The Voice Within-The Spirit Guide Phenomenon


by Sandyi Offermann

spiritguide Throughout our life’s journey there may come times when we are on a path that has not been laid out for us. Somehow, we diverge and end up on the road not taken. It is then that we are in spiritual uncharted waters. It is during this time that we may get that nagging voice in the back of our minds that whisper to us that we are not where we are supposed to be. That voice guides our actions, rights our wrongs, and puts us back onto the straight and narrow so that we are once again in synchronous harmony with the life that we are destined to live.

That is not to say that our lives are fully mapped out for us, but we as creatures capable of higher thought and self-preservation sometimes need a nudge in the right direction. Should you take that new job? Should you go on that date? Should you take that shortcut through the dark alley on your way home from the club? (The answer to that last one will always be ‘no’!)

Most people make decisions and deal with the ramifications of those decisions by “listening to their gut”. It is instinct, something we all have, though some are more inclined to listen to it.

But just what is instinct really? What is that voice in the back of your mind that drives you?

For some believers, that voice belongs to a spirit guide.

It is believed that our spirit guide is assigned to us at birth and could be the spirit of a departed family member, a guardian angel, or a friend or loved one from a previous life who has been delegated to watch over us in our current form.

Some people believe that these spirit guides  help us through life, to guide us through our choices, or to put obstacles up when the choices that we make are veering us off the path  toward our destiny. Spirit guides  are not here to give you the exact answer but to simply act as a spiritual Sherpa as we traverse our existence.

According to believers in the existence of Spirit Guides, these entities are steering us clear of obstacles, and even other people, that can prevent us from reaching our enlightenment and earning our reward in the hereafter.

But is that voice we here in the back of our mind, and that feeling we get in the pit of our stomach, truly a spiritual guide or simply a manifestation of our own subconscious? We as humans do possess the ability to differentiate between right and wrong and know positive decisions from negative ones. Is the concept of a spirit guide or guardian angel an archaic and antiquated concept or do you feel that there is validity to the idea that such a being exists?

Have you personally encountered a decision that, had you avoided the voice in the back of your head, could have ended catastrophically?

Do you believe in the existence of Spirit Guides? 

Share your story by commenting on this article and let us know your experiences, belief, or lack thereof.
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About the Author:

Sandyi Offermann  has been involved with the Paranormal & Supernatural  for over 3 decades. She has studied Occultism and is a Professional Medium, Reiki teacher , Holistic Therapist  .and has worked with various paranormal groups over the years . She teaches various tools and divination to others to help them move through this life with as much balance as possible .  Sandyi has studied and practiced Transpersonal Psychology (The psychology of spirituality and of those  areas of the human mind which search for higher meanings in life , and which move beyond the limited boundaries of ego .) 

“I keep an opened mind to all that is and all that could be . The Universe is vast and filled with knowledge . I am a seeker of the truth ! I believe that wisdom makes us stronger and compassionate to all . I am Student of the Universe .” -Sandyi Offermann
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O.B.E: The Out of Body Experience Phenomenon


OBEby Tony Harrington

OBE or “Out of Body Experince” is a term that was first used in 1943 by author George N. M. Tyrell.

Tyrell was looking for a broader scientific term to replace more supernatural or mystical terms such as “Spirit Walking”, or the more common “Astral Projection”.

The concept of OBE, simply put, is a sensation or hallucinatory experience of an individual leaving their physical bodies. Most OBE’s are encountered during near death experiences, as a result of hallucinogenic drugs, or in stages of deep sleep or comatose conditions.

According to Wikipedia, an estimated 10% of the population has experienced the OBE phenomenon, at least once, some on a recurring basis. While most recorded instances of reports of OBE have fallen under NDE (Near Death Experience) or as a result of hallucinogens, there have been viable studies where participants in sensory deprivation studies report having encountered an OBE.

