Monthly Archives: November 2013

Thankful for the Completely Normal…

On this Thanksgiving Eve, I find myself having not much to say. Oh, I’ve got plenty to say, just nothing that would be on topic for this blog. No strange experiences. No intuition that I can proudly say I jumped on. No spirit visits. No cool dreams to discuss. No rapping on the walls, unless you count the front porch light that I broke hanging Christmas lights last weekend. It is currently swinging in the wind. No investigations. No deep thoughts or opinions on the last book I just finished. No EVP to share. (Of course, that would require me actually conducting an EVP session, or even finishing analysis of the joint bilocation experiment with Randy Keller. I’d better get on it, though… or he’ll have spectacular spirit voices from me after he kills me.) 

Sure. It would be nice to be able to report on some paranormal experiences, but I suppose I should be very thankful for so many things in my life that are completely normal. And I am. 

I hope to conduct a second annual Thanksgiving Ouija session, though. I’ll let you know if we experience any activity.

 

How about a few photo updates?

 

This year’s Christmas Tree…

 

A few random favorite things…

A few new candle holders. I love them! Perfect for a seance or Ouija session, don't you think?

A few new candle holders. The two on the ends came from Garden Ridge. The one in the center is a few years old and was from Pier One Imports. I love them together! Perfect for a séance or Ouija session, don’t you think?

 

Just one of the new coffee flavors that I'm absolutely loving right now for the season. My other current favorites are

Just one of the new coffee flavors that I’m absolutely loving right now for the season. My other current favorites are Gloria Jean’s Macadamia Cookie and Starbucks Vanilla. 

 

Thankful…

Meril decided to curl up with me this morning as I read Chip Coffey's book.

Meril decided to curl up with me this morning as I read Chip Coffey’s book.

 

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! Peace!

 

You might also like:

A Very Ouija Thanksgiving (from 2012) (Big Séance)

A Very Ouija Thanksgiving (from 2012) (Big Séance)

 

 

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Cemeteries at Night and My Pumpkin Mission

A photo of Johnnie’s grave during one of my recent visits.

 

Tonight I simply wanted to log on and tell you about my return trip to Johnnie’s grave to retrieve the pumpkin I left for him. 

I left a pumpkin at Clara’s grave, too. I knew they would be fine for a month or so, but also knew I had the responsibility of going back to pick them up before they rotted. I mean, I didn’t want to see Linus and Lucy waiting for the Great Pumpkin next fall if I return for a visit. That would be embarrassing, and I’d feel really bad. So yes, I was stressing out just a bit about getting back to dispose of the pumpkins. The only problem? After Halloween, when we get busy with our lives again and “fall back”, I’ve discovered it is nearly impossible to get to a cemetery (unless you live right next to it) before dark! Even on days where I get to leave work at a decent time after school, it’s getting dark on the way there! I had every intention for over a week to get back to both of these cemeteries, but lack of sunlight was really making it difficult. 

When it comes to cemeteries (and most situations in life, actually), I’ve always followed the accepted rules. For most cemeteries, unless otherwise posted, you are prohibited from entering between dusk and dawn. Well a few nights ago, I rushed out of school as early as I could, but darkness beat me once again. I was already en route to Johnny’s cemetery when I decided that this mission to dispose of a pumpkin was important enough of a reason to go to that cemetery in the dark. I was frustrated and tired of the daily race and wanted to check this off my to do list.

I’ve spent hours and hours in cemeteries, both as a child and as an adult. They’re like peaceful parks to me. Though I don’t recall a cemetery visit after sundown, I was pretty confident that I wouldn’t have any fear issues. I thought back to the day I returned to do some follow-up investigation at an abandoned farmhouse… in the dark… without my team… and how good it felt to prove to myself that I could do it. I had no worries. My confidence wavered a bit, however, as I tried to locate Johnny’s grave. In the daylight, I knew that path like the back of my hand. At this point I’d been there probably ten times. But I assure you, it’s a whole different story in the dark.

