Tag Archive: haunted house

Ghost Trouble eyesI get a lot of comments from people who say that they feel like someone is watching them. Since they know there is no one else around, they are pretty sure the feeling is coming from a ghost, and it freaks them out, makes them uneasy and anxious…and for some, it terrifies them. I know the feeling…been there and done that a time or two or a thousand! It’s not a good feeling. Seriously, it’s bad enough to have someone watching us when we can see them watching us, but to have “someone” watching us that we can’t see? Now that is a spooky, please-make-it-stop kind of uncomfortable. A big part of that fear is the unknown factors. Who is it? WHAT is it? What do they want? Are they going to attack me? Possess me? Do they watch me during private moments when I don’t want anyone watching me?

So, here’s the thing…those in spirit don’t have “eyes” the way we do and thus can’t actually “see” us in the way that we see each other. We live in a physical world and must use our physical eyes to see it. Those in spirit have “spirit eyes”. They sense us, can FEEL us, and they may even be aware of who we are BUT, they can’t actually SEE us or what we are doing. So go ahead and pee and don’t worry that a ghost is standing there watching! Really!

I used to worry about that…being watched in the bathroom…when I lived in the haunted house I’ve talked about in this blog. The idea that a ghost might watch while I took care of business made it very hard to relax and get it done! I couldn’t wait to hurry the heck up and get out of there! Now, of course, I realize that even if I was to sense a ghost in the bathroom with me…that ghost isn’t actually watching me do my business! They are sensing my presence and that’s pretty much it (sort of like what we experience with them). If only someone had told me that back then! It sure would have helped my poor digestive tract a little more!

Another worry that people often express is that the spirits they sense will end up attacking…or worse POSSESSING them! First off, possession is not common and there’s a LOT of conditions that must be in place for something like that to happen. For instance, people with substance abuse problems, mental illness (like schizophrenia for example) and severe depression are a little more susceptible. And, of course, not all people experiencing those things are going to be susceptible. Constant negative thoughts can (and often do!) attract negative entities and when combined with those conditions just mentioned…well, that could POSSIBLY put someone at RISK but again, it isn’t a done deal. So let’s just leave the possession thing alone. Besides, if a possession was going to occur, there would be a LOT more things going on than feeling watched!

A lot of people also say that along with those feelings of being watched, they also are having nightmares. Now, I think their concern is that the nightmares are somewhat prophetic or there’s worry that something LIKE it is going to happen “for real”. No. Nightmares are your mind’s way of acting out your fears. FEAR triggers nightmares. Fear causes us to imagine all sorts of horrors that we worry might happen. Now, although the imagination is the key to opening the door to the spirit world, it is also a way to act out our fears, our dreams, our desires…etc….prior to making SOME of them actually come about. Depending on what you give the most focus to, that is the sort of energy you invite into your life. And by the way, it has to be more than a passing thought or even casual “daydreaming” for it to come into actual creation. You have to CONCENTRATE and FOCUS your energy and do it with INTENTION to bring it into your reality.

As spiritual beings…which we ALL are…we are, at the most basic, most simplistic level…beings of ENERGY. Focused thought activates our source energy and become POWERED UP by our EMOTIONS. So, if you are constantly focused on a particular worry and you FEEL lots of anxiety and fear because of it…then you are generating energy that goes along with those sorts of thoughts. That generated energy attracts more of the same and so you get caught in this terrible negative cycle. Therefore, if you are in a house, for instance, that makes you feel like someone is watching you and you’ve determined it is haunted and since you are scared of ghosts your imagination kicks in, adding more fear to the idea and nightmares happen and more ghostly (paranormal) activity occurs and now you’re thinking you could be possessed or killed or maimed……..do you see how it goes? I’ve been guilty of it myself!

If only someone had told me that haunted or not, negative spirit or not…I HAVE THE POWER TO PROTECT MYSELF and they (meaning anything of any sort) can’t hurt me…then I may have enjoyed a lot more of those seven years that I lived in that freaky old farmhouse! And the thing is…I survived it just fine. As did my family. Every terrifying experience brought about no physical harm. Ever. In truth, pretty much everyone survives their ordeal in a haunted house. The few, few exceptions involve special conditions as mentioned above.

As for me, in any situation in which I have felt threatened (be it from a supernatural source or NOT), I prayed. Let me tell you right now, folks, prayer works! Prayer to the higher power (whoever that is to you…be it GOD, ALLAH, BUDDHA, etc…) WILL protect you. Some have said they did pray and yet the spirit stayed anyway. Well, the good ones aren’t going to go away if you prayed for negative spirits to be vanquished from your presence! Besides, there’s no need for protection from loving entities. And as to that, well some people don’t want loving spirits around them either! And that’s fine, it’s their choice to make. Loving entities will go away when you ask them to. Negative ones won’t. You need to work at it a bit more. But whether they are there or not, regardless how bad they are, you CAN protect yourself. You have within you all the power you need to do it!

It’s really no surprise that negative entities lurk in the dark, slithering along in the shadows. Their personal spiritual energy is “vibrating” to a much slower “speed” than those living in the “light” (which vibrates to a much higher rate of speed than anything in existence!). Let’s take a fan for example. If you spin the blade around with your hand…it isn’t very fast and you can see the blade. That is a slow speed, it generates no energy…no breeze, nothing. Plug that fan into an outlet and turn it on and guess what? You can’t see the blade because it is spinning around too fast. AND the energy is generating wind! Well, light is like the fan that is going at full speed (this is why we can’t see spirits, their personal energy is vibrating to a such a rate of speed they are “invisible”). All beings are high energy lifeforms. You see, we have two bodies…the physical body which is vibrating at a slow rate of speed (all MATTER is dense because its energy is moving slow enough to make it appear solid…like the fan blade that is not under electrical power) and we have our spiritual body which is “plugged” in to our source energy (God in my book). When a person’s spiritual energy is dim (meaning their awareness of God is slim to none) then they are operating on low energy which is considered negative (and I might add here that although negative energy is strong, it will never be stronger than positive energy!). Negative entities work best in the dark. That’s because the energy in those areas matches their own. When they try to operate in the light, they can easily become overpowered. So, by creating light…be it real or IMAGINED (focused thought…intention…is very powerful!) you are generating enough power to combat any and all negative entities. The “light” (of God!) PROTECTS you from its influence. End of story.

When I lived in that haunted farmhouse, I feared two things…I feared the negative spirits present there and I feared thunderstorms (in fact, I still don’t like those storms!). To protect myself from the negative spirits, I prayed. To protect our home from lightning strikes, I prayed and then imagined that God placed a protective shield around our home. EVERY time I did this, our home was left untouched by lightning. I forgot twice and deliberately didn’t do it ONE time (as an experiment) and in all three instances our house was struck! Coincidence?  I think NOT.

So, my advice to those who sense ghosts and feel like they are being watched…I tell them that they are in no danger. Because they aren’t. They’d have to tell me a heck of a lot more than the following to think otherwise: I feel someone watching me. I hear my name being called. I hear footsteps. I felt someone touch me. I feel cold spots. I’m having nightmares. I heard knocking noises. My lights come off and on. My doors open and close. I’m losing things. (Just to name a few of the more common experiences!)

I think knowing you aren’t going to be attacked or possessed goes a long way to calming some of the fear. Right? Then I tell them how they can protect themselves: Prayer, Imagining light around them (or a bubble of protection, that works too!), and mentally sending them away. The thing is…the physical world belongs to the physically living. This is OUR world. We are the boss of it. So, by taking command of your immediate surroundings, you determine what can and can’t happen. You do this by DELIBERATE, FOCUSED INTENTION.

Shi shi dogs

My favorite form of protection is to imagine myself glowing bright from the inside out. My personal “light” (my spiritual energy) is so amazingly powerful, I don’t need anything else. But some people feel like they need more…so that’s where other things come into play…such as wearing a cross for example. If you believe that is going to protect you…then it will! In Okinawa, Japan, (where I was stationed for three years while serving in the Air Force), they put statues of these mythological creatures called Shi-shi dogs at the entrance to public parks and buildings and personal homes. The Shi-shi dogs have two functions: One keeps the negative spirits away…and the other allows the good spirits to enter! So, those work too! Whatever you believe in will work. And here’s the kicker…whether you BELIEVE in your imaginary light as being protective or NOT, it WILL STILL WORK! Why? Because light is positive energy. That is what it is. Not believing in it isn’t going to change anything. Just like if you are to look at a cup and say, “No, I don’t believe that’s a cup.” Well, guess what…it’s still a cup isn’t it? It is what it is. Don’t you just love that saying? I’ll say it again…it is, what it is.

