February 29, 2012

Trippy Tales # 58...."I Saw A Ghost"...(For Real!)

(By Cassie Murdoch @ "The Hairpin.com")

"It all started back in 2003. It was the middle of the night, and I was deep asleep in a bedroom at my mother’s house in Madison, Wisconsin. I was jerked awake when my little dog Eloise (who'd been curled up near my feet) stood up and started growling. Now, Eloise is normally so mild-mannered that she could be mistaken for a stuffed animal, and she never, and I mean never, growls. So when she started up, I was convinced that there was some stranger lurking in the room, just waiting to attack me. I searched around in the dark, but after my eyes adjusted I could see there wasn’t anyone there. I tried to calm Eloise down, but she would not stop staring intently at a spot about three feet from the end of the bed...

I picked her up in my arms, and she was trembling with fear — something she’d never done before. I walked her toward the middle of the room. She grew stiffer and stiffer the closer I got to the spot she was eyeing. When I got right up to it, she tried desperately to scramble backwards out of my arms. I did a little backing up and moving around and figured out there was about a two-foot square of the room that she wouldn’t go near.

I was getting the creeps, so I decided to turn on the lights. As soon as I flipped the switch, Eloise calmed down. But I lay awake wondering what had just happened. Could it have been a ghost? Sure. My mom’s house was built in the 1890s and is the kind of woodwork-heavy, drafty, lovely place where I’d imagine a spirit could happily dwell. Plenty of room, nice and quiet, great views of Lake Mendota — hell, it’s the first place I’d go if I turned into a ghost (assuming you get to choose where you haunt?). But if the house was haunted, why had I never seen a ghost before? I’d spent my entire childhood there, and my mom has lived there since 1971 and neither of us has ever seen anything even remotely haunty. Could it be that ghosts had been showing up in the middle of the night for years, but I just hadn’t noticed because I’d never had Eloise to alert me? Who knows, but I hadn’t actually seen a ghost so the jury was still out.

Then a year or so later, it happened AGAIN. Same scenario: middle of the night, dark room, Eloise wakes me up in terror. This time I was a little more aware, and I could sense that something was weird about the air — not exactly cold, but charged somehow — and I got right up and carried Eloise toward the spot she was fixating on. Again she flipped out. And again I turned on the lights and everything went back to normal.

Huh. It was hard to ignore the mounting evidence that there was some kind of other-worldly thing that was using my dog to communicate with me. I’ve always believed in ghosts, and whenever I hear other peoples’ tales of spirit run-ins, haunted sounds, or spontaneously opening and closing doors, I readily believe them. But for some reason my own experience was giving me a little pause. I searched for other possible explanations: maybe Eloise had some brain disorder that made her go crazy one night every 15 months during a full moon? (Nope.) Maybe it had all been a dream? (It had not.) I guess I just wasn’t quite ready to believe myself, and I think it was largely because I hadn’t technically SEEN anything.

So, I put it in the back of my mind, and years passed without incident. That is until this past January, when I was back in Madison for a visit with my mom. One night she went out for dinner, and I was home alone watching TV in the downstairs den. Eloise and my mom’s dog were sleeping peacefully on the couch next to me, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was someone else in the house. It was a blustery winter night and the wind was whipping off the lake and rattling the windows. So I figured I was working myself up over nothing, and when I heard a creak or a pop I explained it away.

Eventually my mom came home, and we both went up to bed. At about 11pm, I had the light on and was reading. I was lying on my side, and I felt Eloise stand up behind me. I cocked my head over my shoulder to make sure she was settling back down, and I saw that she was standing alert at the edge of the bed. I rolled back to sit up, and that’s when I spotted it, standing about two feet from the end of the bed. Eloise’s eyes were trained right on it. It didn’t look like a person — it was more of a static blob. It was a light gray color and the air it occupied was distorted, like when there’s interference on a TV. It had no face, but it was the shape of a grown man with shoulders and a smaller blob where the head should be.

