Monthly Archives: December 2013

A fascinating sketch, from what I remember.

On that day, I had been teaching in a room that wasn’t mine. Occasionally, weird schedule things happen at school, like someone having to use my larger room to photograph groups for the yearbook, or sometimes I end up subbing for another teacher on my plan period. As a middle school teacher, you learn to roll with things like this. So for part of that day, the kids and I were in a more traditional classroom that is very different from the two rooms that I call home when I’m at school. 

At the end of the day, a student from one of those earlier classes dropped by to hand me a very nice looking piece of artwork… a beautifully detailed sketch. She was on her way to the bus, so in a rush I thanked her for the gift that was clearly the result of a lot of time and patience… and heart.

For every year, I keep a folder with the title “Treasures” written on the tab, and I knew that this sketch was going in. One of my professors in undergrad suggested I do this, and so right now I have twelve of them, one for every year. Each one is stuffed with various awkwardly shaped items, and so at this point they take up almost an entire drawer of my large file cabinet.  

After the halls cleared and the buses were leaving, I got a better look at the sketch as I was walking back toward my office. There I was. Though it was a cartoony version of myself, it was a perfect likeness. It was from the perspective of this student from earlier in the day in the other teacher’s classroom. I was behind the desk in the front corner of the room. The details were amazing. Everything from that room was in this drawing. What made it really special were the words, similar to those wordle things that are so popular now, that were creatively added around me on the paper. These words represented qualities that this student sees (I’m assuming) in me, such as “kind”, “compassion”, “funny”, “music”, etc. Seeing this made my heart melt in one of those moments that any teacher experiences when they receive a gift like this. But I do remember thinking, it’s too bad the setting of this sketch wasn’t in one of our own music classrooms. Ah well. Good kid. 

I opened the top file cabinet drawer and was just about to file it in “Treasures 13-14”, when something caught my attention. There was a detail from the sketch that I had completely missed. Are you kidding me? In the opposite corner of the front of the room, as if in the shadows, this student had drawn an older woman standing out of the way. She wasn’t a part of any of the activity going on in the room. She was merely present, though she appeared to have watchful eyes. There was NO older woman present with us in that classroom earlier! The hairs immediately stood up on my neck and arms, and a chill went through my entire body. I recognized those eyes. I recognized the hair. No. It couldn’t be! Or could it? The older woman appeared to be the late Verna Marie Owen, better known as Miss Owen, from several of my recent blogs.

Was my mind playing tricks on me? Did I just have a strange, yet creative student? (She certainly wouldn’t be the first!) Or does she simply have an exceptional ability that most do not? Was this her way of letting me know that a certain someone was keeping an eye on our learning activities? Cool! No… creepy. Both!

I grabbed my phone from the nightstand and fumbled for my glasses. It was close to 5am. Though I added a few creative details to keep you reading, most of this dream was typed out in a simple note on my iPhone… from what I remember.  

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You might also like: 

“So, I had this dream…” (The Voices Blog)

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)

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The Spirits of Ouija: Four Decades of Communication

From our 2nd Annual Thanksgiving Ouija Session.

From our 2nd Annual Thanksgiving Ouija Session.

There are a few great people out there who have served as inspiration for my recent interest in spirit communication through the Ouija, and I’ve blogged about these folks before. If you happen to be looking for books on the topic, you probably won’t find many. I should rephrase that last statement. If you’re looking for serious books by people with experience and years of research, and not written out of fear, you’ll only find a few. Karen A. Dahlman’s latest book, The Spirits of Ouija: Four Dacades of Communication is one of them.

 

I loved the book! Here is my review. 

Karen A. Dahlman, who is a true Ouija-ologist, begins by giving the reader a brief history of the Ouija Board and the misconceptions that many have, thanks to Hollywood for the most part. As I mentioned in a recent post, Karen and I tend to share the same opinion when it comes to fear and the Ouija.

