Tag: haunting

Children, Spiritual Emergency, and Spiritual Will

Kelley, we’ve had paranormal experiences off and on in our home for years–nothing frightening, just evidence of spirits. At the end of 2009, I had some disturbing experiences in the house, after which I and my daughter smudged the house and cleared it. I did not feel that presence again. However, just this week, a couple of new things happened. Early one morning I heard a voice call out, “Mom,” repeatedly. One of the kids was home (daughter 9), though she was upstairs asleep. The other kids weren’t home (son 15, daughter 11). Later the same morning, my husband and I heard the upstairs toilet flush, when we were the only ones home. We live in an area that is very active with ley lines, but can you shed insight into what’s going on? Thanks, EJ

Thanks for your note! You definitely live in a place that is etherically active, quite upbeat and healthy. The level of energy there feels like the positive end of a battery. That high level of vibration attracts lots of etheric visitors, but I would wager that most of them are fairly peaceful sorts, if not higher consciousnesses. When I feel the atmosphere of your house and weave through traces of visitors, these disturbances are not unquiet dead. You are being visited by a troubled projection of one of your family.

The phenomenon you describe has been traditionally referred to as poltergeist activity. A facet of poltergeist activity is a suffering spirit, or “noisy ghost” in the literal translation, becoming enlivened by an unconscious projection of a living person. This person feels powerless to effectively express needs or concerns, or someone who feels that expressed needs and concerns go unaddressed. It’s usually a child or young adult. Most people report poltergeist phenomena centering around a young girl moving into puberty. Occasionally this disturbance occurs with boys, but males typically have a clearer sense of power in the family, so there is no need to feel displaced or unacknowledged. Young girls, on the other hand, are beginning to see the wider dynamic of where the feminine fits into Life, not to mention are usually embarking on radical physiological changes. While females traditionally are more likely than males to speak their feelings, culturally, females at puberty realize that though they speak them, no one is really listening. A sense of futility develops as a troubled unconscious projection, through which the unexpressed emotions are vented. Where there is a troubled psyche is a prime highway for restless energies to venture in. The angst of youth is powerful, and when channeled through the unconscious mind of a troubled child, it’s fertile ground for errant energies to tag along and act out their own frustrations. The troubled unconsciousness is what gives these energies power to make chaos in your home. This fusion of frustrated young person with restless spirit is what we call poltergeist phenomena.

That said, my feeling is that your disturbances are being caused by your youngest daughter. Around the age of 9-10, we become aware of our spiritual will, and our parents can no longer shield us as effectively, or consciously affect our soul’s growth. Your youngest daughter is feeling the natural pull to “drive” her spiritual will, but her soul is saying that she doesn’t have the faculties to do so. For this reason she is acting out unconsciously. Volatile emotional traces of her are throughout your home. She isn’t harmful. Rather there is a feeling of panic, a desperate need to belong, and a specific need to feel protected. On the mundane level, she is beginning to see that she is not equipped to deal with the world outside your home, though her age and society are demanding that she do so.

What your daughter is dealing with internally is out of your hands. At an emotional level, a professional in behavioral modification (preferably one who understands spiritual emergency) can help your daughter give words to her feelings and learn to express them healthily. She brought long-festering discontentment into this life and it will not resolve quickly. This unhappiness has created limitations in her inherent ability to cope socially, and in her ability to be in command of her spiritual will. Energetically, her inner world is fairly dark, which is heavy and quite frightening for a child. If it seems like her joy is superficial, that’s because it truly is and she feels pressured to fake it. She doesn’t have the social skills that most children her age do, and she definitely doesn’t have the ability to cope with the errant energies that she’s picking up on. Chakra balancing would be helpful for her. Verging on puberty, if this mastery of spiritual will hasn’t occurred, hormonal changes will be mentally taxing for her, more so than is common, and will require medical intervention. Medicating her pain away isn’t an answer. In some cases medication can cease the soul work that is needed. Rather, work a combination of approaches to allow her process to unfold as gently as possible, and create internal balance, now. She is not mentally ill. She is experiencing a true spiritual emergency, in which her soul is demanding work that her cognitive ability can’t provide. This state isn’t going to be a way of life for her, but some facet of her spirit is crying out for better means of rooting into her form during this hormonal transition, so that her adulthood can be quieter and more focused. Quite simply, what unrest she brought into this life has exacerbated in her childhood, and can’t be carried into her adulthood. That is the reason her spirit is crying out for help now. She is asking for help in commanding her spiritual will.

The combination of potent ley lines, the visitors they attract, and three youth verging on teen years is going to keep your home energetically interesting for some time. In fact, the ley lines may be adding pressure to your daughter’s spiritual emergency. It is within your parameters as her parent to ask the higher beings on your land and her guides to ease off her rapid growth, thus, calm your home. Likewise, make use of that etheric portal you sit on and invite into your home some relief for you all. Be well!

Saturn’s Gift

Real Wyrd - A Modern Shaman's Roots in the Middle World by S. Kelley Harrell

Every year for Samhain I publish accounts of my more charged, and in some cases creepy, spiritual pursuits. The Dead Time is a treasured journey to Solstice, and as it is a time of untime, the shadowed season presents a great opportunity to tell the stories that many who do shamanic work won’t tell–the occasions when things don’t go well or the unseen presents itself unexpectedly. You may recognize some of these accounts from my previous stories, while others are more recent. Enjoy the solitude of the darkness, and know the light will soon warm!

Saturn. The name of the Roman god elicits shudders from historians and astrology enthusiasts, alike. The wielder of justice, the task master, the great leveler of the playing field. Saturn, the planet, is no less all business. With the intention of forcing you to face what you have not, this stellar body moves into a new sign about every three years. Practically speaking, this means that it occupies the exact location in the natal chart once roughly every 28-30 years. Saturn Returns, as such are known, are surrounded by much hype largely because they bring three years of intense personal clearing and transition. Considered a cosmic vice that will bear down on what you have not prior been able to release or move, rumor was that after all the intense purging managed by Saturn, the impartial judge would leave his tenderized charge a gift. Little did I know how hard I would work for that gift, or what that gift would be.

For me the fun began in March of 2001, with a car accident that left me in extreme pain for about three years and health conditions to manage ever after. The first year after I had intense kundalini explosions commonly referred to as a spiritual emergency (when the soul evolves more intensely than the psyche can manage). That was the conclusion of my first Saturn Return. Next came Saturn taking up station in my sun sign, which is not a common synchronous event. Where most people have the approximate three years’ liaison with Saturn, I had six. It was a profitable time during which I wrote and published Gift of the Dreamtime, inadvertently bringing me a great deal of healing. Willing to accept that as my gift at the close of my Return, I elected to follow Saturn’s lead for the next three years.

In July of 2005 I was staying alone in a hotel when I became aware of a presence in the room. I had already cleared the room, as hotels usually require such, and I was surprised to find a spirit there. When I closed my eyes I saw a spiritual manifestation of my grandfather. He told me that he was leaving and that he wouldn’t be back in this realm in form again. It was a peaceful interaction, though I carried no particular sadness at his announced departure. In my childhood he had sexually assaulted me on numerous occasions, the healing of which was thoroughly brought through in my Saturn Return. The next day, the day that Saturn left my birth sign in 2005, my grandfather died.

