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.


The Devil's Biggest Lie - Part II

Click HERE for Part I

As we approached the church, I got a sense of something of which I had never felt before.  The feeling I had the previous day was not of this nature.  It was now a sense of impending doom, of something so evil I could not imagine it in my mind.  In the 50 years after this event in my life, and until my retirement at age 73, I have never felt the same evil and hate as I did that day as we approached the church.  The church itself seemed sinister and menacing.  That is the not the way a church of Jesus Christ is supposed to be.  Deacon Somerby hesitated as we approached the door to the church.  "Pastor, I urge you to take your handkerchief and hold it over your nose.  You'll see why as we enter," said the deacon.  I ignored his advice and entered the church.  I immediately gagged.  It was the smell of sulfur.  That's the smell of rotten eggs to the less informed.  Except this seemed much stronger.  "Where is the smell coming from, Deacon Somerby?  How can we expect our congregation to show up with our church smelling like this?" I asked.  "Pastor, the women of the church have used every known cleaning solution known to man to try and get that smell out.  I mean we have used cleaning solutions on the ceiling, the walls and the floors.  We cleaned the pews with ammonia thinking that would kill the smell.  Nothing had any effect to this smell.  In my opinion, this is not something of this natural earth that is causing this smell and the problems we are currently having in the church as I have already related to you," the deacon quietly said.  He seemed very ill at ease as we spoke in the church.  "Regardless, we have to find out the cause and find a way to get rid of it.  That is my first order of business," I replied. Pastor, I know you may think I'm old and senile.  But, it is my opinion, this is of the devil.  There can be no other reason for this.  I know the devil does not have dominion over the church of Jesus Christ.  But, there is a reason why this has happened.  I'm not smart enough to understand why or how this happened.  But, we have to start seeking answers from the Holy Bible.  It is our only hope, our only way out of this evil taking over our church," the deacon said.  I was very pleased that Deacon Somerby was now reaching out to the Bible for answers.  That was quite a change from the previous day.

I assured Deacon Somerby we would find the answers to this in the Bible if indeed it is a supernatural entity that was causing this.  I was feeling this whole problem could be of the Devil also.  But, before I got to that point, I wanted to make sure we eliminated all possibilities of the smell by natural means.  We could then concentrate on the supernatural possibility.  For all I knew, the smell is what was causing the congregation to rebel against the Gospel.  The deacon took me to the area where the church secretary was working.  She had some sort of petroleum jelly under her nose to mask the smell.  It was overpowering where the church pews were located.  But, at least in the pastor's office, it was not as bad.  I asked if there was a janitorial service nearby that we could employ.  I was informed they had hired two different janitorial services with mixed results.  The smell always came back.  Based on this, I had to entertain the idea this was of an evil entity.  But, since my early days in Sunday School to my graduation in Seminary, the Devil had no dominion over the House of God.  None.  I contacted two school pastors about this by phone.  Both said it was impossible that any evil entity could have made itself home in the church of Jesus Christ.  One pastor did tell me that if an evil entity was invited to the church, it could make itself known under false pretenses for a short time. In other words, heed what is in 2 Corinthians 11:14....And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

 In other words, the entity could be a wolf in sheep's clothing or a possessed human under the influence of evil.  Even that is unheard of by anyone currently teaching the Word of God. I asked Deacon Somerby had anyone from the church been there in an official capacity before the problems had begun. He said there had been none.  I decided the only way to get this whole thing in the open was have an official meeting of the congregation on a Wednesday night meeting.  There I would commence a new blessing of the church and pray for the souls of everyone in the church.  If such evil does exist in the church, then the evil will make itself known at that time.  Deacon Somerby stated, "This will not go over well with the congregation, pastor.  We already have people who are openly ridiculing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, who question the virgin birth.  This will only invite more discord among the congregation."  "Then discord it shall be.  I intend to root out any evil that may have taken hold in this congregation, one way or another," I said.  The deacon continued to be troubled by this.  "I ask you to reconsider, Pastor Turner.  If indeed there is a demon or demons within the membership, then it will leave shortly with your arrival," Deacon Somerby stated.  Nonetheless, I insisted upon the meeting.  The deacon reluctantly agreed.  I was a bit puzzled by his reluctance.

