Tuesday, July 17, 2007


In 1991, while on a high-adventure trip with my Boy Scout troop, we had a most spiritual time in Santa Fe. That particular morning, we went out to Nambe Falls to go swimming, then came back into town later for the afternoon. A summer thunderstorm came up, and we ducked into the Woolworths on the historic plaza square to escape the deluge. From the television over the coffee bar we learned that a whole family had been swept away by a wall of water that came crashing down a normally dry arroyo. We had crossed that same place four hours earlier.

That evening we took a ghost walk on which we were privileged to see the Staab House (click the link to read about it). The house is completely surrounded by the modern La Posada Hotel. What they don’t tell you is WHY the house is inside a hotel. So I will…

Julia Staab loved that Victorian mansion, but it eventually passed hands to the folks who built La Posada. But Julia’s ghost would not let the construction workers tear down the house. At times she was violent. Other times, the workers just became sick. The builders had to give up. But they built the hotel anyway, with the complete Staab mansion contained inside it! This turned out to be a good business move, too—the ghost of Julia Staab is still quite active, and the hotel gets a premium rate from those souls brave enough to stay a night in the haunted house!

The photo was taken in the sitting room. We couldn’t see Julia, but we could sure feel her presence!

Monday, July 16, 2007


Earlier this evening I reviewed a book over on my “Scouts From The Big City” blog titled: “The Ghost of Mount Chinati,” by Walter LeCroy, a fellow Texan. It is the story of a Boy Scout named Corbie Ransom and his close encounter with the Marfa Lights.

Marfa is an isolated small town in West Texas. The lights appear shortly after sundown above the hills south of town. Many folks have seen these lights. They appear often enough to have received significant media attention. Yet no one has been able to prove what they are.

Above is a photo of Enchanted Rock in the Texas hill country, the crowning jewel of the most popular park in the state. The solid granite dome rises 500 feet above the surrounding country. The landmark is considered sacred by the Indians. At night, flashes of light are sometimes seen that appear to originate in the rock. Again, no explanation is offered. There does not seem to be any correlation with weather conditions or the moon.

Anybody have thoughts to contribute about these mysterious lights?

Thursday, July 12, 2007


When I was young, the country had a fascination with outer space. Cars had spaceship fins and “rocket” taillights. I understood that. Space travel was our fantasy, culminating in the 1969 moon walk.
We also had another fascination with things paranormal and even slightly macabre. For kiddies, Casper the Friendly Ghost. For those liking a little humor with their hauntings, there were the Munsters and the Addams Family (not relegated to late-night, either). For mild goosebumps, one could indulge themselves in The Twilight Zone. And who could forget Dark Shadows, the twisted, but unique, soap opera. I confess I was too young for Night Gallery when I first watched it. I had recurring nightmares after that.

Unlike the space infatuation, I don’t know the reason for spook popularity, other than going trick-or-treating twice a year (once for UNICEF, and once for candy). It was all fun and not taken too seriously.

A lot of us would agree that the offerings today in the ghostly genre are seriously scary and often too gross. But my question is: does anybody remember why ghosts were so popular in the ‘50s and ‘60s?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


This bridge in the abandoned Boy Scout Camp Bill Stark, in far east Texas, was the inspiration for my most-requested ghost story (save those requests for The Forbidden Tale). The photo was taken in 1982 after a frightening lightning storm dropped 12 inches of rain in three hours. Normally, the bridge is about 12-15 feet above the creek.

The name of the creek is actually “Cow Creek.” Not very imaginative. So I renamed it Sheoll Creek and built the story around it. If you’re a student of the Bible and you know the story, you’ll know why I named it Sheoll Creek. A spookier place is hard to come by. Parts of the camp are swampy, so it’s foggy at night, with cicadas and bullfrogs covering the sounds of the creatures that stalk the place at night. The buildings are going to ruin, dark with windows broken and screens clawed apart. Feral cats and mangy dogs roam freely. The swimming pool and what used to be the cinder-block shower rooms are riddled with large, ugly cracks.

After telling the story one typical night, a 23-year-old assistant Scoutmaster pronounced it hogwash. So the Scouts made a bet with him that he would not go down to the bridge alone. His manhood challenged, he strode off toward the creek. The Scouts shadowed him some distance behind. The young leader made it to the overgrown parade ground, about a hundred yards shy of the bridge—and there found he had not the courage to go farther!

“The Sheoll Creek Incident” is one of ten harrowing stories in the upcoming book HAUNTED CAMPS: The Campfire Stories of Scoutmaster B.C. Justice, available in September of 2007.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Welcome to all of you visiting my new blog on ghosts and ghost-related spookiness. I’ll admit up front that the purpose of this is to draw readers for my second book, Haunted Camps, which comes out this September. You can take a look at my first book now, Violent Night, which has ghosts in it, too.

I think almost everybody has had SOME experience with the forces beyond, even though many try to reason the experience away. By “beyond” I would include:
-Past Lives
-Evil Spirits (demons)
… but not stuff from outer space. I’ve encountered all of these except E.S.P., Premonitions, and Angels (though angels and ghosts may be related).

Personally I think my first body rests in some cemetery like Sad Hill in the movie “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.” Occasionally my spirit seems drawn to the time of the Civil War.

As I share some of my experiences, and a little B.S. mixed in, I hope to meet more of you online who have some kind of connection to the worlds beyond life, both what scares you and what brings you peace and good fortune.