11/01/2019

Marie's Ghostly Forgiveness







Today we are pleased to present Arthur Wesley as our guest poster on the Paranormal/Supernatural topic.  Arthur is a regional claims director for a major insurance company in the USA. Born in Minneapolis, MN in 1965, Arthur and his wife, Sharon, are residents of a small town in Connecticut.  They have two daughters, ages 27 and 25. Both daughters are married and have children of their own now. In his spare time, Arthur is an enthusiastic handball player, having competed in many tournaments throughout his life.  Arthur enjoys sailing, golf and reading classical works in his den.  Both Arthur and Sharon are members of the Salvation Army.

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I've read and enjoyed many of the paranormal works on this blog over the years.  I am beyond happy it is making a comeback and with my own article of my paranormal experience as a young lad of 12 years of age.  This is my one and only encounter with what is considered paranormal.  It is not nearly as scary or horrific of some I have read on this subject Davids Musing.  But, the new owner of this blog must felt it deserved publishing and I am very appreciative of her giving me this chance.

We lived near a wilderness area known for its rapids, canoeing, camping, waterfalls, and the ever-present Lake Superior.  Talk about a remote, wilderness area, NE Minnesota is all you could ever ask for if you want to get away from it all.  There are lots of small towns up this way that offer a variety of arts and crafts and just anything tourists crave.  Of course, these things come at a stiff price.  They are known for gouging tourists like many tourist areas are known to do.  So, keep that in mind if you come up this way.  But, this story is not about tourism in Minnesota.  It's about a tragic event that took place when I was 12 years old and even to this day, it haunts me.

As a precocious 12-year-old, I lived near one of the thousands of lakes in Minnesota.  It was a small lake as lakes go in that state.  But, it was small enough and shallow enough that our parents didn't worry much about us going there without adult supervision.  That was a mistake as I look back on it.   It was a shallow lake that barely came up to my knees as a 12-year-old boy.  But, there were places in the middle of the lake that was over my head.  I was an only child and didn't have to worry about siblings.  But, there was one girl, 12 years of age also, who I did worry about.  And, to be honest, I had a crush on her.  In fact, she was the first crush of my life.  Her name was Marie Dowlinksi. She was the prototypical blonde who was physically and mentally mature at such a young age.  I wasn't the only guy who had a crush on Marie.  But, since we were both too young to date, we "hung out" together as much as we could.  Marie had a laugh and voice very similar to actress Demi Moore.  That masculine voice made her even more attractive to me.  Yes, many people call it puppy love.  But, to me, it was the real deal, it was real love.  The one thing Marie and I had in common, we were both poor swimmers.  That probably doesn't make sense since I went to that lake at least once a day in the summer.  I could probably swim to save my life if I didn't have to swim over a hundred yards.  But, I lost my stamina real quick in the water (I'm still a poor swimmer).  However, we usually had several friends along who were all good swimmers.  So, I didn't worry much about someone drowning.

It was a hot summer day in 1977, June of that year, to be exact.  There was a total of seven of us there that day in June, including my best friend, Bob.  Bob, for reasons I didn't understand at the time, was one of the few boys who wasn't smitten by Marie.  It wasn't until we were both 19 that Bob confessed to me he was gay.  I was totally shocked.  He always dated the prettiest girls.  He was the last guy I would have thought was gay.  I told him it made no difference in our friendship.  Bob would always be my best friend until his death from AIDS at the age of 37.  On this day, Bob who was a very good swimmer was trying to coax us into coming out to the middle of the lake where it was cooler and deeper.  Marie and I refused.  But, the others went out there with him.  I knew it was cooler out in the middle of the lake.  But, I could tell Marie was scared and didn't want to go.  For reasons I still am unable to understand, I tried to talk her into going out there with me.  I should not have done that.  As I said before, we were both poor swimmers.  I told Marie that Bob and the others would take care of us.  I got frustrated with her and decided to swim out to the middle where it was cooler....and deeper.  Marie hesitated and yelled "Arthur! Wait for me!."  I waited and we both swam out to the middle.  I was a little panicky since I knew we were in water at least 12 feet deep.  But, I tried not to show it so Marie would not get more scared than she already was.  We were just frolicking around on a warm June day when Marie screamed.  "Something bit me!" she said.  Thinking back on it, it was probably just a small green turtle that thought one of Marie's toes was a worm.  But, Marie panicked and started thrashing around like she had suddenly taken leave of her senses.  Bob and I grabbed her and tried to control her.  Have you ever tried to help someone that thought they were drowning?  They have superhuman strength, even little Marie, all 5'1 and 90lbs of her.  She moved Bob and me as if we were blades of grass.  I still tried to help her.  Everyone else, except Bob, started swimming back to shore.  Marie's screams of something bit me brought back the memories of the summer of 1975 when the movie "Jaws" came out.  Of course, there were no sharks in a freshwater lake.  But, commonsense goes out the window when you are in the water and someone screams that he or she was bitten.  Bob grabbed Marie around the waist and she unwittingly elbowed him in the stomach, knocking the breath out of him.  I again attempted to grab Marie and calm her.  She was having none of it.  She was thrashing about and she hit me so hard in the face I saw stars and was dazed.

Marie went down and Bob dived down to bring her back up.  She was still squirming and fighting for all she was worth.  I screamed at Marie to calm down and let us take her back to shore.  But, she was beyond reasoning now.  Marie was someone else now....she was in survival mode and wasn't listening to us.  Bob had enough.  I had too.  We were both at the point of exhaustion in trying to bring Marie under control.  I was having trouble staying afloat and so was Bob, an excellent swimmer.  I told Bob to save himself, I was staying with Marie.  I was hoping Marie would run out of steam and I could handle her.  So far, she was still screaming at the top of her voice.  Marie went down again and I went after her.  I saw her struggling under water....and then she became still.  I grabbed her, but my lungs were screaming for air and I found myself blacking out....as I came to the surface.  Bob had grabbed me and brought me to the surface.  I screamed for Marie.  Bob was crying, "She's gone, Art.  We did all we could."  I don't remember much after that.  I was told police and ambulances came.  I couldn't look at Marie's lifeless body as divers brought her out of the lake.

