A Mountain Adventure

One of the popular attractions in the Connecticut River Valley in MA includes Mt Holyoke with its many hiking trails and programs offered at the Summit House that sits atop the mount.

Early in the 1800’s a guest house was built on Mt. Holyoke by a local organization, but in the 1850’s the place was purchased by  John & Fanny French.  The Frenches added-on to it and increased the space to provide a number of guest rooms and a dining facility.  The new resort was then called the Prospect House.  John French also built a tramway to get supplies in and make transportation easier for his guests.

By the 1860’s the Frenches sold the place to John Dwight, but maintained management of the tourist spot.  After both the Frenches and John Dwight died the hotel found itself in the hands of Joseph Allen Skinner, son of silk magnate William Skinner of Holyoke MA.   Joseph Skinner was a prosperous businessman and his interest in the mountain was environmental rather than financial.  He was concerned that the fast growth in the valley would destroy the natural beauty and importance of nature and wildlife.  In 1940 Joseph donated about 375 acres to the State of MA to be preserved as a state park.  The only stipulation was that it bear his name.

Many people frequent Skinner State Park and extensive renovations have recently been completed.  But, there is a feeling on this mountain, in this place, that you are never alone.   Flashes of a white streak through trees can be seen.  Orbs of bright light suddenly appear.  Footfalls can be heard on the porch.  And occasionally, there is a soft murmur of what could be voices – or is it a gentle wind blowing from the woods?

For me, the feeling of unseen presences is the most consistent. It isn’t scary, it’s just there.  Maybe it’s one of the Frenches or Mr. Dwight wanting the welcome another guest.  Fanny was known for her graciousness and both men enjoyed their visitors and offering great hospitality.  Maybe they decided not to leave the place they loved best.

-ashanta

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A Mystic Experience in CT

Mystic, CT draws hundreds of tourists each year to experience its many attractions.  The town is rich in history.  It’s home to Mystic Seaport, one of the best maritime museums in the country,  Mystic Aquarium, and numerous marinas and restaurants.  As in most early settlement locations, Mystic has its share of old cemeteries.  Two of them are quite interesting each in its own way.

Elm Grove on Greenmanville Avenue, (Rt. 27), was established in the mid-1800s by a board of leading families from the area. Their Victorian influence created a resting place that looks like a park bordering the Mystic River.  Streets were laid, plots were planned out, trees and flowers were planted, and benches dotted the area for people to relax during their walks around the grounds – a common weekend activity.

One of the last times we were there, we were on the west side of the cemetery.  The land slopes down to the water and you can look out and get a picturesque view of the Seaport Museum.  There are many boats traveling up and down the river, too.  As I was turning around I saw a woman dressed in a flowing white dress.  She seemed to come from somewhere near the middle of the area.  She floated to a spot on the shore and just stared out to the sea as if waiting for someone.  She remained visible for two or three minutes before fading away.

The woman looked to be in her mid-thirties.  She had long dark brown hair. She looked like a living person and if she hadn’t floated I probably wouldn’t have watched her.  I tried talking to her, but her gaze stayed riveted on what she was looking for.  She could have been residual energy, or just very focused on perhaps finding what she had lost.

Whitehall Burying Ground on Whitehall Avenue, close to the Whitehall Mansion Inn, is quite  stark in comparison to the gracious Elm Grove environment with its artistic monuments.  It dates back to the 1600s.  The stone markers are mostly rectangular and domed and seem to be made of sandstone, limestone, and/or slate.  Decorations run from willows, angels of death, scrollwork, skulls, and other earlier types of art generally reflecting the solemnity of death.

Whitehall seems to host early settlers, sea captains, veterans of wars gone by including the Revolutionary and I think, Civil Wars.  It’s a rather small spot, but larger than the older, widely used family burial plot usually established on the person’s property who once lived there.

You don’t seem to ever feel like you’re alone when walking around Whitehall.  Shadows can even be seen in broad daylight.  Shadows are apparent at night, too, as well as orbs.  Orbs are commonly thought to be circles of energy visible to the naked eye.  Some skeptics call them ‘dust’ or ‘bugs’ and this could be true in some instances, but I find it difficult to believe that in a place as dark as Whitehall is at night, you’ll be watching illuminated, dancing dust particles.  And if you happen to visit in the autumn when dried leaves have fallen, sometimes you can hear what sounds like footfalls crunching them behind you as you walk through that spot of eternal rest  —  or unrest as the case may be.

