The Haunted Half Mile

There is a certain area on a local dirt road where I’ve heard of several people that have had paranormal experiences. The one thing that really got my attention was their stories were very similar to something I have experienced myself and written about before.

I have spoken to some of these witnesses and found all of their stories have at least one thing in common: a feeling of being followed by something from the forest along the side of the road when walking. I believe this is likely a spirit or, at least, something out of place, possibly from another realm-dimension.

I had been planning for a few months to check it out and had decided the best time to try and make contact would be at Samhain, when the veil between life and death grows thin. I was going to bring a small group with me, so as to get everyone’s input, but as things worked out it wasn’t to be. So, I gathered up my K2 meter, recorder, and laser grid pen and started out on my adventure alone.

The information I had gotten from various people about where their experiences occurred covered an area of about a half mile in length along a particular road. My plan was to walk this section of road, see where and if I felt anything, and, if I did, set up my circle of protection to work from.

I arrived at the location in the late afternoon, a bit before dusk, and got out of my car to begin the walk. As I started walking my imagination started taking over. I then realized what was happening and had to stop to ground myself before continuing. I did this because I wanted to be sure that anything I picked up on was not tainted in any way that I could help. In the beginning all I noticed was a dog barking in the distance, but then something seemed just a little different to me. I can’t describe exactly what the difference was, but somehow it was as if I were isolated in my own space separate from the area around. As if I were in a bubble.

I stopped for a moment, noticing how silent things seemed, and really listened hard, but this intense silence persisted. I had the feeling that if someone were nearby yelling to me I would still hear nothing. I live out in the country and can tell you it is often quiet at night, but never like this.

As I continued on things gradually returned to normal and nothing more happened as I reached the end of that half mile stretch and turned around to return to my vehicle. I didn’t have that experience of extreme silence on the way back, although I stopped numerous times to try and recapture it.

Near the end of my walk I felt I was being watched. I didn’t get a feeling of being menaced, just observed. I stopped to the side of the road and pulled out my K2 meter to try and get a reading. There was a spike for a few moments, but that was all. I heard no answers to my questions when I played back the recorder, but the battery had died shortly after I started using it. The thing was I had replaced the batteries just before leaving the house. Were they defective? Maybe, but I don’t believe so.

I got back to where I was parked and decided to cast a circle of protection about 20-30 yards down the road to work from as I attempted to communicate with any spirits or other beings in the area. I surrounded myself with protective energy as I reached out and let my mind open to discover what I could, and hopefully communicate.

I received no information other than feelings of sadness, loss, and anger, but mostly sadness and loss. I decided to leave then. When I started my car, as I looked down the road I saw someone walking towards me. I continued watching for a minute and then turned on my headlights. No one was there!

–  Bran

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AI and the Paranormal

Is AI a paranormal subject?  I can’t give a definitive answer to that question, but I do know that it certainly isn’t normal.  If it is paranormal, it is the only paranormal entity that scares me – a real lot.  When the elitists and power-grabbers start infusing machines with the minds of humans, the question of whether ghosts are real or not won’t have to be discussed.  They won’t be.  And – those greedy for power, (under the name of science and technology),  started their subtle quest to conquer humanness into the body of a robotic back in the early 1960’s. After their first attempts to conquer space, NASA figured out that man could not make years-long travels to other destinations in space without changing biological structures as they presently exist.   Even after a few days of weightlessness in space, man starts losing both bone and muscle mass.  It became clear that mechanical intervention has to happen.  But how much is considered necessary?  Now 50-odd years later, the push is on to gain general acceptance for AI and so is the hypnotic rhetoric to the walking sheeple.

Movies like Bionic Man, Wonder Woman,  etc. started making appearances in many flics over the next decades.  This genre has since increased in frequency and great effects like those seen in Arnold Swartznegger movies and others help introduce and romanticize the effects of implanting and sharing human qualities with machines.  This ploy, I think, is meant to lull the masses into acceptance and eagerness to participate in this great new venture.  If Hollywood does it – it has to be good.

