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. 


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.


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. 


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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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 


 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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Two Hours With My Deceased Mother

Today we are pleased to present Brock Leyman as our guest poster on the Paranormal/Supernatural topic. He was born in Oregon and lives there now. Brock is a 55-year-old, retired flight engineer with a major airline operating within the U.S.A.  Brock comes from a long line of airline industry employees.  His father was a Captain for 24 years with Delta, he has a brother who is currently a first officer with a major airline, two sisters were stewardesses.  He has several cousins who are mechanics or engineers with airline companies as well.  His wife Charlotte is a retired stewardess.  Brock and Charlotte are the parents of two sons.  Both sons, ironically enough, are not employed in the airline industry.   Both sons are employed by the federal government in non-aviation capacities. In his spare time, Brock loves to fly his Cessna as a private pilot to business executives in Oregon.  Both he and his wife are involved in various charities in their community.

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. 

+++  Before I begin my story, I am aware of the similarities of my story to the movie A.I. by Steven Spielberg.  I'm also aware of the great skepticism that will be received of this story.  If I was in the shoes of the reader, I would be greatly skeptical also.  Some will say this was the mind playing tricks on someone who was in deep financial difficulties.  I get that, I really do.  But, I know my mind wasn't playing tricks on me.  You'll see why as the story unfolds--Brock Leyman


December 29, 2005, will go down as one of the most painful, if not the most painful events of my life.  My beloved mother, who was in perfect health at age 65, was killed in a hit and run accident at the nearby mall as she was returning a Christmas gift that was defective (toaster-oven).  It was a gift from my wife.  My wife dearly loved her mother-in-law.  So, she was saddled with misplaced guilt then and even now.  Charlotte (my wife) was inconsolable. The driver was never caught.  But, he did pay for his crime as you will also found out later.  Our entire family was beyond grief.  My mother was a rock for us all as our father had skipped out on us when I was all of eight years old.  He came back around 12 years later.  My mother forgave him.  I was never able to do that.  We found out the reason he came back after so many years was that he had terminal cancer.   I should have forgiven him as my mother correctly scolded me.  "He skipped out on me also, Brocky.  If I can forgive him, why can't you?" my mother asked.  I had no answer to that, honestly.  My mother's funeral was surreal.  It's hard to accept someone as being dead that you have known all your life.  Mother was someone that if you knew her, you just fell in love with her.  She was always concerned about me,  my two sisters and brother.  I guess what hurt the most was that none of us had the chance to say goodbye to her.  Doctors say she was killed on impact.

Life went on.  Our grief subsided somewhat.  But, the heartache was always there tucked away in the deepest recesses of our collective hearts.  My youngest sister, Liz, had to have counseling to cope with her grief.  My oldest sister, Lydia (my senior by 2 years), had to take medication for depression as I did for approximately 3 years after our mother's death.  My other brother, Carl, refused to discuss our mother's death.  It seemed Carl had a tougher time dealing with her death than any of us as he had to take 6 months leave from his job as First-Officer with an airline.  His grief was so much, he didn't trust himself in the cockpit.  But, by 2008 most of us were able to function and accept what life had dished out to us.

In 2010, I suffered a financial catastrophe (terribly bad investment) that put both my wife and me in bankruptcy.  It put a terrible strain on our marriage and, for the first time in our lives, we both discussed the unthinkable (at least for us); divorce.  I had talked Charlotte into going along with this "sure-fire investment" that turned out to be nothing more than a "bait and switch" scam.  I was humiliated, embarrassed and disgusted with myself.  How could I have been so stupid?  There is nothing anyone could say to me that I had not already said to myself.  I took every flight that I was allowed under FAA rules and regulations.  But, it wasn't enough for us to keep our home.  We filed for bankruptcy and sold our home.  Charlotte and I moved in with my sister Liz.  We were going to try to move into an apartment.  But, Liz has this guest house that is attached to her huge home by a brick corridor.  The guest house has all the amenities of a really nice apartment.  All we had to do was pay our share of utilities.  So, I thought I was starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I was completely wrong.   Two weeks after we moved into my sister's guest house, Charlotte informed me she had decided to move in with her own sister.  She was also was going to consult with a lawyer for a formal separation.  I was devastated.  No amount of pleading did any good.  Charlotte said she needed to think about her future with me.  She couldn't do that living with me in my sister's guest house.  There wasn't much I could say about her leaving.  She lost a lot of money on that investment after I assured her it was a "slam dunk."   She loved me.  But, she needed space to think.  After she left, I fell into a very deep, dark place.  Saying I was depressed would not be accurate.  It was far more than that.

