Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Portents of 2009

In the spirit of the season, I would like to give some portents that have been given to me from others, that pertain to the year ahead.

Make of them as you like, remember if it from the lips of God it will abide, if from man…well then it shall stinketh…

The light of the east in the rubble of the west shall be a trouble for those who have forsaken the iron grip.

Beware of those who say peace to lull you into swift confidence; they shall eat you from the inside out and lay waste to the remains.

The peace that many long for will not be seen in the multitude, but in the stillness of the quiet night there will be those who will understand and be silent to watch.

The blood that flows from David shall indeed bring peace to all the sons of Abraham, but those who love the fast path to heaven shall never find it.

Those who have left may still linger but those who are still behind are more important. And those who seek an answer may ignore it while it still might be screaming in their face.

Turmoil sharpens the sword of the untested. It hardens the resolve of those who have abided and yet show mercy. The innocent shall lead those resigned to their destiny to greater day.

Oh yes and blue wins over green. Times 12.

While waiting…

Eat more veggies.

Good to the last.

Take it for what it is worth,

Until Next Time,

Pastor Swope

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Soul Pillars

Recently I posted an article briefly covering a phenomena that I have discovered while researching the death experiences of terminally ill patients, I called them phone calls from the dead or Dead Ringers.

In these phenomena someone receives a phone call from the residence of someone who has recently or has long since passed this mortal veil. More times than not it coincides with the death of a terminally ill patient, and the ringer is somehow related to the deceased or the next of kin.

Many see this as an attempt by those who have recently passed to communicate to those who they have left behind. Usually the message is comforting, letting the loved ones know that the dead no longer suffer pain, and their love continues beyond the grave.

This is one of the most common paranormal events that happen at the end of life of terminally ill patients. It does not occur to every terminally ill loved one who crosses the veil, but it happens enough to show a clear pattern. I lost both of my parents in the 1980’s when I was in college, and I wish this would have happened to me. But it did not. But it has happened to others. Various medical partners in assisted living have witnessed it as well, so it is not ‘grief hallucinations’ as some would vehemently assert.

Another common phenomenon that I have found while researching the passing of terminally ill patients is that of ‘Soul Pillars’.

This is a phenomenon that is not readily perceived by the average person. And many who witness it almost never tell anyone else lest their sanity is called into question. But as I have investigated this phenomenon and sharing with my interviewees some of my personal paranormal experiences reports of this phenomenon arises over and over again.

It seems that when ‘sensitive’ individuals are around the time of death of certain patients they notice a light coming from the person’s body just as they pass away. Just as these same sensatives might have personal paranormal encounters such as visibly being able to see ghosts or other supernatural activity, they also are able to see this strange occurrence.

Many who have witnessed it have the opinion that they are witness to the patients soul passing from the body to the other side. Usually it lasts only for a few moments, from a split second to less than a minute. Other times Holy objects in the room where the deceased passes also have an influence over the ‘Soul Pillar’ and might even have a beam of energy to emit itself.

The color of the ‘Soul Pillar’ varies. Some people see a white pillar all the time, others see a pink or purple one. Some see pillars of various colors emitted from the dying ones body.

The location on the body from where the pillars are emitted also varies.

Most of the time people see the pillar coming from the chest, others see it sparking from the forehead. In rare occasions it comes from multiple sources.

What are these caregivers and family members witnessing? Is it the event where our soul actual leaves the body at time of death to cross over to the region beyond?

It is not ‘Grief Hallucinations’ since people who have been objective to the state of the patient see this phenomena more often than those in the immediate family, or the constant care nurse.

Following are a few stories of such happenings and you can make the conclusions yourself.

Becca has been with the visiting nurses association for almost two decades and has seen many patients slip through the mortal bonds of earth. It took her a long time to come to terms with regularly seeing her patients die, at first she tried to detach herself when she dealt with the terminally ill. But she saw this was not an answer. She tended to dehumanize her clients and that made her job cold, shallow and stressful. She was also sure that she was not giving her patients the quality care emotionally that they so desperately needed at this the end stage of life.

It took her about 5 years to develop a proper approach to her job in which she could both empathize with her patients and yet not become overwhelmingly enmeshed with their trials that it had an emotional impact on her life away from work.

It was shortly after this that she began to see the ‘Soul Pillars’.

As her custom when she began to see that the end was near for her patients she would gather at the bedside with any family that had been called to say their final goodbye’s. They would hold hands and pray in whatever faith language they chose to help their loved ones last moments be filled with love, song and spiritual care.

She remembered that she was gathered by one particular man’s side one afternoon, his son and daughter stood with her singing ‘Amazing Grace’ as the last raspy breaths came from their aged fathers lungs. Becca opened her eyes after on chorus to look down at her patient in order to make sure he was still breathing , since the rasping had ceased. She was astonished to see a blue-white pillar pouring from the dead man’s chest.

It looked like a large electrical bolt that only lasted for a split second.

The man’s children still had their eyes closed in prayer as they all sang together, but Becca saw the pillar springing from the chest and pass through the ceiling above.

It was gone in an instant.

She was amazed but did not share what she had seen with the patients family, and after a while was sure that it was just some mirage or trick of the ambient lighting.

But then it happened again. And again.

Now for Becca it happens almost all of the time. And she is no longer alone since others are now also spontaneously witnessing the pillars as they comfort others who are passing on. Within seconds of the last gasp of air, the pillar shoots up, and the body is just a lifeless shell. The soul has left the body to go…elsewhere.

Michelle worked in hospice for only a short time until her first encounter with a ‘Soul Pillar’. To her they always appeared purple or violet. They had become commonplace to the death experience with her. But one night she had a start as the commonplace supernatural experience changed drastically.

Reverend Arnold was diagnosed with cancer at the ripe old age of 82. It quickly ravaged his body and he was incapacitated within a few short months. Michelle had watched over the reverend with his faithful wife by their side for over two months before the final battle was over. Michelle heart the death rattle in the dying man’s breath and she knew it would only be a matter of time before he was gone. Almost on cue the purple pillar sprouted from the Reverend’s Chest and to her surprise the pastor’s wife saw it too and exclaimed with awe and wonder.

In barely a split second the light from the chest was joined by another equally powerful light. This time it was from the crucifix from across the room. It came in a long slender beam from the figure of Christ and entered into the dying man’s forehead. The pink beam seemed to intensify in power then at once both lights stopped at the same time.

The Reverend had passed.