So maybe next time you’re in Mystic you can add a couple of more places to your ‘have to see’ list.  And if you’re lucky, maybe you’ll get to experience even more.

ashanta

A UFO??

A few nights ago, after quite a hot day, we went outside to sit under the stars and enjoy the coolness of the evening.  We live in Stafford Springs, CT and there isn’t a lot of light pollution here to obscure the night sky’s vista.  There were a few planes going over here and there and a lot of lightening bugs signaling in hopes of finding a mate.

Suddenly my son-in-law said, “What is that – right up there?”  pointing to the South-Southeast.  There was a bright circular light about the size of a large star traveling in a straight line toward the North-Northwest.  It didn’t twinkle as a star does and it didn’t have any blinking lights that would indicate it was some sort of airplane.  We wondered if it could be some kind of satellite.

As it got right overhead from where we were sitting, or more accurately now standing, it stopped.  It stayed stationary.  The object didn’t move for maybe four or five minutes.  It then got darker and almost disappeared.  Just as quickly, it got very bright.  It moved forward again, maybe another degree, and stopped once more.  The darkening and re-brightening process repeated.  The object stayed still for another few minutes before continuing on its path until it just vanished.

We haven’t seen it again since, but will keep looking to see if anything else happens.  I wonder if anyone else noticed anything unusual?

ashanta

A Reservoir that Has Created More than Drinking Water

Quabbin Reservoir in western Massachusetts is a beautiful place, but many things haunt it, and their presence is palpable.  Construction on Quabbin began in the 1930’s as it was created to supply water for Boston.  The project was completed in 1946.  During those years pain, sadness, upheaval and relocating bodies – maybe,   left their mark.

The western MA towns of Dana, Enfield, Prescott, and Greenwich were decimated to quench the craving of eastern MA for more and more water to support its burgeoning population.  The satisfaction of some came as a severe sacrifice to others.  Politics, it seems, never changes.  Lives of those who were displaced, those many years ago, were never the same and the emotional scars never went away.  This agony alone can cause disrupting energy that can still be felt today.

In all, approximately 2500 people were forced to leave the only home they had ever known.  Whatever they could move was saved, what couldn’t be moved or carried was gone forever.  Houses were razed, homesteads were destroyed, and what remained was bulldozed and then set on fire.  Even the six to seven thousand dead were said to have been moved.  But, were they?

According to the documentary Under Quabbin:  The Search for the Lost Towns  …[i]

there were many stacks and broken shards of grave stones lying next to old cemeteries. These markers were not taken away when the supposed exhumation of the long dead happened in the lost towns of the Swift River Valley.  Bodies were allegedly taken and reinterred at Quabbin Park Cemetery in Ware – dedicated as the new home of the dead from the drowning villages.  But, with so many memorial stones left behind, can anyone be sure no bodies remained with them?

No mention has ever been made about the sacred grounds of the Nipmuck Indians who lived in this central Massachusetts area for hundreds of years.  They had settlements around the Swift River Valley and surely had dedicated burial grounds for their people.  These dead were not moved by any account I can find, so it’s possible that some of the deceased still remain under the waters.  [ii]

If you ever go to visit Quabbin, the beauty of the spot is wonderful.  But, as you  walk around, view the water, and listen to the wind in the trees, you start to feel something.  The energy isn’t as comforting or easy as such a scenic place might inspire.  There’s a restlessness, a sense, that something isn’t quite right.  And you feel like you aren’t alone.  It feels like those who were forced to leave have come home.  They have reclaimed what was always theirs.

http://www.foquabbin.org/valley.html

[i]

Author:

            Ed Klekowski; Libby Klekowski; Jonathan Williams; Michael Volmar; University of Massachusetts (Amherst campus); All authors

Publisher:

Springfield, Mass. : WGBY, a division of the WGBH Educational Foundation, 2003.[ii]

                “The only graveyrads left untouched were those known to be old Native American burial grounds. For some reason, the decision makers chose not to disturb the dead from such consecrated locations.” -referencing the relocation of the deceased to Quabbin Park Cemetery.

