A Magical Garden Isn’t Hard to Do 7-Tips to Get You There By Melanie Snow




Are you inspired to plant a garden full of beautiful plants and positive energy? Do you want to connect with the magical part of plants that might feel like a mystery right now? Are you wondering what plants to choose and how to use them?

One of the best ways to connect with your intuitive power is to plant a bewitching garden. Spending time in nature this way helps you feel the connection to all living things which in turn gives you a sense of peace, balance, and enchantment of course.

Witch’s Gardens are Traditional

For eons people have been planting gardens with the intention of growing medicinal and magical herbs. In fact, observing, planning, planting, and tending a garden is a witchy thing to do. The more you spend time with your garden, learning about the plants you chose, and connecting with them brings you closer to embracing your magic!

Keep in mind you do not need to have a large outside area to plant your garden. You can use planters and other fun containers. You can even plant magical plants inside. The important thing to remember is you are planting your garden with the intention of health and good vibs. 

I had the opportunity to interview two herbal witches—Margaret and Hua. These fine ladies are key characters in my series; The Spellwood Witches. In the paranormal town of Witchland, NH Margaret and Hua share their wisdom of plants and secret potions. Here are some of their witchy tips.

1. Spend Time Outside

One of the best practices to do even before you choose your garden space is to get outside with nature. Walk around and clear your mind before you make any decisions. 

Breath and listen to the birds and the insects. Take a look at the sun and feel her warmth permeate your skin, muscles, and bones. Quiet yourself and join your heart with mother nature.

2. Designing Your Witchy Garden

Margaret and Hua are master gardeners and this is one of their favorite parts of creating new herbal beds. They shape their designs partly suing their intuition and partly with their vast knowledge. They suggest if you are a new gardener is to start small. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself and you want to be able to spend time nurturing your plants. When you start small you give the plants the chance to teach you their wisdom as well. 

One thing to also consider when designing your magical garden is to look at Pinterest or gardening magazines. Also, if you see a beautiful garden in your travels—by all means stop what you are doing and ask the gardener about her plants. You may find that experienced gardeners love to help those who are starting out.

Margaret and Hua also suggest that while practicing some deep breathing and visualize your layout as you move through the design process.

3. Choosing Magical Plants

This is Margaret and Hua’s favorite part. They pick plants that are key ingredients in their potions and healing formulas and local plants that they know will grow well in their outside gardens. Yet, they experiment with magical plants that are difficult to grow in their greenhouses.

As a newbie they suggest having fun with this part. Talk to your local garden center to learn what plants are hardy enough for your area. Pick up plant tips from those who are already growing some of the herbs you are considering and ask them about their success.

Also pick a few plants to start with. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself because the purpose of planting a witch’s garden is to enjoy nature and embrace your magical intuitive side.

Let’s begin with five of Margaret and Hua’s favorites . . .

Keep in mind where you live will dictate what plants you can grow.

1. Mugwort - Artemisia vulgaris 
Magical uses: clairvoyance, protection, purification
Beneficial properties: calms nerves, digestive aid, repels insects

2. Rosemary — Rosmarinus officinalis
Magical uses: nightmare protection, past life recall, ward off evil spirits
Beneficial properties: antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, digestive aid, enhances concentration

3. Hawthorn Berries — Crataegus monogyna
Magical uses: harmony, happiness, faeries, protection
Beneficial properties: antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, may lower blood pressure, reduces anxiety

4. Angelic Root — Angelica archangelica
Magical uses: protect from illness, healing and protection spells, blessings, good luck
Beneficial properties: intestinal gas, loss of appetite, insomnia

5. Black Cohosh —  Actaea racemose
Magical uses: love, courage, add to purified water and sprinkle around the room to drive off negative influences.
Beneficial properties: reduces nervousness and irritability, hot flashes and night sweets, sleep disorders


Magical Planting

Margaret and Hua suggest planting using the cycle of the moon. In fact, that’s what witches have done for centuries. The power of the moon is strong and her medicine adds to the potency of the medicinal or magical herbs you choose to plants.

New Moon to First Quarter ~ When the moon is in this phase consider planting only those plants you are going to harvest the leaves or annuals.