During NDEs, the experience is greatly different compared to those who claim to “Astral Project”.  When somoene comes close to dying, or experiencing a traumatic event, they may experience the sensation of leaving their bodies. Many survivors of horrific accidents or other NDEs report leaving their body, hovering above it, and the sensation of moving toward a white light with a small percentage reporting on the presence of a deity such as a god or angel. They also hear voices calling to them and may encounter a departed loved one in the ether.

For those encountering this type of OBE, it can be a powerful life affirming experience that solidifies or reinforces the belief in a god. Most people reporting on these experiences almost always share a similar experience. There have even been few instances of individuals claiming to have seen the devil and hell.

These types of NDE OBEs are often exploited by the religious fanatics as proof that a higher power exists, some going so far as to fabricate their encounter with God during an OBE for monetary gain, only to admit later that they lied or were coerced. Case in point, Andrew Malarkey, whose book about his OBE and subsequent grand tour of Paradise was the basis for the film “Heaven is For Real”. He later recanted and admitted to faking his experiences, including his near death.

For many others, OBEs are very real and happen frequently.

There are individuals who claim that they have the ability to astral project. This is when they are able to leave their physical form and travel via the astral plane (spirit world) to destinations beyond. Whether it is to check on loved ones, visit friends or family, or simply go to places that being trapped within their physical shell simply does not allow.

“M” states that she is able to do this nightly. Her voyages take her to see her grandchildren who live 800 miles away. She claims to have walked around malls that have long closed for the night. One of her favorite OBE activities is encountering other “travelers” on the astral plane. Some are those with abilities just like hers, others are those who are on the final journey. Perhaps “M” is one of the kind faces those crossing over see on their way to the hereafter.

While some claim to be able to do this on a whim, others encounter a very real phenomenon that is terrifying and beyond comprehension, and completely unplanned.

“T” Shares his story:

“I had a dream, I guess. It was so real. One moment I was falling asleep in my bed, the next I was suddenly in my parents house. It was late at night, just as it was in the real world. I could smell the familiar smells of the house, hear the creaking of the floors as the house settled, I could hear dogs barking outside. I was aware of my parents’ dogs shuffling about in the back room. I was there, I can’t explain it, but I was actually there, cognizant of my surroundings. I became suddenly aware of something there with me, something evil, malevolent. It moved toward me, and the next thing I know I am back in my own bed, in the familiar surroundings of my own home.”

There have been numerous studies conducted on OBEs and astral projection with results ranging from inconclusive to rational scientific explanations garnered from brain function studies of participants who claim to experience OBEs regularly.

One of the most famous study cases was that of “Miss Z”. She was a study participant who while asleep was able to reveal a set of numbers posted above her bed without having seen them. There were factors that skewed the results to a positive outcome, such as the fact that she was unobserved during the nighttime hours. She simply could have stood up and seen the numbers, though the neurologists behind the study state that her brainwave activity was consistent with sleep state and if she had moved, the sensors to which she was connected would have triggered movement or transition from a stage of sleep to alert.

For more information on this historical case study visit http://www.psywww.com/asc/obe/missz.html

Out of Body experiences are, like most supernatural or paranormal phenomenon, completely subjective as not everyone experiences them and those who do can only convey the experience to us, making us a secondhand source of information.

What do you believe? Have you experienced any type of OBE? Are you able to project? Share your experiences with us in the comments field on this entry.

DEAD LETTERS: Text Messages From The Dead


texts

by Tony Harrington

The technology that powers our smart devices is one of the fastest advancing technologies ever. Many of us remember the days before text messaging when the only thing cellular phones could do was make and receive calls. 

Then came voicemail, text messaging, games (Snake anyone?), multimedia messaging, camera technology, and faster processors. Now, phones are mostly handheld computers that allow us to communicate with one another without ever having to make a call.

