My Mother’s Ghost.

My Mother’s Ghost. -By Debbi Decker

What is it about the end of the year that brings out the paranormal? Are we sending out a different kind of energy that allows for these entities to pass through more easily? Or are we more open at this time to see things we would not normally see or hear and feel things that we would not normally hear or feel simply because we are poised to enter into a new year and we are opening ourselves up to hopes for what it will bring?

My mother is not normally open to paranormal events. She believes that spirits are good, the souls of those who are in heaven and the souls of loved ones, invisible to mankind but felt by us. Ghosts are visible and bad, evil people who will never reach heaven and wander the earth in various shapes and forms. Over the years I have tried to convince her that while I understand her choice of words, ghosts and spirits are really one and the same. She would never allow herself to be convinced. That is, until last Thursday night. She now believes they ARE both one and the same, and that it is how the spirit or ghost presents itself that matters.

She had just turned out the light in her bedroom and was sitting on the side of her bed. Her bedroom is never really dark due to all of the many electronic components. Glowing clocks, computer lights, telephones, and other assorted sundry items that give off light. As she was sitting there she looked up at the window beside her and saw a full bodied man come through the curtains, walk around the foot of her bed, walk out of her room into the hallway and into the bathroom where he immediately disappeared. It was a young man, wearing a white t-shirt with the sleeves rolled up the way the boys would wear them in the 1950s. He wore faded blue jeans and his hair was neat and cut short. She could not see his face as his head was bent down but she had a sense of seeing something in 2D. Mom said she felt that she could see through parts of him but it was not readily apparent that he was translucent. Just a sense that she was. She also could not see his feet. The apparition actually walked around the end of her bed, turning to go through the door! Just as if you or I would have done had we been looking out that window and decided to leave the room and go to the bathroom!

The most astonishing thing to me about this event is not that she saw a full body apparition, but that she was not in the least scared or in any way upset. She said that when he disappeared she said out loud, “well hello and goodbye to you too!” Where most people would have been terrified, she said she felt calm and happy during the whole event.

My mother is no stranger to the paranormal even though in the past she has not been open to the possibilities it brings. She feels the presence of her mother nearby and she sometimes feels her mother sit down on the side of her bed that her mother would normally sit when visiting. Mom has also remarked about seeing shadow people walking the halls of her house, taking the same path every time. The shadow people are just that, dark shadows with no details that travel the hallway and always go into the rear bedroom. She has heard doors opening and closing when she is alone, and she also has heard heavy boots walking on wood, even though the house is fully carpeted and there are no wood floors. She also has visitations that she believes are a long deceased cat who would spent a great deal of time with her in her bedroom and would jump onto her bed and land on the same spot pretty much every time.

While discussing the event, my mother kept commenting about how calm she felt throughout it all and how amazed that she was afterward that she was not afraid. We talked about the fact that she may have some pre-conditioning regarding these types of events because of all of the strange things that happen in her home. I know that for me, it has become “just another day in the neighborhood” or the “new normal” because of all of the things I have seen and experienced throughout my whole life. You can get used to these strange things. So, perhaps she was in a more accepting frame of mind when the young man came through.

These kinds of manifestations are considered the “holy grail” of ghost hunting and I will admit to a wee bit of jealousy that she got to experience it. But how wonderful for her that she did! Mom now understands what it is that those of us who experience these kinds of things are trying to explain. She gets it now. Whether this understanding will leave the door open for other manifestations, only time will tell.

My mother is elderly and lives alone and does not get out much anymore. On several occasions she has stated that she needs a hobby, something to keep her busy and to engage her mind.

Hey mom! Guess what? You have a new job now. Ghost Hunter. Investigate the presences in your home and learn about how they manifest and perhaps even get some sense of who the young man could have been and the connection he has to the house or to you.

I am excitedly waiting for the answers you find. Oh, and yes, there WILL be a test!