The next four days were the worst of my life.  I felt immense remorse...and guilt over Marie's death.  I repeated the story of what happened at least five times to sheriff's deputies who were trying to make sure this was an accident and not a homicide. All stories fell in line with those from both myself and Bob who was also wracked with guilt.  Over the years, I thought of what I could have done differently to save Marie's life.  The one thing I would have changed was not to go out to the middle of the lake with the rest of our group.  I knew Marie was a poor swimmer, even worse than me.  But, it was a blink of an eye decision to go to the middle of the lake without much forethought given.  Marie wanted to fit in with the rest.  That, along with the fact I was going out there to join our friends, was reason enough for Marie to follow me.  Even now, I feel tears welling up inside me as I type this story.  Marie should be alive and having grandchildren as I have now.  But, that will never be.

I would frequently go out to the lake after Marie's drowning.  But, I never went back to the lake to swim.  I cried so many tears out there by myself.  There were late afternoons when I would be so despondent, I actually considered going out to the middle and drowning myself.  But, I couldn't do that to my parents.  About two months after Marie's drowning, I was out at the lake by myself.  Sometimes Bob would come along.  But, he knew I preferred to be by myself.  I would find myself talking out loud to Marie, telling her how sorry I was that I encouraged her to go out to the middle of the lake with me.  I would say, I wish it had been me that drowned and not her.  I never got a reply...until this one late afternoon two months later.  I was crying as usual and was consumed with guilt as I had been since her death.  "Arthur...Arthur...it's not your fault.  Don't blame yourself" a voice suddenly said.  There were only two people who had ever called me Arthur, my mother, and Marie.  It definitely was not my mother.  I turned around looking for who had said it.  I saw no one.  "Marie? Marie is that you?" I asked.  I did not get an answer.  I stayed another half hour, shook up and waiting for the voice to speak again.  But, it did not.

I didn't sleep much that night.  I was torn as to whether I was losing my mind or, if, in some way, Marie was really there talking to me.  It was a restless night to be sure.  I woke early the next morning.  It was a Saturday morning as I recall.  I decided to go out to the lake.  It was not quite daylight.  But, I went to the lake anyway.  As I made it to the lake, the air was cool and the sun was peeking over the treeline.  "Marie? Marie, are you here?  If you are here, please talk to me," I said.  Nothing but the quiet wind whistling through the pine trees.  Tears started welling up when..."That will be enough of that Arthur.  It's time for you to stop this."  I turned around and a foggy mist hung near where the voice came from.  I couldn't speak. "Don't be afraid, Arthur, dear.  I have been near you almost from the time I passed from this existence.  I will always be nearby, my dear Arthur.  I am only talking to you because I want you to stop this continued guilty mood you have settled in.  If you love me, if you truly loved me, dear Arthur, you will move on with your life," the voice said.  "Marie? Can that possibly be you?  How..."  "Don't concern yourself with how or why I'm here, dear Arthur. Suffice it to say I am only here a short while and then you will never hear from me again unless you truly are in need of my comfort.  You must let go of me.  You must move on with your life and fulfill what God has set out for you.  My time was short.  But, I completed all I was set to do.  I love you, Arthur.  I always did.  But, I couldn't bring myself to say it in life.  You will find another girl, a girl you will have two beautiful girls with someday.  I wished it could have been you and I.  But, it was not meant to be," Marie said.  I was still in a state of shock.  I noticed the sun was coming up above the treeline now and the mist, where Marie's voice emanated from, was starting to thin out.  I wanted to ask her how she knew my future.  But, I thought better of it.  "Marie, always remember, I loved you as much as a young boy could.  I wish I had not tried to get you to come out to the middle of the lake that day.  That is something I will always regret.  I don't know what else to say, Marie," I said. "There's nothing more to be said, Arthur.  You will understand why I had to part from you someday.  You will..." said Marie.  That was the last I heard of Marie.

I went to the lake many times later.  I tried talking to Marie again, to get her insight on problems.  But, I never encountered her again.  I remembered Marie saying she would come into my life if I ever really needed her.  I forgot about that as I grew up, went to college, got married and had kids of my own.  I have two girls.  Exactly as Marie stated.  My story could end there except for one episode that took about twenty years off my life when my youngest daughter, who was 11 years old at the time, got lost in a very crowded mall during Christmas.  She was with me and suddenly, she was gone.  I went to security guards, intercoms were blaring her name and I was about to have a heart attack.  An entire hour passed by and no sign of my daughter.  I felt as if the world was crashing in on me when I felt a tugging on my right arm.  It was my daughter! I was beyond feeling relieved and happy to see her.  I asked her where she went off to.  She explained she got caught in a crowd and lost sight of me.  It happens all the time in malls all across America.  You never expect it to happen to you and your child.  She told me that she knew she was in trouble and was hiding from me (that is so typical of some kids).  She said a very pretty blonde girl, about her age, said she knew where my daddy is and she said you are not in trouble.  My daughter was surprised at how she knew me.  The blonde pointed to me and my daughter immediately ran to me.  The blonde was gone right before she tugged on my arm.

Marie was true to her word. She said she would always be nearby.  And she was when I needed her most in that mall so many years ago. I have not seen or heard from her since that day at the lake.  But, she is always in my heart and thoughts.


**As an aside, if you enjoyed this story, please consider donating to help such stories remain on this site.  I have not charged the owners for this story.  But, others are now demanding payment.  Thank you and I hope you enjoyed my story. -- Arthur Wesley

7/21/2018

Grandpa's Diary Of His Journey Into Death








Today we are pleased to have Richard Mason as our guest poster on the Paranormal/Supernatural topic.  Richard is a mortgage broker in a large city on the West Coast of the USA.  Richard and his wife, Marcy, have two girls ages 6 and 2.  Richard enjoys sailing, fishing, and sightseeing in the Great Northwest.  Richard and his wife enjoy golfing together whenever they have time with two little girls needing their attention.  Both Richard and Marcy graduated from the University of Washington.  Both are active alums of UW.  Both Richard and Macy plan on an around the world cruise in 2026 on their cutter, the "Sallie Mae." 


 If you have a story to share relating to the paranormal/supernatural, click HERE for details.  Also, to answer many questions, there is no charge for guest posting on the topic of the paranormal/supernatural. 

