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My Induction into Paranormal Life–Part VII

10 Jun

On this particular day, as I sat on my bed trying to think of what to do, I realized that I honestly had no idea.  I thought of researching on the internet, and then decided against it.  I felt there was a part of me that already knew what I needed to do and I just needed to get in touch with that part.

Looking back to certain moments in my childhood, I can remember having some experiences that were strange, that I couldn’t explain, and that had terrified me at times. I would tell my mother about them, and she would brush it off and tell me I had an overactive imagination.  It felt better to agree, so I did, and the things that scared or intrigued me as a child ceased to happen or more realistically, I had trained myself to ignore them as I grew older.

As an adult, I only experienced things I couldn’t explain when I was in the throes of an extreme emotion, such as great stress, grief, or anger.  As a teen, I remember my mother telling me about things happening in the house during those times, and attributing them to my emotions. At the time, I thought she was joking since she had always acted so disinterested in the things I told her.

That day as I sat on my bed reflecting back on what she told me and the memories I had from when I was a child, I began to realize that it wasn’t an overactive imagination I was dealing with.  The analytical part of my mind struggled to get a grasp on what had happened. It was; however, impossible to dispute the facts.  There was no logical reason for those three raps on the bathroom door.  I was now an adult, living in my own home with my own children, and I had experienced something again.  I was no longer that child who laid in a darkened room, pulling covers up over my head to keep the “monsters” away when I heard strange noises or someone’s voice other than my parents’.

I had started meditating as a way to quell anxiety initially per a therapist’s advice in my 20’s when I experienced a panic attack at work.  I started doing it again regularly a couple of years ago, when I was again plagued with anxiety that seemed to come out of nowhere at work.   I was now in the habit of meditating daily and since I was going to anyway, I decided to try to see if I could somehow get the information I needed to stop things from following me home after work.  After about 30 minutes, I had a very clear, very simple answer.  It was so simple,  in fact, it seemed too simple. After testing it out; however, I know it works.

…to be continued…


My induction into paranormal life…Part VI

7 Jun

I mentioned previously that I’d taken measures to protect myself.  I should clarify that I never felt threatened in any way, but when my work life started to affect my home life, I had to take steps to keep the two separate.

One morning after working the night before, I was getting ready to go grocery shopping.  We all have our quirks, and one of mine since childhood is being incredibly paranoid when I’m home alone.  Before heading into the shower, I lock every door and window; including my bedroom door and the bathroom door. I ‘m not sure who or what I think is going to “get” me, but I know I feel much better knowing there are several locked doors between me and anyone who may try!

I hooked my phone up to a small set of external speakers, picked an upbeat playlist, turned it up to a rather loud volume, and was be-bopping away and singing along while I showered.  All of a sudden, I heard 3 distinctive raps on the bathroom door. They were forceful and loud enough that I heard them over my crooning and the music,  and they startled me.  Knowing I was home alone, I froze.  Slowly and cautiously I stepped out of the shower and grabbed a towel.  I picked up my phone and texted my husband, “You didn’t happen to stop home for something did you?” His response–“No why?”  I texted my mom who lives next door the same question. Same answer.  I stood in my bathroom bewildered, but curious.  I unlocked and opened the bathroom door and cautiously peered into my bedroom.  Nothing.  I opened the bedroom door and peered out into the living room.  Nothing.  I walked all around the house wrapped in a towel; dripping wet, looking for someone–all the while knowing no one was there.

I picked my phone up and started snapping pictures. Up to that point, I had never investigated my home.  I had always suspected that if I’d captured any evidence, it would only serve to make me uncomfortable in my own home, which is something I didn’t want.  I guess you could call it my “ignorance is bliss” rationale.  This time; however, it was undeniable.  I’d just had a possible paranormal experience in my home.  I reviewed the pictures, saw nothing out of the ordinary, and set about trying to debunk the knocks.  There is no plumbing in my closet next to the bathroom door to possibly make the noise, nothing had fallen, no one had stopped in…after all, every single door and window was locked!  I went around and checked again just to be sure.  Yep. Locked.

I was bewildered and I had an overpowering feeling that I was not alone in the house.  I was not frightened; after all it was mid morning and the sun was streaming through my home.  There was an overall feeling of peace in the house, along with a feeling that I had company. It wasn’t a negative, “I feel like I’m being watched,” feeling.  It was simply a feeling that I had a presence with me in the house; benign in nature, just sort of hanging out and observing.