Leaving an astonished group in the hospice room.

What had happened there? Even though not a Christian in the strict sense Michelle is certain that spiritual power flowed from that Crucifix into the dying Reverend’s body. But for what purpose?

One can only imagine.

If you have experienced similar experiences please write me in the Paranormal Narthex at the top right of the page, I would love to hear from you. If you wish I can add your stories to my book, “Ushered through the Veil” which highlights other at death supernatural occurances.

One thing I have learned through all this research is that at the time of death,

We are not alone.

No matter where we are, or in what situation death finds us.

Yet you are never alone when you break the mortal coil.

Until Next Time,

Pastor Swope

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

A True Christmas Miracle

In the denomination in which I had my Theological training, The Christian and Missionary Alliance, one is trained to look for miracles. The CMA (which will give various false leads in Google if you are looking for the denomination instead of the Country Music Awards) believes that God works today as He did in the days of the New Testament, if you have the eyes of faith to perceive it.

I think that was one of the tenants that drew me to the Denomination like a magnet in the days when my faith in Christ was fresh and new. The excitement of infinite possibilities of faith visibly manifest in the congregation of the local church was a possibility I intrinsically knew existed, although many faiths have either ignored or denied such manifestations of the Godhead in modern times.

It was made real to me early in my Christian walk when I was told the story of Bettie by a new friend of mine at Lake Shore Alliance.

Sadly the church is no longer in existence. The World War 2 founders of the church have had their time to thrived and pass on, they have all recently gone through the veils of eternity. The church was experiencing a rapidly declining enrollment in the early 80s when I first began to attend the congregation. By the turn of the century the church had closed and its land was acquired by the denomination in order to start a new fresh outreach to the west county of Erie.

But back in 1983 when I first came to the church it was populated by a small but loyal group of people who reached out in love and compassion to anyone who entered their doors.

I was one of them.

As a troubled youth I had ran into trouble in the neighborhood and the congregants knew of me before my shadow even graced the steps of the front door. In the late 70s I was swept up in the drug culture and my companions were various elements of the criminal underground, my friends were thieves, drug dealers, violent bikers and various other malcontents. So inevitably I myself came to personally get to know the local law enforcement in the area, in a bad way.

But in May of 1983 I had a personal religious experience that changed my life, and instead of shopping around for a church I just went down to the end of the street to the nearest one, Lake Shore Alliance.

It was a wonderful match. I was immediately accepted and nurtured by wonderful caring people of all ages. It was a rarity even back then.

In the years at the church I heard my first Missionary stories, some of which I have related in this forum. In the atmosphere of acceptance of the supernatural I also had related to me many stories of miracles and works of wonder.

One of them I have to classify as a true Christmas miracle.

Jamie was only 16 and had been diagnosed with leukemia. She was a bright and thoughtful young girl who often spent her time helping others. She volunteered in a local rescue mission to feed the homeless, formed a youth group for inner city children and every holiday she would gather clothing and toys for the underprivileged who suffered through the long and harsh North Eastern winter season.

But in her 16th year she could do none of these special things to help others that she thrived on. Instead she spent the Thanksgiving and Christmas season on the other end of the helping arm of charity as she was in the final stages of the disease and she could hardly even care for herself.

The family loved to camp, and in this her final Christmas they thought it would be a wonderful idea to spend the holidays in the camp they had deep in the Allegheny woodland, far from any vestiges of civilization. Jamie loved the snow covered landscape when they would come here during the winter season and having a special Christmas with just family and friends would build memories and ease her soul.

It was a wonderful time and the snow came down slowly making the experience a perfect holiday moment for the entire family. However, by December 23rd the storm had increased to a full blown blizzard and it seems that the family would have no choice than to spend the holidays in the cabin for all the roads quickly became impassible.

That night as the winter gales blew and the thick snow mounted up around the cabin Jaime’s father was woken by an odd noise. It was the sound of the strong winds rushing through the cabin.

Upon exploring the reason for the sound Jamie’s father found that the front door of the cabin was wide open, and it seems it had been for quite a while, since a large pile of snow had built up at the doorstep.

Quickly he pushed the snow out of the way and closed and secured the door. As he turned to the couch in front of the fireplace where he had left his daughter for the night his heart skipped a beat.

Although the fire still roared in the fireplace, the couch was empty.

Jamie was gone.

He searched the cabin but she was nowhere to be found. So there was only one answer, for some reason she had wandered out into the storm.

In our day this would be tragic enough, but in the days before wireless phone service there was no way to alert the local authorities to the plight of the missing girl except for direct contact. There was no landline phone service in the isolated wilderness where the cabin was located.

So instead of immediately contacting the authorities the family bundled up and went searching for the young girl through the storm themselves.

Of course the blowing snow had covered all traces of her footprints, so their all night search was fruitless.

By morning they had lost hope that they could find the girl on their own so the father decided to finally make the long trip through the treacherous winter roads to the nearest town in order to contact the nearest authorities to aid them in the search.

It was a long and arduous journey just to get to the nearest main road in the mountainous area. It was almost mid day before he made it to the first road that had been plowed, and as he turned onto the road he saw something out of the corner of his eye.

There was a body lying in a snow drift by the side of the road.

It was Jamie.

As he ran to her it was obvious that she had somehow made it all the way down here in the night and she had come to the road after the plow had come through. She was unconscious on the drift of plowed snow. She was cold and barely breathing, but still alive. Quickly her father scooped her up and took her to the car. Frantically he drove to the nearest hospital which was almost an hour away. During this time he could hear her daughter mumble, which gave him some encouragement. But the words she mumbled puzzled him, “beautiful” she kept repeating, “you are so beautiful”.

They arrived at the emergency room and the doctors quickly took her back to make sure she had not suffered any permanent damage from the unsheltered overnight stay in the harsh winter storm.

Jamie’s father paced the floor for hours outside the hospital room waiting to hear the results of all the examinations and tests. The night had begun to fall on the 24th before he would receive any concrete news about Jamie’s condition. Finally about 7:30PM the doctor overseeing her care came to him and told him the good news. Miraculously she was fine. She had a mild case of hypothermia but there was no frostbite and all the test came back normal. She was in perfect health.

Jamie’s father was a bit confused. In the confusion of the moment had he forgotten to tell the physicians about her terminal illness, or were they just speaking in general terms?

He asked the doctor how this incident would affect her battle with the cancer. The doctor looked puzzled, and looked back at the young girls chart.