In fact, it is probably a safe assumption to assume that a majority of people prefer texting or interacting on social media sites versus actually having a vocal conversation.
It should come as no surprise then that, in this day and age, more and more people are reporting that their cell phones are being used as a means through which the dead can communicate.
I was not aware this was a thing until I had mentioned to someone at work that I am a paranormal investigator and that I maintain this blog. As is always the case, this opened up a line of dialogue, mostly filled with “what if” scenarios, until the person eventually feels comfortable enough to present me with a personal experience they have had and ask for my opinion on just what it is they are experiencing.
In the case of my co-worker, she had come into possession of her mother’s old iPhone when her mother died. Because she had no need for the phone, she allowed her young daughter to have it as a toy as the daughter was not yet old enough to be given an actual functioning phone.
One night, after my co-worker and her husband had put their daughter to bed, the young girl came into their room and said that the phone was making weird noises.
The phone was not on a data plan and there was no service. It did have a wi-fi capabilities, but allegedly they had never connected the phone to the wireless router. The only thing the phone could do, according to my co-worker, was play certain games that didn’t require an internet connection.
The father takes the girl back to bed and checks the phone. The noise the young girl had been hearing was a text alert. There was three messages on the phone.
  • “Still here”
  • “Love”
  • “Beautiful girl”
The messages came across with a three minute pause between each message. The text message was received by a phone number made up of all nines.
Now, there are many reasons this could happen. The internet is filled with many sites that allow you to send an SMS message to someone’s phone as long as you know the number. But the phone technically requires the number to be active for the message to be received. According to my co-worker, the number had not been active for three months.
To test this theory, we dialed the phone number thought to be disconnected. While it did not ring, it did go straight to voicemail. After the voicemail picked up the co-worker said, “That is strange”.
That evening, after work, my co-worker texts me to let me know the phone got another text message. This one said “Strange”.
Immediately I realized what was happening.
It seemed that calls to the disconnected phone number were being forwarded to voicemail, a separate number apparently, and callers were leaving messages. Those messages were being transcribed by an app on the phone and delivered to the phone via an installed messenger service sort of like visual voicemail.
My co-worker called the voicemail and heard the four messages that were delivered by text. She recognized the last message as the one we left, but she swears that the three other messages sound just like her mother who passed prior to the dates the messages were left.
There are some wildcard variables to take into consideration:
  • I can’t say for certain that the phone is not connected to some wi-fi connection. I am not personally there when these events happened.
  • I don’t know what my co-worker’s mother sounds like so I can authenticate the voice on the voicemail as belonging to the deceased woman
  • It is possible to spoof/mask numbers, so the calls could be coming from someone the family knows or from the family themselves to perpetuate this story.
  • As a fan of Andorid OS, I can say with certainty, I have no idea how the iPhone works or if what I suspected about how the texts were delivered is even possible using the iPhone.
It should also be noted that the young daughter is ten, and quite tech savvy, as most young kids are these days having grown up with the technology.
I share this story only as a way to introduce the topic of a modern paranormal phenomenon that I call “Texts From the Dead”; an obvious homage to the old school “Phone Calls From the Dead”.
Classifying this phenomenon, if it is indeed real and happening is somewhat difficult. It is definitely displaying signs of an intelligent haunting; interacting with technology and those who use it. It also seems a modern twist on “Electronic Voice Phenomenon”; the ability to catch disembodied voices responding to questions on an audio recording device.
Additionally, cell phones contain built-in dictionaries. How else do they know how to jack up your intended message with hilarious auto-correct fails? There are apps that have been developed based on the notion that the dead can manipulate the phone’s dictionary to pull words with which to respond to questions.  So, it is not uncommon for people to use their phones as a means by which to communicate with those who have passed on.
In researching this article, I was surprised to see that this phenomenon has stories dating back a few years, some as far back as the early 2000s. It would seem that since the advent of the ability to make and receive texts, the dead have been taking advantage of it.
It is still fascinating to see the rise of a new type of paranormal activity, though it remains to be seen if these cases are valid, or simply wishful thinking.
There are many reasons weird text messages could show up on your phone. Pocket texts, the silent version of the pocket-dial can result in some creepy messages from potentially unknown numbers. The ability to compose messages using speech-to-text could cause weird messages to show up on your phone, some of the random words could have significant meaning for you and hence you draw a parallel between a random rogue message and a significant aspect of someone who has died.
Some instances of Texts From the Dead come about not from actual received messages, but random notes left on a user’s phone. Notes they did not type but somehow occupy a text box.
These are easier to explain away though as the message originated on the users phone and could be a prank, a voice-to-text feature being unknowingly activated and capturing random bits of dialogue, a phone in a pocket or a purse being jostled around enough to create a message of some sort.
Regardless of how the messages got on the phone, there is a certain subset of people, and that subset grows every day as people encounter this bizarre phenomenon, who believe that they are receiving texts from those who have passed on. I have always said, that even if I don’t believe that ghosts are the culprit, it is very real to those who encounter something they deem paranormal, and I respect them enough to listen and try to determine just what is happening.