The proponents of this technology offer eternal good health, immortality, and the ability to know all you want to know about everything, and do what you want to do forever.  But, will you still want to know? Will you still want to go skiing, biking, to bars, to restaurants, still love your hobbies?  After your mind is sucked into a machine what happens to your enthusiasm for your passion about something or someone?  Does passion still exist?  Passion, dreams, goals to aspire toward, enjoyment, and other emotional drives that make us who we are would no longer be exist within the framework of techno-bionics.   You may be able to live eternally, but who will you be?  Will you be able to recognize yourself?  Will you care?  And, if you do care – what kind of prison have you allowed for yourself to become trapped within?

The fusing of mankind into machines  —  AI  —  Accepted Imprisonment.    It would be nice if this new technology would be used for the betterment of humanity, advancements for the environment,  and general well-being for the concommitance of existence we live within, but who determines and governs what measures of integrity will be accepted and enforced?  Does integrity still exist today?

–  ashanta

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

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

October Mountain Mystery

This is an experience I had years ago while living in a different town.

About 5 miles from where I was living, in Western Massachusetts, there is a state forest that covers roughly 16,500 acres[1]. I had been told by numerous people it was a bizarre place, so a friend and I decided to go for a hike around an old Boy Scout camp that used to be there[2] next to Felton Lake. Being curious we hiked around for a while and found it. The camp no longer existed because someone had burned it down at one time or another. We had decided to hang out by the lake and look around for a while. When it became late afternoon we realized it was time to leave if we were to get out of the woods before dark.

After a while, as we were hiking back, we started hearing these grunting sounds. They seemed to be coming from quite a ways away from us. The first thing we thought was that it was a bear and so we picked up our pace. The noise seemed to pick up pace with us,although it still sounded to be a distance away.

As the sun went down and it got closer to dark the grunts seemed to get closer to us and started to come from different spots. It was as if something was communicating, as strange as that sounds.

When we got out of the forest and back onto the road I looked back and saw these eyes looking out at us. I swear they seemed to be 6 or 7 feet off the ground!

We were freaked out to say the least and got the hell away from there as fast as we possibly could. I haven’t been back there since for obvious reasons. Now, many years later I want to go back with our paranormal group and maybe get some answers to what I saw, as well as the things that have been reported by other people. Over the years spirits have been reported near a long abandoned cemetery and along the path that leads to it. UFOs have also been seen in the area.

Felton Lake is in October Mountain State Forest. It consists of several parcels of land located in Becket, Lee, Washington, and Lenox, MA. It is the largest State Forest in Massachusetts. (www.mass.gov)

Reported sightings include anthropoid creatures, like Bigfoot, mysterious lights, and a ghost girl in the abandoned 1800’s cemetery.

[1]    October Mountain State Forest

[2]    Camp Eagle

–  Bran

A Beautiful and Haunted Museum

A beautiful and haunted museum sits next to the Connecticut River in rural Hadley, MA.  Situated on acres, amongst farmland, this c. 1752 Colonial-style house has been home to many of the same-family members over the course of a couple hundred years.  In 1949, Dr. James Huntington opened the home to the public and the Porter, Phelps, Huntington House Museum was born.

After such a long history, it isn’t too surprising that the house seems to be home to more than one family member who just didn’t want to leave.  Phenomena associated with the house are doors that open and shut on their own, footfalls walking the halls and rooms,  disembodied voices, and encounters with someone that quickly moves past visitors.  It seems that most of the activity is from a woman or two, and possibly a child who seems to like the staircases best.

Moses Porter constructed the house outside the Hadley village stockade on about 600 acres of fertile land and created a home for his wife Elizabeth and their young daughter Betty.  Things went well until the French and Indian War broke out and Moses was called to duty.  He was deployed to the Lake George area in 1755.  Capt. Porter was killed in battle and buried in New York.  One night, one of the Porter’s servants handed Elizabeth her husband’s sword from battle.  She knew then, he’d never be home again.  Elizabeth never got over the death of her husband.  The house experienced a long period of sadness and emotional distress that continued in a downward spin.