Despite the fact that I wasn’t close to him in any loving sense the news hit me fiercely, literally leaving me dizzy and needing to sit. My life force changed on the spot, some primordial thread passed from him, to my father, to me. In my lack of grief I felt oddly raw for a long while after, in a way that I couldn’t articulate. I felt as though I was exposed energetically and couldn’t regain grounding or protection. Aware of this lack, I focused on connecting with my spiritual allies and left the situation in their hands.

During this time one of my cats, Phoenix, began to act strange. He had made clear to me early in our fifteen-year relationship that he was my familiar. I had asked him what that meant, exactly, and he said, “I’m your companion.”

“What does a companion do?” I asked.

“Keep you company,” he replied. I didn’t ask him anymore questions. In that timeframe after my grandfather’s death I frequently found Phoenix talking with a presence in the guest bathroom. He always sat facing a particular spot, staring at it and caterwauling deep conversation. If I interrupted he would glare at me until I backed from the room, then he would continue talking. I didn’t know what was happening but it was clear to me that Phoenix wasn’t alone. As Phoenix was unfazed, excellent energy judges that cats are, I left him to it. My sense of the dynamic was that Phoenix was orchestrating something and I was not part of it.

By February of that year we began finding blood in the house–huge crimson sprays on the walls and carpet about 6-8 inches in diameter. At the time we had two cats and a dog, all of whom presented perfect health. Two months later, Phoenix began to show signs of vestibular imbalance, and I was at last with him during a projectile nosebleed. Mystery solved, this condition followed a pattern of him being immobile for days, then he would bounce back to light, life and playful kittiness. Evident to us was that his body was under extreme duress, though his veterinarian found no cause for or proof of his symptoms. I felt keen dismay at his odd decline. Having facilitated the deaths of several animal friends, upon talking with Phoenix I expected him to advise me of his life plans and what role I might play in them. To my surprise, he told me to do nothing. He told me that he was finishing work on another plane and that he would tell me when it had been completed. Clear to me was the fact that if I did facilitate his death to alleviate my grief it would be against his wishes.

Saturn by George Pencz

Saturn by George Pencz

The pattern of gruesome explosions continued, along with Phoenix’ chipper little personality telling me to hold the space for him to complete his work. He began to talk to his friend even more. The presence in the house became overbearing and by this point in my grief, my ability to fend off unwanted spiritual influences was almost nonexistent. Phoenix had stopped sleeping at night and was talking nonstop. He still ate well, groomed, and kept to his usual routine of napping in the yard and his favorite sunny spots about the house. Frequently I asked him, to his annoyance, if he was ready to die. He told me repeatedly that he was not and that I was, with no ambiguity, not to euthanize him unless or until he specifically told me to. He told me that he had work to complete here that would be more beneficial to do while he was still in form, and that if I euthanized him before that point it would complicate his process radically. Sadly, I left that governance to him and listened closely.

All the while that we had been supporting Phoenix other strange things began to happen in the house. Our dog began to exhibit vestibular imbalance, and lights began to flicker randomly throughout. I noticed changes in my own health. Within the space of about two weeks my hearing degraded significantly and I suddenly manifest problems reading. It was as if I had rapidly become dyslexic, only it wasn’t just that letters and words inverted on a page. I began seeing symbols that I didn’t recognize suffused with blank spaces mid-sentence. I felt that something major was going on etherically, a very profound shift of wiring, so to speak. I consulted the neurologist I had seen after the car-crash. Brain scans came back clean and the neurologist insisted that I had always been dyslexic and didn’t realize it.

One morning that August, Phoenix began crying in the wee hours. I gathered him around 3am and we lay on the couch. About an hour later I was awakened by a bright flash that settled into a horizontal sheet of white light cloaking the room. I sat up and observed that I could see above and below the hovering blanket of light. Phoenix began crying in my arms while the dog and other cat became agitated and left the room. Again there was a blinding flash and one of the computer monitors turned on. Instantly after that the four computers in the room simultaneously turned off. The room was deadly silent in the absence of the technohum, and I felt a masculine presence in the room. It hit me then that Phoenix had been buffering this energy and that his ability to continue buffering it was declining. Initially, I was very startled. Then, as is common for me when entities create physical intrusions, I became angry. I approached the monitor and saw that despite the fact that the desktop was displayed, none of the computers were on. I switched the monitor off and was livid.

Realizing that I was too emotionally involved with the situation to affect it I called on a colleague to help. Right off the bat she isolated that my grandfather was clinging to me and was manipulating my lower chakras. She didn’t know anything about my past with him, and I was genuinely surprised to hear her assessment. She went on to say that he was intentionally interfering with my sleep cycle to disrupt my usual healing work in my dreamstate, and that he was specifically dumping his karma on me to avoid having to do the work himself. My many spiritual interactions with him had always been very peaceful, very compassionate. I was genuinely taken aback to learn that not only had he not transitioned thoroughly, particularly after his visit to me the night before he died, but that he was lingering to cause me more harm. When I told my friend this she informed me that the aspect of him clinging to me now was not the higher, balanced being I’d seen so many times and the night before his death; rather, it was the earthly consciousness that was deeply troubled and still perpetuating abusive patterns.

Properly armed, I came home and thanked Phoenix for his work and cleared the house. I closed those of my grandather’s chakras that had remained partially functional after his demise. Three days of persistent entity release rituals transpired before I felt this suffering aspect of his consciousness completely transition. When it did I told Phoenix that he could relax and that he no longer had to do the work alone. His relief was evident, but he told me that his work was still not complete.

DSCF0610On 21 November I was admitted to the hospital with appendicitis. While I was waiting for surgery Phoenix came to me and told me that he was ready to move on. I lamented that I couldn’t help him and he assured me that there was no rush. He just wanted me to know he was finished. On 10 December 2006 we went to the vet with Phoenix, though we came home without him. His deathwalk was very difficult for me, yet it became clear in that procession that Phoenix had released me from very old, harmful misogynistic life threads. I also felt that he was paving an opening for radical etheric change in my life and in his own destiny. At that point I realized in our time together just how much Phoenix had contributed to grounding my life force. Physical evidence of that etheric transition came in March of 2007, when after having further health concerns I went to a new neurologist. In the brain scans that she did scarring was present, indicators of a series of minor strokes that left several physical markers, countless unseen ones.

What, then, did Saturn gift me? A deep and lasting release from limiting patterns. It may not be as exciting as a science toy, but it felt really great nonetheless. A budding insight into the vast . A budding insight into the vast and incomprehensible nature of consciousness. An opportunity to work through lingering anger toward my grandfather. An understanding that part of grief is the changing etheric field. An appreciation for the physical manifestation of widening awareness. More than any of those Saturn left me thankful for unconditional love and soulful support most evident in a truth of Wise Women lore that says when her familiar leaves Woman steps into her true power.

Number One Rule of House Selling

Real Wyrd - A Modern Shaman's Roots in the Middle World by S. Kelley Harrell

Read more spooky stories in “Real Wyrd – A Modern Shaman’s Roots in the Middle World,” my collection of true paranormal experiences as a lifelong intuitive.