I just want to add one more thing about why so many people feel like “someone” is around. The fact is, spirits are everywhere! They share the same space as us…just on a different level of consciousness (also known as realm or plane). And when conditions are right, we’re going to feel them…sense them. And of course, since they are around, it’s natural to think they are watching us.


Memorial Day will soon be upon us. It’s a day to remember military service members who have “fallen”… transformed from physical life to their natural spiritual one! We give thought to them, we thank them for their service to our country, and we remember our loved ones whether they served in the military or not. Memorial Day has come to encompass all who flourish “over there”. There’s no better way to show honor to them than to REMEMBER them and think of them with LOVE in our hearts! That, my friends, is positive energy in motion!!

So, I’ve rambled on enough, I think! I just wanted to share some of what I’ve learned with you because it seems to be a general concern for people who visit my blog! And before I close, I do want to put it out there that I’m going to celebrate Memorial Day by putting my first book in the Tess Schafer-Medium series “Be Still, My Love” up for FREE on Amazon.com (ebook only!) from 25 May to 27 May! (UK folks can click here),

Also, to one lucky commenter on this post (who I don’t know PERSONALLY), I will send a signed physical copy of the first two books in the series (Hidden Voices is book two…UK click here if you want to check that one out)! The names of those leaving a comment and requesting they be entered in the drawing, will go in “a hat” and get shuffled around. I might even post the video to show how it “all went down”! (smile) The commenter whose name is drawn will need to give me an address to send the books to…and I promise to never use the address again! The name drawn will be announced in the blog comments under their name so if you are not tracking the comments or signed up to follow this blog, you’ll have to leave me an email address so I may notify you (send it via the “contact” page in order to keep your email private!). And again, unless you tell me to put that email address on an email list to alert you of future book deals and promotions and release dates, I won’t keep it on file. I am willing to mail to any country in which paranormal books are legal! (smile)

The reason why I want to put Be Still, My Love up for free for a couple days is because it’s the first in a series of five books (so far!) and the medium in it (Tess Schafer, the main character) is grieving over the loss of her husband. Now, he wasn’t in the military and never served…BUT, she loved him and she misses him…just as we do for all our loved ones who have crossed into spirit! It just so happens, though, that she goes on a healing vacation to a haunted resort on the coast of Maine and meets Kade Sinclair, who is a Marine. His military career ended when he was severely injured in a roadside bomb explosion that killed five of his buddies. He’s having a tough time dealing with all that and Tess helps him heal a bit (he really deals with his issues in Ghost Trouble, but that’s another story!) (UK folks can check out that book here). She also receives some healing from her own grief which is great because no one should be sad for their entire lives! Additionally, Tess shares her spiritual beliefs, many of which I too believe and discuss in various blog posts!

Given all that, I thought it was a great book for a day like Memorial Day! My twenty years in the military are forever ingrained into my heart and my thoughts and creating Kade was my way of showing honor to all the wonderful military people out there! He’s a good guy and he deserves to be happy…despite everything. No matter what.

May you all have a safe, happy, glorious and loving Memorial Day!! Blessings to all and Peace out.

Since I am interested in the paranormal and write in the paranormal genre, I thought I’d share the books and movies that have had the most influence on my beliefs and my writing. Why? Because sharing the things that have influenced me in this field might be of interest to others who are curious-about or are interested-in paranormal subject matter. More and more people are becoming fascinated with this mysterious supernatural element of our lives. And why not? Someday we will be a paranormal entity ourselves when we transition over to “the other side” of life. Since it’s a place (more like a state-of-being) we are all headed, I figure the interest is quite warranted!
Now, those of you who have read my blogs know that I used to live in a haunted house. I moved into it when I was seven and moved out of it when I was fourteen. Although quite a bit of paranormal activity occurred in the house, other things have happened throughout my life to convince me that there really, truly, without doubt IS a life for us after physical death. So, obviously one of my earliest influences was the haunted house experience. Apart from reading any and all non-fiction books I could get my hands on (Linda Goodman‘s books and anything dealing with Edgar Cayce being two of my favorite), I’ve also been influenced by FICTION books and movies. Now, the thing about fiction is…the stories had to come from somewhere, right? Sure, sure…the imagination but what influences that? Where do those ideas actually come from? A connection to the spiritual world maybe? There is truth in fiction and fiction in truth. So with that, I’ll get on with it.

My first exposure to the paranormal was probably the soap opera Dark Shadows. I was pretty young at the time but I remember it well enough. At least, I remember that although I didn’t always understand the adult nuances of the show, I understood the spooky stuff well enough to be scared (yet fascinated enough that I couldn’t NOT watch it!). An interesting aside here…Dark Shadows is purported to have been influenced by my hometown! Truly! I lived in Bucksport until the age of seven (when we moved into that haunted house in the next town over) and Bucksport is the influence for Collinsport (the fictional town in Dark Shadows…in fact, Bucksport was often mentioned in the soap!). Why? Probably, because its town founder, Jonathan Buck, was supposedly cursed by a witch he was rumored to have put to death! In fact, this legend influenced my writing Hidden Voices which was published in paperback on the 23rd of August 2012 and in ebook today (24 August 2012)! Bucksport has a few other spooky mysteries as well and I’m hoping to explore those a bit more with my Tess Scafer-Medium book series!

One of the first books I can remember reading that truly started influencing my beliefs was The Amityville Horror. I read the book and saw the movie and both of them scared me to freakin death! I think what really added the scare element was the fact it was supposed to be based on a true story. The part where the little kid sees red eyes in the window truly got to me because my family and I experienced a similar event in our haunted old house! (see Living With Ghosts Part II for the “red eyes” story). Now I have to tell ya, I think a lot of the stuff depicted in the book was a little far-fetched and the movie even more so, but I’ve no doubt that SOME of those paranormal instances occurred and it’s those parts that scared the crap out of me! It didn’t matter that I didn’t know which elements to believe or not, the fact is…SOME of that scary crap might have happened and that was enough.

Another book that had a lot of influence over me was The Shining by Stephen King. Now, I grew up in Maine about a half hour’s drive from where Stephen King lived and because he is the King of Horror and Maine’s most known celebrity, I was naturally interested in anything the man wrote. But The Shining really grabbed my attention and activated my imagination on many levels. I mean, really. Here’s a book about a haunted hotel (hmmm…sort of like the haunted resort in my first book Be Still, My Love!) and lots of scary, ghostly crap happened there (just like in that haunted house I lived in!). Now, the horror part of it…you know where Jack goes berserk and tries to kill his family…that sort of stuff I don’t like. Horror, per se, does not interest me. I can’t handle all the blood and gore. I am attracted to spooky, scary…and that’s IT. Despite that, I couldn’t put the book down and I honestly felt sometimes that reading the darned thing was attracting spirits to me!  And speaking of that…I think the more we think about this stuff, the more it DOES attract otherworldly occurrences! So, if you get a chill while reading this or suddenly feel someone standing behind you…well, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Another book that really got me going was Audry Rose (it was also made into a movie and actually stayed pretty true to the book). Man oh man! Suddenly I’m thinking about reincarnation and wondering how that fits into our lives and then I’m having weird dreams that seem too real to be dreams. After reading that book, I started wondering if I was actually dreaming about my past lives! Seriously, Audrey Rose totally influenced my writing No Matter What about a little girl (Clara) killed for witchcraft and whose spirit becomes trapped in our world. To save her lost soul, her spirit is reincarnated into another little girl who ends up moving into the house and befriending her (synchronicity of the universe at work on that one!). Compounding Clara’s problem (and her fears) is the fact that those who killed her have reincarnated as well! One way or another they all become mixed up with each other. I totally found the whole evolution of that book fascinating…how all the characters’ present lives were affected by their past lives and what they needed to do to get over it. That book will be out in October and I can’t wait to share it with you!

When The Entity came out, I was just starting my military career. I went to see the movie while attending technical training school (in Colorado which is where I’d wanted to go ever since seeing The Shining!) and it fired up all the stuff I’d been interested in and experimented with before entering the military.

Busy and fully engaged as I was with my military life, I had to let my paranormal interests drift off to the wayside for awhile. The never-ending itch to write, however, was strong within me and I continued to start story after story (never finishing a darned thing!). Then I saw the movie “The Changling“. Wow. That one really got me going! Talk about a spooky, haunted old house and scary crap happening! That one made me think about Automatic Writing (which was done in the movie) and I even dabbled with it for awhile with great success mind you. Really, if you like a good ghostly movie, this one is pretty good and should fit the bill.

