Nicola Kirk: Author and Collector of Paranormal Stories and Other Strange Encounters

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Leaping Into The Rabbit Hole (With A Pack Of Cards At The Ready)

My Chosen Pack – The Vampire Tarot

I have had a pack of Tarot cards for many years. I’ve barely used them, mainly because I don’t have a clue how to drive them. I bought a pack called The Vampire Tarot designed by French artist Natalie Hertz, mainly because I enjoy vampire lore and the pictures of all the various tragic white faced, long fanged, gaunt people appealed to me (think Lord Byron after a Serious Weekend Bender and you’ll get the gist of the cards’ theme). I’ve always found them to be a handsome deck. They draw me in, so I would say it’s my ideal pack of cards. There are many different decks out there but I think if you have a mooch around online, you’ll come across a pack and design that ticks your boxes and that you’ll feel a connection with.

I have to admit, it’s very daunting looking at this massive pile of cards with all these signs and symbols on them and I am finding myself wondering how I’m ever going to divine anything of any real meaning to me or anyone else:

“Ah, I see you have picked the King of Wands!”

“Wow, what does it mean?”

“You… um… like dressing up and waving a large pointy stick around?”

“I… I don’t think that’s quite right.”

“We can meditate on it for a bit if you want?”

But it does say that some cards do not always make their meaning immediately clear. Thank goodness, I get some time to think about it. That and reading the little booklet that comes with each set of cards giving you an idea what each one is meant to mean. Although I suspect whipping a book out mid-reading is not going to put the Querent’s mind at rest (that’s the person wanting the reading – see, I learned something today).

So far, I’ve checked all 78 cards are still there and the cat hasn’t chewed on any of them and I’ve given them all a good grope to get a feel of them again. The little white book the pack came with gives a basic but helpful breakdown of what each card means, it will come in handy just to refresh me if I get stuck and will point me in the right direction again. The cards themselves are a nice size for my hands and they make a satisfying solid noise when you lay them on the table, a proper ‘I Am Placed Here!’ sort of sound.

In the course I’m studying it says that you have to make sure you store your Tarot cards properly in order to ‘maintain their positive energy and accurate readings’. There are proper storing and cleansing techniques. I suspect keeping them in your bottom drawer and wiping them over with a wet wipe isn’t going to cut it. So! I have a nice little box for the pack to kick back in and chill.

Also, it appears I need to cleanse my pack as I haven’t used them for a long time. Looks to be a few different ways of doing this. I can give them a shuffle (watch me drop them on the floor), meditate on them (don’t let the mind wander off to the kettle) or there’s even… a Moon Bath.

Reckon I could do with a Moon Bath.


©Nicola Kirk and 2021

What to do? What to do!?

The more I look at this photo, I can’t decide if she’s meant to be having a bad dream or a really good time. But anyway…

I had the most horrendous dream last night. It wasn’t your traditional type of nightmare. I was out on a bike ride with my kids. Weird from the outset, yes? We were on a tandem – or whatever you would call a bike that could fit three of us on it… thrandem?… and my son and daughter had a harness on to keep them in the seats as we went along. We were cycling along a nice path by some very pretty cottages and gardens when we started cycling over a bridge that took us over a large pond. All of a sudden we ran out of bridge and were going up a steep bank before falling into this big pond. It was teeming with koi of all colours. I went into a panic as we fell into the water as I knew the kids were wearing harnesses and couldn’t get off the bike. It was… the most horrendous feeling. A real sinking panic, you feel it settle in the pit of your stomach like a lump of black ice. I went in after the kids and managed to pull them out. They were fine – in fact they seemed to think it was funny.

I did not find it at all funny.

Then some little old man, with a fuzz of white hair and circular framed glasses came running out of his house and started having a go at me for falling into his pond. I stood there there dripping wet, still freaking out over the kids.
“Are you kidding me?!” I hissed at him. Then I was with my husband, trying to explain what had happened and it was as if he couldn’t give a shit. He brushed me off completely and I was so enraged. I can’t remember ever feeling so angry. I mean flat out, going to do some serious damage, can’t speak because I can’t get the words past my anger kind of rage. I remember telling him I wanted a divorce because I was so furious at the way he was treating me, and he brushed that off too, as if what I said didn’t matter a jot.