It just stood there. And I sat frozen still, my mind buzzing but unable to form any coherent thoughts. I think I croaked something like “uhhh, ummm, ok, uhhhhhh” but I didn’t scream or lose my shit. I could feel an electric charge in the air, and though it’s hard to explain why — given that there was a strange object/man staring at me — I didn’t feel threatened. Whatever it was seemed to have come in peace, or at least was not going to kill me right then.

After 30 or 45 seconds (which feels like FOREVER when you are staring at a ghost), I got the bright idea to try to take a picture of it. Smart, right? I kept my eyes on “him” and leaned over to get my phone from the nightstand. As soon as I got it in hand and tried to get the camera app open, the blur moved suddenly to the left—toward the window—and evaporated into thin air.

That’s when all the thoughts came pouring back into my head. Mostly, I just kept saying WHO THE HELL WAS THAT!?!?!?! I could definitely sense that he wasn’t someone familiar to me, but he didn't give me much else to go on. Maybe it was a man who grew up in the house? Or perhaps he usually haunts another house down the street but sometimes wanders around for variety? For all I know, it was Abraham Lincoln coming to tell me that he thinks as highly of me as I do of him. I’ve got no idea! All I know, is that I've got my own ghost, he seems harmless enough, and next time he shows up, I'm going to talk him into letting me take his picture!"

February 23, 2012

Trippy Tales # 57..."The MacKenzie Poltergeist"

In December of 1998, a homeless man wandered through Edinburgh’s storm-lashed streets. Seeking shelter from the night’s downpour he staggered into Greyfriars Kirkyard and broke into one of the old mausoleums in the Covenanter’s Prison section—no doubt attracted by its intact roof. Inside, the vault was pitch-black and the brave (or foolhardy) vagrant decided to explore his surroundings with what meager light he possessed. He removed an iron grate in the floor and descended a short, twisting, stone staircase and entered a second chamber. There, he came across four wooden coffins. Perhaps looking for valuables to steal, the man began to smash open the dusty caskets. As he did so, a hole suddenly opened beneath his feet and he fell through a wooden division into a third chamber—the existence of which had been previously unknown. The unfortunate intruder landed in a deep pit that had been used for illegally dumping those that had died from the plaque. Despite being hundreds of years old, the pit had remained well-sealed and the corpses that greeted the luckless tramp were far from skeletal. Semi-putrefied and covered in green slime, the rotten carcasses had sunken features, ragged clothing, matted hair and emitted an overpowering stench.

Not surprisingly, the man desperately fled the tomb, not stopping even when he cut his head on the tomb’s entrance in his reckless flight.

A nearby security guard and his dog had heard strange noises coming from the Covenanter’s Prison and were in the process of exploring the graveyard when they saw the wailing vagrant hurtling towards them. The sight of a bloody, filthy and bedraggled man charging out of a crypt in the middle of a stormy night was too much for the guard and both men fled separately into Edinburgh’s darkness.

The security guard turned up for work the next day, related the tale of his terrifying encounter and promptly handed in his notice. The tramp, however, was never heard from again. And frankly, he couldn’t have chosen a more sinister vault to break into, for its name is the Black Mausoleum and to this day it houses the remains of the most notorious resident of Greyfriars Kirkyard: the 17th century judge and Lord Advocate Sir George MacKenzie, otherwise known to the Scots as “Bluidy MacKenzie”. Made Advocate in August 1677 by King Charles II, MacKenzie organized an enthusiastic and bloody prosecution of Covenanters in retaliation for their refusal to replace Scotland’s Presbyterian Church with the Episcopalian Church that had come to dominate England to the south.

