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Sun, Feb. 8th, 2009 06:58 pm
No rest for the living or the dead..

So, I was planning on posting something earlier in the week about the new trilogy I am writing, THE UNDERTAKEN, due to begin appearing year after next. BUT, I suddenly remembered (because I was reminded) I needed to finish up this little outline on the third book in The Secret Histories, Hobgoblins. As as the sun sets, I can begin to see the structure of it, how all the little hobs will take their places within the pages. At least, I think I can see them, well enough to put it aside for the evening anyway.

The Undertaken Trilogy is a sort of ghost story, with each volume going deeper and deeper into the lore of death and the Otherworld/Afterlife. Naturally, I am up to my chin in some of the most fascinating reading about spirits and ghostly lore. Though I am reading widely, things from ancient accounts to modern literary tales, I am especially interested in the personal, intimate stories of ghosts and ancestral appearances...how people, real people, experience loss, revelation, release, etc. through visions and ghostly visitations.

In the medieval world, most of the accounts speak of the living being visited by the dead in dreams. More recent lore emphasizes haunted places where one experiences shadows of the past. So this brings me to today's question, gentle reader: Have you seen 'em? Heard the whisper from beyond the closed door? Seen a ghost? Dreamt of one? Was it all panic (as we see on television too often now, all panting and sweating and freaking out in the basements of abandoned asylums?) or was it something more meaningful? Was a message given? Did the appearance of the ghost necessitate the finishing of unfinished business? How do the living help the dead?

Oh, most learned friends, what can you tell me of your strange meetings at eventide?

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Mockingbird Q
Mon, Feb. 9th, 2009 02:55 am (UTC)

Here via Holly Black, so forgive me being the first post.

Here's my ghost story. It's not all that special ;) When I was ten years old my family moved from a large inner city environment to a small town. We moved into a small, old house which due to our limited finances was in horrible condition, but livable - if one can live without appliances, central heat and air and seperate bedrooms - since only the master bedroom had a door.

My room was actually a nook off the large kitchen, which contained a pantry/closet. My father hung up sheets for my privacy, and I spent many nights reading in the dark from the light of the back porch light, with the night wind breezing through the window screens by my bed.

The only bad point was, I woke my parents a number of nights, screaming something was in the closet. My parents reasssured me that our old house had any number of mice and other crawly critters around (not to mention racoons mating beneath the house, which sounds like every haunt in the world) and I attempted to deal, since I was TEN after all. Not a little child.

But I very clearly remember one night the closet door swinging open and a humanlike form coming out. It was human, but also a CREATURE, which an odd inhuman gait and glowing eyes. It was half my size, pale and had an odd smirk on it's face. I've never forgotten it.
I spent the next few nights curled up at the foot of my parents bed, until my father put a lock on the closet door and took down the "privacy sheet". Crosses were suddenly placed throughout the house as well. My parents didn't really believe in what I saw, but they believed I was afraid.

A few months later, my father tore down a small section of wall dividing the bedroom from the kitchen, that had been added to the house around 70 years before. We know this because he found layers of wallpaper and newspaper dating back to the Victorian era. After that, I never heard any sound from the closet again, but I have no idea why a small section of wall not original to the house and the creature I saw would be linked. We moved a year later, and the worst that came with our new home were some used crack pipes in the closet ;)

To this day, I refuse to live in a house that isn't new and my five year old still cosleeps because I don't want him alone in a room with a closet. No magic or message, because I was too scared to look for one honestly... That's my only ghost story.

Ari Berk
Mon, Feb. 9th, 2009 03:23 am (UTC)

A strange and frightening tale Mockingbirdq. Thank you. I am really intrigued by the possibility that the presence of the ghostly creature was somehow related to the newer bit of wall being put up and then removed. So reminds of something I read once in Lady Gregory's writings about houses upon which are built additions that cross some invisible boundary -- a fairie path, or spirit road -- resulting in hauntings and otherworldly mayhem. You've really given me something to think on here, how the way we alter our physical surroundings has spiritual resonance. Many thanks!

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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
Ari Berk
Mon, Feb. 9th, 2009 04:19 am (UTC)

Thanks, Bethynyc! I am pleased to be reminded about hauntings by animals.