I continued to finish getting ready and headed out to the store, got my groceries, and returned home.  On the drive home it hit me.  Had an earthbound spirit come home with me the night before? Pulling in the driveway, I shook my head and said aloud as if to convince myself as well as anyone else who might be listening, “Now you are being ridiculous! Nothing like letting your work affect your home life, Jen! You are seriously sleep deprived if you are going to start considering that!”

As I put away the groceries, I couldn’t stop thinking…what if?  What if someone had come home with me.  I decided even though I thought I was being ridiculous, I would take care of it anyway.  It couldn’t hurt, would make me feel better, and if there was someone hanging out in the house without being invited, it would solve that problem as well.  After I finished with the groceries, I went into my bedroom and sat down on the bed to contemplate what I’d need.

…to be continued…

My induction into paranormal life…Part V

30 May

When I woke from my nap, I went outside to enjoy some sun, clean the pool, swim and relax.  At about 4 pm I went inside to get dinner ready.  The evening was pretty uneventful.  The days I had off went on fairly routinely, with me doing cleaning around the house, laundry, dinner, and spending the evenings with the kids and my husband.

The evenings that I worked, I would get home at around 3 am, climb into bed exhausted, and get up with my husband to help him get the two older kids out the door for school, and to get our youngest ready for daycare.  I would normally take a nap in the afternoons so that I could be rested for work those evenings.  After what happened that first night; I would always feel a twinge of apprehension during that part of the tour.  Most of the time I would allow the guests to take their photos and I would stand where I felt was a safe distance away.  I often told the tour guests of my experience there, but not in as much detail as I have here.  I would always remember the dream I’d had, but I eventually chalked it up to coincidence that I’d had the dream that night as opposed to some other night.

I had forgotten about the books I purchased until I was cleaning up our bedroom a couple of weeks later.  I have a chair on my side of the bedroom that my grandfather gave me when he first moved in with my parents.  He was a rather tall man, and the chair had belonged to one of his girlfriends. Since it was much too small for him to use, he asked if I could use it, and it’s been in my bedroom ever since.  I had set up a small reading area on that side of the room, but for the most part the chair gets used for clothes and anything else that I don’t feel like putting up right away.  I think I’ve actually used that chair to sit and read once since I’ve had it!  As I was sorting through the pile of clean clothes on the chair and putting them away, I saw the bag with the books inside.  After I finished cleaning, I put dinner in the oven and sat down to thumb through the books.

One of the books I’d purchased was written by a woman who was the former manager for the ghost tour company in St. Augustine I worked for.  Curious, I looked in the Table of Contents to see if the Inn where I’d had my incident was mentioned. I found it, and I excitedly turned to that particular chapter’s page and began to read.  All of the stories I’d learned for the different stops on the tour were mentioned,  and then I got to one that was unfamiliar.  She described the experiences of a family who had stayed there years ago over Halloween.  The wife reminded me of myself; interested in investigating the paranormal and obtaining evidence. She had chosen to stay at that particular inn purposely, due to its haunted reputation. The woman mentioned having a visitation by a female spirit during her stay.  She said the woman was of Spanish decent and she had also seen what she thought to be the woman’s death in her dream.  Intrigued, I read on. The wife had done some research and said she believed this spirit to be the spirit of a woman who had been “…killed by a Spanish soldier’s sword; although no documentation exists of her death.”  What was even more interesting was there was hardly any documentation of this woman at all. There were birth records; all others were destroyed in the first of two fires that devastated quite a bit of that part of old St Augustine.  The Inn; however, and the corner it stands on as well as the next block made it through unscathed during both fires.  The woman in the book mentioned that she planned on continuing to research until she found out with more certainty who this Spanish woman was, and if she could document any involvement with a Spanish soldier of the era.  I remember thinking since the death I saw in my dream was very similar to the one the woman described in the book to the author, this must be the same spirit.  In my opinion, there is no succubus at that location, only the spirit of the Spanish woman merely trying to get her murder solved and get justice.  Coincidently, a little later in the book, there is a story of a Spanish Soldier said to walk certain streets of Saint Augustine’s historic district. This soldier, according to the book, had an affair with a well respected Spanish gentleman’s wife when he was alive. This Spanish gentleman was said by some to be the Governor of Saint Augustine during the first Spanish occupation; before the British arrived. There are some conflicts in the stories; however, which happens when dealing with folklore passed down through the generations via oral tradition.  In one version, the soldier was hired by the Governor to kill his wife. Because the Governor was bound by strict Catholic doctrine to his wife, divorce was not an option. He saw this as the only way to be free to pursue another woman he had become infatuated with. Another version of the story is that the soldier fell in love with the Governor’s wife and they had an affair. When the Governor found out, he had both of them killed, and the soldier and Spanish woman both are earthbound spirits due to the fact they have not yet gotten justice for their murders. I worked for the ghost tour company for a rather short period of time, only 3 months. In those 3 months, I had experiences almost every night I worked. I never had another negative experience like the one I had my first night.  I believe this is due to the fact that I started taking measures to protect myself.