Every year for Samhain I publish accounts of my more charged, and in some cases creepy, spiritual pursuits. The Dead Time is a treasured journey to Solstice, and as it is a time of untime, the shadowed season presents a great opportunity to tell the stories that many who do shamanic work won’t tell–the occasions when things don’t go well or the unseen presents itself unexpectedly. You may recognize some of these accounts from my previous stories, while others are more recent. Enjoy the solitude of the darkness, and know the light will soon warm!

In celebration of my favorite time of the year, I’ve decided to take a departure from my regular column format for this month, instead electing each day to write out as many of my creepy ‘spirit visitor’ stories as time allows between now and Samhain. I started writing some of them down a few years ago with the idea of publishing them in a collection at some point. For now I just want to feed the veil.

In early 1999 my partner and I decided it was time to purchase our first home together. We looked primarily in the Raleigh and Cary areas with the aid of our wonderful realtor. One Saturday in particular our realtor had scheduled us to visit more houses than I could have ever imagined possible in the span of about 3 hours. Little did I know how overwhelming that would be for an intuitive!
Going into any unfamiliar space is a bit harsh on the senses for an intuitive, but going into many in a short span of time is almost overkill. I had never had the intimate experience of unabashedly walking through someone else’s personal space without that person present, and that dynamic of energetic intrusion was very odd for me. We went into a couple of houses that felt peculiar, though not for any specific spiritual reason. When a structure is uncomfortable the assumption is often made that there is a spiritual presence causing the unrest. Though there likely are spirits on every square inch of the planet does not discredit such factors as elemental influences, electrical charges, ley lines, random anomalies of physics that we can’t readily account for, etc, as influences over how we feel in a space. For this and other reasons we’ve seen the rise of Feng Shui in the western world as a refined art in creating harmonious living, elementally. My unrest in most of these houses seemed to be just that—born of them not being the right balance for us.

We entered one house in particular, in Cary, that felt a bit odd. There was no alarming sensation, nothing I could put my finger on. It was a nice little split level, though not quite what we are looking for. The three of us meandered through the house going our separate ways. I explored the upper level while my partner was in the lower level, the realtor in the mid-level. As I was checking out the upper guest bathroom I saw a woman in a dark dress walk past the door. Thinking nothing of it, I finished my tour then came down the stairs. I paused at the mid-level, taking in the vantage point of the center of the house. As I did I glanced back up the stairs. I saw a woman in a black dress with fine white polka dots on it step from the hall into the very back bedroom. I marveled over the dress, as it was a rather full skirt, the sort one used to see floating atop a petticoat in 1950s style dresses. In the previous homes we had viewed other realtors were in and out with clients, so besides the odd style of dress, I didn’t really give more thought to this woman being in the house.

After a few minutes we re-convened at the mid-level when the realtor said we could go ahead out and she would lock up behind us. I asked her why she needed to lock up when there was someone else in the house. She looked at me like I was clearly ill and said that there wasn’t anyone else in the house. I told her what I had seen, and being the dutiful realtor she charged up the stairs to sleuth out the stranger. My partner and I looked at each other, shrugging. I genuinely thought there was someone else in the house—I had no indication to think otherwise. I had my feelers on to check out the unseen aspects of the house and had no ill feelings about it at all. The house felt quite light.

The realtor came back downstairs insisting that there was no one in the house, and by that point I believed her. She looked at me like I was completely nuts and brushed past me to open the front door. As she and my partner were walking out of the house I glanced down into the lower level where a toddler—a little boy–in a walker stood stock still just at the bottom of the stairs. He had a pacifier in his mouth and was looking at me. I don’t recall any particular communication between us, just the mutual acknowledgement that we could behold each other. The realtor called to me again and we left.

We decided against that house on practical grounds, though I wasn’t thrilled with the thought of moving into a place so energetically cluttered that the spirits were already making contact, even if they were benevolent. The house that we ended up buying, also in Cary, was cosmically frenetic, though in a different way. It’s no wonder looking back that I stayed worn out in that house. Generally speaking, Cary has a quartz bluff that runs through part of it, which in my estimation accounts for a lot its chaotic vibes. Because of the quartz veining the area is known for having an inordinate amount of lightning strikes. Our home was about four miles from that core and it influenced my work greatly. I began journeying to the house and the land before we moved into it, allowing it to know me and to get a feel for how we would all merge into the space of Home. From my early journeys to the Nature spirits on the property to the very last ones before we moved from it I had the constant feeling that the land in that area couldn’t heal from some ancient interplanetary wound, which only exacerbated any spiritual unrest, of which there was plenty in our home and surrounding area. The most obvious visitor was the wife of the previous owner. She was living; however, the couple had divorced and some facet of her soul didn’t want to give up the house. I often would walk into the kitchen and find her standing defiantly in front of the stove next to the ip lux60 cooker. After a few talks she was willing to concede my kitchen and I released her to Spirit.

Moving house is a huge energetic transition. Some land functions like static electricity for emotions, thus holds imprints of events, creates vacuums for spirits. Some structures hold so many great memories they can’t help but be places that discarnates want to linger. And much as we wouldn’t leave behind our entertainment center, so should we be aware of not leaving behind aspects of ourselves. Strange as it may seem, sometimes it’s not spirits of the dead peering from the windows of deserted houses, but spirits of the living. Go into spaces with the attitude that what needs to be released can be, that what facilitates compassionate living stays, roots. Whether coming or going, do the healthy thing for all involved and declutter.

Charitable Neighbor

Real Wyrd - A Modern Shaman's Roots in the Middle World by S. Kelley Harrell

Read more spooky stories in “Real Wyrd – A Modern Shaman’s Roots in the Middle World,” my collection of true paranormal experiences as a lifelong intuitive.

Every year for Samhain I publish accounts of my more charged, and in some cases creepy, spiritual pursuits. The Dead Time is a treasured journey to Solstice, and as it is a time of untime, the shadowed season presents a great opportunity to tell the stories that many who do shamanic work won’t tell–the occasions when things don’t go well or the unseen presents itself unexpectedly. You may recognize some of these accounts from my previous stories, while others are more recent. Enjoy the solitude of the darkness, and know the light will soon warm!

Feeling the death experience of another Being is not an odd occurrence to me. The sensation of my body’s systems shutting down, the pressure of hands wringing my throat, the aching chill of life draining from a fatal wound are rather familiar. Not to say that all deaths are so dramatic. Some are quit gentle in passing. Growing up, feeling others’ deaths were my most frightening spirit encounters. I did not understand that these beings didn’t intend to hurt me (for the most part), but were seeking acknowledgement, compassion, help in transitioning. With the help of my spirit guides, as an adult I rely on their support to help me experience others’ deaths and maintain my wits while helping invading spirits move on. There have been cases in which souls tell the story of their demise with my body but don’t want to move on and that’s when the efforts of my guides are most needed. Most of the time now I experience the deaths of others only within dedicated psychopomp rituals. However, it seems the most common time for me to experience spontaneous death moments of the clingy variety is in the wee hours just before dawn. Though I am accustomed to feeling my body be some soul’s last attempt at biological life, I found myself very disturbed by a specific soul that just couldn’t let its number be up.

