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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.

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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.”

MARY HASTINGS Part Two

Posted in Afterlife, Entities, Ghosts, Hauntings, Paranormal, Saturdays, Stories, Updates with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 17, 2012 by Dave Lapham

She listened to the wind rustling the leaves of the oaks, the jays squawking, the far-off chugging of a tractor working in the groves. Then she whispered, “I just wanted you all to know I’m back, back for good. I’ve retired, and I’m moving into the house—just so you know. I’ll be visiting you more often.” She stood for a few more moments then drove back to the house. Sometimes she felt silly talking to her folks and Will like that, but it was a comfort, so she wasn’t going to stop.

As she drove into the yard and got out of her car she thought she heard the front door slam and footsteps slapping across the porch. Hmm, she thought, probably my imagination, and she dismissed it from her mind.

She had just finished unloading her car when her sister-in-law, Betsy, and her three daughters-in-law pulled up. They were soon followed by a passel of grandkids and a few great grandchildren. The silence Mary had experienced when she first arrived was now replaced with happy chaos.

“Aunt Mary, we’re so glad…” “Come see my new dog, Aunt Mary.” “I hope you had a wonderful trip…” “You must be tired, poor thing…” “Aunt Mary…” “Aunt Mary…”

Mary was tired, but she was engulfed in love. The younger women took charge of things and began preparing dinner. An hour later Travis arrived with his sons and grandsons, and the noise level swelled. The women eventually served dinner, a celebration of Mary’s homecoming and also perhaps the end of the sadness and mourning over their father’s recent death. When the last dish was washed and the last person had left the house, Mary traipsed up to her bedroom at the end of the hall overlooking the lake, happy but exhausted. She didn’t unpack, just pawed through dresser drawers until she found a nightgown, changed, and collapsed into bed.

In the middle of the night she awoke and looked at the clock on the night stand. Three a.m. She closed her eyes and lay in the stillness for a long time, but couldn’t sleep. Then she heard noise. It sounded like footsteps on the stairs. Adrenalin rushed into her veins, and her heart began pounding. Without turning on the light, she rose up on one elbow and reached for the top drawer of her night stand. She hoped that the pistol, a little .32 caliber revolver, which her father had insisted she learn to shoot from the time she was old enough to hold it, was still there. She fumbled through the papers, magazines, and assorted odds and ends until her fingers touched cold steel. She hadn’t had a gun in her hands in years, but she picked it up now and held it snugly. She sat up in bed and aimed the pistol at the door.

Quickly, Mary slid out of bed. Walking to the door, she opened it. No one was there. She tip-toed along the hallway and down the stairs. She knew someone could still be on the second floor in one of the empty rooms, but she had no desire to prowl in and out of those bedrooms. No, she’d stay downstairs where she could run if she had to. In the kitchen she called Travis.

“What’s up, Sis? You’re awake early.”

“Trav, could you come over here?’ She explained what had happened.

“I’m on the way.”

While she waited for her brother, she checked the outside doors in the kitchen, front hallway, and the office. All were locked with dead bolts. Travis soon arrived and checked every room in the house, finding nothing.