Debbi Decker is proprietor of twistedpixelstudio Art & Assemblage Emporium. Check out her artist page to find links to her shop and blog to read more of her writings. Visit again next month for the telling of hauntings and ghostly tales by Debbi Decker.

Come to the Dark Side. We Have Yule.

Come to the Dark Side. We Have Yule. -By Debbi Decker

Although the holiday season of Yule is generally associated with birth and light, the original festival as celebrated has a much darker side. Celebrated by Germanic peoples (the most familiar will be Norse and Anglo Saxon) in pre-Christian times, Yule not only encompassed feasting, reveling, and celebrations, it also featured death, sacrifice, and ghosts.

Yule was primarily a midwinter observance during the months of December and January, which, over time, was incorporated into the Christian celebration of Christmas. Some familiar practices that have come down from this observance include the Christmas ham (the Yule boar) and caroling. Some of the not so familiar Yule customs and beliefs are as follows.

With December 21st comes the shortest day of the year and along with that comes the Wild Hunt. It is believed that the Wild Hunt comprises demons or dead fairies, ghosts of former huntsman or the undead, called Drauger (possible zombie references here), raging across the sky in search of dark secrets and souls. It was considered most unlucky to see the Wild Hunt, and many lit fires or candles to keep the Wild Hunt at bay as the light would repel the dark and the spirits that reside there.

Christmas Eve as we know it was originally celebrated in January and was known as Mōdraniht, which is old English for Mothers-Night. This celebration references “dis” or spirits of fates. Sacrifices were made on this night and many practices centered around fertility rituals to ensure a bountiful new year to come as well as to celebrate the fertility of tribes.

Aspects of modern day Christmas festivities can be traced back to the reverence of the Norse god Odin. The ham we eat is a reference to the boar with an apple in its mouth. The Yule log is burned to revere the departed souls and also to keep the darker side with its ghosts and demons and ghouls at bay. And again, another aspect of the Yule log may be phallic in nature as the ashes were sprinkled in the fields to bring fertility to the coming harvest.

So, this Yule season, light your candles and Yule logs and keep the darkness and all it encompasses away. Pay tribute to your ancestors, and most importantly, if you hear a huntsman’s horn on Christmas night, remember to stay inside. If not, you might be carried off to the darker side of Yule.

Debbi Decker is proprietor of twistedpixelstudio Art & Assemblage Emporium. Check out her artist page to find links to her shop and blog to read more of her writings. Visit again next month for the telling of hauntings and ghostly tales by Debbi Decker.

Set An Extra Plate at the Thanksgiving Table. Company May be Coming.

Set An Extra Plate at the Thanksgiving Table. Company May be Coming.-By Debbi Decker

Halloween has come and gone, and for many it is a time to put away the decorations, and begin thinking about the next big celebration, that of Thanksgiving. No more spooks, no more worries of black cats, hobgoblins, witches and monsters. The door to the other side has closed.

But has it really? While there are two times of the year where the other side bleeds more readily into our everyday world (Halloween and Walpurgisnacht), the fact is that spirits can visit us readily at any time of the year. Especially when it’s a big family event such as Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving as we celebrate it today is a far cry from what it originally was. In far older times, it was a harvest festival celebrated by many cultures during all times of the year, depending on the growing season. A “last meal” was created using what was left over from the harvest, and everyone gathered to eat and share memories and stories from days past. In some regions, it was believed that the spirit of life remained in the last ear of corn harvested. Corn dollys or corn mothers were created using the husks from the last of the harvest, put in a place of honor at the table and kept until the next year’s harvest. Because so much depended upon nature, weather, and the will of the gods involved, harvest celebrations were a way to thank the forces for a good harvest, or in the case of a bad harvest, to propitiate the spirits in the hopes that they would look favorably on the next growing cycle and therefore bring about a good harvest.

Many of these celebrations were also a time to honor the ancestors. Food was given to effigies or placed on altars as a tribute to the ancestor or spirit. As western man and western civilizations grew, and different religious groups came together, other celebrations and rituals would spin off the harvest festival, giving birth to what we now know as Halloween, Day of the Dead, and All Saint’s Day, just to name a few. If you think about it, the holidays just mentioned are in reality a celebration of the dead and the harvest is simply the end or death of the growing season.