The next thing I remember was being in a high street somewhere I don’t recognise. Perhaps somewhere like Bishop Stortford. I was just sort of flitting about from shop to shop, not buying anything but feeling very lost and confused, feeling as if no one cared where I was or what happened to me. I didn’t know where the children were or where I was supposed to be going. I didn’t know if I had anywhere to go. It was a horrible feeling. I woke up when my daughter came in and started bashing me with a scatter cushion, telling me it was time to get up. I protested a little that 8:30am was too early to get up on a Sunday morning but I was pleased to have been woken really. It was a horrible dream. All the worst feelings of anxiety, fear, hopelessness and confusion all loaded into one heavy old bad dream. I don’t remember eating anything out of the ordinary last night that might have caused that. Certainly no old cheese from under the grill anyway…

I think we’ve all been here...

Perhaps I just need something to inspire me, take my mind off all the weirdness that started in 2020 and then evolved into the Benny Hill Chase Scene it is today. I’m considering doing another course but I’m not sure what. They are offering a tarot card course on Wowcher for about ten pounds. Part of me fancies doing that but I’ll have more of a nose about in case there’s anything else on there. I’ve done a few courses online of late. Criminal psychology, forensics and British Sign Language were some recent ones and whilst they were ever so interesting, I don’t think I’m going to come across any deaf criminals any time soon. And if I do, I’ll probably sign something insulting by mistake – I’m not exactly fluent in signing. What I really want is something I can get my teeth into and keep running with. I’m not sure what. I’m sure something will leap out and bite me on the arse soon. Perhaps I should start writing some more things on my blog. I have a blog. This blog, although it has been quiet for quite some time on here – I apologise. Not sure what I’ll write about yet. I don’t suppose many people are going to read it. But perhaps that doesn’t matter. Perhaps it’s the writing that matters, getting something out there which may be of interest to people. Perhaps I can put something on there about my search for a new course. Or learning about Tarot and my adventures with that… That could be an interesting one. I think I’ve just sold that to myself you know…


©Nicola Kirk and 2021


Nectrotist Front Cover

A New Novel for 2020…

Victoria Christie knows what you have done.  She knows what you are hiding.  With just one touch, all your secrets will be laid bare.  And that’s exactly what Governor Cloud is hoping for when he recruits her as a Necrotist for Firs County’s Finest.  But Victoria’s gift of Sight comes at a high price.    

When Victoria learns that Oscar Hale, a criminal on Death Row, isn’t guilty of the terrible murder he’s accused of, she discovers there are darker forces at play and they want Hale gone before their secrets are revealed.  

Torn between her loyalty to Governor Cloud and jaded Ring Chief John Hunter, can Victoria stop Hale from being silenced? 



©Nicola Kirk and 2020

I Saw Him

Image result for mortal kombat coming in hotter than the central line

I travel to and from work on the Central Line.  In summer, it is the hottest place on earth known to man.  You can fry eggs on other commuters.  People clutch their 2-litre water bottles for fear that they might dry up and die of dehydration between stops.

The other evening, I entered into the state known as Commuter Mode and left the office.  At the end of the day, I just want to get home, same as everyone else.  If I’m going to stand on a steaming hot train for the best part of an hour, I want to get on as soon as possible and lose myself in the pages of a book until the trip across the virtual Sahara is over.

