Friday, June 28, 2013

Weird Tales of Terror Review in Hellnotes

I was delighted to read this wonderful review about my collection WEIRD TALES OF TERROR in Hellnotes . Here's a tiny taste of the beginning. You can click on the link to read the rest.


Sephera Giron

Trade Paperback Edition: CreateSpace; 392 pages; $12.99

eBook: Kindle Edition: Scarlett Publishing; $2.99

Reviewer: William J. Grabowski

Award-winning author Sephera Giron has released a collection of never-before-published fiction: six short stories, including a novel, The Witch’s Field. A hefty work indeed of early excursions into spaces where trauma, insanity, isolation, and sex collide with horror and the occult.

For early work this is well-crafted, potent material. During the read, I kept telling myself: “This stuff is like Joyce Carol Oates as directed by David Cronenberg.” In case you missed it, that’s meant as a compliment.

Read the rest of the review here.

WEIRD TALES OF TERROR is available both in trade paperback and as an ebook.

I would love to hear your thoughts about it.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Haunted Clock at the Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans

The grandfather clock in the Monteleone Hotel Lobby is very impressive. Old and rich with detail, it commands attention as you ascend the stairs into the lobby.

I personally didn't have any experiences with the clock. I took a few pictures to see if maybe anything interesting would show up.

The camera had a lot of difficulty focussing. The creature that heads this article didn't want to be photographed that day,  so I photographed him a couple of days later.

Some of the stories revolving around the Monteleone Hotel include the clock.

Apparently people have witnessed the original clock maker hanging around the clock.

At night.

During the day.

The sightings are random but rather consistent. He's working on the clock.

Creepy Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans

Voodoo Queen Grave at St. Louis 1  Copyright 2013 S. Giron

The World Horror Convention and the Horror Writers Association Bram Stoker Awards Weekend were held in New Orleans June 13 - 16, 2013. Over five hundred lovers of darkness attended panels and workshops by day while cruising Bourbon Street, Frenchmen Street, and beyond by night.

The convention was held at the Monteleone Hotel. Any google search will turn up stories about incidents that have occurred throughout the hotel over the years. The area and the hotel is rife with history and the echoes of my own personal ancestry resonated in my soul.

Bonding with my birth city for the first few days, I didn't turn my attention towards ghost hunting until Saturday June 15. For an hour or so in the afternoon, I roamed the hotel, taking pictures on the rooftop, the fourteenth floor, and the lobby.
Hotel Monteleone Copyright 2013 S. Giron
 When I went to the rooftop, there were many people from the con in the pool. It looked like a good idea to float in the water for a while but I already was overbooked. My huge curiousity about New Orleans combined with my love of my horror peeps was nearly overwhelming. Even though I'd come in on Wednesday, it already felt like there wasn't enough time to do all that my soul urged me to experience.

Hotel Monteleone Copyright 2013 S. Giron
 I walked through the hallways of the rooftop level and snapped several pictures. The air was thick in many places, not thick from humidity, but thick in a psychic sense. There was a sensation of bustling and reserved submission as I peered into the banquet room. The staff were in the process of setting it up but it was empty during the brief minute I walked into it.
In my own room. I had experienced some phenomenon during the few times I was alone.
In all honesty, if I hadn't been out dancing til dawn every night, I likely would have many more stories to tell about room 737. In a way, I'm glad I don't.

Hotel Monteleone Copyright 2013 S. Giron
Something as innocent as a chair gave me a sense of being watched, of someone observing me, waiting for a moment to catch my attention, to touch me or more. Perhaps a sense of expectation of seeing ghosts had been built in but on this particular trip, ghosts were not the objective of my trip. My main focus had been the convention all weekend. I was so happy to be seeing my peers again. I hadn't been to a World Horror Convention since it'd been in Toronto in 2007. I haven't been to a Stoker Banquet since 2009 when I won the Silver Hammer Award.

Hotel Monteleone Copyright 2013 S. Giron

I've mentioned in other blog posts some of the unexplainable events that happened to me.