It was a Saturday night.  I had been drinking most of the day with friends I had invited over.  They all tried to assure me that my financial situation would improve, that Charlotte would come to her senses and take me back.  I was not nearly as confident as my closest friends were that particular Saturday.  My best friend in the world, Larry, came to me as the others were leaving.  "Brock, outside of me of course (with a smirk on his face), who do you trust most in the world?" Larry asked.  "That would be Charlotte.  But, she's not in a talking mood for obvious reasons," I said.  "But, outside of Charlotte, if you had a choice, who would you talk to about your problems, who would help you the most in all the world?" as Larry continued to press me.  I couldn't figure out where he was going with this line of questioning.  "Larry, the only person outside of you, of course, and Charlotte, that I would completely trust and respect with my problems would be my beloved mother.  Okay?  But, she's dead, Larry, in case you haven't noticed!" I answered a bit too loudly as I was becoming more and more irate with my best friend.  What was he trying to get to with all this, I thought.   Larry then said something that made me go toward him in anger.  "Then talk to her, Brock.  Talk to her," Larry just matter of factly said to me.  I started toward him and he stopped me.  I was in enough trouble without having my best friend angry with me for punching him.  "Is this your idea of a joke, Larry?  Trying to mock my dead mother?  Are you purposely trying to provoke me into knocking the hell out of you!?!?" I screamed.  "I absolutely meant no disrespect, Brock!  You know I loved your mom.  She was like a second mother to me.  What I meant is talk to her as if she is there with you in your room sometime.  Talk to your mother like she is there in the flesh...and you may be surprised by what happens.  I know this simple advice helped me when I was recovering from that motorcycle accident six years back. I thought I would never walk again, remember? I may explain more on that another time. It's just a thought, Brock.  We'll talk tomorrow, old friend," said Brock.

I just decided Larry had too much to drink as we all had that Saturday.  Talk to my mom?  I wished I could, oh, how I wished I could talk to her, to let her know how things are going with me and the rest of her children.  There is so much I would love to talk to her about.  But, why beat myself over the head with this?  And Larry's strange advice in the first place, what the hell was he getting at?  Larry did have a terrible motorcycle accident six years back and almost never walked again.  His mom did die about three or four months prior to that accident, I mused.  This is insane, I decided.  I went into the bathroom, took a long, hot shower.  After I got out of the shower, my cell was blinking.  I had a call.  I went to voicemail and heard my message.  You know that old saying when it rains it pours?  That was the case as I listened to my supervisor explain I was being laid off due to technology.  Flight Engineers were dinosaurs in the airline industry.  We were being replaced all over the industry.  I knew it was coming eventually.  But, not now, not during a time of such heartache and turmoil in my life.  He apologized for calling so late and on a weekend.  But, he wanted me to know right away.  I was eligible to take free courses to become a First Officer.  But, I never wanted to fly those behemoths.  I was only qualified to fly certain planes but only then in extreme emergencies.  I wasn't qualified to be a pilot...period.  I didn't know what I was going to do.  I just didn't have a clue.  I sat down on my bed and cried.  I was at my wit's end.  I didn't know which way to turn now.  I was thinking maybe if I just left and lived the life of a homeless man, no one would even care.  I started to call my brother, Carl, who was a First Officer on Northwest Airlines.  But, I decided against it.  Carl was pulling some long hours and I was afraid I might wake him from his sleep time.

I then started thinking about what Larry had said....speak to your mother as if she was there in the room with you.  In the first place, why would Larry give such insane and absurd advice?  Speak to the dead?  I was not a person who held much belief in the supernatural (although I had seen some supernatural events during my time in the cockpit).  I kept crying and then finally...."Mama...Mama....can you hear me?  I need you, Mama.  I don't know what to do.  Please talk to me.  Tell me what to do...please Mama," I quietly cried.  I probably pleaded for my deceased mother to speak to me for five, maybe ten minutes.  I then just gave up.  With sleep overwhelming me, I did something I had not done since I was probably eight or nine years old.  I prayed.  I don't remember the exact prayer.  But, I do remember asking the Lord for a few hours with my mother, just a couple of hours would do, I prayed.  I felt foolish afterward.  God was too busy for such nonsense, I considered.  I had been agnostic, leaning toward belief in the past few months.  I guess it's true, there are no atheists in foxholes.  I was definitely in a foxhole.