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Like Rats In A Maze

Recently, they’ve changed the layout at Bond Street Station so you have to wiggle through a maze of subterranean corridors to get onto the platforms.  It was business as usual.  The guy who busks at the foot of the escalator was singing the same song he always sings at that time of the evening (the song never changes.  Never.  It’s Ground Hog Day meets Coldplay) and full on Commuter Mode was engaged.   Just as I turned a corner at the bottom of the escalator I noticed a woman in an adjacent corridor.  Strangely, for that time of the evening, the corridor was deserted apart from the woman, who was busy rummaging through her handbag looking for something, and a man.  The man was Asian, perhaps Chinese, and he was just standing there, close to the tunnel wall, staring at the woman while she rummaged.  He wasn’t just looking at her as if he was waiting for her to get her stuff together so they could go, he was staring at her.  Hard.   And she didn’t even seem to know he was there. 

Image result for faceless man

You can tell when two people are together, there’s interaction, chatter, something.  Anything.  But this guy just stood there by the wall, wearing a brown jacket and non-descript trousers, empty hands by his sides, just staring.  It made the skin prickle on the back of my neck.  I glanced away for just a moment and when I looked back, the woman was closing her bag and beginning to make her way towards the other end of the corridor.  

And the man was gone.

He was just… gone.  I did a double take,  ignoring the annoyed tut from the woman who had just stumbled into the back me, irritated that her Commuter Mode had been disrupted.  How had he managed to disappear so quickly?  Where had he gone?  I had only looked away for just a couple of seconds.  The woman who had been buried up to her armpit in her handbag seemed to be none the wiser, she just continued on her way, joining the masses of people rushing to get home.   She never even saw him.

But I saw him.



©Nicola Kirk and 2019

Window Dressing – It Can Go Horribly Wrong.

Image result for caught in the rain

I walk into work most mornings.  It wakes me up.  Instead of rolling off the train and stumbling into work hoping that enough caffeine will prise my eyelids fully open, a three-mile wander through London does an immeasurably better job.  The pretty parks, the unusual people you see going by, the shop front murder scene.

Wait.  What?

London’s going to be awash with people doing their LGBT thing this weekend, and there are rainbows on everything that isn’t tied down.  And some things that are.  Oxford Street and Regent Street are so heavily steeped in all things rainbow coloured, it’s like a trip to fairyland. Ha.  Fairyland.  Get it?


But one shop.  Oh, one shop has made the most horrible design error of creating some kind of spray spatter effect window sticker to go in each window across their shop front, one colour of the rainbow in each window.  Should be nice, yes?  Well, it is.  Until you get to…

Image result for blood spatterTHE RED WINDOW OF DEATH.

The spatter effect of red up the sides and middle of the last pane of glass looks like someone has been fed through an industrial meat grinder on full throttle.

I want to take a photo (so want to take a photo…) but I’m worried I won’t be able to outrun the furious shop keeper.


But it’s the thought that counts.  If you’re doing the Gay Pride march this weekend in town, may your sequins and glitter sparkle all day long.


©Nicola Kirk and 2019




Well, it’s finally finished, after much faffing and general messing around.  I’m proud to be able to announce my tenth novel is now available on Amazon:

Something is hunting Grace Deacon. And it wants her soul. 

A terrifying myth becomes a bloody reality for newly widowed Grace when she moves into her new home. As she struggles to rebuild her shattered life, she senses something insidious is watching her, willing her to call its name. The discovery of a previous tenant’s mysterious death launches Grace into a dangerous game of cat and mouse where an ancient evil is determined to get under Grace’s skin and make her its next victim.


woman-picture-id143917769 (1)


Book Cover Image and Design ©Nicola Kirk 2018


Or if you’re in the mood to be Kindlised, you can get a Kindle copy here:



©Nicola Kirk and 2018

Two For The Price Of One!

Image result for scary doppelganger

So you’re not my husband… or the kids… or the cat… um… can I phone a friend?

