The Newbie (a relaunch) and School Spirits, Book 1 and Book 2 of the Kyrie Carter Paranromal Adventure series are now in the capable hands of my Booktrope teams and will be released, God willing, sometime this summer. I am currently working on Book 3, tentatively titled, Mystery of the Willow Lake Witch, which will delve deeper into the haunting of Appleton Hall at Willow Lake College.
As I began writing this part of the story, I did a little bit of research into the strange tales of Lock Haven (my inspiration for Willow Lake) and the rest of Clinton County. I found a lot of your typical stories of ghosts, witches, and just general odd characters, but I also found something I did not expect: Clinton County has an official monster.
No, really. Here’s the story.
As I read the article, I chuckled to myself, thinking how perfect this little discovery was. You see, I already had the main characters, Kyr and Spook, interviewing a rather eccentric older woman, attempting to discover the origins of Willow Lake’s most famous haunting. This woman related a story passed down to her from her own grandmother and great-grandmother, a story of an 18th-century hexenmeister who fell out of favor with the town’s early settlers and was banished to a cabin in the woods. One night, several townsmen on the way back from hunting witnessed her chanting in an unknown language. When she caught them peering in the window, she called upon some fearsome, unknown beast, which pursued the men through the woods, fatally injuring one and terrifying the others.
Not an exact match to the story I discovered, but enough similarity to serve as a bit of a reference and some inspiration on the side.
Which brings us to the rhyming part of the post.
One day I came across a post on my friend Lou’s Facebook page (Lou is a freelance writer, Lock Haven ghost tour guide, and my primary source on the Giwoggle legend). Someone–I can’t recall if it was Lou or someone else–declared that the Giwoggle needed its own theme song or ballad, like the one for the One-Eyed, One-Horned, Flying Purple People Eater. A couple of us joked around, tossing out bits of lines, but nothing solid came of it (at least that I remember, and now I can’t find the original post).
Well, not long ago, I woke up from a very strange dream in which the Giwoggle figured quite heavily. I don;t recall much of the dream, only that I was composing a song about said beast. I have not finished the song yet, and of course it needs to be tweaked for content and authenticity, but I’d like to share what I have so far, just for fun.
Ballad of the Giwoggle
In the mountains of Clinton County
A story has been told
Of a beast so terrifying
It will make your blood run cold.
On a cold and moonless night
From a witch’s spell it came,
Terrorizing the local settlers,
And the Giwoggle is its name.
To tell the Giwoggle’s appearance
Is the strangest thing you’ve ever heard:
It has the back legs of a horse
And the front legs of a bird.
But what makes the beast so frightening
And gives the beast its great renown–
He’s got the head and body of a wolf
And the soul of a hell hound.
I hope to finish the ballad and possibly publish it along with the book. And maybe someday we’ll be singing the Ballad of the Giwoggle at Halloween along with the Monster Mash and the Purple People Eater.
Hey, a writer can dream, right?