Honoring the dead is not uncommon in our culture today and Thanksgiving is another time where we can do so. Because we gather together and talk of times past, or events of the prior year, we bring an energy to the table that is easily tapped into by the spirit world. Simply telling our stories and the stories of our ancestors calls out to the dead and invites them in. How many of us have felt the presence of a long gone family member when sitting around the table and sharing memories?

So, set an extra plate that the table at this year’s Thanksgiving feast. Put a picture of a loved one on the plate and honor them by telling their stories. You never know. They might just stop in for a visit.

Debbi Decker is proprietor of twistedpixelstudio Art & Assemblage Emporium. Check out her artist page to find links to her shop and blog to read more of her writings. Visit again next month for the telling of hauntings and ghostly tales by Debbi Decker.

The Clairs. Consider Them a Little Lagniappe.

The Clairs. Consider Them a Little Lagniappe.-By Debbi Decker

The five senses. Smell, sight, touch, hearing, taste. Those are all we get. Or, do we? You walked down the hallway, and smelled roses. But you have no roses in the house and no roses in the yard. You were quietly reading a book, when you heard your name called, but you were alone in the house. Or doing dishes at the kitchen sink, when suddenly you felt arms around you and your family were all in another room. That face you saw in the mirror? It was the face of no one you know, and again, there was no around but you. You experienced a sudden craving for a food you have never tasted, much less heard of.

What is happening here?

Many paranormal experts believe strongly in what is called the sixth sense. It can manifest itself in many forms in connection with each of the five senses:

Clairvoyance = sight

Clairsentience = touch

Clairaudience = hearing

Clairalience = smell

Clairgustance = taste

All fall under the category of Extra Sensory Perception or ESP. Scientists agree that it exists but fall short of explaining the how or why of it. Studies of the subject have been going on for hundreds of years. And there remains strong opinions both for and against the subject at hand.

Personally, I believe that we all have this sixth sense and that it was an important and working sense that was a part of humans from the beginning of existence, but one that was slowly, over time, damped down in the human race through factors relating to civilization, social structures, and religious beliefs. You could liken this to our appendix, which is a part of our anatomical structure that at one time is considered to have had a specific function, but which has lost that function through evolution. Children still, to this day, exhibit many of the traits of having ESP, that is until they go to school, attend mainstream religious functions on a regular basis, and become socialized into the present day civilization. Which, to me, only argues in favor of my beliefs.

Those of us who exhibit any of the above “Clairs” (as I like to refer to them) have either maintained that connection from birth or we have managed to reconnect to a part of us, which, like the appendix, still exists in all of us. Some of us feel it is a gift, while others consider it a part of their makeup that they would rather be without and therefore block these connections.

So, how does any of this fit in with the paranormal? Remember that the word “paranormal” simply means above normal or outside of normal. The term paranormal could be applied to many subject matters, but for this instance, I use the term in connection with ghostly activities, hauntings, etc.

Paranormal investigators like to investigate in darkness. The darkness renders some of our senses useless (sight), and dampens down some senses while causing other senses to become stronger. This in and of itself is not a paranormal thing. It is an activation of the human sensors in a different manner. As an example, when the lights go out, we cannot see anything. Our brain is trying desperately to “see” something, anything. If we close our eyes in the darkness, a signal is sent to our brain that the eyes are not working. After a few minutes, other senses are heightened. Hearing and sense of touch are two that may report to become stronger in darkness.

Referring back to the idea that we all have a sixth sense, there would naturally be those who exhibit a certain “Clair” that is stronger than others. I might be able to feel the ghostly presence more strongly, while you may be able to see that presence, and another may hear it.

