Tag Archives: Scot-Irish

The McChesney’s Ghost


apparition creepy dead death dress eerie female figure floating forest fright ghost

One of the scariest ghost stories ever–and it’s true.

Late Shenandoah Valley Historian and Author John Heatwole, much missed and a family friend, recorded a number of strange occurrences recounted by valley and mountain people in his fascinating book, Shenandoah Voices.  He says, “The beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia is fertile and healthy ground for the sustenance of folktales…when they (the early settlers) filtered into the Valley from Pennsylvania and Maryland, they brought with them age-old traditions and superstitions. While the German-Swiss were considered to be greatly influenced by folk beliefs and superstitions, the Scot-Irish were not far behind.” Amen to that, but what if not all of these accounts are just stories? Some of them sound chillingly true and the valley and surrounding mountains are a hotspot of paranormal activity. Not every tale is imaginary, as I can attest.

The creepiest story is The McChesney’s Ghost, which I will relate from the book:

“In 1852, when Dr. John McChesney, his wife, family and their servants lived in pastoral tranquility near the village of Newport in southwestern Augusta County (***where my Scots-Irish ancestors settled–the McChesney’s among them.)

Dr. McChesney was esteemed and respected in the upper valley, and his reputation for honesty was beyond question. While deep in the winter months, the McChesneys were having supper one night, when a young slave girl named Maria burst into the house from the direction of the detached kitchen (our Augusta family home place, circa 1816, also had a detached kitchen). She was frightened and said an old woman had chased her in a threatening manner. The woman was described as having “her head tied up” which must have meant that she had her head bound with a scarf or cloth. The description did not fit anyone on the place, and the family passed off the incident as fancy.

In the next few days, however, Maria was seen to be fearful and easily startled. Dr. McChesney and the rest of the family began to take an intense interest in matters concerning the girl when stones started to fall from the roof from out of nowhere. This happened both day and night, and at times the stones were observed to be hot, as they scorched the dry grass when they fell from above.

The story of the strange happenings at the McChesneys’ became common knowledge in the surrounding countryside. It was said that hundreds of people would surround the house in the hope of witnessing a stone fall. It is not clear if they saw anything, for on some days nothing out of the ordinary occurred. Maria continued to be frightened and said that she was being chased by the old woman who remained unseen to others.

Dr. McChesney thought the girl might be tied to everything that was happening, so one day he sent her over to the home of his brother-in-law, Thomas Steele. Mrs. Steele and her children, a young white woman and a black washer woman were out in the yard doing chores that day, and Mr. Steele was away from home. Suddenly loud noises were heard from the house. It sounded like frightened horses were loose in the structure. The young woman ran to the door and called for Mrs. Steele to come look—all of the furniture was piled in a jumble in the center of the room. As if they weren’t startled enough already, stones then began to fall on the roof of the dwelling.

At that moment Maria was spotted coming toward them from over the hills. They ran to meet her and found the girl in terror of being pursued, although no one was to be seen behind her. Mrs. Steele immediately sent Maria back to the McChesneys.

Even after the girl was sent away, stones continued to fall at the Steele home. Some even entered the house and broke glass in the doors of a cupboard. Many plates and other dishes were broken, and some shards saved for many years as relics of the terrible incident.

Back at the McChesneys, strange things continued to occur as the weeks passed into early spring. One of the most singular episodes took place on a cool day as Dr. and Mrs. McChesney. Mrs. Mary Steele, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Steele and their young son, William, were sitting around a fireplace. All of the doors and windows were securely shut, when suddenly a stone seemed to fly from the upper corner of the room, hitting Mrs. Thomas Steele on the head. She was the only person struck. The wound was deep and bled profusely, and a lock of hair was cut cleanly off as if someone had used scissors. Her husband was enraged and took the invisible assailant to task by shouting that its spite should have been directed at him instead of a defenseless woman. He then sat in a chair near the door and was showered with missiles of sod and earth from within the room. His mother, Mary Steele, shouted that he would be killed and urged him to leave the room. He did so and was not followed by ‘the thing.’

