Tag Archives: apparition

A Funeral Home Ghost Story

 

This story was sent in by a very loyal and regular listener. I was given permission to share it with you. As he mentions below, “everyone is getting into the Halloween spirit”, and this is the perfect story to go along with it. You’re welcome.

 

A Funeral Home Ghost Story, BigSeance.com, Paranormal

 

Patrick,

I am a mortician in the Midwest and have had many experiences that could be referred to as paranormal.  These types of experiences are common among people in my business, but it is very much frowned upon to speak of them.  Many feel as though it is disrespectful to the families in our care to mention experiences that could conflict with their personal religious beliefs, or in some cases could very well involve their own loved one, so we keep it quiet.  I have shared some of my experiences quietly among colleagues and heard a few stories in return that nearly mirror my own.  Since the greatest season of them all is upon us and everyone is getting into the Halloween spirit, I feel inspired to share my very first funeral home ghost story with you, though I must do it on a condition of anonymity.  The story that I am about to tell you is 100% true.

My first encounter with the spirit world inside of a funeral home took place back in 1999.  I was a lowly funeral assistant back then whose duties involved greeting families, floor work at visitations and funerals, answering the phone and cleaning.  One night I was working a visitation that caught me a little off guard.  A small group of people arrived together for the visitation and requested that it be private.  They informed us that no other attendees would be joining them, and asked that we stay out of the parlor out of respect.  This in itself was not uncommon, but what came next certainly was.  The building began to smell of incense and candles, which they had brought in and burned, and we could hear them chanting in unison.  We couldn’t make out what they were chanting, but we were certain that it was not in English.  After approximately 20 minutes of this, they all simply left.  They didn’t tell us whether or not they were coming back, but as the visitation was scheduled for 3 more hours we just waited.  No one returned. 

The next morning it was my job to come in early, clean the funeral home up, turn all the lights on and prepare for the funeral service that would begin later that morning.  I arrived at the funeral home through the garage, turned off the alarm and put on my first pot of coffee of the day.  I walked into the parlor that the people had been chanting in the night before and instantly felt a very heavy presence in the room.  The air was thick, as though you could actually feel it rubbing against your skin as you walked.  The smell of stale incense and burnt candles was still present from the night before.  I looked around to find that there was nothing to clean up or prepare, as the people had only been there for a short time.  I turned the lights on around the funeral home and went back to the employee areas to begin feeding my caffeine addiction. 

After reading a portion of the daily newspaper and drinking a few or more cups of coffee, nature called.  I didn’t want to miss any phone calls inquiring about the morning’s funeral service, or God forbid miss a family who walked into the funeral home, so I used the small employee restroom in the back of the funeral home and left the door open to listen.  As I momentarily stood there taking care of business I heard footsteps walking up the hallway towards me.  I turned my head and saw a man in a suit walk by the doorway, turning his head to look at me as he walked by.  I was humiliated.  Here I was standing there using the restroom with the door open and a family walked in.  I shouted “I’m sorry, Sir, I’ll be with you in one second.”  I couldn’t have possibly been more embarrassed.  I quickly washed my hands and went out to meet him.  I walked to the front of the funeral home and found nobody there.  “Sir” I shouted, but nobody answered.  I figured he must have gone back to his car to wait until the time of the funeral before returning, so I went to the front door to check the parking lot.  I pushed the door and suddenly felt my stomach drop.  The door was still locked.  I had forgotten to unlock the funeral home when I arrived that morning, and it hadn’t even occurred to me that I didn’t hear the door chime from somebody walking in before seeing a man walk past me.  There was simply no way that anyone could have been in there other than me, and I most certainly didn’t hallucinate what I had just seen.  I wandered back into the parlor, though this time the air wasn’t as thick or uncomfortable as it had been an hour or so prior.  I was getting ready to walk out when something caught my attention.  It was the blue suit, white shirt and red tie that the deceased gentleman in the casket had on.  I walked up to the casket and froze when I looked at the man’s face.  His features, his hair and his suit were unmistakable.  This was the man who wandered down the hallway and turned to look at me as he passed. 

The funeral went on as planned and after the director who had made the arrangements with the family took the small procession to the cemetery, I told my boss what had happened.  He only laughed, not adding anything to the conversation.  I know he believed me, as I was noticeably shaken up, but we aren’t supposed to talk about these things in this business, so he didn’t. 

