How to Have a Supernatural Valentine's Day - part of the "LOVE IS IN THE AIR GIVEAWAY HOP"

For some reason, I've just never been able to get into traditional Valentine mode. Maybe it's a rogue gene, the same DNA that makes me love Halloween more than Christmas. Last Valentine's Day, I brought you ghost stories, five tragic tales of love gone terribly wrong. (

This year, I thought I'd offer suggestions on How to have a Supernatural Valentine's Day. Share these activities with your significant other, your BFF, your mom, or your dog, but if you love the paranormal, you've GOT to do at least one of these!

1.  Here's the easiest one first -- Have a horror movie marathon, but not the slasher flick kind. I recommend movies that get under your skin and creep you out, especially if they hit you with a twist that chills you to the marrow. My favs of this type are The Skeleton Key (2007), Shutter (2008), and The Ring (2002). 

Prefer a straight-out monster flick? Go with a King Kong marathon -- there are no less than 7 incarnations of this movie (My fav is the 2005 version, directed by Peter Jackson and starring Naomi Watts and Jack Black). After all, it IS a ginormous love story! 

2.  Visit an ultra-creepy museum together. What constitutes such a place depends on what's most likely to keep you awake at night. As a kid I was afraid of ventriloquist dummies -- and I still give them a wary eye. Imagine being surrounded by over 700 of them, all staring and silent, at Vent Haven Museum in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky. The only one of its kind in the world, there are dummies dating all the way back to the early 1800s, dummies with real teeth and real hair, and four dummies who washed ashore in a trunk after their ventriloquist died in a shipwreck off the coast of Texas in 1908. 

Or you could venture to the Mutter Museum (at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia) -- a display of human anatomy both normal and very, very abnormal. Think things in fluid-filled jars and countless skeletons.... Not for the squeamish!

3. Go on a supernatural walking tour as a couple. Almost every major city boasts at least one of these, and some have several. One such tour, offered by the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum, includes a cemetery visit, highlighted by the tomb of Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau. Known for her kindness, people have paid homage to her and asked for favors since her death in 1881. The tour also offers an opportunity to meet a modern-day Voodoo priest or priestess (live).

Other tours include the San Francisco Ghost Tour , Occult New York: A Manhattan Walking Tour , Memphis Ghost Tours .... you get the picture. Most last from one to three hours as your host shows you sites of murder, mayhem and tragedy.

4.  Spend some quality time together in a site rumored to be haunted. The USS Hornet Museum in Alameda, California, is one such place. Stories abound of strange sounds and sightings in and around the decommissioned aircraft carrier -- including more than a few ghosts of sailors and soldiers. Visitors are allowed to take self-guided tours. 

The Soldier's National Museum is said to be the most haunted place in the most haunted city in America -- Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The museum houses a large collection of Civil War artifacts, but the building itself started life as the Soldier's National Orphan Homestead. Stories abound of mistreated and even murdered children. Adding to the unrest: a number of unmarked graves of Union soldiers on the site.

5. For something romantic AND paranormal -- what about a stay at a haunted bed and breakfast? The Red Garter in Williams, Arizona, has had many roles over the years -- opium den, Chinese restaurant, boarding house and saloon, but it's most famous for its time as a bordello. 

The old building was completely renovated and restored in the 1990s, but ghostly incidents began even before it reopened as a hotel and bakery. Guests have reported their beds being shaken or bounced, or the sensation of someone sitting on the mattress beside them. Footsteps have been heard on the vacant staircase and doorknobs have been rattled when there is no one in the hallway. A few guests have reported seeing the ghost of a beautiful young woman, pacing the floor in their room before suddenly disappearing.



February 7 to February 14, 2013

Over 100 authors and bloggers are participating, each hosting a giveaway on their own site. You'll find the complete Linky List to all of the sites posted below.

Dani's Giveaway is now CLOSED

Congrats to the winner, MARY K. Mary's name was drawn at random from the comments and she'll be receiving the following goodies:

The winner will be able to have a quiet but spine-tingling evening at home -- a paperback copy of HAUNTED AMERICA by Michael Norman and Beth Scott (featuring a grand tour of ghostly hauntings throughout the U.S. and Canada). Plus you can brew a pot of one of my favorite coffees -- if the book fails to keep you awake, this definitely will. It's called Dead Man's Reach! And of COURSE, there's chocolate involved - "Twilight Delight"!

I'll be choosing a name at random from the comments on February 15th. 

Good luck everyone!