Archive for Life

BUCK WARREN Part 2

Posted in Afterlife, Demons, Entities, Ghost Hunting, Ghosts, Hauntings, Paranormal, Saturdays, Stories, Updates with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 3, 2012 by Dave Lapham

No one would go with him, and we couldn’t actually see Crazy Crickbaum’s grave from the gateway. I wanted to make sure Buck didn’t cheat, so I rode around to the other side of the cemetery where I had a perfect view. Sure enough, just after I got off my bike and settled in to watch, there was Buck Warren marching boldly up to the grave of Henry Crickbaum.

Buck stood at the foot of the grave, arms crossed, feet spread apart. I was actually impressed. We hadn’t made any arrangements for him to pick up something from the area to prove he’d been there, but he bent down and grasped an old vase of dead flowers. Then he straightened and stood staring at the headstone.

He had been standing there motionless for about three minutes when a luminescent, chartreuse mist oozed out of the grave and formed a funnel, like a small tornado. As the mass rose, the top of it changed into a human-like torso with an indescribable, fiendish-looking head. Piercing eyes, shark-like teeth, the most evil-looking thing I’d ever seen. I was terrified. I almost vomited.

But Buck. Buck was magnificent. He dropped the flower vase, picked up a fallen tree branch, and swiped at the monster, who darted out of the way. As the beast closed in on him, Buck realized that his defense was useless and backed up, then turned and ran. The demon came after him. Buck looked back, tripped, and fell. The awful creature now hovered over him. I screamed, and the demon looked towards me with his fiery eyes, even though I was a hundred yards away. In that instant Buck leaped up and raced toward the entrance, faster than I’d ever seen him run on the football field. The demon turned to follow him for several yards, stopped, and then vanished from sight.

I jumped on my bike and raced back to the entrance. Panting, I slid to a stop and dropped my bike. Buck was sitting on the ground leaning against one of the arches. His hair was snow white—and he was crying. Everyone else stood there in petrified silence, not knowing exactly what had happened to him or what to say. I looked at Buck and related exactly what I had seen. Well, Buck became a hero, a true legend of Washington Junior High School.

But he was forever changed. He no longer bullied anyone, and even though he was as aggressive on the football field as ever, he treated everyone kindly. He’d hit a runner with a jarring, teeth-rattling tackle—and then help the guy up. Buck and I became good friends and remained so, even though I moved to Cedar Rapids, a hundred miles away.

Several years later, Buck and I joined the Marines and went to Vietnam in the same unit. On Halloween, 1966, our company was overrun by a North Vietnamese battalion. Buck Warren died that night saving our company and me.

Buck was buried in the Ottumwa Cemetery not far from Henry Crickbaum’s grave. The demon there has never been seen again to this day.

BUCK WARREN

Posted in Afterlife, Demons, Entities, Ghost Hunting, Ghosts, Hauntings, Paranormal, Saturdays, Stories, Updates with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2012 by Dave Lapham

I grew up in Ottumwa, Iowa, a small town in the southeastern part of the state. We had only fifty kids in our ninth grade class at Washington Junior High School, and we were a tight, companionable group—all except for Buck Warren and his three or four lackeys. Buck was a big guy, a tackle on the football team, and he was really good. In later years he played high school football and went on to play in college. But he wasn’t real smart. I suppose because of his lack of intelligence, he had low self-esteem, and in ninth grade at Washington Junior High School Buck didn’t think much of himself. He made up for it by being a bully.

Because I was a wise acre, I taunted him every chance I got. At five feet two inches and 115 pounds I was quick, and Buck could never catch me, although a couple of times his henchmen did. I paid the price, but it was worth it.

Halloween in 1953 fell on a Saturday. Saturdays were when we played our football games, which usually started around nine in the morning. After the games, we’d all congregate down the hill at the drugstore soda fountain. Buck had played extremely well on that day both on offense and defense, and he was all puffed up and lording it over us lesser human beings. So I decided to rattle his chain.