Are the living receiving messages from beyond the grave through modern technology? What do you think? Have you encountered texts from the dead? Please share your story in our comments section.

A Meme to Kill For: The Slender Man Phenomenon


by Tony Harrington

originalslenderIt was summer of 2009 when “Something Awful” forum member Eric Knudsen, going by the alias Victor Surge, first introduced web users to the frightening world of Slender Man.

The Slender Man was created by Knudsen as part of the Something Awful photo contest by which users took ordinary photos and edited them to contain creepy supernatural elements.

Knudsen submitted two distinct photographs for the contest and accompanied each photograph with cryptic statements. The photographs depicted groups of children with a strange spectral entity wearing a dark suit amongst them.

The figure was tall and thin and Knudsen called his creation “Slender Man”, going as far as copyrighting the name.

Despite the fact that the creation was not in the public domain, it ended up going viral and soon users all across the internet began elaborating on the creation, adding folklore and varied backstories to the fictional thin man.

Slender Man evolved over time, taking on even more horrifying supernatural abilities including the ability to teleport, control minds, and communicate via telepathy. As the years went by, the story of Slender Man transcended the intent of it’s creator as it took on near-celebrity status in the blogosphere and on social media sites.

As with the inception of the legend of the Blair Witch in the late 90’s, fiction began creeping into reality and the line between the two became blurred as a simple creation for a website morphed into real accounts of kids encountering the Slender Man.creepyslender2

In addition, as the phenomenon caught traction, more and more occurrences of the figure began to arise in pop culture. Video games, comic books, YouTube movies and more, began to feature the entity now deemed an authentic paranormal phenomenon.

The transition from fabrication to full-out supernatural entity didn’t happen overnight and perhaps was spurred on by sightings of the lesser-documented Stick Man encounters, which are wholly different from that of Slender Man.

Perhaps, the most surprising element of this new phenomenon is how ingrained in the psyche of America’s youth this creation is. He has taken on an almost deity-like status, though it appears to have waned greatly in the last few years, until…

May 2014, Wisconsin. Two teenage girls lured an acquaintance into the woods near their house where they stabbed her repeatedly and left her for dead in an apparent attempted sacrifice to appease the Slender man and gain his favor and attain power.

Two weeks later, reports out of Ohio indicate a daughter attempted to stab her mother to death in the kitchen of their home. The intended victim claims the daughter wore a blank white mask with her hoodie pulled up over her head. After the attack, the mother states she found dark writings about Slender Man and acknowledges that her daughter, obsessed with the figure, created a world within the game Minecraft specifically for Slender Man.

In both instances, the victims survived and the accomplices were arrested, charged, and are undergoing much-needed psychiatric evaluations.

What is it though about a fabricated entity having such power over an unstable youth? Is there something to Slender Man? Has a fictional character manifested into a true paranormal event simply by willing him into existence?

In reality, this may be nothing more than a modern “satanic-panic” that gripped America in the early 80s.

creepyslenderWe simply find it difficult to believe that our youth can be capable of such heinous activity and we look for reasons as to why they are “evil”. Slender Man is an easy target because the people who carried out their attacks cited him as the reason. He is a part of the culture of youth in this nation and as the news reports on these attacks, more and more unstable teens and pre-teens will latch on to the idea that this fictional character has some sort of basis in the real world and as a result, has some sort of control over them.