It was decided to send the children of both families out of harm’s way, and they went with their grandmother to her home near the hamlet of Midway. Their error was in also sending Maria.

Soon Mary Steele’s home was in turmoil with stones flying about and the furniture in the kitchen being moved by unseen hands. One day a bench in the kitchen bucked like a playful colt. Only the children were present, and they were at first amused. Young John Steele decided to ride the bench, but the effort was more than he bargained for. He fainted and was taken from the room by the rest of the children who had become scared of the out-of-control object.

During the time the children were with their grandmother, her farmhands complained that tools and food they had taken with them to the fields were stolen—but the missing goods turned up later back at the house.

The little slave girl, Maria, complained to Mrs. Steele that she was being beaten. The kind old lady drew the child toward her and wrapped her skirts around her while she struck out at the air with her cane. Marie still cried that she was being hit and stabbed with pins. Young William Steele remembered when he was an old man that the slaps could be heard by all who were present. The child was tormented for many weeks.

Dr. McChesney, at his wit’s end, finally sold Maria south. When the child left, everything returned to normal, and Maria was not tormented in her new home. William Steele related in later years that an old black woman who lived in their neighborhood was rumored to be a witch. He described her by saying that, “She walked with a stick and chewed tobacco,” and whenever he met her on the road, he always yielded to her the right of way. William said that Maria had once spoken to the old woman in an insulting manner and was told that she would be punished for her disrespectful tongue.”

I add, apparently this punishment went on without ceasing and encompassed all those associated with Maria and any who tried to protect her. Now this is an example of a very bad witch. Exorcist, anybody?

***Royalty free images

Story Gems at BarGain PriceS–A Best of Beth Trissel


Tinker, tailor, soldier, spy…well, Warrior, Lady, Soldier, Frontiersman, the Scots-Irish, a Bearwalker, Ghosts, time travel, and a Colonial American Christmas…an eclectic mix of romances long and short for 1.99 and under. Load up those kindles.  Nooks?  Yep.  A few of these titles are over there too.

NEW SOMEWHERE MY LOVE COVER2‘Fated lovers have a rare chance to reclaim the love cruelly denied them in the past, but can they grasp this brief window in time before it’s too late?’

Time Travel, Ghosts, and Reincarnation.  History, mystery, and above all romance.

“Know that love is truly timeless.” ~Author  Mary M. Ricksen

“As I read Somewhere My Love, I recalled the feelings I experienced the first time I read Daphne DuMaurier’s Rebecca long ago. Using the same deliciously eerie elements similar to that gothic romance, Beth Trissel has captured the haunting dangers, thrilling suspense and innocent passions that evoke the same tingly anticipation and heartfelt romance I so enjoyed then, and still do now.”  ~joysann for Publisher’s Weekly

***Somewhere My Love is available in Amazon Kindle for only .99!

AWarriorforChristmas_7288_300One unique feature of A Warrior for Christmas is that Dimity Scott is deaf from scarlet fever and the setting is colonial America. Another unusual twist, former Shawnee captive and white warrior, Corwin Whitfield, would rather return to his adopted people and the frontier than inherit a costly estate. Until he meets Dimity. Then he’s in a quandary.

If you wonder how Dimity and Corwin communicate in an age before sign language and other advances for the deaf existed, so did I. But the results are surprising and not a little bit wonderful. And then there are the charming traditions of celebrating Christmas in colonial America. A Warrior for Christmas is a story I much enjoyed researching and writing. I hope you will enjoy it too.

***A Warrior for Christmas historical romance novella is available for $1.99 in ebook formats from the Wild Rose PressKindleNookbookAll Romance eBooks, and other online booksellers.

The_Bearwalkers_Daughter_Cover3A Handsome frontiersman, Mysterious Scots-Irish Woman, Bearwalking Shawnee Warrior, Dark Secret, Pulsing Romance…The Bearwalker’s Daughter

Blurb: Karin McNeal hasn’t grasped who she really is or her fierce birthright. A tragic secret from the past haunts the young Scots-Irish woman longing to learn more of her mother’s death and the mysterious father no one will name. The elusive voices she hears in the wind hint at the dramatic changes soon to unfold in the mist-shrouded Alleghenies in Autumn, 1784.

