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My Induction into Paranormal Life-Part XIII

14 Jul

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A few days ago, on July 10th, 2013, it was exactly a year since I left my job. It’s really crazy how life can change so drastically in the blink of an eye; yet seem to come full circle again and leave you right back where you started. I’ve done a lot of self-reflection and soul-searching, and I’ve learned so much in such a short time; about myself and others as well.

It’s important to note that I didn’t know I was an empath until recently and throughout my life, I’ve always been very sensitive to the feelings of others. I have always been extra sensitive to negative energies, especially the ones that were focused toward me. I’d spend countless hours analyzing. I would feel responsible for them and turn them inward; thinking it was my fault. If only I was(n’t) ______, if only I wouldn’t have ______, or it’s because I _______, was common inner dialogue for me. There have been times in my life that this type of self-criticism has damaged my psyche to the point of despair. Once it got to the point of me being suicidal. Thankfully, I recognized the thoughts I was having at that time as being unhealthy and I sought help. I felt those familiar feelings last January, and I started looking for ways to climb out of the pit of despair I found myself in.

One very difficult morning, I couldn’t face going to work that day. It was a chore just to get out of bed most days, which made me habitually late during that time. Not wanting to face the judgement of being late yet again, I called in sick. After my husband left for work and the kids left for school, I found myself crying and unable to stop. I got out my lap top and Googled, “I hate my life.” I found a website that was about self-love and how to get it. It was a life coach’s web site. I didn’t know anything about life coaches, so I don’t know why I had the opinion I did, but I had always thought that life coaching was a bunch of, “Life is wonderful…lah dee dah…” and I really wasn’t in any mood to read about how great life is and all you have to do is think positive, etc. I started reading the information on the web site thinking it was going to be another one of those kinds of deals. I almost closed out the page without reading it, but something inside told me to give it a chance. My soul voice was guiding me to something.

…to be continued…

My Induction Into Paranormal Life–Part XII

3 Jul

After months of self-reflection I was finally able to understand why it was always so hard for me to make friends as a kid, and even later on as an adult. Being empathic can have devastating effects on one’s self-esteem! Thankfully, I worked my way through it and now I have the most self-esteem and confidence I’ve ever had. I still am a very giving, compassionate person; that hasn’t changed. What has changed is I won’t let myself be taken advantage of by people who take and take, drain my energy, and make me feel used. After all, any relationship–be it friendship, a romantic relationship, or a family relationship–can be destructive if all the giving is done by one and all taking is done by the other. A healthy relationship is one that is mutually beneficial for both parties.

In the end it was the twisted perceptions of a few individuals and their insecurities that led to the moment I was fired. Couple that with the knowledge that exactly one week after I was terminated, 9 other people were laid off–not terminated–and I was a very angry and bitter person for some time afterward. I felt wronged, and spent a lot of time asking, “Why me?” I came to realize that I would never get an answer to that question and if I did, it wouldn’t be the truthful, honest answer. I already knew why, and I knew they’d never admit it. I needed to get past the fact that what they did was wrong.

It is difficult sometimes to understand what motivates people to do the things they do. I find myself wondering how they live with themselves, sleep at night, or justify that kind of behavior to themselves. A lot of people would have become bitter and cynical after everything that happened. I was for a while, but I didn’t like how I felt. That’s just not who I am. I’m not made that way. In fact, my personality was probably what made me the easy target. After all, compare me to any other person on my team at that time, and I was the one who would go without a fight, without stirring things up or making a fuss. In that regard, they were right.