I guess I had fallen to sleep for about an hour, or an hour and a half as I looked at my digital clock when I thought I heard something in my room.  It was like someone was trying to clear their throat very quietly.  I immediately sat up.  I looked around the dark room to see nothing out of the ordinary.  But, I could sense something was in the room with me.  Thinking I had been dreaming, I laid back down.  But, I just knew I had...."Brocky....it's me, sweetheart."  Only one person ever called me "Brocky."  This time, I jumped out of the bed.  Looking around the room, I saw nothing.  I saw nothing until I saw a silhouette in the moonlit room in the corner next to the closet.  "Mama? MAMA?!?" I incredulously asked.  I was beyond astonished.  "You were expecting someone else, Brocky?"  It was no doubt about it now.  The sarcasm sealed the deal.  That was my mother, the woman who raised me from the time I was an infant.  The woman who nursed me back to good health from so many colds and toothaches.  "Mama...this...this is impossible!" I exclaimed to her.  The silhouette now moved toward me and into better lighting.  It was my beloved mother wearing a light-colored robe.  It was the same pale blue eyes, the same dimple in her left cheek, the cropped black hair she had for eternity.  She walked closer to me and to within 5 feet when she stopped.  "Nothing is impossible if you only have faith, Brocky.  Faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains.  I know I said that more than once to you," my mother quietly said to me.  I rushed to her to embrace her.  I cried like never before and I never will again.  MAMA!  I felt her flesh.  She was warm, not cold like I had expected.  Her eyes sparkled, but with no tears.  "We only have the couple of hours you asked for, Brocky.  I know of your problems, sweetheart.  I know," she said with concern and love.  "Mama, how can this be?  How...how...I don't know what to say.  Am I dreaming? If this is a dream, I don't want to wake up!" I said loudly.  "It's not a dream, you are not hallucinating.  It's me, your mother, in the flesh.  You asked for me.  I'm here.  But, in some ways, I've always been here with you and your sisters and brother.  You just couldn't see me, Brocky" she said.

I continued to stare at my mother in absolute astonishment.  "It's not important as to how I am here, Brocky.  What's important is that I am here.  I have words to say to you and not much time to say them.  Sit down and let's talk.  I know this is more than you can comprehend.  I wish I could explain it to you.  But, I am not allowed to do that.  Please understand, my love," Mama explained.  I was crying uncontrollably now.  "Now, now, now, my little boy.  Just like you did as a child when you did something wrong, you cry those big crocodile tears that always endeared me to you  I'm here.  I'm here for you, my son.  Tell me all that has gone on in your words.  I already know what has happened to you.  But, I need to hear it from your mouth," Mama continued.  It took me another 5 minutes.  But, I was able to compose myself enough to go over all that has taken place with Charlotte, my bad investment and losing my job just that night.  I explained how I felt hopeless, beyond embarrassed by the investment that cost me so much.  I couldn't stop staring at her.  I reached over and hugged her, kissed her.  She was holding my chin like she did when she was about to scold me.  "You know I love you, Brocky.  I always will.  But, I did not raise you to be a quitter, a crybaby and a forlorn figure that you have become.  Now, there are some things I can not tell you.  But, I can tell you that Charlotte is hurt very bad.  You already knew that.  But, at this very moment, she is considering coming back here to live with you at Liz's house.  And, before you say it, I can't see Liz, as much as I would love to.  You will recover.  Your unemployment will be short-lived.  And you will receive an offer that you have always wanted.  You will accept it and retire in that position with another airline.  Now, stop fretting so and get on with your life.  I can guarantee you that you have no idea when your life will end.  Now, straighten yourself up and hug me again.  I don't have much time left," she said.  I could tell the sparkle in her eyes was beginning to fade.  She seemed to be wheezing just ever so slightly as she continued to talk to me and ask questions.  We talked about the aftermath of her death.  We discussed how hard we took her death.  Of course, Mama wanted to know all about her "grandbabies" and how they were doing.  I saw by my clock we had been talking for just over 90 minutes.