In chapter 2 of her book, Karen says:

“Fear is a big reason for Ouija being cast off into an oblivion of negativity. People often fear what they don’t understand. It is easier to fear something than to take the time to learn about it. Fear is first and foremost created by assumptions. Assuming that all communications with the Beyond, coming from outside our typical experiences and the world of our everyday senses and faculties, is critically labeled ridiculous or blasphemous, is narrow-minded in itself. Just because these experiences can’t be measured by scientific theory or understood by religious communities, speak to the unfair and harsh criticism Ouija Board has received. Quite often, this type of communication is attributed to ideomotor effects (involuntary and unconscious motor behavior) by the scientific community, while attributed to demonic and evil forces by  many traditional Christians. Could there be a deeper reason for the ridicule and fear, thus the unfair judgment?” 

We then get to learn about Karen’s history with the Ouija Board, how it all began, the spiritual growth she has gone through, and the wealth of experiences and learning she and many others around her have gained over four decades.

 

My favorite parts!

There are several parts to this book that I really appreciate. First off, as someone who experiments an awful lot with spirit communication, I love that she discusses the proper use of the board, preparing the space, and just how she goes about conducting a session. She also includes an example of an opening protective prayer that I’m going to start incorporating into my sessions. 

Through the Ouija Board, Karen has communicated with the deceased, such as spirits and earthbound ghosts, but also communicates regularly with angels, guides, ethereal beings, and the higher self. She includes many of these examples and the messages that came across, but I never expected to read about her communication with animals, both living and dead! Have you ever thought about animal communication and the Ouija? I hadn’t! The communication that she includes from her own living pets is just fascinating! You read that correctly. She communicates with her living pets. 

 

About the Author

From her author page on Amazon.

Karen A. Dahlman believes that life is meant to be a joyful experience, driven by the expression of our creative inner potentials. She believes that we are able to tap this great source within when we open ourselves to all possibilities.

Within her latest book, The Spirits of Ouija – Four Decades of Communication, she shares all of the insights she gained, while opening up her communication with conscious beings from the Great Beyond via the Ouija Board.

Karen has a strong spiritual connection to her spirit friends as she has throughout her entire life. Highly experienced as a Ouija-ologist (one who studies the uses of the board), she teaches others about the positive benefits of using this tool as a means for expanding and deepening one’s world and expression within it in the most profound ways.

Karen’s background is as diversified as her writings are controversial. She began her career as a licensed and board certified art therapist, hypnotherapist and counselor after graduating the University of New Mexico with both her bachelor and master degrees. For over a decade Karen worked within multiple settings, with varying populations, including her private practice and public workshops, while providing creative and expressive means for her clients to find health.

After spending her formative years living all over the United States, she made Southern California her home in 1999. At that time, Karen hung up her therapy shingle and entered the high-tech. industry of telecommunications and founded CVC, Inc, a consulting and utility design firm for the fortune 100 wireless carriers. Coming upon its thirteenth year in operation, Karen remains at the helm as CEO.

Coming full circle within her career, from right brain to left brain to center brain, she strives to maintain a balance of her total brain within her heart. Karen shares within her books, her process of doing this with herself and with others. She endeavors to help others deepen into their unique possibilities to discover their own empowerment to affect personal growth, their spiritual evolution, and a passionate expression of their calling.

 

What’s next for Karen?

I want to personally thank Karen for her advice and encouragement with my own Ouija sessions. She truly knows her stuff. I asked her about her future projects and in her own words, she’s working on a book “based on the personal development my spirit friends have assisted me and other women with via the Board. It’s a book entitled: The Alchemical Woman: Becoming the Queen. It speaks to the transformation we women must go through in order to discover and find out true empowerment. The book is a culmination of all my experiences of evolution/growth via the Board, including my practice as a psychotherapist, and working with many women along the way, helping them uncover their inner truths and strengths. My spirit friends actively participate in the writings as we traverse down this path of balance and evolution. This book incorporates their teachings, our learnings and the process to discovering true empowerment.” I’m hoping boys are allowed to follow along in this future journey. 🙂

 
For more on Karen A. Dahlman, visit www.karenadahlman.com

 

You might also like:

Ouija Gone Wild (Big Seance)

Ouija Gone Wild (Big Séance)

 

Thanksgiving Ouija Session 2013 (Big Séance)

Thanksgiving Ouija Session 2013 (Big Séance)

 

 


Christmas Eve at Machpelah Cemetery, Lexington, Missouri

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You might also like…

Oak Grove Cemetery, St. Charles, Missouri(Big Séance.com)

A Lonely Old Country Cemetery at Magic Hour – Bellflower, Missouri (Big Séance.com)

Walnut Grove Cemetery, Boonville Missouri(Big Séance.com)

Machpelah Cemetery, Lexington, Missouri (Big Séance.com)

Adopting Graves 2013: My Thoughts and a Look Back on a New Tradition (Big Séance.com)

Images of America: Lexington, Missouri (Big Séance.com)

 

 


Shop Home for the Holidays

As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve been absent for most of this holiday season. I hope to be back to my normal routine soon. 

One thing that has become traditional for us, is our home for the holidays “shop local” day. It’s a chance for us to check out many of the shops and antique stores in my home town of Lexington, Missouri, including Missouri River Antique Company, and the River Reader. You may remember my exciting school locker find from last year. Here are some of our finds from yesterday. 

A collection of old hymnals and song books that date back to the late 1800s and very early 1900s. I found these at Lexington Mercantile Antiques & Fabrics

 

This next one is a music book used in the “Lexington, MO. Public Schools”. Though I don’t know when they were actually used, the copyright is 1924, which would probably put it in use during the time period of several of the old yearbooks from Lexington that I own. I was very excited about this one. I found this one at Missouri River Antique Company. It’s perfect for my collection. 

 

 

 

This old carrom game board is one of Joe’s finds, also from Missouri River Antique Company. He also found some cool padlocks and keys. 

 

 

Then I returned to Grandma’s house to look for more photos of Miss Owen. I found two, both from 1953. 

 

 

This one is of Miss Owen posing with her pen pal group. For more on Miss Owen, click HERE

 

 

 

I had to include a photo of one of Mom’s candy cane coffee cakes. This is a thirty-plus-year holiday tradition for her. 

 

 

Happy Holidays!!!

 

 


An Exciting Upcoming Investigation

In the past, I’ve been lucky enough to join two other paranormal teams, JPRS and JHPS, on two different investigations. In both the Fort Chaffee Prison investigation and the Carthage Opera House investigation, I learned so much from everyone I investigated with. They were really great experiences, and I gained some good friends! In honor of me being so excited about an upcoming January investigation with this same group of amazing investigators, I thought I’d share some fun shots from the previous two investigations. More to come, I’m sure.

Fort Chaffee Prison

 

Carthage Opera House

 

 

 

You might also like:

Papa Jack’s Pizza: Final Investigation Report (Big Séance)

200th Post and Fort Chaffee Prison Spirit Box Session (Big Séance)

EVP: “Hey! Great job, man.” Maybe? Maybe not.  (Big Séance)

Analysis Timeline: Okay so maybe I am a little ridiculous (Big Séance)

Investigation of a Private Residence in St. Peters, Missouri (Big Séance)

 

 


Fear and Spirit Communication

On more than one occasion recently, the topic of fear in areas of the paranormal or spirit communication, such as the Ouija board, has crossed my path. So it has been on my mind lately. Below is a somewhat unstructured blabmentary on this topic.

It all began with a reader who commented on one of my Ouija posts. Most of the people who caution me about the use of the Ouija board refer back to their own personal negative experiences. Most of these experiences involve either sleepovers, dares, parties, or other situations where there probably isn’t much planning, focus, or reverence involved. In most of these situations where people are gathered and dabbling for fun, there’s not a lot of seriousness or trust involved, and with so many hands on the planchette, I’m likely to be skeptical of any paranormal event or communication that you tell me about.  Sometimes people will use the term “dabbling” with me, or warn me of evil, as if I’d never ever thought about the possibility or read a book on the topic. It’s a bit insulting to me when people compare my very positive and structured experiments, based on reading and research, with a drunken party or a sleepover from when they were twelve.