All of us kids knew the legend of Henry Crickbaum, a Civil War veteran, who’d served in the Iowa Sixth Cavalry Regiment and was a hero. But after the War he’d gone berserk and killed a dozen people. The local sheriff reluctantly shot him when the ex-soldier attacked him with a pick ax. Crickbaum died on Halloween and was buried in the center of the Ottumwa Cemetery up on North Court Street.

That part of the legend was probably true, but there was a companion story that every Halloween Mr. Crickbaum came out of his grave and went after anyone who was nearby. I guess he took his insanity to the grave with him. Anyway, that was the story, which I dismissed as a myth.

Well, you know how kids are, especially about ghosts and most especially about cemeteries. And it was Halloween, so that Henry Crickbaum was a topic of discussion at the soda fountain. Buck popped me on the back of my head and strutted around. “I’m not afraid of Henry Crickbaum,” he said with a sneer.

I grinned and replied, “Buck, if you’re so tough, why don’t you go visit old Crazy Crickbaum at the cemetery tonight. You could really show us how tough you are.”

He smacked me on the back of my head again and replied, “Why don’t you shut up, you little dirt ball, before I crush you?”

That started it. Everyone chimed in. “Yeah, Buck. Show us how brave you are, how tough you are.”

Buck got red in the face, but finally agreed. “Okay, you kooks, I’ll show you. Midnight, I’ll be at the cemetery, if you’re brave enough to come watch.”

And I retorted, “Yeah, and right in the middle next to Crazy Crickbaum’s grave.”

We trick-or-treated just after dark. Then almost everyone jumped on their bikes and headed uphill to the cemetery. We all gathered around the big limestone arches at the entrance and waited for Buck, who showed up five minutes before midnight with his three goons. He got off his bike and looked around, a sneer on his face.

He hitched up his jeans and said, “Okay, you melon heads. Watch this.” And he sauntered off into the darkness.

(TO BE CONTINUED)

PEGGY & KEVIN

Posted in Afterlife, Ghosts, Paranormal, Saturdays, Stories with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2012 by Dave Lapham

Almost forgot to post this; I’m at the Florida Writers Conference this weekend. Great experience! Anyway, this is a true story about a friend of mine. I’ve changed the names and geography a little to protect my friend’s privacy, but this happened. I know the little kid who is now a youngster–and just like his uncle, in temperament and looks.

Peggy and Kevin were not only twins, they were best friends. They looked alike with the same blond hair and blue eyes. They had the same likes and dislikes, the same thoughts, the same desires. They played the same games, ate the same food. Except for the fact that Peggy was female and Kevin male, they could have been clones. Their communication with each other was almost telepathic. They attended the same college and pursued the same major, environmental science. After college, Peggy married and moved to Florida. Kevin headed west. But they still checked in with each other almost daily.

Two years later Kevin called Peggy with bad news. He had pancreatic cancer, and he probably had a few months to live. But he had accepted that and was only mildly concerned. He made Peggy promise, though, that she wouldn’t tell anyone in the family. He didn’t want his parents to worry.

As the weeks passed Kevin got worse and finally decided it was time to go home to die. Peggy was beside herself with worry and returned to their home in Iowa to be with Kevin his last few weeks. She spent every day with him and made him as comfortable as possible. Finally, Kevin knew the end was near and asked his closest friends and family members to assemble in his room. He was joyful as he said goodbye to each person, his parents, his best friends, and Peggy. That night as Peggy sat by his bedside, Kevin passed away.

A few days later as family members arrived for the funeral, Peggy gave up her bedroom to her aunt and uncle and moved into Kevin’s—no one wanted to stay in the room where he had died. The night before the funeral Peggy was awakened by a gentle tap on her forehead. She sat up and there at the foot of the bed stood her brother. He was smiling. He told her not to grieve for him, that he was fine, that he would see her again. And then he disappeared. Peggy felt at peace.