The summer of 1679 saw defeat for the Covenanters at the Battle of Bothwell Bridge and 3000 of them were captured. MacKenzie brought them to Greyfriars where some were hanged and some beheaded, their rotting skulls displayed on walls around the city. Others were tortured publicly while a thousand where dispersed among other prisons or allowed to go free. The remainder were kept corralled at a section of land adjacent to Greyfriars Kirkyard in a makeshift, open air prison that would become the first recorded concentration camp. By mid-November of that year, most of the 1,200 ill-fated detainees had died from starvation, disease or exposure to the harsh Scottish winter. The surviving few hundred were packed onto a ship bound for Australia. It is estimated that MacKenzie was responsible for the deaths of 18,000 unfortunate Covenanters, his own countrymen, during a reign of terror now referred to as ‘The Killing Time’.

An infamously brutal man, indeed.

In seeking a place to sleep for the night, the homeless man seems to have inadvertently awakened far more than he could have expected, for mysterious and disturbing activity was to be reported almost immediately after his unwitting interference with the mausoleum’s contents. The very next day, an unnamed woman, peering through the iron grate set into the vault’s door, was reportedly “blasted back off its steps by a cold force”. Soon after, another female was discovered sprawled on the ground near the tomb, her neck ringed with heavy bruising. She claimed “that invisible hands had tried to strangle her”. Similar injuries were found on another victim, this time a young man who was found lying opposite the vault.

Soon, it all became too much for Edinburgh City Council. They locked the Black Mausoleum’s door and declared the location to be out of bounds to all but those with express permission to enter. That was until local author Jan-Andrew Henderson asked the council for permission to bring controlled tours to the mausoleum. The council acceded and now The City of the Dead Tour enjoys almost exclusive access to the menacing site, running regular visits. Since then, it seems that the paranormal activity has escalated alarmingly. Phenomena at the Black Mausoleum stands out against that experienced at many other purportedly haunted locations in that it has been startlingly frequent in occurrence, often severe and very well-documented. Since 1998 there have been over 450 attacks and that’s just the reported incidents, who knows how high the number actually is? Amongst the 450, some 180 people have lost consciousness, inexplicable fires have broken out, weird cold spots abound and an unusually high number of dead wildlife has been found in the vault’s immediate vicinity. People have had their fingers broken, hair pulled and felt as though something has punched or kicked them. Unexplained bruises, scratches and burns, skin gouges, nausea and numbness have all been frequently reported. Cameras and other electrical equipment malfunction in the area of the Mausoleum.

Intriguingly, the physical signs of attack often go unnoticed until people get home and relax or return to their hotels for the night. Only then do the unexplained injuries manifest. Some of the scratches and burns disappear as quickly as they emerge while others may last for months. Some though, scar for life. Furthermore, many of the frightening experiences don’t end when the tour finishes. People have reported that some of the phenomena listed above actually follows them home, with strange occurrences such as light bulbs blowing and electrical appliances switching on and off by themselves. One man, an ex-police officer who prefers to remain anonymous described his experience:

“After the tour I decided to go back to our hotel room. I was glancing at ‘The Ghost that Haunted Itself’ [a book about the story of the Mackenzie Poltergeist by Jan-Andrew Henderson], when I felt a sharp burning sensation on the right hand side of my neck. There were at least five deep scrapes [that appeared just under my Adam’s apple]. On returning home the next morning I went straight to my mother’s house and told her my tale, along with handing her The Ghost That Haunted Itself, which I had decided I did not want in my home. Yesterday I phoned her and asked her what she thought of the book. Remarkably, she was just examining five large scratches under her Adam’s apple [that were] identical to my own. I am not the sort of individual who frightens easily but, hand on heart, I am very frightened now. The phenomenon you have in that graveyard prison is very real”. 

 Sometimes, every participant of a particular tour will feel or see the same phenomena and so some of these events boast corroborative witnesses by the bucket load. Not only that, but Black Hart Entertainment, the company that runs the tours, keeps detailed records and photographs of the injuries sustained by visitors to the mausoleum and its surrounding area.

And the frightening events are not limited to physical attacks, either; the baffling aroma of smelling salts and the powerful stench of sulphur have been reported on occasion, while inexplicable laughing and growling has been heard along with strange knocking sounds that seem to emanate from beneath ground level. One tour member reported: “We had not been in the Black Mausoleum long when we started hearing knocking noises coming from beneath us, which steadily grew louder and seemed to move up and round the walls...”