Haunted Massachusetts:  Ghosts and Strange Phenomena of the Bay State, by Cheri Revai, Stackpole Books, 2005.

–  ashanta

ashantaofthelema@gmail.com

 

Announcing Western Mass Paranormal now covering Tri-State area

WESTERN MASS PARANORMAL NOW COVERING TRI-STATE AREA

We just can’t get enough of New England or its mysteries. We want to invite all of our loyal followers to explore more of it with us and welcome new friends

from the ENTIRE MASSACHUSETTS, CONNECTICUT, AND RHODE ISLAND AREA.

We’d like to invite you to share your thoughts and/or questions with us.  Is there a location you’ve heard about and would like more information on?  Do you have an interest in us investigation something special to you?  We’d love to have your input, suggestions, and your stories, if you’d like to share them with us.
Please contact us at:  ashantaofthelema@gmail.com
Thank you for reading and thank you for sharing.
     – ashanta

All Hallows

Happy New Year to all of you who celebrate the Celtic New Year at this season.  The harvests have been collected, the air usually gets a bit crisper, the nights are getting longer, and Halloween is just around the corner.

Samhain is a wonderful time of year to go a haunting.  The veil gets thinner as the end of the month approaches.  You can feel the energy change and get more charged with higher vibrations.  The spirit world in all its manifestations lies close and communication happens faster.

Maybe those feelings you get of being watched are true —  because you are!  How about that something you notice out the corner of your eye?  Perhaps it isn’t a “floater”.  Are you getting more feelings of deja vu?  Do your animals act weird and stare at something you can’t see?  Do they bark or meow for no apparent reason?  Run out of a room they are usually comfortable in?  Do you feel like you may have some sort of message coming that you can’t quite figure out?  This could be a good time to look more closely into the things that just seem like a coincidence.  There’s no such thing as a coincidence.  But, synchronicity is real.

History has it that people dressed up at this time of the year…when they paid tribute to those that had gone on before and paved the way.  The day celebrated the dead, but those who ventured out of their houses didn’t want to be recognized, for fear those dearly departed would follow them home, come in, and stay for a while.  So — people wore masks to keep their identities secret.

The tradition to dress up on Halloween has stayed with us…..even though we know if anyone wants to haunt a house a mask won’t stop them.  Enjoy the day —  and night —  and set an extra place setting at the dinner table.  You never know who may come to visit.

 

–  ashanta

Are Pentagrams Good or Evil?

Is the pentagram good or evil?  What a question!  It’s neither.  The pentangle is a symbol, a philosophy, a mathematical theory, and a tool.  From ancient times the pentagram has been used to better understand the Universe and man’s place within it.  Pythagoras used it to represent man.  DaVinci expanded upon his theory.  http://leonardodavinci.stanford.edu/submissions/clabaugh/history/leonardo.html

The number five has represented the five elements:  air, earth, water, fire, and aethyr (spirit).  Five represents the path Venus makes on her trip around the sky: https://johncarlosbaez.wordpress.com/2014/01/04/the-pentagram-of-venus/ .

The pentagram has also been used to illustrate the Golden Ratio:  http://www.livescience.com/37704-phi-golden-ratio.html .

The five-pointed star has been used for millennia on flags, on buildings, in cities, (i.e. Washington, D.C.), and even worn by early Christians to protect themselves against evil.  And yes – it’s used in ceremonial rituals and ceremonial magick.

When used in a mystical sense, the attitude that it is infused in the process is what matters – not the star’s orientation.  Point up or down makes no bit of difference one way or another.  One point up, two points up….really?  What fluff.  Point reference was started in the mid-19th century by a self-proclaimed, jealous, closed-minded magician who called himself Eliphas Levi.  His real name is Alphonse Louis Constant.  Mr. Levi / Constant was a Catholic, very dedicated to the church, who in his later years disavowed magic.  He perhaps came to his writings and teachings with a prejudiced inclination.  The pentagram as evil is really a 19th century folly.

