Archive for the Afterlife Category

FINIS

Posted in Afterlife, Ghosts, Hauntings, Paranormal, Stories with tags , , , , , , on February 15, 2013 by Dave Lapham

Hi, guys. Finally, I’m back. Normally, my posts are specifically about the paranormal, ghost stories, ghost hunting information, and such, but today I want you to read a really touching story by my friend and fellow ghost chaser, Joanne Maio who recently lost her beloved–ghost-haunted–house to foreclosure. I just hope the new owners, who are away of the paranormal activity in the house, will find as much pleasure there as Joanne and her girls have. In the meanwhile, I hope some of her spirits, which she talked about in her book, STALKED BY SPIRITS follow her to her new home.

(Vivian Campbell is Joanne’s pen name.)

Finis
by Vivian Campbell on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 1:29pm •
The old house was naked. For the first time in over 83 years, it stood exposed, stripped of its’ costume of well-worn furniture and framed photos and children’s school schedules and burned toast and humanity. It had fought the bloody foreclosure execution with threats and pleas and temper tantrums. No amount of tossed plates and stair-stomping and shadowy wraiths could stop the banks. Greed has no empathy.

It didn’t matter how the change had happened. It just did. The last time the house had seen this was in 1928, when it watched its’ birth-family, the people who had built it out of the remnants of a receded, black-soil lake, forced out of its’ womb by money-hungry men whose dark suits paled only in contrast to their darker souls. The family couldn’t pay the street tax, so they were forced out into it.

The next twelve years morphed into a tangled hodgepodge of renovations and short-term tenants, often culminating in months of abandonment. Finally, in 1940, my grandmother walked in and turned the lonely house into a home; over eight decades later, her descendants were still embraced inside its rooms.

We always lived in the castle…until now.

I sat alone on the wooden landing that broke the middle of the twisted, three-leveled stairway. It was the heart of the house; the vortex. It was the invisible revolving door for our resident and visiting spirits; it was the lookout point for my golden retriever when he sat, lion-like, to survey the goings on of the house; it was the place where I sat when I needed to think.

How do you say good-bye?

A few weeks ago, I had waved the white flag and signed over my homestead to a private investor, who would hopefully short sell the house and save me from bankruptcy and foreclosure. There was no way to save my broken heart.

The house knew when I had given up the fight. For the past year, it had watched and felt my stubborn battle against the Big Brother Banks. The jig was up when I began raiding local liquor stores, not for their booze, but for their cardboard packing boxes. On the first day, every dusty book from our library room evaporated into the cardboard cluster. Three days later, my great-grandmother’s bone china was wrapped in newspaper and bubble wrap. Photo albums disappeared. Suitcases were jammed with clothing that would never return home again. The ghosts vehemently protested the abortion. Frying pans whisked through the air in the middle of the kitchen, in an effort to escape capture and moving box imprisonment. The stairs shook with angry stomps climbing up and down and up and down them. Not even visiting friends were spared:

“There was something standing at the top of the stairs, just now! I saw it!”

“What happened to that black cat that just ran in through the front door and disappeared in the boxes? No, it didn’t climb into the box; it freakin’ disappeared into the side of the box!”

“Oh, my gosh. I swear I just saw a WOLF standing in the doorway! It was there just a second …”

The biggest kicks happened to my older daughter, Erin, as she packed her room. One night she heard a sound like something sliding across the hardwood floor. Turned out to be one of her toys, a stuffed cat, which was flopping its little kitty arms and writhing like a ballistic zombie … all by itself. The next night, Erin heard scuttling coming from her dresser, on which she had placed seven empty horseshoe crab shells that we had found over a year ago. The crafty little things were moving all over the top of her dresser, just as if they were alive. Somebody forgot to remind them that they were dead.

Boo.

Despite the ghosts’ spookiest efforts to thwart the move, the rented Hertz van appeared. The wraiths watched in helpless agony as my daughters and I loaded furniture and boxes like frantic passengers escaping the Titanic. All through the day, Erin saw shadow people marching on my heels, mimicking my determination as I marched in and out of the house and cavernous back of the van. One time, I walked up behind Erin and asked her if she had a big marker with which I could mark another box. She jumped, whirled around to face me and exclaimed, “You’re behind me!”