I had similar dreams about my grandmother when I was a student and going through a tough patch. I never doubted it was her, and not merely my mind's projection of a comforting image. But that does raise an interesting point: when talking about ghosts and spirits, where do our (individual) minds end and the (collective) otherworld(s) begin?

Thank you again!

ReplyThread Parent
Comfort me with Apples
Mon, Feb. 9th, 2009 04:47 am (UTC)

The horse barn I used to clean stalls in had a concrete floor right before the door. So if one were to hear the sound of hooves on it, that would be bad, as it would suggest that some stall/door/etc was not closed, possibly by a stall cleaner, and a horse had escaped.

And when that sound--a highly distinct sound--happened, my friend and I, cleaning in separate stalls, would come dashing out to see what had happened, what horse had gotten out and how. And we would hear this, both of us at the same time, on a fairly regular basis. And there was never a horse there. Ever.

Which I suppose by itself could mean nothing. It was quirky, but sounds echo and all that. Except that one time in school around Halloween one of our teachers was asking us about ghost stories, and had any of us ever seen a ghost. And one of the girls who lived in the area of the barn said that she'd seen a glowing light moving across the pasture one night when she drove by.

So I always thought those two stories tied together interestingly, and considered doing something with the two of them, but I'm probably too easily spooked to do anything.

Ari Berk
Wed, Feb. 11th, 2009 02:34 am (UTC)

Strange this! Reminded me a lot of European lore where the barn and/or dairy figure are sometimes central in otherworldly appearances. Your account also reminded me of the most beautiful children's book about ghosts that features a haunted horse stall, The Children of Green Knowe. I really must re-read that!
With thanks!! --Ari

ReplyThread Parent
A Maid in Bedlam
Mon, Feb. 9th, 2009 05:07 am (UTC)

Also via Holly Black!

I used to spend my weekends poking around in antique stores in the town next over from mine. In one particularly large and rambling shop, I was upstairs in the building alone with only my boyfriend. I was admiring some antique couches when I distinctly heard a man's voice speak in my right ear, "Turn around and look over here."

Of course I thought it was my boyfriend, so I turned to see that he wasn't anywhere nearby. I located him a few rooms over, digging through some clocks, and asked him if he'd been in the room where I'd been, and if there was something he'd wanted me to see. He was quite confused, and I brushed off the incident.

A few weeks later, I went back to the place. This time there were two other people there, and I was looking through some photographs with the gentleman of the pair. Eventually a woman approached the man and asked if he'd called her over from across the shop. He hadn't, and she seemed irritated and said that he'd told her to turn around to look at something, but when she did he was nowhere to be found.

Strange but true.

Ari Berk
Wed, Feb. 11th, 2009 02:35 am (UTC)

So tantalizing little fragments like this...a tap on the shoulder from the Otherworld and no more. I'd love to know what the ghost wants people to look at!

Thank you!

ReplyThread Parent
Mon, Feb. 9th, 2009 05:21 am (UTC)

I'm here also via Holly Black's LJ post.

Mine are much more of the medieval style.

After my maternal grandmother died, and I had met my husband I had a dream where she came to me. We were in a simple, empty space. She seemed a little surprised to see me, my husband was with me. What I remember of what was said was simple.

I said "Hi, Marian, this is my fiance Douglas, Douglas this is Marian, but I used to call her Nan."

She looked at me and said "Nan... yes, I used to be called that."

More recently my maternal grandfather has been slowly slipping away, my mother says he doesn't have long. He and my grandmother were deeply in love until she died. I had another dream where my mother and I met them at a hot spring, we were all lounging in the warm water catching up on things that have happened since my grandmother died, and my grandfather was sitting peacefully with her, holding her hand and looking off into the distance.

I think both are more about closure, the dead, or near dead, helping the living.

Ari Berk
Wed, Feb. 11th, 2009 02:41 am (UTC)

Thank you for this. it is especially kind of you to share something so personal.