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***Before I start this story, I must start off by saying this story is dissected straight from my grandfather's diary.  Grandpa was a WWII Vet who served in Europe, and later, served in the Pacific Campaign against the Japanese Imperial Forces.  He won several medals that he discussed in his diary.  He kept all of them in his cedar chest which was locked until his death at age 87.  My grandfather was always a practical man, not one that ventured off into "foolishness" as he called anything with which he found out of the norm.  Keep that in mind as you read this story. - RM

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It was a shock when my Grandpa passed away some six years ago.  At age 87 and in failing health, it was actually expected.  Expected or not, it was still a shock.  I guess we thought Grandpa would live forever.  As I settled his Will and Estate, I thought my dad should have been doing this.  But, dad was killed in a car accident one stormy night as he was on his way home from the gym in 2010.  Dad was 59 years old.  That hastened my Grandpa's demise as dad and  Grandpa were really close.  I noticed Grandpa had lots of old pictures of him and grandma (passed in 2005).  Grandpa kept a meticulous diary since his time in  Europe during WWII.  Everyone knew about it.  But, no one knew what his diary contained since he kept it under lock and key.  Not even the love of his life, my beloved Grandma, knew what Grandpa kept in his diary.  Two days after his death, I found the key where Grandpa said it would be.  I started reading it in his den the Saturday morning after his burial.  His diary actually started in June of 1943 in England where he was stationed prior to the Normandy Invasion.  Grandpa was in the second wave at Omaha.  He lost a lot of friends that day and the days, weeks and months ahead.  But, I'm not going to get into all that.  I noticed in August of 1949, Grandpa had put his diary entries in red, not the blue inked pen he had been using. The red inked entries were from the second week of August of 1949 to the first week of December in that same year.  There is a good reason for that as you will see as I continue this story.   My Grandpa's diary entries are in italics.  The conversations are in italics and are underlined.


Grandpa's August entries were, to put it mildly, bizarre.  On August 10, 1949, the entry was the following:  "Dear Diary, I died last night.  I know how that sounds, Dear Diary.   But, it's true.  I felt myself floating away as if I was totally without weight.  Everything around me was black.  I remember holding up my right hand to about 2 inches from my eyes and could not see it.  But, the floating sensation continued.   I felt myself picking up speed and I seemed to be speeding feet first into oblivion.  Suddenly, I was standing upright and I was immersed in a tremendous space with billions, if not trillions of other people.  The sound of so many people talking at once was such I had to put my hands to my ears to try to muffle the sound.  But, that had little effect on the roar of such a tremendous crowd.  A man tapped me on the shoulder.  He was short, maybe 5'5 at most.  He motioned for me to cup my ear.  He yelled, "Don't worry.  You'll get used to it.  It only hurts the first time."  The first time?  What was he talking about?  "Where am I," I asked the short little man.   "You'll find out more with each trip you make.  Explaining it to you now would just confuse you more than you are right now," he laughed.  That man then just disappeared into the crowd.  I was left again dazed and totally confused in a crowd of billions of people.  Everyone was talking all at once.  Some seemed to be dressed in European garb of perhaps the 16th Century. Others had on clothing with which I was totally unfamiliar.  Some had no clothing at all.  There were men, women of every age and description.  Incredibly, there were even small children running around.  But, none appeared frightened or concerned at all.  I finally saw one man who was focused on me very intently.  I walked in his direction and asked, "Can you please tell me where I am?  And how long will I be here?"I can't answer the second question for you, sir.  But, as for the first question, you are at The Gathering of the Dead."  With that statement, I immediately woke up.  My beloved Nancy was still beside me lightly snoring.  Whoever reads this someday, make no mistake about it.  This was not a nightmare.  It was real.  I don't know how else to explain it.

The second entry was more of the same.  Grandpa at a huge place, billions of people gathered together for what purpose, Grandpa had no idea.  After reading his entries, I am of the opinion Grandpa honestly believed he had died over and over.  Maybe he was being granted a chance to see where the dead are before going to their final destination.  Or, what many of you are probably thinking, Grandpa was in purgatory.  We are not Catholic.  We are mostly United Methodists in our family.  So, whether he was in purgatory has been a great debate in our family for the past six years. The third entry was made on August 14, 1949.  He made the second entry on the 11th.  I will post the third entry that starts to take a more unusual turn...

"Dear Diary, I believe I've experienced death for three days in August now.  I don't know if I'm actually dreaming or if I'm actually experiencing this as reality.  I feel it is all real.  It is too real.  Everything seems gray, the gigantic room seems limitless in scope and the billions of people are all too real as well.  People come up to me now.  They want to know all about me, where I am from and what did do in the "Living World" as they termed it.  There are so many asking questions at once, I try to flee from them.  But, that doesn't stop them from coming after me.  The people have tried to tear off my clothes, they grab my hair and try to put it on top of their heads.  It's just too much for me and I started screaming for help.  The short man, as I will call him, came to my rescue.  He grabbed me and took me to a small area of people sitting in chairs.  I had never seen this before.  "If these people get too much for you, come here.  They will not follow you here" he said.  I wanted to ask him why, but he again disappeared into the gigantic crowd of talking people.  The short man was right, I am accustomed to the constant roar of what appears to be billions of people in this space.  Space is the only way I can describe it.  I found an empty chair and sat down.  As soon as I sat down, a woman who was at least 6'7 or taller called my name.  "Thomas Arthur Mason...TO THE FRONT!!!"  The last three words she practically drowned out the entire crowd gathered.  For the first time, I was scared.  This huge, tall woman looked down on me with ambivalence.  It was much in the same manner as when you are at the doctor's office.  The nurse calling your name doesn't really pay you much attention since she has done this so many times.  This woman had the same reaction to me.  "Follow me and keep close.  I do not want to have to look for you if you get lost".  I didn't say anything.  I just kept as close to her as I could.  I followed her down countless hallways.  We would go into rooms and I was thinking here is the final destination.  But, no, we would continue on as she opened a door that was always in each room.  We went down more hallways and more rooms.  It seemed to go on for several minutes.  We finally reached our destination.  There were no other doors in this room.  "Sit in the silver chair.  Be patient.  I will have someone come to get you when you are finished here," she said.  I was quite frightened.  This room was so quiet.  There was faint light.  But, I saw no electrical outlet anywhere.  I was sitting at a huge wood table that had five other chairs.  I sat in the room for what seemed like six hours or more before someone came in.  There were five people who walked in, sat down and said nothing.  They all looked directly at me with an intensity I have not felt before or probably ever will again.  I was about to say something when I found myself back in bed at home.  I am afraid of sleeping now.  I must seek medical help."