Eventually, the house was passed along to Elizabeth Porter’s daughter Elizabeth. Betty lived in the mansion with her husband Charles Phelps, Jr. and their several children.  After Charles died, Elizabeth hoped her son, Charles, would bring his family and come to the house to live with her.  He never did.  After Betty’s death, the house went to her daughter, Elizabeth Whiting Phelps,  who had married Dan Huntington, the parents of Dr. James Huntington.  The House is now managed by the Porter Phelps Huntington Foundation.

It has been purported that an impression in the bed can be seen in the front bedroom that belonged to Elizabeth and Moses….the place where Mrs. Porter got the devastating news her husband was dead.   We’ve toured the property on several occasions and on one of them a definite shape could be seen in the bed.  We’ve heard knockings, and there are definite shadows that can been seen out of the corner of one’s eyes.   I understand that the family themselves, and only among themselves, knew some of their relatives never left the property.

Who is the woman there?  It’s up for grabs.  It could be either Elizabeth Porter or Elizabeth Phelps.  They both seemed to have reason enough to stay on.  Maybe if you go and visit you can determine the source of activity…..and experience it for yourself.  There’s a prominent feeling of being both watched and followed.   I don’t think you could ever feel like you were alone in the place.  And the child?  Maybe one of the children who never reached adulthood and left this world at a very young age.

It’s worth a visit to this museum for it’s historical, architectural, and aesthetic value alone.  But, if you’re fortunate enough to have a family member visit you while you’re there – it’s an extra treat.

–  ashanta

ashantaofthelema@gmail.com

An Angel?

Was he an angel??

My good friend argued his best with me not to buy that car. But, I wanted it.  Ever since losing my last MG Midget there wasn’t another car that would take its place.  So, overlooking all good reason not to invest in this little sporty model, I purchased it.  It was great!  That lasted almost a month.

One day while out doing grocery shopping with my small daughter, elderly grandmother, and a puppy, we were on our way home.  Now,  you have to consider the size of this vehicle….  it’s about the size of two grocery carts abutting one another.  You also need to know that while sitting in the two front seats – you’re literally sitting on the floor of the car.  There is no backseat.  There’s a small console that rises up enough for a six-year old to fit on and stick a small puppy beside her on the floor next to her.  Groceries were in the trunk….directly behind the small console with the small child and little dog.  This mobile contraption was stuffed to the gills.

We were driving up River Street in West Springfield, went under the railroad overpass, and got to the front of the line facing a red light.  While idling there waiting for a green light, smoke started rising out of the hood.  Lots of smoke from under the hood.  Then a small red/orange flicker that looked like a lit candle.  More smoke.

The car was in first, so I put on the e-brake and turned the thing off.  Now  —  what to do next?  And —  think fast.   Get everyone out of the car.  My daughter and the puppy were no problem.  My 90-year old gimpy grandmother, sitting on the floor of a small container was no easy situation.  Did I also tell you that she has a heart condition, is blind in one eye, and doesn’t move very quickly?  The smoke is getting thicker and larger flames are happening.

I’m in the middle of two lanes struggling with keeping it together and trying to wrestle my grammy out of that tiny box called a sports car.  Out of nowhere a man appeared and asked if he could help.  Yes!!  Any help would be appreciated.  He seemed to have been walking along the sidewalk and saw the dilemma.  He easily extracted Nana out of the MG.  We headed for a garage diagonally across the street from the intersection.   Within a couple of minutes this man had everything under control, everyone safe, and everything taken care of.  I thanked him and he walked out of the garage.  I told my family I’d be right back, hoping to ask him if I could pay him for his help and thank him again.  It was only a minute.  I went outside and there was no-one there.  I ran to the sidewalk and looked up and down.  Went back to the garage and looked all around the area.  The place is wide open…..no ‘hidden’ areas.  The man who helped us was nowhere to be seen or found.  He was just gone.  I asked the mechanic at the garage if he knew the person who helped us….he didn’t see a man with us!