Of course it goes without saying that Poltergeist fired up my imagination. I thought the movie was pretty good until it got crazy…you know, with the creature thing coming out of the closet and all that. What really worked in that movie was the creepy stuff that happened before all the horror crap took over. Honestly, what is creepier than a jester doll sitting in a chair staring at you, then suddenly its NOT in the chair anymore! Nothing used to scare me more than thinking something was under my bed! Seriously, I just got the willies thinking about it.

When The Sixth Sense came out, I really got fired up (again). By some odd coincidence (which I believe is actually the universe working in synchronistic brilliance), my old notebook that contained the No Matter What story (begun when I was 17) was laying on my bed when I came home from work one afternoon (it was around the same time I saw this movie so I was primed to write again). I took it as a sign that I needed to finish that story and a dear friend of mine at the time, Teresa, totally encouraged me to do it. I bounced my ideas off her and she was so enthusiastic and supportive of the story that I kept going with it. She died while I was pitching it around to various literary agents. Breast cancer is a real bitch. Now, thanks to the advent of the glorious ereader, I’m going to publish the book myself and dedicate it to my dear friend now residing in spirit. What I totally loved about The Sixth Sense was the fact it was a great ghost story! No one died (other than all the spirits haunting that poor kid of course) and it didn’t get crazy toward the end either. In fact, the ending blew me away and I had to go back to watch it again. You know…I went to see that movie with Teresa and it scared the crap out of her. I think my arm took a few days to recover from all the clutching she did! (smile) Gosh I miss her.

Another movie that got me thinking was Defending Your Life and even though this isn’t a ghost story and it isn’t creepy, spooky in any way, it deals with the afterlife and I found it interesting. Certainly I think this movie has influenced my thinking on what might happen after we experience physical death. Another movie along these lines is What Dreams May Come. That one, too, deals with life after death and reincarnation. I was quite intrigued with that movie. And since I’m on this particular kick, Only You, oddly enough, got me to thinking about just how important coincidences are! In that story a girl named Faith is playing around on the Ouija board with her brother and she asks it who she’s destined to marry. Her brother, bored with the game, manipulates the planchette to spell out Damon Bradley. Not long after that, she goes to see a psychic and asks the same question … who is her soul mate? Now, her brother, not wanting to waste time dealing with silly psychics, pays the woman to give his sister the same name he gave her on the Ouija board. Convinced now that she must marry a man named Damon Bradley, Faith waits for him to show up in her life. A few years later, she gives up on this dream and settles for someone else. But, on the eve of her wedding, a man calls to leave a message for her fiance and his name is none other than Damon Bradley! She sets off to find him (in Italy which is where I was living when I saw the movie!) and so the story goes. The fact is…the name was made up and yet it is Damon Bradley who helps her find her soul mate. This movie really made me think about how all things affect each other. And I can’t not mention Frequency when discussing fate! This is a great movie. A son contacts his dead father on an old ham radio by connecting to him from 30 years earlier and ends up changing his entire life! That movie truly is a powerful story in my humble opinion. I marvel at the person who thought it up (or perhaps channeled it from spirit?).

I was editing No Matter What (again) when I watched The Others and that movie just helped me focus more on my own story. Why? Because it so intrigued me I wanted to write a story that would do the same thing…intrigue people! I just knew I was on the right track with my book after watching that movie. Also, I looked into the Spiritualist church right after seeing it and so I guess you could say it had a pretty strong impact on my life by pointing me in that direction. The movie got me to thinking about that stuff (ghosts, life after death) and when talking to someone about it (I was running a campground at the time and was chatting with a camper), she told me I should check out the Spiritualist church in Augusta (Maine’s capitol and not far from where I live!). I did so, had my grandmother come through (they do readings from spirit during the last portion of their service) and she told me to get going on my book. So I did!

Of course many other books and movies have added to my paranormal influence, but these are the ones that stick out the most. What about you? What books or movies have you read/watched that influence your thoughts on the paranormal? I’m always up for a good spooky read or a good scare-your-socks off movie!

Until next time, blessings to all and Peace Out!

In part one of my “Living With Ghosts” blog series, I introduced the spooky old farmhouse my family moved into when I was seven.  Any place with such a colorful history as that house is bound to have a few ghosts, right?  Although the house was old, the wiring bad, the facilities outdated and so on and so forth, my parents moved there because they didn’t have much money and the rent was dirt cheap.  With five small children to support, they thought it was a great deal.  And it was…if only we didn’t have to share the place with unseen specters!  Although I was only seven years old when we moved there, the place had such an impact on me that my memories are quite vivid.  Some of it I wish I could forget.

Since the house had been empty for quite a while, my parents had to do some extensive cleanup and repair work to get it inhabitable.  I remember my first visit to that house as if it were yesterday.  My mom let me tag along with her and a friend during one of their cleaning expeditions.  Their main agenda for the day was to pull several layers of old wallpaper from the walls so new wallpaper could be applied.  I remember that the walls were made of wood laths covered in plaster mixed with animal hair.  The stuff was crumbling from age and my parents replaced a lot of it with sheetrock (drywall).  I can still recall my thoughts on the house the first time I entered it.  The place was darned right gloomy.  It was also quite chilly inside despite the warm spring day outside.  There wasn’t a lot of lighting in the house (the wiring needed quite a bit of updating).  My mom told me that the bedrooms were upstairs and that mine was the last room on the left.  Although I remember feeling uncomfortable going upstairs by myself, I was eager to see my room and so up the stairs I went.  The room that would become my brothers’ bedroom was at the top of the stairs to the left, my parents’ room straight ahead.  There were no windows in my brothers’ room so it was quite dark in there and I had to go through their room to get to mine.  The door to my future bedroom was partially open and I could see that it was lit bright with sunlight.  I raced through the gloom to my future bedroom and was glad to see we had two large windows.  They faced the right side of the house and the river a couple hundred yards down the hill.  The room was filled with furniture (antiques!) and I remember being delighted by the mirrored dresser.  It had all sorts of neat little drawers and I sat before it to explore each one.

I wasn’t in the room very long when I heard someone coming up behind me.  I thought it was my mother.  I turned to ask her if the dresser was going to stay in the room for us to use but no one was there.  It puzzled me to find the room empty for I was sure someone had walked up behind me.  Though reluctant, I went and checked out the other two bedrooms.  I glanced toward the “dark room” (see Part I) but no WAY was I going to peak in there.  Both bedrooms were empty.  Feeling jittery but having no justification for concern, I returned to my exploration of the dresser.  A few minutes later, I had the strongest feeling someone was standing right behind me and my back crawled with unease.  Remember, I was only seven … I didn’t know about ghosts and had no clue why I felt as if someone was in the room with me even though I couldn’t see anyone.  It frightened me beyond measure and I no longer had any desire to explore my room and the furniture within it (the room was packed with lots of old stuff!).  Although I wanted to rejoin my mother, I was afraid to go through the room beyond, especially as I had to pass the dark room to do so (its entrance was a few feet to the left of my door).  I figured whoever was up here with me had to be hiding in there as I’d checked everywhere else.

It was quite a quandary I found myself in for I didn’t dare to leave, I was too scared to stay and I wasn’t sure if I should be making any noise since I didn’t want to attract their attention.  But then I’d made enough noise up to that point, I finally figured they already knew I was there anyway and began calling for my mother.  She kept answering with a “What?” but she didn’t come up the stairs and I didn’t dare go down them.  Finally, after repeating “Mom!” several times with escalating panic, my mother’s head appeared as she came up the stairs just far enough to see me (the top of the stairs was all open so you could see the last few steps from any vantage point).  “What?”

Why I didn’t tell her I was scared, I don’t know, instead I asked her if I could keep the dresser.  She said no, it wasn’t ours to use and before she could turn to go back downstairs, I ran to join her.  Although I really wanted to explore that house, I was too afraid to do so after that.  I did not feel comfortable there.  And the feeling was to remain for the next seven years!