Shaking his head in confusion he told the man that there was no sign of cancer in the young girl, but he would have to make a few more tests.

The father was upset and distraught, how could they have missed such a condition while they examined the young girl for so long a time? But there was nothing he could do but sit and wait again as the doctors preformed yet a few more tests on the young girl.

During an interim between going to x-rays and having blood tests he finally got to see Jamie. She looked healthier than she had in over a year. She was awake and smiling. He asked her what in the world she was thinking, wandering out in the harsh winter weather like she did.

As she replied her face seemed to radiate a peace and serenity that he had never noticed before. “Daddy, an angel came to me in the night. He carried me into the snow and carried me up to heaven. God did not want me there yet, He told me I had a lot to do before He would see me there. The angel took me back left me beside the road, he told me you would be coming soon but I got tired and I fell asleep.” Before saying any more the orderly took her away to the x-ray room.

Soon all the tests came back.

There was no sign of the Leukemia.

Jamie was cured.

A true Christmas miracle.

Jamie was sure she was not delusional and had wandered out in the blizzard by her own. She knew she had been given a second chance and had been touched by the healing hand of God. Therefore she dedicated her life to serving Him and helping others, and eventually went onto the Mission field to serve the underprivileged in the third world.

I never met Jamie, her family attended another CMA church in the area. But her story inspired many in the early 80s, including myself. How God worked in her life gave a comforting assurance that no matter how dire the circumstances God is always there. Sometimes there might not be a miraculous healing as spectacular as hers, but still God is there to comfort and help.

However, every once in a while in the midst of oppressive strife and suffering you do get a real unexplainable occurrence that defies all logic.

An honest to goodness miracle, that impacts lives for generations.

Until Next Time,

Pastor Swope

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Different Pyschic Vampire

I am sure most if not all of the readers of this blog have heard of the term ‘psychic vampires’.

Like the vampires of old these parasitic beings live upon the life force of others. Unlike the blood sucking freaks of old the new age psychic vampire drains the very life force of its victim either willingly or unwillingly.

Just do a google of the word ‘psychic vampire’ and you will come upon a cornucopia of various explanations, tales and beings who claim to be able to drain the vital energies from another fellow traveler on this great marble in space.

Even in a recent History Channel program profiling ‘real’ vampires they touched upon the subject highlighting the life and psychic needs of Michele Belanger. Michele is an author, performer and self proclaimed psychic vampire. She has a circle of willing victims on whom she feeds. The History Channel’s program “Monsterquest” produced evidence that there is an actual physiological component to the abilities of the psychic vampire.

However I believe there is a different kind of psychic vampire that just does not hinge on the singular characteristic of life draining. True that is the dominant and trademark quality of these creatures of the night. But there are other characteristics of the vampire that also have been popularized by both literature and cinema over the past two centuries that are mere secondary afterthoughts to many examination of the psychic vampire. These are the mesmerized followers, controlled and unconditional obedience of these followers, violent fear of the revelation of their true nature and ungodly minions.

Now these characteristics are not historical but they are imbedded in the modern fictional narratives of the creature and when you get right down to it the figure of the vampire is shrouded in myth and story telling from the dawn of time. Be they the Vetalas of ancient India or the Middle Eastern legend of Lilitu (from which we derive the non Biblical but archaic rabbinical traditions of Adam’s first wife Lilith) stories of demonic entities that thrive off the life blood of the living are found in every culture across the globe. The encounters with these life draining entities have evolved and their characteristics have developed into the familiar figures that are now in many variations, popular culture icons in our 21st century. And these characteristics are minor but yet quintessential aspects of the beings which we call vampire as we know it in our modern world. Again these are:

The Mesmerized Followers
The classic vampire of literature has a supernatural ability to have their victims become enraptured so they are under the creature’s complete control. They ignore the clear warning signs of danger that surround this relationship and willingly give themselves to their controller.

Unconditional and Controlled Obedience
The mesmerized followers of the vampire give the master complete and unconditional obedience. Every aspect of their existence is focused on the continuing support and nurture of the master. Their innate desire for self preservation is muted by the overwhelming compulsion to obey the master’s every whim.

Violent Fear of the Revelation of their True Nature
The vampire lives a life of a lie. The creature strives to appear normal in the society in which it preys, so it may acquire its victims and blend into the masses. Any threat to this charade is met with quickly and violently.

Ungodly Minions
In addition to the mind controlled followers of the master vampire, the master also has distasteful fellows who follow them around to do the ‘dirty work’. They too are under the complete control of the master but lives on the edge of the community. They are deemed too ‘unclean’ for full integration in the brood but still are necessary for the brood’s existence.

I would posit that modern day broods of psychic vampires litter our world today. They are not pale and wear the neo-goth clothing that many self proclaimed vampires use as a cultural banner. No, these broods live among us and are virtually undetectable. But they still have a psychic master who controls and drains the followers in an unnatural way. Is it supernatural or psychological? In my experience it is both. The psychological issues fuel a spiritual bondage that can produce paranormal events.

Julie was a baby boomer child. Her father did not serve in the war, instead he was one of the fortunate few who had a medical condition that allowed him to escape the draft. All of his friends had gone off to the various fields of battle leaving behind their wives and girlfriend’s alone and vulnerable. This was a dream come true for Julie’s father since he was a notorious lady’s man. The problem came when Julie was born to one of his buddies wives. Not only did it destroy a marriage, it devastated a soldier on the front lines who thereafter volunteered for more and more dangerous missions. Missions that eventually ended his life. And it brought to a screeching halt the flagrant womanizing of Julie’s father. In the small coal mining town in Pennsylvania in which they lived the community might look the other way at wanton fraternizing, but leaving a single mother and neglecting parental responsibility was not just frowned upon it was punished socially…and sometimes with vigilante justice.

So Julie’s father was forced to marry her mother. Julie was stuck in the middle. Her father hated her for imprisoning him to a monogamous marriage and her mother saw her as the child that had killed her true love in Germany. She grew up unloved and both physically and emotionally abused. And it was shortly after her 7th birthday that she became the sexual focus of her degenerate father.