Jack McCray, the wounded stranger who staggers through the door on the eve of her twentieth birthday and anniversary of her mother’s death, holds the key to unlock the past. Will Karin let this handsome frontiersman lead her to the truth and into his arms, or seek the shelter of her fiercely possessive kinsmen? Is it only her imagination or does someone, or something, wait beyond the brooding ridges—for her?

Available at Amazon kindle for .99!

The Lady and the Warrior

A short historical romance story with a The Last of the Mohican’s flavor to give readers a taste of my full-length American historical romance novels. If you like The Lady and the Warrior, chances are you will enjoy Red Bird’s Song and Through the Fire. Both have a strong Native American theme interwoven with the plot. Cover also by my highly artistic daughter Elise.

“The Lady and the Warrior is a sweet and tender romance, the kind of romance that makes readers sigh with…could it be longing? What woman wouldn’t love to be rescued by tall dark and handsome? In a short time she manages to capture the harshness of the wilderness and the wonderful intervention of fate that turns a near tragedy into a lovely tale of happily ever after… ” Five star Amazon reader review

***Available at Amazon kindle for .99!

Nostalgia about the late 1960’s and an earlier era, WWI, coupled with a vivid dream inspired this haunting beautiful love story, Somewhere the Bells Ring, set at Christmas. 

‘Although Somewhere the Bells Ring has a holiday theme, it’s an anytime read for Romance Lovers.’

Blurb: Caught with pot in her dorm room, Bailey Randolph is exiled to a relative’s ancestral home in Virginia to straighten herself out. Banishment to Maple Hill is dismal, until a ghost appears requesting her help. Bailey is frightened but intrigued. Then her girlhood crush, Eric Burke, arrives and suddenly Maple Hill isn’t so bad.

To Eric, wounded in Vietnam, his military career shattered, this homecoming feels no less like exile. But when he finds Bailey at Maple Hill, her fairy-like beauty gives him reason to hope–until she tells him about the ghost haunting the house. Then he wonders if her one experiment with pot has made her crazy.

As Bailey and Eric draw closer, he agrees to help her find a long-forgotten Christmas gift the ghost wants. But will the magic of Christmas be enough to make Eric believe–in Bailey and the ghost–before the Christmas bells ring?~

***Available at Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nookbook for.99!

A Blend of Scots-Irish/Native American Historical Romance–Beth Trissel


I have a growing selection for you to consider. All lengths. A collection of historical romance featuring those Celts settled in the rugged Alleghenies and the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, and the Native Americans they encountered.

NEW RELEASE!

‘The Rugged Alleghenies, A White Warrior, Beautiful Scots-Irish Healer, Unrequited Love—Requited, Charges of Witchcraft, Vindictive Ghost, Lost Treasure, Murderous Thieves, Deadly Pursuit, Hangman’s Noose Waiting…Kira, Daughter of the Moon’

***Available in print and various ebook formats from The Wild Rose Press,  Amazon, Barnes & Noble in NookbookAll Romance eBooks, and other online booksellers.

‘A beautiful Scots-Irish healer in the rugged Alleghenies finds herself accused of witchcraft. With the terror of the French and Indian War fresh in her mind, can Kira love a white warrior?’  Set among the superstitious Scots in the rugged Alleghenies, the story is an adventurous romance with a blend of Celtic and Native American flavors. Although written to stand alone, Kira, Daughter of the Moon is the long-awaited sequel to my award-winning historical romance novel, Through the Fire.

Blurb: Logan McCutcheon returns to colonial Virginia after seven years in the hands of Shawnee Indians. But was he really a captive, as everybody thinks? He looks and fights like a warrior, and seems eager to return to those he calls friends and family.
Kira McClure has waited for Logan all those years, passing herself off as odd to keep suitors at bay–and anyone else from getting too close. Now that he’s back, he seems to be the only person capable of protecting her from the advances of Josiah Campbell and accusations of witchcraft. And to defend the settlers against a well-organized band of murderous thieves.~
(Logan, the ‘white  warrior’ from Kira, Daughter of the Moon. One of my all time favorite heroes.)
Amazon Reader Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Another splendid historical!, October 25, 2012
This review is from: Kira, Daughter of the Moon (Paperback)

“Beth Trissel has written another thoughtful recreation of colonial times in this sequel to ‘Through The Fire’. Kira lives with relatives deep in the mountains of Virginia at a time when the English, French, and Native Americans are embroiled in constant skirmishes and out-and-out war. Logan was captured by the Indians seven years earlier and returns, now more Indian that white man, to retrieve a cache of gold left behind by others. Once he meets up with Kira, his childhood friend, sparks fly and he will have her for his own.