I stared in confusion at my daughter. “Uh… yeah…”

“Mom, I just saw YOU walk out that open front door, like, a second ago!”

I had been upstairs for the past five minutes.

Packing up five generations of my family’s legacy was emotional water boarding. The house and I gasped for breath together.

One Sunday, it happened. The house and I were suddenly alone. Not a speck of furniture or boxes remained; only dust and memories. The investor and his renovation crew had kindly elected to leave the house early that day, purposefully leaving me alone to say good bye. I was grateful. It needed to be done. But, how ….?

So, there I sat on the stairs, just me and my spooky old house. It was time for me to cut the umbilical cord, at least physically. I had already baptized the place with three hours of tears. I walked from empty room to empty room, retelling tales from each. I spoke the names of every, single person that I could think of associated with the house, beginning with my grandmother. My epitaph had begun mid-afternoon, as the Florida sunlight was still streaming in. My house listened. It shared my sorrow. It wasn’t even angry … not with me, at least. When I was in the hurricane’s eye of my tears, I wandered upstairs to find the bathroom light switched on. I smiled. The house understood.

Now, I sat silently on the stairs. My stairs. Afternoon became early evening. The sun sank and the shadows lengthened. The quiet began to disappear. I felt the house’s demeanor change from empathetic friend to serial killer patience. It was waiting; a monster ready to snap at the next bug of a human who crossed its enchanted threshold. By the time darkness had completely engulfed the house, even I couldn’t stand to remain there any longer, even though it posed no threat to me. I had been one of its three matriarchs, along with my grandmother and the woman who originally built the house in 1927. The house respected me. We were entwined. The next residents would have to pass its test.

I walked to the open front door, inserted my key into its lock for the last time, then turned back toward the mass of empty, breathing rooms that had been my forever home.

“I love you. Good bye.”

I shut the door and walked away. Part of my heart stayed with my house. It will always be there.

Advertisements

PLAYMATES Part Two

Posted in Afterlife, Entities, Ghosts, Hauntings, Kids, Paranormal, Saturdays, St. Augustine, Stories, Updates with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 8, 2012 by Dave Lapham

For Alice Sue’s part she enjoyed every minute with Rose Marie. In addition to coming and going through the closet, she asked some funny questions, like “What is that thing on the table next to your bed?”

“You mean the lamp?”

“Lamp?”

“Yes. Here, I’ll turn it on.” Alice Sue pulled the lamp chain and the light came on.

“Oh,” Rose Marie exclaimed and jumped back.

And there were the shoes. Rose Marie wore what seemed to Alice Sue old-fashioned handmade slippers. And Rose Marie was astounded by Alice Sue’s Skecher Twinkle Toes with pink laces and leopard spots and which lit up with every step. Alice Sue let her try them on, and the girl was so enthralled with them, Alice Sue gave them to Rose Marie.

But the admiration wasn’t one-sided. Alice Sue loved Rose Marie’s clothes, which were so well-made and so different. One day she came out of the closet wearing what to Alice Sue was a beautiful pink dress, with ruffles all the way down to the hem, a wide pink ribbon at the waist, and little pink bows all around the scoop neck. She had to have a dress just like it.

Weeks later as Alice Sue’s birthday neared, Betsy asked her daughter what she wanted. Immediately, she said, “A dress, a pink, full-length dress.” And she described Rose Marie’s dress in minute detail. Betsy thought it odd, but she told her that’s what she’d get, and she wrote down the description Alice Sue had given her.

Finally, the day came. Alice Sue and her mother knew no one in St. Augustine, so the “birthday party” consisted of just the two of them. First, Alice Sue opened her gifts at home—and immediately put on her new dress. Then they walked up the street for lunch at the Casa Monica Hotel. At the end of the meal, a waitress came out with a piece of cake, a candle burning on it, and all the wait staff sang “Happy Birthday” to Alice Sue. She laughed as she blew out the candle and ate the cake but soon was anxious to rush home.

She ran down the street ahead of her mother and was waiting at the door when Betsy arrived. Then she bounded up to her room and closed the door. Shortly after, Betsy heard squeals and giggles coming from upstairs.

