little in love with death. Their search for the ghost draws them together but discovering sixty years of lies and secrets pulls them apart. As their hopes for happily ever after and dispersing the evil stalking Umoja House slip beyond their grasp, Mitchell and Sankofa find an unexpected source of help: the ghost itself.

Excerpt from A Little in Love with Death…

Mitchell swallowed hard. Ten years hadn’t lessened the effect of Sankofa’s beauty on him. Photos in various alumni newsletters showed the gray in hair that had once been charcoal, the roundness in a face that had once been slender, the tiredness in a gaze that had once been energetic. He’d expected his ex-lover’s effect on him to be just as diminished. His shoulders suddenly drooped, weighed down with the loss of what might have been.

Harlan Montgomery Jr. clapped Mitchell on the back.

“Here he is, Langston. I told you Mitch would respond to our S.O.S.” He peered into Wanda Lawford’s room, shuddered then addressed Langston again. “How’s Auntie doing?”

Langston shrugged and averted his gaze.

Sankofa crossed her arms and glared. “As well as can be expected.”

Mitchell cleared his throat. Ten years hadn’t changed how emotion colored the Lawford siblings’ light complexions. Embarrassment darkened Langston’s. Anger still set Sankofa’s ablaze.

Harlan smiled, unfazed by the hostility she poured on him. “It’s good to have you back in Harlem, Sankofa.”

Sankofa uncrossed her arms. “I’m not glad to be back.” She turned her sharp glare on Mitchell. “And I won’t be staying long.”

He touched the side of his face where her scowl scraped his cheek, half expecting to find blood. He remembered how her eyes sparkled like sunlight through honey when she smiled. He would receive no smiles this trip. And rightly so. She had no reason to be glad to see him.


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30 comments to “Anna M. Taylor: Do You Believe In Ghosts? (Contest)”

  1. Michelle
    · December 17th, 2020 at 8:23 am · Link

    Why does time have to be linear, what if all time happens all at once, always! Your great grandmother is in a kitchen somewhere cooking at the same time as you, you can choose to live the same life line over and over (or are living it over and over), love crosses over the barriers, why not? I believe 🙂 !

  2. anna Taylor Sweringen
    · December 17th, 2020 at 11:03 am · Link

    Hi Michelle,

    What a great insight! The energy which we all are never dies, so why couldn’t we access it in real time like you say? Love it. Thanks for stopping by.

    · December 17th, 2020 at 11:05 am · Link

    I don’t know if I believe in ghosts per se but I believe that the spirit exists separate from the body and can remain after the body is gone. I know that my grandfather watched over my grandmother until she died. She told me she felt him and saw him regularly after he died.

  4. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · December 17th, 2020 at 11:05 am · Link

    As always thanks for hosting me, Delilah. I had a lot of fun with this post and look forward to fantastic insights like the one just shared by Michelle.

  5. Lita Harris
    · December 17th, 2020 at 11:34 am · Link

    Great post, Anna. A Little in Love with Death sounds like a great read. I love ghost stories.

  6. Colleen C.
    · December 17th, 2020 at 11:56 am · Link

    Well I do believe… one has followed my sister for years and I actually saw him once when I was babysitting… boy did my heart jump out of my chest in that moment… other small things occurred before that to let me know he was around, but seeing him was a whole new experience.

  7. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · December 17th, 2020 at 12:21 pm · Link

    Thanks for sharing that, Jennifer. I know when I recall someone who was very close to me I can sense their presence with me.

  8. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · December 17th, 2020 at 12:22 pm · Link

    Thanks for the compliment, Lita. I hope it meets with all lovers of ghost stories approval.

  9. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · December 17th, 2020 at 12:24 pm · Link

    Whoa, Collen! I’d have jumped too. Thanks for sharing the faith. 🙂

  10. Jennifer Wilck
    · December 17th, 2020 at 12:58 pm · Link

    Good luck with the book!