Those who exhibit any of the “Clairs” are able to activate our human sensors differently, and use those senses in conjunction with the normal use of sense to feel, see, taste, smell, and touch the other side. A ghostly presence can use those senses to make their presence known without having to battle through the mental and physical blocks that our cultural heritages have placed upon us. Used in conjunction with paranormal investigating, these senses are an excellent and integral tool and should be used and accepted without prejudice.

Case in point. As a paranormal investigator, I cannot use my hearing as I am hearing impaired. However, my sense of sight and touch are greatly enhanced. On an investigation last year, while climbing a rickety set of stairs in total darkness with a fellow investigator, I “saw” and “felt” an architectural feature that my hand immediately reached for so I could steady myself. My hand met with a wall. I commented on it at the time as I was rather puzzled. Later that evening, we listened in on a discussion of the building itself and how it had changed over the years. That wall I touched was a recent addition. There was at one time an opening like a window with a deep sill. That was exactly what I saw and felt and that was exactly what I was reaching for. You can imagine the look I got from the other investigator with me on those stairs!

The next time you find yourself in a position of seeing, smelling, sensing, tasting, or hearing something that is out of the normal realm for you, try letting that experience play out. You are perhaps receiving a communication from the other side and the message might be of great importance. If you are investigating, don’t discount the smells or sudden tastes that might overwhelm you. There could be a reason that the entity on the other side is communicating in this manner. Perhaps the roses were their favorite flower. Or they liked that food you are tasting. Or even further, that food contained the poison they died from and they want to tell others what happened to them. It goes without saying that when investigating the paranormal, you have to accept the good with the bad, so to speak. Even if we are not aware of the Clairs, we all have them, and at any moment they could reasonably manifest themselves us and to others. Just equate it with having a little extra something special, or being given a little present or Lagniappe. After all, who doesn’t love receiving gifts? Even from the Clairs.

Debbi Decker is proprietor of twistedpixelstudio Art & Assemblage Emporium. Check out her artist page to find links to her shop and blog to read more of her writings. Visit again next month for the telling of hauntings and ghostly tales by Debbi Decker.

A Song of Grief

A Song of Grief-By Debbi Decker

The dog howled. It was a continuous howling, over and over. Plaintive, shrill, and at times quite eerie. I sat down at the table with my grandmother. “How in the world can you stand it? How long has this been going on?” Gramma just shook her head. “The howling started when your grandfather died. It has not stopped since.”

Gramma was in one of her more lucid moments so I knew that she was telling me the truth. Sometimes, it was hard to know what Gramma knew or what she would talk about at any given moment. But to hear this from her set me back a bit. It had been two days since Gramps had died.
“You know your grandfather hated that dog”, she said, shaking her head again. “He never would let it come around, would chase it off with a yell if the dog so much as stepped foot in the yard. But that dog, he did not seem to care. He still came around every single day. Sometimes it gave me a chuckle to see how your grandfather would fret about it. I never understood why he didn’t like that dog. You know he raised dogs most of his life. I just don’t know.”

The dog in question was my aunt’s dog, a black and white English Sheep Dog, one that we all thought was not quite right in the head for a dog. He lived down the street, almost two blocks away. Those howls were loud, and sounded like he was just outside the door. I wondered if I should go down to my aunt’s house and see if I could get him to stop. No, it was time to go to the funeral. The dog would have to wait.

Coming back to my grandmother’s house after the funeral and burial, the silence was almost deafening. No howling. No sounds at all. I helped my grandmother get settled, got some food in her, and chatted for a bit with her and other family members and friends that stopped by.

Later on that evening, while I was walking over to my aunt’s house, one of the neighbors stepped out to say hello, and ask after my grandmother. After expressing her condolence, she asked “Did you hear that dog? My word! That dog just howled and howled. We thought he would never stop.” I had completely forgotten about the dog and its strange behavior. “So, when did he stop?” I asked. She thought for a moment, then she said “I can’t rightly tell for sure but it was around 3:00 this afternoon”.

The impact of her words caused me to step back and gasp. Around 3:00 was when my grandfather was being buried. I could not quite wrap my head around it then.