This episode occurred a few years ago. A cultivated level of higher awareness kicks in during these death experiences, and it was within that altered framework that I knew instantly that I was not the only one in my body. I knew that I was in my bed, that it was still dark outside, and I was aware that I was convulsing. My heartbeat was scant, my lungs labored for the smallest puff, and my limbs were leaden. I registered that the sensations were exactly that—sensations–and not mine. I felt my guides scrambling in and around me, in what I call ‘cosmic triage,’ doing whatever it is that they do to hold the boundaries of myself in place while sweeping the extra life force to its destination. I attempted to speak with them, and when I got no response decided to just observe and wait it out patiently. The whole ordeal lasted probably 3-4 minutes, and when I felt my pulse regulate and my body calm down, I sat up and took a few deep breaths. I had just begun to do some grounding techniques and recoup lost rest when I felt the bed begin to shake. Looking over I saw that my partner was lightly convulsing. I’ve mentioned before that I‘m willing to walk a long line of allowance in the work that I do, but when it turns to real threat I get very angry and that’s when things get interesting. I knew the spirit had been evicted from me and hopped into my partner.

Immediately I called in the directions and began to track the spirit. As soon as I specifically located it in my partner’s form it leapt from him and vanished, though I could still sense it around our house. As my partner lay still and breathing smoothly, I projected myself through our entire property looking for the transient. I started in the attic and worked my way through every room, cabinet and closet, even the gaps around the appliances. When I found nothing I walked the perimeter of our yard, then crawled through the mailbox to no avail. I could feel that the spirit was still there, but I couldn’t track it. It was dodging me completely. It occurred to me then that I had not checked the chimney. Diving down the brick length, I found nothing and came to rest in the living room facing the fireplace. As I stood with my back to the room pondering my next move I realized I wasn’t alone. I felt movement in the back of my hair. Something was touching me, then I felt a very large body press into my full length from behind. My whole body broke out in chills and I turned to see a transparent mammoth creature partially in my physical space. The Being was easily eight feet tall and four feet wide. It reeked of everything dysfunctional and offensive and I was immediately repulsed. Even if this entity hadn’t been still trying to attach to me, the predatory aspect of its nature was enough to make it harmful to anyone. Having felt that, I had a vivid understanding of why my guides had worked so furiously to move this entity out of my form. He had a very fond connection to darker aspects of human nature and he wasn’t ready for that part of his biological experience to be over. He had no intention of going quietly. In fact, he had no intention of going at all. I was appalled that after having tracked him and experienced his disposition, the Being was still trying to crawl into my form.

Thoroughly disgusted, I told it point blank that it couldn’t stay in my house and I entertained no dissent on the instruction. The Being did not want to move into Spirit space. I coerced it as far as the divide between our house and the neighbors’ but couldn’t get it to budge from our property. I knew I couldn’t move it the rest of the way and I couldn’t just block it out of our etheric space. The Being was revolting and I couldn’t just leave it there to turn up on the neighbors’ doorstep. I called in my guides to deal with it the rest of the way, then watched, trembling, from my vantage point in our bed while my spirit teachers lifted the wayward spirit.

No sooner had I returned fully to my body and opened my eyes than all around our cul-de-sac home security alarms went off in tandem. Over the din my partner sat bolt upright in bed and asked me what had happened. All he recalled was having a bad dream, though as I recounted the series of events he nodded. Then, as we settled back to bed the screeching siren of an emergency vehicle pierced the night, its flashing lights coming to a stop at a house in the cul-de-sac behind ours. My partner and I looked at each other eyes wide.

I don’t know what happened that night. I don’t know if indeed a neighbor in the other cul-de-sac died, or if a sinister visitor was making house calls. I know that I’m eternally grateful to be able to do the work that I do, and for the support and wisdom of my spirit teachers.

House on Summit Drive

Real Wyrd - A Modern Shaman's Roots in the Middle World by S. Kelley Harrell

Read more spooky stories in “Real Wyrd – A Modern Shaman’s Roots in the Middle World,” my collection of true paranormal experiences as a lifelong intuitive.

Every year for Samhain I publish accounts of my more charged, and in some cases creepy, spiritual pursuits. The Dead Time is a treasured journey to Solstice, and as it is a time of untime, the shadowed season presents a great opportunity to tell the stories that many who do shamanic work won’t tell–the occasions when things don’t go well or the unseen presents itself unexpectedly. You may recognize some of these accounts from my previous stories, while others are more recent. Enjoy the solitude of the darkness, and know the light will soon warm!

At this point I hope it’s obvious that words like “ghost” and “haunted” don’t come up in my vocabulary. I’ve learned that those words conjure charged reactions in people, implying fixed ideas about spirit activity. My unusual education in soulful arts has taught me that spirits deserve to be put in categories as much as people, and every case of otherwise unexplained activity should be examined unto itself. It’s become very hard for me to call a suffering spirit, a mischievous faerie, a hyper-polarized piece of land, or the projections of a deeply troubled consciousness a “ghost.”

Of course I didn’t always make those distinctions. When I look back to my childhood, I recall having interactions with spirits pre- kindergarten. At that age and until my mid-teens, neither my culture, my upbringing, nor my emotional maturity allowed me to view those experiences as anything other than the traditional model we are given for ghosts. I filtered all those interactions through lenses of fear, trauma, alienation, and victimization. In recounting those experiences now it is my goal to present them as they were to me then: scary.

I lived with my mother, my older sister, and two collies for most of my youth, and we all witnessed some pretty creepy events together. The most recurrent of these events usually happened at night, and that was the sound of a man’s heavily booted feet coming down our hardwood hallway, stopping right at the juncture of our three rooms. We never had trepidation about the presence itself, but the shock of hearing those thudding footsteps never abated. Another frequent collective event involved our clock radios. Each of us had a clock radio in our room, and it was a regular pastime for all three of them to go off at the same exact second in the middle of the night. No other electrical appliances or timepieces in the house were affected, but playing with clock radio alarms was popular with our visitor. Again, no real terror involved, but the element of surprise never lost its edge. Another odd occurrence that while not as frequent but was loads more frightening, we would wake to what sounded like all the silverware being shaken inside the kitchen drawers, only to find not a thing out of place upon examination. Along that line, we were awakened on at least one occasion by what sounded like every window in the front of the house being smashed out, though found nothing harmed. Those very exaggerated events were just flat out unnerving. On rarer occasions we heard the piano play by itself while it was closed, just a few tinkling notes. (I have that same piano still and on occasion it plays itself, closed.) What seemed to be a favorite prank to play on me, in particular, was opening the kitchen cabinets. I could walk out of the kitchen and return later, knowing there was no one else in the house, and the cabinets would be wide open. It’s also relevant to add that the two dogs we had were always on guard when these things would happen. One of them reacted defensively to our bumps in the night, while the other cowered and couldn’t be coaxed into areas where something odd had recently happened.

My sister and I each had some harrowing experiences alone in that house, too. One morning when my sister was 12-13 years old she was waiting on our front porch for the school bus to come. Everyone else had already left. She was sitting on the front step when she heard a rap on the window behind her. She knew that she was the last one to leave the house, having locked the door herself, and she became afraid. Looking back over her shoulder she saw nothing in the window but the curtains fell back into place, as if there had been someone there.