On the Wednesday night meeting, regular church was canceled.  It was made known to everyone of what the subject would be that night.  I instructed the church secretary to make note of everyone who was a member that was not present.  It had begun to snow that night, of all nights.  Temperatures were in the mid-twenties. I was fearful if the majority would even show up.  At 7 PM, we had a full house.  The church secretary, Mrs. Lancaster, strangely enough, was nowhere to be found.  I started my sermon by introducing myself to the membership.  After introductions, I got down to business. "I've been told, quite to my amazement, we have members who question the very foundation of Christian principals.  The very idea we have members who question whether Jesus Christ was resurrected or...."  "It's all hogwash, pastor!  Jesus is as dead as Adolf Hitler.  Of course, Hitler actually existed at one time.  Can we say the same for Biblical Jesus?"  said one menacing looking member.  That started the uproar at that point.  People were taking their bibles and actually throwing them at the pulpit, cursing me and mocking me.  I won't go into all that was said as the years have blurred everything said that awful night.  I was in a state of shock.  My first talk with my congregation and I'm having bibles thrown at me from the pews!  Amazingly, Deacon Somerby, who should have been trying to calm everyone down, was smiling.  I was completely dumbfounded now.  What was going on?  Were all these people, including the deacon, possessed by an evil spirit?  It appears at least one-third of the church was screaming and threatening me and the other two-thirds were either crying, trying to leave or threatening the other one-third.

With the one-third reaching a crescendo with their blasphemous ridicule and threats, I began to read the Bible.  I read from Psalm 23"The Lord is my Shepard, I shall not want...." "YOU WANT NOTHING BECAUSE YOU HAVE NOTHING, YOU FOOL!" shouted one voice of evil.  "He Maketh me lie down in green pastures, he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul; He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake...."  "STOP THIS NONSENSE, CROSS WORSHIPPER OR WE WILL CRUCIFY YOU TO THE FRONT DOOR OF THIS CHURCH," said a voice that I remotely recognized.  It was the frail, elderly church secretary, Mrs. Lancaster.  She was directly behind me and she suddenly didn't seem so frail to me any longer.  The vulgarities, cursing, and threats were now making their way toward the pulpit where I stood.  Deacon Somerby was leading the charge of clearly one-third of the congregation.  At this time, I quickly read the crucial part of Psalm 23, the one line that I wore as my protection throughout my life. I shouted this as loudly as I could.   "YEA, THOUGH I WALK THROUGH THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH, I WILL FEAR NO EVIL, FOR THOU ART WITH ME!!!!!" I screamed at the evil before me and behind me.  At this time, the evil contingent stopped in their tracks.  Deacon Somerby shouted something to me I later figured out was Latin.  "Juxta condictum revertar Nos autem crucis cultorque sum. Nos non prohibere!" "IN JESUS NAME, I COMMAND YOU TO RETURN TO YOUR DOMAIN OF HELL AND BRIMSTONE, NEVER TO RETURN! IN JESUS NAME!!"  I screamed to the menacing horde less than 10 feet from me at the pulpit.  With that, the roaring and screaming evil part of our congregation, suddenly and with amazing speed, knocked down our two-inch thick oak door and ran off into the cold, snowy darkness of the night.   The members that were possessed (or perhaps silent soldiers waiting for the word from their evil master) never returned.  They are still listed as missing from the local authorities.  Make of that what you will. The crying, screaming of the remaining two-thirds of the church was left in stunned disbelief.  They were not alone in feeling shocked.  The two people I had grown to trust most, Deacon Somerby and Church Secretary Mrs. Lancaster were among the group who raced out of the church.  We all remained in the church for approximately another hour before we all silently walked out what was once our front door.  Two elders, including Mr. Hurley,  helped me put up a curtain backed with church pews to keep out snow and the cold.

Despite what the evil demon of Deacon Somerby stated in Latin, they never did come back as they threatened.  I never felt any evil in this church for the remainder of the time I was the pastor.  Nor did I feel any evil presence at any other church of which I was appointed pastor.  But, I did have questions for School Proctor, Pastor Morely.  Surely, he had knowledge of the problems of this church, knowledge that could have helped me prepare for what I faced that night so long ago.  As soon as I could the next morning, I made a phone call to Pastor Morely.  His secretary stated he had told the school administrator he had to leave suddenly for a sick relative.  To this day, some fifty years later, Pastor Morely has not been heard from again.  I'm pretty sure I know why.  And, I am pretty sure I know who his "sick relative" was now.