When we finally moved in, the house didn’t seem so scary with the five of us kids running through the place.  My mom and dad always seemed to have company so the house was usually overrun with people.  Even so, I remember feeling like someone was watching me all the danged time.  I usually blamed the feeling on my brother (three years younger than me and quite the pest).  I was so sure he was hiding and spying.  Who else would it be?  Stuff began to disappear almost right away.  It was a common occurrence to have my parents complain about something they couldn’t find (they weren’t the only ones but our stuff being lost was naturally blamed on our inattention and thoughtlessness).  Of course my parents blamed us kids for their lost items (sometimes we would find them, in some strange obscure place, but oftentimes we did not).  I still wonder where they went? Countless times my dad gathered us together to demand we tell him where the latest missing item was “or else!”.  The fact we were all punished when the culprit didn’t speak up always had us kids mad at each other for not fessing up.  Of course, most of the time my poor brother “J” (I’ll just give him an initial as I haven’t asked him if he’s okay with me using his name!) was thought to be the guilty one.  There was a lot of “the blame game” going on, I can tell you that!  The atmosphere was, at times, quite negative.  Not all the time, of course.  Looking back on it, I truly believe the negative atmosphere happened when the spirits were about.  We did have spells of time where they seemed to be absent.  Why they came and went, who knows?

Since we put the missing stuff down to one of us (kids) being the culprit, we weren’t yet aware of the ghosts.  The first year or so living there, anything out of the ordinary happening was explained away.  “It’s cold in here because the walls are built solid and doesn’t allow the summer heat in (the slatted walls filled with horsehair plaster and no insulation told a different story!), the noises we sometimes heard were the house “settling” or it was one of the cats … perhaps even a mouse.  What else could it be?  The feeling of being watched, of not being alone…well, that was hard to explain.  Sometimes I would think it was J but when I knew where he was, I didn’t know what to make of it. The doors being found open (so common an occurrence that it often went without comment), well, it HAD to be one of us kids opening those doors…right? Actually, as I grew older, if my dad got up in the morning and found a door open (meaning the front door, the cellar door or the door to the attached barn), well he usually blamed it on me because I was often the last one to bed!  It boggled my mind that my dad would actually believe I could leave those doors open and head on to bed.  I didn’t feel safe as it was!  In fact, I often doubled checked the doors because I had so many nightmares of us being killed in our sleep! Yeah, my imagination worked overtime while living there.

My fear of that house began in earnest the night my mother went to play Bingo with a friend, leaving us kids at the house with my dad and her friend’s husband.  Ranging from the ages of one to eight by this time, the five of us kids were having a grand ole time playing on the stairs that night.  We were sliding down the narrow stairway on our butts, our bellies, our backs…however we could manage to do so.  We were making quite a racket, I know that much.  The main part of the stairway came to a small landing that then turned right (if coming down) with two more steps to the kitchen. We were confining our “slide” to the landing.  Above this landing was a small window.  I was too short to see out the window if standing under it.  From the back of the house where the window was located, I would guess it was about seven feet up from the ground for it was higher than my dad and he is six feet tall.  It was built flush with the house, no sill, no framing (I feel these facts are important, you’ll see why).  My dad and his friend were sitting at the kitchen table talking … just a few feet from the stairwell entranceway (they must have been happy to have us all occupied in one place so they didn’t mind all the noise we were making).  For once all five of us kids were having a good time together, no fighting, just fun.  We had no worries.

I had just completed my run down the stairs and turned to start back up them when I saw my sister about four steps down from the top.  She sat frozen in place, her dark brown eyes wide with fright, her mouth open in a silent scream.  She was about three at the time.  My two youngest brothers were on the steps behind her, laughing and playing, they were ages one and two (yeah, my mom had us all pretty close together!).  My brother J was a couple steps below my sister and on his way up.  He saw her strange stance and turned to see what she was looking at.  He immediately began screaming in terror and turned to make a mad scramble up the stairs, practically bowling my sister over in his haste.  My two youngest brothers turned to look as soon as they heard J scream and whatever was in the area above my head, they saw it too and began to scream right along with J as they scrambled after him up the stairs.  I did look above me but I saw nothing.  Whatever was terrifying them had to be in the window.  I remember the top of my head started crawling with unease, as if a thousand spiders and just landed there!  I was scared to freakin death and didn’t even know why.  All I knew was that my siblings were seeing something pretty danged awful.  Once my brothers started screaming, my sister found her voice and she let out the loudest, high pitched screech.  That alone would make your hair stand on end!

My dad stood up and looked at me.  “What’s wrong with the kids?  Go get your sister.”

With my dad standing near the stairwell, I felt a little braver and so I crouched low and ran up the stairs to get her.  I picked her up, her little body stiff as a board and she grabbed me as if I were saving her life.  I turned then to look at the window, afraid to see what they saw.  Nothing was there.  As I started down the stairs to my dad, my brothers scrambled down with me, all three of them crying with fright.

My dad took my terrified sister and did his best to comfort her.  It took a while to calm her down and, his patience wearing thin, he told the boys to stop their racket as well.  Of course he looked to me, the oldest of the bunch, for an explanation.  I had none.

Once my sister’s cries calmed to hiccups, my dad asked her again why she was scared.

“Red eyes, red eyes.”  That’s all she would say and then she buried her head in his shoulder.

Now my brother J (five at the time) spoke up.  “There was a monster in the window!”  My other two brothers began to cry again as they repeated the word “monster” and moved closer to dad and I for protection.  My dad put my sister in my arms and motioned to his friend to follow him.  They grabbed a flashlight and headed out the door.  The five of us kids huddled together in the kitchen and waited.  I envisioned my father being eaten by this monster my siblings saw and wondered if I’d be able to save us from the same fate.  Yeah, young minds!  After awhile, my dad returned from his investigation.  He said there was nothing outside the window that he could see.  His conclusion?  My sister and brothers must have seen a reflection of themselves in the window. I knew, even at eight, that such an explanation made no sense.  We’d been playing on those stairs for quite a while, why hadn’t our reflections bothered us from the beginning?  And seriously, what’s so danged scary about our reflections?  Geez! Totally subdued and frightened, the five of us kids went into the living room to huddle together on the couch.  While my dad and his friend sat back down at the kitchen table to continue their discussion (as if nothing had happened!), I asked my siblings about what they saw.  We spoke quietly among ourselves, knowing my dad would get upset if he heard us talking about monsters.  All four of them saw it.  The two oldest were adamant that they saw a face with red eyes. My brother J said the eyes were glowing and the face was scary.

Even though my dad didn’t find the “monster” we all knew it was out there and from that moment on, I was terrified of that house.  Now I knew something else was there with us.  Now I knew why I always felt as if something were in the room with me even though I couldn’t see it.  Now I knew what was opening the doors, taking things, making strange noises and moving stuff.  We had a monster.  It wasn’t much of a relief to later learn the monster was actually a ghost … and it wasn’t just one … no … there were, in fact, several and one of them was bad!

Okay, I’m done for now!  I’m trying to limit each post to to one or two ghostly incidents in order to keep the story relatively short!  Hope you visit again for Part III  …  if you dare! (smile)  Until then, blessings to all and Peace Out!

Last year I started this blog and since my interests (among many!) are attracted to anything dealing with the paranormal/supernatural and the books I write also include such subject matter, it was only natural that I would blog about that stuff too.  I became interested in matters of the “unknown” and “mysterious” when me and my family moved into a haunted old farm house back when I was seven years old.  I’ve always said I would write a book about our experiences there but, interesting though various events were, I’m not sure I could keep the page-gripping momentum going through an entire book.  I mean…there’s no final big show down or climatic end…we simply moved out.  We had had enough.  I do, however, have a great “novel” idea for a future book which will be loosely based on our experience there.  One of these days I’ll actually get down to writing “The Haunted Farm House” (or whatever I end up calling it) but that book will be a work of fiction and I would love to share what REALLY happened.  What better way to do that than a blog series!

Now, all my earliest blog posts were about my experiences in that house but I sort of crammed them all together as it seemed once the dam broke on my reminiscences, I wanted to get it all out there quickly.  So instead of reposting those, I’m going to rehash all the same stories again, minus the eager blog-post-overload I engaged in before!  This way, I can really convey what it is we experienced and maybe explore my own thoughts on it a little more … now that I know what I know!

For this post, I want to give a little history about the house, what I remember of it (I was 7 when we moved in and I was 14 when we moved out).  Despite the many years that have past, my memories are still pretty vivid and I continue to dream about that place to this day … thirty plus years later!  A homestead has been on the property since settlers began arriving in the area back in the 1760s.  The place used to be a farm (thus we dubbed our home “the farmhouse”) and many tragic events happened there.  Barns were struck by lightening at least twice that I know of and many animals were killed.  Although many adults died on the property (remember, it’s been settled a long time!), several children died there as well (I can’t tell you how it was they died but I do know that one of them drowned in a well which was filled in afterwards, thank God!).  We even uncovered a story about one of the house’s inhabitants being tarred and feathered by the town!