When I wake up in the night, I don’t expect to find anyone else in my room. Other than my husband. And perhaps the kids if they come up for something. Or perhaps the cat, if the kids have let her escape from downstairs. But other than that…

Just by way of background information, in our room, we have a large skylight just over the foot of the bed. I did wonder if it was going to let too much light in when we first had it installed, and whilst we could have got a blind for it (at a massively unreasonable and inflated cost) we eventually decided it was fine without, and to be honest if I get up for any reason in the night, I appreciate the ambient light so I don’t go clumping straight into the bedpost. So when I turned over the other night, surfacing from sleep as I did so, it was a bit of a shock to find my husband half sitting up in bed next to me and what looked like another figure of my husband standing next to the bed looking down at himself. I had a moment where I struggled to make sense of it all and then woke up completely with a jolt. I half sat up and found that what I thought had been my husband sitting up in bed was actually just his elbow sticking up from under the duvet at a strange angle instead. Ah… thank goodness that’s all it was, I thought to myself. But… who had been standing next to the bed? What had I seen there?

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Amusing Pareidolia At Its Finest.

There are various reasons why I think I actually saw something that night and that it wasn’t just a case of pareidolia. The first reason is that it stays quite light in our room because of the big skylight, even with the blinds drawn in the rest of the room. You can see quite well, even in the middle of the night. Also, there is nothing on my husband’s side of the room other than a pair of blank wardrobe doors. There’s nothing hanging from those doors, certainly nothing that could be mistaken for a person. All the crap in our bedroom is mine and is, uh, artfully arranged on my side of the room… I laid there for a few minutes wondering what I’d actually seen before finally settling enough to drift off again.

Bubble Gum Fail

I’ll teach you to wake me up with your phantom bubble blowing antics…

And then there are the odd noises… oh, we LOVE odd noises in my house! Some nights, at about three or thereabouts, I’ve woken up to the sound of something going ‘POP!’ Not the kind of popping or clicking I expect to hear in my house as things contract and expand, but the sound you get when someone’s blown a nice big bubble with gum. Two or three times I’ve woken up to that noise. I suppose it could just be a noise my ears make as I start to wake up, however, about a week ago I awoke to hear a door open in our room followed by the sound of something skittering across the wood floor. But our door hadn’t opened. It didn’t even sound like our door opening (which makes a very distinctive scuffing noise as it opens because it’s dropped a bit and needs adjusting). As for the skittering sound… nope, I got nuthin’.


© 2018

Dreams… They’d Better Not Come True.


The above image will lull you into a false sense of security over what is yet to come…

I’ve written before about some of the weird dreams I have. My Dearly Bemused tells me he very rarely remembers dreams and, based on the dream I had the other night, sometimes I envy him. The one I had… well, it left me shuddering with revulsion and rather pleased that my daughter came in to see me at 3am because she’d managed, somehow, to smack her head on the wall in her sleep. An impressive feat and one that I didn’t mind getting out of a nice warm bed to deal with because… the dream was about spiders. Not your common or garden diddly little guy that you can turn a blind eye to when you spot it hiding in the corner of your sitting room, but mind-blowing huge ones that appear to be more intelligent than the average person. The kind of spider that you suspect has been observing you for quite some time, and now knows your daily schedule, what your middle name is and where you hide your chocolate stash.


If I dream of a house, it’s generally always my parent’s house. I haven’t lived in that house for about twenty years. That’s quite some time but I retain a very close tie to that house. It’s the only house I remember growing up in because we moved into it when I was three and I stayed there until I met my Other Half. It’s the house my grandmother also lived and died in, so I suppose it’s no surprise that it’s the house my brain likes to visit when it sleeps. But for some reason, when I dream of that house, it’s never quite as I know it. There’s always something a bit different about it. In this particular dream, I was looking for a way in because at my parents’ house you never go in the front door. No, no, we use the tradesman entrance. I know not why, it’s just something we’ve always done. In my dream, when I realised the front door was not going to be opening anytime soon, I made my way back down the front steps and went past the garage, which was open for some reason. That garage hasn’t been open for many a year, although I know it does open because I remember seeing it when I was a kid and thinking it looked as if B&Q had just exploded in there. Now the garage was open slightly and the light was on. It was getting dark outside so I thought I’d nip in and turn the light off, shut the garage door and then… Oh, hold on a minute, there appeared to be some kind of mini office in there now off to one side that I had never seen before and… well, I can’t leave that light on either because dad will go loopy over the wasted electricity.