Just after my sister was newly licensed to drive she had come home to an empty house late one evening. She entered through the dark kitchen and was standing near the sink when she heard slow, heavy footsteps coming from the far end of the hall toward her. Pulling a knife from a nearby drawer she stood frozen and the footsteps stopped. There was no one else in the house.

In my younger years it was the custom for my mother to put to put the little sister to bed so that she and my sister could enjoy the close of the day together. Though I was getting drowsy, I still heard their chit chat, teaspoons clinking in mugs of tea. I remember lying on my back on the bottom bunk of my captain’s corner beds staring fixedly at ceiling, tuning out all but what they were saying. After all, what kind of little sister was I if I missed anything? I lay on my back staring at the ceiling, trying for all I was worth to hear what they were talking about. I recall my vision cutting out for a split second, though I could still hear them, then I felt myself lifted three or four feet off the bed. I felt arms scoop me up, constricting my ribs so much they hurt. I was suspended for a few seconds, then the next thing I knew I was flipped completely over and flung rather unceremoniously face down on my bed. I hit the bed so hard it moved on the hardwood floor and I smashed my forehead into the headboard. I started screaming immediately, “That wasn’t funny! You scared the crap out of me!”

Of course they both came running, and my mother frantically switched on the light. I babbled on about what had happened, blaming them, and my mother assured me that neither she nor my sister left the kitchen, let alone come to my room. I listened to my mother talk, but I remember looking around the lit room reasoning that I had been lifted to a height higher than my top bunk. I also recall leveling with myself that neither she nor my sister could have picked me up, let alone thrown my body any distance. The bruise on my forehead the next morning indicated that someone could, and apparently had, as I also had faint red marks on my ribs. This was the only time I recall ever feeling physically threatened by the dynamic in our home, and that fear stayed with me for a long time.
I used to have slumber parties almost every year for my birthday. I recall the year I turned ten having several girls over. We’d had an evening of pizza, cake and silly television, then retired to my bedroom to listen to music. My mother had long since gone to bed, yelling at us every few minutes to turn the radio down. We were all sitting on the floor of my room, jamming, when we heard heavy footsteps pound down the hallway, stopping right outside my bedroom door. All of my friends knew that odd things happened at our house, but the house spirit rarely acted up when we had guests. We sat there listening to a light scuffle just on the other side of the door as my mother yelled at us for running down the hall. I don’t think my mother enjoyed having a bunch of screaming little girls to soothe, but it did make for a memorable party.

When I was about fourteen I went through a particularly difficult time. I recall one evening that I had an altercation with my mother and was very upset. I went to bed and cried for a quite a while when I felt someone sit down on the bed behind me. I was lying in foetal position and felt the mattress dip. I shifted subtly back against the form that pressed into mine. A cool hand swept back the hair that stuck to my damp cheek. I lay there for a minute or two considering that I was still angry at my mother, yet feeling I should address her given the concern her gestures showed. Raising up, I started speaking to her and turned to look back, only there was no one there. For a few seconds the cool touch lingered on my cheek and I could still see the dip in the mattress. Gradually the mattress raised back to an uncompressed state. and I knew my comforting visitor was gone.

Another night when I was about 16, I woke up for no particular reason to find a man and woman standing on my right, a woman at the foot of my bed, and two figures to my left. They were all dressed in black, and they stood slightly above me looking down to where I lay. The man was holding an open book in his hands, and was reading from it. I could see his mouth moving though I heard no sound. Their style of dressed was turn of the 20th century. I had the distinct impression I was crashing a funeral, and I had the vantage point of the corpse. The odd thing is when I jumped at seeing them, they stopped their ritual, gave me a shocked look, then vanished.

I don’t think about the events on Summit Drive terribly much, now, odd as that may seem. I register with detachment that they were frightening, yet they were also somewhat routine for us. I’ve also lived in a lot of different places and know now that every space has its unique spirits, imprints, and phenomena. I do wonder, though, if the current owners of the house where I grew up have the same spirit guests.

All in a Day’s Work

Real Wyrd - A Modern Shaman's Roots in the Middle World by S. Kelley Harrell

Read more spooky stories in “Real Wyrd – A Modern Shaman’s Roots in the Middle World,” my collection of true paranormal experiences as a lifelong intuitive.

Every year for Samhain I publish accounts of my more charged, and in some cases creepy, spiritual pursuits. The Dead Time is a treasured journey to Solstice, and as it is a time of untime, the shadowed season presents a great opportunity to tell the stories that many who do shamanic work won’t tell–the occasions when things don’t go well or the unseen presents itself unexpectedly. You may recognize some of these accounts from my previous stories, while others are more recent. Enjoy the solitude of the darkness, and know the light will soon warm!

For several years I’ve worked as a technical documentation specialist for a state agency housed in a renovated old hospital in Raleigh. The hospital itself was functional in the mid 1930s through the late 1970s, becoming the agency I’ve worked with in the early 1980s. When I first came to work at the complex 13 years ago I did not know that it had been a hospital, though the greeting of trauma energy as soon as I entered the building was a profound clue. My tension was confirmed within my first hour there when I was told that it had been the largest hospital in the area at its inception, and shortly after I received my orientation hazing with the ‘ghost stories’ of the spirit nurse in Elevator 1 who likes to play with the buttons and skip floors, the murmuring crowd that can be heard when alone in the building, doors opening and closing on their own—the usual paranormal fare. Of course accompanying those stories were ones of the collectively marked infant graves in the courtyard, various rumors about blood in the morgue (though I never saw that), and just general mumblings of uneasiness in certain areas of the complex from a grounds keeper.

Intent on my writing gig, I left the woowoo at home. I showed up everyday, did my work and called it a day. I never had any intention of mixing business with… well, business. Of course it wasn’t long before I started having odd experiences. Starting out innocuously enough, I heard my name yelled out in an empty room (I had a huge office to myself for about a year), heard the door to my office open and shut followed by the footsteps of someone walking up behind me, though no one would be there when I turned around, and had an ever persistent feeling that someone was standing behind me while I was working. Events reached a crescendo when I felt an unseen hand linger on my shoulder one afternoon. I’ve set the intention fairly clearly that I will allow spontaneous spirit communication because that is part of my job as a deathwalker. However, I’m not receptive to being randomly touched by any stranger, living or spirit. I completed what I needed to do for the day then went to my car. I sat in the parking lot for 30 minutes holding space for the dead to move through. They came in droves. I’d never experienced a mass psychopomp event before. They never stopped coming. The only reason that I ended the session was because I was tired and it was dark outside. I felt bad for truncating the session, but I had to respect my own boundaries. Nobody loves a tired deathwalker.

I sat with the memory of that session for a long time, and as a result became more tolerant of the spirit interactions of my day job. I no longer separated my jobs. Part of my arrival routine became to greet the dead much as I do the living when we pass in the hall—which, by the way—on several occasions I’ve passed random people in the hall, brushed right up against them, only to glance immediately back to find no one in the corridor but myself. It has truly become the norm. When I softened to the regularity of spirit visitors they began to interact with me more, particularly after my office was relocated to the 4th floor.