After finishing for the night and before heading home, I would say the following aloud, “I am going home now.  Anyone who may be with me must stay here.  I do not want anyone following me home; interacting with me or scaring my children. I will see you again next time I work. I am the living; therefore I make the rules on this plane.  Please respect my wishes.” It may seem silly to some; especially those who are skeptical regarding the existence of Spirit.  In my work, I often come across those that have the same views I had before I started doing those ghost tours in Saint Augustine. They think if you ignore the activity it will go away, or that by denying Spirit’s existence altogether; they will be safe. You see, being a skeptic doesn’t necessarily protect you from a spirit draining your energy, forming an attachment to you, or communicating with you–especially if you are a sensitive and are unaware of your abilities–which was the case with me.  I believe that it is easier for spirits to communicate with us in our unconscious sleep states; hence the dream I’d had about the Spanish woman’s murder.  I firmly believe that spirits know when a person is a sensitive; whether the person is aware or not.  Spirits with a consciousness, those that are aware they have passed on, will be drawn to a sensitive because they know their presence is felt.  I have always attracted spirit activity, and friends jokingly call me The Ghost Magnet. I wasn’t aware until about a year ago that the reason I did was because I was a sensitive and an empath.  My propensity for attracting paranormal activity was a big reason why I was hired.  I never had one tour go out with me where the guests were disappointed.  There were always personal experiences; such as hair pulling, someone being touched, or hearing someone whisper in their ear, and there was always some form of photographic evidence captured.

The ghost tour company I worked for had two customized hearses that we used to drive our guests to the various stops on the tour.  They definitely added to the creepiness that guests are looking for when they sign up for a ghost tour.  The hearses our company owned had been actual working hearses in their “former lives” and were said to be haunted as well.   I was pretty skeptical about the validity of those claims until I showed up for work one night and the hearse I normally drove was taken by another driver.

…to be continued…

My Induction Into Paranormal Life–Part IV

27 May

The part of the story that I hadn’t shared with my husband was the disturbing dream I had after going to bed that night.  In the dream I saw myself standing back outside across the street from the Inn, only this time I was alone.  It was pitch dark outside and looking down, I noticed I was in my bare feet.  I looked up at the top story windows and stepped off the sidewalk into the street. I noticed that I was standing in a dirt road.  Next, in the dream I found myself lying on the bed in what I somehow knew was the room where the negative entity was said to reside. Then the perspective of the dream changed and I could see myself lying on the bed from up above.  I floated up above myself, watching and hearing the television show that was on in the background. I must have returned back into my body because in the next instant, I awoke feeling as if someone was on top of me.  I was struggling for breath and fighting to get out from under a man who appeared to be dressed in an old style military uniform.  He reeked of liquor and had a crazed, angry look on his face as his hands squeezed my throat. Again the perspective changed and I was once again seeing what was happening from outside of myself.  I was looking down from the ceiling at the man who was straddling me, choking the breath out of me.  I noticed that my clothes were torn and somehow I knew that this man had forced himself on me after I had refused his drunken advances.  After a moment or two, he reached into his overcoat and with two hands held something over his head that gleamed in the lantern light of the room. Looking down, it was if I’d been transported back hundreds of years in time.  This room was no longer the room where the dream began.  There was no TV now, the walls were made of stone, and the furnishings were more ornate and looked like the type that would be in the room of a noble lady of the early Spanish period.  As he held what I now knew was a sword over his head by the gleaming, lengthy blade; I realized I was now back on the bed, looking up at him in sheer terror.  I had managed to gain enough breath back into my lungs after he let go and mustered up all of the strength I had, managing to crawl out from under him and up against the wall at the head of the bed.  I bent my legs and with all of the adrenaline coursing through me, I kicked as hard as I could.  It was hard enough to knock him off balance and he fell off of the bed, hitting his head with a loud thud on the floor. Not knowing where I was or how to get out of the room, I ran blindly as fast I could.  My hair had fallen over my face and was obscuring my view.  Stumbling blindly with my throat burning, coughing, and gagging as I struggled for breath, I ran head on into a waist high dresser situated at the opposite side of the room.  I looked up and saw the terror stricken face of a woman I had never laid eyes on before staring back at me from a mirror made of what appeared to be some kind of polished metal.  Raven black hair, brown eyes opened wide in frantic fear, olive skin…all features that were not mine reflecting back at me, but somehow I was her! I looked down at a hand that was not mine that moved as mine and brushed the tousled hair out of my eyes.  I was startled out of the disbelief of being in  the body of someone else by the image of the man moving behind me.  I whirled around just in time to feel the blade of his sword plunge deeply into my chest with a hot, agonizing crunch.  My knees buckled and I fell to the floor, looking up at the man standing over me with a satisfied smirk on his face.  Once again I was looking down from above, watching this beautiful woman fade away from life before my eyes. The man heaved his sword out of her breast, placed it back inside his overcoat, and gave her one last kick before leaving the room.  I woke with a startle in my own bed, sweaty and terror stricken.  My hands flew to  my chest expecting to find a wound.  I remained there for a moment trying to make sense of what I now realized with great relief was a very vivid dream.  Once I’d gained my composure, I grabbed my journal and pen from the table beside my bed and wrote down every detail I could remember.  Shaking off the last remnants of panic from the dream, I got out of bed.  I went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror just to make sure I was indeed me again. Hands still shaking, I headed to the kitchen and brewed some coffee, made a cup, and went outside to have a much needed cigarette.