But, over the years, I have experienced other such behavior with animals, and I have come to believe that animals can sense things and know things that humans cannot. You think to yourself that you need to feed the cat. And then watch the cat wander over to its food bowl just after you had that thought, even though you have not moved yet. A dog looks into the air and barks and whines. Or a cat suddenly hisses at a corner and runs from the room. You investigate, but find nothing out of the ordinary. It’s obvious that something spooked them, but what it was you cannot tell. Did they see or hear something that you cannot see? Are animals capable of reading minds, seeing ghosts, or hearing voices that you cannot hear? I believe that they can and they do.

Gramps may have hated that dog for whatever his reasons, but that dog did not care. That dog loved my grandfather, knew the moment that he died, and the moment that he was buried. I now think of those howls as the dog’s song of grief, his only way of letting us know that he too was sad and felt the loss of someone he loved.

Debbi Decker is proprietor of twistedpixelstudio Art & Assemblage Emporium. Check out her artist page to find links to her shop and blog to read more of her writings. Visit again next month for the telling of hauntings and ghostly tales by Debbi Decker.

Then and Now: A Personal Journey Into the Spirit World

Then and Now: A Personal Journey Into the Spirit World-By Robyn Madison

Then and Now: A Personal Journey Into the Spirit World

When I was in my thirties (I’m only 39 now and have been for twenty years!), I felt a need for some spiritual exploration. I knew the traditional organized religion of my mid-western youth was not a place I wanted to return to. It no longer encompassed my broadening observations of human existence.

I had long thought that there are abilities we as humans can access, and guidance we can obtain if we will only seek it out. These things were and still are generally categorized as extra-sensory or paranormal. It happens that I believe extra-sensory abilities are a human birthright that can be developed even if they are not switched on, i.e. already in the forefront of our consciousness, as they clearly are with some people.

I chose the format of psychic channeling as what I wanted explore and hopefully, develop. Of course that desire did not just come out of thin air. As with many things in life, a number of circumstances coalesced to point me in that direction. A psychic channel is quite literally a conduit through which information from other planes of existence pass kind of like a radio. Channeling is synonymous to some with being a medium, but I think of it as distinguished from mediumship in that the spirits being contacted and speaking through the channel are ones who may never have lived on the earth plane in human form (some call them higher beings, beings of light, angels, etc.) Those that a psychic medium receives most often are people who have passed on. But in truth all forms of psychic experiences are kind of layered upon one another, so it’s not always easy to separate the various forms out.

I began by practicing alone, as regularly as possible, getting into a meditative state. Then as meditation became more natural to me and seemingly deeper, I began to ask for help from spirit guides connected to me. I worked at “hearing” the information that seemed to be coming to me from outside myself. It was often frustrating sorting through my own mental chatter. But eventually the words and images I was receiving would, at times, have a sort of “ping” to them when they felt genuine.

It certainly was not easy. I’m not what I think of as a “natural” psychic – that is, one for which the psychic card is already turned face up or even unavoidable. But it was satisfying to feel that it was, at the very least, possible for me to experience something that did not seem like it just came from inside my own head.

After a long while, it came time for me to actually speak out loud what I was “hearing” to someone else. Again, circumstances coalesced to bring me a friend who wanted to explore this phenomena along with me. My close friend and I sat down together regularly once a week or more to see what would happen when I would connect to my guide(s) and she would ask questions to be answered through me. It was quite successful at times, although in the moment it was hard to know if the information I was bringing through was accurate. Sometimes the information seemed pretty off the wall. Naturally, any psychic work is in part colored by the individual’s beliefs, thought processes, life experiences, etc., so it was often hard to parse out the more pure information. Oh, those times when what came out of my mouth was actually enlightening – those became the moments to live for.

My friend and I persisted for over a year, during which time I learned more about the channeling experience. We were sometimes joined by other eager, curious friends and acquaintances. The spirit guides I sensed changed from time to time, one receding while another new one came forward. I also delved into related psychic areas like exploring past lives, conscious dreaming and straight clairvoyance, and formed connections with newer friends who introduced me to other areas of thought on matters spiritual.