So, how do we know about some of the folks who died on our property or in our home?  Because they are buried in a tomb a couple hundred yards behind the house.  The inscriptions of eleven people are engraved in the granite stone facings of the tomb’s front wall (the rest of the tomb was buried in a mound of dirt long since overgrown with grass and brush).  A small rusted metal door about three feet high and two feet wide was it’s access point.  When curiosity led us to that tomb, I remember the door was slightly ajar.  A few years later (I was about 12 I think), I would actually have the nerve (or stupidity) to enter it!  My mother tells me that TWELVE people were actually laid to rest in that tomb.  She did a lot of research on the property when we finally accepted that it was haunted and sadly, all those research papers were given to a friend who then lost them! No matter, what happened in that house prior to our living there was not as much a concern to us as what happened after we moved in!  Though I suppose past events certainly affected future ones!  For one thing, there has to be a reason why all those spirits chose to hang around in our dimension rather than moving on in their spiritual journey.  When I say “all those spirits” I have to explain here that we figured somewhere along the line that four spirits shared our home with us.  One of them was not a good one.  I think if you are a bad person in physical life, you aren’t going to suddenly become good in the afterlife.  Probably this is why that particular spirit hangs out in our dimension (sometimes called “plane” in other writings on this subject).  I mean, what’s his alternative?  Hell?

The house was two stories high.  The first floor mainly consisted of the living room (where the oil stove was located and the only source of heat for the entire house!) and the kitchen.  Both rooms were spacious and nearly the same size.  A huge cast iron stove pretty much dominated the kitchen.  It was fueled by oil on one side (it was my job to fill the oil can…a chore that meant a trip down a long creepy spider infested corridor in the old barn) and propane gas on the other side.  The stove top on the oil burning side was smooth and flat, almost like a griddle.  It took quite a while to heat up so we mostly used it as a source of heat for the kitchen.  We also used this side to slowly boil down sap for maple syrup.  It was perfect for that job!  The propane side was used for most all the cooking.  The oven was a learning experience to cook in as it was hard to regulate the heat.  But as I loved to cook and my mother was okay with my kitchen experimentations, I did learn how to use it!  I remember the door to that oven was heavy cast iron and in later years it would play a part in an accident involving BOTH my parents!  A small pantry was off the kitchen and this is where the old cast iron sink covered in worn porcelain was located.  It had a faucet you had to pump to get water!  In today’s day and age, that would be considered rather “novel” but we found it out-dated and my father was quick to replace it!  I know that one of the more recent of the past residents (prior to our moving in) had died in the pantry.  This room more than any of the others always creeped me out the most, probably because I had to go in there so much.  I HATED that room and unfortunately, this is where the dishes needed to be washed (also my chore) and where all the food and dishes were stored.  The refrigerator was in there as well.  My little dog Tippy didn’t like to go in the pantry and so I couldn’t use him as a “deflector” for the spirits while I was in there.  I usually had to bribe one of my siblings (I have three brothers and a sister all younger than me) to come in there with me as I felt safer when I wasn’t alone.  I needed them to watch my back for I always felt like someone was in there with me, standing at my back, breathing on my neck.  It sent chills down my spine (that really happens!) and it seemed my flesh was always crawling with discomfort.

The one bathroom was off the kitchen (sharing a wall with the pantry).  It didn’t have any lighting and I hated it.  Of course my parents put a lamp in there but the light did nothing to dispel the creep factor.  Who knows what that room was before it was converted (before indoor plumbing, there was an outhouse).  Another room, which eventually became my bedroom when I got older, was also off the kitchen … you actually had to enter this room to get to the bathroom.  Another doorway to this room connected to the front hallway and directly across that was another entry to the living room.  So basically you could run circles through all the rooms on the first floor.  No doors were on any of these entrances and that was probably to allow heat to circulate throughout.  Next to the doorway between the kitchen and living room were two other doors.  Coming from the living room, the one on the left went out to the barn and the one straight ahead went down to the cellar.  Though the five of us kids played in the barn all the time (it was chock full of old antiques!), we were terrified of the cellar.  Since the door wouldn’t stay closed, my parents used to keep a butter knife stuck in the door frame to keep it from opening.  The cellar had a dirt floor, it was damp down there and cold…always cold, no matter the season.  It also had a room built down there…near the center…that looked like a tomb.  In fact, we called it the “tomb room”.  It had an arched ceiling and was constructed entirely of bricks.  We later found out that bodies were sometimes kept in this room until they could be transported to the tomb or buried!

The stairway to the second floor was off the kitchen and above the cellar staircase.  Since it was an enclosed staircase, it had a door down in the kitchen and in the winter we closed off the upstairs and the seven of us all crowded downstairs to stay warm.  I have to admit here that I loved the winters in that house the most!  It seemed that paranormal activity was not so busy in the winter and the house was actually warm!  Maybe the spirits didn’t bother us so much because we were all together and happy and that somehow helped to ward off their activity.  Who knows?

On the second floor were four rooms.  Straight ahead of the stairs was my parents’ room.  There was a “window” in the wall in my parents’ room to what we dubbed “the dark room”.  We always found it peculiar that someone would put a window (no glass, however, just a gaping black hole) between two rooms.  To the left of the stairs was an open room which was where my brothers slept.  My sister and I had the bedroom at the end of their room.  The doorway to the dark room was in my brothers’ room and I will tell you that the five of us kids were quite scared of it.  It was dark in there because there was no outside window (my mother hung a picture over the hole so no light could enter from their room either).  A light fixture hung from the ceiling (right next to it was the access door to the crawl space under the roof) but we never kept a light in there because my parents used the room to store some of the old furniture left in the house that we had no plans to use.  It was the ultimate dare for us kids to go in that room.  Needless to say, most of us didn’t take up the challenge and if we did, it wasn’t for long.  My mother hung a curtain over the doorway and the thing moved often.  I tell you, that room had some negative vibes attached to it.  In my mother’s research, we learned that a handicapped child was kept in there!  Back in the day, people with disabilities were kept hidden from public view.  Thank God we don’t do that anymore!!

The upstairs was usually cool in temperature no matter the weather but I feel that most of the spirits hung out in my parents’ bedroom more so than the other two.  At least for me, that’s where I experienced the most paranormal activity on the second floor.  On either side of the stairwell were cubby holes that actually were crawl spaces between the bedroom walls and the roof.  My parents used these crawl spaces for storage but us kids did play in there on occasion.  Though we did get creeped out over time and stopped going in there.  It could have been our over-active imaginations but then again, we were just small kids and ghosts were unknown entities to us.  When we were in those cubby holes and feeling like someone else was in there with us, we beat a hasty retreat, scared though we didn’t know why.  We just KNEW something wasn’t right.  The feeling wasn’t always there, however, in the beginning.  Maybe over time our continued use of the cubby holes attracted their attention or maybe they became so attached to us they followed us everywhere and so it felt more and more uncomfortable as time went on.

So that’s the complete layout of the house.  As for the location, it was built slightly back from the road on a level area midway up a hill (we had no nearby neighbors as this was farm country).  Below us was the Orland River (an often used route for Native American Indians which peppered the entire Orland region at one time!).  The Orland River ran past our property to Alamoosook Lake and it was here (on the surrounding shores of the lake and the banks of the river) that several Indian burial grounds were located.  At one time the Red Paint Indians inhabited the area.  They were a mysterious tribe that disappeared several thousand years ago.  They were called the Red Paint Indians (later called the Maritime Archaic) because their burial sites were filled with red ocher (a bi-product of hematite).  I can’t help but wonder if that house was located near another Indian burial site not yet discovered?  Pure conjecture on my part, but it is possible.  But anyway … a large field surrounded our house (our landlord “hayed” it during the late summer) and then the land rose sharply and became heavily wooded.  Across the street from our house was a pasture where our landlord kept a few horses, a couple cows and a mean ole bull (at least for a couple of the years that we lived there).  In the winter the animals were taken away and we loved to go over there and slide down the hill on our sleds.  I can say that the pasture was free of spirits and that is probably why we loved playing over there so much.

I do believe that some areas are conducive to paranormal activity.  I’ve since learned that there are “ley lines” networking across the earth and at certain connection points, these ley lines are believed by some to create a sort of “portal” to the other side.  I truly believe that the area where our farmhouse was located (it has since been torn down and no trace of it remains) is a “hot” spot for supernatural activity.  Even now, when we pass by there, I get the creeps.  My skin crawls and I know they are still there.  It doesn’t matter that the house is gone.  They are not.  And they continue to plague my dreams.