I wonder, when people have stories that involve dreaming of the dead, if the dream/s is/are related to a certain incident, some one thing that needs resolving in the present only, or if some people experience such dreams over a lifetime? There is an Irish tradition in both ghost lore and fairy lore where the dead and/or fairy abducted comes back either to watch over a child until, perhaps, no longer in need of a parent, or returns only for the span of the deceased person's nature life span, the length of time they were *supposed* to have lived. Curious, no?

ReplyThread Parent Expand

Mon, Feb. 9th, 2009 05:38 am (UTC)

Also here via Holly Black. My ghost story really isn't a ghost story at all, but a story of remembrance. I'm half Filipino, and over there there's a superstition/tradition that whenever a praying mantis or a moth or a butterfly, or anything bug like but not creepy crawly comes into your house it's a spirit of someone you loved coming back to visit you. Usually to determine who it is you think of all the people you knew who died during that month. This superstition isn't taken seriously by most but is used to take time to remember someone who's past. I have two stories about this tradition, both of which are about my grandfather.
One afternoon, my family went out the market. I decided to stay at the house. This was my first visit back after my grandfather died and I didn't really feel like leaving the house. While they were gone, I turned up the music and started dancing in the living room. All of a sudden, a flying praying mantis comes zooming at me, hits me, and then flies over the wall and sets itself there for the remainder of the afternoon. After my family came back, my mom jokingly asked, as she walked through the door, "Did your grandfather come to visit you?" I turned to her and, wordlessly, pointed to the praying mantis on the wall. The family turned and looked at it, at which point it flew through the window. I got chills up and down as the entire family thought the same thing, that he had come back to watch me while I was in the house alone.
The next time I was there was for my Uncle's wedding. The night before the wedding, everyone was gathered in the kitchen when one of us looked up and noticed this butterfly/moth. The thing about this butterfly was that its wingspan about about a foot across and it was the most vibrant green and yellow I had every seen on a butterfly. All of us were stunned and we raced to get cameras to take pictures of it. However, the scale never did quite show up in the camera. We all looked around and decided it was my grandfather coming to see the wedding.
Ghosts like these don't really scare me. In fact, I welcome them.

La Mutant of Repute
Mon, Feb. 9th, 2009 06:15 am (UTC)

Hello Ari! Ember here. The most realistic and pivotal dream I've ever had was about 4 years after my father passed away at 60 years of age. Prostate cancer. The following is a snippet of the journal entry I posted on 6/15/04.

He died four years ago. The man was too young to go, but he was happy. To this day I keep a few of his traditions alive to share with my friends. My personal favorite being margaritas by the pool on the 4th of July. LOL! My Dad loved a good barbeque. Even to the point of getting the longest orange extension cord Lowe's could provide so we could have a blender of margaritas by the poolside.

*sigh* We had our moments, good and bad. He wasn't perfect. He had his issues like any human being, but thank the gods he was loving and sane. Same goes for my Mom.

But this isn't completely about Dad. It's about a dream.

I was sitting at work. A rather hectic day, really. People running frantically to and from the fax machines. Me chugging down my mocha as I disbursed my pile o' files. Something caught my attention as I blurred through fundings. Looking up, my eyes focused on a tall gentleman inquiring at the front desk. "Is Ember here?" Squinting I could make out the regal, bald head with silver hair, brown as a nut tanned skin, and the green Eddie Bauer shirt I knew all too well.

"Dad?" He had a small suitcase on rollers and he turned around out of view. He was leaving.

"No....no...Dad! I'm here! Don't leave.....I'm here!" I sprinted up to the reception area as if my life depended on it. But he wasn't going anywhere. All he did was sit down on the lobby couch, which was out of my field of vision from way back in the office.

"Dad....where've you been?" He didn't say a word because his beaming grin said it all. I jumped into his embrace with my arms wrapped about his neck. Toes dangling, my Dad hugged me tight as we slowly twirled. Dancing. I sobbed pure tears of joy of being in my Dad's arms one more time. I could smell his scent of Old Spice off his neck.

This morning is different. This morning the clinging cellophane has disrupted my normal, daily routine. This morning feels like a hiccup that cannot be subdued.....and more than anything I remember just how much I miss my Dad.