I have had several other paranormal occurrences in this line of work over the years, but none were as profound as that first one.  My views on what happens to a spirit in the time following death were forever changed. 

I hope you enjoyed reading about this experience.  I will share another story or two in the future.  I very much appreciate your podcast, and I wish you well.

Midwest Mortician

 


Dreaming of Apparitions

I’ve never been big on dream interpretation, and I don’t always recall my dreams, but my soul/subconscious/guides sure know how to fill the void with experiences that I long for in the waking world. This is true for when I’m on a diet and I dream about peanut butter cups, but it’s also true in a deeper sense, like my passion for spirit communication and the paranormal. Do you know what I mean?

Last night I believe I had the fourth or fifth dream that I can recall having to do with seeing the apparition of a ghost. I’m not including spirit visits in that statement, though two of those may be questionable, as I’m not sure if they were just a dream or some kind of message from spirit visitors. No, what I’m talking about now is clearly a dream, where I’m minding my own business, or going through my normal daily life (in a dream, anyway), and suddenly I’m allowed to experience the amazing high of seeing the apparition of a ghost before my eyes. There has never been anything like it in any other dream that I’ve had. It’s an amazing feeling!

In last night’s dream, I was apparently seeking out a spirit. This is usually not the case. I was with my father, and we were investigating what seemed to be the abandoned basement of some large building. As far as I know, this location is purely fictional, but imagine a place like Belvoir Winery (the abandoned sections), or an equally creepy large and abandoned facility. I was leading the way with my father behind me, and I had absolutely no fear of my surroundings. I was on a mission, and that mission was to find evidence or proof of a specific male entity’s presence. Suddenly ahead of me, through the debris and the shadows, I saw what seemed to be a person way ahead of me, crossing in and out of the beam of my flashlight. I remember nonchalantly saying something like, “That’s weird. Someone is in here”, as if I wouldn’t have been frightened of a real person hiding or being with us in a dark and abandoned basement. We kept moving forward, and I expressed to my dad how disappointed I was going to be if I didn’t get some kind of evidence of this spirit that we were looking for. Suddenly, the full and solid figure of a human, down to the face and the clothing, was standing in front of me, again in the beam of my flashlight. You have to ignore the fact that in waking life my fight or flight would have kicked in by this point. Clearly, it would be frightening to find that a stranger is in the dark with you in an abandoned building. Remember–this is just a dream. So my brain was clearly not registering what I was seeing, as it appeared to be just a solid person… completely normal. Excuse me sir, we’re trying to find a ghost here. My dad said something like “Well what do you think you’re looking at? This is what you came for!” It was, indeed, the spirit of the person we came for. And as soon as I realized that, the amazing rush happened… and I woke up.

In real life I’ve never seen an apparition. At least I don’t think so. Do we always know? In a recent dream, one that I had about Miss Owen (who is now a celebrity to my students at school), I was given a sketch of an apparition–a sketch of a moment in time that I was present for. So for that one, I proved that even in a dream I can miss the opportunity to see an apparition with my own eyes!

It is only in recent generations that we began to think of apparitions as being translucent or cloudy visual representations of spirit, and I think Hollywood has helped with that. I blogged about another dream in which I witnessed an amazing translucent apparition crossing the road. But this has been the first dream in which the apparition was solid and looked just like you or I would. It was mind-blowing.

I’m a paranormal blogger, experimenter, and now podcaster. I’m fascinated by spirit communication. My mind is nearly always immersed in thoughts of the paranormal. You would think that I’ve had tons of paranormal experiences. I have not. Oh I’ve sat in dark rooms for hours and waited. I’ve attempted to spark a conversation with unseen spirits in an abandoned farmhouse by myself… in the dark. I’ve watched a motionless planchette on a Ouija board.  I’ve studied and tried channeling (it’s supposed to be so easy!) I’ve analyzed hundreds of hours of audio and video, shooting down possible EVP and strange phenomena that don’t convince me. And yes, I’ve gotten a few crazy EVPs. I’ve had a few psychic moments. I recently blogged about a very early fuzzy memory that stands out and could possibly have ghostly significance (but I may never know). I’ve even been grabbed in my sleep by a hand that quickly disappeared. I’ve had fun, but I want to see an apparition! Where is mine?! Bring it!