Raleigh SkylineI don’t know what the 4th floor was used for in the hospital, but as soon as I moved up there I began to see a few spirit regulars. One in particular was a young African American woman in her early 20s standing to the far left of the sinks. She was dressed in a very simple peach colored shift with a tiny hat the same color. She wore white gloves and clutched a white pocketbook tightly in both hands in front of her. Her gaze was toward the floor, and she didn’t seem happy. She was not interested in talking with me but she did let me know that she was not a patient at the hospital. She had been a guest visiting someone who had died there. The understanding that her loved one was no longer in the building did not occur to her, but she was afraid to be released. I did not coerce her and went on my way. I saw her several times, always in that same spot, and we would greet each other amicably.

One afternoon I was sitting at my desk when I felt her come into the office. Her mood had brightened considerably and she wanted to be released. She passed easily on to Spirit when another soul came. I held the space for that one to move through, when more continued to come. I sat for maybe 15 minutes as spirits moved through. However, even with all the movement I observed something unusual. There were hundreds of them observing the parade of souls, some even venturing to come up very close to my face, as if I was an oddity to them. In that session I felt that these were not all souls of those who had affiliation with the hospital. In fact, some of the souls I was sensing had never been human at all. Some had never even been in form, but were discarnate wafting entities. When I closed my eyes and visualized the complex from above it appeared as a vast vortex extending deep into the ground with thousands of souls meandering in it. It felt like a stagnant thinner area in the veil, when it should have been a free-flowing Grand Central Station of souls, easily sliding Here and There. Despite the number of souls I sensed in the space, those seeking to pass through had dwindled. Many were lingering just to watch.

Having spirits converge at a focal point then not facilitating some kind of release for them isn’t the smartest idea, but it’s also futile to try to force one to move on when it doesn’t want to, let alone to try to force hundreds. Yet I felt that this stagnancy was happening for a reason and I needed to honor it even if I did not understand it. I had my guides call on the guardians of the land there, to create the safest most supportive atmosphere possible for all souls inhabiting the space—living or discarnate. I figured if I couldn’t move them through the default was to make the veil there comfortable for us all. I checked on the situation fairly regularly, though, holding brief sessions to release those who were ready.

That was more than three years ago, now, and I continue to work with the space. No matter how many sessions I hold, souls never stop coming to pass through my openings for them. I have come to regard the complex as a haven for souls who indeed have endured some sort of trauma, even if that trauma merely was not passing peacefully into What Comes After. I’ve also concluded that there is something about the land itself that attracts all of these souls. What was built on it in modern times as place to care for others was merely focusing the land’s innate power to do just that. Perhaps with time and attention the land will give up more of its mysteries.

~*~*~*~
Intentional Insights is a Q&A column inviting you to look inside yourself. If you have a question that you would like for me to address in my column regarding a brief Soul Reading or questions about spiritual healing and shamanism, please send them to me at Kelley at soulintentarts dot com, or contact me to schedule a full-length Soul Reading. Intentional Insights is a production of Soul Intent Arts. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter!

Hotel Phillips and Murderous Insomnia

Every year for Samhain I publish accounts of my more charged, and in some cases creepy, spiritual pursuits. The Dead Time is a treasured journey to Solstice, and as it is a time of untime, the shadowed season presents a great opportunity to tell the stories that many who do shamanic work won’t tell–the occasions when things don’t go well or the unseen presents itself unexpectedly. You may recognize some of these accounts from my previous stories, while others are more recent. Enjoy the solitude of the darkness, and know the light will soon warm!

Hotel Phillips - Photo by hotelphillips.comEarly Spring of 2002 I had the fortune of spending a week at the beautiful Hotel Phillips in Kansas City, Missouri, while on a business trip. I am quite used to loads of spirit traffic when I stay in hotels; however, my stay at Hotel Phillips offered a bit more than the luxury experience the lush establishment touts. From the first night that I checked into room 1513, I sensed many presences–again, not unusual at all, as I do quite a bit of psychopomp work. Staying in hotels for me is like being tapped on the shoulder constantly, far from restful, and Hotel Phillips was no different. Upon checking into their room, other people hang up their clothes first thing. I create sacred space and release errant energies, a gesture part compassion and part hopeful of a solid night’s sleep.

One presence in particular stood out right away, a female whose only visual aspect was a white lace hem that I saw close to the floor. I saw “her” in my room and hall several times the first few days that I was there, though she would not allow me to feel her. What was odd about this spirit was when I offered to release her she did not want to go. I also got a sense with this presence more than any of the others that she had indeed died in the building, and needed friendly company. Regardless, I couldn’t sleep in the room. She was not particularly bothersome or ever present, but her air of unrest was contagious.

Thursday morning I got up, showered, and was drying my hair in the bathroom when I felt that I was not alone. The feminine presence was with me. I opened the bathroom door to find a distraught woman standing there. She was about 22-25 years old with long auburn curly hair, a Caucasian woman in a rather formal 1930s style dress. Her white hem fell just above her ankles—the garment I had been seeing all week. As I gazed upward I saw a large bloody wound in her chest, which dripped blood and tissue onto the floor. She had been shot and was experiencing the panic of her death moment before me.

I stepped out of the bathroom and through her, as she stepped to the side of my bed. I did not learn her name, but I felt a strong sense of betrayal, that she had become involved with a man and the relationship could not for whatever reason come to fruition. This man is who shot her. I often learn information around the cause of death, and it’s always fascinating. Staying true to my role as psychopomp means that details are mere curiosities. The only real objective in working with the dead is to learn how I can facilitate helping them move on to the next phase of their destiny, and doing just that. Everything else is superfluous. That said, sometimes learning what I must from them and helping them shift is no easy feat.

I asked her if she wanted to move on, and she hesitated. I told her that she would not have fully shown herself to me if she did not want help and asked her what held her here. My sense was that she was waiting for the man who killed her–her lover–to somehow redeem himself. I told her that she may have a long wait, that she had already had a long wait, and that she could wait for him to make amends in a much better place than this hotel. After a bit more discussion, she allowed me to walk her into Spirit space and all was restful.

I went on to work for the day, but from the minute I entered the room that night, I was uneasy. The oppressive feel of the room was worse than it had been since my arrival, and I realized that whoever was there was angry at me, yet the spirit refused to communicate.

Once in bed, the lights were out for about two minutes when I began to hear extremely loud scuffling noises moving around the room. I lay there and listened for a few seconds, when finally the sound reached a crescendo behind my headboard forming a complete circle around me. The entity meant to frighten, if not threaten me. Though difficult to describe, there was palpable movement in the discordant sound and it pushed against my ribs. Non-consensual physical contact from spirits is an extremely disturbing phenomenon. When an encounter reaches that point fear becomes anger.

Enraged, I observed a male in the room, about four feet from the foot of my bed. Although well-dressed he was surrounded by black clouds. He, too, was Caucasian, though physically did not appear entirely human. I knew this man was the killer, and that he had killed many times. He was a nasty piece of work, and he was angry at me for interacting with the woman. He had killed her in the hotel, though not in that room, and he had never been linked to the crime. His pride was wounded that I knew what had happened, as he was used to getting away with everything. I had seen his dirty deeds and he wanted to eliminate me as a threat. He was afraid that I would hand him over to some authority for punishment. He was so stuck in a defensive consciousness that he didn’t seem to realize that he was dead.

