Tuesday, April 22, 2014

What's Unusual? A Paranormal Recollection

I received the following email from a reader several years ago:

"What's unusual?"

"I ask the question because I feel that so-called paranormal experiences become normal if you treat them as being normal.

I don't really know where to start as this is the first time I've tried to put things on paper as a timeline. I guess I'll start with my first experience.

When I was 8 or 9 living on a farm in Hunua, South Auckland, NZ, I was walking down the gravel road that ran alongside the farm with a friend. It was just after dark when we both stopped and witnessed a cigar shaped object in the sky in front of us. It didn't make a sound and was moving away from us slowly. It was hard to tell how big or how far away it was since it was dark and the object was totally black. The only way we could see it was the fact that the stars were disappearing behind it.

A couple of years later I had another sighting, or at least I think it was. I was 11, we'd moved to a place called Paparimu. It's just south of Hunua but still in the Hunua rangers. At the back of the house was a farm that had some hills. Some were quite steep. One in particular was very steep and almost perfectly round and had a commanding view. One day while sitting on top admiring the view, I saw an airplane flying in a valley below me. The funny thing is it was a 747. I had just finished reading a book on new aircraft and one of them was a 747. I didn't think much of it at the time, just a plane flying around in a valley. But as time went by and the more I thought about it, there's no way a small aircraft, let alone a passenger jet, could have been flying around in that valley. As I said, I think it was a UFO.

Years later, I saw another one. I had moved to Motueka, on the western side of Nelson Bay in the South Island. I was managing a dairy farm at the time. It was early one morning about 4-4:30 am and I was getting the cows in for the morning milking. Following them on the track sitting on my ATV looking up at the stars, I noticed a bright light amongst the stars. It was as bright as a welding light, purple, orange and yellow. At first it didn't move but after a couple of minutes, it started to zigzag up and down and side to side at great speed then it shot away, out of sight in a split second. I only told the farm owner about what I'd seen, no one else knew.

That afternoon my niece came to stay with my family for a couple of days. She had traveled up from Reefton which is about 200 km south of Mot. That night she told me how her and the rest of her family were outside the night before and had seen a bright light, like a welding light in the sky that moved very fast.

A couple of years later I had another experience. My wife was a paramedic and attended all sorts of situations. One night she was called out to an old ladie's home but by the time she got there the woman had passed on. My wife helped her by tidying her up and resting her in her bed. The next night I woke up and could smell a very strong perfume in the room. I woke my wife and she informed me that it was the ladies perfume from the night before??? The following night I woke again only this time she was there on the bed beside me, laying beside me. I panicked. I wish I hadn't.

Later I had moved to Western Australia. I met a woman who was very special. I was staying at her house for the weekend. She had new neighbors who had moved in that Friday. We welcomed them to the neighborhood and they invited us over to their place the next afternoon. We were sitting, having a drink and a chat when my friend, out of the blue, asked the woman about her father and if she minded talking about the barrier that was between them. The woman was both shocked and amazed by the question but she also seemed relieved to be asked. The conversation went on for a while between the two with my friend talking mainly about the woman's childhood and different parts of her life. There were tears and laughter, from both of them, and more importantly there was an understanding between them. Sadly my friend passed on not long afterwords, she is missed dearly.

People who think the same and feel the same are drawn together and see these things not as unusual but as normal.

This is the first time I've sat and thought about things all at once, it's only a small part of my experiences and I'm sitting here shaking like a leaf."

Phantoms & Monsters: Strange Encounters

Modern-Day Miracles: 50 True Miracle Stories of Divine Encounters, Supernatural Healings, Heaven and Hell Experiences, and More

Angels, Miracles, and Heavenly Encounters: Real-Life Stories of Supernatural Events


Friday, April 18, 2014

'Comedy Store' Spirits -- Ouija Board -- Slenderman?


The following narratives are witness submissions:

'COMEDY STORE' SPIRITS

I am 65 and I’ve had paranormal ghost activity since I can remember. My mother used to hold seances, and used the Ouija board. I heard about Dan Akroyd’s father, so I sent Dan a little note, about the 'Comedy Store' in Hollywood. I grew up in Hollywood. My father was friends with a lot of celebrities who appeared at the location when it was a night-club, although he really didn’t like it that much. I had a brief career as a stand-up, and knew a lot of the local comics in 1987.