So I went in.

Image result for gigantic web in a house

Fine, it wasn’t quite this big but… it was close!

And found out very quickly why I never go in there because the place was festooned with horrible cobwebs filled with bits of dead or discarded spider parts. You know the way their bodies disintegrate and fall apart and (shudder) …well, there are no words to describe it really and that’s quite some confession coming from a writer. But I’m not a total wuss, I told myself, and even though my skin was crawling fit to leave my body, I bravely made my way over to that odd little office bit which I know doesn’t actually exist, and reached out for the light switch. And then stopped. Because sitting just above the light switch in a cloud of webs was one of the biggest spiders I’ve ever seen. I paused, quite literally shivering with horror in my sleep. I started to surface out of sleep at this point because Disgust Mode was desperately shaking Sleep Mode by the throat screaming ‘What the hell is going on here?!’ But the horror wasn’t quite over yet. Because above that spider was something quite magnificent, in a deranged, make your skin freeze in a way you wouldn’t believe possible kind of way. Very rarely do I get that feeling but heaven knows I got it then, because through the layers of web I could make out legs as thick as my fingers, attached to a body as big as the palm of my hand. And it didn’t even have the grace to be one of those fuzzy looking spiders either. Nooo, this bastard was shiny, black and I remember thinking that if one of those legs were to break, it would make a sound like a snapping twig.

“Mummy, I hit my head on the wall!”

Daughter dearest, you will never know how happy I was to hear about your plight at 3am that chilly morning so I could nurse the non-existent bump on your little head back to sleep.


Nothing requires that many legs.

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© 2018

I’m Not Leaving.

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Like This House For Example!

Some people stick in your mind. Sometimes they stick in your house, too. Even long after they’ve died.

People’s first reaction when you tell them you’ve seen a ghost is often to try and convince you otherwise with explanations of what they think you’ve seen or heard. I am as guilty as anyone of this. Or at least I used to be. If you want to hear some great snippets of paranormal curiosity, I learned very quickly that the last thing you want to do is to tell someone that it was probably all their imagination and the peculiar scream they heard coming from within their house in the dead of night was actually kids playing outside (oh come on, I swear some kids are nocturnal), or the reason their Aunt Jackie’s vase threw itself onto the floor is because a particularly heavy lorry rumbled by and… um… well, vibrated it right out of its locked cabinet, obviously!

Image result for What did I just see?

Nothing makes a story more credible than when someone you know well tells you of a creepy occurrence.  Both of my grandfathers have passed away, which is a great shame as I never met my dad’s father and barely remember my mother’s father. My mother told me of a time after her dad had recently passed. My grandmother, Nanny H, was in the kitchen washing up when all of a sudden she came dashing into the sitting room with a face as white as flour and plonked herself down in a chair. When asked what was wrong she said ‘I just saw my husband walk past the kitchen window.’ The story still gives me the shivers when I think about it.  I’m sure my grandmother would have known if she’d seen her dead husband or not – to me, there seems very little room for error there.

Image result for Who's in my house meme funny

That Ghost Is Going To Wish It Hadn’t Bothered…

Something more recent happened to my South African correspondent and Co-Seeker of All Things Spooky, Tarryn. A couple of days ago she was at home, the house was quiet and she was just pottering about before going to pick up the kids. ‘Then I heard a man’ s voice in the house,” she said.  “I couldn’t make out what it said and I thought it was my husband until I realised he wasn’t home yet. I panicked for a moment, wondering if someone had broken in and when I looked at the dogs to see if they’d noticed anything, I saw that all three of them were just sitting there looking at me. I was feeling a bit freaked out so I locked up the house and got out of there.” When stories come from people you know and trust, it certainly gets you thinking. As does the following story from another of my friends, Marlena.