Interestingly, exorcisms have been carried out twice at the location, first by a spiritualist minister named Colin Grant and a year later by his son. Both were unsuccessful and the attacks continue. Jan-Andrew Henderson himself says:

“I am a very scientific person, and I don’t know if I believe in ghosts or not, but I just don’t have an explanation for the sheer number of people who have collapsed, had their fingers broken or whatever. I’ve even had phone calls from two people who say their partner has now been committed, and blame it on the ghost”.

Seemingly, the poltergeist activity is not limited to the mausoleum. Smashed plates, unexplained fires and object aportation have been reported by the residents in four different houses that border the graveyard. Then, in October 2003, a large fire swept through both Jan-Andrew Henderson’s nearby home and the Black Hart Entertainment offices. Henderson says that the fire—the cause of which insurance investigators could not identify—destroyed “five years worth of letters, photographs, records and statements concerning the MacKenzie Poltergeist as well as every possession I had in the world. None of the surrounding properties were damaged”. This apparently wide-roaming poltergeist is also thought by some to be the cause of a number of the malignant and odd activity in that other of Edinburgh’s infamously haunted locations: the South Bridge Vaults.

Explanations for the spooky goings-on abound. Even before the bodies of the Covenanters were added to its earth, Greyfriars was a graveyard literally bursting with death and decay. Much larger than today’s plot, it was established in 1562 and, topographically, was formerly a depression that sank twenty feet or more until, thanks to the combined effects of some 500,000 recorded burials, it has become rather more of a hill, rising fifteen feet. Such is the concentration of human remains that on especially rainy days some of the bones of the long-since interred actually rise to the surface. It is said that it is not uncommon to spot the white gleam of a femur’s end among the Kirkyard grass. So, the entire location it seems, is a canvas perfectly primed for things that go bump in the night—surely if ghosts really do exist this would be one of the most fertile fields for them to spring forth from. Indeed, there have been many sightings of unidentifiable shapes lurking between the headstones; pallid figures, spectral white birds and wraithlike children.

But despite the area’s bloody history providing innumerable candidates for a ghostly perpetrator of the happenings at MacKenzie’s tomb, hauntings are rarely this consistent or active. What’s more, the kinds of attacks witnessed are far more redolent of a poltergeist. But this presents us with a problem too as typically, poltergeist phenomena centre on an ‘agent’ who, often unknowingly, serves as a focus for the associated disturbances. No one living person could act as such a hub at the mausoleum. Also, research by Alan Gauld and A. D. Cornell established that barely a quarter of poltergeist episodes last more than a year, whereas whatever lurks within MacKenzie’s tomb has been scaring people for over a decade now.

Another explanation, and one which Henderson and his tour guides often espouse, concerns pheromones. Pheromones are chemicals which are excreted or secreted and can influence the behavior of other species members, most notably in insects. Humans can also be affected by these chemical signals. In the case of the Black Mausoleum it is hypothesised that the pheromones released by the intense emotions of those who were tortured, imprisoned and killed in the Covenanter’s Prison have somehow been ‘imprinted’ upon the location and, combined with the fear and apprehension felt by modern-day visitors, it is this that is psychosomatically causing the nausea, coldness, dizziness and perhaps even the poltergeist activity. Indeed, some paranormal researchers think that poltergeists can actually move along pheromone trails, with the two being linked. If this is true it would go some way towards explaining why many of the tour members have reported the impression of being followed home from the Kirkyard by something sinister.

Of course, it is possible that the answer lies within environmental factors. To the rear of the Mausoleum is Edinburgh University’s Artificial Intelligence Unit where high voltage machinery is housed. These machines can give off electromagnetic energy, a force that some believe could create hallucinations in people that are ‘EM sensitive’ and be the explanation for certain paranormal activity. This again, however, does not explain the physical attacks that visitors to the vault have suffered.

