Archive for unexplainable

MARY HASTINGS Part One

Posted in Afterlife, Entities, Ghosts, Paranormal, Saturdays, Stories, Updates with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2012 by Dave Lapham

Mary Hastings pulled off the highway and stopped to check her dad’s mailbox before heading up the drive to the house. He’d been dead two weeks, but he was still getting mail. Even her mother, who’d died two years before, received an occasional piece of junk mail. Sure enough the mailbox was full, and none of it was for Mary. Laying the stack of mostly advertisements on the passenger’s seat, she closed her door and drove on.

As she continued up the orange tree-lined road to the house, now hers, she felt a warmth which made her smile, even after thirty years. She had grown up among these groves, swum in the lake, learned to drive dodging around citrus trees, received her first kiss by the water tower, enjoyed birthdays and holidays with her friends and a loving family. But she also felt a sadness. Her parents, her grandparents, her brother, Will, killed in Vietnam, were all gone, all now buried along with her great grandparents in the little family cemetery on the north side of the lake. Only she and her younger brother, Travis, remained.

She was thankful that the place had remained in the Hastings family. Mary had chosen to go off to college up north. At the time she wanted to get away from this place, this backward way of life, this boring little town of Lake Wales where nothing ever happened. The big excitement was a Friday night high school football game or a Saturday night movie. So she had elected to attend the University of Virginia, one of the biggest party schools in the country, and the home, more or less, of Edgar Allen Poe. She wasn’t a big party girl, but UVA did sound exciting, and academic standards there were high.

But that was a long time ago. She had majored in English Literature and had gone on to get her PhD. A series of teaching jobs at several universities followed, and suddenly it was thirty years later. Mary retired when her dad died, and now she was coming home for good.

In the meantime Travis had remained in Lake Wales and had taken over managing the groves just as his father, his grandfather, and his great grandfather had done. And he had harbored no ill feelings toward his sister because she’d chosen to do other things. As far as Travis was concerned, he’d always said, “No problem, Sis. When you get ready to retire, come on back. There’ll always be a place for you.”

In fact, there was. Travis and their father made sure that Mary was taken care of. At Travis’s request, their dad had willed her the family house and the adjacent five acres on the lake. The property was beautiful, covered with old live oaks, a well-maintained beach, and a large pavilion for family gatherings and parties. And the house. The two-story house was too large for Mary, five bedrooms, an expansive kitchen and adjoining dining room, and a wide, screened porch surrounding all four sides, but she loved it.

Approaching the house and seeing no cars there, she drove on to the family cemetery above the lake. It was a pristine spot. Her dad and grandfather had wisely kept the trees around the shoreline, so that anywhere a person might sit, he would feel the tranquility that only a forest and a lake can provide. The cemetery sat back several yards off the water on high ground. Enclosed by a filigreed wrought-iron fence, it was spacious, large enough to hold many more graves. Mary walked to her parents’ resting places and bent down to pat the fresh mound of earth covering her father.

Will was buried on the other side of her mother. Mary smiled down at Will’s grave and sighed. Even after forty-five years, she pictured him in minute detail, his brown eyes, strong jaw, his big grin, even the cow lick on the crown of his head. She had idolized her big brother. He’d taught her how to drive, how to smoke, how to drink, how to fend off unwanted attentions from the boys. When she was a girl he was always there to protect her. She loved her little brother, Travis, but Will was her hero. He’d been such a terrific young man. What a waste.

Does anyone like my stories or am I whistling in the wind? Let me know what you think. I’d appreciate it.

BECOMING A PSYCHIC

Posted in Afterlife, Ghost Hunting, Ghosts, Hauntings, Investigating, Paranormal, Psychic, Stories, Updates, Wednesdays with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2012 by Dave Lapham

I came across a book the other day, HOW TO Develop and Use Psychic Touch, by Ted Andrews. (This book was published in 2001 by Llewellyn, the same folks who published Vivian Campbell’s Stalked by Spirits.) I was intrigued when I saw the book. Ted Andrews, who died at a young fifty-seven in 2009, was a best-selling author and teacher of animistic and shamanistic lore and was most noted for his mystical writings about animals. But more than that, he was really a Renaissance Man. He was a healer, a musician, a clairvoyant. You name it, he did it.

What intrigued me were the titles of some of his books, How to Heal With Color, How To See & Read the Aura, Sacred Sounds, and most especially, HOW TO Develop and Use Psychic Touch. I didn’t know much about Mr. Andrews, but this particular book looked interesting.

