During this last weekend, while at Rick's 70th birthday dinner, we got to talking about ghosts. Here is one experience of mine, excerpted from "Squatter in Los Angeles," available from Kindle, or the Store at www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.com, at a cost of way less than what you customarily leave for a tip at a restaurant.
Dealing with the Ghost of Mrs. Killman
By “ghosts,” I am referring to the presences of people who have recently died. Shortly after Edward and I moved in as squatters, we became aware the “something or someone” was still around in this old house. We presumed it was the recently-deceased owner, a Mrs. Killman who I later learned had been bed-ridden, overweight, and heavily medicated.
“She probably didn’t even know that she died,” my friend and associate at the non-profit, Ellen, told me.
One night while Edward and I were in our rooms – I had my door open and could see right through the kitchen – the kitchen door began to shake violently. I could both see and hear the door shaking. We both rushed into the kitchen to check it out. It was clear that there was no earthquake, and inexplicably, the kitchen became very cold. We looked around outside. There was no one in the inner yard, and we would have heard it if someone opened the creaky gate to enter, or exit.
This happened another time, and Edward and I talked about it for a long time, assuming it was some sort of psychic presence, but not really knowing one way or the other. Then there were at least two occasions when we heard dogs barking in the kitchen. There were no dogs in the yard, no dogs next door, no dogs in the yard. The barking was emanating from within the kitchen. The dog barking could not have been an “echo.”
It turned out that Mrs. Killman did have two large dogs. We determined that Mrs. Killman must have been a paranoid woman, for she had written multiple wills and various trust deeds pertaining to her property. All this was unresolved when she died. And maybe she was forgetful.
I was unsettled by these events, and at the earliest convenience, I shared these details with both the head of the non-profit, REW, and Ellen who resided in the non-profit’s facility.
Shortly thereafter – within a week or two – REW asked me if I could come over at 3 p.m. the following day to view a show with him. I said "yes." He added that this particular program was extremely important, and that I should find a way to view it even if I couldn't return to his place. He said that the show would help me to deal with the “ghost” that had been “visiting” at my home.
Of course, I returned the following day at 3 p.m., and seated myself comfortably in his cold “learning chamber.” The show was about to begin, which was "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir." During the commercial just before the show, REW told me to watch very carefully for the clues telling me what I should do about the "ghost" in my house.
I had already told REW and Ellen all about it – barking dogs though there were no dogs, and no possibility of echoes, or underground passages, or a dog walking by. We knew that there absolutely was no dog in the house, or near the house. However, the old woman did have dogs that stayed in the house with her. Also, the house’s glass doors rattled furiously on two occasions when there was no one around.
Since I had carefully inspected the many papers left in the house when I moved in, I was likely the only person aware that the old woman may have been the victim of foul play. Also, since the old woman took massive amounts of medication, and Ellen told me in her insightful way that Mrs. Killman was probably was very confused in her initial after-death states, and possibly didn't even realize that her body had died. These circumstances were the classic ones which coincide with the presence of ghosts, or spirits of the recently deceased.
"The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" illustrated a couple who moved into an old house, and eventually began to have "appearances." REW told me to be particularly alert during those scenes depicting the way in which the woman and man interacted with the ghost.
I watched the movie carefully, generally wondering what I was doing there, since I didn’t see anything that pertained to my situation. It was an interesting movie, but seemed to be something other than what I needed. When the movie was over, REW restated the practical lesson within the movie.
"They depicted the proper two-step process for dealing with ghosts," he told me. "What was the first way in which the people tried to interact with the ghost?" Really? I shrugged. I tried to remember, but could remember nothing useful. Ellen then spoke up, saying, "She asked the ghost, 'Who are you? What is your name?’"
"That's important?" I asked. REW responded in the affirmative, as I began to recall that particular scene. The first step was the name-challenge, and involved asking the entity its name. Then the woman in the movie asked the ghost why it was there in the house.
"That's right," said REW. "The woman queried the ghost as to its purpose. And when such entities are queried using this formula, they are compelled to respond," he told me. I found this fascinating.
"So this is the way you should interact with the ghost of the old woman," Ellen told me. “First make certain you know who, or what, is present, and then find out what she wants of you."
I wondered aloud how I would do that. Ellen then began to explain a method which would make it easy for the ghost in my house to interact with me. She pointed out that you don't always get vocal words from ghosts, nor do you often get writing on paper. However, Ellen suggested that I lay papers on the floor for all the letters of the alphabet, and of numbers 0 through 9, as well as all of the key documents that I found which might be of some value. Ellen suggested that I could talk to the ghost when I felt “her” presence, and then ask her to communicate by moving the papers on the floor to spell out words, or numbers, or move key papers.