First Quarter to Full Moon ~ During this time period planting those plants you want to harvest seeds from is perfect.

Full Moon to Third Quarter ~ A perfect time to plants magical plants that you will harvest their roots.

Third Quarter to New Moon ~ This is not a time for planting. However, this is the perfect time to connect with your plants with care. You will be weeding, harvest, drying, etc.


4. Talk to Your Plants

As you are tending your garden whether you are plants, weeding, or harvesting it is important to talk to your plants. 

We have people who walk by our gardens and hear us talking to our plants and kind of look at us funny, shared Margaret. Hua and I find this to be the perfect opportunity to educate people. Especially if they stop to ask us what we are doing—we tell them studies show that plants grow better when spoken to with encouragement.


5. Time to Gather

If you really want to follow the witch’s tradition of gardening harvest your plants during the moonlight. This is healthier for them because they are not out in the scorching sunlight possibly withered and dry. When you pick during the moonlight you can add your own witchy rituals and pick beautiful and luscious plants.

6. Potions and Lotions

After you have fully harvested your magical plants it’s time to make your potions and lotions. You can do so much with the herbs you grew. In fact, you may even want to plan your garden with plants that are specific for a certain lotion or herbal tea blend.


As you spend time in nature in your witchy garden be open to the glorious feeling when your stress melts away and you feel in balance with your soul—that is magic and yes wit

Witch’s Tail
The Spellwood Witches
Book One
Melanie Snow

Genre: Paranormal Cozy Mystery

Publisher: Spirit Paw Press, LLC

Date of Publication: September 8, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-7324375-6-2
Number of pages: 220
Word Count: 46,311
Cover Artist: Molly Burton

Tagline: Her mentor died fighting to save an enchanted forest. Can she solve his murder before she’s bewitched?

Book Description:

Can she awaken her dormant powers and stop a desperate killer destroying the forest?

Sarah Spellwood feels she’s hit bottom. Divorced and jobless, she relocates to the enchanting village of Witchland intent on solving the murder of her late mentor. But as she pursues clues buried in the man’s fight to save the endangered forest-dwelling lynx, she makes an enemy of a ruthless land developer.

Encountering fairies in the woods, Sarah discovers she’s been repressing unique gifts passed down from her ancestor and founding witch, Lativia Spellwood. But though she can now hear her deceased friend’s dog speak, she isn’t sure her abilities are enough to expose the greed and corruption covering a killer’s lies.

Can Sarah work with the magical beings to bring a murderer to justice?

Witch’s Tail is the charming first book in the light-hearted The Spellwood Witches cozy mystery series. If you like paranormal puzzles, delightful canine companions, and environmental enlightenment, then you’ll love Melaine Snow’s wagging-ly fun whodunit.

Buy Witch’s Tail to set a snare for an assassin today!



Prologue
Lativia Spellwood sat on her ghostly throne of branches on the summit of Mount Katribus, with many other ghosts swarming around her reminiscing about life and drinking wine.
The ghosts of Witchland residents always came to this clearing after they died to stay near Lativia for guidance and to wait until they were ready to pass on to the afterlife. Lativia had been dead for hundreds of years but had still not passed on, for her work overlooking Witchland and its forest was not yet done. One day, it would be, and she was beginning to welcome that time, for she was growing very tired.
A tiny troop of Leekin faeries moved about the arms and legs of Lativia’s throne, placing flowers into the holes between the woven boughs. They did that every day, as a way to honor her as Queen of the Forest.
Lativia sipped from a goblet of ghost wine, enjoying the blue fire as it spread down her throat, engulfing her in tingly warmth. Being a ghost was always cold; the magic wine was one of the few momentary sources of warmth that she could cherish.
“What else do you need, my queen?” chirped one of the Leekins, buzzing on tiny brown wings before her nose.
Lativia smiled. “I think it’s time I checked on Sarah, don’t you agree?”
The Leekin nodded excitedly and flew off into the woods. A huge bunch of Leekins soon returned, flying in formation to carry the weight of a glowing crystal ball. They lowered it to Lativia’s lap, where it sank through the spectral outlines of her legs. Lativia could pass through things, and things could pass through her, for her physical body was long gone and all that remained was her powerful soul
Lativia smiled even more broadly and began to draw her transparent ghostly hands over the ball, summoning the blood bond she shared with her descendent, Sarah Spellwood.
Gradually, the fog inside the ball began to clear and an image of Sarah’s frizzy explosion of red curls filled it. Lativia drew back a few feet with her mind and saw Sarah was at a coffee shop ordering a vegan sandwich. Sarah’s love and respect for animals always made Lativia proud. She noticed there was a conspicuous pale and indented band of skin on Sarah’s ring finger where her huge diamond wedding ring had once been. “That no-good husband of hers is finally gone!” Lativia crowed with delight. But then she noticed that there were bags under Sarah’s eyes, the bags of someone who had been up all night crying. Sarah must be heartbroken, Lativia thought with a heavy heart.
           