By the time I made it to Johnnie’s grave, I was more worried about cops or someone in one of the few houses nearby thinking I was a trouble maker. This is also why I didn’t use a flashlight. I didn’t want to draw attention to myself. But surely anyone would be understanding of my pumpkin mission, right? I felt a bit rude dropping by for such a brief visit, but I quickly greeted Johnnie and explained that I was taking his pumpkin back. I hoped he understood. I sent a quick prayer for him to be at peace and then crouched down to search for the pumpkin. In the shadows, my eyes finally settled on it. It was still there. It was either upside down or no longer had its stem, but it was hard to tell. I grabbed with both hands, but my fingers went right through the pumpkin. I had to hold back from blowing chunks right there. I waited too long. Fortunately, I was prepared with a trash bag and managed to scoop it all (or what I hoped was all) in the bag. I think I said something goofy to Johnnie about this awkward moment before heading back to the car that was parked nearby on one of the paths in the middle of the cemetery.

In the car, the next priority was finding my hand sanitizer. Once my hands were taken care of, I had a fascinating moment just sitting there in a silent car. I was enjoying the surroundings and realizing this wasn’t something you see every day. I wasn’t too frightened. In fact, I could have stayed there a while longer, admiring all of the silhouettes off in the distance. Once again, the fear of police lights driving up the hill to the cemetery got me moving quickly. I made my way to the main road and headed for home, while planning the next day’s rushed visit to retrieve Clara’s pumpkin. Would it be in the same condition? In my head, I made a few quick notes on the lessons learned during this trip to grab a squishy pumpkin in the shadows. 

 

You may be interested in my other posts in a series titled “Adopting Graves”, where I’ve enjoyed sharing my journey of adopting and researching two graves during the autumn season. For previous posts, visit:

 

Adopting Graves 2013: My Thoughts and a Look Back on a New Tradition
Adopting Graves: Second Visit with Clara and Johnnie

Adopting Graves: Some genealogy on our little Johnnie and his family
Adopting Graves: More on little Clara and her family
Adopting Graves: A New Autumn Tradition (2013)

 

 


Sylvia Browne (1936 – 2013)

 

Sylvia Browne

October 19, 1936 – November 20, 2013

 

Spiritual teacher and psychic Sylvia Browne didn’t have the easiest life, and controversy sometimes followed her, but today she passed on, presumably to a beautiful and picturesque Other Side that she wrote so much about. I absolutely love her books, and am convinced that many of her critics have not read one. I just know that she’s working on a new book right now, well, at least after her guide Francine drops her off at one of the marble benches inside the Hall of Wisdom for the cool scanning machine, which she claims is our first stop after reuniting with our pets and loved ones.

She always claimed that she was on her last incarnation, so what now? I wouldn’t mind having an extra guide! And if Francine is looking for another gig, the more the merrier! I have to tell you, it makes me want to have a séance right now. I sincerely hope she reports back to someone soon! 

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Our lives on this earth, no matter how briefly or how long they last, are just moments in the context of the eternity God breathed into us at the instant He created us. Our real lives, joyful and glorious and perfect, are back Home, on the Other Side, where we all came from, the place we’re wistfully Homesick for every minute we’re here whether we’re consciously aware of it or not, and where we’ll go when we abandon these flawed, cumbersome bodies and soar Home again as alive as ever. Clinging fiercely to this one life, as if it’s all there is and all there will ever be, would be no different than clinging fiercely to one random day of school, as if there’s nowhere else to go but there and nothing more to learn.

–Sylvia Browne, from Prophecy, 2004, Health and Medicine, page 217. 

 

More Sylvia Browne:

Sylvia Browne: In her own words...

Sylvia Browne: In her own words… (Big Séance)

Sylvia Browne: Are members of the "spiritual community" turning on her? (Big Séance)

Sylvia Browne: Are members of the “spiritual community” turning on her? (Big Séance)

 

 

 


11 fascinating search terms that brought you here.