A further environmental theory suggests that the answer might lie deep below ground; deeper even than Greyfriars’ interred dead. According to the British Geological Survey at Murchison House in Edinburgh, sandstone forms much of the rock underneath the Greyfriars area. Brian Allen of SPI suggests that:

“If the pores of the sandstone were to become saturated with mineral electrolytes, this in effect would create thousands of tiny batteries. Given the right conditions, a micro-tremor perhaps, the stored energy could be discharged, creating an electrical field above the ground affecting a sensitive person by causing a tiny seizure in the temporal lobes of their brain. These seizures appear to run in distinct patterns, with the people affected experiencing the same or similar images”.

As is often the case with hauntings that are said to have their roots in times long passed, there are many legends associated with MacKenzie’s tomb. One popular tale describes a failed petty criminal—possibly a highwayman—named John Hayes who, fleeing justice and the police, found shelter in the second chamber of the Black Mausoleum. For six long months Hayes secreted himself within the vault, scavenging food wherever he could. Eventually, when the local police caught up with him, they found him to be completely insane, insisting that the coffins that kept him company would move each night of their own accord and that ‘Bluidy MacKenzie’ could be heard shuffling and scraping within his own wooden box—the man being so evil in life that his corporeal remains could find no peace in death. It must be said that spending six months in a tomb with only a handful of coffins to share your hideout would probably make anyone go mad, whether the deceased residents moved around or not.

Perhaps pheromones provide the most rational explanation and certainly hysteria whipped up by the theatrics of the tour guides cannot be discounted; fear is, after all, said to be contagious and standing in the dead of night in an ancient graveyard would be enough to frighten most people even without dramatic tales of ghostly attacks from beyond the grave being whispered in your ear. Maybe the truth is a combination of some—or even all—of the factors described above. Whatever the cause of the disturbances; ghosts, a poltergeist, elementals, the environment, or even, as some visiting spiritualist mediums have claimed, the legacy of Satanist worship in the area, it is safe to say that the Black Mausoleum is a remarkable and intriguing addition to Edinburgh’s already generous helping of ghoulish delights. As Jan-Andrew Henderson put it:

“Let me put it this way—if the Mackenzie Poltergeist isn't a genuine supernatural entity, then I don't think there's any such thing. Not anywhere in the world.”

 - From Eerie Britain by Matt Forde.
(Reproduced for my faithful blog readers by lil Queenie:)
More Trippy Tales Coming Soon!

February 21, 2012

Trippy Tales # 56..."Strange Seances"...Part Two

More Trippy Tales From The Paranormal Archives Of about.com!
"An aunt of mine once told me this bizarre story that happened right before her while attending a seance session with a few friends.

I guess you know what seance means.  It's supposed to be a procedure for communicating through a medium with the souls of those who've passed away.

First of all let me say, I neither believe nor am I interested in seance.  It's the same with most people.  But there are some who simply like to participate for fun, in a light hearted way.  It was the same with my aunt.

One evening, she and a few of her lady friends got together for dinner at the house of one of these ladies. After dinner, while they were at the coffee table, the host who often took interest in conducting seance sessions decided to have one that evening.  Since I've never seen a seance session, I wouldn't know the details of its setup and neither did I ask my aunt about it.

My aunt went on to say that soon after the session began as everyone sat around the table, a small plastic jar on the table began to move on it's own, apparently indicating the presence of some soul .... even though the medium hadn't attempted to call anyone yet.  Everyone was very shocked.   According to my aunt, when the medium asked this soul its name, it answered "Jasmine."  After asking a few more questions, the medium confirmed that this woman had died only 3 or 4 hours ago in a car accident in the same neighborhood.  This really made everyone feel nervous and jittery.  They quickly ended the seance session, finished their coffee and after a while the guests went home.

