Tag Archives: evil spirits

Demons, Possession, and the Book I Almost Didn’t Finish

 

A photo I took from inside the Lemp Mansion in St. Louis, Missouri.

A photo I took from inside the Lemp Mansion in St. Louis, Missouri.

I’ve done a pretty good job of avoiding the subject of demons or demonic possession on this blog. This isn’t due to being afraid of the topic or needing to leave the closet light on when I talk about it, but because the BS-o-meter tends to immediately start flashing in my head when the topic is brought up. It’s not something I do on purpose, and it’s not that I’m trying to be a jerk, it just doesn’t resonate with me, I guess. I’ve always done my best to not offend anyone in discussions about their beliefs, or when people recount their demonic experiences. As Jim Harold famously says, “I keep an open mind, but not so open that my brains fall out.” Most of the time I just listen and try to see the activity as simply paranormal, just like any other experience that may or may not be explainable, rather than attach a demonic name or entity to it. 

 

I admit it! 

But I think I need to finally come clean and admit that I have issues believing in the concept. Oh I know what some of you will use to argue already. Light can’t exist without darkness. A belief in angels requires a belief in demons. Those arguments sound nice, but they don’t settle anything for me, and to be fair, I have the same issues wrapping my head around angels sometimes too, with their names and their color coded wings. For a while last year I was involved in a few phone conversations with a popular television production company about the possibility of being involved in a pilot about angels and investigating whether or not they really existed. I’m not sure where the project ended up going, but many of the personalities they were interested in just had a knowing that angels existed, and that’s not what they were looking for. They wanted someone who needed the proof. It was exciting to be approached, but I’m not sure the topic of angels would have been enough to keep me focused or serious for a whole series. One thing is for sure, though. I’d have to see some evidence before I could confidently say I believed in angels. Now ask me if I believe in spirit guides. (Well… I can’t wait all night for you to ask, but just know the answer is YES. My regular readers already knew this.)

Oh I believe in evil, in a sense that there are bad people, good people, and a whole spectrum of people in between. Those same people may just end up being either the innocent ghost or the trouble-making poltergeist in a haunted house. Many people believe, as I do, that we’re placed here on earth, maybe more than once, to learn lessons and allow our souls to grow spiritually. Perhaps these “bad people” are here to be a part of those lessons, and maybe their struggle with being bad has something to do with their own lesson. But believing in an inhuman demonic entity, or the devil himself, is something that I admittedly struggle to take seriously. Some popular paranormal television shows haven’t helped my opinion, either. Often those suddenly possessed investigators or home owners seem to look like they’re simply starving for attention, and oh look, there just happens to be a camera rolling! The spotlight is on me! I don’t mean to be flip, but that’s how it appears. I have absolutely no doubt that spirit can make use of our energy, or manipulate the world around us, and I believe in some cases a person with a gift can be used as a channel for spirit. But sometimes I wonder if people confuse being mentally unstable, or just plain drama, with demon possession. 

 

The book

This post was originally intended to be a book review, but like it or not, I’ve always had a policy about not mentioning a book by name if I don’t have many good things to say about it. Therefore, I’ll be somewhat cryptic in talking about it, and I hope that isn’t seen as poor taste. I’m far from being qualified to be an English teacher, but if I have the urge to take out a red pen to correct grammar and spelling in every chapter of your book, you simply didn’t try very hard to edit it, and so that certainly means I’m going to have a hard time taking you seriously or trusting your qualifications. The book contains story after story of what is supposed to be taken from actual case files of demonic activity, but they just sounded like good fictional storytelling to me… and I’m not big on reading fiction. I simply don’t believe much of those events happened. And people shouldn’t be led to believe that a simple creek, a rap on the wall in response to a question, or an occasional shadow is a reason to convert to Catholicism, get a crucifix for every room, or look for an exorcist.

If you know me, you know that I can’t NOT finish a book, even if I’m not enjoying it. I take pride in finishing the last word and shelving it ceremoniously. But for the first time in years, I considered not finishing this one. I felt a little silly spending the time on it. It took me forever, but I finished it, sighed, and moved on to the next book on my “to be read” shelf.

 

But…

Like some things I’ve brought up in this blog, I might change my mind about all of this in a year or two, or maybe even next week! If I’m suddenly involved in an investigation where I have pea soup spat by someone walking across the ceiling while cursing me in 12 different languages, you’ll be the first to hear from me. Until then, this is where I am with it all. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not out in search of evil. I’ve always preferred pleasant spirits “from the light”, but until I’ve experienced it, I refuse to make it something dramatic to fear.

 

Now it’s your turn to tell me why I’m right or wrong.

I know that many of my readers will disagree with me on this. As I say to my students, “you’ll still like me, right?”

As a counter to probably every opinion I just gave here, you may be interested in checking out the ongoing Hidden Astral World series from Gary Leigh’s Psychic Empaths blog, where he quite literally introduces you to Omen, who he claims is a demonic entity. Gary is a loyal reader of the Big Séance and I have a lot of respect for him, so I hope he chooses to still like me after this post. He’s writing about fascinating stuff. I’m just not sure where I am with it all or how to respond. Go check it out!  

 

You might also like:

Categorizing Hauntings (Big Séance)

Categorizing Hauntings (Big Séance)


Why do we assume?