In this day and age, we have so much technology at our disposal, ghost hunting has become almost a science. We have instruments to measure electromagnetic fields, to capture photographic evidence of shadows and apparitions, to hear voices from the other side. Even the most insensitive slug (me?) can find evidence of the paranormal. And, yes, most teams have a psychic or very sensitive person on the team, but for most the preponderance of evidence is collected with technology. The psychic on the team sort of mops up and confirms the findings provided by the technology.

So it’s interesting what Mr. Andrews has to say. Here are some random thoughts covered in his book. They are his not mine, but I believe what he says is right. I have just started reading the book, which has exercises at the end of each chapter.

We are all psychic. Almost everyone has had a psychic experience. Have you ever met someone who you think you might have known, and yet you know you’ve never met them. You might even know something about them. Or, when you’re driving down a certain street, and something tells you to turn when you hadn’t planned on it, only to learn later that an accident had occurred farther down. It may be a premonition that something was about to happen, a sudden insight, a hunch. Or you might have heard someone say something to you, either inside your head or out. It may have been a dream, a passing thought, or a smell. We’ve all had them. For example, I normally go to yoga at 6:45 Wednesday mornings. This morning I overslept and didn’t wake up until 6:46, a minute after class began. I awoke to the distinctive smell of the yoga studio. Psychic event? I don’t know, but it was really weird.

And if we’ve had one of these experiences, we can have them again. With study and practice, we can develop psychic abilities that might surprise us. I have a friend who is psychic and who, at one time, had only a vague sense that he was. After a couple of experiences, he decided he needed to find out more and began studying with some well-known mediums. He is now the psychic on a paranormal investigating team.

We know, of course, about our five senses, smell, taste, touch, hearing, and sight. Mr. Andrews considers common sense the sixth sense, which brings our other senses together. When through our experiences we can integrate our five senses, we will often have an awareness of things beyond what those five senses can tell us. “Common sense helps us to see the patterns of our life as defined by the physical senses.” And our seventh sense, our intuition, helps us to recognize where those patterns are likely to lead.

Mr. Andrews goes on to talk about clairsentience and psychometry, how psychometry works, the basics of psychic touch, enhancing your sense of touch, the power of empathy, and so on. If you can find this book, I highly recommend it. (May be a good topic for PIA next year.) In any case, I’m going to plow through this book to see where it takes me.

And on a lighter note, if you haven’t got your copy of my (Parker Lee) Amazon e-book, 12-21-12, do it soon. Time is running out. And if you don’t have a Kindle, Amazon will provide a free app to get Kindle books.

Happy Halloween! (Don’t eat too much candy.)

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)

PARANORMAL ENTITIES

Posted in Afterlife, Demons, Ghost Hunting, Ghosts, Investigating, Paranormal, Updates, Wednesdays with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2012 by Dave Lapham

We in the paranormal community have our own jargon, just like military people, medical professionals, athletes, engineers, whomever. Teenagers, for instance, use their sometimes incomprehensible language, and their parents often don’t know what they’re saying. But for us, that isn’t a good idea. Especially when we’re dealing with clients of our paranormal investigations. They need to know what we’re talking about when we explain activity in their homes, and we need to be able to tell them precisely what we mean. So let me give you some of my definitions.

The most commonly used term is “ghost,” and when I use the word I mean “the spirit of a dead person or animal.” That’s it. Ghosts are intelligent. They can interact with us. They stay in this plane because they can’t or don’t want to move on. They have unfinished business, a mission to finish, and they want our help. Sometimes they don’t even know they’re dead, like Annie in the Page-Jackson Cemetery in Sanford. I met her one night when I was there with the Kissimmee Paranormal Investigators.

Ghosts try to gain our attention. If they are present they may move objects, open and close windows and doors, turn electricity and plumbing off and on, dump out purses—like Lilly at the St. Francis Inn in St. Augustine. And we often sense cold spots or hear unexplainable sounds.

Ghosts—people, cats, dogs, whatever—are intelligent beings and they take their personalities from life into death. If they were nasty when they lived, they’ll be nasty in death. In my experience, though, most ghosts are not malicious—even if they can be grumpy at times. I know a lady in St. Augustine who lives in a really haunted house. I asked her once if she were ever afraid. Her response: “Why should I be afraid; they’re all relatives.”

Demons are evil supernatural beings. They were never alive as we know the word, but they are intelligent, want to interact with us, and are malicious. They are dangerous. Only experts in the field should deal with demons, and if you ever encounter one, get out. Call in the experts, because you are going to lose if you don’t.

Residual hauntings are playbacks from the past. They do not interact with us, but simply play a particular sequence over and over—like walking down stairs and then disappearing or appearing and disappearing in a doorway. It’s like an old audio-cassette you’ve used and erased several times. Eventually, there’ll be short clips on the tape that you just can’t get rid of.