Mon, Feb. 9th, 2009 06:41 am (UTC)

Here via several links, and thought rather the timing was interesting given some recent events. So here is my personal story. It's not scary at all, but rather comforting.

I volunteer at a community theater. It's a small place that means the world to anyone who participates within its walls. And no we don't have a ghost in residence, but I did have one personal experience. Six years ago, myself and another woman (let's call her E) joined the theater around the same time. We became very close friends and she graced our stage in several wonderful roles. She often remarked how the theater was home.
Unfortunately, four years ago, E was diagnosed with cancer. At first the doctors were extremely hopeful for her, but she still had her moments of fear. It was during one of these moments, when she was discussing her own mortality with me, that I tried to make light of the situation. Jokingly, I commented that if anything did happen, that she could come haunt the theater, and then I promised to leave the ghost light* off on the night before opening so she could always see the show. We laughed, and truthfully the moment was forgotten.
(*The ghost light is a common theater superstition where a freestanding light is placed in the center of the stage and left on all night. It is suppposed to scare away ghosts from inhabiting the theater, and also provides enough light that you can walk onstage to turn on the main lights without bumping the set or props)
Eight months later, E was gone. It was too quick and I was not able to say goodbye. At the time I was working on a show at the theater (one that was dedicated to her as most the people in it were her friends), and two nights before we opened I asked my director if we could leave the ghost light off as I had recently remembered my joking promise. I was told no, that the set was too complex and for saftey reason we couldn't. The last night before we opened came and as we were leaving, the ghost light was put out on stage. Only it would not work. We had three electricians in the theater try to make it work and nothing happened. They checked the plug, the bulb, the wiring, everything. And at that moment, I heard E's laugh in my ear so clearly it was like she was standing behind me. I couldn't help but smile. The next night we opened, and out of a two week run it was the only night where everything went perfectly. And opening night (after the show), and still to this day, the ghost light has worked every time.

I have only had one other moment where I felt I had been contacted by E. A few months ago, I awoke one Saturday from a dream. Not suddenly or anything, just woke up. I laid there thinking of my dream. I remembered E being in it clearly, and that we had merely been sitting and talking. I remembered filling her in on the recent gossip and events that had happened to others at the theater. It was very calm, as so real. For a second, after I woke up I thought to myself that I needed to call E and tell her about my crazy dream. I actually starting trying to think when the last time I called her was, then I remembered that she had died almost three years ago. For a while I thought that it WAS just a dream, and that I merely was missing my friend. Until I remembered that at the end of the dream she had said that she needed to go because she was going to visit a mutual friend of ours. Out of curiosity, I asked him if he had dreamed of her. He got a shocked look on his face and said yes, that he had had the most realistic dream about her. We compared dates and they were around the same time. I truly feel that it was E, that she had come to visit and check up on us.
So there's my humble little story. It's not bone-chilling by any means but comforting to know that however much I miss E, I still have some kind of connection to her. However small and otherworldly it may be. I hope this helps.

Not-So-Secret Librarian
Mon, Feb. 9th, 2009 06:43 am (UTC)

Also here via Holly Black.

The women of my family all see ghosts and whatnot, so I've got lots of stories.

--When my mother was a child, she woke up in the middle of the night and saw an old woman dressed in white sitting on the end of her bed, just looking at her. I think she put it down to a dream and went back to sleep.

--A former resident of what is now my grandparent's house committed suicide in my aunt's bedroom. One night she woke up because the dog, a Jack Russell was growling at the direction of the door and spazzing. She looked at the door, and there was smoke coming from underneath it, covering the floor of her room. She immediately thought there was a fire, got out of bed and opened the door and turned on the lights. The was absolutely nothing happening, so we figured it was the suicide guy.

--After my great-grandfather died, we had him cremated, and we went to the beach to scatter the ashes. It was a cold and windy day, so after we threw the ashes to the wind and the waves, we walked back in a tight group. A swallow came out of nowhere, and flew around us in a circle a few times, as if tying us all together with a string. I'm pretty sure it was my great-grandfather.

--The bedroom I had as a child was haunted, and I remember all sorts of creepy feelings. The ghost mostly seemed to stay in the closet, where it would play with my dollhouse--things would be knocked over, furniture and people would be in different rooms, very terrifying for an eight year old child.