On Sunday June 16 around seven o'clock, I decided to take a shower and get ready for my last night to commune with Bourbon Street and any other fun activity that caught my fancy.

I was taking a shower, not thinking about ghosts at all.
It had been a long sweaty day walking by the river and once more along Bourbon Street so I revelled in the pounding water against exhausted filthy flesh.
Before I went into the shower, I had plugged my phone into the wall to charge and placed it on the bed.
 As I stepped from the shower, I heard three cries or perhaps moans. The sound reminded me of the sound a woman makes when she's being pleasured. Three "ah, ah, ah" 's.

Hotel Monteleone Copyright 2013 S. Giron
Since I always shower with the door open, not really on purpose, I just never shut it, and since I was in the open doorway when I emerged from the shower, I can guarantee the sound came from within my room and not through the walls or from the hallway.

Ever the skeptic, I decided it wasn't a ghost getting it on in the room but perhaps one of my friends had texted me. After all, my phone is set very loud and has two chirps. But what I heard was three.

I checked my phone and no one had contacted me at all.

The air in the room was thick. There was something in the folds of the atmosphere waiting to slip between the cracks. I hurried to get changed, tying off my corset as quickly as possible. I turned on my K2 meter to see if there was activity. Of course there was. Finally ready, I took my K2 meter with me to check out a room on the notorious 14th floor.Whoever was making the noise was welcome to make it some more...once I was safely gone.

Sephera Giron in Room 737 Monteleone Hotel

Do YOU have a story about the Monteleone Hotel? Share it in the comments section!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Shook Me All Night Long

The Monteleone Hotel has a merry-go-round bar.
The Monteleone Hotel was the focal point June 13 - 17 as the World Horror Convention and the Horror Writers Association Bram Stoker Award Weekend descended on New Orleans.
The hotel buzzed all day long with panels and workshops. Bourbon Street buzzed with tourists and revellers.
The K2 meters buzzed most assuredly.


There were reports all weekend of odd elevator behaviour.

The elevators pretty much decide where they're going and where they're stopping sometimes.

Electrical malfunction?

I was on the elevator one time and the cart stopped on every floor but no one was there. I figured it was ghosts coming and going.

I stayed in room 737.


This is my bed.

 This is my bed looking more like it did when the incident occurred.

I came into the room to freshen up and was leaning over the end of the bed.

As I was fussing around, the bed started to vibrate and then shake.

I stepped back.

I leaned across the bed again and once more it started to shake. It shook until I got the stuff I needed and hightailed it out of there.

As I walked down the hall, I mused about what could cause the shaking.

Hotel sinking in to the swamp?
Hurricane coming? But it was nice out.
Maybe it was one of those coin operated beds? But I never saw any evidence for a coin operated bed.
Maybe it used to be a coin operated bed and wasn't anymore but somehow went off?

Since this happened on Sunday June 16, 2013, there had been a few days for incidents to happen to other con goers as well. Sure enough, there were other stories about the bed shaking and worse.

Read about my other Haunted Monteleone Hotel incidents on this blog.

Rue Morgue's Festival of Fear and Fan Expo 2013

Makenzie, Sèphera Girón, Roxy Lee GG
Fan Expo is a huge convention, partly because it's five conventions in one. Hundreds of thousands of cosplayers, gamers, movie buffs, freaks, and geeks fill the Toronto Convention Center every August. This year, FanExpo falls Thursday August 22 - Sunday August 26, 2013.

The first year I came, perhaps ten years ago, I was a Guest of Honour at Rue Morgue's Festival of Fear with other horror authors such as Clive Barker, Brian Keene, and Nancy Kilpatrick. The convention has grown one heck of a lot over the years.

The Festival of Fear has many horror authors who come in from all over the world. Many authors bring books for fans to purchase and for the past couple of years, have been in a hallway with exhibits.

If you love horror and want to meet some kickass horror authors, be certain to look for the author's section of the con. We'd love a chance to get to talk to you and discover what your tastes and desires are and how we can meet your needs.