Grandpa did not have any more entries until August 29, 1949.  This is the 4th entry of August: "I found myself again at the table with the five people.  I guess you must know you are not supposed to be here Thomas Arthur Mason.  But, you have seen things that you were not supposed to see, not yet, anyway.  We are in a conundrum as to what to do with you.  It is not yet your time to be here.  But, at the same time, we are unable to come to an agreement as to what to do with you.  For all intents and purposes, sir, you are among the dead.  You will continue to come here for an undetermined amount of time until we decide what to do with you.  I'll tell you what you going to do, you are going to let me go and stop bringing me here, I told them.  And with that, Grandpa again woke up.  I can't put in each entry from August to December of 1949 as I was told before submitting this story.  But, I will end this story with this last entry from Grandpa on December 4, 1949.  "I was again at the damn table with these 5 spooky looking people.  They seem to be talking real fast, so fast until I could not understand them.  This went on for at least an hour or more.  Finally, they stopped and looked at me.  We have reached a decision to stop bringing you here.  There was a mistake made.  You are not due here permanently until your end date in the living world is over.  Then you will come back to be processed appropriately.  I asked them, well when will my end date be?  The squirrely looking one at the end of the table said, October 14, 2012Until then, goodbye.  I then found myself back with my wife in bed.  I don't know if he was just fooling with me or what.  But, I will live my life pretending I don't know when I'm going to die.  In fact, I think I will die before then.

My grandpa continued to make entries in his diary until his hands could no longer hold a pen.  He had no use for computers or smartphones (dumb phones as he called them). I found Grandpa's diary right where he said it would be in his safe and he left the key to the safe under a picture of Grandma.  I read that last entry inked in red two days after his death.  Grandpa died on October 14, 2012.

5/26/2018

The Ghost of Uncle Charlie






Today we are pleased to present Ben Tanner as our guest poster on the Paranormal/Supernatural topic for this month.  Ben is a 48-year-old bank executive with a bank in California.  Ben has a Master's Degree in Finance and is a part-time professor at a community college for night classes.  His wife, Akari, is an emergency room RN at a local hospital.  The couple has three boys, ranging from ages 23, 21 and 20.  All three attend universities in California.  Ben's hobbies consist of golf, handball, reading classic literature and taking walks with his wife and two German Shepards, Mac and Duke.

If you have a story to share relating to the paranormal/supernatural, click HERE for details.  Also, to answer many questions, there is no charge for guest posting on the topic of the paranormal/supernatural. 

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I grew up in Oklahoma, not far from Tulsa.  I won't bore you with all the fun I had growing up in the "Sooner State."  Suffice it to say, I had a great childhood and many memories that will stay with me my entire life.  My goal is to someday return to my roots in that state.  We lived out in the country where we could go hours on end and not see a car go down the two-lane highway situated about one-hundred yards from our front door.  It was never a busy highway since I-44 was completed back in the mid-fifties.  That shut down a lot of businesses in our neck of the woods.  So, my dad sold the hardware store and went into farming.  Dad found out he wasn't cut out for farming.  So, he took to be an interstate truck driver and did that until he dropped dead with a heart attack in 1982.  I was 12 years old when that horrible event took place.  Dad was always a bit of a "hands-off" type of father.  Oh, he provided for our material needs, paid for us to go to college.  But, I can count on one hand the number of times my Dad took up time with me and my siblings (Lori and Dorthy, my two older sisters).  But, regardless, we all loved Dad even though he rarely showed affection toward us.  It was just his way.  But, Dad's younger brother, Uncle Charlie, made up for Dad's imperfections.  He always went out of his way to take up time with us, especially me.  He taught me how to throw a curveball (he played Triple-A ball back in the day and was in the Big League long enough to drink a cup of coffee as he was fond of saying), helped us with homework, looked after us when Mom went shopping and just about anything else we needed him for.  Uncle Charlie told us corny jokes, regaled us with stories of mystery and intrigue.  He was everything you could hope for in an uncle.

Uncle Charlie married just briefly (another cup of coffee) with a woman that our family warned him about.  He came home from the meat packing factory one day to find she had cleaned out their joint bank account, took all the new furniture that she made him buy and took their new Chevrolet Impala he had just bought.  It took him two years to extricate himself from that disaster.  Uncle Charlie dated other women, took up with some in his house for months at a time.  But, he never remarried.  During my Dad's funeral, Uncle Charlie stuck with us like glue.  Although Dad and Uncle Charlie didn't get along (If you couldn't get along with Uncle Charlie, you couldn't get along with anybody), he mourned his brother's death along with the rest of us.   I don't know what we would have done without Uncle Charlie helping us out financially after Dad's life insurance wasn't what we thought it would be.  It was enough to keep us in the house for about five years and that was about it.  So, Mom decided to sell the house and we moved into a trailer (lovingly referred to as a Manufactured Home now).  There was far less room to live.  But, we made do with what we had.  Uncle Charlie saw to it that our bills were paid despite protests from our mother.  Uncle Charlie was a bedrock.  My sisters took him for granted.  I never did.  I always told him how grateful I was to him for helping us out. He always told me how much he appreciated me telling him that.  His eyes always got a little misty when I expressed my gratitude to him.

Like my Dad, Uncle Charlie had heart trouble also.  He had a triple bypass in 1988.  He died from pneumonia not long after that surgery.  I was completely devastated.  I was in my freshman year at the University of Tulsa when I got word of it.  I got in my beat up 1980 Pontiac Lemans and sped all the way home.  I have no idea why I was not stopped by an Okie state trooper.  The tears that day and the next three days were enough to sink an aircraft carrier.  Everyone loved Uncle Charlie.  I remember him saying the best way for me to repay him for all his kindness over the years was to get that BS degree in Finance.  That was something I was thinking about as I entered the room at the funeral home where his wake was being held.  I hugged countless people and shook hands with many I did not know.  There was a huge group of people near the entrance to the room holding the wake. I decided I would go to the restroom to wash my face.  I had cried so much until my eyes were hurting. It was at this moment I saw my late Uncle Charlie.