So, that’s it for this post.  I wanted to introduce our infamous old house first and then concentrate on particular paranormal events that happened there in future posts.  The picture I’ve included was taken during a nighttime visit there a few years back (a couple years before it was tore down).  My brother was big into “ghost hunting” at the time and he convinced me to go with him to the farmhouse.  I don’t know how he managed to talk me into it.  I truly believe something bad hangs out there and I was really worried about it following me home!  The two windows on the second floor is where my old bedroom was located (the small window below went to the pantry).  You can see the orb clear as day.  Now, I know there’s a lot of controversy about orbs but my gut tells me some of them really are spiritual energy centers … and that’s what spirits are in the most simplest terms…we are all beings of energy!  Certainly a lot of so-called orbs captured on film are specks of dirt, bugs, moisture drops, etc.  But not all of them.  This orb…it’s one of THEM.  I KNOW it.  They wanted me to know they were still there.  And they knew who we were.  I felt that with as much certainly as I felt the goosebumps on my arms and the standing hairs on my neck.

I saw the orb in the review screen on my camera and hightailed it for the car.  I yelled for my brother to “Come on let’s get out of here, we need to leave NOW!” and he of course took his sweet time.  Before getting into the car he stopped to take a picture of it.  My mother and husband were waiting inside with me.  My brother looked at the review screen on his camera and hurried (finally!) to show us what he had captured.  The car was surrounded by orbs.  Unfortunately, the computer those pictures were downloaded to crashed on us and all the pictures were lost.  Bummer that.  I tell you, I FELT them.  And though I’m not so scared of spirits as I was when I was a kid, I still am afraid of THEM.  Or at least I am of one of them.  Needless to say, I did a lot of protection prayers as we sped away!

Okay, NOW I’m done!  In my next post, I’ll explain a particularly scary event that changed everything for me … turning our home from a fun place to live (the yard was our oyster!) to a chilling place of fear.  Until next time…blessings to all and Peace Out!

Halloween is an interesting time of year.  It’s bright with Fall colors, fun with pumpkin art and dressed up scarecrows.  It’s scary creepy with ghost tours and haunted houses.  I think the huge attraction of Halloween is the carefree scare factor.  The SAFE tricks of terror.  We love to be scared so long as we’re safe.  I’ve attended and worked at many Halloween tours of fake haunted houses, haunted campgrounds, haunted woods and the like.  The people who come out for these attractions do so with the hopes of getting the living daylights scared out of them.  But they are willing to risk such fear so long as they know they are safe.  I get this a lot, “Will anyone touch me?”, “They won’t really hurt us or anything will they?”  Yeah, they want total reassurance before embarking on the tour into fake hell.  Despite assurances that no one will be touched, many of them go through the experience screaming in terror and maneuvering desperately to escape possible contact.  Children cry because it’s all so very real to them and big people scream because they suspend belief for just a few minutes and accept that the horror before them could be as real as the children think it is.

I like going through these concocted attractions for the “jump” factor.  If someone manages to startle me suddenly, my heart skips and whether I want to or not, a scream often follows.  Fun stuff.  That little burst of adrenalin that accompanies such moments is quite a rush.  Maybe that’s what this is all about…getting a rush without the use of harmful drugs!  The gory scenes and small “plays” enacted in some of these scary Halloween attractions don’t scare me but I do enjoy watching people make fools of themselves pretending to eat fake body parts and mess around with fake blood.  I’ll take fun however I can get it!

We experience many moments in our lives, the ones we remember best are the ones that elicit terror, sadness and extreme joy.  Halloween isn’t for sad moments or joyful ones (at least not for the most part!).  As a kid, Halloween was about dressing up and getting candy.  Fun stuff.  As a teenager, Halloween was about haunted houses and scary movies.  As an adult Halloween is about decorating, scaring others and spooky stories (the book stores are full of horror books during October).

It really is a whole different kind of scared when you think your life is really about to end, though.  I should know.  I had one particularly terrifying moment in which I thought exactly that.  I was eighteen at the time and visiting friends in another state.  One night I was sitting at a small desk in the kitchen talking on the phone to a guy I’d met while out dancing the night before.  The only light was from the small desk lamp.  The rest of the family (three girls about my age, their brother who was ten, and their mother) were all in the living room watching a movie.  I heard the garage door open but didn’t pay it any attention.  The door was to the left of the desk.  I was so engrossed in my conversation that it took a moment for the heavy breathing to penetrate my consciousness.  I remember turning to look for the cause of the sound and then freezing in shock.  I literally could not move.  I wanted to scream, but no sound would come out of my suddenly useless mouth. Bruce (the guy I was talking to) rattled on, totally unaware of the major drama unfolding on the other end of the line.

The person standing before me was wearing a black ski mask, a long black trench coat, black boots, and black gloves.  In his hand was the longest, sharpest, shiniest knife I had ever seen.  He held it up high in his right hand, poised to strike.  My eyes focused on that shiny blade (it caught the light from the desk) which moved in unison with his breathing.  My thoughts scattered in many directions all at once and yet somehow I managed to keep track of them all.  My immediate concern was the rest of the family sitting unaware in the living room.  I accepted that I was going to die.  Truly, my top priority in that horrifying moment was to warn the others, though I wasn’t sure how I was going to manage it since I couldn’t make a sound.  I wondered if I’d get my voice back while the knife was striking and if I could live long enough, thus keeping the killer occupied long enough, to allow the others to escape.  As those rather heroic thoughts flitted through my mind, my whole life flashed before my eyes (yeah, it really happens, it’s not just a cliche) .  I thought of everyone I knew and loved and all the wonderful moments I had with them.  I was grateful for the good moments and filled with regret for the bad ones.  I thought of all the fights and upsets and how stupid they all now seemed.  In those few seconds, so many things crowded my mind.  Why hadn’t I done more with my life?  Why hadn’t I been a better daughter, sister, friend?  If only I could do it all over again.  But no, at eighteen, my life was about to end by the blade of a sharp knife.  I wondered if it would hurt.  I wondered if I should close my eyes.  I must have been an amusing sight sitting there as still as death, my mouth opening and closing, my eyes wide, afraid to blink.  Speaking of my eyes, I wondered what to do with them.  Shut them so I wouldn’t SEE the knife descent or keep them open?  What to do?  Eyes open?  Eyes shut?  Strange thoughts for sure.

Suddenly the person starts laughing and the hand holding the knife drops down.  The other gloved hand pulls the mask off.  It’s one of the girls I was visiting.  Reaction set in.  I dropped the phone and began to shake all over.  I wanted to cry with relief but could do nothing but hyperventilate.  My heart which seemed to have stopped only moments before, was suddenly pounding furiously.  I nearly sank into a boneless heap onto the floor.  I wanted to tell her that the joke was not funny.  But I couldn’t make anything sound coherent.  That mouth of mine which could prattle on for hours was quite useless in a crisis! Ronnie (the girl) put her finger to her lips to indicate I was to say nothing and replaced the ski mask on her head.  Before I could stop her, she went running down the hall to scare the rest of her family. For some reason, she didn’t use the kitchen entrance into the living room.  I managed to stand up and shakily make my way to the livingroom doorway where I wordlessly watched the terror unfold.  Ronnie’s mother saw her first.  She was laying on a couch which had direct line of sight to the hallway.  She turned her head to look and immediately screamed.  She had no problems with body parts refusing to move as she jumped up onto the couch and did a wild in-place run.  Waving her hands in a wide arc, she screamed in a terrified-but-determined-to-save-her-children voice that they needed to run! RUN! RUN!  The two girls sitting on the floor jumped up in unison, a move that couldn’t have been more perfectly choreographed.   Instead of running, they stood stock still, hands on chest, and screamed.  I knew they probably couldn’t run because their legs wouldn’t budge but I thought it interesting they had no problem getting their vocal cords to work.  Their young brother scrambled up onto the back of the couch where he’d been lounging and crouched there, screaming over and over and over.  Were this a real intruder, we all would have died.  Well, maybe not the mother.  Her body was working just fine.  Though why she jumped up on the couch I don’t know.  Maybe it’s what people do when excited.  Didn’t Tom Cruise do that once?

Thankfully, Ronnie realized that the terror she was eliciting was really not acceptable and quickly removed her mask.  Soon as her mother realized it was her daughter and that they weren’t about to be slain to death, she jumped off the couch and nearly killed said daughter!  She grabbed Ronnie’s shoulders and shook her hard.  “You stupid girl, I could have killed you!  If I had had anything to strike you with, I would have done it. Don’t you EVER do anything like this again.”  We had to pull her off.  I knew it was a total adrenaline charge taking over.  We had all truly believed we were going to die.  The horror of that doesn’t just seep away.