Watch the Fan Expo website Horror Authors at Rue Morgue's Festival of Fear August 2013 as more guests are added all the time.

Clive Barker and Sèphera Girón
Brad Middleton

Derek Clendening

Clive Barker, Dorian Grant

Dorian Grant, Don D'Auria, Sèphera Girón

Cassandra Peters (Elvira), Nancy Kilpatrick

Jason Darrick, Sèphera Girón

Kevin J. Anderson, Sèphera Girón, Mark Leslie

Greg Lamberson, Kaelin, Tamar

Monica O'Rourke, Rio Youers, Nancy Kilpatrick

Greg Lamberson, Sèphera Girón

Sèphera Girón, Kaelin Lamberson

Sèphera Girón, Kelley Armstrong, Monica Kuebler, Greg Lamberson

Sèphera Girón, Monica O'Rourke

Sèphera Girón, Nancy Kilpatrick

Stephanie Bedwell-Grimes
Gord Rollo, David Tocher
Gord Rollo, Marcy Italiano
James Roy Daley
Sèphera Girón, Nancy Kilpatrick, David Tocher, Karen Dales

Bill Snider

Fan Expo and Rue Morgue's Festival of Fear Are Coming to Toronto 2013

Welcome to the Jungle

Bed Where It Happened. Notice the K2 meter on the bed and the DVR on the nightstand.
Copyright 2013 S. Giron

It was Saturday night and I had just come out of the shower. My roommates had left for the Bram Stoker Awards presented by the Horror Writers Association. We were having the convention at the Hotel Monteleone along with the World Horror Convention. I didn't want to attend the banquet not because I don't like banquets. Not at all. In fact, I've been to many of the Stokers and always have a great time.

No, it was because I was born in New Orleans and Bourbon Street is in my blood. My body was tingling with the urge to dance, to wander through the raucous streets, tossing beads from balconies, drinking bourbon from plastic cups bigger than my head and watch the people embracing their hedonistic urges. The siren song of the revellers was luring me out into the throngs.

Before I had stepped into the shower, I had put my K2 meter on the bed and my DVR on the nightstand. I had said nothing to the ghosts in my room at all yet on the trip and I'd been there since Wednesday. Four days.

However, earlier that day was the first time I'd taken out my ghost gear since I'd arrived. I hadn't been able to focus long enough to work with it between my duties at the con and touristy stuff such as the graveyard tour. I had wandered the hotel, snapping pictures at empty hallways and doorways.

I was emerging from the shower, dried off and naked. My mind was already ringing with heavy metal tunes from the night before and I was deciding that my first drink of the day would be a bourbon sour on Bourbon Street. I walked over to my bed, the one in the picture. I was reaching for my briefcase when I felt a push on my upper left shoulder blade.

I turned around, thinking that Kim or William had returned because they had forgotten something.

But no.

No one was there.

I noticed the K2 meter spiking and a cold chill that wasn't the air-conditioning surged through me, giving me great goosebumps along my right arm. I started speaking to the recorder and noted the time.


This was room 7:37

I talked to the room a bit while I was still fiddling with stuff on the bed. Again the push. Again the spike. Again the cold chill.

I was really getting freaked out and wondered how long it would take to strap on my corset and get the heck out.

The push on my back happened one more time.

I spoke to the room but didn't ask the spirit what it wanted or to show itself or anything crazy like that.

Then I went into the bathroom and looked at my back in the multi mirrored walls. There was a big red mark where I had been pushed.

I wish I had taken a picture of that but it scared me so much that I just didn't do it. Yet I took other pictures of the room. We are irrational when we are frightened.

The room felt different, full, pregnant, waiting.

So, I introduced myself. I shared that I was born in New Orleans and  happy to be home. With much praise, I regaled them with a few stories of my fun adventures and once I finished all that, I dressed as quickly as one can in a corset and left.

