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We are writers mainly from Australia and New Zealand who write speculative fiction with romantic elements. Be it fantasy, paranormal, dark urban fantasy, futuristic and everything in between.

Friday 6 June 2014

Real Life Paranormal with Leisl Leighton

Haunted Theatre Restaurant?

I write paranormal stories because I love them, but also because I believe. I have had a number of things happen in my life that back up this belief, but the one my boys love hearing about the most is the ghost I used to work with.

I owned and ran a Theatre Restaurant for a number of years in the mid ‘90’s-early noughties, called Medieval Madness in West Melbourne. Setting up the restaurant required many long hours – as did running it – and as a result I was often there late at night. One night, during the set up stage, I remember walking along this corridor we were making up to look like something out of a castle, when the hairs on the back of my neck stood up and a shiver chased down my spine. Something brushed past me and out of the corner of my eye, I saw a dark shape – a tall man wearing a long black coat and old fashioned hat. As I turned to face the image in full, it turned and fled. I didn’t mention it to anyone until I overheard our carpenter telling my fiancé (now husband) that there was something in that tunnel he was building and he wouldn’t be working any more nights on it if we didn’t mind. My fiancé kind of scoffed (not being much of a believer), but he soon came to believe there was something there. 

A number of other staff reported similar sightings – all of the same apparition. The apparition always hung around the foyer and the corridor where I first sighted it and I saw it many times over the years I ran the theatre restaurant. It never did anything horrible, just followed the staff around occasionally and sometimes things were moved – at least, they were not where staff reported leaving them. Some of the staff were a bit spooked, so I gave the apparition a friendly sounding, non-spooky name: George. And after that most people looked forward to a sighting – those who didn’t see George said they felt left out. He mostly appeared first thing in the morning when we arrived for work and late at night.

Years into running the venue, my now husband was in a taxi from the airport and asked to be taken to the address of the theatre restaurant. The taxi driver said he knew the venue from when it was a nightclub in the 70’s and he was there the night a guy was stabbed in the foyer and died: a guy wearing a black hat and long dark coat.

I was sad to hear that George was there because of a traumatic death. It has been 14 years since I closed down the theatre restaurant and said goodbye to George. I often wonder if he’s still there or has managed to find some release.

Leisl Leighton writes paranormal fantasies and romantic suspense. Her latest title, Dark Moon, is out now with Destiny Romance. 


Lately, Skye Collins has been unable to shake the feeling that she's being watched. After a lifetime spent hiding her true nature, she knows that any unusual attention is something to be wary of. And the only attention she's been receiving lately is from the intense and attractive Jason McVale. 

Jason claims to know things about Skye that can't be true, and it's obvious he's hiding secrets of his own. Yet despite herself, Skye can't resist the attraction between them, and her surrender will set in motion a chain of events that will have consequences for everyone she holds dear.

Gradually, Jason convinces Skye that she has to trust him if she is to solve the riddle of her past and learn the truth about her power. But believing Jason means that her entire life has been based on a lie.

As her enemies gather strength and the danger increases, Skye is forced to accept who she really is. Will she risk everything and fight for those she loves? Or save herself and let them be destroyed by the forces of darkness? 

You can buy Dark Moon here: 

Her romantic suspense, Killing Me Softly is out now: 

Leisl is a tall red head with an overly large imagination. As a child, she identified strongly with Anne of Green Gables. A voracious reader and a born performer, it came as no surprise to anyone when she did a double major in English Literature and Drama for her BA, then went on to a career as an actor, singer and dancer, as well as script writer, stage manager and musical director for cabaret and theatre restaurants (one of which she co-owned and ran for six years).

After starting a family Leisl stopped performing and instead, began writing the stories that had been plaguing her dreams. Leisl's stories have won and placed in many competitions in Australia and the US, including the STALI, Golden Opportunities, Heart of the West, Linda Howard Award of Excellence, Touch of Magic and many others.

Leisl lives in the leafy suburbs of Melbourne with her two beautiful boys, lovely hubby, overly spunky dog, Buffy, and likes to spend time with family and friends. She sometimes sings in a choir and works as a swim teacher in her day-to-day job.

Leisl writes paranormal fantasy and romantic suspense.

You can follow Leisl and find out more about her and her books at:


  1. Great story Leisl.
    Poor George I hope he made it out of the theatre. Maybe that should be your next book.

  2. That's a touching account, Leisl. I love it when the spiritual and personal connect :)

  3. Love this post! What an interesting career history you've had, too, Leisl. Can you please write a story about a theatre restaurant and sexy ghost in future (if you haven't already!)?

    PS. We used to blame the kitchen door in our old family home that opened in the wind on 'George the ghost'.


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