As a teacher, occasionally I will have those days where nothing seems to go right. Some days I set out to inspire and end up coming home feeling like I spent the day pulling entire classes to the park in a wagon… all of them packed in like sardines, excited for the fun to come, but too apathetic to pitch in to help get the group there. (I apparently use this metaphor frequently because my last group of eighth grade students left me at the end of the year with a little red wagon, autographed by every one of them. Those days make it all worth it.) There have been a few times where on those wagon-pulling days I’ve decided to relieve my frustration while breaking the tension of the class at the same time… with a sudden drawn out scream. If you want the full effect, imagine Pee Wee Herman when someone said the secret word. Yes. I’m classy. But it usually works. We all laugh and move on in a much lighter (hopefully) atmosphere. 

The wagon story has nothing to do with this post, but remember that scream and get ready to picture it. 

 

I recently got caught up on what seemed like an endless amount of paranormal shows on the DVR. Episode after episode, I continued to see and hear investigators determine a location was haunted by the ghost of a “little girl”, because they captured an EVP with a higher pitched voice. Of course, it couldn’t be the voice of a little boy, even though little boys and girls voices often share the same higher pitch until puberty. With your eyes closed you might not always know. I hope that little boy wasn’t insulted. I guess they’ve also never heard my voice. I’m mistaken for a “ma’am” in the drive thru frequently and spend my days singing soprano and alto with middle schoolers. And what makes investigators believe that the timbre of the voice they’re picking up is what that spirit’s voice sounded like in life, anyway? What if vibrations come through an octave higher (or lower) as it pushes through the veil? Clearly, spirit voices lose a significant amount of clarity, consonants, and sometimes syllables when attempting communication, so what makes us so sure the pitch determines gender or age? Why do we assume?

In another episode they visit a building that holds centuries worth of memories and emotional stories, but because a rather famous person visited there twice, of course that must be the ghost that resides there. “Elvis! Is that you? Will you autograph my EMF meter?” Wouldn’t they be embarrassed to know that the voice they captured was actually of a fan who died just that week and simply followed them into the building, hoping to have their big moment. After all, no one can see them anymore and they’re pretty frustrated with being ignored. They just KNOW that Zak will hear them.

Okay my last gripe. I’m almost afraid to bring this one up again. “Look! There went a shadow! Go grab Father Dowling. We’re doing an exorcism.” Because a spirit or entity presents itself today as a shadow (on a night where you no doubt begged for some sort of manifestation or communication), it doesn’t make it an evil or demonic entity. Even if it’s quick to get away from you. Even if it’s an unusually short shadow. What makes you think you know? There’s probably a good chance that the shadow was not even paranormal at all, so leave the crucifix in the car. Anyway, it’s just Uncle Charlie, and a shadow is all he could muster today, thank you.  

 

AHHHHHHHHH! These things make me scream and jump up and down on the couch with my hands on my head. Were they edited to look this way? Surely they wouldn’t assume… would they?

Why do we assume? AHHHHHHH!

Ah well. At least I feel better now.

 

Related Posts: 

 

How to Evaluate the Authenticity of an Observer’s Supernatural Encounter (Big Séance)

 

 

 

I Still Watch Ghost Hunters… So What? (Big Séance)

 

 


The Hand That Rocks Your Dreams…

I suppose I need to add the category of “Dreams” to the right, since I’ve posted several times recently about them. One of my first posts ever was regarding a dream that may have actually been a spirit visit from one of my Great Grandmothers. Then there was the incredibly random apocalypse dream with the massive amount of fire that was strangely pleasant, rather than burning. I’ve been seeing signs, sketches, names, and reading in my dreams… just more vivid in general I suppose.

 

And then… there are those nightmare-like dreams that I don’t usually have. To tell you the truth (crazy or not), I’m not even entirely sure that the experience I am getting ready to tell you about was really a dream. Let me back up…

 

Around three weeks ago in my paranerdal update post I told you that something had definitely visited me around 3am a few nights before. To my knowledge I was not dreaming, or at least don’t recall one. I simply woke up with a racing heartbeat and a very uncomfortable feeling from a “charge” in the air. I don’t really know how else to explain how I just knew something was with me. I also heard a few soft popping sounds. Not wanting to wake anyone else up, I stared wide-eyed for a while before turning on the audio recorder on my phone while still in bed. I never saw anything. There were no shadows or slamming doors. And, my recording came up empty other than a few of those popping noises. It took me a while to get back to sleep that night. 

 

That was three weeks ago. Now, cut to about six nights ago. Part of this new dream may or may not have been in a dreamlike state. If it was a dream, then I was sleeping in bed during it. Confusing, right? In my dream (or not) I had been awakened by that same crazy “charged” feeling with heart racing. I knew immediately what it meant. Something was incredibly close. In fact, from off the side of my bed, I was shoved by a hand that came out of nowhere. How can I be sure it was a hand? Being the investigator that I am, I instinctively grabbed for whatever was there… and yup, it was a hand. Cue the same wide-eyed stare with heart racing. I didn’t look at the clock this time. And we had visitors in our guest bedroom, so I didn’t say anything or get up to investigate. Once again, it took a while to get back to sleep that night.

 

So… my feeling is that whether or not I was dreaming about the presence of a hand shoving me, something was definitely with me and messing with me. It was the exact same feeling both times. I immediately recognized it. Either that or being fat and incredibly out of shape is causing me to have heart attack symptoms in the middle of the night. I often sleep on my left side. Isn’t that supposed to be bad? Is there a doctor in the house? 

 

Now, before I hear from several of you about how I need to cleanse the house or meditate and visualize all the light and love, etc… I’m sitting with this one for a while. It’s not that I’m excited or want to encourage it. I’m just going to watch and investigate this one a bit. I can’t say much, but I may have an idea about where this one came from. Don’t judge me. 

 

Anyone have similar experiences? 

 


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