"There's not much time left, Brocky," Mama said as she seemed to be gasping more for breath.  "Don't worry about me.  I didn't come from the grave and I'm not going back to the grave.  I'm going back to a beautiful place where there is no worry, no sickness, no heartache and none of the worldly things that make the living world one which I would not miss if not for my babies and grandbabies.  But, you do not need to worry about your situation, my love.  It will all work out.  Things will improve.  I can't explain why you were granted time to me during your time of need when so many others are ignored.  But, know this...there are others who see their mothers, fathers, siblings, and so on to discuss things.  It has happened for centuries, Brocky.  It will continue to happen.  But, you will never see me again.  Not in this world.  That is all I can say to you about that, sweetheart," said my Mama as I started crying again.  "Mama...let me go with you.  Please.  I miss you so much.  My life has been so empty, so meaningless without you.  I love Charlotte.  But, I can't..."  "You hush talking like that, Brock Robert Leyman!  I will not hear of such a thing.  Of course, you can't go with me.  Your time has not yet arrived.  Stop thinking of yourself and think of those who still need you, such as Charlotte and those two sons of yours," she said.  I looked at her and was still in amazement.  But, she was slowly getting drowsy as I continued to speak to her.  "Mama....do you know who it was that hit you?  The police have never been able to find him," I said to my mother.  At first, there was no response.  As my mother seemed to be slowly going to sleep.  "He died falling off a scaffolding.  He was a construction worker.  The man is paying for his mistake for eternity, Brocky," Mama said.  I reached out to my mother....she was cool to the touch.  Her time was all but gone now.  I couldn't let go.  "Mama!  Mama, please don't go, please stay a while longer," I pleaded through hot tears.  "It's time for me to go, sweetheart.  I will always be with you.  I will always love you and your..."  And she slowly disappeared into nothingness.

I know how this all sounds to the reader.  It was not a ghost or some apparition.  It was not my imagination or a hallucination.  How do I know this?  I have the faith of a mustard seed it was my mother.  Everything Mama said came true.  Charlotte and I did get back together.  Our marriage is now stronger than it's ever been.  I got a job as an instructor at another major airline and with better pay.  Life worked itself out just as Mama said it would.  My financial situation has never been better.  The only investment I make now is in spending more time with Charlotte and our grandchildren.  We are one big happy family now.  And you know what?  I know, even now, my mother is right there with us as we eat Sunday dinner like she used to.  My oldest son, Josh, his wife and two little girls (8 years and 5 years old) were eating with us this one Sunday night.  Lucy, the 8-year-old, dropped her fork on the floor.  I was going to pick it up and get her a new one.  But, she insisted on doing it herself.  As she got the fork and stood back up, she reached over to hug me and kiss me on the cheek.  I asked her what that was for.  "Because you kissed me on the cheek also, Grandpa.  I'll go get another fork," she said.

I didn't kiss my little granddaughter.  But, I know who did. 

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A Midsummer Night's Terror

Today we are pleased to welcome Emily Durkin as our guest poster on the paranormal/supernatural topic.  Emily is a 32-year-old professor of philosophy at a major university in New York.  Currently, she is on temporary assignment in Paris, France studying the French Classics such as Les Miserables, The Count of Monte Cristo and so forth.  Emily is divorced, no children, but does have a huge German Shepard at home named Duke. Emily is anxious to see him very soon.  Emily's hobbies consist of reading, studying and analyzing the classics of every country on earth.  In her spare time, Emily loves watching old movies (1940-1965).   She is also very involved with two nephews and a niece whom she loves very much.

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. 


Shortly after my divorce (How do people marry and divorce more than once?), I asked my mom if I could stay at our cabin in the Red River Gorge basin of Kentucky.  Even though I was feeling a bit under the weather, I felt as if I needed to get away from everyone after a divorce that just absolutely broke me mentally and physically.  My ex-husband and I still loved each other.  We still do love each other.  But, sometimes, love just isn't enough to have a successful marriage, a marriage that works for both parties.   I just needed to be by myself in late June of 2014, about a week before Independence Day.  I brought several books to read, an old CD player and some CDs, some work I needed to catch up on before the school year began at the university.  Mom, of course, said it would be perfectly fine for me to go to our cabin that has been in the family since the late 1920s when my great-great-grandfather (there might be another "great" in there, I'm not sure) started building it.  It is about twice as large as the original 680 square feet built now due to adding on to it over the decades.  My mother was worried about my being at the cabin all by myself.  I assured her I would be bringing my cell phone and charger.  We had two generators that my late father taught me how to operate and to repair if they ever went down.  So, I felt quite confident I could handle anything were it to arise.  My dad taught me all I needed to ever know at that cabin.  I was wishing he was with me then to comfort me in that time of heartache.  But, my dad died of a stroke on New Year's Eve of 2002.  It was devastating to us all.  My dad's last wish was that his ashes were to be spread at the base of the hill that our cabin was built.  He loved the cabin and the Red River Gorge of Kentucky.  It was only fitting that his remains be there as he had requested.  But, it unnerves me just a little whenever I come to the cabin knowing my dad's ashes were somewhere at the base of the hill of where our cabin was located.

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