Perhaps these kids are dealing with a form of dissociative disorder whereupon they act out aggressive attacks and claim to be under the influence of supernatural forces. In both attacks, the girls (all three attackers in the reported stories are female) appear to have been in a trance-like state or detached from reality. They claim to have no knowledge of the attacks they committed.

People do bad things. Even children. Because kids are supposed to be innocent and untainted by evil, when they perform horrific acts of violence, we as a nation try to find a reason. In this case we attribute the attacks to a fabrication by proxy. Because the kids say it is the Slender Man, the news reports on it and it creates a cycle where other troubled youth can act out their homicidal inclinations and attribute it to external forces.

In the wake of “The Dark Knight” we saw a surge in crimes committed by people wearing Joker makeup because the character was psychopathic, anarchistic, and just plain dark and ominous. These type of forces have always appealed to children who are developing into adults and are faced with angst, depression, and a myriad of other issues as their bodies and minds transition from childhood into who they are destined to be as adults.

To this day though, there has never been a meme that has solidified its place in the psyche of America’s youth culture. The fact that “he” seems to have such a strong hold over our pre-teen and teenage populace is in itself frightening.

How does one fight something that in reality does not exist? How do you convince a child who believes so strongly in the presence of such a dark force that they have latched on to a fallacy, a cypher? A majority of the responsibility falls on the parents to understand and recognize when their child has fallen dangerously into such a place and remove them from it.

With social networking sites like Facebook and youth-obsession Tumblr doling out self-diagnoses at an alarming rate it is only a matter of time before events like these become pandemic and the chances of recovering the lost become…slender.

The Haunted Highways: Ghosts of the Open Road


by Tony Harrington

spookyroadThere is something indeterminably creepy about a long, dark, and winding stretch of road in a backwoods town that often sets one’s mind racing. For it is on these very roads that most towns boast the presence of a nightly wanderer.

The stories are typically similar from town to town. It was a dark and stormy night, a young man or woman was on their way home when they lost control of their vehicle and crashed and subsequently died on the very road.

Or, the road houses even darker secrets having been witness to rape and murder most foul.

No matter the circumstances, and there is always a story to go with it, these roads are host to a paranormal phenomenon known simply as “Road Ghosts”.

The phenomenon is exactly as it sounds. The presence of a wandering soul whose mortal frame has long since vanished haunts the road and terrifies passers through. They appear on the sides of the road, sometimes as a hitchhiker or someone in distress. They are known to interact with motorists, sometimes going so far as to climb into the backseat of an offered ride only to mysteriously disappear before their destination is reached.

In some instances, upon the reached destination, the final destination is discovered to be a graveyard where the ghost’s earthly vessel is buried. Or the destination is the home of the deceased’s family who will deliver the shocking news to the concerned motorist that the person they witnessed died years ago on the very road from whence they came.

The stories are wide and varied but there is a common thread running through them, that for some people, suggests life after death.

In Arkansas, there is the legend of Woodson Lateral Road. The stories on this particularly long baseline black top are numerous and range from the ghost light of a felled motorcyclist to the apparition of a female hitchhiker who leaves a souvenir in the back seats of concerned motorists who offer her a ride.

Woodson Lateral has the distinction of having many things working in its favor: the road is creepy, a long stretch that leads into an endless abyss of black during the night. The road is flanked by tall trees that hang over the side of the road creating a canopy-like effect. In addition to this, there is actually a cemetery sitting off of the road and periodically, a pentagram is spray painted on the road, as if the place wasn’t creepy enough.

In addition to spectral visitors, local residents and visitors report seeing a myriad of strange creatures like the giant owl-like figure that stands in the middle of the road and flies at the windshields of oncoming cars only to disappear into thin air as if it had never been.