The following morning when my aunt was reading the newspaper, she saw a small news story in the city page, mentioning of a young woman by the name 'Jasmine' something (can't recall the surname) who was killed in a car accident in that neighborhood the previous evening around 6 p.m.

They had the seance session at around 9 p.m.

Everyone was so shaken up by this incident that they never indulged in this game again."

February 18, 2012

Trippy Tales # 56..."Strange Seances...Part One"

From The Paranormal Archives Of about.com...


“It's hard to believe that it has been over 50 years since that night in Grosse Point, Michigan that so changed my life,” says Bradford A. At the time, he was a young college student, just out of the army, and studying psychology under the G.I. Bill at a college in Detroit, Michigan.

“I had mastered the art of hypnotism and, in fact, was considered one of the leading men in the field,” Bradford says. “Working part-time in an Abbotts Magic store and putting on magic shows was a form of income that was not only fun, but allowed me to meet a wide range of personalities. One person, who at his request will remain nameless, was a magician of note and a close personal friend. We had fun trying out new magic tricks and routines on each other. Because of our knowledge of the so called ‘black arts,’ we were aware of all the tricks used by magicians and mediums to ply their art on the unknowing: two-way transmitters to feed information, pat routines such as ‘The Devil’s Own Method’ of mind reading, astral projection units, and, of course, the table raising gimmicks.

“The two of us, noticing the rise of fake mediums in the area, decided that it would be fun if we did ‘spook debunking’ – that is to say, we would attend a séance or medium's performance and expose their fakery to the members present. It was a riot. We slipped into homes at the request of a person's mate that felt their partner was being taken for a ride. For this we had the satisfaction of setting things right, but no money.

“Then one day, after a magic show at the old Schubert Theatre in downtown Detroit, I was approached by a very nice elderly lady who asked if we would put on a show for a few of her friends at her home in swank Grosse Point Farms, a wealthy suburb of Detroit. She said that we could use any gimmicks or tricks we wanted and she would pay us $100. (That was a lot of money to a college student in the 1940s.) I asked my partner and he said sure, let's go for it. We rounded up as much paraphernalia as we could from the magic store and planned a really scary show for them. Our plan included getting as much information as the host lady could gather about the persons who would be in attendance. (No self-respecting medium would go in without it.)

“Finally, the night arrived. We had agreed that my partner would handle the mechanical and voice parts and I would take the part of the medium at the table with the guests. My partner planned to wait in his car down the block until all of the guests were in the house and ready for the séance. He would then enter the kitchen by the back door and connect his microphone and recorders into the speaker system I had installed and concealed in the room and set up a projector. I was introduced as ‘Sregna, The Gifted’ (my last name spelled backward), and we all took our places at the table. The table had been previously rigged to emit a hanging cloud of "magic" smoke that would hover over the table for several minutes. This cloud was used as a sort of projection screen to receive images of light from a projector controlled by my partner – in short, a sort of astral vision effect.

“We all joined hands and I began my mumbo jumbo. I could feel a slight tremble in the hand I was holding. This was just what I needed. I became quite confident. I called upon the spirits to come forth and make themselves known. A few eerie sounds preceded a voice saying that he was the departed husband of one of the guests. A mist formed, as planned, over the table and a likeness of the person was seen. There were a few shudders and oohs and ahhs. She asked her husband questions and he answered. (Very well, I thought, considering the information we were given.) This scene was repeated for several of the ladies. It was an eerie success.

“When the séance came to a close, the ladies left, each with their memories. They had been treated to quite a show. The lady who hired us wrote me a check and thanked me for a wonderful evening. I then went into the kitchen to help my partner disconnect his equipment and pack up.

“When I reached the kitchen, I was unable to locate my partner or his equipment. Then I heard a pounding on the kitchen door. It was my partner. He said when he tried to get in, someone had apparently locked the door. He said he was sorry and asked if he missed anything. I may never know what really happened that night, but I can assure you, I have not played with the supernatural since!”