For a paranormal blog, at least mine, the Halloween season is the peak of the year. This year was no exception, as this past October was my highest month for views to date. Today I decided to look through the enormous list of search engine terms that brought people to BigSéance.com in just the last 30 days. Some of these terms are the same ones I see every day and pretty much all year long. Some are hilarious, and some are so bizarre that I would blush if I included them, but some are definitely fascinating.  

 

Just a few of the search terms that brought people here in the last 30 days

 


does dave tango like britt

This one really made me chuckle. I sure wish I knew the answer, and I’m sorry if I disappointed the reader who visited. I showed up seventh on this list, at least today. 

dog seance

I don’t know what this one was about, but I love dogs AND séances, so I’d love to know. With that said, I’m proud to say that today I showed up first on this search. 

dinosaur skating

I was kind of shocked to see this one. I’m only assuming that this reader was taken to a post I wrote after having a dream about a dinosaur who was figure skating. Did someone else have a similar dream? I sure hope it was a dream. What are the chances of that? Or was someone who remembered reading about my dream searching specifically for that post? In looking back at the post, I realized I also included a funny video of a dinosaur skating on the frozen water in Central Park. Could that have been the reason for the search? Who knows.  

grandma astral projection

Someone is experimenting… and I love it!

riding evil entities before seance

I hope to God that this person meant “ridding evil entities”. Riding evil entities is not recommended, and perhaps I should write a piece on this important subject, you know, for those who don’t know. Guess what? After poking fun at this one, I looked and I am first in this search as well. Ha! 

how to communicate with marilyn monroe
how to catch elvis presley voice on evp

I can’t WAIT till the how-to article is written for these two. It has been too long. Let’s learn how to do it correctly. 

how to make paranormal skeptics look wrong

I would never condone this… but it was sure funny to read it. I can only assume this person was directed to my post on Sharon Hill, How Does the Skeptic View Paranormal Folk?

christian testimony seance

I’m not sure what exactly this searcher was looking for, but I couldn’t imagine a large list of results showing up. I tried performing this search myself, and I discovered I was wrong. I gave up after ten pages, never finding one of my posts. I did find, however, a video segment from Pat Robertson’s show on CBN. Thank God none of my links were anywhere near. I feel like I need to go wash my hands now. 

timestream research group

This is definitely not a search term that the average person would even know about. If you perform this search today, I’m the second link to pop up. It’s good to know there are other giant nerds out there. 

patrik keller documentary

No, I am not featured in a documentary, nor have I produced one. I do not spell my name that way, but neither does Patrick Keiller, the filmmaker I’m assuming they were searching for. I did end up being listed fourth in that search. 

halloween music for spinning class

I wouldn’t be caught dead in a spinning class, but I’m super excited that someone was looking for Halloween music to entertain their spinners! I’m not really sure where exactly this searcher landed here at the blog.

ghost moaning in my house

Sounds like a problem. Hopefully it wasn’t a bummer when it brought them to An Evening With The Uninvited (1944)

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All-Time Popular Search Terms

In case anyone is interested, the vast majority of visits to my blog, and the reason for such growth in the last several months, is due to those searching for several variations of the following terms:

perron family/andrea perron/harrisville haunting

House of Darkness House of Light, Volume Two, by Andrea Perron, and more on The Conjuring

thomas edison and the phonograph

Thomas Edison and the phonograph

Jimi Hendrix

Communicating with Dead Celebrities and the Famous

black eyed kids

Black Eyed Kids

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Perhaps I should be contributing more on these topics? 

 

You might also like: 

Survey Says (Answers!) (Big Séance)

 

 


No One Dies in Lily Dale

I don’t remember who recommended it or brought it to my attention. It may have been one of you. So I purchased No One Dies in Lily Dale, the 2010 HBO Documentary, from Amazon and it arrived on the doorstep this evening. I didn’t waste much time before settling down with some coffee and a blanket, and throwing the DVD in the computer.