  11. anna taylor sweringen
    · December 17th, 2020 at 5:01 pm · Link

    Thanks, Jennifer. Form your heart to readers’ pocketbooks. : )

  12. Mary Preston
    · December 17th, 2020 at 8:43 pm · Link

    Yes, I believe. I think that a person’s essence does linger.

  13. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · December 17th, 2020 at 9:51 pm · Link

    I’m with you, Mary. We’re more than flesh and bone. Thank you, Mary for stopping by.

  14. bn100
    · December 17th, 2020 at 9:57 pm · Link


  15. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · December 17th, 2020 at 10:06 pm · Link

    Short and sweet. Thanks, bn. 🙂

  16. Debra Guyette
    · December 18th, 2020 at 6:55 am · Link

    I know there are things that are unexplained so I am open to the existence.

  17. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · December 18th, 2020 at 5:03 pm · Link

    Agreed, Debra. I think about things we know about now and take for granted like microbes that were scoffed at because they couldn’t be seen, yet whose existence was eventually proved. Thanks for commenting.

  18. flchen1
    · December 19th, 2020 at 12:56 am · Link

    I’m not sure I’m a believer, but at the same time I think there are a lot of things we don’t understand so it’s certainly possible that there is phenomena we perceive as ghosts or other paranormal events.

  19. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · December 19th, 2020 at 8:25 am · Link

    Thanks for the comments, flchen. It’s the willingness to engage in the conversation that’s important…at least on this topic.

  20. Debbie
    · December 20th, 2020 at 1:50 pm · Link

    Like your friend I also believe in life after death. I talk to my parents all the time and my moms been gone for over 40 years and by dad over 20. I don’t see or hear them but feel their presence. Those who have gone before us will always be with us in our hearts and as a result of the Resurrection we will all be United again.

  21. Kerry Jo Pruett
    · December 20th, 2020 at 3:51 pm · Link

    I do believe in ghost as a matter of fact my mother in law visited and a one time just to make sure I was taking care of her baby boy

  22. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · December 20th, 2020 at 8:22 pm · Link

    Thanks for commenting, Debbie. I don’t talk to my dad but I have had him visit me in my dreams and look forward to reuniting with him and others who have meant so much to me.

  23. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · December 20th, 2020 at 8:23 pm · Link

    LOL, Kerry Jo! Hope it was a friendly visit. If I were to be visited by my mother-in-law’s ghost, she’d be more apt to ask how I’m doing and if her son were taking good care of me. Thanks for stopping by

  24. Carol Cox
    · December 20th, 2020 at 9:35 pm · Link

    Unfortunately, no.

  25. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · December 21st, 2020 at 10:25 am · Link

    Hi Carol,

    Your unfortunately intrigues me, Carol. This post and the comments it has received has me wondering if we see because we believe. What would happen if we didn’t believe — maybe wanted to — but saw? That’s my hero’s dilemma. I don’t know if I brought him to a satisfactory result on the topic, but at least he has his love back. Thanks for stopping by.

  26. Shonna
    · December 23rd, 2020 at 9:33 pm · Link

    I want to believe,… but I don’t

  27. ButtonsMom2003
    · December 24th, 2020 at 12:01 am · Link

    I’m not sure where I fall. Somewhere between yes and no. 🙂

  28. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · December 24th, 2020 at 11:48 am · Link

    Hi Shonna,

    I hear you. I find myself constantly moving between the definitely-believe camp and the want-to-believe camp. As my understanding of what ghosts are and what they aren’t expands I find I spend less time in the want-to-believe camp even though I still go there just as often. Thanks for stopping by.

  29. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · December 24th, 2020 at 11:49 am · Link

    Hi ButtonsMom,

    Between yes and no is an open-minded place to be. Whether I’m closer to yes or no depends on the experience. I never discount someone else’s and only analyze mine. Thanks for stopping by.

  30. Delilah
    · December 27th, 2020 at 9:33 pm · Link

    Thanks to everyone who played. And thanks to Anna for being a great guest. The winner of the gift card is Carol Cox!

Comments are closed.