The stress of years of sexual, emotional and physical abuse shattered Julie’s inner being. When she finally moved out at the young age of 16 she did not have eating disorders an OCD or multiple personalities. Her inner battles with loss of control instead changed her. She so ordered her life that she would be in complete control. She would no longer be used, instead she would use others. Her friends, what family she allowed close to her and those she worked with. She would manipulate them with lies followed by emotional pleas and crafty acting. Everyone was but a pawn to attain her goals. When she finally married she chose a milk toast loner who needed to find meaning in his mundane life. Friendless he was attracted to Julie’s otherworldly power over others. He was soon entrapped and became the first mesmerized by her manipulation of truth and reality. It was easier to live the lie of the ‘cult’ of Julie than it was to exist in the harsh world that had buffered and bashed him through his formative teenage years. But in their secret chambers Julie was a harsh mistress, exacting harsh judgment for any minor infraction. And the slight was never forgotten, but only exaggerated over time. But on the surface they seemed a warm and happy couple, charming others at their dinner parties and playing the part of conscientious active community leaders.

Together they had 3 children, all girls. They were taught to obey and guard the truth of the rigid perfectionism that the master demanded of all her followers. When the oldest daughter finally came of age she moved out quickly, not even discussing this with any others of her family.

Julie’s rage was unquenchable. She did all she could to make the lives of her daughter and her new boyfriend living hell. She would make anonymous calls to the boyfriends work and eventually he was fired. She disowned her daughter. And her daughter’s years under the spell of Julie had made its mark in her own psyche. Her bizarre behavior and similar attempts of control forced her boyfriend to have her assessed by a mental health professional. She was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. Although they stayed together for a few years, it was a very tough road. Julie ignored them and secretly cursed them until the day that her daughter had conceived.

Julie had a granddaughter.

She was drawn to this baby, not just as a loving Grandmother would to a darling grandchild. She wanted the child under her control. And the daughter was drawn back to the mother as well. Soon the daughter had left the boyfriend to move back home.

On the surface this seems like a simple case of a psychological issue passed on from one generation to another.

That is what I thought when I came to the family on the as requested by one of the members. I was sure that perhaps Julie herself had Borderline Personality Disorder or a similar condition. They are very hard to pinpoint and diagnose for a therapeutic professional let alone a Christian Counselor.

But there was something very odd about the family and their interactions.

With a look the children obeyed Julie when questions became too personal. When talking to the children alone they would try to answer but then nervously look around. Their faces would become ashen and a change would come over them. They would then become a different person, very angry and abusive with their language. The soft quite voices of a shy child became the aggressive accuser of the mother in the adjoining room.

It was if the silent communication and the automatic personality changes were manipulated by the master in a preternatural way.

I had never felt such cold evil like it embodied in an individual before.

It was a cold and calculating intelligence, an intelligence that felt not altogether human.

After a few meetings with the family I knew there was really nothing I could do short of an exorcism. But the family was unwilling to even think about going that route. So I recommended a local counselor and bid them goodbye. I was later told by the counselor that the oldest daughter did go to a few sessions but once they got down to the real issues of the family they never saw her again.

A severely dysfunctional family with severe emotional problems?

Or a familial brood of psychic vampires who thrived on the control of their own and others to meet the need of their life draining id?

I don’t have any evidence of paranormal activity from the incident, but the feelings I had from the family left me very disturbed. You felt there were other eyes watching you, always on you waiting and watching for an opportunity to strike.

The only other times I had felt such intense other worldly malevolence were in demonic deliverance sessions.

Another type of Psychic Vampire? After visiting Julie I could not help but associate what I saw with Jim Jones and his obsessive control of his congregation at The Peoples Temple in the 70s. Or Hitler’s rise to power by manipulation and cult of personality. I also am reminded of David Berg former Christian and Missionary Alliance Minister who through manipulation and lies gathered together his cult ‘The Children of God’ in the 60s. He distorted truth and manipulated his followers to the extent that the church became nothing more than a sex cult that provided its leadership with sexual slaves of all ages.

But then again I am reminded of many other dysfunctional families I have counseled or interacted with over the years. Perhaps the story of Julie reminded you of others that you yourself have met.

Do broods of psychic vampires dwell around the world? In a way I would have to say yes, to one extent or another. They are altogether different than the lone Psychic Vampire who uses the persona to attract willing victims. In these familial broods the victims are not willing, but trapped souls in a state of living death. Unable to change because of fear and self doubt.

Did you meet some of them this past Thanksgiving? Or will you meet them this Christmas? They come to feast on more than Turkey, Ham or Pie.

Unlike other psychic vampires who prefer Halloween, these type prefer the Holidays in which we are in the midst of.

Keep your eyes peeled and your senses keen this holiday season. And if you can, reach out a hand to help those who you meet who walk in the twilight.

Until Next Time,

Pastor Swope

Vote for me to be a take part in the new paranormal show from the Discovery Network, click the link below and vote! You can vote every day!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dead Ringers

September 12th 2008 4:23pm. A Metrolink commuter train with 225 aboard slams into Union Pacific freight train on winding route in Chatsworth. It left 24 people dead and almost 150 injured.

On of those who died in that horrible accident was Charles Peck.

Medical examination of his body showed that he had died quickly after the collision, almost instantaneously.

But for hours after his death, his family received a total of 35 calls from his cell phone.

At 9:08PM nearly five hours after the crash, Peck’s fiancé Andrea Katz received one of those calls. But when she answered, all she heard was static. Despite hearing nothing from the other side she told him to hang on and that help was on the way.

Whenever they tried to call him back all the calls were routed to the voicemail.

When the rescue efforts stopped at the scene and the rescue workers turned to the grim task of recovery another call came from his phone and the search crews decided to trace it. They found it had come from the first train, so they went back to scour the rubble in hopes of finding him alive. The last phone call came from Charles Peck’s phone at 3:28AM, almost an hour before they found his lifeless body.

This story made national news when it happened and has now become very well known. A few weeks earlier I myself had a close shave with death and had been in the hospital for a week with Cardiology issues. While I was there a case management services person had visited me and offered help with getting my affairs in order in case the unexpected might happen. I don’t remember how we came to the topic of the paranormal but she eventually stayed a while and told me some amazing stories. She used to be a caregiver at a hospice and had experienced amazing things. There are extraordinary paranormal happenings that occur at the end of life of terminal patients.

Although the stress that had put me in the hospital to begin with was not pleasant, I knew God had brought me there for a reason.

This I am sure was one of them.

In the last few months of research that I have made in the area of the supernatural and the end of life I have been astonished, amazed and comforted. I am gathering these astonishing stories together in a book which I am tentatively calling, “Ushered through the Veil”. One of the most frequent phenomena that occurs at the end of life with terminal patients is the same occurrence that happened to the family and fiancé of Charles Peck.