The DVR ran the whole time I went down Bourbon Street, bought a giant cup of bourbon, threw some beads. Then I walked around until some young men called out, "Goth," "Hey, Goth Mom!" from a balcony and flung beads at me. I laughed as I walked around, staring at the giant crosses that religious groups put up. They had their megaphones out, preaching the good word while painted ladies, pirates, and leprechauns danced around them.

I found a bar called Krazy Korner with a rock and roll band that was playing  "Welcome to the Jungle." I went in and since they were so good, I ended up rocking out for about an hour and half to ACDC, Guns and Roses, Stones, Kiss, Journey, Blondie, and more. That band was amazing and the male singer looked like Axel Rose. I was in the jungle, yeah, baby. The lady singer had a fantastic rock voice. Usually I don't really like lady rock singers, but she was just killing it. I left after "Hotel California."

After I returned, I turned off the DVR. I've not had time yet to listen to it, if indeed I haven't erased it when it kept going off in my purse. I wonder what I will hear that happened in the absence of me, Kim, and William.

The room was still creepy and I prepared myself for the next part of my adventures in New Orleans. The air was thick and something was hovering by me, ready to push me again. I didn't have the push or nudge again. But there were other experiences.

Check out other paranormal activities from the Hotel Monteleone on this blog.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ghost Butler at Dawn

Haunted Butler Hallway Copyright S. Giron 2013

The con was over but dozens had stayed an extra night to live out their hedonistic fantasies one last time on Bourbon Street before the harsh glare of morning set in and real life continued on.

The World Horror Convention and the Horror Writers Association's Bram Stoker Awards Weekend were combined this year in New Orleans from June 13 to 16. The business was held in the beautiful and totally haunted Hotel Monteleone. This story happened around five in the morning on Monday June 17.

It was Sunday night but that didn't matter in the French Quarter. We roamed around, throwing beads, drinking out of blinking skull heads, and watching girls in bikinis being tossed from bucking broncos. The lure of the Dungeon beckoned and a contingent of last remnants were still dancing in the pits of hell, hypnotised by heavy metal and squeezing every last drop of hedonism from their souls before it would all be over.

And then it was.

Sadly, we returned to the haunted hotel. I realized that one of my friends still hadn't been to the rooftop despite being there for days so off we went while the others went to bed.

Amazingly, the door to the pool area was still open, and no security came to kick us out. We stared out at the glittering lights of New Orleans, lamenting the impending morning. Still no security, so we settled into the metal deck chairs and watched the pool sparkle in the growing dawn.

As the sky lightened, we returned to the wrought iron fence to forlornly gaze one last time at this weird and wonderful city. We returned inside just as the morning sprinkler system baptized us into a new day. We re-entered the glass door and walked the short steps to the elevator. There was still no security. As we waited for the elevator and were still gabbing, I glimpsed over my shoulder and saw a man standing near or even kind of half into the wall, wearing black and white clothes. A suit. I turned further and he disappeared.

There was no door along the wall in the area where I had spotted him.

I nicknamed him "The Butler" since that was the first word that popped into my head. I haven't researched enough yet to know if he's a regular.

Security guards or even staff didn't have the same uniform or clothes as the man that I saw. In fact, he may have just been a man in a suit. It may have a been a woman in a suit. The face was blurry and hair kind of hung in his face. Staff would have likely acknowledged people wandering the halls at dawn. There wasn't time for the man to slip out the glass brass handled door to the pool and in fact, perhaps melted back into the wall.

Welcome to the Hotel Monteleone.

That was the first paranormal apparition that I've seen that clearly as far as I can recall. It didn't frighten me nearly as much as I had always anticipated seeing an apparition would frighten me. It happened so fast I didn't have time to even think about it. But perhaps it didn't frighten me that much because it was the last experience I had during my stay in New Orleans.

I had a few other experiences at the haunted hotel which I will share in separate blog posts that were more unsettling.

The picture of the hallway above was taken on Saturday afternoon. Something told me to take a picture there so I did. And this is where The Butler stood on Monday morning at dawn.

Please feel free to share your comments and your own stories about the Haunted Monteleone.