People, usually enthralled with the concept of evil, for whatever reasons, were intrigued.  And, Hollywood, wanting to make money off these strong emotions, started producing films to build up the fenzy and make more money.  That brings us to Anton LeVey  and his Church of Satan.  LeVey, born Howard Stanton LeVey, jumped on the bandwagon seeing an opportunity to promote himself and make some bucks.  LeVey was always a showman, working from an early age in the circus and carnivals.  He was a gifted musician and a good businessman.  He was intelligent and had great marketing skills.

LeVey didn’t believe in Satan and he didn’t much care for what he considered the hypocrasy of humankind.  Go to bars and brothels during the week and then make a showing at church on Sunday.  In his teachings, LeVey promoted self-confidence and gave people the feeling of personal empowerment.  Who doesn’t want that?  He had some good thoughts on the subject, too.  Read his Nine Satanic Statements….not to shabby and nothing evil.

So, is the pentagram good or evil?  It’s entirely up to you.  What do you put into it?  If it’s good thoughts, it’s from within you.  If it’s evil — maybe you are, too.  Just remember the law of three.  What you wish for someone else is what you’ll get back times three.  That’s just the Universal Law of Reciprocity.

– ashanta

An Historical Haunting

Cemeteries are interesting places. They all have an history to relate, but do it in different ways.  Some are beautiful, garden-like areas, some are plain and barren.  Some feel serene and others are a bit spooky.  Age doesn’t seem to matter as much as the pasts of those that now reside inside the spot.  Not all the residents are a peace and some do not rest.  The Old Burying Ground in historic Deerfield Village dates back to colonial times.  It isn’t scary,  but it isn’t at rest, either.  Sometimes things happen to people that takes more than one span of life to get over.

Back in the late 1600’s, Deerfield Village stood as a British settlement on their most northern frontier in Massachusetts.  It was home to about 200 +/- people who settled in the fertile land between the Connecticut and Deerfield rivers. Deerfield Village was incorporated in 1677. The area was prone to Indian attacks…..or Native American attacks for those more politically correct…  but during the winter of 1703/1704 an offshoot of the French & Indian War – Queen Anne’s War – the colonial settlement was ravaged by invaders.  About a quarter of the villagers were brutally massacred including women and children.  112 people were captured, taken prisoner, and marched to Canada.  Many died along the way.  On their way out of town, the raiders burned the village.  Almost half the houses were left in ashes

This gruesome incident left the remaining 112 settlers to pick up the carnage and carry on with life as it now was.  The 56 dead were taken to the burying ground where they were interred into a common mass grave.  The mound sits to the left rear of the cemetery and is marked by a single stele on top of the rise.  Many years ago when we visited that spot a friend took a picture.  When it was developed it showed a grey mist resembling a woman standing at the bottom.  Nothing showed on the negative, but it was clear on the print.  Wish I knew what happened to that shot so I could share it.The small cemetery is located on Albany Road just off of Old Main Street in the town’s center. It’s a pretty spot and its age shows.

On a more recent visit we spent some time reading all the headstones and marveling at the many intricately designed markers which depict the funerary artwork of the day. If you stay awhile, walk around, and read the stones in stone, a lot can be learned about some of the inhabitants and their families that lie close.  You also get the feeling you aren’t alone.  Twigs crack as if someone was stepping on them.  Shadows move through the markers.  And, the place has an energy of its own.  It’s a palpable energy.  It tells its own story.  If you go, how did it make you feel?

 

–   ashanta

 

 

 

 

UFO’s or Just Weird?

I think this Universe is far too large for us to be alone, but I don’t know that I believe in beings flying around in spaceships en route to visit Earth.  Although one of the many theories I’ve contemplated is that we are the Martians.  There are so many theories to think about and investigate that all have merit, but that’s for another time.  Strange things do happen and many phenomena have been observed that defy reasonable explanation and have for thousands of years.

Many years ago, I went to a conference in Hartford CT for my employer.  The event concluded around 10:30 p.m.  I got on I-95 and started heading North towards home.  Thankfully, there wasn’t much traffic.  About six miles from the Springfield MA exit there was a large light in the sky moving from East to West at quite a clip.  Since Bradley Airport isn’t far away, I didn’t think much about it.  But, the light suddenly turned rapidly and started heading back toward the East.  This isn’t a maneuver typical of aircraft that I’m familiar with.  The light also got larger.