Real Wyrd - A Modern Shaman's Roots in the Middle World by S. Kelley HarrellI told him that I didn’t care what he had done in his life, that I wasn’t there to judge him. Gradually his energy softened. The noise in the room stopped. I said that this was not the place he needed to be anymore, that whatever happened between him and the woman was between them, and if he felt ready to deal with that from a more useful place that I could help him. I also made it perfectly clear that I was ready to sleep and we would not be negotiating all night. When I said that to him, the clouds around him began to dissipate, but I still did not see him clearly. I held the space for a good 45 minutes or so, but he went relatively easily. For the first time since I checked into Hotel Phillips my room was quiet on all fronts.

The next morning I approached the concierge, asking if anyone had ever reported anything strange about room 1513. He, along with the staff at the front desk, went pale and asked me what had happened. When I told them that I saw a woman in my room, they stammered a bit, eventually going on to say that they had not had reports about that room, and had not had anything reported at all since the hotel had re-opened after renovations the previous Fall. They offered to assign me to a different room, and when I declined huddled in the corner whispering. Clearly they were aware of creepy occurrences, but I couldn’t tell if they would be relieved or disappointed to learn that their gangster spectre was no longer a guest.

Read more spooky stories in “Real Wyrd – A Modern Shaman’s Roots in the Middle World,” my collection of true paranormal experiences as a lifelong intuitive.

Also, read the 2014 followup to this encounter.

Phone Calls from Beyond

I have been receiving restricted phone calls that are not normal. My cell will ring once, maybe twice and when I answer there is this strange static. The phone calls have been happening only when I am sleeping. Today however I received calls while at work. I truly believe someone is trying to contact me or tell me something. I am not sure if it is my guide or my parents that have passed away in the last few years. Is there someway for me to figure out what and who these calls are about? I am both curious and tired. Thanks ~A

Thank you for your note, A. When I ask for the spirit of who is making these calls to come I am greeted by a matronly woman. She appears to be in her mid fifties, has curly, dark blond hair, and is wearing a navy blue printed dress that is somewhat out of date–late 70s, early 80s. She has a very maternal feel about her but she tells me that she is not your mother. What troubles me about her is that she is constantly wringing her hands and her face is lined with worry. Other aspects of her form tell me that she is deceased and that she was murdered. She was never given a proper burial. Her body was more or less dumped and buried in a shallow grave under a tree in a very boggy area a few decades ago.

When I sit with her I realize that she will not be able to speak without fear until some healing is done for her. When that healing is completed she tells me that at the time of her death she had a daughter that was 7-8. She was killed by the daughter’s father. My feeling is that she was pregnant when she was killed, and that pregnancy was the reason she was murdered, even though she child feels to have been her husband’s. I learn no other specifics about her death.

I asked her how she was connected to you and her reason for contacting you. She indicated that she was attracted to you through your wonderful relationship with your daughter and because you have a very kind heart. I do not have a sense that you knew her in life, in fact, I feel that she is connected to the area where you currently live–not necessarily your exact house, but that community, that land. I also feel very clearly that the husband’s crime was never found out and that the mother was concerned for her daughter unknowingly in contact with her mother’s killer. The daughter is not in physical danger, in fact the father is quite elderly now, if not dead, himself.

It seems that this mother saw you as someone who could understand her pain, and someone she wanted to help her move on. The fact that you realized something besides a technical glitch was happening is an indication of your own awareness and potential ability as a deathwalker. If you have ever had any inclination to develop your own intuitive skills, it would seem there’s plenty of support for you to do so. Be well, A!

Number One Rule of House Selling–Installment the Seventh, Spooky Series

In celebration of my favorite time of the year, I’ve decided to take a departure from my regular column format for this month, instead electing each day to write out as many of my creepy ‘spirit visitor’ stories as time allows between now and Samhain. I started writing some of them down a few years ago with the idea of publishing them in a collection at some point. For now I just want to feed the veil.

In early 1999 my partner and I decided it was time to purchase our first home together. We looked primarily in the Raleigh and Cary areas with the aid of our wonderful realtor. One Saturday in particular our realtor had scheduled us to visit more houses than I could have ever imagined possible in the span of about 3 hours. Little did I know how overwhelming that would be for an intuitive!

Real Wyrd - A Modern Shaman's Roots in the Middle World by S. Kelley HarrellGoing into any unfamiliar space is a bit harsh on the senses for an intuitive, but going into many in a short span of time is almost overkill. I had never had the intimate experience of unabashedly walking through someone else’s personal space without that person present, and that dynamic of energetic intrusion was very odd for me. We went into a couple of houses that felt peculiar, though not for any specific spiritual reason. When a structure is uncomfortable the assumption is often made that there is a spiritual presence causing the unrest. Though there likely are spirits on every square inch of the planet does not discredit such factors as elemental influences, electrical charges, ley lines, random anomalies of physics that we can’t readily account for, etc, as influences over how we feel in a space. For this and other reasons we’ve seen the rise of Feng Shui in the western world as a refined art in creating harmonious living, elementally. My unrest in most of these houses seemed to be just that–born of them not being the right balance for us.

We entered one house in particular, in Cary, that felt a bit odd. There was no alarming sensation, nothing I could put my finger on. It was a nice little split level, though not quite what we are looking for. The three of us meandered through the house going our separate ways. I explored the upper level while my partner was in the lower level, the realtor in the mid-level. As I was checking out the upper guest bathroom I saw a woman in a dark dress walk past the door. Thinking nothing of it, I finished my tour then came down the stairs. I paused at the mid-level, taking in the vantage point of the center of the house. As I did I glanced back up the stairs. I saw a woman in a black dress with fine white polka dots on it step from the hall into the very back bedroom. I marveled over the dress, as it was a rather full skirt, the sort one used to see floating atop a petticoat in 1950s style dresses. In the previous homes we had viewed other realtors were in and out with clients, so besides the odd style of dress, I didn’t really give more thought to this woman being in the house.

After a few minutes we re-convened at the mid-level when the realtor said we could go ahead out and she would lock up behind us. I asked her why she needed to lock up when there was someone else in the house. She looked at me like I was clearly ill and said that there wasn’t anyone else in the house. I told her what I had seen, and being the dutiful realtor she charged up the stairs to sleuth out the stranger. My partner and I looked at each other, shrugging. I genuinely thought there was someone else in the house–I had no indication to think otherwise. I had my feelers on to check out the unseen aspects of the house and had no ill feelings about it at all. The house felt quite light.

The realtor came back downstairs insisting that there was no one in the house, and by that point I believed her. She looked at me like I was completely nuts and brushed past me to open the front door. As she and my partner were walking out of the house I glanced down into the lower level where a toddler–a little
boy–in a walker stood stock still just at the bottom of the stairs. He had a pacifier in his mouth and was looking at me. I don’t recall any particular communication between us, just the mutual acknowledgement that we could behold each other. The realtor called to me again and we left.