A poltergeist is a noisy ghost. It’s a German word: polter – to make noise, knock, rattle, and geist – ghost. They’ll start with scratching and bumping and progress to throwing objects. One theory is that the person being affected is emotionally troubled and may subconsciously be manipulating items by psychokinesis.

An apparition can be a sudden or unusual light, but in our world we mean a ghostly specter or figure. Ghosts and demons require a lot of energy to appear to us, so we don’t see them often, and when we do they are seldom complete figures. They might appear as an upper torso, a set of legs, a hand. My friend, Joanne, once had a demon in her house which was just a head—a hideous, nasty looking thing. If you ever capture an apparition on camera, you are lucky.

I have discussed orbs, spiritual electromagnetic energy, in a previous blog. What about ectoplasm? Supernatural energy can manifest itself as a thick fog or mist. You’ll often pick up an undefined smoky substance in a photograph, something that you hadn’t seen with the naked eye when you take a picture. But sometimes ectoplasm can be seen with the naked eye. Once at the May-Stringer House in Brooksville at the conclusion of a ghost hunt, a small group of us sat in the dining room. We could see through the kitchen into the back room, which was always well-lit by outside light with windows on three sides. As we sat, the Victrola in the dining room began growling, and a large, black mass filled the doorway between the kitchen and the back room. When it moved forward into the kitchen, we decided to clear out. That was ectoplasm.

Those are the most commonly used terms in our paranormal world. Anyone disagree with me or have anything else they want to talk about? Just leave a comment. Hey, leave a comment anyway, so I know someone is reading this stuff. Have a great day!

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.

RANDOM THOUGHTS ON THE PARANORMAL

Posted in Afterlife, Ghost Hunting, Ghosts, Investigating, Paranormal, Updates, Wednesdays with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 19, 2012 by Dave Lapham

Regardless of your area of interest, I believe you need to study as well as participate in it. As a writer, I spend a significant amount of time studying the craft of writing and reading other writer’s work as well as writing. I believe paranormal investigators need to do the same thing. Sure, it’s fun to tromp around old, empty buildings or cemeteries in the middle of the night, but if you don’t know what you’re doing or why you’re there, that’s all it is—fun. That’s why I think the best “p.i.” groups are those that do spend time studying the paranormal.

And that’s why I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately. There is so much I don’t know and so many resources to choose from, it’s mind-boggling at times, so I recently joined Drs. Dave & Sharon Oester’s International Ghost Hunting Society. There are other places to go, of course, but I’ve liked what I’ve seen of IGHS and several of my p.i. friends are members. IGHS puts out an insightful newsletter and has a lot of information available. And I was surprised by some of the details I’ve learned. In a recent newsletter, for example, Dr. Oester said that they no longer do their investigations at night. Contrary to popular opinion, there’s as much activity during the day as the night, so working in the daytime is safer and just as productive. I’ve been so impressed with the IGHS that I just ordered 2 books from them, the Ghost Research Manual, and the Tao of Ghost Hunting.

Another really interesting Internet site I came across the other day is the Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena. It’s British and their web site is filled with information about the paranormal. You can join the society for about $45-$50, depending on the exchange rate. I haven’t figured out what the benefits are yet, but now that I’ve found the site, I’m going to read it regularly. An interesting point: last week I mentioned that PCI had incorporated as a charity to be eligible for grants and charitable tax-free donations. Guess what? ASSAP is also a charity. I guess the Brits have similar tax laws.

Some more interesting information. ASSAP reports that a “recent survey…found that two thirds of reports of haunting activity occurred in the afternoon.” I’ve always thought that because the night is quiet, our chances of detecting activity at night were greater than in the daytime, but apparently that isn’t so. Here’s another one: “Ghosts are not, contrary to popular belief, reported more frequently in graveyards.” Now that to me makes sense. Yes, it’s scary in a cemetery after dark, but think about it. When a body is taken to be buried, it’s been dead for at least several days, normally. Is a person’s spirit going to hang around just to catch a free ride in a hearse? I don’t think so. Either the spirit will move on or it will remain at the site of the person’s demise, depending on the circumstances of death, more often than not. Yes, occasionally a spirit will latch on to someone or something, but that, I think, is a rare occurrence.

Well, I could ramble on, but I won’t. If you don’t already spend time studying the various aspects of the paranormal, I think you should start. It will certainly make you a better investigator, and some of this stuff is really fascinating.

Oh, and don’t forget to check out my books, especially 12-21-12, by Parker Lee (pen name). Remember, December 21st is only 10 weeks away.