Next thing I know it was about two hours later and I found myself driving South on I-95 and heading back toward Hartford.  No – I didn’t drink at the seminar and I have no other recollection of anything.  0vertired?  Brain lapse?  Missing time?  I don’t know.

Then not long ago, I thought I was asleep and maybe I was.  But there was another brilliant light.  Nothing else was there, just this very large light.  Next thing, I find myself in this darkened round place looking out through a huge window at the star-filled night sky.  It was beautiful.  There were others around.  I could hear them talking and they spoke to me.  I never saw any of them though.  They told me I was going to travel out into space.  This was getting a bit scary – especially being, not a little, afraid of heights.  They put some sort of helmet on me and strapped me onto this small machine-like thing.  It was all open; there were no enclosures. Then this seat thing started to move toward that window.  The window didn’t open and I thought for sure I would crash right into it.  Instead,  I moved through it easily.  I could look down and see lights coming up from Earth – cities perhaps.  And the stars were fantastic.  The whole trip was amazing.

Next thing I knew, I was sitting up in bed thinking that was one heck of a dream.  It was like it was real and it was very vivid.  Still is.

So, what are these lights?  Many people have all kinds of experiences with various kinds of lights in different situations.  Perhaps it’s a natural energy that we need to study and learn more about.  Or maybe visitors bring it with them.  Or maybe it’s something from the other side of this existence we call being alive.  Whatever it is, I’d really like to know more about it.

–  ashanta

 

Reincarnation Anyone?

Do you believe in reincarnation?  I’m on the fence myself, but anything is possible and it’s an interesting postulation.  There is a theory that all souls belong to different groups that remain together during multiple life times.  Your father could have been your sister and your brother could have been your aunt in other lifetimes, but these relationships all belong to the same “soul family”.  I don’t remember who coined that phrase, but if anyone knows, I’ll gladly give credit where credit belongs.  I find this theory interesting, compelling, and creepy all at the same time.  I could much easier embrace the idea of reincarnation not thinking that my husband could have been my mother in a different life.  I like the idea that we reincarnate and go on to do whatever it is we need to do to further our spiritual growth and progression…..without the ‘family’ connection.  I’d like to think that we can still all be family, but go our own separate ways when we reincarnate to do whatever it is we need to do and then get back together again when possible, on the other side, to talk about our progress or lack of it.  And then — have a couple of beers together.

I do think there are some things that could suggest previous acquaintance, though, and perhaps they need to be considered.  Did you see the movie The Matrix ?  One of the lines went something like “deja vu is a glitch in the matrix”.  Don’t remember who said it, but have you ever really thought about that statement?  If we live in a matrix, that could be true. Or,  perhaps,  deja vu is a quick flashback to a previous life situation.  So then the question becomes what was going on during that episode in a past existence?  And, how does it relate to this present life situation?  Can the two be part of the same learning experience?  I think deja vu is a link between this life and a previous one – if we had one.

Another thing that could be important to understanding our past lives is paying attention to the interactions we have with other people.  Have you ever met or seen anyone that you feel you know?  Have you talked with someone else and the conversation seems familiar, but you can’t put a time or place with it?  These could be glimpses into another lifetime.

Eye contact is another reminder.  How many times have you made eye contact with someone you don’t know, but feel you’d like to talk with them?  Maybe you should – you could share a story.  The Universe works in mysterious ways and gives us opportunities that we totally ignore.  I don’t think we should.  There could be something valuable to learn.  We’re all in this together and talking with someone we don’t think we know could be a wonderful experience to learn so much more about the things around us and ourselves.  If someone doesn’t want to talk with you, it’s o.k., but don’t stop trying.  You never know what good things these communications can unveil.  How much can you learn about yourself and possible past lives?  It’s worth the effort.

Other insights can be received from colors and smells.  Does an aroma remind you of something that you can’t quite put your hand on?  Does it remind you of something that happened, but you have no recollection of where or when?  Does a color suddenly spark a quick memory, but you can’t quite define what it is?  Maybe it wasn’t this time around.

Did you live a past life or lives?  It could be possible, but the only one who can answer that is you.  Meditation and quiet time can help bring some things that have been buried in our mind to the surface.  If we do reincarnate, there has to be a ground base of memory.  How else can we know what progress we’ve made and how much we’re growing?

–  ashanta