To say I was astounded would not do justice to how I actually felt.  I was speechless.  Uncle Charlie was in the funeral home restroom coming out of a stall.  I rubbed my eyes, thinking I was seeing things.  Uncle Charlie was standing there just smiling from ear to ear.  "UNCLE CHARLIE!!!!!!"  I screamed at the top of my lungs!. He was just standing there grinning when the door swung open.  "Ben, are you okay, son," asked my Aunt Layla.  Yes, my aunt was in the men's room.  "Did I hear you yell your Uncle Charlie's name?" my aunt asked.  I turned around to see my uncle had disappeared.  "I...I just am upset, Aunt Frances.  I'll be alright, I swear," I said.  She looked at me with a strange look and went back out to the wake where my Uncle Charlie lies in state.  I was still in a state of shock.  "Uncle Charlie?  Please come back and let me know I'm not losing my mind?" I asked.  I waited patiently for about five more minutes and then left.  I was still trembling.  Was I seeing things?  Was I more traumatized by Uncle Charlie's death than I realized?  I went over to the casket where Uncle Charlie lay.  He was still there with the slight upturned grin with his lips.  I told the funeral home director that was not the way my uncle would have been wanted to be remembered.  Uncle Charlie smiled a lot.  But, not like that. He didn't seem to like what I said and walked off in a huff.  There was no one I could trust with what I had seen in the restroom.  I decided I was seeing things and forgot about it.  Uncle Charlie's funeral was uneventful except for Susan Atkins singing Amazing Grace.  Susan Atkins took music as her major at the local community college.  She seemed to think that gave her a voice on equal of Mariah Carey.  She shrieked, she didn't sing.  It is no wonder I saw Uncle Charlie's spirit in the restroom.  He was as appalled as the rest of us.

About four or five days after Uncle Charlie's funeral, I was going through his things at his house.  He had some expensive rifles and handguns that were surely worth about $5,000 or more.  He had all new furniture and recently remodeled the house.  He left everything to Mom.   Along with the house (that had recently been paid off), Uncle Charlie left us with about $150,000, cash, CDs he had in the bank.  Our financial difficulties were over thanks, once again, to my beloved Uncle Charlie.  I sat down on his new sectional couch in the living room.  I was thinking about Uncle Charlie, I started crying a bit and said, "Thanks, Uncle Charlie.  If not for you, there's no telling where we would be right now."  "Don't mention it, Ben.  It was done out of love and out of respect for your Dad and Mom," a familiar voice said.  I bet I jumped ten feet in the air.  I know it was at least seven feet because I hit the chandelier hanging in the living room.  It was my now deceased Uncle Charlie grinning, once again, as he sat in his favorite chair at his dining room table.  I looked at him with my mouth wide open and could not form words.  "Calm down, Ben, Calm down.  You aren't going insane.  You haven't lost your mind.  I won't be with you much longer before I must leave this plane of existence permanently.  I just wanted to make sure you and your family are okay.  I've got to tell you to look for a couple of things that will bring in a bit more money," said my Uncle Charlie.  He was as real now as when he was alive.  He was wearing a suit the last time I saw him (different from the one he was wearing in the casket).  This time he was wearing a polo shirt and blue jeans that he favored when not working.  "Uncle...Uncle Charlie...what's going on?  You're dead, you're..." I stammered.  "I have not yet crossed over, Ben.  My time is not infinite.  I must take leave of you in a few days time.  First things first, in the barn I have over 600 silver dollars buried in an old five-gallon cannister.  Some of those silver dollars dating back to the 1880s.  They are worth a lot of money now.  Start digging in the northeast corner.  It's about three feet down.  Also, Aunt Layla is going to try to claim my new Chevy Silverado and my '57 Chevrolet Bel Air that I reconditioned.  That '57 Chevy is priceless.  I want you to have it, Ben.  Look for the handmade will in my safe deposit box at the Merchants Bank in Tulsa.  Lawyer said it will stand up in court," my late uncle patiently said. "You'll see me again in a couple of days, Ben," said my uncle.  Then, he just disappeared.

I must have sat on that couch at least another hour or more.  I was almost catatonic.  I've never believed in ghosts.  I'm not sure if Uncle Charlie's spirit even passes for a ghost since he was so sentient and solid looking.  He seems like he never even passed away.  I remember I was afraid to touch him, even though I wanted to.  The dread was that my hands might pass right through him.  I didn't want to chance that happening.  There was no dire warning as you would think most ghostly experiences are that you see on TV and read in books.  Uncle Charlie was simply making sure we were all okay and making sure Aunt Layla didn't get his truck and '57 Chevy.  I had to go to Tulsa the next morning.  At that moment, I didn't even trust myself driving the three miles back home.  I eventually calmed down though and drove myself home.  I was feeling like I was in the Twilight Zone.  This sort of thing happens to other people.  I wanted to tell my Mom.  But, I was afraid she would think I had lost my mind.  Uncle Charlie would not go to the other side until he made sure his estate was properly settled.  I had to make sure everything went exactly as he had wished for it to be settled.

The next morning, I was just finishing breakfast with my two sisters when my Mom said I had a call from Uncle Charlie's lawyer.  His lawyer told me that I had been named the executor of Charlie's estate.  The lawyer needed me in his office that afternoon.  But, he told me I needed to go to the bank and clear out Uncle Charlie's safe deposit box.  I got dressed and left to go into town to the bank.  I expected some red tape.  But, I had the copy of Uncle Charlie's will to prove I was executor.  The bank employee stepped out of the room after she opened up the box.  In that safe deposit box was a note.  "Ben, if you are reading this, it means I'm dead.  I named you executor because of how much I have loved you and your sisters and mother.  Please take the bonds here and cash them.  They should help out.  Even the blood sucking lawyer doesn't know about these bonds.  I don't trust lawyers as you know.  I'll be seeing you soon, Ben.  Take care."  Uncle Charlie didn't even sign it.  I counted the bonds.  They were worth over $200,000 in total.  We now had close to $500K with everything else.  I had not even counted the silver dollars he had buried.  I choked up and started crying.  I felt a gentle hand on my shoulder.  I was thinking it was the bank employee.  "It's going to be alright, Ben.  Just take care of your family and be a good man.  That's all I ask of you.  I have to go now.  I've done all I can.  I'll be seeing you someday, Ben," said my ghostly Uncle Charlie.  He looked at me with those pale blue eyes of his.  "Don't go, Uncle Charlie!  Please!" I pleaded with him.  Uncle Charlie just faded away in front of me in that vault.  He left sooner than he had expected, I believe.