The barista serving Sarah froze when she saw Sarah’s last name on the credit card receipt. “Um, are you related to . . . ?”
Sarah drearily raised her hand. “Yep, I’m descended from Lativa Spellwood.”
“That’s amazing! I mean, have you ever been to Witchland and looked at the Lativia memorabilia?” The barista’s pigtails wiggled with her excited body language, and Lativia felt a swell of pride that people still remembered and even revered her. It had been four centuries and she was still honored as the greatest witch of New England, the one who had turned into a wolf and fought her way free of her captors at the Salem Witch Trials!
“Yep,” Sarah said, her voice full of annoyance. It was clear she was ready to dash out of the coffee shop.
As good of a lawyer as Sarah was, Lativia noticed how awkward she was around most people, and how little she liked to disclose personal details, especially of her magical ancestry.
Sarah was a woman of facts and logic, which is why she fought the magical powers pulsing through her like a current, trying to pull her back to her destiny. Her resistance to her true self and her stubborn adherence to logical facts made her unpopular with many people. Lativia yearned to watch Sarah blossom into her beautiful potential.
“Don’t you see?” Lativia cried. “You are not meant to be in New York! You should be here, following your calling, completing my work as a witch! You’re not happy there!” But Sarah couldn’t hear these words.
“Yes, yes,” several Leekins agreed. A ghost who was standing near Lativia also nodded his head.
Sarah trudged out of the coffee shop, carrying her drink and the sandwich in a paper bag. A man in a trench coat bumped into her, and she hastily checked her pockets to ensure he had not pickpocketed anything. Then she continued on to her office, a massive steel gray prison with spikes in the window ledges to repel pigeons. There was no sign of life anywhere but for the scraggly maple planted out front of the building and a few waxy tropical plants blooming inside the lobby. Lativia groaned, feeling the despair and coldness of the place.
“It’s time for you to come here, to your destined home,” Lativia declared. “My Leekins have told me about the Hunter tracking lynx and the land surveyors, and I sense that there is about to be trouble in the forest.”
At the mention of the Hunter, the Leekins gathered around her throne began to turn blue and tremble in terror.
“I am not strong enough to fight these battles much longer, so I need you to come home, to come into your true self. Your marriage fell apart of its own accord, and I sense your job is about to unravel on its own, too. You can’t fight destiny,” Lativia said, giving the group of hovering Leekins their crystal ball back and shutting her eyes. “I could use magic to bring you to your destiny sooner, but it is evil to interfere with one’s life that way. I can only hope you don’t take much longer.”
She opened her eyes as the Leekins cried, “We need her!”

About the Author:

Melanie Snow is the pen name for Wendy Van de Poll, a bestselling author, pet loss grief coach, and animal medium. She is the author of The Spellwood Witches, a paranormal cozy mystery series.


Her books weave together positive magic, snarky forest faeries, and insightful animals with fun and eclectic humor. True life adventures and intuition are woven into her stories laced with unbridled imagination.

She has been followed by wild wolves in minus 60 degrees, hissed at by a mama bobcat, and played ball with a wild owl—among other animal encounters.