Others report seeing shadow creatures watching from the side of the road, peering with an intense gaze as if they are waiting for you to stop.

Phantom headlights following travellers traversing the landscape have been reported. Sometimes the headlights get so close that drivers think it is a cop and pull over only to realize that the lights have vanished.

I have personally never been on Woodson Lateral, even though I live in Arkansas. The prospect of stopping my vehicle and walking around a poorly lit, long stretch of road doesn’t seem too appealing. I do not wish to be struck and killed and left to wander the road for all eternity while my ghost laments its passing and terrorizes passers by in the process.

Similar to Woodson Lateral, the Rock-a-Dundee Road in Hampden, Massachusetts boasts many spirits ranging from the ghost of a hatchet wielding mad-woman, to the spirit of a young boy named Jared who was struck and killed by a car upon departing his school bus. 

There are also rumors of the ghosts of ten teens who committed a mass-suicide on the road, though in that particular case, local authorities actually weighed in on the rumors and flat-out deny any such incident occurring.

Still, travelers on Rock-a-Dundee road report seeing some pretty crazy things and feeling a sense of dread as if they are being watched from just beyond the adjacent forest treeline.

Ask residents of West Milford, New Jersey about haunted roads and they will openly discuss the tragedy that befell a small boy on Clinton Road. Their legend claims that said boy was playing by himself on the long road when he fell to his death from a bridge.

As with most legends, this one can’t be substantiated, but it has been around long enough that it is taken at face value.

Because of his untimely and tragic death, his spirit is said to wander Clinton Road accompanied by a myriad of other phenomena including ghost lights and even a red-eyed hell-hound.

The award for sheer terror on an open road though belongs to the ominously named Shades of Death Road in Warren County, New Jersey

This aptly named road is said to be cursed by the spirits of the Lenni-Lenape people who were slaughtered by a tribe of Iroquois Indians. There is a litany of reported sightings of spectral beings wandering the road. Shadow creatures and other cryptozoological abnormalities are known to walk the area, and the presence of phantom lights is almost considered the norm.

That name though, turns out, is very appropriate. Over the many years since the road was cut there have been countless murders, accidents, and horrific deaths that have littered the roadside with mangled corpses. Discarded mutilated bodies have turned up as have the remains of unfortunate souls who have been ravaged by wildcats that are known to roam the area.

No matter your locale, it is a safe bet that there are known roads that harbor dark secrets and ghostly visitors. Share with us in the comments below any experiences you have had on the haunted highways byways of your hometown.

Thank you for stopping by.

So Long and Farewell: The Final Goodbye


by Tony Harrington

partingI remember the last time I spoke with my Grandfather.

It was the early part of 1984 around one O’clock in the morning. I was eight years old and he came into my room and sat on the edge of my bed.

He always called me Nino, explaining that it was the Italian name for Tony. It was a kindred spirit thing as I was named after him. He explained the nickname every time he said it and I would nod and smile as though it was my first time hearing it.

That night, as he came into my room and sat at the foot of my bed, was no different. He just looked at me and said, “Nino, it’s time for me to go. You know why I call you Nino, Right?” I didn’t answer, I couldn’t. Something was different about him. Granted he felt familiar and his presence filled the room as it always had, but there was a profound sadness this time. It was as though he was saying goodbye for the last time.

After he explained what I already knew about the origin of my nickname he said, “I am going down the hall to say goodbye to your mother.” And then he was gone.

A few hours later my mother came into the room that I shared with my twin brother. She leaned in and told us to get up and get dressed, that we had to get to the hospital as my Grandfather was fading fast. He had been hospitalized for the last few weeks in the final stages of lung cancer, a disease he acquired from years of smoking unfiltered Lucky Strike cigarettes.

Due to the horrible physical condition that my Grandfather was in, my twin brother and I were not permitted to see him, we were too young and my parents thought the image would have been devastating. I remember sitting in the waiting room as my older sister was escorted to the hospital room to say her goodbye. She emerged broken, trembling and crying, no words were of comfort to her. I knew it was bad.