I’ve wanted to visit Lily Dale since I learned about it for the first time a few years back. I know several of you have been… I enjoy seeing the pictures. I can think of three major reasons I want to go: to surround yourself by open and enlightened people, many who are psychics and/or mediums who have the ability to give readings or deliver messages from loved ones; to see the physical beauty of the homes, the nature, and the surroundings of the peaceful community; and lastly, to be in a place with so much history and so many artifacts from the early days of the spiritualist movement.

This documentary captures everything that I was curious about, like just what is a reading like there? Are there community members that just live there all year? Is everyone nice and friendly? Is there a gate? (Seriously, that has been one of my questions.) You’ll also see skeptics or open skeptics roaming around. But for sure, it seems that in the documentary,  many of the visitors had recently lost loved ones. 

Check this documentary out. I think my Lily Dale book might just be next. 

For more on Lily Dale and its history, visit www.lilydaleassembly.com

See the trailer below. 

 

 


Guiding Dreams and Channeling

Metaphysical spiritual teacher, Eugenia Oganova, has offered to share some wisdom and guidance about dreams and channeling from her recent book, Awakening the Harmony Within.” I think you’ll enjoy her post. When you’re done reading here be sure to click through to her website and blog using the link at the end of the post. Eugenia offers a great deal of practical metaphysical spiritual wisdom that will certainly enrich your journey.

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Guiding Dreams and Channeling

Whatever we experience is REAL to us. If you see/sense/feel a being’s presence next to you – that is a truth for you. If you started with a guided visualization of, for example, entering a cavern, but then the vision took off on its own, expanding into something you saw – that is real. If you had a vivid dream and felt some extreme emotion in relationship to it – it is real.

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There are three types of dreams:

Mental processing dreams,

Emotional processing dreams,

Guiding dreams.

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The mental type we all know very well – these are the annoying dreams of the images from your day – they occur because the brain is tired and overloaded, and even though the body is asleep, the brain is still running energy through the same neuron pathways that were used during the day when we were awake. These dreams mean nothing except that we are not in the Higher Self!

The emotional dreams are intense. Most people are scared of vivid dreams, especially if they seem to be about something negative (like that your friend dies, or that you find out something you don’t want to), and then either dismiss the dream as “stupid” (this is avoidance of true reality), or take the dream literally (as in, if someone dies in the dream, this means they will die in material life). Neither is true! The emotion is the truth, not the story! The emotion you felt in the dream is the message – something you are already feeling in your subconscious but for some reason do not want your conscious mind to see, it is coming out to be noticed. It is not aprediction of how things will go, it is simply a message about what already is in your subconscious. Vivid dreams are not predictions, but messages about what is that we did not notice…

Guiding type dreams are not only intense, but you can swear they are real! The reason for this is that they involve not only the emotional body, but also the mental and etheric bodies – i.e. they feel almost physical to your perception, so much so that sometimes during the day after such a dream a person might feel that they are remembering a “real” memory, only to realize it did not happen in material reality. These dreams are also NOT predictions. The future is not written, we make it as we go through our choices and actions, so if you believe the dream to be a prediction of the events to come, you might cement it into your experience through your own emotional reaction – fear or need). Vivid guiding dreams are very important to pay attention to and de-code, though! Why? – Because they do come from the Higher Self. It is a divine part of us that is showing us something. But it means different things – that is where the wisdom is! These dreams are never literal, always symbolic. Track your feelings to what you experienced and try to link these to the real life circumstances you are experiencing (internal or external) – chances are there is an answer for you in the dream!

Channeling is a way of aligning with the higher frequencies. All cultures throughout history cherished individuals, who were able to communicate with the unseen. There are many names for these people – prophets, seers, lucid dreamers, shamans, oracles, mediums, psychics, channels. Some were born with an innate ability to remain in alignment, others had that ability activated by their own Soul, or through special training.