Find out more about her work:






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Pumpkins and Party Themes Book Signing at Fenton's Open Book

 





Fenton Witches Night Out
Pumpkins and Party Themes Book Signing at Fenton's Open Book

Friday, October 9, 2020 at 4 PM – 9 PM

Fenton's Open Book
105 W Shiawassee Ave,
Fenton, MI 48430-2005

Come out to Fenton's Witches Night Out and stop by Fenton's Open Book to grab signed copies of Pumpkins and Party Themes and Haunted Flint.


Pumpkins and Party Themes has 50 Easy DIY Pumpkin Creations

CDC Recommended Low-Risk Halloween Activities:

Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them

Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends

Decorating your house, apartment, or living space



Halloween may look different this year, but it's not canceled.

There are still so many things you can do and enjoy- like carving and decorating pumpkins. No idea what to do?

Pumpkins and Party Themes to the rescue with 50 DIY pumpkin decorating ideas!

You don't need to have a party to put this book to good use. It is filled with 50 fun and easy DIY ideas for pumpkins in a wide variety of styles that include carving, painting, and mixed media craftiness.

Plus the pumpkins are organized by theme and give you little tidbits and ideas for decorating to match the theme, including color palettes. 

This book is filled with themes featuring Vampires, Witches, Zombies, Mermaids, Steampunk, Alice in Wonderland, and more. 

Take a look inside the book-



50 DIY Designs to Bring Your Halloween Extravaganza to Life

Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Skyhorse 
Release Date: August 25, 2020
ISBN-10: 1510751165
ISBN-13: 978-1510751163

Book Description:



Bring your Halloween party theme to life with these quick tips and tricks!

Pumpkins and Party Themes features ten unique party themes with five do-it-yourself pumpkin designs for each theme. The pumpkin projects have a variety of decorating ideas that include carving, painting, and mixed media craftiness and easy-to-follow steps on each creation. Author Roxanne Rhoads also includes quick ideas on how to bring the theme to life through d├ęcor, costumes, and activities. These fun party themes range from gothic elegance to Edgar Allan Poe, under the sea, let's get literary, and more!

With beautiful full-color images to illustrate the tools needed, steps to follow, and final products, this book makes for the perfect gift for Halloween enthusiasts and party hosts alike!


Amazon      IndieBound      BN      Kobo     Chapters     

Michigan's Most Haunted Bridges - Hell’s Bridge in Algoma Township #hauntedbridges




Hell’s Bridge is an infamous little metal footbridge in the middle of the woods that crosses over Cedar Creek (that feeds into the Rogue River) in Algoma Township, near Rockford. Some records suggest that the original bridge was stone but it crumbled into the water and was replaced by a metal structure.

Many in Michigan have heard the horrible tale of the diabolical child murderer Elias Friske.  It has been told, and retold, and embellished upon then retold again. Numerous websites keep republishing the horrific tale.
The entire story was been debunked in Ghosts of Grand Rapids by Nicole Bray and Robert DuShane.

The tale seems to have originated with a now- disbanded group of paranormal investigators who once worked together at Studio 28, an old movie theater.

The legend started with a serial killer in the mid-1800s stalking a town known as Laphamville, which is now Rockford.

Story goes that a bunch of children went missing and the townsfolk were scared. They turned to the church for comfort, answers, and help.

An older man was at the church and asked to preach that day. He spoke of fire, brimstone and demons. He prayed for the children to be spared from the evil.

Inspired by the sermon the townspeople organized a search party to go looking for the children.

They left the remaining children in the care of Elias Friske. He said he’d take them on a picnic.

Big mistake.

Friske tied the children together under the guise of “not wanting to lose anyone else” and marched the tethered ones into the woods. When they arrived at the river Fiske tied the children to a tree.

As they moved around they caught whiff of a horrible stench. Friske pulled away the leaves and branches to uncover the skinned and rotting bodies of the other children.

Friske then proceeded to kill the children one-by-one and dump the bodies into the river.

The townspeople returned to town only to find everyone gone. They went back out and walked along the river until they found the bodies of their young floating in the water.

They followed Friske’s bloody footprints and found him babbling and covered in blood swearing that the devil made him do it.

The men of the town grabbed the rope Friske had used to tie up the children and hung him on the spot. But the rope snapped and the river swelled, the suddenly fast moving current quickly took him down the river. His body was never found.