Amber H. lived in a house and neighborhood that dates back to the 18th century. “It's a two-story house, and some friends and I used to have séances every Friday,” she tells us. “One Friday night, my friends were busy with work and I had the day off, so I started the séance by myself. I encountered a few strange people, who got a bit angry, but nothing too serious.”
At 1:00 a.m., Amber went up to bed on the top floor of the house. “Once I got into bed, I couldn't get to sleep,” she says. “Then I heard it... the noise downstairs. It was as though someone was thumping on the wall. I got up and walked out of my bedroom door. When I was at the edge of the top step, I saw the weirdest thing: it was the table – the table I performed the séance on – trying to get up the stairs! I freaked and ran downstairs and started hitting the table, telling it to leave me alone. After five minutes it was all over. The table was as still as the air in the room.” 

Jeff F. was 18 years old when he lived in the "boondocks" of upstate New York. One afternoon when he and his best friend were hanging out, a neighbor came by and asked if Jeff could give him a ride to his girlfriend's house. The boys agreed, and the neighbor directed them even further out into the middle of nowhere. When they arrived, the boys waited to be sure that his neighbor’s girlfriend was there, and after a little while the neighbor came back to the car and said, "They're having a séance in there. Do you wanna come in?" Being adventurous and bored teens, they accepted the invitation.
“The farmhouse was large, old, and run-down,” says Jeff. “Blankets had been put over the windows to block the afternoon daylight. Upon entering, we were introduced to the family members performing the séance: an old lady and man; a younger man; the parents; and an older brother of my friend's girlfriend.
“They were seated around an old Formica and chrome kitchen table with one leg removed. A candle burned at the center of the table. They communicated with the spirits by lightly resting their fingertips on the table and inviting the spirits to come and ‘nod the table’ by tilting it at the corner that had the missing leg. In this way, the spirits could answer ‘yes’ with a quick nod of the table, ‘no’ by holding it suspended down for a moment. It could also spell out words or count numbers by repeatedly nodding the table.”
During the session, the spirits answered some questions correctly and some incorrectly, but the experience had left such an impression on Jeff and his friends that they decided they had to try it themselves a few days later.
“We used an old card table with one leg left folded up and a lit candle in the center,” Jeff recalls. “We sat with our fingertips just touching the table surface and took turns saying, ‘If there is a witch in the house, nod the table,’ just as the farmers had demonstrated. After ten minutes or so of no success, my friend Eric, a comedian, cackled like a witch to be funny, but as we all started laughing, the table abruptly nodded. We were suddenly very serious, and after asking for confirmation, realized that there was a presence moving the table.
“Feeling like car-chasing dogs that had finally caught something, we didn't know what to do with our spirit. We each asked dopey questions and received various answers. The memorable part of the session is that my friend Bernie asked the spirit if he would have trouble with his beloved truck. The spirit answered yes. Bernie asked if the trouble would be serious. The spirit answered no. We continued for a short while and closed our session.
“When Bernie went to leave a few minutes later, he came back in saying, ‘You won't believe this, but I've got a flat tire.’ Sure enough, Bernie's truck's tire had gone flat during our séance, and we proceeded to help him put on the spare.”
About a week later, three of the boys who participated in the séance were riding in Bernie's truck, coming back from another friend's house. They started discussing the séance of the previous week. As soon as they began recounting their experiences, Bernie interrupted, "Guys, you won't believe this, but I've got another flat." There was no spare this time, however, and they boys had to hike the nine miles or so into town.
“We had several séances over a three to four month timeframe,” says Jeff, “and each has its own strange story. We communicated with entities that identified themselves as dead family members, demons, and angels. I have vivid memories of the experiences and the table saying and doing things that were unbelievable. Eventually, my friends refused to participate any more after one particularly frightening session when an entity identified itself as the Devil. This entity knew Bernie's middle name, even though the rest of us did not. It said that it had a message for Bernie. That's when we blew out the candle and never tried again. The house that we held all of these séances in has continued to exhibit regular episodes of strange paranormal phenomena for the past 25 years.” 

