Excerpt: More Ghost Stories of Nova Scotia

Vernon Oickle shares both his thoughts on writing his recent book, More Ghosts Stories of Nova Scotia, along with a short excerpt.

On writing More Ghost Stories of Nova Scotia…

“It is possible that all of us have the gift of intuition, but only a few are able to tap into it.

There’s a lot of ground to cover when with the supernatural, but I would say that stories of forerunners, or premonitions, are my absolute favourite. Forerunners leave such an emotional mark on one’s heart and mind that the experience stays with you for a long time. The thing about a forerunner, too, is that they can appear to anyone at any time and in any place.

Living in Nova Scotia you’ve probably heard tales of haunted houses, ghost stories, reports of forerunners, and legends of ghost ships that appear and then disappear as quickly as they came. Tales of the unexplained and the unexplainable are common among the residents of this province and such stories have become the stuff of local legend. 

Call it a gut feeling. Call it a sixth sense. Or call it intuition, but there is that knowing of something with a certainty, even though you can’t explain how you know it.

– Vernon Oickle 

Excerpt:

Shortly after Jimmy’s 26th birthday, he was preparing for a fishing trip that his captain estimated would last four or five days. Including the captain, there were four crewmembers on board and Jimmy was looking forward to this trip because he was saving money for a down payment on a house that he had been eyeing and he estimated that these earnings would give him enough to finally make the purchase. But while he was looking forward to the trip, his mother was dreading it.

In the days leading up to her son’s departure, she couldn’t shake the feeling that something was terribly wrong. She couldn’t quite explain it, but she felt there was a dark cloud hanging over her family and she feared something terrible was about to happen. Because her husband had retired and neither of her older sons was scheduled to go out in the near future, she couldn’t shake the feeling that whatever was about to happen must involve Jimmy.

Fearing the worst, she tried for days to convince Jimmy to skip this trip, telling him that he didn’t need the money and offering to pay whatever difference he needed for his down payment on the house. But Jimmy wasn’t having any of that and as he packed his gear, he dismissed his mother’s fears as nothing more than the ramblings of a superstitious old woman.

On the morning of his departure, he kissed his mother goodbye as he always did, and told her he would see her in four or maybe five days. As he left through the kitchen, he paused at the back door and turned back to tell her not to worry. He insisted he would be okay.

But Helen was not so sure, and as she watched her youngest son walk down the back steps and disappear down the back walkway on his way to the wharf, she felt a deep gnawing in the pit of her stomach.

As the next two days crept by, the dark cloud followed Helen wherever she went. She could not shake the oppressive feeling that tragedy was near. She prayed that her son and his fellow crewmembers were okay and that they would make it safely back to port.

On the night of the second day of Jimmy’s trip, Helen was having an especially difficult time sleeping. Tossing and turning, she remembers glancing at the digital clock on the night table next to her bed. In glowing red numbers, the clock said it was 12:15 a.m.

Just then, she felt a strong urge to turn around and when she did, she was surprised to see Jimmy standing in the doorway. He said to her, “Don’t worry, Mom. Everything is okay. You can go to sleep now.”

Written By

Vernon Oickle is an international award-winning journalist, editor and writer. He is the author of 23 books, including Ghost Stories of Nova Scotia and the bestselling series One Crow.

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