That’s okay though. People only have their own experiences to draw from, and we’re all different. In fairness, this particular comment was left on a post from a year and a half ago, a time where I was only starting to read about the Ouija, and I’d conducted no formal sessions yet. It was a respectful comment and was intended to be a warning, or perhaps encouragement to use caution. As I’ve mentioned before, in my opinion, all tools of spirit communication fall in the same boat. Having to fear a Ouija board because it has a sort of magical power to bring in evil spirits, yet thinking a digital audio recorder is fine, makes no sense to me. And I’ve also publicly mentioned how I don’t hold much belief in demonic or evil entities, demons, etc. Negative or nasty spirits who were negative or nasty humans, sure. Bad energy? Of course. But the concept of the devil is something that makes me chuckle when it pops up in a serious discussion. Oh I know, so many of you say “In order to have good, you must have evil”, or “You can’t have angels without the devil”, but I don’t really get that opinion either.

My opinions of demonic or negative energies aside, I’ve always practiced spirit communication responsibly, often grounding and centering, praying or asking for protection, being in a light and positive mood, etc. I also should once again point out that I have never actually had any successful Ouija sessions where I witnessed any communication or paranormal activity.

Right now I’m in the middle of Karen A. Dahlman’s book, The Spirits of Ouija, Four Decades of Communication. On this topic, we seem to share the same opinion, for the most part. She discusses how people fear the Ouija board out of ignorance. They believe what Hollywood or religious leaders want us to believe, and they don’t want to take the time to learn about it. I’m really getting a lot out of it so far. I wanted to include a passage that pertains to fear, but I haven’t taken the time to send her a message asking for permission. She really knows her Ouija! She has a great interview out there on one of Jim Harold’s podcasts.

Another catalyst for this commentary was a portion of Theresa Caputo’s book, There’s More To Life Than This: Healing Messages, Remarkable Stories, and Insight About the Other Side from the Long Island Medium. My mom is a big fan of hers, and she sent the audio book to me as an early Christmas gift. At one point in the book, Theresa discussed how those who fear negative energy and experiences, breed negative energy and experiences. In other words, if you expect it you’ll get it. She also talked about how many of the homes she’s cleared of negative energy had a lot of religious items displayed around the house, as if it was a dare, or an obvious attempt at over protecting themselves. This has really gotten me thinking, and it has sparked a few discussions among friends recently. I suppose it was kind of like an Oprah “aha moment” for me.

Am I still talking? Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend! 

 

You might also like: 

Thanksgiving Ouija Session 2013 (Big Séance)

EVP/Ouija/Spirit Box Session: “Ouija… Board” (Big Séance)

A Very Ouija Thanksgiving (2012) (Big Séance)

Ouija Gone Wild (Big Séance)

The Paranormal Podcast… To Ouija or not to Ouija? (Big Séance)

 

 


Oak Grove Cemetery, St. Charles, Missouri

 

 

Interested in my other cemetery posts? 

A Lonely Old Country Cemetery at Magic Hour – Bellflower, Missouri

Walnut Grove Cemetery, Boonville Missouri

Assumption Cemetery, O’Fallon Missouri

Cravens Cemetery, Camden Missouri

Cemeteries: Concordia and Emma, Missouri 

Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis, Missouri 

Forest Grove Cemetery, Lexington, Missouri 

Lexington’s Old Catholic Cemetery 

Machpelah Cemetery, Lexington, Missouri 

Two Smoky Mountain Cemeteries 

Just a Stroll through a Random Cemetery on the Way Home

 

 


Thanksgiving Ouija Session 2013

From our Second Annual Thanksgiving Ouija Session

 

Mom and I sat down for our 2nd Annual Thanksgiving Ouija Session. We hit record, sat in silence for a quick prayer/meditation, and then began. 