While following Kira and Logan’s personal battles we meet the best and worst of mankind. Evil and criminal forces threaten to keep them apart, and even kill them. Kira must learn to curb her tongue, hide her strange abilities and develop a strength she never dreamed she would be able to show. But is Logan worth the cost? Will he be true to her and give her a life she will be able to embrace? Can they ferret out the true villains and find peace and safety?

Miss Trissel’s lush descriptions of the rugged mountains, the harsh living conditions, and the uncertain times give life to what our forefathers endured to build a land we now call America. The characters, rugged Scot-Irish men and women, soldiers, Indians, and engaging children, come alive in this romantic adventure of life and love on the frontier.”

THE FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR, A SHAWNEE WARRIOR, AN ENGLISH LADY, BLOOD VENGEANCE, DEADLY PURSUIT, PRIMAL, POWERFUL, PASSIONATE…THROUGH THE FIRE
“The storyline of Through the Fire is well-written and uncommonly descriptive. Ms. Trissel took great time and effort to research Indian beliefs and their way of life. Anyone who buys this book will take great pleasure in it.” ~You Gotta Read by Laura
“Through the Fire is full of interesting characters, beautifully described scenery, and vivid action sequences. It is a must read for any fan of historical romance.” ~Long and Short Reviews by Poinsettia
2008 Golden Heart® Finalist
 
Blurb for Through the Fire:
At the height of the French and Indian War, a young English widow ventures into the colonial frontier in search of a fresh start. She never expects to find it in the arms of the half-Shawnee, half-French warrior who makes her his prisoner in the raging battle to possess a continent––or to be aided by a mysterious white wolf and a holy man.~
 
***Available in print, also Kindle and Nookbook, and various eBook formats from other online booksellers.
Blurb for The Bearwalker’s Daughter:
Timid by nature—or so she thinks—Karin McNeal hasn’t grasped who she really is or her fierce birthright. A tragic secret from the past haunts the young Scots-Irish woman longing to learn more of her mother’s death and the mysterious father no one will name. The elusive voices she hears in the wind hint at the dramatic changes soon to unfold in the mist-shrouded Alleghenies in Autumn, 1784.
Jack McCray, the wounded stranger who staggers through the door on the eve of her twentieth birthday and anniversary of her mother’s death, holds the key to unlock the past. Will Karin let this handsome frontiersman lead her to the truth and into his arms, or seek the shelter of her fiercely possessive kinsmen? Is it only her imagination or does someone, or something, wait beyond the brooding ridges—for her?
(A revised version of Daughter of the Wind)
“Ms. Trissel’s alluring style of writing invites the reader into a world of fantasy and makes it so believable it is spellbinding.” -Long and Short Reviews
“I loved the plot of this story, oh, and the setting was wonderful.”
-Mistress Bella Reviews
“I found this book fascinating.” -Bitten By Books
***Available at Amazon in Kindle for .99
Blurb for The Lady and the Warrior:
An abused young wife stranded in the Alleghenies in 1783 is rescued from drowning by a rugged frontiersman who shows her kindness and passion. But is he more than he seems? And can they ever be together?
About The Lady and the Warrior:  A short historical romance story with a The Last of the Mohican’s flavor to give readers a taste of my full-length American historical romance novels.  If you like The Lady and the Warrior, chances are you will enjoy Red Bird’s Song and Through the Fire, and Kira, Daughter of the Moon.  All have a strong Native American theme interwoven with the plot.
***Available at Amazon Kindle for .99
Amazon Reader Review: 
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good romance, March 24, 2012
Amazon Verified Purchase
This review is from: The Lady and the Warrior (Kindle Edition)

“I’ve read a few other books written by Beth Trissel so decided to give this one a shot. Really glad I did. I’m in love with this story. It was incredibly touching. A true romance. This author has a way of pulling on your heartstrings. Yep, I got a little emotional. If you’re looking to read something memorable, this tale is for you!”