The day wore on and as I went about my daily routine of doing laundry, cleaning up and applying for jobs online, the dream faded more and more into the background. The next few days went by without incident and I headed back to St Augustine for a final run-through with my friend/manager. All new drivers were required to be evaluated on their knowledge of the route and the script before being approved to work on their own giving tours. I arrived, parked, and headed up to St. George street.  We had arranged to meet up at the store our employer owned and have lunch while I finished my new-hire paperwork.  As we were enjoying our lunch, she asked me how the training had gone a few nights prior and what I thought about the tour.  I told her that I had enjoyed the tour, up to the point where we made the stop where I’d had difficulties that night.  I described to her what happened to me and how I felt during the time we were on that particular stop.  She seemed to find the story interesting, but really didn’t say much about it.  I didn’t tell her about the dream I’d had that night; to this day I’m not really sure why not.  After I completed my walk through, we went back to the store and she gave me my schedule for the next two weeks and my direct deposit form to fill out.  While I was filling out the form, she also suggested I purchase a couple of books they sold in the store about St. Augustine’s haunted history.  I bought them, gave her a hug and headed home.  When I got home I set the bag from the store with the books inside on my bedroom floor and settled down on the bed for a nap.

…to be continued…

My Induction Into Paranormal Life…Part III

26 May

At first it was fun, asking a supposed spirit questions and getting intelligent responses.  The other guests asked the spirit to blink the lights twice for yes as instructed by our guide, and asked several yes or no questions.  This went on for about 5 minutes until finally my colleague continued on with her tour. I personally didn’t ask any questions.  I didn’t really believe that what was happening was real.  Honestly, I thought that there was something in our guide’s pocket that she pressed to make the lights blink, and later; after all the guests had gone, she’d let me in on the trick.  I thought this way until approximately 30 seconds after she resumed speaking.  What happened after that 30 seconds passed started a chain of events that made me not only a believer in the effectiveness of using a K-2 meter to gauge energy fluctuations, but also in the legitimacy of the tour.  I no longer thought there would be secret “parlor tricks” I would be let in on after my training ended for the night, to impress the guests.  I realized that the ghost tour was exactly what it was advertised to be–a tour that took guests through the purportedly haunted hot spots of St Augustine, gave them a chance to take photos and capture evidence and possibly have experiences of their own.

I stood across the street with the other tour guests as our guide took us through the  history of this particular Inn.  As I listened to her give us the details of  how the ghost of a kindly old slave woman is said to reside on the top floor, I began to feel strange.  At first I felt dizzy, and I ignored it; assuming it was only a temporary thing, and would pass. Another minute or two went by, and I started feeling even more dizzy and light-headed–to the point that I removed my jacket thinking a blast of the chilly air would make me feel better.  It didn’t.  After another moment or two I had broken out in a cold sweat and felt awful.  I was nauseous and was doing all I could to remain vertical.  I started running down a mental checklist.  Had I eaten?  Was I locking my knees?  How many hours had it been since I’d eaten?  Yes, I’d eaten.  It had only been about 2 hours since I’d last eaten, and I wasn’t locking my knees.  So why was I feeling this way? I didn’t have a logical explanation for it.  I thought that maybe I was coming down with something; after all it was September and the flu had been going around. I had taken this job after being unemployed for going on 3 months, and I really needed it!  There was no way I was going to screw it up for myself by getting sick, so I was doing the best I could to ignore how I felt.