“We would like to request assistance from angels, guides… to guide us in communicating with any spirits or entities from the light that would like to communicate with us tonight, through the Ouija board, or the recorder, or through the spirit box. We’d like to learn from the Other Side, learn about the Other Side, or to receive any messages from loved ones, or spirits who would like to help us… from the light.” 

We asked all of the typical questions for initiating spirit contact and gave plenty of time for response. We also encouraged communication through sounds, knocks, speaking, etc. Mom suggested blowing out a candle. 

“I want you to be able to communicate in the best way that you can, so if that’s not moving this planchette on the Ouija board, then you can knock, or speak, or make a noise. Can you let us know somehow that you’re here and willing to communicate?”

We kept the session light and even started up some general conversation while we were waiting. I encouraged spirit to give us suggestions or advice to make communication easier or more successful.

No activity. No responses.  

After fifteen minutes, I turned on a “new” spirit box, formerly owned by Stephen Hill, investigator and author of Something Unseen. Many of the same questions were asked again, including requests to say our names, before and after saying them aloud. 

Our spirit box session lasted approximately 17 minutes. 

After an initial review of all audio, no EVP were heard. During the spirit box session, a few possible “hello” responses could be considered, and several unimpressive quick snippet responses that didn’t last longer than one or two clicks or stations. 

We gave the Ouija board one more try for just a few minutes before once again asking for feedback and suggestions on making communication easier or more successful. 

No activity. No responses. 

“Thank you for your energy and your presence. Thank you to any spirits who were here trying to communicate with us. And thank you to our guides for protecting us and helping.”

 

Hope you weren’t disappointed. Better luck next time? At least we got some pretty pictures out of the session, right? For last year’s Thanksgiving session, check out A Very Ouija Thanksgiving

 

From our Second Annual Thanksgiving Ouija Session

 

You might also like:

My Rapper: Missing you, old friend (Big Séance)

An Early Summer Update & Some EVP from Papa Jack’s Pizza (Big Séance)

200th Post and Fort Chaffee Prison Spirit Box Session (Big Séance)

 

 

 


Chip Coffey’s “Growing Up Psychic”

Back in October, I was encouraged by a work friend to accompany her and her husband to see Chip Coffey in St. Louis. It was truly awesome, and I blogged about that experience in my 10 important reasons to go see Chip Coffey at a “Coffey Talk” near you. I immediately ordered his book, and just as I expected, it was very enjoyable. But it was also very informative. I know, I know. How boring, right? Keep reading…

When I bought the book, I apparently didn’t read the description on the back. I assumed that like most books by psychics, it would be about his psychic experiences growing up, as the title suggests. What I didn’t quite realize, is that even though he shares his story, it is really meant to be a guide or handbook for those people who may work with or have children with psychic abilities. As the star and psychic from A&E’s hit show Psychic Kids: Children of the Paranormal, there is perhaps no one better fit to write this book for us.

As an educator, I’ve always tried to be sensitive and aware of the many different kinds of children I work with. They come from different cultures, backgrounds, family structures, socioeconomic status, etc. But they also come to me with different gifts and exceptionalities. As someone who has grown up with a disability and some exceptionalness myself, I’d like to think my students know that they can trust me to be there for support. But with so many students, and with so many crazy days where I don’t get to stop and breathe or have more than a few moments to myself until the buses leave the parking lot (and sometimes not even then), I wonder how many students I’ve had with exceptional psychic abilities. How many of those students may have been struggling? Am I open to seeing the signs? Have these students viewed me as someone who is accepting and sensitive to those abilities or gifts? 

Like clockwork, just a few days ago a student mentioned to me that she was going to have to spend some time alone in her house after school, and that she wasn’t a fan of having to do this. When I asked her why, she said her house was haunted. She said she’d seen apparitions and scary things, “like Jack the Ripper stuff”, according to her. As I walked with her out of the classroom while she talked, I consciously made an attempt to listen to clues and be supportive. In fact, as it seemed that she was working hard to convince me that her story was true, the last thing I said to her as she went off to her next class was “I believe you.” I’m not sure I would have been on my toes or “with it” enough if it hadn’t been for just finishing this book. 