What that incident taught me were several things. 1)  Don’t pull a supposed life-threatening prank on someone who will believe the danger is REAL, there’s no telling how they might react…they might just shoot first and ask questions later!  2) Your life really does flash before your eyes…every moment and every day of it!  3) Arguments and disagreements mean NOTHING when facing the end of your life.  4) We need to show appreciation towards our loved ones more (I couldn’t remember the last time I’d told my family that I loved them and that bothered me immensely).  5) When terrified, we cannot move and we cannot think rationally.  If we could just push the panic down when facing danger and allow our brains to THINK clearly, we’d probably find a way out of the mess. 6)  Don’t rant and rave at the stupid actors on TV when they stand there and allow their gruesome ends to occur. They are doing what would probably happen in truth.  If your body knows it canNOT escape, it will freeze in terror.  7) You probably aren’t as selfish as you might think.  I truly was concerned for the others even as I thought my own life was over. And finally, adrenalin overload makes your body as weak as a kitten once the danger has passed. Something to keep in mind if you ever go through a traumatic event.

Fear is a rush of excitement caused by a flood of adrenalin in the body.  That’s all well and good.  Enjoy the rush.  But when inducing that fear, keep it at acceptable levels.  Jump at people, scream suddenly, rev that chainless chainsaw, spurt the fake blood, chomp on plastic body parts but don’t ever make someone think they might really die.

Hope you all have a great, scary fun Halloween!!!

Keeping with the subject matter of my last three blog posts, it was only a matter of time before I told my own “shaking bed” story.  It seems to be a common occurrence in haunted houses to have the beds shake at some point. I could go into a long winded explanation of how this might happen and why, but I’ll leave it for a future blog post.  My purpose right now is to relate what my family and I experienced in that haunted old house without trying to analyze it to death.  Before I get to the shaking bed story, though, I want to share a few other strange occurrences.

One of the most annoying things we put up with was the constant blowing of light bulbs (I can’t tell you how many we went through during the seven years we lived in that haunted old farmhouse but I do know this, we should have bought stock in that company!).  I tell you, there is nothing worse than a blown bulb in a dark room and the creepy feeling that something is hovering over you!  The fact is, when you are living in a haunted house, you just can’t depend on the electrical equipment because they will, at some point, go haywire.  Of course, this only occurs when spirit activity is strong.

Another interesting fact is that haunted houses have cold spots (concentrated pockets of air within a room that are colder than the surrounding area).  Our house didn’t just have cold spots though, sometimes the entire house was cold, even in hot weather or when the heat was going full blast!

The first few years we lived in our house, my parents tried to explain all the weird occurrences away.  For instance, they blamed all the blown light bulbs on bad wiring.  Is that so?  Then why did we experience stretches of time where we didn’t lose a single bulb?  Bad wiring is bad all the time, not just sometimes.  The fact is, we had periods of blessed peace when, for whatever reason, the spirits left us alone.  During these peaceful periods, we had no problems with the wiring.  Just to give you an idea of how messed up things can get with the electricity (besides blown light bulbs), I’ll relate a few other things we experienced.  Since what happened with my father’s clock radio finally led him to believe the place was haunted, I’ll start there.

My dad used a clock radio as his morning alarm.  His favorite radio station came on the air at the time he needed to get up so he enjoyed waking to the sound of country music (the only type of music he’ll listen to I might add).  Well, it happens that my dad’s clock radio was a favorite item for the spirits to mess with.  Maybe they were just pulling silly pranks but if so, they did not amuse my father!  One of the things they did often was change radio stations on him.  Instead of waking up to country, Dad would wake up to the sounds of rock music.  Puzzling as that was for him, it was nothing compared to what happened to him one night while he lay listening to his music station as he drifted off to sleep.  The radio suddenly began to switch stations, going from one to several others in succession.  Though it didn’t make sense for a radio that required manual manipulation to change stations, dad decided the thing was malfunctioning and had nothing to do with spirit activity (he most emphatically did not believe in ghosts).  My mom, however, had no qualms about blaming it on ghosts for she was just as convinced that they did exist and that we were sharing our home with them.  I have to add here that she was quite comfortable with that idea.

The thing that sparked Dad’s acceptance of ghosts was the night the radio came on blaring rock music in the very early hours of the morning.  Dad turned the radio back to his usual station and went back to sleep.  A little while later he was wakened again, only this time to loud pop music.  Annoyed (probably a mild descriptive for what he actually was feeling), Dad put it back to his station.  Moments later it’s blaring classical music.  Fed up at this point, my dad pulled the cord out of the outlet and tossed the radio across the room.  “There ,” he says (as related later when telling his story) now try and play.”  Laying there on the floor, its electric cord tangled beside it, the radio switched from one station to another as if in scanning mode (and no, there was no such mode on that radio).  Finally something was happening that actually freaked him out.  What’s more, it freaked out my mom too and she liked the idea of living with ghosts!  Dad ended up getting a wind up alarm clock and that worked out just fine.  Guess the spirits can’t manipulate wind up clocks!

Messing with the clock radio was bad enough but this next prank of theirs was going too far.  My parents went through a tropical fish craze and at one time we had three aquariums.  Since the house was always cold and the fish required a moderate temperature, we had to keep aquarium heaters in all the tanks.  They were set to the desired temperature and left alone.  One night my parents decided it was time to add to our fish population and we all crowded into the car and headed off to the pet store.  We were gone for a couple of hours or so and when we returned home, we found all our fish dead (well, we did have one lone survivor and I still wonder about that!).  The heaters were turned all the way up on all three tanks and those poor fish had been cooked to death!  Now, I don’t know if any of you know much about aquarium heaters but I can tell you that they don’t get so hot that a 25 and 40 gallon tank will heat to the point of cooking fish.  And even if the heaters were capable of that, surely they couldn’t do it in a couple hours?   No longer was the spirit activity harmless.  It wasn’t long after that when my parents finally decided it was time to move.

And now, finally, we get to the bed shaking story.  Well, it happened around the time we were beginning to talk about the house being haunted.  I didn’t like the idea of ghosts inhabiting our house but I wasn’t terrified of them at this point.  The incident with my dog that I spoke about in “Another Brush With the Supernatural” hadn’t yet occurred.  I was about twelve at the time. One evening my parents had several family members and friends over for a musical gathering (my parents liked to get together with friends and family to play guitars and sing).  The five of us kids were relegated to the upstair bedrooms. Since I wanted to read a book, the quietest place to do that was my parents’ room.  I made myself comfortable on their big wrought iron bed and was soon lost in my reading while my brothers and sister raised ruckus in the other two bedrooms.

I’m not sure how long I was on the bed, maybe a half hour or so, when it began to shake.  At first I thought it was just vibration from the kids running around in the next room so I didn’t pay any attention to it.  But then it began to shake harder, to the point that I could no longer read.  I looked up from my book and focused my attention on my surroundings.  The feeling that I was no longer alone was really strong and I thought maybe one of my brothers had sneaked into the room.  I put the book down and the shaking stopped.  I called out a warning that if it was one of my brothers, they had better come out now or else.  Nothing.  I sat quietly and waited.  It wasn’t long before the bed shook again, hard.  Sure that it was one of my brothers, I started to lean over the edge to look when a spool of green thread went zipping across the floor.  It smacked into the wall to the right of me, bounced off and then rolled at a slow steady pace towards the bed (I couldn’t figure how it lost its momentum so fast and that kept me rooted in place).  The spool eventually disappeared under the bed.  I heard it continue its slow roll across the floor until it suddenly came shooting out the other side.  It crashed into the wall to the left of me and bounced off but instead of rolling away, it stopped still where it landed and didn’t move.  Neither did I.  After a few moments, it began to roll back across the room, disappearing from my sight as it reached the open floor space at the foot of the bed.  Silence ensued.

I just had to know where the spool was so I crawled down to the end of the bed and peeked through the wrought iron scrolls on the footboard.  The spool had come to a rest about a foot away from the bed.  Relieved that it was no longer moving, I finally yelled for help.  I did contemplate making a jump for the door and running like hell but was having a time getting up the nerve to do so.  After all, I still wasn’t sure what might be under the bed!  All thoughts of escape were immediately abandoned when the bed began to shake again.