Is this why I have these dreams? Is this God’s way of giving me some of what I need to keep me going while I wait? Sigh…

Me going down the steps of the abandoned farmhouse. (Thank GOD my dad tried it first!)

Me going down the steps of the abandoned farmhouse. (Thank GOD my dad tried it first!)

 

 

 


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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Children who have spirit friends…

Currently I’m in the middle of reading Volume Two of Andrea Perron’s House of Darkness House of Light, the true story of the decade of events experienced by the Perron family and depicted (loosely, I’m finding out) in the movie The Conjuring. Just in case you’re new to my blog, the movie doesn’t have any direct ties to the book, but is inspired by the case files of Ed and Lorraine Warren.  

I recently read the chapter titled “in the closet”, when I had one of those moments… a moment where you find yourself tearing up and getting deeply into what you’re reading. In this chapter, Andrea writes about experiences that happened to April, the youngest of the five Perron daughters. April doesn’t come up much in Volume One and so far in Volume Two, and I always wondered why. It turns out she had plenty of experiences, perhaps just as many as the other kids in the house, but she refused to open up and discuss them with anyone until just recently. It turns out April has truly been haunted with memories and a pain in her heart since then.

 

April spent a lot of time alone, or at least that’s what the rest of the family thought. Very early on after moving to the farmhouse, April met the spirit of a little boy, a boy who gradually got comfortable with her presence and friendship, though he was constantly in fear and hiding. They appeared to be about the same age. They would play together, sharing April’s toys while they were alone in her room. When they were done playing he would disappear in a closet to hide. She was never once afraid. She grew to like spending time with him, even though he never spoke. As April grew up to be a teenager, she mentions that often the little boy would peek out of the closet into her room in hopes that she’d decide to play for a while. Not being the same little girl she once was, she ignored him. When she described the disappointed look on his face as he disappeared into the closet once more, that’s when I felt the tug in my heart and my tear ducts proved to be fully functioning. These experiences and the guilt of leaving the little boy at the farm has affected April her whole life.

 

A common theory is that many or all children are open to seeing spirits on a regular basis, but adults drive this ability out by making them feel ashamed for speaking such nonsense, thus blocking the experiences out of their minds. I wonder how many of us don’t remember a significant friendship or two from childhood. As a child I loved to spend time alone. It was nothing unusual. Very often I’d turn down invitations to play because I had a fun filled day planned out already. When my little sister arrived and was old enough, I was able to drag her through the experiences of things like playing school to keep me occupied. Even though it would be cool to suddenly remember a long lost spirit friend from my childhood, I don’t recall ever having an additional student in the attic or “imaginary friend”. After this chapter I kind of wish I did, although I would not want the sadness that has followed April.

 

I know that for several of my readers, seeing or feeling the presence of spirits is not an unusual thing, but I’m curious to know how many people had a spirit friend as child that no one else knew about. Please share!

 

Related: 

Flies and Hauntings: "You can't really kill what's already dead." (Big Séance)

Flies and Hauntings: “You can’t really kill what’s already dead.” (Big Séance)

Apparitions (Big Séance)

Apparitions (Big Séance)

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

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


Running with the Bulls…

Recently I shared a list of books for summer reading. From that list, Running with the Bulls was the one that I was the most excited to jump into… and as soon as it landed on my doorstep, that is just what I did.

The book did not disappoint, but it wasn’t really what I was expecting it to be either. Two weeks after 9/11, Joseph R. Lani, now a retired NYPD detective sergeant, was assigned to help command the Staten Island landfill where all of the debris from ground zero was taken. Detectives and federal agents sifted through every pile of rubble, searching for human remains, personal items, the black boxes from the planes, and anything relevant to the investigation. It was a giant crime scene. It was also where Mr. Lani suffered a heart attack due to stress, forcing him to retire. According the author, the combination of some powerful post 9/ll experiences and his heart attack resulted in him developing mediumistic abilities. 

You’d think that this book would focus on the landfill and the author’s experiences around the time of 9/11, but the great majority of the book is really a memoir of his career leading up to his current experiences as a medium. Honestly, I would normally be the last person to get into a book about the NYPD or crime, etc., but I found myself really interested in his next career move, the move to the next precinct, the promotions, the embarrassing stories, and the amazing (and some terrifying) stories of bravery! It gives you a secret peek into the mind of the heroes that protect us every day, and I developed a renewed appreciation for these men and women.   