Phone calls from the dead.

Sometimes like in the case of Peck, the family receives a phone call from the phone of the deceased. It could come from a cell or a landline in the deceased’s uninhabited home. Other times just before the terminally ill patient dies they receive a phone call from a long departed loved one. In many instances the numbers had even been disconnected. But they still appeared on caller id.

Every time the living picks up the phone all they hear on the other end is static. There have been instances of those who receive the calls recording them only to find voices in the recording that were not perceptible to the human ear at the time.

Here are two of the tales that I have received, one of each type.

Mark Prebost had lived a good long life and had outlives most of his family and friends. Tragically he had outlived many of his children as well in reaching the ripe old age of 93.

When he was diagnosed with prostate cancer he took it with a grain of salt. He would often say he lived longer than he would ever have thought, but still he would miss his family. He especially loved the parties.

The disease ravaged the elderly man and the pain was severe and constant. His elderly daughter and her children took care of him in his home, rotating the times they stayed with him until the cancer that had spread through his body finally took his life one cold October day. The daughter was relieved since her elderly father had gone through so much pain in the last few months, and even though she did not believe in an afterlife she comforted herself with the fact he was no longer suffering.

His funeral was sparse since he had few friends and relatives left alive. And after the funeral those who did attend went to the daughter’s house for a memorial service and dinner. As the night wore on they kept getting phone calls with dead air. Finally the daughter noticed the caller ID. The calls were coming from her father’s house. There was no one there, she had the keys. They received a few more calls during the evening and she let the answering machine pick them up.

The next day out of curiosity she reviewed the final two phone calls that the machine had recorded. She heard on the tape the faint voice of her father saying, “It’s ok Margie, I’m ok” and “Your Momma is with me, all is good”

Like so many EVPs the speech is faint and hard to hear. But Marge was sure of what she heard. Her father was saying goodbye and letting her know that he still existed in some form. A form that was safe, happy and with the wife that he had loved and lost so many years ago.

It did not look good for Lisa. The teenager had gone through years of treatment but the anguish of the chemotherapy seemed to be all for naught. The leukemia had finally overwhelmed her body and she was in the last days of her short young life.

Her father sat in vigil beside her, holding her hand and wiping her brow as she sweat while the final battle raged within her fragile body.

Her mother had passed a few years earlier in a horrific car crash. In those last days her father sat by powerless as Lisa cried out for her mother. He tried to comfort her but it seemed that his presence, even though ever caring, was not enough.

As the father sat with her on her last night with a nurse by her side the phone rang. He left Lisa a lone with the nurse for a few moments to answer it, but on the other side there was a large amount of static. He thought for a second that through the static he had heard a woman’s voice say something but it was indiscernible. After he turned the phone off he checked the caller ID to see who it was that had called.

The answer stopped him in his tracks.

The phone number was that of his house five years ago. The number had long been disconnected, right after the death of his wife. He tried to call back but got the familiar robotic woman’s voice advising him that the number was indeed no longer in service.

Immediately he was called back into the room by the nurse. His daughter was passing. She died within a few minutes of the mysterious phone call.

A phone call that he still believes was made by his long deceased wife. And upon reflection he is sure the faint words he had heard through the static had said, “She will be safe with me”.

Until Next Time,

Pastor Swope

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Profile of a Haunted Church

St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Erie Pennsylvania was formed in the mid 1800’s.

When it was founded, it was a local neighborhood church welcoming German Immigrants with familiar old country worship. Today though it stands in the middle of inner city Erie where the neighborhood has more businesses than homes. Its once dominant steeple is now almost blocked out by the taller buildings that have been built around it since its stones were laid. Since the mid 19th Century a multitude have been born, baptized and buried under the church’s auspices. Over the centuries thousands of people have worshiped there and called this their spiritual home.

It seems that perhaps although some members have left the mortal coil of life, they have never really left the church.

I started attending the church earlier this year in an attempt to perhaps once again serve in a Denominational Church somewhere in the future. I felt immediately at home. The congregation although small is a warm and welcoming group of diverse individuals who look at a person’s heart with compassion and care. They are at once both open minded and doctrinally conservative. It is a rare mix that is truly a blessing.

After attending a few services I noticed that I had an old coworker Craig who was on the church board, we worked together at Med Stat ambulance years ago and after the strange happenings there we both had shared our similar views on the paranormal. I knew God had led me to the right church.

After catching up on old times and old friends Craig told me something very interesting, he would love to have a paranormal group to investigate our church because over the years many people have heard and experienced some unexplainable things. In fact his sister was the church secretary and had spent many an hour alone in the building and has had first hand experiences on many occasions.

Craig’s sister Cheryl Pierce started working at the church in 2001. It did not take long for her to begin having odd experiences. Over the years she thinks she has identified two different entities that haunt the church.

One is that of a little girl. Often Cheryl will hear the giggles of a little girl when she is alone in the church. And the giggles sounded very familiar.

Katie was an 11 year old girl who loved to help in the nursery. In fact she absolutely adored Cheryl’s son Ben when he was a toddler. She would always pay him special attention and hold him. Was very active in the church and its choir and was an ever present source of light and kindness. In 1994 she was coming back from church camp with the pastor and she had forgotten to wear her seat belt. The pastor accidentally dropped something and the van veered off the road and into a tree. Katie was killed instantly.

The disembodied giggles that Cheryl hears throughout the church is in Katie’s voice.

And they still think she is watching over Ben. One night while in the church office, Ben felt a tap on his shoulder.

There was no one there.

Katie is not the only spirit that likes to hang around the church. There is the spirit of an elderly woman also.

Ruth was a pillar of the church. Whenever it was open, she was there, helping out in some way. She too worked in the nursery and absolutely adored children. She always wore high heels and had a distinct perfume that was very pungent. You would always know when Ruth was coming down the hall; her high heels would clack down the hallway from one room to another as she assisted in the nursery and the Sunday School rooms.

Ruth’s footsteps can still be heard walking down the hallways of St. Paul’s Church to this day. You hear the footsteps coming and going, and doors opening and closing on their own violation. And every once in a while you will get a whiff of that strong and unique perfume that she wore all those years ago. No one wears it anymore.

I was very intrigued with the whole prospect of the church being haunted and happened to have lunch one afternoon with local paranormal author Stephanie Wincik. She had just written a new book on local paranormal teams called "Reaching Through the Veil: Ghost Hunting in Erie County"

She was still in daily contact with the groups she profiled and asked one of them if they cared to investigate. Erie County Paranormal set an appointment for November 1st of this year.

