Eton Bluff Haunting (Book 4) Research

The Eton Bay Haunting is Vol 4 in the Jack Raven Ghost Mystery Series. It takes place in the fictional town of Eton Bay, Minnesota. Jack is hired to get rid of a vile, disgusting, and crude spirit who is haunting a barn used by a tech startup group after one member of the group dies.

This haunting is one of love, betrayal, lies, and what money can buy and can’t buy. Below are some of the tidbits of what I used in the book.

Spider Facts.  There are approximately one million spiders per one acre of land- closer to three million in the tropics. At any given time, you are never more than ten feet away from a spider —ever.

Spiders eat harmful insects (more than birds and bats combined), pollinate plants, and recycle dead animals. They are a food source for small mammals, birds, and fish.

Not all spiders spin webs.

Spiders’ blood is blue.

Hummingbirds take the silk from spider webs to weave their nests.

Some male spiders give dead flies to females as presents.

Drugs impact the way spiders spin their webs. Spiders on LSD spin beautiful webs while spiders on caffeine spin ugly ones.

The venom of the female black widow is fifteen times more powerful than the poison of a rattlesnake.

If these facts creeped you out, you may have arachnophobia (a fear of spiders).

Crapola. This is a homegrown granola business started by Brian and Andrea Strom. Ingredients are cranberry, apple, and granola. It also contains seeds, nuts, agave, maple, and other organic goodness.

Crapola is one of the must  haves/do’s when visiting Minnesota. Others are Caribou Coffee, deep fried cheese curds, ice fishing, Summit beer, Juicy lucy, jell-o, marshmallows and fruit, lutefisk (called fruitcake), and hanging out at the Target store.  Crapola.

About Minnesota. The state’s name comes from the Dakota tribe word for clear blue water:  ‘Mní sóta’. Its nickname is Land of 10,000 Lakes. It shares borders with Michigan (water only), Wisconsin, Iowa, North and South Dakota, and Ontario and Manitoba in Canada. Saint Paul is the capitol.

It ranks as one of the healthiest states in the US. In 2015, Minneapolis was named the nation’s Most Literate City. Bob Dylan and Prince were born in the state. The state bird is the common loon. The state animal is the timber wolf. The state muffin is the blueberry. The average night temperature in the coldest month of January is 4.3 degrees.

Lingo you might hear: Ya sure you betcha, it’s goh-na grow on ya, could be worse, and doncha know.

The giant spoon and cherry is by artists Claes Oldenburg and his wife, Coosje van Bruggen. It is the centerpiece of the Walker Art Center’s Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, the largest urban sculpture park in the world.

Surveillance Cameras.  The average US citizen can be caught on camera more than 100 times a day. You’re being watched from your neighbors’ (or your own) home security cameras, gas stations, traffic cameras, public transportation, restaurants, stores, parking garages, lobbies, elevators, your place of employment, banks, post offices, and churches, just to name a few.

If you owned a Samsung television in 2015, they were watching you. You are also being listened to through your smartphone by hackers, Amazon, Facebook, and the government. Your email provider is watching what you write. Your browser provider is tracking your searches. Skype has been hackable since 2011. Your smartphone also knows where you are and who you are with, if they have a smartphone. If you talk and shop, retail stores are using  wifi to drop in on your conversation. If you have a newer car, your speed, direction, and more are being recorded. Your GPS knows everywhere you go. In Britain, one in ten women are targeted for voyeuristic pleasures.  And of course, the drones are looking in your windows 🙂

Hozho Naasha.  This Navajo term  means to walk in beauty or beauty way path. Hozho refers to the natural order of life’s journey, which includes temporal time, cardinal directions, and cycles of seasons correlated with the four cardinal directions.  It encompasses beauty, order, and harmony, and the quest for balance.

Jack describes the actual walk as taught to her by her Navajo grandmother: I learned to step with my toes first, to shift my weight to opposite feet, to listen to the twigs before they could be heard, to place my hands at my side with my palms down for balance, to let the scents in the wind lead me.

Northern Lights.  The northern lights are complicated interactions between solar winds ( a stream of charged particles escaping the sun) and the earth’s magnetic field. You can see the aurora borealis in Minnesota under the right conditions such as an absent of moon or artificial light and between 9pm to 4am in late fall and winter.

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