I’ve thanked this man so many times over the ensuing years and think that if he was a Guardian Angel he must certainly know how thankful we all were that he was there!!

–  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

Who Were They?

I grew up in a small village in southern Rhode Island. It was one of those places that if you were driving through and sneezed, you’d miss it. We had one main street through the center, three small side streets, and a long earthern private driveway. There was also a church, a mom and pop small store, a volunteer fire house, and very few street lights.

What we did have in addition to a surrounding forest were lots of trees, plenty of wildlife, and a dark, magnificent night sky. Stars shone like brilliant diamonds and the Milky Way stood out as the special thing it is. When a growing moon slid across the vastness of space above it lit up the earth and you could see the countryside like a Norman Rockwell night scene.

At the time UFO’s were a popular topic of conversation. Roswell had happened a few years before and even though I was very young I had a good understanding of the prevalent skepticism of the government’s flimsy explanation of the event. There were strange things seen in the sky on various occasions and no one doubted there was always the possibility it could be something unknown.

One bright night when I was in bed trying to get to sleep I noticed a movement by the window. As I watched, the sight turned into something that looked like a black-robed hooded figure. While not liking this very much, it became more curious than frightening. The figure walked to the side of the bed and stood there looking at me. I closed my eyes thinking maybe I was dreaming. When I got up enough courage to look again – the figure was still there.  (At this I pulled the covers over my head and probably yelled for my parents……(don’t remember that part).

Now if this was just a one-time deal, the memory of it probably would have gone away a l-o-n-g time ago, but that’s not how it happened. This event occurred many times over the course of several months. On the last time, I had been asleep and felt something touching the inside of my wrist. I opened my eyes to see this same clothed figure standing by the bed with an arm outstretched and the pointer finger touching me. I asked, for the first time, “Where do you come from?”. The being moved closer to the window, raised it’s arm, and pointed to the sky. With that it vanished.

To this day, I cannot sleep with an arm hanging over the side of the bed. I also prefer long sleeves no matter what the weather…..the ones that cover your wrists!

– ashanta

The Ouija Board & Evil?

On All Hallow’s Eve, when the dead come back home and the veil between existences is the thinnest, communing with them is supposed to be easier than any other time of year.  There are a number of ways those who have translated can interact with us on this side, but what do we do to initiate the conversation?  Automatic writing,  candle flame scrying, deep meditation to channel?  How about an Ouija Board?

The witchboard was introduced to our country around 1891 when an interest in the Spiritualist movement was at its peak.  It was a popular form of entertainment for decades practiced by a large following of believers from just about every background, including Mary Todd Lincoln, the President’s wife.

Ouija boards seem to be to the occult what cilantro is to cooking….you either love it or hate it!! I know people who won’t go near one and certainly would never touch one because of the supposed inherent evil they contain.  I don’t understand this questionable thinking process.  How can a piece of wood or pressed cardboard be made bad?  Certainly the movie The Exorcist helped this idea develop!!  And religions, also, jumped on the bandwagon in an effort to scare a dwindling Sunday attendance back into the pews so congregations could keep one step ahead of the Devil….

In November 2014 DailyMail.com ran a story saying the sales of Ouija boards was up 300%.  Couldn’t find stats for this year so far, but imagine sales are still pretty good; especially considering when times are tough people turn more to the paranormal for answers they don’t get anywhere else.  Ouija’s are still manufactured by Hasbro, who bought out Parker Brothers in 1991, and I don’t think they package a piece of Satan in every box!

Ouija, like any other tool, can be used for any purpose. I believe that any evil that is associated with the witchboard comes to it with the intent of the person, or people, using it.  It can work as a conductor for any energy, but does not have any inherent energy of its own.  It’s like white or black magick  —  no such thing  —  there’s only magick.  What you do with it is what defines it.

Happy Halloween!!

–  ashanta

 

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