Do you have children? Do you work with them? This will be worth checking out. 

 

From the back of the book and Amazon.com

NO one knows more about psychic kids than Chip Coffey, and no expert on psychic kids is better known throughout the world. These kids are widely misunderstood, misjudged, and misdiagnosed. InGrowing Up Psychic, Chip Coffey offers indispensable information for anyone who interacts with these extraordinary youngsters—parents, educators, medical professionals, mental health clinicians, members of the clergy, paranormal investigators—and adults who faced the challenges of growing up psychic.

In Growing Up Psychic, drawing on his firsthand experience and the true stories of kids he has worked with and helped, Chip Coffey shows you how to:

• Determine if a child is really psychic—as opposed to simply imaginative or
seeking attention
• Identify the different kinds of psychic abilities kids (and adults) might have
• Gain control over when and how psychic information is received
• Safely connect with others in the psychic community
• Deal with skeptics and disbelievers

 

Me with Chip Coffey

Me with Chip Coffey

For more information on Chip, visit www.chipcoffey.com.

 

You might also like: 

10 important reasons to go see Chip Coffey at a “Coffey Talk” near you (Big Séance)

Béla Bartók, Wet Goblins, and the Post Halloween Blues (Big Séance)

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

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

Children who have spirit friends (Big Séance)

House of Darkness House of Light, Volume Two, by Andrea Perron, and more on The Conjuring (Big Séance)

 


Well I Asked For It: A Special Visitor At School

 

Me at work in the classroom... about a decade ago.

Me at work in the classroom… about a decade ago.

My sixth grade choir students were in their performance spots on the risers. With me on the floor in front of them, they were focused and listening to my instructions. With our concert coming up next week, we’ve recently been doing our best to be in a serious and focused place during rehearsals. In plain English… we’re seriously cramming! 

Now push pause and briefly travel back in time with me. Let’s travel back three blog posts ago, as I shared both my frustration with the lack of paranormal experiences lately, and my thankfulness for the “completely normal” things in my life. I suppose that was a little whiny request thrown out into the ether. Again in plain English… I asked for it. 

Now back to my kiddos on the risers. They really were focused… and so was I. Midway through one of my sentences, I felt someone right behind me waiting to get my attention. I heard something (I don’t remember exactly what it was) very close to my left ear, as if someone was interrupting me (rudely) or needed something. It’s middle school. Rude interruptions and chaos happens all the time. I didn’t think anything of it and turned around, probably a little frustrated, and said “Yes?” I ended up doing a double take and made a complete turn, checking to make sure a choir nerd wasn’t hiding behind me or playing a prank. Absolutely no one was there. I was a bit embarrassed and turned back around to find my choir staring at me in silence. Old Mr. Keller is just losing his mind. I wish I could have captured the looks on their faces for eternity. We all had quite a giggle. I said something like “Well, I guess we have a ghost today.” Many of my students know I’m also a paranormal nerd, and so they giggled and we moved on. 

As soon as that class left and I was eating lunch, it all hit me. The evening before this event was when I blogged about my research on Miss Verna Owen in my previous post. She was a teacher in my hometown who taught for 50 years and died in 1986 at the age of 90. The connection started when I realized I own two of her high school yearbooks from the 1920s. She had been on my mind a lot in the last few days. Just that morning at school, I kept relating all of the days activities to how it would have been for her in the 1920s… or the 30s… or the 40s (and gosh, she taught all the way into the 60s). During my morning drive I thought, Miss Owen would have walked to school in those early days. While helping students with typical middle school “issues”, I thought, I wonder how similar these issues are to those in Miss Owens’ class? And what would she have done? 

So after that goose bumpy moment, and after some thought, I’ve decided that I just may have had a visit from Miss Owen. Who knows? The very next day, I told the story to my kids. They were fascinated, and now, of course, we’ve had several Miss Owen moments. Not really, but it sure lightens the mood when Mr. Keller is more likely to be cranky and stressed before concert time. Thanks, Miss Owen! Stop by any time… 

 

 

 


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