All Saints Day.

Some of the old saints showed up.

Just after 10:00 at night a flurry of activity happened. They caught it all an tape here:

It's a little hard to see some of the action, but watching the tapes firsthand were very astonishing. Camera 1 shows a shadow creature flying across the chapel door. Camera 2 shows a shadow figure of a woman come into the room, stand for about 28 seconds then it turns around and leaves. Camera 3 shows an orb fly from the ceiling. All within a few minutes of each other. I enhanced the video a bit:

Camera 1: Shadow being crosses the door

Camera 2: Shadow being of what looks to be an old woman enters room and turns to leave.

They also found many EVPs such as a little girl saying "It's ok to die", high heeled footsteps from nowhere, and doors opening and closing. They also had an intelligent response when they asked for one.

You can find their evidence here:

I found it quite fascinating, they plan on coming back to do further investigating.

But they were not the only ones to catch high strangeness in the church building. The week following the investigation there were pictures taken during the service for our upcoming Church Directory. One was taken during the Pastor's children's message that was quite startling. Here it is:

There are various orbs in the photo. One over the Pastor's head, one on the boy's shoulder next to the altar and finally the large one hovering at eye level with a smiling face. Its as if another child was attending the service. Perhaps it was Katie?

If it is a spot of dust, it has an awfully great sense of humor.

The strange happenings still occur at St. Paul's United Church of Christ in Erie. While God's Spirit is being poured out on his people, the spirits of some of His people still linger in the place they loved to call their second home.

Until Next Time,

Pastor Swope
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Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Spirits that Follow

After I published the story of Rachel the waitress and the hauntings that followed her throughout her life, I received a lot of e-mail from others with similar experiences. One of the most dramatic of these was from Jan, who like Rachel had been haunted all her life.

Jan seems to have been born a 'sensitive'. From early childhood Jan would interact with entities on a daily basis. She recounted to me that

"My most vivid childhood memories evolve, not around my family or school, but are of the entities I was entertained by at night in a room I shared with my older brother and baby sister."

Every night in the old house that she lived in as a child entities would appear in her bedroom. She was the only one to witness them, if she tried to wake her brother to verify what she was seeing, the beings would disappear into the ether from which they came.

The entities were not the normal specters that haunt any building with a history, these seemed to delight in entertaining the little girl. Every night they would appear and preform for her. She recounts that it was like having a vaudeville show being staged in her bedroom every night. The entities would clown around, dance on the floor and in mid air, shape shift and other bizarre acts just for Jan's amusement. The little girl was so enthralled by the spectral spectacle that she would giggle and quietly applaud their acrobatic antics. She often tried to tell her parents what was happening in her room every evening but they just dismissed it as an overactive childhood imagination.

But Jan knew what she was seeing. She was awake and lucid.

When she was in the 3rd grade her family moved from that old house into a bigger one to accommodate the growing family. The spectral spectacular followed her there. They continued to entertain her in the new house just as in the last. They were attached to her.

But there was something else that dwelt in this house that was not so affable.

One evening when Jan was in the 4th grade her family was sitting in the living room watching television together. Since she was the youngest she would have to go to bed before her older brother and sister. So when her father told her it was bedtime she went alone out of the room and walked up the stairs to her bedroom. As she looked up the stairs she was startled by the appearance of a figure at the top of the stairs.

It was Jesus Christ reaching out to her with outstretched arms.

He wanted her to come to him up the stairs and be embraced.

Fear filled her as she slowly backed away from the steps.

Never before had she experienced fear with her paranormal experiences, but now at a time that one would think would be filled with peace and comfort, all she felt was fear and dread. She turned and ran back to her father.

Jan's family was not 'religious', they did hold to the general faith of Christianity like most Americans and visited church on Christmas and Easter. But they really were not the religious sort. So the fear at the vision of Jesus at the stairs was confusing.

After she ran back to the family room she jumped next to her father and in a trembling voice she told him what she had just seen. He pondered it all for a moment and seeing his daughter's real anxiety he allowed her to stay up for a while so she could ascend the stairs with the rest of the family.

The incident was a turning point in her life and she had no more paranormal experiences until she had children herself.

The recurrence of paranormal activity came when her oldest child, her son, was 5 years old.

They had just moved into an old renovated farmhouse, in fact it was their very first day in the new home. The large farm in Kansas had seen dozens of occupants over the years, and it seems some may have lingered on through the centuries.

Jan was on the phone with a friend when her son came down to let her know that there was a 'spirit' upstairs playing with his three year old sister.

She was halfway up the stairs before the phone hit the floor.

As the door to the bedroom flew open and Jan quickly entered, she found the room in a state of complete normalcy. The three year old girl was sitting in the middle of the floor playing like any toddler would.

But Jan was still frightened for her child so she quickly gathered her up in her arms and took her downstairs near to the kitchen so she could be closer to her. Frustrated and worried, she asked her son to describe what he had seen occur in the upstairs bedroom to make him think that his little sister was playing with a 'spirit'. She was very surprised that he even knew the word. She had not spoken to her children about her past experiences and they did not attend church, so where he came up with the term made the situation more disturbing than it already was.

The little boy pushed himself up to the breakfast bar and started to tell his mother what he had seen. He told her that he had seen a man floating in the air next to his sister with his toes pointing down like he was hung there. He wore dusty clothes and had a book in his hand. He also wore some sort of necklace. Jan gave her son a pencil and paper and asked him to draw what exactly the necklace looked like.

It was a cross.

Within a few days other paranormal strangeness began manifest themselves to other members of the family. Jan came back one afternoon of shopping in the local town and as she drove up the driveway she saw a man sweeping or raking in the barn. This in and of itself was not an odd happenstance since her husband would often employ farmhands to do chores around the yard. But her husband had not mentioned to her about the hiring on of a new man so she was curious as to who this person was. So after she parked the car she went over to the barn to introduce herself.

There was no one there.

She searched the barn and surrounding area completely to no avail.

Her husband had not hired another hand that fit the description of whom she had seen.

Not long after this odd experience her children began to tell her that after she had put them to bed an old woman would visit them in their room and also tuck them in at night. Then as if to confirm her children's sightings she was walking through the house one afternoon when she came into the kitchen and saw an old woman standing at the main window just gazing out into the clouds.