I found those silver dollars that Uncle Charlie had buried.  They were worth a lot of money.  I had no idea Uncle Charlie had so much money and, yet, lived so frugally.   I would like to say I continued to see the spirit of my Uncle Charlie after that day in the bank vault.  But, I never actually saw him again.  I only saw him in my dreams.  Even then, he would never speak.  He would just grin and wave to me.  My Uncle Charlie was a good man.  That is who I have aspired to live up to my whole life.  I hope I have been just half as good a man as my Uncle Charlie.







3/28/2018

The Whispering






Today we are pleased to present Gayle Hollingsworth as our guest poster on the Paranormal/Supernatural topic.  Gayle is an Architect working in Denver, Colorado.  She is originally from Georgia and a graduate of Georgia Tech.  Gayle is a single mom to a German Shepard named Jasper.  In 2013, Gayle was awarded the Humanitarian of the Year Award for the greater Denver area for her social work with the homeless.  She speaks three languages (English, Spanish, and French) fluently which enables her in her social work.  Gayle has two brothers, Mac, who is a lawyer in New York and Joseph, who is a U.S. Marine 1st Lieutenant currently stationed in Afghanistan and one baby sister, Liz, who is deceased.  Gayle's hobbies consist of working with local church outreach programs for those who are homeless or at the poverty level.  She also enjoys speaking at local colleges on careers in architecture.

If you have a story to share relating to the paranormal/supernatural, click HERE for details.  Also, to answer many questions, there is no charge for guest posting on the topic of the paranormal/supernatural. 

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It happened during Liz's favorite time of the year, Christmas.  Liz dearly loved Christmas.  It is a joyous time of the year that she cherished each year of her 25 years on this good Earth.  Liz didn't have much money.  But, what little she had she would spend on her family.  Liz was the most loving and considerate human being I have ever known.  I doubt I will ever meet anyone as loving and compassionate as Liz.  She and her husband (My sister made only one mistake in her life.  Unfortunately, she married her mistake and paid the ultimate price) had just returned from some Christmas shopping (Saturday after Thanksgiving Day in 2009) when she decided to go make up the bed in the spare bedroom where our mother had slept the previous night.  Unbeknownst to my sister, her husband had laid a gun he had just purchased under the pillow of that bed.  Why he would do such an idiotic thing is something only he could explain.  When Liz pulled the pillow off the bed, the gun came with it and went off.  The bullet struck my sister in the chest.  She only lived about 90 seconds according to the coroner's report.  It seemed impossible that my little sister, Liz, was dead at 25 years of age.  It just didn't seem possible and it was due to such a freak accident?  That pillow bringing the gun with it never seemed accurate to me.  But, the detectives told me I was trying to see things in the case that simply weren't there.  I was incensed at that.  A first-year Criminal Justice major could see this whole thing was just so farfetched it defied imagination.  But, police closed the case and left it as is, accidental death due to negligence.  He should have been jailed, at least, for that.  But, police said after questioning him, and giving him a lie detector test, they were confident he was being truthful, that he did not plan this "accident" of my sister. We were told there is no law against someone being a fool.  I had doubts for a long time about whether or not this whole thing was truly an accident.

Losing a loved one is something you really never get over.  Losing a sister, someone as beloved as Liz, is something that stays with you.  Both my brothers, Mac and Joe, were overwhelmed with grief as were our parents.  But, life goes on.  I left the architectural firm, I was associated with in Georgia, for a position in Denver.  I wanted to get as far away from Georgia as possible after my sister's untimely death.  This took place about three months after Liz's death.  I settled in with my new firm and life in Denver.  Denver is much different than Atlanta or New York.  But, I enjoy living here.  I rescued a 4-month-old German Shepard from the local animal shelter.  I named him Jasper after an old friend of mine from my college days.  He is wonderful and my protector since I live alone. There are many diverse cultures here in Denver.  I love it!  But, my story is not about Denver, Jasper or architecture.  This story is about my sister and her quest for justice from beyond the grave.

The first time I heard the "whispering" sound was late one Saturday night as I was preparing for bed. I had just came from the bathroom (after taking Jasper for his nightly walk to use the bathroom) when I thought I heard a human voice. The words were unintelligible.  I whirled around to see nothing.  I checked the entire house.  There was no one here but me and Jasper.  Thinking I'd had too much to drink at dinner, I got into bed and turned off the light on my nightstand. Suddenly, I heard Jasper growl.  "What's wrong Jasper?" I asked my German Shepard as if he was going to answer me.  Jasper answered with another growl when I heard the whispering once again, only this time, I understood what was said.  "Justice.  I demand justice," the voice said to me.  I felt cold shivers go up my back as if I'd stepped into a cold shower.  "Who is speaking to me?  What justice" I asked fearfully.  I heard Jasper whining under my bed (My protector, mind you).  I heard no reply this time.  The voice had a faint familiarity with it.  I was afraid to acknowledge in my mind who it sounded like.  But, it sounded like the soft southern accent of my beloved sister, Liz.  Tears immediately flowed from my eyes as I considered that Liz was trying to reach me from beyond the grave.  "Liz?  Is that you, little sis?  Speak to me, Liz," I cried out.  I received no reply.  I sat up in bed and cried and pondered over the words, "Justice.  I demand justice."  If this was Liz, my reservations about how she died would all come to the forefront once again.  I always had doubts about how she died.  I always thought the official version from the police had holes in it they never cared to explore for reasons only they could explain.  I settled in for an uneasy and restless night.