Channeling energy through you while dreaming or while awake can bring a message from the non-physical reality. But who do we channel when we get a message from the Other Side? These messages can come from a person who had died but is somehow linked to us emotionally (like a deceased relative), from an ancestor who is linked to us spiritually (it can be our genetic ancestor, or someone from our Soul-group), or from the energy guides who support us on our journey here in matter.

Channeling while dreaming falls into the category of “guiding dreams” and does not require one to be in a very expanded conscious state – just being open is enough. Conscious channeling while awake can only occur when one has expanded his/her range of consciousness (i.e. the vibratory range) to match the range of (or at least to overlap with) the entity being channeled. You can read more on this in my Channeling Article here.

Interacting with energy guides, angelic entities, yours and others’ Higher Selves – all of these require your faith in something outside of this matter-based world. If you want to be able to change the programming of your system, you have to first believe that there is more to your system than the matter-body, then believe that your consciousness can envision a different you, and that you can become that new you. Over-thinking is a limitation that blocks an ability to consciously dream and/or channel. We must become open (“porous”) and silence the personal Egos (thoughts) so that we cancel out all interference, able to perceive the message as it comes through us.

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Article by Eugenia Oganova, based on “Believing Without Proof” chapter of her book “Awakening the Harmony Within.”

You can order a copy of Awakening the Harmony Within at

EugeniaOganova.com/AwakeningtheHarmonyWithin

and on Amazon (Kindle and Paperback)

From the Author ~

I have always felt myself to be “on a mission” of enlightment – for myself, others, and the planet. My clairvoyant abilities allow me to have an intimate relationship with Earth, the Galaxy, and the Universe, which have never felt far away to me. Being able to perceive the multidimensionality of universal energy, I live in a perpetual experience of Source’s Light/Code in every moment, parallel to regular life’s circumstances, thoughts and feelings. The holographic nature of our reality was apparent to me from birth, and the exploration of that hologram became my life’s work. I have studied science, history, archaeology and astronomy in Russia and in the U.S. and have a BFA degree from the Art Institute of Boston. I am an autodidact in anatomy and biology, nuclear physics, archaeology, ancient history and mythology, metaphysics and Theosophy. I now live in Maine with my husband, and have a company called Pravda, Inc. (which means “truth” in Russian). For over twenty years now, using my ability to see and read energy, I help people figure out solutions to many life’s challenges through my books, seminars, and private sessions. More information on various Metaphysical Spiritual topics my site www.EugeniaOganova.com and BLOG.

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You might also like: 

Dreaming of Flying and Dogs (Big Séance)

Bring Out the Fire (Big Séance)

Why did the full-blown apparition cross the road? (Big Séance)

The Hand That Rocks Your Dreams (Big Séance)

Being Able To Read In Your Dreams (Big Séance)

Human Collective, Gandhi, & Angelic Realm Séance (Big Séance guest post by Marilyn Painter)

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Best and Reputable Psychic Mediums: Leave a recommendation or testimonial

Have you been to a psychic or medium recently? Are you seeing validations left and right? Have you found someone with such a gift that you have little doubt in their ability? Does this person deserve some kudos or perhaps a testimonial?

Would anyone find it useful if we compiled a list of recommended and reputable psychics/mediums that you have had personal experience with?

My suggestion would be to leave the person’s name or business, the general geographic area, and a website (if available) in the comment section below. I’ve decided that for this post I will only accept positive comments and recommendations. Also, in order to protect the privacy of those individuals, I will not publish phone numbers or personal e-mails. Several of my readers are of the psychic variety, so shameless, self-promotion is welcome. 

Remember: 

  • Recommendations/Testimonials

  • General geographic area

  • Website (if available)

  • Positive Only

  • No personal phone numbers, or e-mail.

 

Let’s get this list started. Maybe we’ll create a great resource! I’ll go first! 