At 199 pages, Running with the Bulls is an easy read with short chapters (Since I am a fan of breaking up my reading throughout the day, I LOVE short chapters.) and 39 photos throughout the book. And actually, this brings me to the only frustration I had with this book. Several of the photos supposedly contain supernatural elements, and some of them I either just don’t see or am skeptical of what he claims is there… but looking at an actual photo as opposed to a black and white reprint in a book could be a whole different experience, I’m sure. Weird pictures aside, I really loved the book, and I think Joseph R. Lani would be a fun person to hang out with and learn from!

The author can be contacted by visiting his website at theghostcop.com

 

Related:

Messages: Signs, Visits, and Premonitions from Loved Ones Lost on 9/11


All Pets Go to Heaven…

Since it has been a while, I wanted to write a blog post a day or two ago, but with the excitement of all of our tornado weather in the last few days, I (and our four-legged son Meril, unfortunately) have been rather distracted. But today I am inspired to bring up a topic that is so very close to my heart, and that is the subject of pets and the afterlife. At the risk of getting the Syvlia Browne haters riled up again, I’ve had her book All Pets Go to Heaven on my shelf waiting to be read for several years now. It’s not a book I’ve been excited to read because sometimes I just don’t even want to think about the topic, but just like our family and loved ones of the human variety, death can never be avoided. It’s a reality that we all must go through. As my “to be read” shelf has gotten down to just a few books (that have also been there for a while), I decided to get this one started a few days ago. 

I won’t lead you to believe that this is the greatest book in the world that you have to drop into your Amazon shopping cart right this moment. To be honest, if it weren’t for Borders going out of business a few years back, I probably would never have had it. The first third of the book is actually pretty dry and discusses the history of animals as pets, animal totems, etc. Once you get past all that, Sylvia includes several heartfelt stories from readers about their pets, pets coming back from the other side to visit, and in a few cases even having a hand in choosing their owner’s next pet after they cross over. These stories got me thinking back to all of my pets growing up, and of course the love we have for our very spoiled son Meril, who gives us so much happiness today. 

Me with a young Mickey Mouse.

Me with a young Mickey Mouse.

My very first dog that I have memory of was named “Mickey Mouse”, even though she was a girl dog. She was very much a mutt and as a puppy was rescued by my father near the banks of the Missouri River in my hometown of Lexington, Missouri. Though the memory is foggy, I remember her energy and running around the house, tail wagging like crazy. If I calculate correctly, Mickey Mouse was 19 when she died. I was actually a freshman or sophomore in college and away from home at the time. When I got the call my heart broke. I didn’t really have any memories of life without her. How was I going to live without her? Often growing up I would literally talk to her out loud, telling her my silly problems with tears in my eyes (and she always seemed to understand and was there to listen). She was mostly an outside dog, and to this day I’ve never seen a dog with such street smarts. I swear to you she looked both ways before crossing the street to get to the field across from our house. I can still hear her squeaky bark and remember how she would stand guard for hours, trapping a squirrel in a tree. After mom called me upset and gave me the news I remember lying on my bed in my apartment an hour away from home and crying all day. At one point something caught my eye toward the entrance of my apartment. I swear I saw Mickey Mouse walk into the room from the front door, but things were blurry and in a flash she was gone. I, of course, talked myself into believing I imagined it because of being upset. But did I? 

A much older Mickey Mouse. (Not the greatest picture.)

A much older Mickey Mouse. (Not the greatest picture.)

Growing up we had several other dogs who have since passed. Even before Mickey Mouse died we lost a beautiful dog named “Missie” who was hit by a car. We hadn’t had her very long. After my father buried her in the back yard, it was actually my Aunt Mae or my Grandma Keller (don’t remember) who saw me sitting by the grave by myself and walked down to console me, explaining that maybe Missie would be reincarnated and I would see her again. I don’t remember my reaction or response to the thought, but that was the first time I had heard of such a thing. I do, however, remember believing with all of my heart that I’d see all of my dogs greet me when I got to the other side. Mickey Mouse was our first dog. She was so special… and she was the one who lived the longest. Gosh… I get choked up now even thinking about it. 

I’m only halfway through the book now, but I felt inspired to share this with you today. It is only fitting that right before I began writing this post I found the following story being shared on Facebook, a story about a hero dog named Kaiser, who crossed that beautiful rainbow bridge just yesterday. 