Now people say the area is infested with the evil forces that drove Friske mad and the water is haunted by the murdered children. Many have claimed to see the faces of children in the water and have heard their anguished screams piercing the night. Glowing red eyes have been seen on the bridge and in the nearby woods. Some even claim that hands have reached out from the water and tried to pull them in as they cross the bridge.

One urban legend says that if you hang out on the bridge at midnight you can hear the devil laughing.

Researchers have not found any truth to the story of Elias Friske and the murdered children.

Nicole Bray dug deep to try and find any truth to the story. She found members of the Friske family but no Elias. There were no newspaper articles or criminal records involving anything similar to the legend.

Turns out even the bridge is wrong.

The bridge that everyone goes to is actually a metal footbridge that crosses a creek that feeds the Rogue River. It’s only about 5 feet from the creek. Not high enough to hang anyone from.

Some think the bridge in the legend is north of the metal footbridge  and now part of the White Pine Trail.

The whole thing makes a good story and that’s why the legend continues to be shared. Visitors still claim to see children floating in the water, and often hear laughs and screams, even singing coming from the bridge and surrounding area.

Hell’s bridge is located in the woods of Algoma Township, northwest of Rockford.  If you visit please respect the location and private property.

Interview with Nicole Beauchamp Author of Haunted Bay City, Michigan #hauntedbaycity #hauntedmichigan


Please welcome Nicole Beauchamp to A Bewitching Guide to Halloween. Her new release, Haunted Bay City Michigan is part of the Haunted America Series, same as my book, Haunted Flint.



Welcome Nicole, what started your fascination with the paranormal?

I have had an interest in the paranormal my entire life. As a child, I would draw photos of girls ghost hunting and talking to the spirits. Many people get into the field because of a show or movie, but for me, it has been a lifelong fascination. 

How long have you been investigating haunted locations?

A little over 11 years with my current team, but about 15 years in general.

Out of all your investigations, has there been a place that really terrified you?

I don’t know about “terrified” me, but there has definitely been some places that have been far more active than others. One of those places is the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, WV. I’ve had some amazing paranormal encounters there and it remains my favorite location to date. 

Can you tell us a little about the book, Haunted Bay City, Michigan?

The book is a collection of different legends and ghost stories from within my hometown of Bay City, MI. In the book, I also stress the importance of historical preservation, aim to set the record straight about the paranormal community, and encourage people to appreciate those around them that are still alive. I hope my book inspires people to go out into their own communities and make a difference.

How long have you been working on it?

I signed my contract with the publisher on November 24, 2019 and submitted my manuscript on April 21, 2020. I finished about 4 months ahead of my scheduled deadline.

How many haunted locations are in the book?

10

Which Bay City location was your favorite to investigate?

The Sage Library so far! It was a lot of fun and very active. Plus, I just love the people at the Bay County Library System. They’re a wonderful, supportive crew of people. It makes all the difference.

If someone wanted to get into paranormal investigations what equipment should they invest in?

I think a recorder and camera are a good place to start. However, over the years, I’ve dwindled down the amount of equipment I’ve used in cases. I think a personal experience means so much more than trying to “prove” something to other people. 

Any specific brands or models that you recommend?

I like the Sony digital recorders and for really good photos, I’d invest in a professional Canon or Nikon camera, but they are super expensive. 

What pieces of equipment are considered the basics any ghost hunter should have? A voice recorder? Camera? Video camera?

Motion sensor cameras are also something I’ve used and really like a lot. So I’d probably add that to the list of having a regular camera and audio recorder. Other than that, just go out and live in the moment.

Have you tried any of the ghost hunting phone apps? If so, do any of them actually work?

I’m not sure if any of them are actually legitimate but I used the Ghost Radar app a few times. I got the name “Mary” one time while investigating at Waverly Hills, in the same area where a nurse, Mary Hillenburg, hung herself.

Do you have any psychics/mediums on your team?

We do not. I’m an intuitive empath but I don’t think that counts? Haha.

What’s next for you? Do you have any other books in the works?

I’m open to any opportunities that come my way. It will be fun seeing where this road will lead me.