Be sure to "make contact" with part two!
Materializing Soon!

February 6, 2012

Trippy Tales # 55..."The Floating Shoe" & "Black-Eyed Waitress"

More Trippy Tales from the paranormal archives at "about.com"

"The Floating Shoe"


"This happened June 21, 2003 in a small town in Nebraska. The night was nice and warm, and we were inside watching an old movie. I was a child and was with my aunt and sister. The mother and father were drinking with relatives outside by a fire having fun, and we were, too.

At the end of the movie, the TV shut off. All I know is the remote didn't have any batteries and no one went up to turn it off. We went to the kitchen and let it slip our mind. We came back with sodas and junk food. (We were kids; of course there needed to be junk food to have fun).

But before we got back to the living room, we heard the screen door slamming not once but three times. We rushed into the living room and a shoe was sitting there in mid-air, not hovering up and down, but just in mid-air, completely still. In almost no time it sped off as if it was thrown toward us. It missed us, but it knocked over our tiny crucifix (which was made of glass) and broke it.

This incident broke my peace of mind, and every time we go back, I am always watching for something...waiting for it to happen again. I remember it as if it were yesterday."

Black-Eyed Waitress
  By E. Forster @ "Your True Tales"

"First, I just want to say that I have never been a believer in the supernatural, paranormal, etc. I think that everything has a logical explanation that maybe only seems "bizarre" because of a certain kind of over excitement that many people have about "an experience from the other side," or what have you. There is absolutely no explanation for what I'm about to share with you, and it absolutely scares the crap out of me. Just recounting this is giving me a really creepy feeling that I don't think I'll be able to shake, maybe ever...
About three years ago, I was sitting in a local coffee shop in upstate New York during a little road trip. The restaurant was empty except for me and the night waitress. She was really pleasant and talked a lot; she was offering places to check out while I was in town and seemed amazingly astute. In fact, she seemed almost prescient, even guessing my age almost to the day and month and even certain things that I was actually planning to do the next day. It was so light-hearted, I thought I really lucked out by meeting an easy-going, smart young lady quite out of my normal way.
At closing time, she went to the back to put some cash in the safe or something. As I was sitting there wondering what time I wanted to get up and hit the road again the next day, I momentarily thought I might even invite her for a few hours of "R&R." I decided instead, to just remember the store and next time I passed through the area, to remember to stick my head in a say "hi" (no reason, I just wanted to play it cool and not seem overanxious at very first).
So, I got up and knocked on the door in the back of the coffee shop where she went in. At this time, there were only two dim lights in the main eating area, and barely any lights in the back room where she was. I opened the door. This woman who I just finished talking to was standing facing me, JUST STANDING THERE in the back of this dark room when I opened the door. Her skin was suddenly a clammy, cracked olive color, and her eyes were just BLACK. I mean, no white at all. Her eyes and mouth was open really wide, and she was screaming in the most spine-chilling sounds, something I couldn't understand, but it definitely wasn't the sounds of good will!
I literally SCREAMED myself, and she started moving from one spot to the other through the room. Not running, just MOVING. Her clothes now looked all old, and she moved so fast; the back of the room must have been 15 feet or so back, and she just DARTED from one side of the back of the room, still facing me, to the other side, at an IMPOSSIBLE speed. Then she ran directly straight at me as I was now standing away from the door in the middle of the restaurant.
I got the hell out of there, and jumped in my car still seeing her nightmarish face in the restaurant, darting it seemed, to every window at this impossible velocity. The worst thing was, as I tore out of the parking lot ... I looked in my rear view mirror ... and she was SITTING IN THE BACK SEAT, still with that nightmarish expression, still screaming. Then she just vanished as I was panicking around. Just gone. 

I don't know what that was that spoke to me in the restaurant that day, but I know that it wasn't a prank. I swear at night sometimes, I see her shadow moving in the dark in my room, just grinning a really ugly, evil grin. 

I haven't slept properly since."

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