Members of the Plymouth, Mass. police department salute their K-9 companion as he’s walked into the vet’s office to be put down. (Picture via Old Colony Memorial and Plymouth Police Working Dog Foundation. Caption via WLS-TV Facebook page.)

  Members of the Plymouth, Mass. police department salute their K-9 companion as he’s walked into the vet’s office to be put down. (Picture via Old Colony Memorial and Plymouth Police Working Dog Foundation. Caption via WLS-TV Chicago, IL Facebook page.)

May 31, 2013 (PLYMOUTH, Mass.) (WLS) — Police officers in Plymouth, Mass. saluted “Kaiser” the police dog as he was led to the vet’s office to be put down on Friday.

 The 2.5-year-old German Shepherd was diagnosed with a chronic and fatal kidney disease this March, according to Plymouth Police patrolman Jamie Lebretton, who handled the dog.

“Kaiser loved being a Police Dog and I will miss him dearly. Out of love and respect for Kaiser, and with the input from our excellent vet, trainer, and family, I have made the heart wrenching decision to end Kaiser’s suffering,” Lebretton posted on the K-9 unit’s Facebook page.

An image showing the Plymouth Police officers saluting the dog quickly went viral on Friday after it was posted on Facebook by the Old Colony Memorial and Reddit.

WLS-TV CHICAGO, IL

Rest In Peace, Kaiser. The respect shown for this furry hero makes me tear up. So sweet. 

Meril in the center with his cousin Mahni (left) and aunt Emily (right).

Meril in the center with his cousin Mahni (left) and aunt Emily (right).

 

Anyone have a story to share? Have you had similar experiences?

 

Peace!

 

Related Meril Posts:

Dreaming of Flying… and Dogs?

Happy Holidays 2012!

From Pumpkins to Jack-O-Lanterns 2012

2012 Family of Pumpkins

It’s October

 

 


The Bird Cage Theatre in Tombstone, AZ

Inside the Bird Cage Theatre, located in Tombstone, AZ Photo courtesy of www.theexpressionist.com

Inside the Bird Cage Theatre, located in Tombstone, AZ
Photo courtesy of www.theexpressionist.com

In a recent post I mentioned that I had been developing an appreciation for the Ghost Adventures series. Well I’ve been catching up on various episodes from random seasons that my DVR catches and records. Today I watched their investigation of the Bird Cage Theatre in Tombstone, Arizona from 2009. When I saw the description I was really excited because one of my all-time favorite Ghost Hunters episodes from two years earlier is from Bird Cage Theatre. This GH episode goes way back to season 3. Brian Harnois was still a big part of the show, and Tango was still an “Investigator in Training”. I’ve not been to Tombstone, but I’d love to if I ever get the chance! The area, which includes the famous O.K. Corral, is such a historical gem and is supposed to be a hotbed for paranormal activity.

The Bird Cage Theatre, located in Tombstone, AZ. Photo courtesy of www.legendsofamerica.com

The Bird Cage Theatre, located in Tombstone, AZ.
Photo courtesy of www.legendsofamerica.com

In the Ghost Hunters episode, the most exciting evidence for me was when the TAPS team captured perfectly clear and obviously dated music somehow being played in the background. I remember getting chills the first time I heard it. They also captured the grainy DVR video of an electrical cord being lifted off a bell hanging on the wall and falling to the floor. I found it interesting that both TAPS and the Ghost Adventures crew had the kind of dramatic personal experiences involving full blown apparitions that you just don’t see often. They weren’t your typical “what the frig” personal experiences, they seemed to be incredibly authentic and real. I mean, in both situations they had to stop to catch their breath. Of course, who knows? Both teams also captured audio of the sound of shuffling cards. This makes sense since the Bird Cage was a popular site for gambling. Ghost Adventures recorded some amazing EVP as well as clearly audible disembodied voices (these voices are similar to EVP but are heard in real time without the aid of recording devices).

Embedded in this post will be the first of the three-part Ghost Hunters episode and the entire Ghost Adventures episode. Like most videos of this nature, I’m sure they’ll disappear or be taken down eventually, so if you can’t get to them below, search YouTube or get the episodes somehow. Do any of my readers have a favorite location from paranormal TV? Have you been to Tombstone?

 

 

 

 


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