 

My recommendation: Marilyn Painter, Psychic Medium and Spiritual Counselor, Ahtah Sanctuary, St. Louis MO area.  Testimonial: I have learned so much in my readings and classes with Marilyn. My experiences with Ahtah Sanctuary have truly changed my life! I want to encourage anyone who feels they are ready to open themselves up for more love and light to make an appointment or sign up for a class today! Thank you, Marilyn!

My recommendation: Marilyn Painter, Psychic Medium and Spiritual Counselor, Ahtah Sanctuary, St. Louis, MO area.

Testimonial: I have learned so much in my readings and classes with Marilyn. My experiences with Ahtah Sanctuary have truly changed my life! I want to encourage anyone who feels they are ready to open themselves up for more love and light to make an appointment or sign up for a class today! Thank you, Marilyn!

 

 

 

 


Recent books to land on my doorstep…

In the last month or so I’ve been busy jotting down titles of books that people have recommended. I’ve got several books already on my “to read” shelf, but these are the latest books to arrive on my doorstep. I haven’t been able to read as heavily as I would prefer lately, so trying to figure out the next few books to read will be a tough decision! Have you read any of these? Do you have other recommendations? 

 

This is what I’m currently reading. I very much enjoy Michelle’s books. She’s smart and informed on many topics. I think this is kind of her follow-up book to her The Ghost Hunter’s Survival Guide, which I’ve recommended to many people, including a few homeowners who have contact me for help or advice. If you have a chance to listen to one of her interviews on a Jim Harold podcast, you should. I could listen to Michelle Belanger all day!

 When I went to see Chip Coffey this fall in St. Louis, I sat by a lovely woman who asked the exact same question that I wanted to ask. There were a few other interesting synchronicities between us that evening as well. Her question was if Chip recommended any books for people who were interested in learning about and developing their intuitive or psychic abilities. Without hesitating, he mentioned a few books by Echo Bodine, and after she wrote the information down, I promptly stole her pen and did the same. I’m pretty sure this was one of the books he mentioned.

 

I really enjoyed seeing Chip Coffey, but I was embarrassed that I hadn’t read the book before the event. I’m going to get on that real soon. For more information, see my 10 important reasons to go see Chip Coffey at a “Coffey Talk” near you!

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This book was recommended by someone in the blog world. I will probably wait until next fall to read this one. 

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I’ve been interested in the early spiritualism movement for a while now, but this will be my first book that specifically covers the spiritualist community of Lily Dale. 

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I honestly don’t remember what led me to this purchase, but there aren’t many books on the topic of the Ouija, so I ordered it. The only other book on the topic that I’ve read to date is Ouija Gone Wild by Rosemary Ellen Guiley. 

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After seeing and reviewing The Conjuring, and after reading the first two books of Andrea Perron’s trilogy that tells the real life story, I wanted to see what some of the other “Warren files” were about. 

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This one will be another treat for next fall, but I’m excited already. 

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You might also like: 

Vintage: A Ghost Story (for the gay teen in your life) (Big Séance)

Vintage: A Ghost Story (for the gay teen in your life) (Big Séance)

Messenger Between Worlds: True Stories from a Psychic Medium (Big Séance)

Messenger Between Worlds: True Stories from a Psychic Medium (Big Séance)

Haunted Summer Reading Part One (Big Séance)

Haunted Summer Reading Part One (Big Séance)

Remote Viewing and an Unstructured Trip through my Mind (Big Séance)

Remote Viewing and an Unstructured Trip through my Mind (Big Séance)


Adopting Graves 2013: My Thoughts and a Look Back on a New Tradition

This is the fifth post in a series titled “Adopting Graves”, where I’ve enjoyed sharing my journey of adopting and researching two graves during the autumn season. For previous posts, visit:
Adopting Graves: Second Visit with Clara and Johnnie
Adopting Graves: A New Autumn Tradition (2013)
Adopting Graves: Some genealogy on our little Johnnie and his family
Adopting Graves: More on little Clara and her family

 

On a Saturday in the middle of August, I decided to begin a new autumn tradition of adopting graves. I chose the graves of two souls, each in a different cemetery. At this point I feel strangely close to Johnnie Michel and Clara I. Gegenbauer. From that day on, I visited these graves every two weeks up to October 30th. I need to go back at least one more time to pick up the pumpkins and things, that way if I decide to visit in the distant future, there won’t be a pumpkin patch to walk through. For more on the inspiration and how I chose these two graves, visit my very first post in this series.

