Daily Prompt. Not so sweet dreams. (are made of this)

Dark_Clouds_over_Rum_-_geograph.org.uk_-_18088The most vivid dream I have ever had:

I woke up in room that I didn’t recognize and there was a small remote controlled toy truck on my floor. It was a dark blue SUV. I reached down to pick it up but before I could grab it the scene changed and I was standing on a platform high in the sky, all I could see were gray clouds, and two escalators. One went up to a Boeing 747 that appeared to be hovering, waiting for passengers. One went down into even darker gray clouds.

There were other people on the platform, making decisions about going up or down. I don’t remember making the decision. Maybe it was my fear of heights, and the frightening thought of going even further up with nothing underneath me, but I simply found myself Continue reading “Daily Prompt. Not so sweet dreams. (are made of this)”

Paranormal Wednesday – girl in the window

EPSON MFP image

 

THE SHORT: For those that don’t want to read the long description, here is the short one: The guy who took this picture had one child who was standing next to him at the time of the picture. He had just built the deck, and he took pictures from three angles – this is the only angle in which the figure appeared.

THE LONG: This house is across the street from me. My neighbor is the owner, and he also owns the auto repair garage which is nearly across the street from me. He also plows my driveway. And he helps in the summer with his gigantic excavating tools and 12 foot rototiller. An all around “get’er’done kinda guy. He has always been an awesome, but he’s also that gruff, no-nonsense guy – not the type of guy that would make up ghost stories. He used to live in the house pictured above, and when he moved out of it, he built the porch and was preparing everything so that he could begin renting it out.

I was out in my yard talking to him one sunny day, telling him about an idea I had for a short story. I called it “The girl in the window.” He asked me why I would call it that, and then he proceeded to tell me the story of the picture we are looking at. I had imagined coming home, pulling in the driveway and seeing a girl in my upstairs window, and the similarity was just too much for him to hold back his story.

At the time of this picture, there were, on his word, no kids in the house. There was no one in the house at all. He points out specifically that there were no grandkids yet. They took the picture to a psychic who talked about a ghost. The psychic reading on the picture holds no weight with me. But just because a psychic said it, doesn’t mean it’s not true. 

This is the best ghost pic I have ever seen (whether it’s real or not) and the coolest thing is, this came not from an internet search, but from a neighbor. How many pictures are there just floating around in the world, held on to by a culture that doesn’t post things on the net? Thousands? It gives me hope, the great mystery of life.

Hunting season – ghosts, that is… (an iffy ghost pic)

These are from my 2009 paranormal investigation (read: ghost hunt) at the Willard Library in Evansville, IN. The ghost is supposed to be haunted by the “Grey Lady” as they call her. So that’s who we were looking for. It was a fun night and I met a lot of cool people. Every single one of them was tenanted by tangible form*, however. I feel like I may have caught a picture of the ghost, but I hesitate, because I don’t really believe that. I’ll let you decide what to think about the following pictures. I have never shown these to anyone.

*in Poe’s Masque of the Red Death, he uses the phrase “Untenanted by any tangible form” to refer to the entity.

Then, summoning the wild courage of despair, a throng of the revellers at once threw themselves into the black apartment, and, seizing the mummer, whose tall figure stood erect and motionless within the shadow of the ebony clock, gasped in unutterable horror at finding the grave-cerements and corpse-like mask which they handled with so violent a rudeness, untenanted by any tangible form.

Read the whole thing online…

Travel Log: March 2012 journey south – and our engagement! Part 5

Next stop, Savannah, GA. We really only had time to do one thing here, as it was the same day as St. Augustine. We decided to go on a ghost tour. This was pretty amazing, since, according to our tour guide, we were seeing the “most haunted” everything in Savannah. Very fun though, and memorable.

The Amish Trip: Part 2 – Where we saw a ghost

400px-Amish_Buggie_signA non-fiction short story from the collection Don’t Take My Word for It by Matthew Bennett

After getting settled into the bed and breakfast, we drove into town to get some genuine Amish cooking. We both ended up getting veal Parmesan, which didn’t seem very Amish at all. My side dishes were applesauce and cottage cheese. The only thing that made this seem like anything but a regular diner is that the food was a bit worse, and the waitress actually seemed to be rushing us out of the place. I shouldn’t neglect to mention that the staff was either Amish or dressed Amishly enough that I wouldn’t know the difference. Fortunately, we stayed, or we wouldn’t have seen the ghost.

Both of us try to stay abreast of current events, and we both read quite a bit. This really helps us keep our relationship vital, especially because our reading habits only intersect by about ten percent. I had been reading the book “The Theory of Almost Everything” by Robert Oerter, as another jaunt into the land of quantum physics. We talked about the book over our side dishes, which came about 37 seconds after we ordered our dinner (the first sign that we were being rushed in and out).