That day after meeting with my manager and director, and letting them tell me their version of why I was being terminated, I simply looked at them and asked, “Are we done?” They said we were, I took off my access badge and threw it on my director’s desk. There were so many things I wanted to say, but I said nothing. I turned around, walked out of the office, grabbed my things from the cubicle I’d been sitting in, and quickly and quietly walked out. I didn’t give them the satisfaction of walking me out in front of those that would be happy to see me leave. There was one individual in particular that I purposely avoided making eye contact with on my way out. I felt she was responsible for most of the issues. She was the ring leader; the pot stirrer, the gossiper. There’s one in every place of work–the person who spends so much time worrying about what everyone else is doing that one wonders how they get their own work done. There was just something about our two personalities that didn’t mesh. I am proud to say that I was always professional and civil to her, although it was very hard at times. I was worried what I might say or do should we lock gazes on my way out. I am normally a very peaceful and friendly person, but we all have our breaking points. This person pushed my buttons consistently for 4 years attempting to get a rise out of me. With my livelihood being taken away due mostly to her years of focusing on imaginary favoritism that she thought I’d received from my former manager and acting like a spoiled child, I felt it best to avoid her. After all, she caused the course of events leading to my firing. She wasn’t only affecting me, but my family as well. I knew all along it was she who put everything into motion and ultimately took food off of my table and gifts from under the tree for my kids during the holidays. I knew that one sure way to get me riled is to put me in “mama bear” mode. It was better for us both that I steered clear of her as I left. I went out the back entrance of the administrative area, kept my head up, and didn’t look back.

As an empath, I am very emotional. That trait alone kept me from fitting into Corporate America. I kept my composure the entire walk and elevator ride down to the lobby. I lost it when I asked my manager to please make sure that the form I’d gotten from a student I just finished meeting with got submitted. I choked it back, walked out the doors, and got into my car; my mind reeling. I remember being angry with myself for not telling my director off as I’d promised myself I would when the inevitable happened. After some thought; however, I knew I did the right thing. After all, I’m sure she would have loved for me to raise hell in her office. Then she could have called security or the cops and made a huge spectacle at my expense. I’ve worked through all the emotions– anger, grief, betrayal, bitterness, and so on. I have come away from the experience with wisdom and a love of self that I never would have had otherwise. I understand now that in order for me to get to where I am today, I had to experience all of it. I had forgotten one very important fact– that life is to be lived, not survived.

…to be continued…

My Induction Into Paranormal Life– Part XI

28 Jun

The issues at work caused me to take notice, do some self-reflection, and try to get a handle on what was happening. To the non-sensitive, non-empathic individual, it would have simply been a case of disciplinary action. I was late for work, and I was written up. Both of these things are true. It went way beyond that. There was a written warning. The first one I’d gotten in my life! When I received it, I knew there was more to it. I knew by then that something was about to happen. I’d felt an overwhelming sense of impending doom for months. I could feel the tension whenever I interacted with certain people, and I knew I wasn’t imagining it. My coworkers and director were civil to my face, but they’d unknowingly tipped their hands to me. They were dealing with a sensitive. I knew what their intentions were and I had no doubt they were looking for a way to terminate me. Because my work performance was exemplary, it took them over a year to do it, but in the end it turned out as I predicted.Tomorrow

It was that major amount of inner work that allowed me to analyze the things that were happening at work and see them for what they truly were. I looked at things that occurred during my childhood, teen years, and on into my adult years as well. I noticed most of the painful times had affected me so greatly because I was an empath. Conflicts were the worst, and I suffered so much more than the average person because I could feel the emotion and anger directed toward me, as if it were an object someone had physically thrown at me. When I had a disagreement with one of my friends or family members–anyone, really–I sensed their true feelings. Later, most would say they didn’t mean the things they said and they were just angry; and if they were not being honest about how they felt, I always knew. I  knew whether or not they were telling the truth and whether or not they were truly sorry.  That was especially hard on me as a kid.  It hasn’t gotten any easier.  I just know how to deal with it better as an adult.

There is nothing worse than having an argument with someone you consider a good friend, only to realize that they never really were your friend to begin with. They were only hanging around because of what they could get from you. That realization coupled with me having to learn to say no to people and stand up for myself was one of life’s hardest lessons for me. It remains so.  I’ve had to sever ties I never thought I’d have to sever. Some were people I’d known my entire life; others were people who I’d met at work.  All were opportunists that knew I had a people pleasing nature.  As soon as I began to start thinking about what I needed to be happy and voiced it, the opportunists in my life got very uncomfortable.  Most were gone in a flash.  Others stuck around a while longer, perhaps to see if I was going to stick to my guns.  I did, and eventually even the stubborn ones had to take notice.  For whatever reason, it seems empaths always have people in their lives that drain their energy.  I call these people Energy Vampires.  These types of individuals are drawn to an empath because of their common inability to say no or stand up for themselves.

