Seeking Inspiration from Spirits: Guest Blog Post by Author J.H. Moncrieff

I hear dead people.

Not all the time, of course—that would be enough to drive one mad. But whenever I have encountered a ghost, it’s always been heard rather than seen.

When I was a teenager, I borrowed a Ouija board from a friend. At first, I carefully followed all the rules: I never used it alone; I made sure to move the planchette to Goodbye before taking my hands off it, etc. But the darn thing never worked.

One night I fell asleep with the Ouija at the end of my bed. I was in a deep sleep when a loud knocking sound woke me up. Groggily, I realized the sound was coming from the Ouija, but I was too out of it to process what that meant. Instead, I grabbed the board and threw it in a dresser drawer.

Before I could get back to sleep, loud knocking sounds started coming from inside the dresser. At this point, I was really annoyed, and yelled a few choice words at it. The knocking stopped, and I fell asleep.

In the morning, once it dawned on me what had happened, I returned the Ouija board to my friend.


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Who is this haunting lady in red? (Photo: 2019 Copyright of J.H. Moncrieff)

Growing up, I had a very close friend. Let’s call her Morgan. We definitely had our run-ins, as we were both willful, opinionated girls, but we also had a special connection. She was one of my dearest friends from the age of seven, when we met, to the age of seventeen, when she died in a horrible car accident.

I don’t think you’re ever prepared to lose your best friend, and certainly not at that age. To say I was devastated would be a massive understatement.

Soon after her death, there were plenty of signs that my friend’s spirit was still around, but they could all be dismissed as a coincidence or accident. Her portrait fell over during her funeral, right on her casket. The area around her grave was mysteriously warm, even in the dead of winter, with a wind howling and no shelter in the entire cemetery. Sometimes I’d be walking down the hall at school and hear someone call my name, but when I turned, no one was there. And that’s when I’d recognize the voice.

Mysterious Woman in the Mist

When I moved away, Morgan really made her presence known. It was my first year away from home. I was living hundreds of miles away from my family and friends in a shitty little apartment in yet another isolated northern community. For some reason, even though Morgan had never been to this place, I felt her around me all the time.
One day I found a mix tape that she’d started making but had never gotten the chance to finish. I was alone in the apartment, cleaning up the kitchen, so I put the tape into my boyfriend’s stereo.

The tape played just fine until it got to my friend’s favorite song. When it got to the end of the song–which was in the middle of the tape–the stereo suddenly auto-reversed, and played a song on the opposite side. It then auto-reversed again.

It was at the beginning of her favorite song once more.
I froze.

I said her name, very tentatively, my heart beating a million miles a minute. “Morgan?”
My kitchen cupboards went nuts. It sounded like someone was knocking on each one very hard with a fist. The knocks went down the row of cupboards and then started coming toward me again.
I ran to my bedroom, threw myself face down on the bed, and yelled something along the lines of:

“No, Morgan, go away! I’m not ready for this!”

The knocking stopped.

I’ve never felt my friend’s presence again.

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J.H. Moncrieff’s visit to Poveglia (Photo: 2019 Copyright of J.H. Moncrieff)

When visiting Poveglia, the world’s most haunted island, I was standing in the abandoned asylum with only a few minutes left when I felt brave enough to speak.

“Hello?” I said, stupidly, before remembering I was addressing Italian-speaking phantoms.

As soon as I repeated the greeting in Italian, there was a noise from the next room. Was it something falling or shifting? The building settling?

Or was the soft-yet-deliberate thud someone’s attempt to communicate?

I’m not sure, but I do know I convinced myself that spending the last ten minutes outside on the shore was a fantastic idea.

The natural decay of an old building, or someone trying communicate? (Poveglia Photo: 2019 Copyright of J.H. Moncrieff)

When I moved into my hundred-year-old house, I put a collar with a bell on my anxiety-ridden cat to ensure I could find her if she went into hiding. The collar didn’t last long, and soon I found it on the floor upstairs. Exhausted from unpacking, I left it there. One evening, while I was downstairs watching TV with the kitties, that bell rang, clear as day. We all heard it. And that’s not the only strange noise that occurs in this house, either. For years, every night right after I went to bed, the front door would make a strange clunking noise—the best way I could describe it is as if the cylinders of an ancient lock were sliding into place, but I have a modern door. People have waited up to hear the noise and see if they can find the cause of it, but none has ever been found.

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Is there ever a final resting place? (Poveglia Photo: 2019 Copyright of J.H. Moncrieff)

There are many more stories, but suffice it to say—for a writer of supernatural suspense, inspiration is everywhere.

Can you relate to any of these stories? 

–J.H. Moncrieff

J.H. Moncrieff’s new release, Forest of Ghosts, was inspired by her real-life experiences in Romania, including Hoia Baciu, the world’s most haunted forest.

J.H. loves to hear from readers. To get free ebooks and a new spooky story every week, check out her Hidden Library.

Connect with J.H.: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Read on for a spooky sample of Forest of Ghosts:

Jackson Stone is sick of ghosts. With his love life in shambles, he heads to Romania for a horror writers’ retreat, hoping it will be a break from the supernatural and breathing space from his relationship with medium Kate Carlsson.

But as his fellow writers begin disappearing or losing their minds, he realizes he needs Kate’s help. 