The morning stretched on as family filed in and out of the hospital room as my brother and I sat in the waiting room. Finally, after what seemed an eternity, my mother emerged from the room and said the two words that broke me that day. “It’s over.”

After the heartbreak passed I remembered his visit early in the morning and his words to me. “It is time for me to go.” I knew, I just knew, that he had said goodbye in his own way, knowing that he would not get to say goodbye to me properly.

It wasn’t until a few years later when my mother told me of an experience she had the night before his passing. She recounted an experience where she dreamed her father came to her room, sat on the edge of the bed and told her that he had to be going. “You know me,” he said matter of fact. “I am not one to stick around a place for too long.”

She awoke from that dream and woke my father and told him to get ready, that the phone was about to ring. Seconds later it did, it was the hospital letting my mother know that her father was about to pass.

Neither my brother nor my sister ever mentioned a visit from our Grandfather the night before the morning of his passing, so I am not sure if they discounted it as a dream or did not receive the farewell visit.

The phenomenon is what is known as the “Farewell” apparition, and it is experienced more than any other type of paranormal activity.

The realism of the visit is what sticks with most people. It is described as having a dream-like quality, but the visitation is so real, the dialogue and the image of the visitor so lifelike, that afterward it is confounding for the person having experienced it. Most people do not share their experience openly because they either feel that it was simply a dream, their imagination, or they don’t want to face possible ridicule. Some people don’t share it because it is a deeply personal experience and it could raise issues with other family members who did not get a farewell visit.

I am sure it is the latter reason that it took my mother years to talk about her experience, at the time I was too young to understand what it was that I experienced. I never told my mother about my experience until I was well into my adulthood.

What exactly is it that happens during one of these visits? Is it truly paranormal, are we actually seeing the spirit of a departing or departed loved one coming to say goodbye one last time? For the millions of people a year that experience the phenomenon it is real and it offers a glimpse of hope that we truly go on after we shuffle off our mortal coil. It provides closure and healing and a message that love is eternal and transcends the earthly confines of this plane of existence.

Scientists believe that what is actually transpiring is simply a coping mechanism, that our subconscious concocts the visit to help transition us through the stages of grief as a way to lessen the blow caused by the loss of a loved one. We inject our memories of the loved one into the visit, their voice and mannerisms defined by what we remember. It is why the visits often reflect the individual how we remember them, not in the sickly state they are in at the moment of their passing.

These types of visits though are not reserved just for those left behind. It would seem that the ones who are crossing over from this world to the next get their own visits as well. In a related type of apparition called a “Deathbed Apparition”, at the hour of death, the dying sees familiar faces of those who passed on before them.

My family recounted stories of how my Grandfather saw his brother, and several friends and family who had passed standing in his room. He interacted with them as if they were there and conversing with him. Perhaps it was those friends and family who showed him how to transcend his dying frame and say his final goodbye to those who were open to receiving it.

I had a friend who worked as a hospice nurse and she recounted many instances of patients having received visitations from those who have preceded them in death. She reported that they seemed aware of their current surroundings as well as being able to see what she could not; the presence of others in the room. These visitations often brought a sense of peace and more times than not the patient seemed to be relieved of their suffering and pain until their death took them from the world.

Who is to say what is actually happening during these visits? It could very well be our minds providing solace and comfort in the face of a tragic loss, or it could be something more. It could be that our loved ones truly find a way to get their message to us, or, at the end of our lives, find a way to see us once more to carry us home.

What has been your experience with farewell apparitions and the deathbed phenomenon? Have you experienced a visit from a dying or recently deceased loved one or have you witnessed a dying loved one talk of others in the room, people who had gone before them?

Share your experiences with us in the comments section so that others who are new to the experience know that they are not alone.

Make Some Noise: The Poltergeist Phenomenon


by Tony Harrington

poltergeistchairsThanks largely in part to Tobe Hooper and Steven Speilberg, when people hear the word “poltergeist” it immediately conjures images of a young blonde girl perched before her television set and proclaiming, “They’re here.”