Keep an eye out for more on Energy Vampires and how to defend yourself against them in a future post! In the mean time, if you’d like some great information about empaths and their common characteristics, you can find it at the following links:

http://www.psi-zone.net/guidebook.html  http://mysilentecho.com/dreamtongue1.htm .

…to be continued…

My Induction into Paranormal Life– Part X

27 Jun

Two years ago I was up to my eyeballs in circumstances! My husband and I had been dealing with severe behavior issues with our eldest daughter for approximately 4 years prior to the proverbial shit hitting the fan at my job. I’d managed to work through most of it.  I’d been blaming myself and feeling like a failure as a parent. I was an emotional wreck most of the time.  My work performance had started to suffer because I was preoccupied.  The leadership I had at that time was very understanding; however, and I was able to push past the problems at home and I threw myself into my work. After that, work had become my solace.  This was short-lived; however.

Ultimately, the company culture changed and morphed into something I no longer recognized.  My department director left to be the campus director at another location, and my manager, who at the time was my friend, got laid off.  After the dust settled, I found myself dreading going to work.  The leadership in my department had changed, and I’m not sure what it was that opened my eyes, but I remember walking into work one day and feeling anxiety hit me like a ton of bricks out of nowhere.  The tension in the atmosphere felt palpable to me, but when I went to my desk and looked around at my coworkers, no one else seemed to notice. I felt the tension in the air.  For the first time, I walked into a room and could sense how people were feeling.

I did not know at the time that I was a sensitive or that I was empathic.  I only knew that life had become very painful for me in both the figurative as well as the literal sense.  I was going to work every day to a job that I hated, but I was petrified to move on and start new somewhere else. I was paralyzed by the fear that I would end up in the same type of environment at a new job that I was suffering through at the current one.  I lacked self-confidence and I thought my situation at work had to do with something that was wrong with me.  “Hindsight is always 20-20.”  That’s what my soul says to me at this moment as I type. I am inclined to agree. My soul has always spoken to me, but I used to tune it out.  It took that despicable   work environment I was dealing with to make me start listening to it again.  It was like someone had removed the blinders I had on, and suddenly I could see things exactly how they were–no filters.

Thinking back I had started to feel it after my first director left. I had pushed it away thinking it was just apprehension over the changes.  Now my soul was telling me to take notice and watch my back.  I started listening to my soul voice, and began to take inventory of the things that I’d been denying and pushing away.  For instance, there were coworkers that I’d met years prior that I didn’t care for after just one interaction with them.  Something inside me said, “Stay away from this one.”  I just had a reaction to them upon meeting them that was unpleasant.  I would talk myself out of it because I knew nothing about them, thought it to be unfair to judge a person without really knowing them. I would think about how many times someone had judged me without knowing me, and would tell myself, “Give (him/her) a chance, that’s not fair.” As it turned out, my first impression was right every time.  I saw right through them and the masks they wore to hide their true natures. I sensed all the hidden agendas, all the hostility, and I knew the things they were saying behind my back. I didn’t hear them and no one had to tell me.  I simply felt it and I knew.

…to be continued…

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My Induction into Paranormal Life- Part IX

23 Jun

When I started in Saint Augustine working for the ghost tour company, I had a skeptic’s interest in the paranormal.  In the few short months I was there, I had experienced so many things and captured so much photographic evidence on a nightly basis, I could no longer deny there was something that existed in a reality separate from the one I knew. Some would call it another dimension, others an alternate reality, and still others would say it was a parallel universe.  I wasn’t sure what it was, only that I now knew something outside of the norm I was used to was showing up in my pictures, and somehow I just knew where to aim the camera in order to capture whatever it was in a photo.

Where it all started!