 

Johnnie Michel, son of Henry and Matilda Michel, July 5, 1879 – January 21, 1884

 Johnnie, who died at four and half years old (reason unknown), lived with his family on the upper floor of a general store on Main Street in Wentzville, Missouri. His father was a prominent Wentzville citizen and built and owned the general store. His mother raised the family (Johnnie had an older and a younger sister), and presumably helped tend to several of the clerks and extended family members that lived with them above the store.

Below are some of the shots from different visits to Johnnie’s grave (I tried to bring different flowers/gifts each time.)

 

Since posting my genealogy for Johnnie’s family, I discovered that the family’s general store was located where the “Wentzville Millwork” building is in the picture below. I’m not sure how old the remaining buildings to the left are, but I wanted to make sure and include them in the picture to help your imagination. The structure that housed the general store was demolished in the 1970s. To my knowledge there are no existing photos of the general store, which was operated by the family until at least 1910.  The second picture below is a view of the surrounding downtown area across the street from that lot.

 

 

Clara I. Gegenbauer, March 29, 1884 – March 17, 1889

As you may have noticed, Clara died just short of her fifth birthday as well. She was the fourth out of eight children by parents Eugene Gegenbauer (1847 – 1916) and Isabelle Coulter Gegenbauer (1853 – 1930). Like Johnnie, there is no record of how or why Clara died at such a young age. Her father Eugene (whose parents immigrated from Germany) and mother Isabelle (whose parents immigrated from Ireland) were married in 1876. After immigrating, Clara’s paternal grandfather was a physician and teacher in the Ballwin, Missouri area. He died in 1880.

Out of the family’s eight children, Eugene and Isabelle had 7 grandchildren, including my new friend Gayla’s father. Clara’s last remaining sibling, Jane Sophia “Jennie” Gegenbauer, was Gayla’s grandmother. She died in 1976.

For more on Clara, or for photos of her parents and the family’s farmhouse, click HERE

 

On my second visit with Johnny and Clara, I was not prepared for the feelings I would have when seeing the blunt symbolism of the dead flowers in the exact same arrangement that I had placed them in only two weeks earlier. Though this is a completely normal thing to see in a cemetery, it was a beautiful and sad at the same time.

  

 

  

 

 

Other favorite photos from my visits to see Johnny and Clara 

Clara’s grave can be seen on the left (with the bright flowers) near the top of the hill. The graves surrounding her are her parents and siblings.

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Once again, Clara’s grave can be seen off in the distance at the top of the hill. 

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As I mentioned before, I have to make at least one more visit to pick up pumpkins, but I highly doubt that it will be my last. I’ve become so familiar with the path to find them, and I’m sure I’ll never forget. I’m already excited to start the journey over next year with two “new” graves.

 

 


Béla Bartók, Wet Goblins, and the Post Halloween Blues

Me doing to nerdy Halloween thing with my kids at school. That's me in front of the crackling and almost warming digital fire for spooky stories.

Me doing the nerdy Halloween thing with my kids at school. That’s me in front of the crackling and almost warming digital fire for spooky stories.