She soon faded into nothingness.

Then there was the time they had all left the property to do some errands and when they had come home the front door was unable to be opened. The problem turned out to be the children's heavy wooden rocking horse had somehow become wedged into door so they were unable to open it. Nothing else in the house was duisturbed, there was no sign of a break in. And no one inside would have been able to have wedged it into the front door and leave the house as it was.

It seems something did not want them to come in the door, for one reason or another.

After all of these strange and unusual experiences Jan began to do an investigation as to the history of the old farm house.

It turns out that that the house and its property had long ago been a gift to a newly married couple passed on from the bride's father. The groom was a preacher of a small church that had once occupied an area just down the road. He helped supplement the meager salary from the small church by farming the land. The church no longer existed when Jan and her family moved in because just three years prior to their purchase of the property The Army Corps of Engineers had put a lake in the hollow where the church had once stood. Jan relates that:

"I inquired around the area as to the history of this old farm house. I found out that it had been built on a site that was a gift to a newly married couple, from the woman’s father. The man she married was a farmer/preacher. He had been the pastor at a small church, which had once been just down the road and back in a field, which was now covered by water. The Corps of Engineers had put in a lake about three years before we bought the house. "

And Jan noticed that the phantom of the lady was staring out the window at a particular tree. It was the very tree that they had planted in her sons honor after he died in battle.

It seems the preacher/farmer and his wife still liked to look after the young children that dwell in their old farmhouse.

These experiences happened long ago.

Jan's children are now grown.

She has moved on to another life and has remarried and lives in Ireland.

But the paranormal still follows her to this day.

While renting a small cottage on the West coast of the island she had some very odd experiences that for one reason or another usually occurred at dawn.

One morning she woke up to see a hooded figure that looked like a medieval monk. He was short, not more than five feet tall and was gazing into the sky and chatting, as if exclaiming about the weather. But Jan heard no sound. She wished to raise her husband from his sleep so he too could observe this startling vision, but she had learned from experience that in doing so the vision might quickly vanish. So she just lay there in bed and observed the entity as it slowly faded into the past.

Only a few weeks after this happening she once again awoke to to see an entity near her. However this one was leaning close over her in bed as she came to consciousness. She jumped and screamed which also startled the being and it leaped to the other side of the bed. Her scream woke her husband who tried to comfort her. He looked about as she seemed to be looking past him at something behind. She saw the creature, although he did not. It was a woman in glowing white garb and close cropped hair. The entity seemed saddened that she had caused such a commotion, and she passed through the bedroom door.

In her letter Jan explains what she experienced and the historical and cultural context of its significance:

"Around this part of Ireland they refer to any paranormal being as a “fairy”. These are not the Disney fairies. They can be anything from one of the “little people”, to a ghost. My husband, a very religious man, is frightened of these things and doesn’t like to talk of them. My brother-in-law claims to have seen several during his life. I was telling him about the spirits I had seen in the cottage, which is just over the road from where he lives. He told me that it didn’t surprise him at all as there was a “fairy fort” behind a stone wall, in the brush and scrub that lie just behind the cottage. A “fairy fort” is an ancient circle of stone. People don’t really know what they were built for or who actually built them. So, they have been associated with the fairies for ages. They were supposed to have occupied them and populated this land before the advent of the Irish. My brother-in-law said that they would visit that cottage because they would consider it to be on their ground. The cottage had not been occupied for some time although it wasn’t very old."

She also relates that:

"We have moved now to our new house and I haven’t seen anything unusual here. The new house is built on land that was in my Husband’s family. It is adjacent to a field that’s Irish name means, “field of the fairies”. That makes me wonder how long I will enjoy this peace."

Throughout her life Jan and her family have experienced the unexplained.

She is not alone.

We live in a world that is full of wonder and the unexplained.

Sometimes it is frightening, sometimes it is comforting.

But whatever the feeling at the time, it is a reassurance that we live in a world that is at times not only beyond our mortal comprehension, but that gives us hope that what we touch, feel and experience is not all that is.

There is more to life than a physical world.

Until Next Time,

Pastor Swope

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It Was Just a Little Thing

The Arnone’s had just moved into their new house in a quiet suburban neighborhood near Cleveland, Ohio when they started to notice some strange things that were not revealed by the previous occupants that had sold them the building.

Although the majority of the neighborhood was built in the housing boom of the late fifties and early sixties, their house was one of the original homes on the block. It was renovated and expanded over the years, but the square frame of the old house in the center of the home was still pretty much as it was when originally built. There was still an old coal chute in the front corner of the house and the outside hatch now sat in the den.

The first thing they noticed was the noise coming from the basement every night.

In the wee hours of the morning, just as they switched off the late night talk shows they could hear it coming up from the duct work. It sounded like a party was taking place in the large dark cellar. They could hear people’s voices in muffled conversations and strange music playing in the background. There were also distinct sounds of ice dropping into glasses and the glasses being clinked together as if in a toast.

But whenever the husband ventured down in the basement he heard nothing, and the sounds ceased to waft up through the heating system. After this happened a few times, he made a joke that perhaps he was not invited to the party.

However, it seems that his wife was invited.

One Saturday morning while she folded the laundry fresh from the dryer she smelled cigar smoke in the air, and since nobody in the house smoke, she walked around the dark basement to see where the strong smell was coming from. As she rounded an old cement support pillar she saw the man sitting in the middle of the air. He was in his late fifties and in a dark suit. He casually sat there like he was in a bar after a hard days work and interacted with objects that were not there anymore. His cigar flipped ashes at chest level into nowhere and with the other hand he pulled a drink from the long gone table top and gave a quick sip before putting it back into time and space. He hung there in mid air for a good ten seconds as she stood there speechlessly observing him, and then he began to fade. Still going about his leisurely business he vanished into nothingness.

It did not frighten her in any way, seeing the specter from the past in the air before her. To the contrary it made her more curious as to what exactly was going on in the house.

So the next time the mysterious party sounds wafted up from the basement, the wife decided to go downstairs instead.

The noises did not stop. She saw nothing like she had the week before when she saw the spectral bar patron. But the noise of a party was all around her. But even though the noise was quite loud and each individual noise was quite distinct, she still could not make out what the voices were saying. The noises seemed to ebb and flow and then fade away after a few minutes. She did not know what to make of it, it did sound like she was standing in the middle of a party. But there was one thing she did get out of the experience that she grounded it in reality. She recognized the music that was playing in the background. It was "Bei Mir Bist Du Shön" by the Andrews Sisters.