We decided against that house on practical grounds, though I wasn’t thrilled with the thought of moving into a place so energetically cluttered that the spirits were already making contact, even if they were benevolent. The house that we ended up buying, also in Cary, was cosmically frenetic, though in a different way. It’s no wonder looking back that I stayed worn out in that house. Generally speaking, Cary has a quartz bluff that runs through part of it, which in my estimation accounts for a lot its chaotic vibes. Because of the quartz veining the area is known for having an inordinate amount of lightning strikes. Our home was about four miles from that core and it influenced my work greatly. I began journeying to the house and the land before we moved into it, allowing it to know me and to get a feel for how we would all merge into the space of Home. From my early journeys to the Nature spirits on the property to the very last ones before we moved from it I had the constant feeling that the land in that area couldn’t heal from some ancient interplanetary wound, which only exacerbated any spiritual unrest, of which there was plenty in our home and surrounding area. The most obvious visitor was the wife of the previous owner. She was living; however, the couple had divorced and some facet of her soul didn’t want to give up the house. I often would walk into the kitchen and find her standing defiantly in front of the stove. After a few talks she was willing to concede my kitchen and I released her to Spirit.

Moving house is a huge energetic transition. Some land functions like static electricity for emotions, thus holds imprints of events, creates vacuums for spirits. Some structures hold so many great memories they can’t help but be places that discarnates want to linger. And much as we wouldn’t leave behind our entertainment center, so should we be aware of not leaving behind aspects of ourselves. Strange as it may seem, sometimes it’s not spirits of the dead peering from the windows of deserted houses, but spirits of the living. Go into spaces with the attitude that what needs to be released can be, that what facilitates compassionate living stays, roots. Whether coming or going, do the healthy thing for all involved and declutter.

All in a Day’s Work–Installment the Sixth, Spooky Series

In celebration of my favorite time of the year, I’ve decided to take a departure from my regular column format for this month, instead electing each day to write out as many of my creepy ‘spirit visitor’ stories as time allows between now and Samhain. I started writing some of them down a few years ago with the idea of publishing them in a collection at some point. For now I just want to feed the veil.

For several years I’ve worked as a technical documentation specialist for a state agency housed in the renovated old Rex Hospital in Raleigh. The hospital itself was functional in the mid 1930s through the late 1970s, becoming the agency I’ve worked with in the early 1980s. When I first came to work at the complex 11 years ago I did not know that it had been a hospital, though the greeting of trauma energy as soon as I entered the building was a profound clue. My tension was confirmed within my first hour there when I was told that it had been the largest hospital in the area at its inception, and shortly after I received my orientation hazing with the ‘ghost stories’ of the spirit nurse in elevator 1 who likes to play with the buttons and skip floors, the murmuring crowd that can be heard when alone in the building, doors opening and closing on their own—the usual paranormal fare. Of course accompanying those stories were ones of the collectively marked infant graves in the courtyard, various rumors about blood in the morgue (though I never saw that), and just general mumblings of uneasiness in certain areas of the complex from a grounds keeper.

Intent on my writing gig, I left the woowoo at home. I showed up everyday, did my work and called it a day. I never had any intention of mixing business with… well, business. Of course it wasn’t long before I started having odd experiences. It started out innocuously enough, hearing my name yelled out in an empty room (I had a huge office to myself for about a year), hearing the door to my office open and shut followed by the footsteps of someone walking up behind me, though no one would be there when I turned around, and an ever persistent feeling that someone was standing behind me while I was working. Events reached a crescendo when I felt an unseen hand linger on my shoulder one afternoon. I’ve set the intention fairly clearly that I will allow spontaneous spirit communication because that is part of my job as a deathwalker. However, I’m not receptive to being randomly touched by any stranger, living or spirit. I completed what I needed to do for the day then went to my car. I sat in the parking lot for 30 minutes holding space for the dead to move through. They came in droves. I’d never experienced a mass psychopomp event before. They never stopped coming. The only reason that I ended the session was because I was tired and it was dark outside. I felt bad for the truncated session, but I had to respect my own boundaries. Nobody loves a tired deathwalker.

I sat with the memory of that session for a long time, and as a result became more tolerant of the spirit interactions of my day job. I no longer separated my jobs. Part of my arrival routine became to greet the dead much as I do the living when we pass in the hall—which, by the way—on several occasions I’ve passed random people in the hall, brushed right up against them, only to glance immediately back to find no one in the corridor but myself. It has truly become the norm. When I softened to the regularity of spirit visitors they began to interact with me more, particularly after my office was relocated to the 4th floor.

I don’t know what the 4th floor was used for in the hospital, but as soon as I moved up there I began to see a few spirit regulars. One in particular was a young African American woman in her early 20s standing to the far left of the sinks. She was dressed in a very simple peach colored shift with a tiny hat the same color. She wore white gloves and clutched a white pocketbook tightly in both hands in front of her. Her gaze was toward the floor, and she didn’t seem happy. She was not interested in talking with me but she did let me know that she was not a patient at the hospital. She had been a guest visiting someone who had died there. The understanding that her loved one was no longer in the building did not occur to her, but she was afraid to be released. I did not coerce her and went on my way. I saw her several times, always in that same spot, and we would greet each other amicably.

One afternoon I was sitting at my desk when I felt her come into the office. Her mood had brightened considerably and she wanted to be released. She passed easily on to Spirit when another soul came. I held the space for that one to move through, when more continued to come. I sat for maybe 15 minutes as spirits moved through. However, even with all the movement I observed something unusual. There were hundreds of them observing the parade of souls, some even venturing to come up very close to my face, as if I was an oddity to them. In that session I felt that these were not all souls of those who had affiliation with the hospital. In fact, some of the souls I was sensing had never been human at all. Some had never even been in form, but were discarnate wafting entities. When I closed my eyes and visualized the complex from above it appeared as a vast vortex extending deep into the ground with thousands of souls meandering in it. It felt like a stagnant thinner area in the veil, when it should have been a free-flowing Grand Central Station of souls, easily sliding Here and There. Despite the number of souls I sensed in the space, those seeking to pass through had dwindled. Many were lingering just to watch.

Having spirits converge at a focal point then not facilitating some kind of release for them isn’t the smartest idea, but it’s also futile to try to force one to move on when it doesn’t want to, let alone to try to force hundreds. Yet I felt that this stagnancy was happening for a reason and I needed to honor it even if I did not understand it. I had my guides call on the guardians of the land there, to create the safest most supportive atmosphere possible for all souls inhabiting the space—living or discarnate. I figured if I couldn’t move them through the default was to make the veil there comfortable for us all. I checked on the situation fairly regularly, though, holding brief sessions to release those who were ready.

That was more than two years ago, now, and I continue to work with the space. No matter how many sessions I hold, souls never stop coming to pass through my openings for them. I have come to regard the complex as a haven for souls who indeed have endured some sort of trauma, even if that trauma merely was not passing peacefully into What Comes After. I’ve also concluded that there is something about the land itself that attracts all of these souls. What was built on it in modern times as place to care for others was merely focusing the land’s innate power to do just that. Perhaps with time and attention the land will give up more of its mysteries.