As I stated, I never felt any type of evil presence in church since that incredible cold night in November of 1959.  But, I will repeat what Deacon Somerby stated in Latin, "We will not stop."  Evil never stops, never relents.  Outside of church, I see a sudden, brief evil in my rear view mirror of my car, a brief instant of evil at the checkout counter at a department store.  The Devil has time.  He has the biggest lie on his side. of him not existing.  He has patience.  He is doomed with the one-third of angels kicked out of Heaven to live forever in fiery depths of Hell.  I thank God for His protection all these years.

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The Devil's Biggest Lie - Part I

Today we are pleased to welcome Pastor Matthew Turner as our guest poster of the month on the paranormal/supernatural topic.  Pastor Turner is a retired pastor living his entire life in the great state of Oklahoma.  He is now retired at age 73, having gained his first pastorship at age 23.  He is the husband of Mary Lynn, the father of two sons, Joseph and Michael, both of whom are pastors now with their own families.  Pastor Turner and Mary Lynn are the grandparents of four beautiful grandchildren, ranging from age 12 to age 25.  Pastor Turner is founder of the food bank exchange in his area and leads food drives four times a year.  Pastor Turner still occasionally preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ at various churches in his retirement.  His hobbies consist of fishing, hiking, chess and walking his beloved beagle, Charlie, to the general store.

  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. 

{This will be a two-part story.  We do not normally allow two-part stories for the story of the month.  But, we are allowing our policy to be overruled in this case --Charlotte Hensley}


[Just to be clear, I am not typing this absurdly long story.  My granddaughter, Laura, is typing it for me as my arthritic hands can no longer handle a keyboard--Pastor Matthew Turner]


At age 23, I found myself in the school proctor's office. It was 1959, the Sunday before Thanksgiving of that year.  Pastor Morely was our proctor and he was a bit of an aloof individual.  Normally, he would simply say "Bless you" if you came across him and he would be on his way.  But, he had called me into his office for a matter of "great importance" I was told prior to my appointment.  I was three days away from graduation from Seminary and was awaiting my Mission at a Baptist church as I had already been previously informed by several pastors.  Normally, a newly graduated Seminary student would take an internship or associate pastor at a Baptist church according to tradition.  I was hoping I would be put into the Mission field in Africa as that was my stated mission in life as I had expressed to many at the school.  Pastor Morely came into his office, shook hands with me and congratulated me on my graduation in three days.  We made small talk for a few minutes and then Pastor Morely got down to business.  "I know your stated purpose, your wish is to be appointed to the field mission in Africa.  Perhaps sometime in the future that will happen.  But, not right now.  Not at this point in your life.  I have a much more important job for you.  I want you to take the pastorship at a Baptist church in the southeastern part of the state.  The church is on the brink of bankruptcy, members are leaving and they are having problems that are of a nature of which I can't discuss with you at this moment.  I need you to leave immediately upon graduation in three days.  There will be a Deacon Somerby who will meet you upon your arrival at the church.  I know this puts you on the road the day before Thanksgiving.  But, you must leave as soon as possible.  Perhaps you can have Thanksgiving dinner with Deacon Somerby.  I wish you well, Pastor Turner," Pastor Morely said.  He immediately rose from his desk and walked out of his office. I was stunned.  I wasn't allowed even one question.  I would not be spending Thanksgiving with my family.  I was upset and realized I had no choice but to go as commanded by the school proctor. I went to my dorm room and immediately started packing.