When Alice Sue turned toward the closet she saw Rose Marie standing there—in her pink dress. Rose Marie’s jaw dropped and she broke into a big smile. The two little girls stood looking at each other, eyes glistening. Rose Marie reached out her hand and took Alice Sue’s. She led her to the closet, and the two walked in, closing the door.

Alice Sue was never seen again, but to this day one can hear two little girls giggling and laughing in the bedroom upstairs at the end of the hall in the old coquina house on Marine Street.

PLAYMATES Part One

Posted in Afterlife, Entities, Ghosts, Hauntings, Kids, Paranormal, Saturdays, St. Augustine, Stories, Updates with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 1, 2012 by Dave Lapham

Betsy Slavin knew the house was haunted when she bought it. The previous owners were candid about it. They’d told her about the little girl, Rose Marie Slater, who had died in the back bedroom upstairs in 1837, during a typhoid epidemic. They’d told her she was still there, not menacing, but present. Betsy didn’t care. She didn’t believe in ghosts anyway. She wanted to live in St. Augustine.

As a single mom Betsy had struggled for several years, until a long-lost uncle left her with millions. Tired of living out in the sticks in Hastings, she turned her eye toward St. Augustine and quickly found this fine, old coquina house on Marine Street. The asking price was $950,000, a little steep perhaps, but Betsy had the money. Why not? She could afford it. The house had been built in 1794 by Don Hector Vitorio Montalvo de Sevilla, during Spain’s last possession of Florida. It was one of the oldest structures in the city. The history of St. Augustine fascinated Betsy, and she snapped up the house as soon as she saw it.

Seven-year old Alice Sue loved the house, too. She ran through all the rooms, laughing, inquisitive, and instantly was drawn to the back bedroom. “This is my room, Mommy,” she shouted to her mother out in the hall. Betsy, knowing the room had once supposedly belonged to Rose Marie Slater, smiled and said, “Of course, sweetie. You can have the room.”

The property was narrow but ran from Marine Street all the way over to Avenida Menendez with a wall surrounding it. The previous owners had done a wonderful job of landscaping the back garden with little nooks and crannies, vine-covered pergolas, and hideaways. Betsy thought her daughter would be enthralled by it all, but from the very first Alice Sue preferred her own room overlooking the beautiful garden.

Alice Sue loved her room, because she had found a playmate there, another little girl about her age who arrived and left through the closet. Alice Sue thought that a bit odd, but the little girl was otherwise a wonderful friend. Her name was Rose Marie. She said her father was an American and her mother Spanish. Her black hair and dark complexion contrasted nicely with Alice Sue’s light skin and blond hair. And she didn’t come just to play. Sometimes she came at night and slept with Alice Sue, because she missed her parents.

Betsy often passed by her daughter’s door to hear giggling and laughing. She might have been concerned at least enough to look in on Alice Sue, but the child had always had imaginary playmates. Betsy thought this was the case again, just an imaginary playmate. She did think about Rose Marie Slater but quickly dismissed the thought. Besides, if Rose Marie was the “imaginary” playmate, what harm was there.

A SPARK IN THE ROAD

Posted in Afterlife, Animal Spirits, Doug Dillon, Entities, Ghosts, Paranormal, Updates, Wednesdays with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 28, 2012 by Dave Lapham

We’re honored to have a guest blogger today, Doug Dillon. Doug has a lot to say about spirituality and the paranormal. This particular event occurred a few years ago. It fascinated me when I read it.

Doug: I find that paranormal experiences aren’t always recognized as such at the time. For me, odd or strange events only get defined as paranormal after further thought and investigation. This happened a number of years ago when I saw something in the road on my way to work.

Way back then, I was teaching at Ocoee Middle School in the western part of Orange County, FL. To get there, I had to take a country road. Beautiful drive in the early morning. So much nicer than fighting I-4 traffic going into and out of Orlando on a daily basis.

On this particular day, about half way to school, the road ahead stretched out into the surrounding light mist but wasn’t obstructed by it. Quite a distance ahead, something flickered ever so slightly. It seemed to be a small flashing of light on the road itself. At first, I thought I was imagining it because the thing was so small.