I doubt I’m the only one, but I get so worked up and excited about Autumn and the Halloween season that it’s already on my mind in August (no doubt you’ve noticed). By the time Halloween actually arrives, it is similar to the feeling that many people get every Sunday. You try to relax and enjoy the only day left of your weekend, but you end up wasting the day dreading the miserable Monday blues. Sound familiar? But on Halloween Eve, I found myself shoving those annoying “it’s almost over” feelings aside, as I did my best to plan this year’s schtick for my kids at school. A teacher nerdy teacher never knows how middle school students will react to something we think is cool. Some things have backfired on me. I often get the eye roll. (Gosh I HATE the eye roll.) But I took a risk and decided to try something very different this year. I think it worked. Why in the world would I allow my kids to have fun at school on Halloween when there are lessons to learn and endless assessments to take? Because it’s FUN, it’s already on their minds all day, and it only happens once a year! Traditional learning can peace out for a day. But here’s my little secret. On Halloween, it’s probably more about me than it is them. But hopefully it’ll be one of the memorable days they remember before forgetting about me forever…. until two or three years from now when I pull up to the drive thru for my morning egg and cheese biscuit while they try to figure out why I look so familiar. Sigh.

Our school’s amazing and friendly librarian allowed me to peruse a few spooky books for a great story to read aloud. I chose the familiar-to-most (but not the students, apparently) urban legend “Knock…Knock…Knock” from More Short & Shivery by Robert D. San Souci.  You know this one, I promise. Two teens stranded in a broken down car (under a tree) on a night when a convicted murderer, “the Hangman”, escapes the local asylum. One teen decides to leave to go get help while the remaining frightened teen hides in the back seat waiting to hear a sign (three knocks) on the roof of the car, signaling that help has arrived. I don’t need to go on, do I?

I lit a crackling digital fire on the screen behind me (it really seemed to warm the room), and with a flashlight, did my best to pull out my third-place-in-Storytelling-at-the-state-speech-and-debate-tournament-circa.-1995-skills. First period was just practice. By second period, I had it down! The kids loved it, and I think they were surprised that they were hearing a story so scary from a teacher at school. Then they thought it was cool that it was from their library.  I was lucky… and it was fun (but very tiring by the end of the day).

Then I had them get out a piece of paper and a writing utensil. A few groans. I put a spooky haunted mansion picture on the screen for inspiration, and I played Béla Bartók’s third movement of Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, written in 1936. Years later, this piece was used in the now classic Stanley Kubrick film, The Shining. They were to listen and creatively write a short spooky story over the eight-minute duration of the piece, with a couple of minutes at the end to wrap it up. I suggested a few paragraphs, but was surprised to see so many students writing an entire page or more. And they were excited about it! We turned the fire back on and read as many of the stories as we could. There just HAS to be some future authors from my school. So many of them left their stories for me to read that I now have a rather large stack to make my way through at some point. Many of them were excited to take them home to either finish or share with others. I was very tempted to seek permission to share a few of them here. 

Here’s a great recording of the Bartók piece. Why not try the same writing activity? Let me know how it goes!

 

 

So, you see? We were nerdy. AND we had fun! AND we were educational… and all because I wouldn’t have had the focus for much of anything else on All Hallows Eve.

 

The rest of the evening started out a little strangely. It rained off and on all day. By 6:00 I still hadn’t set up in the front yard for the trick-or-treat schtick. I was about to make alternative plans in front of the television when I heard goblins walking the sidewalks outside. I should have known that sprinkles wouldn’t keep kids away from candy. So I missed a few, and the “schtick” was modified and I rushed around moving it to the front porch. My awesome neighbors were already participating as I was almost caught bah humbugging on Halloween. There weren’t nearly as many kids out as usual, but we saw some cool costumes and had lots of fun, as always. It was sure cold and windy though. 

I hope everyone enjoyed the run up to Halloween! The good news is there’s still plenty of Autumn left, and my eye is already on that big Turkey Dinner in a few weeks! 

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By the way! Before I sign off, I’m not sure who has written the absolutely lovely reviews of my blog on TopParanormalSites.com, but I really appreciate it! Thank you for reading!

 

Peace Out!

Patrick

 

You might also like: 

An Evening With The Uninvited (Big Séance) 

Skin and Bones (Big Séance) 

Angel Moments: Music as Mediation… Or is it? (Big Séance)

 

 


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