In actuality, as scary as many found the film, the actual phenomenon is much more terrifying even if less outlandish than what the film depicts.

To start, we should define exactly what a poltergeist is. In short, it is an amalgamation of two distinct German words: poltern, a verb meaning “to make noise”, and geist, which basically means “spirit”. So poltergeist can literally be translated to “noisy ghost”.

For the most part, that is exactly what a poltergeist haunting typically entails. Rattles, bumps, scratching sounds, footsteps, and moans and groans of indeterminate origin.

You can search YouTube for videos on poltergeist activity and be rewarded with a bevy of amazing clips showing objects moving by themselves: cups sliding across a table, cabinets opening and slamming, drawers sliding open and utensils inexplicably being tossed across the room. It is not uncommon to see chairs sliding across the floor or tipping over. Most, if not all, of the videos are fabrications though created by crafty filmmakers, but do a better job at depicting the true definition of poltergeist activity than the actual film mentioned above.

In addition to the specific physical manifestation of poltergeist activity, it should be noted that the spirit is most often associated as being attached to a particular person or object rather than a location. Families having experienced a poltergeist indicate that even moving to a new location did not stop the activity.

In rare circumstances poltergeist activity has escalated into vicious attacks on an individual within the home. Historically, some of the most well-documented cases of violent poltergeists attacking the living revolve around young girls and teenage women.

The famous Bell Witch legend recounts the story of young Elizabeth Bell, the youngest daughter of the Bell household who became the target of an angry witch spirit. She was shaken, burned and scratched.

In the Enfield poltergeist case of 1977, 11-year-old Janet Hodgson allegedly showed signs of manipulation and possession by a the spirit of a prior tenant of the rented home. Prior to the attacks on Janet, the poltergeist activity was limited to the manipulation of furniture, toys and the requisite knocks, bumps, and moans.

The Amherst Poltergeist case of Esther Cox, a 19-year-old secretary who began being viciously attacked after having survived an attempted rape at gunpoint. The case took place in Amherst, Nova Scotia in 1878 and is perhaps one of the most infamous cases due to the level of violent activity which involved fires and Esther vomiting needles and pins.

In all cases of reported poltergeists, the activity stops as suddenly as it began. Most cases span one to two years before the spirit departs giving the family much-needed peace.

But is activity of this nature supernatural? Science offers many explanations for falling and moving objects. A common belief is that underground rivers, streams, and aquifers cause vibrations that can knock pictures from walls, cause furniture to tip, and cause the sound of moaning.

There is also the belief that paranormal activity of this type stems from the afflicted themself. Most documented cases of poltergeist activity involves troubled youth who are often victims of physical and sexual abuse. That is not to say that the trauma welcomes spirits, the implication is that the victims themselves are causing the activity. They are the ones throwing things and blaming disembodied spirits, they contort their bodies and claw at their skin, and fabricate scenarios as part of a dissociative disorder, similar to the survivor of a violent or sexual crime developing a split personality to disassociate themself from the trauma.

Interestingly, most cases of paranormal activity occurred in the late 19th and early twentieth century and have slowly tapered off over time. Only a small handful of documented cases have occurred in the USA with a majority transpiring in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe. (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poltergeist#Other_cases)

Not surprisingly, reports of poltergeist activity climbed in the US at the time the film “Poltergeist” was released.

Whatever the case, for those experiencing a poltergeist activity, the situation is real, frightening, and confusing. The fact that there does not seem to be any means of leaving the spirit makes a family feel trapped and seeds of discord begin to bloom.

It is a wide belief in the paranormal field that some negative spirits feed on the energy of distress and grow stronger from it. So perhaps the poltergeist activity is self-sustaining, allowing a mild nuisance ghost to blossom into physical attacks.

Have you had any personal experiences in dealing with a poltergeist? Share your story by leaving a comment. The link to do so is at the top of this article.

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