Several months later, Peggy had a dream. In the dream, Kevin sat in a rocking chair in their parents’ kitchen, and he held a baby boy. Their mother and father were standing beside Kevin. The baby was gurgling and smiling. Kevin and their parents were laughing.

A month later she visited her doctor and learned she was pregnant with her first child. Nine months after her dream, Peggy gave birth to a baby boy—on Kevin’s and her birthday. Of course, she and her husband named the child Kevin.

IS GHOST HUNTING FOR YOU?

Posted in Afterlife, Ghost Hunting, Ghosts, Investigating, Paranormal, Stories, Updates, Wednesdays with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 4, 2012 by Dave Lapham

Sue, Margie, and Tony at Command Central during the Old Lake County Courthouse investigation

Whether you choose to believe in an afterlife or not, mankind for thousands of years has. And if you choose to believe in an afterlife, you may or may not believe in ghosts. But numerous stories of ghosts exist in the writings from ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece. Ghosts are mentioned the Bible. Whether or not you believe, ghost hunting can be a fascinating and intriguing. If you have ever wondered about an afterlife and a “spirit world,” you might find ghost hunting interesting. You might even catch the “fever.”

I think most of us have wondered about what happens to us after we pass from this live. Let’s face it. Our bodies return to dust. The particles of which we are made aren’t worth a dime. But what happens to our souls, that spark that keeps us alive. Matter is neither made nor destroyed, so what happens to the electricity which flows through our bodies. A growing number of people, paranormal investigators, are trying to find out.

To be a ghost hunter, a paranormal investigator, you have to be objective, patient, courageous, and totally honest with yourself. You’d think that investigators would believe in ghosts without question, but almost everyone of them I know is skeptical. People either believe without question, or they absolutely don’t believe, and there’s no way to convince either of these otherwise. Most paranormal investigators believe in the existence of entities, but they want solid proof. That’s why the usually spend more time reviewing evidence than collecting it.

It used to be that ghost hunters were mostly sensitives, intuitives who could see, feel, hear paranormal entities and activity, and many, if not most paranormal investigating groups, try to have one or more mediums or sensitives on the team. But with modern technology, you don’t have to be a sensitive to be involved in paranormal investigations. EMF (electromagnetic field) meters, digital thermometers, infrared cameras, and so forth, you can detect paranormal activity and often capture voices and apparitions on your equipment. So most teams will have a lot of equipment along with some sensitive individuals, so that the scientist (the person with the equipment) can verify the findings of the sensitive and vice versa. In future blogs, we’ll discuss equipment in greater detail.

There is a lot to learn about ghost hunting, so if you’re interested and new at it, don’t go off own. Entering a potentially haunted area can be risky, even dangerous, and a good team will establish procedures to ensure members’ safety. Teams also are organized to most efficiently investigate an area. And, of course, there’s the matter of learning how to operate all the equipment. So, if you’ve never done it before, don’t be a thrill-seeker hero; get in touch with a team and learn the ropes.

And speaking of thrill-seeking heroes, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard of some idiot going onto a site and antagonizing the entities there. In many of those cases, someone got hurt, and it sure wasn’t Casper. So, don’t be a dip. Treat every location and the entities that may be there with respect.

So, to reiterate, if you’re interested in ghost hunting, find a group so you can learn the ropes. There are plenty of groups around. Online you can go to http://www.GhostStop.com and check their directory. And, if you absolutely can’t find a group do these things:

1. Read everything you can possibly get your hands on.

2. Find at least one other person to work with you.

3. DO NOT USE OUIJA BOARDS.

4. DO NOT investigate your own home, anyone else’s home, or even a commercial site. You don’t know what you might be stirring up or how to handle something if you do.

5. Start with public places like parks.

6. Get one piece of equipment at a time, like a digital audio recorder, for example, and become proficient with it before you get another item.

But there really is no need to reinvent the wheel. Find a group. That is the very best way to do it. So, if you think you want to become a ghost hunter, more power to you, and good luck.

And, let me know if this has been a useful discussion. I’d very much appreciate your feedback.