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When Marlena was 18 years old, her grandfather passed away. Not long after, she was at home with her grandmother when she heard the doorbell ring. She looked out of the window and saw someone standing out by the gate. She called her grandmother to tell her that someone had come to visit but when her grandmother got there the man… was gone.  On its own, that would be enough to put the wind up most people, so imagine waking up one night to see what appears to be the same man sitting in the chair in your bedroom but not being able to make out the face. She called out for her grandma but when her grandmother came the man had gone. Marlena saw him one more time and when she mentioned it to her grandmother’s sister, she suggested it was probably Marlena’s grandfather. Marlena said it then suddenly made sense and all the pieces fell into place for her.  Marlena felt he had come back to visit her and her grandmother again.  She said she never felt frightened by the apparition, just felt a bit sad.

And so, to finish off, I felt I must include the latest from Most Haunted and their 2017 Hallowe’en Special.  Whilst at Croxteth Hall in Liverpool, during an epic ghost hunt Karl went off on his own to one of the upper floors.  Watch from 1.14.20 to 1.19.05.  Whoever’s currently refusing to leave that place clearly doesn’t agree with the layout of the bedroom one little bit!


©Nicola Kirk and 2018



I Hear Footsteps…

6am should be a quiet time. A time to stand bleary-eyed in front of the bathroom mirror with a toothbrush hanging out of your gob while you look at your reflection and ponder… good grief, how do I fix that? Unless you live in my house. This morning at 6am, I was indeed standing in front of my bathroom mirror with said toothbrush and eyes half-shut against the glare of the bathroom cabinet lights (I don’t care if they’re supposed to create a subdued lighting effect, it still felt like I was staring at the sun) when I heard the sound of footsteps heading towards the bathroom door. I paused my half-hearted tooth brushing and stared at the door behind me via the mirror. That’s the thing about watching as much ghosthunting as I do, you suddenly remember all the unexplainable things you’ve seen and apply them to moments of oddness in your own existence. It all went quiet for a moment and I wondered if perhaps I’d imagined it. But then, to my horror, and in true ghost movie fashion, the door handle slowly began to turn…

“Morning mummy! Can I watch your phone while you get ready?”

Oh yes… children… I remember now, I have children…far scarier than ghosts and demons and equally as likely to be out of bed at an unreasonable hour haunting me with their heavy footsteps.

Whilst watching World of Mysteries – Hidden City of London there was an interesting bit about Hampton Court, Richmond Upon Thames, where one of the wardens at the palace describes reports of footsteps being heard upon a stone floor when the floor in the room is carpeted (at 33.31 mins). Is this a case of the ‘stone tape’ theory? Or perhaps the ghost just fancies freaking someone out and is going all out to find a bit of uncarpeted floor in the corner of the room to stomp about on (I know I would – I’d make an outrageous ghost). And of course, Most Haunted is not to be outdone on the ‘spooky footsteps’ front. When they visited Haden Hall (Season 20 Episode 4) at 19.05 mins Karl hears the sound of what he describes as ‘banging sounds galore) but from the way the chair suddenly pings around, perhaps they were disembodied footsteps of someone approaching the chair to move it. And during a visit to Todmoreden Church in Series 19 Episode 4, Karl finds himself down in the depths of the church vault (41.25-44.17 mins) and it sounds for all the world as if something’s walked down the steps, had a bit of a huff and a sigh at finding Karl lurking down there already, and then turns around and walks back up the steps. It must be a very peculiar sensation being able to hear something walking towards you but not being able to see what it is. How can you prepare for what you can’t see? Do you run away, do you stay and find out what it is, do you just… carry on brushing your teeth?

You go look! Okay, we’ll both go look. In a minute…

It takes a lot of guts to go into an abandoned place, looking for ghosts (or just to be nosey) and even more guts to stay and investigate when you’ve heard footsteps coming from the floor above. Like this chap who found an abandoned house used as a Hallowe’en attraction in the past but now left to ruin. Do you think you’d have the bottle to go and find out who (or what) the footsteps belonged to? Perhaps if you were carrying a very big stick… ?


©Nicola Kirk and 2018

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