Thursday, October 1, 2015

A Ghostly Encounter at the Nootklatch Lodge by Leigh Shearin

Can you believe it's October already? The time of pumpkins and chilly nights. Of cider and costumes and ghost stories. It also happens to be my favorite month of the year.

This year I've invited authors to share their ghostly stories with us on my blog. When I sent the invite, I had no idea I'd have such an overwhelming response! And oh, the great stories that are pouring in. You're in for a treat this month!

Today I welcome author Leigh Shearin to the blog. She has a wonderful true story of her  ghostly encounter. And be sure to check out Leigh's most recent release, John Bloom and the Victory Garden.

"The Lodger"

by Leigh Shearin

Room #5 at the Nootklatch Lodge is haunted.

Awake at 2 am, despite a comfortable, clean room, I cursed menopause for the 689th time, and flipped over in a vain attempt to capture some Zs.

...and heard footsteps.

At first, I though my husband had slipped out of the massive king-sized bed and gone to the nearby bathroom. Made of some low-jiggle space-age foam, the bed was also so large, he would have had to telephone to let me know he was getting up. I turned my face over to look at the place he'd occupied, only to find him still wrapped in sheets.

It was then that my hackles rose.

Who's footsteps was I hearing? Ribbing myself, I started a mental checklist of possible non-paranormal sources for the noises I was hearing. We were in a first floor room; surely someone above us was just moving around, causing the floor to creak. The part of the Lodge we were staying in is constructed of enormous logs, so it made sense that some shifting and squeaking would happen. The sound wasn't really what I associate with creaky boards. It was more of a shuffle.

More desperate to sleep than I was to commune with the afterworld, I put the notion of wandering spirits out of my mind and began to doze off.

...and heard more footsteps.

Annoyed now, more than scared, I flipped over, slammed my arms down on the mattress and blew out an exasperated sigh.

"Cut it out, will you?" I said, feeling only mildly foolish for talking to an empty room. "I'm trying to sleep here. Can you please go away for a while and come back later?" I tried to be polite. I didn't want to irritate the specter, after all.


Growling with exasperation, I flopped down on the pillow and rolled away from the offending emptiness. Ridiculous, I scolded myself. Get to sleep. You've got a long day of driving tomorrow and if you...

    A push of energy stopped my self-lecture in it's tracks.

    That's the only way I can describe it. Almost a breeze, the sensation manifested itself between the nightstand and my head. Gooseflesh accompanied my now pounding heart as my eyes flew open, straining to pierce the darkness, trying to identify the cause of the feeling.


I wouldn't say I was afraid. Alarmed, maybe, but fear wasn't a part of my emotions. Acquiescing to the presence,  and working to control my heart, which was going like a trip-hammer, I drew in a deep breath and closed my eyes.

"Okay." I whispered, "I hear you. I sense and recognize you. I know I'm not dreaming. You're welcome to stay, but can you please settle down and stop making noise so I can sleep? I'm really tired."

I imagined the phantom moving away, toward the window at the back of the room. Utterly undone, it took me an hour to start feeling drowsy. Eventually, I fell soundly asleep and woke with no immediate memory of the experience. Later that day, on the drive home, I had a vivid flashback, but hesitated to relate the story to my just-the-facts-ma'am, hard-driving husband. Still, I wanted his take.

"Our hotel room was haunted." I blurted. In for a penny, in for a pound, I thought. Braced for ridicule, I grinned over at Jeff, who was tensely navigating construction traffic.

"Yes," he said. "I know. I thought I heard something. Footsteps, wasn't it?"

Settling back in my seat with a gasp, I realized it was true. I wasn't crazy, hallucinating, or unconsciously grinding out ghost stories to lull myself to dreamland. Room #5 at the Nootklatch Lodge was haunted.

I had felt it with my own two eyes.

Leigh Shearin, Author
Leigh Shearin is farmer, baker, teacher, and lifelong dreamer.

Leigh earned a B.A. degree in Studio Art at Maryville College and worked as a graphic artist before earning an ASS degree in Culinary Art.  She has worked as a chef, baker and culinary arts instructor.  Most recently, she and her husband bought rural land and are developing Winterrest, a small farm in central New York.  Through all this, Leigh wrote stories and poems…some published; some tucked away.  

She is happiest living off the land and developed a passion for local and sustainable farms, farmers and practices, spending hours researching farming and learning by trial and error.  She is an avid supporter of Farm-to-Fork and “locavore” restaurants and plans to supply these restaurants with her own farm’s products soon.

Leigh writes fiction stories for middle-grade readers. Along with illustrator Kate Shearin, Leigh spins tales of self-sufficiency and independence, along with gentle agriculture education. Since historical fiction is also a lifetime interest, Leigh uses true stories of the past to bring inspiration and joy to modern-day children.

Leigh lives with her husband and children in rural central NY.  You can check out Leigh’s blog at,,

Twitter: @LeighShearin
FB: Leigh Shearin, Writer
Instagram: Winterrestfarm

Check out Leigh's book here:
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