I honestly didn’t know the 'Comedy Store' was haunted at all. Nobody apparently talked openly about it then. I went over there about midnight once, just looking to see if my friends were there. I went into the main room – it was all cleaned up, tables were set – they used to leave the doors open, so people could come and go.

I walked into the kitchen, nobody was there. Then I figured, I would use the bathroom and leave. I was in the bathroom probably 2 minutes – I came out, but when I passed the main room – all the tables and chairs had been overturned, and the chairs were stacked on top – I thought “boy the cleaning crew sure is fast” – I never heard a thing and it didn’t occur to me that anything was really wrong – until I heard later that the place was haunted.

Then it all made sense – so I contacted Dan, because he owns the club across the street. I didn’t know that Dan was actually going in there – apparently trying to contact the other side? He sent me his father’s book, with a note, that he thought I was a medium. No kidding, I’m a medium alright, they’re piling up like Grand Central Station – I am used to it, but there are ways to contact or communicate, and I’m very cautious.

If you, or Dan, want my help, or want to know anything, please just ask. I went back over to the Comedy Store after Dan sent the book – I had another look – there might be something else going on in there – my father knew these guys – I think they recognized me. I heard someone whisper “that’s her” Shari H.

-----

OUIJA BOARD

My sister was around 15 or so and was at a friend's house for a sleepover. Her and a few other friends decided to play with a Ouija board in their garage. Her friend's mother was at work and her father was in bed, so they had no supervision. While playing with the board they asked if anyone who wanted to speak to them. They got a YES, they asked for a name. They got MOM, they asked for a message. They got UNDR BRIDG. They did not understand the message at the time.

Later, after they had gone on to bed, there was a knock at the front door. It was the local sheriff who had come to the house to tell the girl's father that his wife had been killed in a car accident on her way home from work that night. Her car was found submerged in water under a bridge just a few miles from their home.

To this day, my sister will not go near or even discuss the subject of Ouija boards. Lil H.

----

SLENDERMAN?

I'm 29 with one 2 year old son. One night (February, 4 2011 in Florida) I was walking my dog and at the end of the block (that my house was on) there was a tall man with a wing span taller then him standing by his car (I'd imagine it was his car). I could not make out any face (even if he had one) but I looked at him. He had a suit on but it had looked beat up and dirty with rips etc. The right sleeve was torn up to his elbow but his skin looked like a normal mans skin. He had black dress shoes (or at least that's what they looked like). He looked at me and he waved, got in his car and drove away. From that night on I installed cameras and alarms all around my house but I have never encountered him again. This is what I know about this "Slender man" that everyone seems to be raving about. Thank you for reading this.

Sincerely, Alex V.

Slenderman: From Fiction to Fact

Aleister Crowley and the Ouija Board

Buckland's Book of Spirit Communications


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Early Newspapers Chronicle Ghostly Accounts


The following articles are old newpaper accounts of paranormal activity. The manner in which these reports are presented is fascinating...full of emotion, flourishes and hyperbole:

Ghost Allegedly Slaps Cops’ Faces

One Hundred Dollars Reward For Proof Happenings Are Not Supernatural

New Castle News, New Castle, Pennsylvania - 18 February 1922

HALIFAX, N.S., Feb. 18 – The famous ghost of Antigonish county today had won the second round of its fight with Agnostics and entered upon its third.

First, it drove Alex McDonald from his farm in Caledonia Mills in midwinter, with a tale of mysterious fires and cattle that apparently had been stricken by a supernatural hand.

Last night it sent Detective “Peachie” McDonald of the provincial police and Harold Whidden, a reporter, back to Halifax, satisfied by their investigation that the ghost exists and had slapped them.

Today the cross hockey club, of Antigonish, which is here for a game with Dalhousie, announced that two of its members had been selected to wage war against the spook by continuing the investigation of the haunted house, which has had all Nova Scotia agog.