When Jackson loses his own memory, Kate’s love is the only thing that can bring him back. But she’s falling for the man responsible for the evil in Romania. A man who claims to be her soul mate. Will this master of wraiths forever break Kate’s bond with Jackson?


Intrigued yet? Purchase your copy today to uncover more about Kate and Jackson’s fate!

Mysterious Galaxy

Barnes and Noble




17 thoughts on “Seeking Inspiration from Spirits: Guest Blog Post by Author J.H. Moncrieff

    1. First and foremost, I would like to invite J.H. Moncrieff to weigh in, in her own words. I am not assuming that I speak for her, and I am sure she is perfectly capable of speaking for herself, in response to this comment. And I encourage her to do so. But, since this is also my blog, I am taking the liberty, as a fellow woman, to weigh in with my own opinion. Just so it’s out there. Because women face a double standard. Dismissed as being too emotional and yet chastised for not being emotional enough.
      One of the theories that my creative side enjoys prescribing to (on top of the fact that I also agree with Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s scientific and rational views on coincidence) is synchronicity. Still, as a logical type, I waited until I had thought carefully about the response I wanted to draft. It’s so easy to respond emotionally and instantly in the internet and social media worlds, so I am working even harder on not posting anything impulsively. Plus, I do have a certain intuition that was telling me to wait, and I’ve learned to trust that over the years. This morning, I received this post in my inbox from the above blogger: And I knew I was right in holding off. So here goes my follow-up points.
      I am both a skeptic and a “want-to-believer”–Mulder and Scully rolled into one. The Scully-ish part initially (and instantly) responded with skepticism about if there was even spirits around whose feelings could be hurt, and, if there was, if they even carried such things as feelings over into the in-between dimension, and weren’t, instead, residual energy in a loop, or acting from some animal/primal instinct. This is the part that says I won’t know for sure until I actually happen to be a ghost and if I’m stuck in some like limbo. Well, if that’s the case, I’ve got bigger issues to worry about getting my feelings hurt. Such as “How the heck do I get out of here?” I read a lot of science-y books by not only Tyson but Hawking as well–in which it is proposed that even with all our scientific knowledge (Hawking’s The Universe in a Nutshell, I believe) and the best and brightest minds out there, we may not even have the frame of reference–scientific imagination, if you will–to recognize the many different kinds of life in the universe. As I understood what Hawking and others are trying to explain, we, as humans, are limited by our mental frame of reference, as dictated by the dimensional space in which we inhabit and move through.
      In light of her blog post today, I was impressed to re-read in her guest blog that J.H. Moncrieff took a stand against something that was scaring her, even if she believed that the source of the activity was her beloved friend. There’s a line from Harry Potter that is relevant, here. It’s when Neville (my favourite character) takes a stand against Harry, Hermione, and Ron when they are breaking the rules and are risking getting “Gryffindor in trouble again”, and costing the house points. In the words of Albus Dumbledore (taken from “There are all kinds of courage,” said Dumbledore, smiling. “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
      And Neville gets ten points for his heroism and, as a result, Gryffindor wins the house cup, and defeats Slytherin.
      So, this brings me to my response to Jay Squires, who is a long-time follower of my blog, and whose blog I have followed for years, and, with all due respect, will continue to follow. I respect your opinion, and appreciate that you shared your sensitivity and your emotions, as a man, in a public forum. I think it’s great that you want to do the sensitizing in this case, and in regards to this potential ghost. If you want to reach out to this spirit in a nurturing way, maybe connect with J.H. Moncrieff about contacting the friend on her behalf, if you want to help the ghost with her/its hurt feelings, and want to make that connection with it in your own home. BUT J.H. Moncrieff has my full support in her actions to tell what she believes is the spirit of her friend to “go away”. Nobody, not even this presumed ghost of her friend, has the right to terrify a person by their actions. And women, especially, do not have to live in said fear out of risk of hurting ANYONE’s feelings, much less a presence that may or may not be her friend’s ghost. Just because it’s presumably a ghost that may or may not be someone she knew does not give it a free pass to terrify and victimize a person. Good for J.H. Moncrieff for taking a stand and setting a firm and clear boundary. Nobody needs to live with what J.H. Moncrieff is describing. I do not agree with what I read is the implied assumption that women need to be mindful of everyone’s emotional state, and pay the price of their own well-being as a result. As a woman entering into middle age and who is working on undoing years of developmental conditioning that I should be that way, I say a loud and resounding “screw that”.


      1. Thanks, Willow. This was a great response.

        As for me, I became friendly with a legitimate medium, who years later, told me about a message my friend was sending me, so if her spirit was indeed hurt, she got over it.

        Yet another medium told me it wasn’t my friend at all that showed up in that apartment–that it was an evil spirit, and that my real friend would have never terrified me that way. Not sure I believe that one.

        If it was truly my friend who showed up in my apartment that day, we knew each other well enough in life that she would have understood my reaction to her scaring the crap out of me, and respected my response that I wasn’t ready for it. If someone loves you, the last thing they want to do is scare you and make you feel threatened, whether they’re alive or dead.

        Of course I’d never want to hurt her feelings, but I’m not going to feel guilty for being scared by a ghost.

        Liked by 2 people

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