The gestalt of my experience was very real to me, though there were always some bits that felt more real than others. People wanted me to channel/give readings for them, sometimes to a degree that made me feel I was being used (flipside of that: made me feel “special”.) Doubt was a constant nag, yet it was too compelling to quit even when others in my life thought I had definitely slipped off my cracker. In retrospect, there was most assuredly an element of spiritual or psychic thrill-seeking, which can take one to unwanted, negative places. Every book you read or spiritual teacher will tell you this, and believe me, it is true!

Fast-forward to about ten years later, and these things that had seemed so important to me – even simple meditation – were no longer an active part of my life. Many life changes had occurred for me…I had moved to another state, gone into another profession, large parts of my life were in a shambles, there was both drama and new opportunity. I had come to believe that the previous exploration I had gone through, while significant to me in re-shaping my entire belief system, was now a thing of the past. I missed the “high” of the experiences I’d had, but felt that I had to concentrate on just living my life as best as I could. The high, the thrill, could not be sustained…things needed to be more in balance. I looked back on that earlier explorative time as a phase of my personal evolution, and tried to be content with that. Yet, people for whom I had given readings years before were still giving me feedback that information I had told them was startlingly accurate, even if it had taken some time to manifest. Because of that feedback and of how I had changed inside myself, I felt that I had proved that one’s extra-sensory abilities can be developed.

Now, even more years later, my view of spirit guides, of contacting and channeling that kind of energy, of clairaudience and clairvoyance (extra-sensory hearing and seeing,) has taken on a different perception yet again. As one cannot go back and have a “re-do” in life, I have to accept that my involvement in channeling was at times a bit desperate – not only that element of psychic thrill-seeking was at play – but there’s no doubt I was substituting it for missing chunks of my life. I don’t regret it; I do tend to go manically at things I am passionate about for a while, and then have to back off to regain my own balance. Other people still think I was a bit crazy then and/or now…I can only be philosophical about that part.

But these days I do have a quite different perspective about handling energies from other planes or realms – I still do firmly believe there are many layers of existence happening simultaneously – but care must be taken if you choose to experiment with such energies in any form. I would never suggest that someone follow a path similar to mine, going at it essentially alone without a good human mentor. (Leave it to me to do things the hard way!) The energies that can come through from other planes can be draining or even harmful to one’s own energy – and trickster spirits abound, mimicking higher beings very effectively (for a while), no matter how careful one thinks one is being in invoking protection. It’s just not something to take for granted in my view, not to mention an inherent responsibility to other people that one may be reading/channeling for.

I think that’s the main reason I wanted to chronicle my psychic adventures here, in hopes it might be helpful to someone somewhere. Although I have not gone into the specific incidences I experienced, if anything positive can be learned from my little story, I am glad of it. I would also be glad to hear about others’ psychic experiences, or discuss any comments or questions. You can email me here if you feel so inclined: Blessings to all!

Robyn is proprietor of Shrine Maiden. Check out her artist page to find links to her shop.


EEKS!-By Robyn Madison

Eeks, What Was That? …I Don’t Think I Want to Know!

I’m a little obsessed with TV shows about paranormal subjects. I frequently tune in to such shows as my little guilty pleasure. My husband looks askance and goes to another room when I do. And there is a wealth of spooky reality shows on television – Ghost Hunters, Paranormal State, Haunted Collector, The Long Island Medium, Ghost Adventures, Celebrity Ghost Stories – to name just a few of those I can think of off the top of my head.

While I have had my own experiences with various psychic phenomena of which mediumship, i.e. contact with disembodied spirits, is a type, the more hair-raising contact [with those who have left our plane of existence] that is ghost hunting is something different all together. I have to admit, while the concept of ghost hunting is titillating to me – I’m sure I’d run away screaming if I personally experienced the first sign of ghostly activity. So, I’d rather watch someone else do it at a very safe distance through the airwaves.