RED BIRD’S SONG:
Taken captive by a Shawnee war party wasn’t how Charity Edmondson hoped to escape an unwanted marriage. Nor did Shawnee warrior Wicomechee expect to find the treasure promised by his grandfather’s vision in the unpredictable red-headed girl.
George III’s English Red-Coats, unprincipled colonial militia, prejudice and jealousy are not the only enemies Charity and Wicomechee will face before they can hope for a peaceful life. The greatest obstacle to happiness is in their own hearts.As they struggle through bleak mountains and cold weather, facing wild nature and wilder men, Wicomechee and Charity must learn to trust each other. ~

2012 EPIC Ebook Award Finalist

“This is a beautifully written story filled with adventure and suspense…This book touched my soul even as it provided a thrilling fictional escape into a period of history I have always found fascinating.” –Night Owl Book Review by Laurie-J

“I loved the descriptions…I felt I was there…Many mystical episodes are intermingled with the events…The ending is a real surprise, but I will let you have the pleasure of reading it for yourself.”  –Seriously Reviewed

With Red Bird’s Song, Beth Trissel has painted an unforgettable portrait of a daring and defiant love brought to life in the wild and vivid era of Colonial America. Highly recommended for lovers of American history and romance lovers alike!~Virginia Campbell”I liked this book so much. The author has done a magnificent job of creating both characters and setting. The descriptions of the area are wonderful and put the reader right in there with the characters…I will most certainly read other books by this author.” Overall rating 5 out of 5 hearts Reviewer: Jaye Leyel for The Romance Studio
 
***Available in print and kindle at Amazon, in NookBook, and from other online booksellers
 
Author Awards:
 
2008 Golden Heart® Finalist
2008 Winner Preditor’s & Editor’s Readers Poll
Publisher’s Weekly BHB Reader’s Choice Best Books of 2009
2010 Best Romance Novel List at Buzzle
Five Time Book of the Week Winner at LASR
2012 Double Epic eBook Award Final
2012 Reader’s Favorite Finalist

One of the Scariest Ghost Stories Ever–Beth Trissel


Late Shenandoah Valley Historian and Author John Heatwole, much missed and a family friend, recorded a number of strange occurrences recounted by valley and mountain people in his fascinating book, Shenandoah Voices.  He says, “The beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia is fertile and healthy ground for the sustenance of folktales…when they (the early settlers) filtered into the Valley from Pennsylvania and Maryland, they brought with them age-old traditions and superstitions. While the German-Swiss were considered to be greatly influenced by folk beliefs and superstitions, the Scot-Irish were not far behind.” Amen to that, but what if not all of these accounts are just stories? Some of them sound chillingly true and the valley and surrounding mountains are a hotspot of paranormal activity. Not every tale is imaginary, as I can attest.

The creepiest story is The McChesney’s Ghost, which I will relate from the book:

“In 1852, when Dr. John McChesney, his wife, family and their servants lived in pastoral tranquility near the village of Newport in southwestern Augusta County (where my Scots-Irish ancestors settled–the McChesney’s among them.)

Dr. McChesney was esteemed and respected in the upper valley, and his reputation for honesty was beyond question. While deep in the winter months, the McChesneys were having supper one night, when a young slave girl named Maria burst into the house from the direction of the detached kitchen (our Augusta family home place, circa 1816, also had a detached kitchen). She was frightened and said an old woman had chased her in a threatening manner. The woman was described as having “her head tied up” which must have meant that she had her head bound with a scarf or cloth. The description did not fit anyone on the place, and the family passed off the incident as fancy.

In the next few days, however, Maria was seen to be fearful and easily startled. Dr. McChesney and the rest of the family began to take an intense interest in matters concerning the girl when stones started to fall from the roof from out of nowhere. This happened both day and night, and at times the stones were observed to be hot, as they scorched the dry grass when they fell from above.