The next morning, I was doing my makeup when my cell buzzed.  It was "Unknown Number."  I immediately rejected it and went back to apply my makeup.  My cell buzzed again.  Frustrated and running late for work, I answered it this time.  "Hello?"  No answer....but, I did hear what appeared to be waves crashing onto the shore.  I used to spend a lot of time at  Jekyll Island when I lived in Georgia.  So, I was quite familiar with the sound of waves crashing on the shore.  "Who the hell is this?  I don't have time for games!" I yelled at the caller.  I then heard the two words that ran straight through my heart...."Justice...Gayle."  There was no mistaking it this time.  The pronunciation of my name as "Gay-hell" was made by one person who would say my name that way.  "LIZ?!?!? IS THAT YOU??? SPEAK TO ME!  PLEASE!" I screamed.  Click went the cell.  I was beyond words, beyond horror.  I knew my little sister was deceased.  But...this sounded like her so much and the way the caller pronounced my name?  Only Liz said "Gayle" like "Gay-hell" (I believe it was her mischievous side as the reason she did it). I had to call in sick to work that day.  I was wasted.  

These cries for "Justice" from the voice of my sister Liz continued on for another two months.  One time, I was in an elevator on my way to see a client.  The elderly lady next to me, looked up at me as if she were about to say something.  We got to her floor and on her way out of the elevator, she said, "Justice...Justice."  The elevator door shut before I could gather my wits about me to speak.  I was horrified.  Another time, I went out to dinner with a man from work.  As we were about to have dessert, he excused himself to the restroom.  The waiter came up to show me what they had for dessert.  As I was about to make my choice, the waiter cleared his throat and said, "Justice. I demand justice!"  And then he walked off.  I was extremely upset.  My date asked to speak to the waiter and why he had upset me so.  We were told no one fit his description as an employee of the restaurant.  I continued to hear the "Whispering" of "Justice.  I demand justice."  I would attempt to speak to the voice of whom I thought was my sister, Liz.  But, I never got a reply.  I knew my sister would not give up.  She had always been that way.  If she felt that she or a member of her family was wronged, she would be relentless in seeking payback (which I admit is a contradiction to her normal sweet, gentle soul).  I had a choice; either continue to deal with this "Whispering" in the hopes it would play itself out.  Or go to the root of the problem and deal with it there.  Hence, my decision to pay a visit to the police department in Georgia.  

[I've already made my story longer than I had anticipated.  Thus, I will condense the rest]

I arrived at the police department only to be greeted with great skepticism.  Police do not like to reopen cases they consider closed.  They said they see no reason to open the case again without some verifiable proof as a reason to reexamine my sister's death. I argued with them for the better part of an hour to no avail.  They were polite but firm.  There would be no reopening a case that they considered clearly an accident.  As I walked to my car in the visitor parking lot, I was crying.  There was something clearly wrong with this case.  My sister knew something and for reasons I didn't understand, would not tell me.  I got into my car and just slumped over in exhaustion.  I heard the "whispering" again as I put the key into the ignition of my rental car.  "The safety.  Tell them to look at the safety....Gay-hell," the voice said.  I knew, by this time, it was Liz whispering to me. "Liz, you know I love you and always will love you.  Please tell me what this is about.  Please!" I cried out.  "Your answer is in the safety.  Tell them to examine the safety again," the voice quietly whispered to me.  I got out and went back upstairs to the police detectives.  They were surprised to see me again.

It took some convincing, but the detectives did look at the gun again.  They soon discovered that the safety had a manufacturing defect.  Why they didn't have a gunsmith examine that gun, in the first place, speaks to the incompetence of the police department.  I wanted the impending lawsuit to include the entire police department.  But, was convinced not to include them.  We were going to need them.  The detectives, to their credit, were looking for criminal intent, not a defective safety on a handgun. Hence, my grossly incompetent, negligent Brother-in-law was off the hook.  My family filed a massive lawsuit against the gun manufacturer.  They settled out of court and had all those guns recalled to correct the defect or just refund their money.  So, all the time I had blamed my former brother-in-law for my sister's death, it was actually the manufacturer who was at fault.  Does this excuse my stupid brother-in-law's reckless behavior by putting a gun under a pillow that he knew my sister was going to remove prior to making up the bed?  No, absolutely, not at all.  That is something that moron will have to live with for the rest of his life.  We had threatened to file a lawsuit against him when he insisted he gets his share of the proceeds from the lawsuit against the gun manufacturer.  He backed down when we told him we would spend all the money we had to make sure he never got a penny of my sister's blood money.  We would also press for criminal negligence if he persisted.  His negligence can't be emphasized enough.  But, I'll always believe my little sister did not want that gun defect to cause the death of someone else.  That is what I believe and always will believe as long as I live.

I didn't receive any more "I Demand Justice Whispers" from my late sister Liz, after that time in my car in the police parking lot.  But, a month after the lawsuit against the gun manufacturer was settled out of court,  I went into the women's restroom just outside the lawyer's office.  I was trying to apply some makeup to those red eyes of mine from so much crying.  I composed myself, brushed my hair and prepared to leave the restroom when I looked back in the mirror.  Applying all that makeup was for naught as I saw a brief (maybe three seconds)  smiling Liz Hollingsworth.  I cried silently as I heard her say"Thank you, Gay-hell."  I didn't say anything in reply.  I couldn't. My sister had achieved what she set out to do.  I knew then and I know now, my little sister can now truly rest in peace. 


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2/24/2018

Strange And Unusual Stories






Once again, we are going to take a break from guest posting.  We are starting a new series entitled, "Strange and Unusual Stories."  Now, for the most part, these stories will have a paranormal/supernatural slant to them.  But, not all of them.  After some discussion, we thought things were getting a bit stale around here.  So, the reason for this new series is to kick things up a bit.  Our page views are above normal and the hits keep coming.  So, it has nothing to do with traffic.  We thought this new series would prove to be entertaining.  

***We would like to thank all the people who have sent in submissions for publishing on this site.  We stopped accepting submissions last July due to being overwhelmed by the sheer number of submissions.  We just got far more submissions than we had even remotely anticipated.  Our staff is back up to seven after being at five for so long.  That will help when we start back accepting new submissions.  To those of you who submitted stories, if you have not heard from us, it is because your submission was not accepted.  Please do not be discouraged by this.  We take only one story a month out of the hundreds we sort through each month.  That is no exaggeration when I say hundreds We can only do a minimal reading of each story.  That is why it is so very important for you to give a brief synopsis of your story.  Many do not do this.  Those stories are immediately eliminated.  We have no choice.  We can't read each story completely.  It is up to you to sell your story to us.  Submissions for new stories will be once again accepted starting March 15, 2018.  Thank you for your patience and enjoy this new series.