Heart pounding, I grabbed the footboard to keep my balance and came to the unsettling decision that I couldn’t just sit there without checking under the bed.  I had to know if something (hopefully my brother if anything) was there or not.  I waited until the shaking stopped and then crawled to the edge of the bed.  It was time to look.  I imagined all sorts of horrifying scenarios (like being grabbed and pulled under the bed) as I leaned over the edge and lifted the blankets out of the way.  Nothing was there.  I was both relieved and frightened by this fact.  What then, was shaking the bed and moving that spool around the room?  Since I didn’t have an explanation for that, I did not dare step down onto the floor.  Instead, I yelled for help again and at the same moment, the spool of thread took off across the floor.  It crashed into the wall to my right, bounced off and rolled slowly back towards me,  just as it did before.  Then the bed started to shake again. The spool went whizzing off toward the wall to my left as if someone had suddenly given it a swift kick but then it did the strangest thing (as if what was occurring already wasn’t strange), it came to an abrupt halt about an inch away from the wall.  Now I start to yell in earnest.

Finally one of my brothers came to the open doorway to see what I wanted.  I tried to get him to come into the room with me but for some odd reason (he didn’t know what was going on after all) he would not budge from the doorway.  The spool remained right where it had stopped.  I hoped it would move while my brother was there to witness it but it did not.  I asked him to go pick it up.  He wouldn’t do it.  Frustrated with him, I then asked if he would please go get mom.  I think he must have heard the panic in my voice because he didn’t argue with me but did as I requested.  As he went running down the stairs, the spool started rolling crazily around the room.  It would go fast and slow, stop and go.  The bed started shaking again too but it was a gentle shaking which wasn’t so frightening.  I didn’t think I was in danger but I wasn’t going to get off that bed.  No way.

It seemed to take my mother forever to answer my brother’s summons but finally I heard her coming up the stairs.  The spool of thread rolled towards the door and stopped near the threshold.  My parent’s room was at the top of the stairs and straight ahead just a few feet so I could see some of the stairwell.  It sure was a welcome sight when my mom came into view! She stops in the doorway and asks me what is wrong.  I tell her the bed is shaking (which, of course, it wasn’t at that moment). She gives me a “you got me up here for that?” look and tells me that it’s probably vibration from the music causing it.  Really?  Then why wasn’t it shaking now when I could clearly hear the music playing?  Then I point to the spool of thread.  “That spool is rolling all over the floor by itself.”  My mom steps forward and picks it up.  “Well, that’s from the vibration of the music too.”  Funny how that spool of thread didn’t respond to the music vibration the first hour they were playing their music!  In any case, I skedaddled off that bed as fast as I could and followed my mom down the stairs.

I would never go lay on my parents’ bed anymore after that, especially when they both began to complain about the bed shaking.  And no, there was no music playing in the house.  Not even from the crazy clock radio!

In my previous blog posts, I’ve shared events that occurred in a haunted house I lived in during my childhood.  It was my experiences in that house that inspired me to learn all I could about the supernatural and other phenomena.  Since I started writing stories around the age of eight, it was only natural that they included the things I was learning about and experiencing first hand.  Writers typically write what they know or what interests them.  What interests me are ghosts, spirit communication, the afterlife, reincarnation and all manner of things typically lumped under the title of “New Age“.  Although, if you think about it…New Age doesn’t seem an apt category name for most of the subjects filed under it.  Those ideas and concepts and practices have actually been around for hundreds of years.  There’s nothing “new” about them, but whatever.  We must pick our battles carefully and this one I’m going to leave alone.  For now.

My previous posts were the scarier events that happened.  This one is more of a bafflement … a curious occurrence that amazes me to this day.

Once we (my family and I) concluded that our house was haunted, we started looking at everything that happened there with new eyes.  No longer were we shrugging things off and thinking “how strange”.  And once my dad (the most stubborn and unbelieving of all) began to accept the idea, then things became a little more peaceful between us.  As I was the oldest child, I was often the last one to turn in for the night and so was blamed for the fact that my dad would get up in the morning and find the outside doors open and all the lights on.  I got the same old lecture every time, “Were you born in a barn? No.  So why are you leaving the doors open and the lights on?  You want to pay the heating and electric bills?”

I tell you, the day my dad sat me down and apologized for all the times he accused me of leaving doors open and lights on, well, that was a great day indeed!  The weeks that led up to that momentous day were filled with tension for the two of us because those two things were becoming a regular occurrence.  He accused, I denied and we both got angrier and angrier at each other!  Truly, it was putting quite a strain on our relationship.  But then one glorious morning, my dad found all the doors open and all the lights on and HE was the last to go to bed (I was being punished at this point and no longer allowed to stay up later than anyone else).  It also happened a couple times when I wasn’t home but staying elsewhere (I spent a lot of nights with my grandparents).  Finally he believed me and apologized for not doing so in the first place.  Thank God.

Now, just because my dad accepted that it wasn’t me opening doors and turning on lights, it did not mean my dad accepted the idea that ghosts could be doing those things.  His explanation?  Well, we had a “crazy old house” with serious wiring and “settling” issues.  Settling issues?  That might cause a strange sound now and then but opening doors?

It wasn’t just lights and doors that we had issues with.  We also had the problem of items coming up missing.  Now, we all forget where we put things on occasion and I would venture to say that more often than not, the item is usually found after a furious and annoying search.  But, many things that went missing at that spooky old farmhouse were never found.  One of those items being the first book I ever wrote!  Granted, I was only about twelve when I wrote it and it was probably not destined for greatness, but I was pretty proud of it.  Tools, pictures, toys, spices, books … these are just some of the items that simply vanished into the vortex of the unknown.

One vanishing act in particular really stood out and I must tell the story now. It’s one of my favorite mysteries attached to that house and usually one of the first I like to tell when people say, “You lived in a haunted house? Tell me some stories!”.

My parents went on a week long vacation to Florida one winter and the five of us kids were doled out among friends and family.  The person I went to stay with, Beth, owned several cats so she wouldn’t let me bring my pet parakeet with me.  I was very upset about leaving the poor bird in that cold, scary old house but my parents assured me it would be fine.  My grandfather promised to stop by the house to check on him so I had to be content with that.  A couple days go by and I get a phone call from my grandfather.  He says my bird is gone, cage and all.  I figured he just wasn’t looking in the right place so Beth and I head over there to check it out.  Not only was the cage gone but also the stand that it hung from.  We searched the entire house and that bird was not to be found.  Beth and my grandfather assured me that my parents must have found someone to take it.  My gut feeling was telling me otherwise but I hoped they were right.

The week passes and my parents return.  When my mom calls Beth to let her know she can bring me home, Beth asks her what she did with my bird.  My mother’s reply?  “I didn’t do anything with the bird.  Why?”  Beth tells her that it’s missing and my mom says, “It’s not missing.  I’m looking at it right now. It’s right where we always keep it.”  Beth informs her that it hasn’t been in the house all week and my mom doesn’t believe her.  Baffled by this turn of events, Beth and I head over to the house.  My bird is there in the corner of the living room, sitting in a nice clean cage.  There are no seeds on the floor around it (he was very messy).  His water dish is full and clean (he often dirtied it with seeds and feathers), his food dish is full.  Beth looks at my mother.  “You brought him home from somewhere.”  My mom denies the accusation and insists that he was there when they got home.  She also denies cleaning his cage and filling his dishes.  I call my grandfather.  He is our witness and Mom won’t lie to him.  When my grandfather arrived, we all got into a bit of an argument as we (Beth, my grandfather and I) were so sure that my parents were messing with us.  My parents were equally sure that we were messing with them.  It took some convincing on all sides but we finally accepted that we were all telling the truth.  It’s a baffling mystery to this day.

I have to add a quick note here on the eventual fate of that parakeet.  It was a few months after that incident that I started having dreams about events that would then happen exactly as I dreamed them the following day.  One night I dreamed that my bird flew over my head and out the door and so the following day, I left him alone.  I was determined that that dream would not come true.  As the day wore on and my bird remained safe in his cage, I figured it was okay to play with him as long as I was careful.  I was trying to get him to trust me enough to sit on my finger and after I finally managed to do this, I put him back on his perch and closed the door.  Just as I reached the front door, I felt something flutter above my head and I looked up.  My parakeet flew out the door and out of my life.

The parakeet’s disappearing act is quite a remarkable and curious story.  Not scary at all.  Looking back on it, I now realize that most of the things that happened in that house were more of a nuisance than anything.  What made it all so scary was the idea that dead people were causing them.  And towards the end of our time there, they got more and more active.

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