I read Janet Fogg's post on A Sixth Sense? yesterday and spent a little time thinking about the notion of talking to the dead. I believe some people do just that.
I'm not one of them, at least I don't think I am. There was that one incident with a Ouija Board when I was in my twenties...but I threw the board away and vowed to stick to human communications.
My writer friend Kenneth W. Harmon, however, has had such an intense experience with a ghost in his old house that he wrote a book about it. Ghost Under Foot: The Spirit of Mary Bell (A True Story of One Family's Haunting) will be published by Llewelyn next year. As I fretted about a topic for today's Chiseled in Rock post, I received this e-mail from Ken:
"Well, it looks like our ghost followed us when we moved. I believe I mentioned before that since we moved in, we have experienced things such as, someone knocking on the doors, a door opening on its own, unexplained banging noises etc. I actually made a connection with our ghost using the dowsing rods shortly after we moved in. But I did not pursue an investigation.
One day last week, I was alone in the house during the day when I heard what sounded like someone moving around upstairs.
Last night, we had dinner with my parents and a couple who are their friends. My mom told them about our ghost. I then had to give them the entire story about how we came to find out we had a ghost and what transpired. Later, I was talking to my oldest daughter and she shocked me when she told me that she has seen several orbs flying around the new house during the day. The last time she saw one was about a week ago inside her room. She was doing homework on her computer when an orb appeared and started to fly around her room.
After hearing her story, I decided to get out the dowsing rods and try to contact our ghost. I immediately made a strong connection, and the spirit identified itself more than once as Mary Bell Wilson, our ghost from the old house. I asked Mary Bell if she would let me take her picture and the answer came back as yes.
I turned out the lights downstairs and sat in a chair in the hallway. I decided to film here because my daughter saw one of the orbs inside the laundry room. My camera has a nightshot feature that allows me to film in the darkness. I filmed for a few minutes without recording anything.
I then had my daughter Michelle sit at the end of the hallway and asked Mary Bell telepathically if she would allow me to take her picture with Michelle. Michelle sat at the end of the hall for 3-5 minutes without anything happening. Then she started upstairs to bed. I had the camera aimed at her as she started up the stairs and then swung it back toward the hallway. Within 3 seconds, a small white cloud or orb came flying toward me. As soon as it disappeared from view, two larger white cloud shapes moved very quickly away from me. A couple of minutes passed and then I noticed a fainter white shape near the wall that moved toward the laundry room. Needless to say, I was surprised. I really didn't think she would follow us, but I guess I was wrong."
I've resisted asking to meet Ken's ghost. My fictional character Willie Grisseljon is clairvoyant and also saw a ghost in The Desert Hedge Murders, but Willie resists making contact with the dead. He's afraid that opening that door into another world will change his life, not necessarily for the better. I kind of feel that way.
My so-far-unpublished short story, Oatie's Act of Atonement, features a friendship between a man who has had an accident and needs to be rescued and a ghost who needs to earn his passage into the next world. It's a dilemma, because Oatie the ghost cannot physically lift his friend and carry him to safety, nor can he make contact with any of the other people in his tiny town. I like to imagine stories like this, but am not so sure I'd want to experience one.
There are a couple of revealing comments attached to Janet's post, and that always leads to more questions. Have you had an encounter that mystified, intrigued, or scared you out of your mind? Do you read or write about the paranormal?