Marcia McIntyre, Assistant Staff Editor, David's Musings 

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 An Intrusive Spirit - A ghost at a dorm room at a major university in the South knocks on the doors to closets, bathroom, and even turns the T.V. and lights out....while in the presence of the dorm rats who live there. The ghost has made no threatening moves toward the inhabitants.  But, as you can imagine, it's quite alarming to have your bottle of beer turned over at the kitchen table by an unseen force.  "We have contacted administration officials about this, all to no avail.  We are told we are just "homesick." We have had priests, ghost hunters, and even exorcists over to get rid of whatever is haunting our dorm room," said one history major. Apparently, nothing is working.  The legend is that back in the 50s, a freshman coed committed suicide when receiving a C in her Statistics class.  Regardless, the entity refuses to leave.  This room is plagued by constant water running down the walls as if they were tears.  Turnover for this room is quite high as you can imagine.

Beacon of Light - A home in the eastern part of Colorado has a very unusual and, quite possibly, "out of this world" notoriety.  UFOs are known to make appearances in Colorado with increasing frequency.  Since 1988, a light with the intensity of at least 20,000 watts makes an appearance from the sky on top of a house at 12:21 AM, July 21st, every three years. The light burst lasts from five to ten seconds.  Officials have been unable at military bases, NASA or any other government agency, to locate a logical source where the light originates from in the sky.  "We think the light originates from a point approximately 500 to 800 miles from Earth.  Earth and Space separate at about 500 miles.  So, it's not some sort of anomaly that transcends itself at that point," said one source.  No UFOs of any type have been seen hovering in this vicinity since this light source started 30 years ago.  The next light appearance is expected this July 21 and, once again, at 12:21 AM.  The house is now abandoned.

Dark Waters - In Rota, Spain, dark patches in the water that fluctuate from 500 feet to as much as 1000 feet have been seen about five miles off the coast from commercial fisherman and Naval ships that come into port.  The first known sighting was made by a fisherman in 1898.  Since that time, these sightings of the dark patches have increased over the years.  There are two constants when these dark patches appear.  One, they always seem to appear about mid-August and appear from ten to fourteen days. Two, fish jump out of the water near these patches and, sometimes, into the waiting fishing trawlers.  "It's almost as if the fish are terrified by a predator.  But, I've never seen so many fish jump out of the water and all at once," said a commercial fisherman.  Scientists say the patches are nothing more than seaweed or concentrations of fish.  No seaweed has ever been found near the dark patches and the fish, as stated, always stay away from the dark patches.

Time In A Bottle - In 1858, a commercial ship from Portugal encountered a strong typhoon in the South China Sea.  Aboard that ship was a navigator by the name of Rodrigo Costa.  Rodrigo had a bottle with a cork he had planned on tossing out to sea when they docked at their destination, The Phillippines. But, it appeared they would never reach port at Manila.  The waves were enough to throw men out of the ship and to their deaths in the violent storm.  When Rodrigo came out of the cabin to help to save the ship, he put his note in the bottle, put a cork in it and threw it out to sea.  The ship and all hands aboard perished.  In 1889, ten-year-old João Acosta was playing near the water in Angra do Heroísmo, Portugal.  He saw something shiny in the water and waded out to see what it was.  He could tell it was an old bottle, but there was a note inside that appeared to be dry.  It took ten-year-old João some time to pry open the cork.  But, he did it.  He pulled out the note, that was in Portuguese, and was able to read the note: Toda a esperanca esta perdida, Rodrigo Costa. It meant, in English, All hope is lost, Rodrigo Costa. You guessed it, Rodrigo was the grandfather of ten-year-old Joao Acosta.

The R's Have It - In the northern part of West Virginia, there is a sighting of a man that appears each month with the letter "R" in it.  His first noted appearance was in October of 1938.  It is usually at dusk when he is seen and the man appears distraught or worried.  People have tried to approach him over the years, but he turns and runs or just disappears from sight.  He doesn't appear each year according to locals.  From 1961 to 1964, the man was not sighted.  He does not appear each day in the months with "R" in them.  There is no constant to his appearances other than that they appear in the months of September, October, November, and December.  Police say it is the time of dusk playing tricks on the eyes of people.  But, people in the community say he appears to be real, while others say he is an apparition of a man long ago dead who has not gone to the other side.

Long Distance Call - In 2013, John Daniels was ready to throw his recently purchased Android smartphone against the wall in his small apartment in the state of Washington.  He was continually getting a call from "private number."  Whenever he answered, all he could hear was muffled noises in the background, and clicking on his phone.  Then the caller would hang up.  This had been going on since he bought the remanufactured phone at a cut-rate price from a major carrier.  After a week of this, John decided he'd had enough.  Thinking there was a problem with his coverage area or the phone itself, he took the phone back to the store.  The store employees checked out the phone and stated there was nothing wrong with the phone.  He was told to save the information the next time he receives another phone call.  It was from a private number, so there was nothing to really save.  On his way back home, John received another call.  He pulled over, answered the phone again (against the advice of the carrier employees). He demanded to know who was calling him, who was harassing him so much.....

"Tin....man....tin....man," the voice replied. Thinking this was some kind of "Wizard of Oz" routine,  John was beyond furious.  He cussed out the caller and said he was going to report him to the police.  And John did just that.  With the help of the carrier, police were able to place a tracking device on the phone.  John used a loaner from the carrier and waited for results.  Police called him and told them they had information for him.  They asked him to meet them at the store of the major carrier where he bought the phone.  Thinking that odd, John met police and a technical representative from the carrier at the store.  John was told they had located where the call was being made.  The call was being made from Greely Memorial Gardens, a local cemetery.  All employees were questioned. None were suspected after being questioned by police. The police also had one other thing to tell John; the previous owner of his phone was buried at this cemetery three months ago.  His name?  Arthur J. Tinneman.  


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