Needless to say, I was distraught about not spending Thanksgiving with my family.  But, this is the path God had chosen for me and I must go.  I graduated from Seminary at 10AM the Wednesday before Thanksgiving in 1959 and immediately set out for Trinity Baptist Church in the southeastern part of the state of Oklahoma, my home state. It was a bitterly cold day.  To make matters worse, the heater in my 1955 Oldsmobile 98 went out on me.  So, it was a long six hour drive until I arrived late that afternoon near dusk.  I arrived at the church and no one was around.  The church itself seemed simplistic, old and, yes, I hesitate to say this, but it appeared evil to me.  About five minutes after I arrived, Deacon Somerby arrived.  "Pastor Turner?" the deacon quizzed me.  He couldn't believe someone as young as me would have been sent to take on full pastorship of a church of over 200 members.  Or, at least, it was 200 members at one time.  "Deacon Somerby, I assume?  Glad to meet you sir.  As you might imagine, I am very tired, cold and hungry." I said to Deacon Somerby.  "I will take care of all three of those problems for you Pastor Turner.  I was not aware someone as young as you would be coming to handle all our problems.  But, I'm sure they know what they are doing at the Seminary.  I will drop you off at the boarding house with your own special room.  Mrs. Mullany assures me it is the best of her rooms.  She has turkey, with dressing and all the trimmings for you.  So, you are not going to be forgotten during this holiday," said the deacon.  "Deacon Somerby, what exactly is going on at the church?  My school proctor did not fill me in on any of your problems here other than to say membership was dropping off and some other problems had come up" I stated to him."  Deacon Somerby looked at me a bit strangely, I thought.  "We will get into all that in the morning, pastor.  I will say on this to you....something evil has taken over this church.  We have members in open rebellion, members who suddenly have mocked and ridiculed the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Long-time members who suddenly have questioned the foundation of our Christian principals.  But, just as strange, we have people who even question the existence of the Devil.  Many are fervent in their belief now that the Devil is nonsense and must be expunged from our teachings. In fact, Pastor Lassiter left because he was being ridiculed, mocked and threatened as he preached from the pulpit.  Pastor Lassiter just up and left in the middle of the night three weeks ago," he said.

I didn't know what to make of this.  I had never heard of a church membership in open revolt before.  It seemed impossible.  And I refused to believe that a demon spirit had invaded the church.  That was simply not possible.  The deacon told me that someone would pick me up the next morning to meet him at the church.  He did warn me that the church had a smell they simply couldn't get rid of for reasons they could not understand.  All this was more than I could fathom.  Why would Pastor Morely appoint me for something of this nature, someone so young and inexperienced.  I had excellent grades, was praised for my ability to interpret the Holy Bible and my work with the indigent and poor.  But, I thought this was a job for someone with immense experience, not someone who just recently graduated Seminary.  I went to the boarding house with Deacon Somerby and told him I looked forward to seeing him in the morning.  He continued to give me strange looks.  All this was so mysterious, so strange to me.  He told me again that someone would be there in the morning to pick me up.

The next morning, I was awakened by a knock on my door.  It was Mrs. Mullany (who had an excellent Thanksgiving dinner, but nothing like my mother's traditional Thanksgiving dinner).  "Pastor Turner?  Pastor Turner, Mr. Hurley is here to pick you up, sir," said Mrs. Mullany.  "Thank you Mrs Mullany.  I'll be right out," I said.  I grabbed my materials I had for the church, my Bible and walked out into the living room to meet Mr. Hurley, a church elder.  Like Deacon Somerby, he was skeptical of someone so young being appointed pastor.  I could see it in his eyes.  "Pastor, we need to get going.  We need to go pick up Deacon Somerby as well this morning" he said.  We set out to pick up Deacon Somerby and Mr. Hurley kept giving me quick, furtive glances.  "I hope the deacon gave you some idea of what is in store for you, pastor.  It's not for the faint of heart," Mr. Hurley said.  I had enough of this.  "Mr. Hurley, I can assure you, I have been indoctrinated in the Word of God.  Whatever this is plaguing our church, I will deal with in due time.  Don't let my age fool you into thinking I can not handle this pastorship," I said a bit too loudly and, yes, a bit too harshly.  Mr. Hurley said nothing else from that point on until we picked up Deacon Somerby at his modest home just outside town.

We were about three miles from the church when Deacon Somerby spoke up.  "We are about to enter into something of which you have never witnessed, pastor.  The smell is overpowering in the church.  The feeling you will get today will not come close to what you felt upon your arrival.  I am only telling you this because I want you to be prepared.  We have already lost one pastor.  We cannot afford to lose another.  I do believe this is something evil that has invaded the church.  It is up to you to get rid of it," the deacon said.  All my teachings had taught me that the Devil and his minions could not enter into the Church of God.  It was simply not possible and I was puzzled that Deacon Somerby did not know that or he should have known it.  He was deacon of the entire church.  He should have been reassuring me of that message.  But, he did not.  I didn't know what to make of him at that point.  All I knew for certain, I was about to enter into the biggest event of my life.  I had little in the way of knowledge of what had really been going on.  I had church leadership that appeared curious to me.  Even more, I had a church proctor, of my Seminary school, who had sent me into the biggest fight of my life with virtually no knowledge of what I was about to face.  And I was about to face it virtually all alone with my faith, my teachings and my Bible.

Click HERE for Part II

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