Orb, Anastasia Island, FL Lighthouse

Orb outside the keeper’s house, Anastasia Island, FL.

Orb outside upper story dormer

Orb outside upper story dormer window. B&B located in St Augustine, FL

The time came when I could no longer do the ghost tours.  I had a family who depended on me and the hours just weren’t the kind of hours I could keep and hope to spend any quality time with my husband or my kids.  There was also the fact that although I really did love the work and enjoyed giving the tours, I just wasn’t making the kind of money that could justify the lack of quality family time to me.  The job also wasn’t helping to support my family either.  I drove 45 minutes there and back. I really was only making whatever tips I received in an evening because the rest of my pay was going into my gas tank.  Ultimately the time came that I had to resign.  I didn’t want to, but I had to find something that would allow me to contribute to the household and help pay the bills.  I gained a lot of knowledge during the short time I was employed in Saint Augustine giving the ghost tours about the paranormal, and for that I will always be grateful.  I also think that in a lot of ways that job was the catalyst to the evolution of me as the person I am today and the life I am living today.

When I woke up the next morning, I took a walk around the house while my kids were gone and my husband was at work.  The depression I had fallen into after being terminated from my university job was evident everywhere I looked!  I wasn’t always a neat, organized person…my parents could tell you that, but after 4 years in the military and living on my own, I had become somewhat of a neat freak.  Of course, with 3 children, I had to learn to let some things go and ease up my expectations somewhat regarding the cleanliness of my home.  What I saw this day; however, was a bit beyond easing the expectations.  Everywhere I looked there was disorder.  There was no semblance of order or organization to be seen, from the kids’ bedrooms, to my bedroom, to my kitchen cabinets, to every closet.  Things were just thrown and left where they landed.  I began to see the mess as an external, visual representation of how I felt about my life.  I sat down on the couch and began to contemplate the events that had occurred over the previous months from the time I’d been fired, to working the job in Saint Augustine, to the present.  I realized that something had to change.  I just didn’t know what.

…to be continued…

My Induction Into Paranormal Life–Part VIII

17 Jun
Jen-Author of Soul Posts

Jen-Author of Soul Posts

Over time, I’ve come to realize that our lives are guided every day. Call it that “little voice inside”,voice of intuition, your guardian angel, or your sixth sense. Call it whatever you like, but please heed what it says to you. That little intuitive voice, that “gut feeling” has never steered you wrong, if you think about it. But, there are times when people tend to ignore it…I too am guilty of it from time to time. At times it is because you just cannot figure out why you are feeling the way you do, and you write if off as just nerves, stress, or lack of sleep. That little voice or gut feeling will simply keep gnawing at you until you acknowledge it. I believe that it is the voice of our soul advising us through our guides, and since most of us go through life without consciously hearing our guides, these feelings can feel like they are coming out of left field. Think of it almost like a soul subliminal. Your soul speaks to you; you cannot hear it on a conscious level, but your body reacts the same as it would had someone just said that very thing to you and you were able to hear it.

What came to me that day was a simple answer, indeed: Say a prayer and then lay down the rules/law regarding the fact that I did not want anyone hitching a ride home with me and then thinking they are going to scare the wits out my kids, husband, or me.  I would wish them well, and let them know I’d “see” them again soon when I returned to work. It seemed to work.  I know that I did not have any further strange occurrences in my home during the remainder of time I was employed there.

Working doing ghost tours and obtaining evidence almost every night, did light a fire of interest in me for the paranormal.  While speaking with a friend and neighbor, I found that she had the same interests as I did and wanted to start up a paranormal group.  We founded Orange Park Paranormal in December of 2012.

We started communicating with another, more established paranormal group in the area and learned of a group investigation they were putting together at a local courthouse that used to be a jail many years ago in the late 1800’s. We jumped at the chance to attend! While there, I eagerly snapped pictures and did get some very interesting shots. During the investigation, a local medium was also in attendance.  I would find out later that she told my friend that she felt I had potential.  This intrigued me.

Green Cove Jail and Courthouse with Local Haunts 078

…to be continued…

 

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…