My bedroom as an adolescent wasn't haunted, but things seemed to come and go. My most vivid memory from this time: I turned over in bed so I was facing the room and opened my eyes. There was a...something looking back at me. I say looking...It looked like one of those little Halloween ghosts they have you make in elementary out of a handkerchief. It was maybe a foot tall and about four and a half feet off the ground. It didn't have features, but it had enough concentrated interest that you could tell where it was focused. It was just sitting there fluttering and "looking" at me like I was very interesting, or it wanted something from me. I essentially told it that I was too tired to deal with this shit and to go away, and then turned back over. It left.

I've also seen/felt the ghosts of two cats, one at my father's house, another at my partner's family's house. The one at my father's just appeared at the foot of my bed at sat staring out the window. The one at my partner's climbed onto the couch while I was lying down, stepped on and over my legs, made a few little circles and flopped down. I got the impression that she was a very disgruntled cat in general. I told my partner that there was the spirit of a cat next to me on the couch and he said "Oh, that's probably Jesse. She was always restless."

So those are my ghost stories for the moment.

Holly Black
Mon, Feb. 9th, 2009 06:47 am (UTC)

My little sister, Heidi, died of a heroin overdose about ten years ago. She was cremated and I had (and still have--but this happened in a different house) her ashes in a small glass cabinet. I wanted to fill the cabinet with things she loved, so in addition to pictures of her, there's her signed Misfits t-shirt, her pewter bat necklace and some lots and lots of other stuff. A few months after her funeral, I was getting ready to go out to some goth extravaganza and no necklace quite worked with my vinyl outfit. I tried on one and then another and then I remembered Heidi's bat necklace in the hallway. I asked Theo what he thought about me wearing it and he said that Heidi wouldn't have minded--she loved to make me wear her things. I decided that I would at least try it on, so I took it out of the cabinet and gave it to him to latch around my neck as I watched in the mirror. As the latch clasped, a music box behind us sprang to life. The box never played before and has never played again.

Ari Berk
Wed, Feb. 11th, 2009 02:45 am (UTC)

But did you wear the necklace, or put it back after the music box suddenly came to life???

BTW, your livejournal friends are AWESOME. Thank you for sharing.

ReplyThread Parent
The Mad Gastronomer
Mon, Feb. 9th, 2009 07:09 am (UTC)

When I was a teenager, I was in a youth acting troupe at the Cocoa Village Playhouse in Cocoa Village, FL. The CVP dates back to the 1920s, used to be a vaudeville house, and is notorious in the area for being haunted. The Playhouse ghost has never been connected to an actual death in the house, but he's known as Joe, and is popularly supposed to have been a lighting guy. Not only is the lighting booth a favorite haunt of his -- he can be both heard and seen there -- but his presence carries the distinct odor of stale sweat and burning electrical equipment. (That's about to become relevant.)
My first year in the troupe, I was at a rehearsal of our annual play, and I realized that I had seen every inch of the playhouse except for the dressing rooms under the stage. They were working on the first act, and I didn't make my entrance until Act 2, so I slipped away from the group and starting sneaking down the stairs. By the time I was on the third step, I had this terrible foreboding feeling. By the fourth step, I felt cold. And on the fifth step, the smell hit me.
"OK, Joe. Going back."
And I beat it back to where I was supposed to be.
It wasn't the only time I saw, felt, heard or smelt something odd at the Playhouse, but it was the strongest experience, and the first one.

Mon, Feb. 9th, 2009 08:57 am (UTC)

I am also here via Holly Black. :)

My dad died from complications of MS when I was 20 years old. He died in my arms, and it was one of the hardest experiences of my life - my dad and I were soulmates, and I missed him horribly. At the time he died, I was also engaged to a young man who ended up dumping me two days after my father's death.

Almost exactly a year later, I still wasn't fully over either event, and life was very hard. I was dating here and there, but I still hadn't found anyone who made me truly happy. And I missed my dad.

