New Inspirations

Most of my fans know that it takes an energetically charged location to inspire my stories. Up until now, those places have been old libraries, abandoned hotels, crumbling asylums, even an antebellum mansion. After reading this article this morning in Observer-Reporter, I believe I may have found my next inspiration.

From a memory.

The article talks about a new, nonfiction book called “Haunted Hills and Hollows” by Rosemary Ellen Guiley and Kevin Paul. Apparently there is a corner of southwestern Pennsylvania that seems sleepy–except for the recurring supernatural occurrences there. Ms. Guiley, who runs Visionary Living Publishing, was contacted by Mr. Paul about the strange events in the area. Ms. Guiley was intrigued.

Of course, the book is on my to-read list. But what popped out of this article for me was a quote by Ms. Guiley:

“Guiley said mines, oil and gas wells and rivers are conduits for spiritual energy, all of which Greene County has in bounds.”


That’s when it hit me. A memory I had buried (no pun intended) in the deep, dark recesses of my mind.

It’s got to be 15 years ago now, but I had the pleasure of taking a trip to Belgium a while back. My gracious host and hostess packed me in their station wagon and took me all over the region. One of the places they took me was to an abandoned coal mine in Liege, Belgium.

The experience I had that day still makes my heart race.

I guess I must be claustrophobic, although I was not aware of it until that day. We took an elevator down some distance below the surface. I can’t remember if it was 30 feet or 300, but it doesn’t matter. The panic attack I experienced slicked my skin with sweat and deadened my hearing for the blood rushing in my ears. I was sure I would die there that day. I couldn’t wait to get back to the surface.

Men died in those shafts. I remember the tour guide telling us the stories. What better place for spirits to be trapped?


Claire Gem writes award-winning supernatural suspense novels. Find out more at




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