The story of the strange happenings at the McChesneys’ became common knowledge in the surrounding countryside. It was said that hundreds of people would surround the house in the hope of witnessing a stone fall. It is not clear if they saw anything, for on some days nothing out of the ordinary occurred. Maria continued to be frightened and said that she was being chased by the old woman who remained unseen to others.

Dr. McChesney thought the girl might be tied to everything that was happening, so one day he sent her over to the home of his brother-in-law, Thomas Steele. Mrs. Steele and her children, a young white woman and a black washer woman were out in the yard doing chores that day, and Mr. Steele was away from home. Suddenly loud noises were heard from the house. It sounded like frightened horses were loose in the structure. The young woman ran to the door and called for Mrs. Steele to come look—all of the furniture was piled in a jumble in the center of the room. As if they weren’t startled enough already, stones then began to fall on the roof of the dwelling.

At that moment Maria was spotted coming toward them from over the hills. They ran to meet her and found the girl in terror of being pursued, although no one was to be seen behind her. Mrs. Steele immediately sent Maria back to the McChesneys.

Even after the girl was sent away, stones continued to fall at the Steele home. Some even entered the house and broke glass in the doors of a cupboard. Many plates and other dishes were broken, and some shards saved for many years as relics of the terrible incident.

Back at the McChesneys, strange things continued to occur as the weeks passed into early spring. One of the most singular episodes took place on a cool day as Dr. and Mrs. McChesney. Mrs. Mary Steele, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Steele and their young son, William, were sitting around a fireplace. All of the doors and windows were securely shut, when suddenly a stone seemed to fly from the upper corner of the room, hitting Mrs. Thomas Steele on the head. She was the only person struck. The wound was deep and bled profusely, and a lock of hair was cut cleanly off as if someone had used scissors. Her husband was enraged and took the invisible assailant to task by shouting that its spite should have been directed at him instead of a defenseless woman. He then sat in a chair near the door and was showered with missiles of sod and earth from within the room. His mother, Mary Steele, shouted that he would be killed and urged him to leave the room. He did so and was not followed by ‘the thing.’

It was decided to send the children of both families out of harm’s way, and they went with their grandmother to her home near the hamlet of Midway. Their error was in also sending Maria.

Soon Mary Steele’s home was in turmoil with stones flying about and the furniture in the kitchen being moved by unseen hands. One day a bench in the kitchen bucked like a playful colt. Only the children were present, and they were at first amused. Young John Steele decided to ride the bench, but the effort was more than he bargained for. He fainted and was taken from the room by the rest of the children who had become scared of the out-of-control object.

During the time the children were with their grandmother, her farmhands complained that tools and food they had taken with them to the fields were stolen—but the missing goods turned up later back at the house.

The little slave girl, Maria, complained to Mrs. Steele that she was being beaten. The kind old lady drew the child toward her and wrapped her skirts around her while she struck out at the air with her cane. Marie still cried that she was being hit and stabbed with pins. Young William Steele remembered when he was an old man that the slaps could be heard by all who were present. The child was tormented for many weeks.

Dr. McChesney, at his wit’s end, finally sold Maria south. When the child left, everything returned to normal, and Maria was not tormented in her new home. William Steele related in later years that an old black woman who lived in their neighborhood was rumored to be a witch. He described her by saying that, “She walked with a stick and chewed tobacco,” and whenever he met her on the road, he always yielded to her the right of way. William said that Maria had once spoken to the old woman in an insulting manner and was told that she would be punished for her disrespectful tongue.”

I add, apparently this punishment went on without ceasing and encompassed all those associated with Maria and any who tried to protect her. Now this is an example of a very bad witch. Exorcist, anybody?

***Royalty free images

***If you enjoyed this post you might also like these posts I’ve done:  The Poltergeist in Our Old Farm House, Staunton, Virginia History and Ghosts, Supernatural Tales from Brock’s Gap, Rockingham County, Virginia, and One of Virginia’s Famous Ghosts (We have a lot)