One night I had a dream that was so clear, I still remember every detail. In the dream, I was newly married to a young man with dark hair and glasses, who wore very "preppy" looking clothes (khakis and and a sweater), and whom I teasingly called "doctor". We were moving into our first home, and everything around us was sunshine and light, happiness bottled in crystal. I gave my husband a kitten as a housewarming gift. And while we were cooing together over the tiny kitten, I saw my dad walk past the open front door, in the sunshine outside.

I was surprised - I knew my dad was dead, and he had been a quadriplegic for years before his death, bedridden for the months immediately prior. I kissed my husband goodbye and ran outside, where my dad was standing in my yard.

I remember hugging my dad, and he felt so real and solid. We walked together toward the woods that surrounded my house, and I asked him what he thought of my husband.

"You're both dreamers," my dad told me, "and that will make things hard for you, some of the time. But you will love each other very much, and you will be very, very happy, for the rest of your lives."

And then we were at the edge of the woods, and my husband was calling me back to the house. My dad slipped into the shadowy forest, smiled at me, told me he loved me, and told me, "Your life will be blessed." I said goodbye, walked back to my house, and just before I went through the door, I turned to wave at him. When I walked through the door, I woke up.

One year later, again almost exactly, I met the man from my dream. He had dark hair and wore glasses. He was studying for his PhD. Right now, this moment, he's wearing khakis and a sweater. He loves cats. We were married in 2004 and we have been blessed and happy.

Two nights before our wedding, we were asleep in my childhood bedroom, when I woke up suddenly. I had heard someone call my name and it had drawn me out of a sound sleep. As I lay in bed, a music box across the house began to play... "Somewhere out there/ beneath the pale moonlight/ someone's thinking of me/ and loving me tonight." It played long enough that I could wake up my husband (then fiance), and he heard it, too. Just as suddenly as it started, it stopped.

I still miss my dad, but I know he's looking out for me. He came back to give me light and hope when I thought both were very far away.

Edited at 2009-02-09 09:00 am (UTC)

Mon, Feb. 9th, 2009 09:03 am (UTC)

I know this is written sort of haphazardly, and I apologize - I tried to fix it up best I could, but I'm at work. :) I have links to the journal entry I wrote at the time I had the dream, if you'd like to see it, for your project. :)

I have had other experiences, too - we're convinced my mom's house is haunted! - but this is a very personal one that is special to me. :)

ReplyThread Parent
The Moth Triumphant
Mon, Feb. 9th, 2009 10:17 am (UTC)
Also from Holly Black

I lived for a time in a house in which the previous owner was a depressed single mother, and one day she wrote a suicide note, tucked her children in bed in the master bedroom, and set a fire. The children died of smoke inhalation, she lived and went to a prison mental ward, and my then boyfriend bought the house from the state.

There were no bad feelings in this house, ever. On many mornings, the upstairs bedroom doors that were closed would creak open just a crack, and then shut, in order around the hallway. It was as if we were being checked on.

Also, the dog that lived with us would be played with. A tennis ball would come flying down the stairs, he would dart after it and bring it back upstairs. The floor was hardwood, so we could hear the ball hit the floor and his nails stop ticking. Then the ball would come flying down the stairs again with the dog in hot pursuit. The ball was moving far too fast for it to just be rolling.

Thirdly, on several occasions when I was carrying large loads and wondering how to juggle them and open the door to a particular room, I would stop outside of the door to shift my load, the door would open by itself, I would go into the room, and the door would shut behind me.

All of the incidents were confined to the top floor, and there was just a pervading sense of happiness there. It was wonderful, and I miss it.

Mon, Feb. 9th, 2009 10:30 am (UTC)

Also here because of Holly Black.

I've had a lot of experiences with supernatural stuff. I'll only tell one story because it's the only story no one has been able to write off with some bogus explanation.

The summer before my sophmore year in college a family friend, Damen, died. It was really heartbreaking because Damen was really full of life. He died in a drunk driving accident so his death was really sudden and a total shock to all of us.

I have to say something about his personality before I move on. He loved/loves to play tricks. His favorite artist was Prince, he always wore purple, wore vests without shirts underneath them, and if something glittered he had to have it.