I blinked my eyes a couple of times but whatever it was didn’t go away. In fact, it got larger and more distinct the further I drove. Then at about 100 feet away, it looked like a shimmering, flickering spark about a foot or two high and maybe six to eight inches wide. Astounded, I lifted my foot off the accelerator. As soon as I did, the spark vanished. In it’s place, I could see a dead animal. When I got there, I saw that it was a large raccoon. No sign of the spark.

Weird, right? But I didn’t have time to dally and figure it out. School awaited, so off I went.
That evening though, I shared my experience with my wife Barbara. Intrigued, she offered to do some channeling and see if we could get an explanation. Our book on the paranormal, An Explosion of Being, had just been published and Barb was still channeling from what we had come to call, The Source.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0983368406/ref=as_li_ss_il?ie=UTF8&tag=doudil-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0983368406
In this instance, The Source said the raccoon had been so freshly killed that its spirit had not yet adjusted to its death. The essence of the creature was simply hanging around the body trying to figure out what happened. I had read stories about such things happening to humans but it never occurred to me animals might have similar experiences.
That’s it. End of story except to share two Youtube videos with you. I share these for two reasons. One reason is show how animals can actually grieve. Sometimes I think we humans think we are the only ones with such emotions. The other reason is that when I watch these videos, it makes me think that just possibly a freshly killed animal might well react to its own death in a similar manner. Just food for thought. Here you go.
Click here for cat grief. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_lnEEcqpLU

Click here for elephants in mourning. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjtrdpSwEUY
(Dave: Don’t pass up these video clips. They are really poignant.)
Click here to visit Doug on his website and check out his books on the paranormal.
http://www.dougdillon.com

Dave: Do check out Doug’s web site and his books. You’ll be very pleased.

MARY HASTINGS Part Three

Posted in Afterlife, Entities, Ghosts, Hauntings, Paranormal, Saturdays, Stories, Updates with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 24, 2012 by Dave Lapham

“Probably a case of nerves, Sis. Don’t worry. Besides, I can get over here in a couple of minutes.” He smiled.

“Yes, I suppose you’re right. Living out here in the country isn’t like the city. I guess I’ll have to get used to it all again. Want to stay for breakfast?”

“Naw, I’ve got to get busy. Betsy said she’d be over after a while, though.” Waving his hand he stepped out the door and walked to his truck.

The following days were filled with putting the house in order, spending time with family, and renewing old friendships. Mary had no more disturbances and slept like a stone for several nights running.

One night, however, a slamming door awakened her. She didn’t know whether the sound came from downstairs or the second floor. She only knew it wasn’t a dream—she had definitely heard it. She turned on her light, grabbed her pistol, and headed out the door. Turning lights on as she went, she walked through the whole house and found nothing. All the doors and windows were closed and locked. She could not explain the slamming door. Finally, she went back upstairs to bed, leaving all the lights on.

The noises continued on later nights and increased, doors opening and closing, footsteps on the stairs, and in the hall a man’s laughter. Mary began to think she was having mental problems—or was the house haunted? The first few times noises occurred, she’d phoned Travis, but he never found anyone or any evidence that someone had been there. So she stopped calling him.

One night as she slept soundly, something grabbed her big toe. Mary bolted upright. There at the foot of her bed stood Will, big grin, cow lick, and all. She couldn’t believe it. Will, her big brother. Of course, she knew it wasn’t actually him but his ghost. She wasn’t afraid. She was filled with peace. Will. Will. His image faded, and she flopped back to sleep, smiling.

Periodically over the next few weeks, she heard the usual noises, but they didn’t disturb her anymore. She knew Will was there, and most nights she slept straight through. Once she tried to tell Travis about Will, but she couldn’t quite bring herself to explain that their older brother’s ghost resided in the house. Travis seemed to be happy that she wasn’t bothered by inexplicable noises anymore.

Then one evening she awoke to the sound of breaking glass. She flicked on the light just as the bedroom door opened. There stood two men, one with a scraggly beard. They sneered and reeked of alcohol. Mary gasped and fumbled for her pistol in the night stand. Rushing forward, the bearded man yanked her out of bed and slammed her to the floor while the other grabbed the pistol out of the drawer. He knelt beside her and jammed the muzzle against her temple. She froze, her pulse pounding. Both men laughed.