I remember our guide pointing to the upstairs window on the top story of the building as she spoke and as I looked up to see the window of the room she was referring to, my gaze was caught by movement over to the left.  I noticed there was a porch swing on the back patio.  Because of the angle I was standing in relation to the patio, most of the swing was obscured.  I could tell it was a porch swing by the chain as well as a small part of the back, seat, and arm that were visible to me from where  stood.  I also noticed that the swing was moving back and forth. By this time I was really feeling lousy, and I didn’t want to embarrass myself by falling out in front of all our guests into the street.  I remember one of the guests asking me something, and I pretended not to hear her.  I was intently concentrating on not tossing my cookies into the street, and I was afraid that if I opened my mouth to answer her, that was exactly what would happen.  Not a great way to start a job or make a good impression!  I focused on the part of the swing I could see.  Back and forth, back and forth.  Concentrating on that instead of how awful I felt seemed to help somewhat.

Soon we were off in the direction of the patio as some of the guests had asked to take a peek since this was one of the only B&Bs in the historic city with a pool.  We all followed our guide to the patio.  As I rounded the corner where the swing was, I noticed a chain across it with a sign that said, “Please do not use the swing. It is in the process of being painted.”  I reached for my phone to take some shots of the swing and realized that the battery was dead.  I had taken pictures at the previous stop and the battery had been at 80%.  Shrugging off the confusion,  I walked over to our guide and asked her to let the guests know to take some shots of the swing.  They did, and one of the women came up to us to show us what she’d captured.  In the middle of the swing in one of her photos was an anomaly that appeared almost like a wisp of smoke, but too opaque to be smoke.  It was in sort of an S-shape.  In the next photo, it was gone.  My coworker asked me why I’d asked the guests to take pictures of the swing.  Did I know something would be there? I told her that I’d seen it moving only minutes before, and really expected to see guests sitting there when we came around the corner.  We all agreed that was a bit strange, and after speculating for a few moments on what it could be, we again turned our attention to our guide.

We left the patio, went back around the side of the building again, and our guide began telling us about experiences guests had in the room next to the one inhabited by Ms. Lilly, the kindly old woman. She said that this room had an energy that was the only negative energy documented there.  She mentioned that the experiences were documented mainly by men who stayed in the room and began describing them.  She described them feeling as though they were being held down in the bed, unable to move, and finding it hard to breathe.  She also mentioned all the symptoms I had experienced just moments before.  She said the entity in that room was thought to be a Succubus.  (If you aren’t familiar, a succubus is a demonic type of entity.  It is thought to be a rather sexual energy that seeks out men for its victims.)  Because she said it was thought to be a succubus, I figured my experience was probably nothing more than just being tired, the onset of the flu, or something I ate.  Although I felt off throughout the rest of the tour, I did start to feel a little better as the night went on.

The tour ended, my coworker and I parted ways, and I made my way up St. George street and back to the prepay lot where I had parked my car.  I remember feeling a presence behind me, like I was being followed.  I even looked over my shoulder behind me a few times, but didn’t see anyone.  I got in my car, checked the back seat, locked the doors, started it and began my hour long journey home.  I remember thinking to myself that I was not going to like walking back to my car at night in the dark.  I’d never been to St. Augustine at night by myself before; frankly, I normally don’t go anyplace I’m not really familiar with at night. I figured this was the reason that walking to my car had me feeling out of sorts. As I drove home, the closer I got to my house, and around familiar surroundings, the better I started to feel.  I arrived home and walked into the house.  Instantly, I felt a huge feeling of relief.  There was no more nausea, no more fear, no more dizziness.  My husband was waiting up to see how my night went and I proceeded to tell him about it.  I told him that I didn’t want him to worry, and since I felt better I figured it was just a case of my overactive imagination getting the better of me.  We both agreed that was the most logical explanation.  It wasn’t until a few days later when I spoke to my friend; who was also the tour manager, that I began to realize that wasn’t the case.

…to be continued…