I was just getting to the good part, about the ant on roller skates in a bowl (yes, Theory explains physics in a way that even I can understand – highly recommended reading) when one of our bowls, and a saucer, on the table, moved toward us about four inches.

I asked Janelle if that just happened. She replied that if I meant did that bowl just move by itself, then yes, she thought that it did in fact just happen.

“I see,” I said.

Now, when a man is feeling all smart because he is currently discussing quantum physics with a beautiful woman who is interested in the conversation, he would (as I did) think that there must be some rational explanation for the moving dinnerware. The first thing that I did is check to see if the tablecloth was wet. It was not. Secondly, I tried to recreate the phenomenon myself. I placed the bowl and saucer back into their original position and watched them for about ten seconds. They did not move. I bumped the table. Nothing.

I finally took the actions of an impatient scientist, and practiced some bad science. I tried to move the bowl with my hand. There was so much friction from the tablecloth that I couldn’t slide the bowl without the tablecloth itself moving as well. Not the easy glide, as I had expected. As absurd as an Amish Restaurant séance setup sounded, I looked under the table for invisible thread, magnets, or anything else that might have assisted in the illusion. But there was nothing.

When I want to sound open-minded, I will tell people that although I’ve never seen a ghost, and although I think that most ghost stories are a cry for attention, (or overly sensitive people who have one unexplained noise in their house and decide that since they can’t explain it, their house must be haunted by “Great Uncle Joe, because he always tripped going down the stairs”) I also believe that there are too many stories out there for all of them to be fabricated cries for attention. I tell people that I believe there must be something to some of the stories. In reality, after a two year stint as a paranormal investigator, I really began to think that ALL of the stories are fabricated, and then passed along. People  have such a strong desire to touch the unknown that they will say almost anything to relay the “experience” to their peers, and this desire also strikes such a chord in their own minds that they convince themselves that their stories are true. I have found to be the case, time and time again, and most strongly in paranormal investigators.

I don’t know how I lasted two years with people who carried around books describing all the different “types” of ghosts. I do remember our group leader explaining the types to us before one our investigations. Most strongly, I remember that demons were considered a type of ghost. After explaining some of the qualities of a demon she said, “If you think that you are in the presence of a demon, don’t talk to it, don’t do anything. You come and get me!” Apparently she was the only one among our group who was qualified to deal with a demon.

After two years of spending the night in condemned hospitals, ancient cemeteries, and world’s-most-haunted-libraries, watching people walking around with digital recorders, night vision and heat-sensing cameras, and all other manner of ghost-finding tools, it strikes me as ironic that the most paranormal experience of my life happened in broad daylight, in a crowded Amish restaurant, during a discussion of quantum physics, and within a few inches of a bowl of delicious applesauce.

When we got back to the Bed and Breakfast, we watched the sunset from the front porch. I have never seen a sunset so fast. It seemed to take less than a minute, which seemed to add the the spooky atmosphere. I relayed to Janelle that this is how most horror movies start. Small town, middle of nowhere, a little diner a the beginning of the movie with an ambiguous odd moment. All of this lent to the fun but creepy ambiance of the journey.

I know it’s not nearly as exciting as Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze in a phantasmic encounter in wet clay, but at least it was real.

Gifts from butterflies…

Butterflies. Yes, butterflies.

Once again, there are certain memories that I just don’t want to forget. I don’t want to let them slip away as so many of these things do.

In April 2005, I was visiting Erie, PA because of the deaths of my aunt and uncle. I was pondering life, as I often do during such times. Sitting outside my parent’s house smoking a cigarette, I watched a Monarch butterfly flying around, about twenty feet away from me. This brought back the memory of a movie I once saw, where someone else was dealing with death and at the end of the movie, a butterfly either landed on someone’s nose, or just flew around in front of them, I don’t remember the movie too well.

So I’m watching this butterfly, and I think to myself, “what if it landed on my nose. How weird would that be?” and the butterfly, almost immediately, flew over to me and landed, not on my nose, but on my eyebrow. I was stunned. I don’t really like “bugs” crawling on me, but I didn’t wave this one off. In fact, I wanted a picture. I walked into my parent’s house and looked for my camera. I couldn’t find it, and my mind was preoccupied. This was CRAZY. No camera, nobody’s going to believe me.

In my frantic search for some way to capture this moment, he (she? it?) apparently didn’t like all the commotion, and went on his merry way, leaving me this strange gift (the memory) that I’m really not sure what to do with. So, I’ve only told a couple of people about this, and they seemed to believe me, but you can never tell the thoughts going around in someone’s head.

“I, like God, do not play with dice, and I don’t believe in coincidences.”
-V for Vendetta

I really don’t know what it was that happened, but I thought about the thing landing on me, and it did. That is too hard for me to chalk up to coincidence. I tried.