"You need to decide for yourself if you can help her in any way," Ellen told me, "and what you're willing to do. She's contacting you because you're there in her house, and you are the most likely person to provide help. But you'll have to use some creativity to get answers if you really desire to help. She may not be able to just speak like you and I speak."
I wasn’t really certain about all this, and it sounded vaguely like some sort of séance session, and I wasn’t sure what I was willing to do. But Ellen was right, I was in her house, and I would rather that the ghost of Mrs. Killman move on to somewhere else and not haunt my kitchen.
Lastly, according to both Ellen and REW, once I performed this task, or resolved the issue that was keeping the ghost of Mrs. Killman close to the earth plane, I was to tell her that she has passed away, and that she should now go on, that her work is somewhere else.
I listened quite intently to all of this, having a curious mix of excitement, anticipation, and even fear. I recorded all the details into my notebook.
That evening, I prepared myself to interact with the presence of the old woman's ghost.
Onto the floor of my room, I placed the key papers which had to do with the deceased woman. I also placed squares of paper on the floor, one for each letter of the alphabet, thinking that perhaps "she" would rattle papers, and might even spell out some message by sequentially rattling letters of the alphabet.
By 1 a.m., I had everything set up, since the usual time of the "appearance" was about 2 a.m. I wanted to be ready. I sat there reviewing the papers, wondering how I would react if anything actually visually appeared.
At around 1:40, the room became very cold with an oppressive presence. The cold was very penetrating, and I felt some fear. I knew that "she" was there. I attempted to vocalize the words "What is your name?" but was unable to do so. I literally could not speak. This was a unique sort of fear. I tried hard to speak aloud, but could not! I mentally stated the question, and I intently watched the papers on the floor. I remained in a kneeling position which I'd originally adopted so I wouldn't fall asleep. But I was now keenly alert, intently aware that something else was there in the room with me, and painfully aware that I could not utter a word. My intense fear was not a rational thing, for I was aware that "she" could not hurt me. Yet, I was actually sweating there in that ice-box cold room.
None of the letters moved. I recalled the Biblical quote about “there is no fear in love, for fear has to do with punishment…” and so I worked to calm my fear-emotions, and made the strong effort to emanate a Feeling of Real Love. At first, I was simply attempting to allow that Feeling of Love to be there, within me, and to “send” it outward. Once I was able to do that, I specifically attempted to send that Feeling of Love to the old woman, while letting her know that I could be of some assistance. I mentally asked her to tell me what I could do, as I tried to squeak out the vocal words. Then one of the old legal papers in the middle of the room rustled. There was no chance of a breeze moving the paper, since all the surrounding papers right there on the floor didn't move at all. A second paper moved. I took note of which two papers rustled.
I sat there stiffly for another 15 minutes in the cold room, with its cinder-block walls. The night outside was quiet, and dark, and cold. After a while, it was clear that the presence was gone and I knew it was over for that night.
I tried this on two more nights, but there was no presence, or cold, and no reaction at all.
There were no more shaking doors or barking dogs, and that was the end of the “appearances” of the ghost.
Some months later, I gave those two specific documents to the lawyer for the heir of the old woman. The lawyer and heir thanked me profusely, for apparently those papers contained clues of foul play and forgery, and contained the name of the culprit. The lawyer did ask me -- with a bit of suspicion in her voice -- how I came to find those two specific papers out of all of the many boxes and piles of "stuff" that was in the house. Had I actually gone through all the papers that carefully?, I could almost hear the lawyer asking. I was tempted to tell the story of how I actually did "find" those two papers, but decided it would be better to let her think that I just randomly happened to notice those documents, and just thought they might be important so I kept them.
The exact details of the resolution of Mrs. Killman’s mountain estate was never revealed to me, but I did learn that the identified culprit who attempted to illegally obtain Mrs. Killman’s land never did gain them. This was partly the result of those two documents I gave to the lawyer, and partly due to other factors. It seemed that the desire to disallow an unloyal "friend" from taking hold of her lands was strong enough to keep the old woman on and near the physical plane until it was resolved.
Though I never again had a ghost encounter of this level, it left me with the lifelong impression of the reality of the spirit world. I respect the deference that the old generation and indigenous people have towards cemeteries and burial grounds. And when someone tells me that they believe that a place is “haunted,” I accept that it’s certainly possible that the spirit of a deceased person is residing there. I know that some people do not believe in ghosts, and say they are simply figments of an excited imagination. I always felt that there was probably something to the phenomenon of ghosts, and might have remained ambivalent had I not had my own experience.