Haunted Bay City, Michigan
Nicole Beauchamp

ISBN: 9781467146708
PUBLISHER: The History Press
DATE: 9/14/2020
STATE: Michigan
SERIES: Haunted America
IMAGES: 47
PAGES: 112

At the base of the Saginaw Bay on Lake Huron lies historic Bay City, a gorgeous town with a dark past. In its early days, a six-block strip known as Hell’s Half Mile was an epicenter of debauchery and brutality. This tumultuous history has left a deep paranormal imprint on the area. A sinister Victorian lady terrorizes those who visit the upper level of the Bay City Antiques Center. The ghost of a disfigured little girl roams Sage Library. And the former caretaker of the USS Edson lovingly tends the ship after death as he did in life. Local author and paranormal investigator Nicole Beauchamp takes you on a bone-chilling journey through Bay City’s most haunted locales.





About the Author:

Nicole Beauchamp is a native of Bay City, Michigan, and received her bachelor’s degree in applied science from Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan. With a lifelong passion for the paranormal and history, Nicole founded the Tri-City Ghost Hunters Society in 2009. Since forming the group, she has presented at libraries and universities across the state of Michigan with the goal of educating individuals on the paranormal and expressing the importance of preserving history through investigation. She has had the honor of co-lecturing with renowned paranormal researcher John E.L. Tenney, and her work has been featured in dozens of national and international publications. In 2015, she wrote a guest editorial for TAPS Paramagazine and was featured on Beyond Reality Radio, where she was recognized for her hard work and dedication to the paranormal by Jason Hawes, the star of Travel Channel’s Ghost Nation. In February 2019, she was featured on the cover of Paranormal Underground magazine. In addition to the paranormal, she loves traveling and animals. She hopes to continue to tour Michigan in order to enlighten individuals on the spirit realm.

https://www.facebook.com/hauntedbaycitymichigan/

https://www.facebook.com/pg/AuthorNicoleBeauchamp/



Michigan's Most Haunted Bridges - White’s Bridge in Keene Township #hauntedbridges



White’s Bridge was a beautiful Brown Truss covered bridge in Keene Township, near Smyrna Michigan on the Flat River.

Built in 1869, White’s Bridge was the third to be built in that location.

The original bridge was built in 1840 by Levi T. White and his sons. It was a rustic corduroy bridge made of logs.  A second bridge, built around 1856, was condemned in the early spring thaw of 1866 after being damaged by jammed up ice.

The residents contracted with Jared N. Bresee, builder of the Fallasburg Bridge, and J.N. Walker to build the covered truss bridge.  It was built in just 84 days with the help of horses and oxen. It was named after the White family who built the first bridge in that location known as White’s Crossing.

Soon after the bridge was built there were whisperings that a witch was at work in the area. An angry mob descended on her, dragged her to the bridge, and hung her.

The bridge was listed with the Michigan State Register on February 17, 1965. It was awarded a Michigan Historical Marker on July 2, 1965.

By Lar 

Other than needing an occasional siding or cedar roof shingle replacement, White's Bridge retained its original form and structure. It was the oldest covered bridge still using parts of the original structure in Michigan until July 7, 2013 when it was destroyed by fire. The cause was determined to be arson.

Throughout the years many people have claimed to see her ghost on the bridge. Some suffered from sudden feelings of nausea, others claimed to have felt like they were being watched. A few even claimed to see her specter swinging from the rafters.

According to a commenter on GhostsofAmerica.com there is also an urban legend that a man killed his wife, children, and two friends under the historic bridge with a chainsaw and claimed that if you drove onto the bridge, put the car in neutral and turn it off, their spirits will move your car across the bridge.

The Whites Bridge Historical Society and Kent County Road Commission raised money for a replica bridge to replace the one lost to fire. A $350,000 Michigan Enhancement Grant was secured by State Senator Mike Nofs in 2017 but after 6 years the bridge was still not rebuilt.  The Michigan Department of Transportation Local Bridge Fund contributed a large amount and they finally got the green light to move forward with building the new bridge but weather caused delays. 

Photo by John Lindgren 

The new bridge was completed in April 2020.