Maybe two months after he died I started getting a lot of calls where no one was on the other line. Half I assumed were from solicitors who had gotten my number so when no one answer right off the bat I hung up quickly. Also, at this time I lived in the basment of a dorm which the cell phone reception was pretty pathetic you'd have service one second then two seconds later in the same spot you wouldn't. So those were the reasons I used to explain the weird calls.

One day, I'm in my dorm room and I get a call. I look at the number, don't recognize it and answer it anyway. I say "hello, hello" but nothing is on the other line. I looked at my signal and it was at only one bar so I yell "I'll call you right back! I'm going to run upstairs so I get better service" I hung up and ran upstairs. I tried the number but this time I got a message that said "this number is not in service" It creeped me out but not too bad. I again wrote it off as a solictor.

Maybe an hour later my best friend, who had at that time recently become obsessed with Psychics that talk to the dead, she desperatly wanted to talk to Damen, called me. She had seen a psychic and she had known a lot. Even stuff about my family, stuff that my best friend didn't know. So I believe that she isn't a fraud.

Sue, my best friend, tells me all of this stuff about people we both know who are dead, and people she's never met like my dad and my great grandmother. Then she tells me that the psychic asked her if she ever got any "dead calls." I asked what a dead call was and she explains that its a call but no one is on the other line or at least they don't seem to be. She said that the only black man in the group, D-something, had been trying to get ahold of us.

I flipped out. I yelled at Sue that I had been getting them all the time and even had one that day. I told her I would call her right back. I looked up the area code on the mysterious number and it was from Gary, Indiana. I had never been there and the only person I knew who had been there was Damen, it's where he was from and he was buried there. I knew it was him.

After that I got more calls which I always answered and talked to and when I was driving in the car alone on long trips all the sudden "Purple Rain" would come on the radio. It would come on popular radio stations so I thought it was strange. Also things would move just a little bit around me. They were always purple or shiny things. I knew that when it got to the moving things it was just Damen showing off and playing pranks. It started freaking me out one time I was watching something move and I yelled "Damen Stop!" and it did. He didn't call me back ever again either. I think he knew his joke went to far. I think he still bother's Sue though.

Mon, Feb. 9th, 2009 10:39 am (UTC)

Dear Ari

I was around eighteen years old, when I started noticing someone following my dad around. (Seeing ghosts / shapes / images / having dreams, has always been part of my growing up and my family is quite normal about it now!).

I couldn't figure out who this chap was, but I did see him clearly - he was dressed in WW1 army clothes, he looked familiar, but I couldn't put my finger on it. Whenever he saw me staring he would just smile this enigmatic smile and turn his attention back to my dad.

Eventually it got so bad that he was always present, when my dad was around - at the dinner table, watching tv, whilst he was working on his car. It was driving me nuts - I couldn't seem to get away from him and neither could my dad. There were cold-spots in the house (which was huge and draughty anyway) and sometimes there was muffled conversations.

I told my mom, she panicked a bit, and she asked a priest to come around and just do a calming prayer in the house. It did not help / work. The energy was never anything malignant, this guy was still following my dad around - he was a handsome younger man, maybe in his early twenties and he always looked immaculate in his uniform.

My dad genuinely didn't seem to be bothered by him and we left it at that. Then something odd started happening - my dad's voice started failing. Initially we thought it was a bad throat infection but then he went to the doctor, they did tests and it turned out he had throat cancer. Once he was diagnosed, the chap in the WW1 uniform disappeared from our lives - I didn't see him for two years after that.

My dad's cancer went into remission after treatment and we were all very pleased, as you may well imagine!

He only reappeared when my dad was admitted to hospital for a random check-up - he had to stay for a few days as it turned out he started showing signs of being allergic to some of his medication. Once I saw him sitting next to my dad's bed, I freaked out completely and burst into tears. I was inconsolable, as I knew this time around, he wasn't there as a companion, this time he was there as a guide.

My dad passed away two days later. When we were clearing out all his stuff, as we had to move to a smaller house, we came across old photo albums of his family - and photos of my WW1 soldier was in there. I still have no idea who he was or why he was sent to look after my dad. None of my dad's family know who he is - all we have are initials: JKV.

I have more, but this is probably the most personal and poignant one for me and my family.