Real Haunted Locations - Spirit Lake Idaho with Alena Orrison #Fantasy #WitchyFantasy #RealHauntedLocations

If you come to charming North Idaho, where I live, you may want to take a drive to my small town. It’s full of character and friendly people. 

Our main street (spelled Maine Street) is reminiscent of the old west. We have a saloon, hardware store, and restaurants that boast the original false fronts on the buildings. We still don’t have a stoplight yet, although growth in the area may change that soon. However, for now, everyone knows just about everyone else, and we retain that small town feel. There are parades at Christmas and 4th of July which consist of the fire truck, some people riding the in the back of pickup trucks, and throwing candy to the onlookers, adults and kids alike. 

The town is named for its lake, which can be a gorgeous place to play on the water and soak up some sun. There are two areas of the lake, one side called the Mill Pond, which is mostly used by swimmers and non-motorized boats, and then the main part of the lake, which is enjoyed by everyone. Spirit Lake is one of two lakes in the world that have a completely sealed bottom, which means water does not escape it.Neither can the spirits. 

The lake’s name originally meant “Clear Water,” but it was changed the day tragedy struck the local Kootenai Indian tribe. 

As the story goes, the tribe was led by Hyas-Tyee-Skookum-Tum-Tum (Good Chieftain). The chief’s beautiful daughter, Hya-Pam (Fearless Running Water), was in love with a warrior named Hasht-Eel-Ame-Hoom (Shining Eagle). However, war with a neighboring tribe was looming. Their chief, an old man named Pu-Pu-Mox-Mox (Yellow Serpent), demanded Hya-Pam for his wife or he would attack. Good Chieftain reluctantlypromised his daughter to as a peace marriage to protect his people.

Devastated at the thought of being apart, the young lovers met in secret and made a plan. When night fell, they bound themselves together with the marriage chain of rushes and jumped into the lake from what is now called Suicide Hill. They were hoping to swim to the other shore and escape together. Unfortunately, they were never seen alive again. But they are together, even to this day.

The Indian tribe changed the lake’s name to “Tesemini,” meaning Lake of the Spirits. Of course, over time, the lake was called simply “Spirit Lake.”

Spirit Lake is frequently covered with mists and on nights when the moon is full, you can see a canoe with ghostly figures in it drifting on the water. Sometimes you can hear the wailing of the lovers who want to escape the lake. Newcomers to the area have been known to call the police, concerned there is someone in danger on the dark water. When investigated, they can’t find a canoe or bodies. 

In the Little City Park on Maine Street, you see a lovely mural painted to honor the sad history of the lake’s lost lovers. And if you visit on a full moon night when the mists cover the waters, be wary of a dark canoe floating alone on the lake.


Natural Disaster
Witches of Willowbrook 
Book One
Alena Orrison

Genre: Low Fantasy / Witchy Fantasy
Publisher: Spirited Ink Press
Date of Publication: 10/19/2023
ISBN: 979-8-9880131-0-5
Number of pages: 313
Word Count: 86,692
Cover Artist: Aspire Book Covers

Tagline: Will her grief and his betrayal make her Willowbrook's worst natural disaster?

Book Description: 

When Jessica loses both parents in a car accident, she seeks to honor their legacy of service in Willowbrook. Her parents loved the town and its people, and despite her desire for solitude, Jessica becomes interested in the lives of those around her. 

Grief-struck and juggling the garden along with her own business has Jessica stressed. She soon discovers the unpredictable weather reflects her internal turmoil.

Fearful of her powers and worried about the town's reaction, Jessica takes her brother's advice to attend a grief counseling group and begin meditating. She thinks she can restrain her magic if she can control her emotions. A witch from Willowbrook's coven contacts her and offers to teach Jessica how to use her magic. But learning does not come easy. Jessica's power spirals. The more she tries to rein it in, the wilder it becomes.

Then Zane, an attractive reporter from the city, arrives to do an investigative story on Willowbrook's odd weather patterns. Jessica realizes if her secret gets out, everyone she loves could be in danger of a witch hunt. Wanting a change of pace, Zane moves to Willowbrook. Jessica worries he'll be caught in the devastation of her powers. 

Can she learn to control her magic before she creates a Natural Disaster? And can she keep Zane from revealing everything?


I clenched my jaw in frustration. The front door suddenly flew open as a gust of wind whipped down the street. “See? I lose control even when I try to keep it.”

“That’s because you’re trying too hard,” Donna responded.

I shook my head. “No, I am following Sofia’s directions, but I can’t keep it in if I feel an intense emotion. Which is apparently all the time lately. Wait. What are your powers?”

Donna gave a slight smile. “I was wondering when you’d ask. I’m not a witch.”

“What? But Sofia—”

Donna interrupted me. “I know all about the witches and the Circle. My mom was a witch. I do not have any powers, however. None manifested when I turned thirteen or sixteen, and nothing happened when I was in that boating accident. I am mundane. So not only did your parents love you unconditionally until they died, but you’re also a successful business owner and a powerful witch. What am I? I’m just a tax accountant. My parents thought nothing I did was good enough, not even when I was named valedictorian. And I do not have magic.”

“But, Donna, we used to be friends. Best friends. What happened?”

Donna shook her head. “It doesn’t matter now. The bottom line is you’re amazing and everything this town wants, while I’m never good enough for anything. I’m not good enough to have magic, own a business, or even have a long-term relationship, let alone get married. Why are you even talking to me about this? Pity? Is that it?” Donna stood, snatching her jacket from the chair. “I don’t need your pity. I need you to quit acting like you don’t realize how special you are and to… to leave me alone!” Donna yelled the last phrase, then stomped out of the coffee shop.

I stared after her, sitting perfectly still and ignoring the curious glances of the patrons as they quietly murmured to each other. The light from the windows dimmed and black clouds started covering the sky. Hard rain pelted the roof, drowning out the sound of conversations.

The lights flickered, eliciting a few gasps from the customers. I tried to reign in the anger, but deep yoga breaths weren’t helping. The longer I thought about what Donna said, the angrier I became. Thunder exploded directly over the building, and the electricity finally gave in to a mightier power. Several customers went to look out the window, apparently gauging their chances at making it home in the deluge.

About the Author: 

Alena Orrison is an award-winning author and a freelance writer and editor. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English, with an emphasis in Creative Writing. She started writing stories when she was three years old by telling them to her mom, who wrote them down. She has been editing professionally since 2015. Alena has several articles and stories published online and in anthologies. 

She currently lives in North Idaho with her husband, four children, two grandchildren, mom, three dogs, five cats, and a varying number of chickens. When she is not spending time with family and friends, gardening, boating, hiking, or at the gym, she is reading and writing. Alena also likes to crochet and spin yarn for some downtime. Some of her favorite authors include Ann McCaffrey, Elizabeth Cunningham, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Erin Morgenstern. You can visit her at

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