It was popular in the late 1930s.

The parties came and went during the course of many weeks and then they just stopped. They attempted to record some of the sounds, but almost in a reverse EVP the sounds could not be heard in any recordings.

Was the house haunted or was there some sort of temporal rift or vortex there that allowed sounds and images to pass through the generations?

But even more astonishing than these visual and auditory specters are the incidents that happened in the early spring of their first year at the house.

Frank and Becky had three children, a 13 year old boy, a 9 year old girl and a troublesome 5 year old boy who always got into mischief. In early April while the other children were at school, the young boy came running in the house crying. He said an evil squirrel had attacked him in the back yard and had been throwing stones at him. The mother was perplexed for she had never heard of such a thing, but given the other odd experiences she had gone through she would rule nothing out. She looked him over and saw a small bruise on his back where he said one of the stones had hit him. Then satisfied what he said was true she wanted her son to show him the evil squirrel but the little boy refused to back into the yard, “It has a monster face” he pouted “I don’t want to see it again.”

So the mother ventured alone into the backyard to find the ‘evil’ squirrel, but after searching everywhere she could not find any trace of it. However she did find a disturbing set of footprints in the spring mud by the huge oak that dominated the backyard. They unlike any animal tracks she had ever seen. In fact they looked like little barefoot human feet. And the footprints led to the base of the oak tree. A foreboding sense of dread overwhelmed her as she scanned the trees for any sign of the squirrel and for a split second she thought she saw something crawling in the branches. But the shadow looked like so squirrel she had ever seen. There was a head, body and tail- but the tail whipped about in a manner that seemed more snakelike than like that of a small rodent. Cautiously she made her way back into the house and did not let her little son play outside for a few days.

The next to see the strange animal was the thirteen year old. His bus usually arrived before the girls at about 3 in the afternoon. It left him and a few others off at the bus stop about a block away and he walked the rest of the way home. As he walked next to the low lying hedge next to his backyard he noticed something odd in the backyard.

It was a little fur covered creature that was gathering sticks into a bundle. It ran quickly back and forth gathering up the small twigs and laying them into the pile. It’s fur was brown but it’s tail looked like it had moulted exposing black skin. The thick tail whipped back and forth as the being ran to and fro. That was when the oddness struck the teenage boy. It didn’t run on all fours. It ran like a human being, upright on its hind legs. As he stood there watching it put a few more sticks into the pile, the animal put its hand into its side and pulled out a small cord and quickly bound the sticks together. Then as it turned to run towards the tree it noticed that it was being watched.

The animal stared at the boy and dropping its pile of sticks it slowly began to walk toward the young boy in a steady and meaningful gate. As it slowly drew closer he could make out that it had features that mocked the face of a human, but something was wrong. It was as if an artist blind from birth had attempted to make a sculpture of a human face. There were two eyes, a nose and a mouth but they were just….wrong. And the creature’s skin was totally black like a leather shoe. It was then also that they boy noticed that the fur the creature sported was not its own.

It was a cloak.

A cloak that looked as if it was made from a squirrel hide.

The small creature began to pick up speed and made a run for the boy, and filled with fear even though he towered over the animal the teenager ran as fast as he could for the front door.

That night when the father came home they both went out searching for the little creature once more, but like the mother before they did not see anything but small footprints that looked disturbingly human. And as they turned to go back into the house something hit the teenager in the back.

It was a small rock.

It had come from the direction of the oak tree.

That night at various intervals the house was pelted by small stones until the wee hours of the morning.

The next day determined to find out what it was that lived in the tree and was harassing the family Frank took the ladder over to the tree to investigate it’s limbs. After about 15 minutes of searching he found the hole. It did not look natural, in fact upon close examination you could see the tiny carvings into the dried wood of the tree. It was hidden where a large branch came out from the tree. He would have missed it if it were not for the bones. Dozens of tiny bones from small animals littered the opening to the hole. The hole was dark for it seemed to recede deep into the tree, and he could only see a few inches in. So he went back inside the house to get his flashlight. On his way up the ladder he was about 3/4th of the way up the 40 foot ladder when something pushed it from the top, and Frank came crashing down to the ground. Luckily his wounds were only a broken arm and two ribs. If he did not roll and had fallen on his back he could have been seriously and permanently wounded.

The incident just reinforced that something had to be done. They had planned on buying dogs before but had put it off because they did not have any idea what kind they wanted. The younger ones wanted small cuddly mutt but Frank and his older son wanted a huskier dog like a German Shepard. The unwanted visitor in the backyard swung the decision toward the men. Instead of buying a puppy the family brought home a full grown Shepard from the rescue shelter. They fenced in the backyard and let him loose.

It took only a few days before the two encountered each other. Becky was doing dishes when she heard the dog barf furiously, then she heard it squeal in pain. As she ran upstairs she saw the dog under the oak tree with its front paws on the tree as if attempting to climb it. It was frantically barking up the tree, and as she came out to it, she saw another stone flung from the tree and hit the dog on the head with a thud. Once again the dog let out a painful yelp but with determination it again took is spot under the tree and defiantly challenged the creature to come down. Becky was afraid that the dog would really get hurt and she dragged it back to the house, all the while the dogs eyes never left the tree. They kept it inside for the night, and only let it out to relieve itself.

But in the middle of the night the family was awoken by a crash.

The family ran down the stairs to see what the commotion was and saw the back screen door had been smashed in and the dog was gone. Turning on the outside lights they went out to the backyard to see the dog tearing something apart near the tree. The attack was savage as if the dog was seeking vengeance for the pain the creature had caused.

There was not much left to really see what the thing was, except for the small thick tail covered in black skin.

They gathered up the remains that they could find and burned it in a burning barrel with some other kindling.

They were never bothered by the little thing again.

Franks teenage son swears the creature looked like a tiny little devil. If it was a supernatural being, it died like any mortal creature.

Perhaps they were mistaken and it was nothing but a real ‘evil’ squirrel.

Or perhaps it was something else, something connected to the strange echoes from the past that manifested itself in the old basement.

The Arnone’s had a few other odd experiences at the house before they moved. Lights turning on in the middle of the night, and there was a time when they heard whispers coming from a closet. But nothing like the party from the 30s in the basement and the little devil in the oak tree.

They now live in a much quieter house.

And they get a lot more sleep.

Until Next Time,

Pastor Swope