Oh, I have all the buzz words down. I know all about EVP’s, EMF’s, orbs, full spectrum infrared cameras, spirit boxes, full-body apparitions, residual hauntings, intelligent entities, poltergeist, etc. (But again, all at a safe distance.)

I’d just love to be a fly on the set of one of the paranormal reality shows just to see what is real and what is staged or even fabricated. It really does not seem possible that paranormal activity will just happen on demand as is often portrayed in these shows. And while some of the supposed “evidence” certainly looks convincing, there is undoubtedly a bit of chicanery involved to close out production of any one episode.

That being said, it still gives me a little thrill to hear an electronic voice recording of something in the Lizzie Borden house in Fall River, MA saying “…but I was a good daughter!”, or misty figures of soldiers appearing while investigators film at Gettysburg, PA, or a flashlight being knocked out of an investigator’s hands by an unseen force at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO (setting of The Shining).

But I think being a distant spectator (not spector!) is about as far as I’m willing to go. That, and maybe working off some of my curiosity about other-worldly things through my artwork as a member of the Halloween Artist Bazaar. As members of this consortium of artists, we all have a certain fascination with things paranormal. We are perhaps offering a little peek through the “veil between the worlds” through the sometimes bizarre things we make. After all, Halloween is the time when that veil is the most penetrable, thus it is our main theme.

Bringing that sense of something extra-sensory versus what we experience in everyday life into our artwork, with a sense of humor and whimsy to mitigate any true evil, is a common theme among the HAB artists. Each artist works out in her/his own way a curiosity & fascination with things a shade darker than daytime allows.

So, I think I’ll just keep my ghosts in my art and not go seeking them out myself, how about you? If I ever do encounter one, I’ll let you know…that is, if I survive the experience…

Robyn is proprietor of Shrine Maiden. Check out her artist page to find links to her shop.

An Accidental Haunting

An Accidental Haunting-By Debbi Decker

I have often wondered what it would be like to be a ghost. What would I do, who would I haunt? I suppose it would depend upon how I left this mortal coil. Sometimes I think I would like to hang around, maybe play practical jokes on my loved ones. But what if that were not the case? What if I were caught in some kind of time warp, where I would be doomed to repeat things over and over?

There is a type of ghostly activity called a residual haunting. The ghosts re-enact the same events repeatedly. Think of it like a taped show that you watch or a song you play again and again. Examples of a residual haunting would be seeing Civil War soldiers marching on the anniversary of a battle in a particular area. Or the screams heard yearly in Hampton Court attributed to Catherine Howard as she was being dragged away to prison on the orders of Henry VIII.

Years ago, I used to travel to visit my mother in South Carolina every April 16th. I would get up in the wee hours and begin my journey. Flying down the road, my car windows would be open, and my music would be cranked to full blast. Rarely would there be anyone on the road with me, maybe a trucker or two, here and there.

I would pass this little farmhouse right around 4 A.M. every single year. The house would be completely dark, the inhabitants sound asleep. Imagine, being woken up each year at the same time to music. At first it comes softly, and then rises in volume, only to fade away again. The way the house was situated, the headlights on my car would not have been seen.

Years later, it crossed my mind that the people who lived in that house might have thought that they were the victims of a haunting! I imagined that they would wake up, confused, and a bit frightened. I could hear the conversation in my mind, something along the lines of “Pa, there’s that music again! Its April 16th and its come again! Same time too! I swear we got a ghost in here!”

I stopped my annual journeys some time ago. But, sometimes I remember the little farmhouse and I wonder, do they still listen for the music? Did they ever wait up and watch to see exactly what it was? In all likelihood, they probably never heard me pass by. Its fun to think that I could have been an accidental haunting and it sure gives me a chuckle to think about it.

Debbi Decker is proprietor of twistedpixelstudio Art & Assemblage Emporium. Check out her artist page to find links to her shop and blog to read more of her writings. Visit again next month for the telling of hauntings and ghostly tales by Debbi Decker.