At that moment a glowing apparition with a big grin and a cow lick appeared out of the wall and came toward the intruders. Screaming, the bearded intruder jumped up and raced out the door. The other man followed close behind, dropping the gun as he ran. The first man tripped and crashed through the banister. He landed on the floor below, his neck broken. Then the second slipped, his leg snapping as he tumbled down the stairwell. He lay whimpering at the foot of the steps as the smiling ghost stood over him.

Seconds later Mary ran into the hall, gun and phone in hand. The ghost evaporated. Travis arrived within minutes and took charge. The injured intruder kept babbling about being attacked by a ghost. No one took him seriously.

Nothing ever disturbed Mary’s sleep again. She lived for many years in the house and died of old age in her own bed overlooking the lake. She was buried next to her brother, Will, in the family cemetery.

Don’t forget 12-21-12. Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving.

PORTALS & DIMENSIONS

Posted in Afterlife, Entities, Ghost Hunting, Ghosts, Hauntings, Investigating, Paranormal, Psychic, Updates, Wednesdays with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2012 by Dave Lapham

A friend the other day read “Gateway to Hell” in my book Ghosts of St. Augustine and asked me about portals, if they really existed. I have witnessed a portal. My wife,Sue, and I visited Ireland a few years ago and went to Clonmacnoise, a religious center established around 545 A.D. at the crossroads of the River Shannon and the glacial ridge running across Ireland. We were standing in a cold rain amid the ruins of an old chapel, praying for a friend suffering from a brain tumor. As we stood there something opened in front of us and enveloped us. It was hard to describe. It wasn’t so much that we walked through a doorway, but rather that the doorway surrounded us as we stood. We were not frightened but overwhelmed with a peaceful, joyful sensation. This cocoon-like feeling lasted for several minutes, then dissipated, leaving both of us exhilarated, overjoyed, and energized. The experience was the most astounding thing that’s ever happened to me. I know many others who have also experienced portals, among them my friend, Melba Goodwyn. She devotes an entire chapter to the subject in her book, Ghost Worlds. “The Spanish Washer Woman” in my Ancient City Hauntings is another dramatic story about a portal.

We know that many dimensions exist other than the one we live in. Some believe there are in infinite number floating around the universe. We also know that not all of these dimensions are parallel, and where they intersect you will find a portal. The Irish call them “thin places.” Melba defines them as …inter-dimensional doorways opening into other realms of existence. As dimensions are not always fixed, so portals aren’t either, although some can last a very long time.

Portals can appear almost anywhere, inside structures or outside. They are often found in cemeteries, I guess, because consciously or subconsciously, we choose burial grounds for their otherworldly characteristics, spiritual vibrations, or auras. Cemeteries often innately exhibit sacredness and peace and where portals are often found. But portals may also appear under more negative circumstances and can be anything but peaceful.

In her book, Melba explains that we can discern energy patterns which might indicate the presence of a portal. These energy patterns, especially noticeable to sensitives, can be either harmonious or discordant. One can experience peace, euphoria, increased energy, elation, calmness. Or the energies cause weakness, nausea, headaches, cold chills, confusion.

There are other common signs. You may hear barely audible humming or buzzing, may feel static electricity, may see orb-like forms streaking around. The light around a portal may also seem either unnaturally bright or shaded, inconsistent with its surroundings. And there may be mist or fog concentrated in the area.

In any case, if you ever experience or think you are experiencing a portal, be careful. It may be a calming, peaceful place, or it may be something evil—as in my “Gateway to Hell” story. Either way, experiencing a portal is going to change your thinking about time and space.

And I’d like to put in another shameless plug for 12-21-12, which you can find on Amazon’s Kindle books. It’s written by my alter ego, Parker Lee. Remember that if you don’t have a Kindle, Amazon will give you a free app so you can download the book. Come on, guys, it’s cheap and December 21st is just around the corner. Also, Christmas is coming, and wouldn’t my other paperback books make wonderful gifts?

Happy Thanksgiving! See ya Saturday for the conclusion of “Mary Hastings.”