So certain is Mr. Whidden of his conclusions, he offered to give $100 to the first person who can prove that supernatural causes are not responsible for the uncanny happenings at the McDonald homestead.

**********

Bizarre Apparition Entertains the Masses

Stalks in an Auburn Oat Field - Draws Crowds to Scene

All Attempts to Capture the Spectre Unsuccessful

Mysterious Figure Swings a Lantern Like a Brakeman and Boldly Confronts Spectators, But Vanishes If Approached


Syracuse, New York, Sunday Herald - 1 August 1897

Auburn, July 31 - One evening nearly a week ago the young son of Michael O'Hara put his head out of the window of his father's house in lower State street and allowed his eyes to wander across the street into the field of waving grain owned by ex-Mayor Mortimer V. Austin. Suddenly O'Hara gave a blood-curdling yell, and his face blanched as he saw rising from the center of the oat field a strange apparition. It was apparently the figure of a man clothed entirely in white. The ghostly figure stalked across the oat field, swinging a lantern in its hand. It advanced to the fence facing the road, and after flourishing his lantern up and down several times like a brakeman signaling a railroad train, the white figure gave a tremendous bound into the air and vanished from sight.

The youth managed to gain strength enough to crawl back into bed. The next morning he told the story of the specter to his parents, who in turn told it to the neighbors, and the neighbors gave it to the local newspapers, and the news was heralded far and wide. The next evening 500 or more people congregated in the highway in front of the O'Hara residence and waited for the apparition to appear. The board fence in front of the oat field was lined with spectators.

About 10 o'clock the ghost appeared, carrying his lantern with him. The specter made its appearance, apparently rising from the ground at the foot of a beech tree which stands at the west end of the field. The white-robed figure dodged in and out, seen at one minute, the next lost to sight. After continuing this performance for a few minutes, the figure advanced boldly toward the astounded spectators.

It came on with a bounding movement, similar to that made by a kangaroo while in motion. When within a few feet of the spectators, the ghost stood motionless for a second, and after waving the lantern in the air three or four times, suddenly vanished from sight. This is the way a young man of unquestioned veracity tells it.

An Attempt to Capture

The next night an attempt was made to capture his ghostship. Thirteen (an unlucky number) of Auburn's bravest young men took up their position among the branches of the beech tree, from under which the ghost appears. The young sentinels were not afraid of ghosts. Oh, no! and they chuckled to themselves, thinking of what fun they would have in the capture.

About 300 or 400 people stood in the street. The ghost appeared about 10 o'clock. It arose as usual from the ground at the foot of the beech tree. Its appearance caused an unusual commotion among the brave young men in the tree. One of the would-be captors fainted, while his companions clutched more tightly the branches of the tree and with awe-stricken faces waited for the thing to pass on. His ghostship did not carry his lantern on this occasion.

The following night another and more determined party of men attempted to capture the ghostly visitant. They chased it around the oat field, but could not capture it. Just as one of the pursuers would attempt to place a hand upon the spectre it would suddenly vanish, only to reappear again a second later in a distant part of the field.

It is a motley crowd which gathers nightly to catch a glimpse of his ghostship. Some times it appears and then again it doesn't. It is a very uncertain ghost to gamble on. Old, gray-haired men, as well as barefooted, rosy-cheeked children, gather in front of the oat field and keep nightly vigils, waiting for the apparition to appear. Young men and their sweethearts make the scene a trysting place, and they come on foot and on bicycles to wait and watch. Parents even bring their children out to see the ghost. The fences on both sides of the street have been torn down by the mob, and the oat field is stamped down, as if a herd of Western steers had passed over it. It has been roughly estimated that fully 4,000 people have visited the field during the week.

The scene where the alleged ghost appears is inside the city limits, yet the authorities have taken no action in regard to the matter. Chief of Police MacMaster is waiting for the property owners of that section to enter complaint. There are no city ordinances which prohibit orderly and respectable ghosts from taking up their abode in an oat field or anywhere else.

