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A Tavern of Spirits

Hello All!

I haven't posted in a while (for reasons that will become immediately apparent), but I wanted to give you all a little update as we launch into summer and say hello. A lot has been going on, from new books to archaeology at the very mysterious and EXTREMELY spirit-occupied building above.

First, the book stuff: three new Darkflower Books have come out so far this year, all incredibly different. The Ballad of Birdie MacLeod is a prequel to The Spiral Pathways series with LOTS of character crossover, and its sequel, The Angel and the Blackbird, will be out at the end of the summer. The Book of Samael: Conversations is a book I never thought I would write and documents conversations with a particular Seraphim / King of Daemons and is currently my best-selling book. Its sequel, The Book of Samael: Dreams should also be out later this summer and continues where the first book left off, and focuses on what happens when an otherworldy guide directs you to turn and face your darkest fears. And the sequel to Bonewytch, titled The Book of High Places, will be out in late autumn or early winter. Get ready for the return of Fia Grace Elliot in a big way people, and what's inside The Magician's Vault in the Arcanum!

And then...a few weeks ago I quietly released The Witch of Wolfcroft, Guidebook One. This book is the first twenty-odd assignments I give my students when mentoring them in Spiral Pathways Witchcraft. Guidebook Two should be out at the end of this year or very early next year. If you have been wanting to start down the path of investigating Witchcraft, this is the book for you. There are lots of Witchcraft books out there, but this is broken down into distinct lessons and there is an entire online support page that directs you to free videos and web pages to assist your learning, and is written by a Witch with 35 years experience and twenty years as a teacher, teacher trainer, and curriculum author for schools.

The books are available on Amazon, or through my new etsy shop at if you are interested.

And now...on to the haunted inn.

I have been less active online lately because market season is in full swing and most weekends I have back-to-back events booked. Several weekends ago I got invited to vend at an event called Paracon at a building called The Blue Ball Inn.

I must admit, I thought they were kidding me about the name at first. I've never been involved in the ghost scene before, but the event organizers were lovely and so I decided to give it a whirl.

We set up in the backyard of the second-oldest building in the Winchester, VA area. It is a tavern built in 1747 and its owner bought the property next door and discovered that the inn came with it. It has been falling into disrepair for years. Once he started trying to make repairs he quickly found out why.

From what I have been told by the owner and his close friends, Joseph bought the property in a private sale and had never been inside the inn before he bought it. The inn did have a resident, which he found odd considering the building doesn't have running water or a working septic system. The tenant was living in one room and had boarded up all the other doors in the house but one to the outside, and when Joseph spoke to him the man explained that he was the last of a family that had rented the whole building at one point but that everyone had either died (at least three of them on the property) or left. Joseph correctly ascertained that the man was not living in a healthy way here and that it would be a good idea for him to vacate the inn. He helped the man to leave as gently as he could, and then started un-boarding doors, only to discover that the inn was literally loaded to the rafters with garbage.

Joseph started making videos of himself as he undertook the Herculean task of renovating a 1747 inn all by himself, hoping to update plumbing and get the building to a state where he could turn it into an Air B&B or something. But as he started posting the videos to TikTok, he started receiving emails and comments that there were things happening on camera behind him that he could not see. Items moving, and some people saw a face. Curious neighbors came to visit when they saw the inn being worked on and said, "You know this place is haunted, right?" (He did not.) Soon ghost hunting groups were reaching out, asking to spend the night.

To say that the energy in this place is intense is the understatement of the year. I have seen people walk into the house and say, "I don't really believe in this stuff," and come out ten minutes later in tears. After spending the weekend at Paracon and spending time in the house, I absolutely believe there is A LOT we can't see going on in the house, and I don't consider myself especially sensitive to energies. I experienced blurred vision, irregular heart beats, and temperature variations that changed suddenly that went WELL BEYOND what I would expect in an old building while visiting certain rooms. Lots of people felt overwhelmed enough walking up to the house that they couldn't even go in. And many people, myself included, experience drastic mood swings, touches, scratches, and even bites while inside the house (something touched my leg, I shit you not).

But all of that degree is in Colonial Archaeology. I have worked at Monticello in their archaeology department and as a tour guide at Ash Lawn-Highland, and have dug at sites all over Virginia. An untouched 1747 inn? This is like catnip. I started diving into the history of the house and started family trees for all of the inhabitants I could find. Local energy workers and psychic mediums would come out of the house and tell me they saw a spirit, got a name or part of one, and described the person's age and how they were dressed. And as I started doing the research, I started finding them. People with matching names, ages, and dress that matched the time period they would have been alive that were buried nearby.

And that's when I discovered that one of the family trees had names that matched those in my own.

The land was originally settled by Scottish immigrants. And it appears I may be related to the family who had the building constructed in multiple ways.

This only fueled my interest. Last weekend a group of volunteers and I went to the inn and opened up two 3' by 3' archaeological test squares in the back yard. There are stories that both Revolutionary War soldiers and Civil War soldiers camped on the property. George Washington was said to have visited the inn on multiple occasions. I want to find these artifacts.

Within the first three inches the artifacts were coming out fast and furious. We're only on the top layer, but actually found pennies letting us know we were in the 1960s and 70s. We are going back tomorrow to keep going. (By the way, pennies appearing and disappearing in front of people seems to happen frequently in the house, but these came out of the ground, so I'm good with that.)

It's all under there somewhere -the artifacts of nearly three hundred years of occupation. And as I raise interest and get more volunteers through Facebook and Instagram posts and Joseph continues posting on Tik Tok, we hope to get more help to uncover the mysteries of this place. People who have tried to drive the spirits out only seem to make things worse. I have a different idea: uncover who they were and are, honor them, and bring their stories to light. Save the building from falling down around them. Let them see that it is in good hands. I'm visiting their graves as I discover them and bringing flowers and making paintings for the inn and spending a lot of time working with energetic healers to send good energy to those who reside within the walls. Some of the spirits in there may even be my ancestors.

The ghost hunting groups are still coming through, but I have hopes that one day this place will be more than just that. That it will tell the story of the land, and the town, and the generations who lived and worked here. Of their loves and losses, and their hopes. We know that many lives ended on that property. Maybe we can help some of them on their path to peace.

I want to find out the story of the spirit who appears in the windows, watching the road outside, waiting for someone.

Perhaps she's waiting for us.

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1 commentaire

I feel a serious need to visit now

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