No Ordinance Against Ghosts

In fact the framers of the city's by-laws neglected to enact ordinances under which a ghost could be apprehended and punished for his temerity in stalking abroad at night with a lantern in its hand. There are many theories as to the identity of the ghostly phenomenon. Some claim that it is the spirit of a restless bicycle rider who was electrocuted during the dark ages for not having his lamp lighted after sundown. That during the revival of the bicycle craze in modern times he is doomed for a certain number of nights to appear with his lantern as a warning to those wicked riders who will persist in letting their lamps blow out on dark and stormy nights. Some say that it is the spirit of a man who was murdered in the oat field many years ago. The criminal records of the county fail to show when the alleged murder was committed, or who was the victim, consequently that story will not hold.

A man named Murphy, residing in State street in the vicinity of the haunted field, says that the specter is the Murphy family's cat. Thomas is a beautiful white feline, who occasionally rambles away from home to meet his enamorita in the haunted field.

The theory, however, is not credited by those who have seen the specter, which has been described to be from six to ten feet tall. As Murphy's cat never was, or never will be, ten feet in height the probabilities are that Thomas is not the guilty party.

The O'Haras don't know who or what it is, and what's more, don't like to talk about the matter for publication. One of the neighbors said that the specter is a young girl who resides in York street. The young girl in question indignantly denies the accusation and says that if she ever catches her accuser face to face she will scratch his eyes out. This at once establishes her innocence. Officer Titus, who patrols the State street beat, says that the ghost is a man with a white sheet over his head. Officer Titus started out to investigate the matter a few days ago and to find out if possible who the joker might be. In less than forty-eight hours he was told by as many as fifty of the residents who the guilty party was. Strange to say, every one of the fifty informers were in turn accused by each other of the heinous offense and here the matter rests.

The specter appeared again about 11:15 o'clock to-night and nearly frightened the wits out of a large number of spectators by its grotesque actions. The figure apparently dropped from the clouds into the midst of a crowd of young men, who were seated under the beech tree smoking cigarettes. The smokers dropped their cigarettes and with a screech fled from the field with the strange apparition in hot pursuit. The phantom chased the men into the middle of the street, and then, with a peculiar bounding gait, returned to the field and then vanished from sight.

**********

Jersey Town Sees Ghost

Weird Apparition Keeps Nervous Residents Home at Night

The Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis, Indiana - 19 March 1911

BEVERLY, N.J. March 18 – Bridgeboro, the home of witchlore and ghost scares, had another sensation, which the residents take seriously, and after each nightfall the streets are deserted. Joe Johnson and a party of friends, passing what is known as the Paxson Pits a few nights ago, were confronted by a dwarf which they declared climbed out of a pit. For a minute it lingered and then, giving a piercing screech, vanished into the woods. Other witnesses, farmers of unquestionable veracity, substantiate Johnson’s story.

The old residents say that years ago a reserved man, who lived on the outskirts of the village, and whose name never was learned, as the family would not mingle with the villagers, had a deformed son. The man was driving along the country road, when the carriage was supposed to have overturned and the child fell into the pit and broke his neck. The version of the accident was accepted, but wild rumors were afloat at the time. Those who have seen the specter describe it as a boy whose head seems to hang limp upon his chest.

**********

Choked By A Ghost

Pennsylvania Woman Believes Her Dead Husband Visits Her

Logansport Pharos, Logansport, Indiana - 19 March 1901

Carbondale, Pa. March 19 - The ghost of John Kinnie has visited his wife’s bedroom twice within a week, and she fears it may be the cause of her death. Each time the phantom visitor choked her, and her neck is said to have black and blue marks caused by long thin fingers. Kinnie died a year ago.

Just as the clock tolled midnight last Monday, Mrs. Kinnie says, she heard the front door open. Then there were footsteps in the hall. She hastily locked her bedroom door and listened in fright. A few minutes later her neck was encircled by a hand. She swooned, and when morning came was found on the floor in a dead faint. The same thing happened Wednesday night. The only explanation the doctor can offer is that Mrs. Kennie choked herself while sleeping. She is in a serious condition.

The Oxford Book of Victorian Ghost Stories

Late Victorian Gothic Tales (Oxford World's Classics)

Ghost-Seers, Detectives, and Spiritualists: Theories of Vision in Victorian Literature and Science (Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture)


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