Monday 28 October 2019

Hallowe'en Exclusive - The House of 100 Spirits by Rick Hale

Cover Art: Mark Hetherington

To mark Hallowe'en this week, enjoy this extract chapter from Rick Hale's Behold! Shocking True Tales of Terror...and Some Other Spooky Stuff.

A theory that has been steadily gaining acceptance in the paranormal field that there are locations around the world where the veil between the living and the dead is thin or wide open. It is believed that due to this, supernatural entities, no matter what their nature, can come and go at will.

For those who accept this theory, it is commonly believed that portals can be either naturally occurring or opened by magical practitioners. Two examples of naturally occurring portals are Sedona, Arizona and Glastonbury in the UK. People who have visited these sacred sites have reported everything from experiencing high levels of consciousness to visitations from otherworldly beings. Generally, reports from portal locations are positive, but not all portals have such good vibes. The second kind of portal is believed to have been opened by dabbling in the magical arts. The purpose was for bringing primal spiritual forces into our world for the dabblers’ personal gain. By mistake or design, these portals are left open giving free range to whatever entities may be lurking on the other side.

The following is a true account of an investigation I conducted while working with a local group. I personally believe that a portal was open in this house and the spirits that delighted in keeping the family in fear. In December 2009, the lead investigator of the group called and asked if I wanted to go on another investigation. I happily said yes, as I liked the way Tony and his people worked. After a few minutes of a little chit chat, Tony got to the reason for the call. Tony, recently received a phone call from a man named, George who reported that his home in Waukegan, Illinois was infested by an indeterminate number of spirits. George further explained that some of the entities focused much of their attention on his 87 year old mother. Also, George believed that he believed one of the spirits was his father who, in life, was a bad guy. Tony told me after listening to the client that he had to ask a hard question. Tony asked George if his mother was suffering from any kind dementia. Dementia is quite common among people of such advanced age and hallucinations are a common feature. George, assured Tony that his mother was of sound mind, showing no signs of the debilitating illness.

After talking with the client, Tony, felt that the client was a credible witness and took the case. As we talked about the case, I suggested the possibility that a portal was open in the house. Tony agreed and said it was a distinct possibility and couldn't wait to find out.

Shortly after arriving at George's home, we met the family and was immediately struck by the look of terror and exhaustion etched into their faces. Clearly, this nice family had experienced something that far exceeded their understanding of the natural world. After unloading our gear, and setting up base, we went to work.

That night, I was paired with Diana, a seasoned investigator and one of the original members of Tony’s group. The first room we focused on was a second floor room, the bedroom of the elderly matriarch of the family. Several entities had been witnessed and experienced in this room by family and friends.

As we entered the room, we could tell immediately we were not alone. The very environment of the room felt thick and charged with what could only be described as an unnatural energy. Something unseen and altogether unfriendly was with us, something that would soon make its presence known. After a few minutes of getting a feel for the room, Diana laid an EMF meter on the bed and I laid my voice recorder next to it.

Diana then called out, “My name is Diana and this is Rick.”

“Hello” I said with a nod.

Diana continued. “Is there anyone in this room with us?”

Just as Diana finished her question, the lights on the meter sprang to life flashing wildly, “Good, now we can have a conversation,” she said.When Diana gave me the go ahead, I started asking a few questions of my own.

“If you're a man, can you cause the lights to light up?”

The lights lit up again and I continued, “Are you a former resident of this house?”

This time the lights didn't flash. If this wasn't a former resident, why was he here? This seemed highly irregular, but not unknown to me As Diana and I were wrapping up in the bedroom, Tony’s voice came over the handheld radio on my pocket.

“Diana, Rick, you there?”

“Yep.” I responded

“Can you come to the basement? I have a special assignment for you.”

Diana and I looked at each other wondering what a special assignment meant. Tony had a strange sense of humor. But, when the boss calls, you run. When we got to the basement, we found Tony and two other investigators standing next to a small, dark room.

Victoria, a medium who enjoyed the tech side of ghost hunting said with a grin, “You guys are really going to enjoy this. Especially Diana.”

After Victoria left we, turned to Tony and he said, “Victoria and Jessica were just in here. Victoria felt a strong male presence and Jessica claims the spirit grabbed her ass. I need the two of you to spend some time in here and see if it happens again.”

We both said OK, and closed the door. As we were setting our equipment on a small bench I asked, “I hear you like grabbing women's butts, any truth to that?”

When I finished talking the K2 began flashing. I was about to ask another question when Diana spoke up, “Look here pal, are you some kind of a pervert?”

I was becoming concerned at the tone of her voice and asked, “What are doing?”

“Trying to provoke a response.” She replied.

Provoking spirits is a method I do not condone. It's crude and can cause serious safety issues during investigations. After a few minutes of listening to Diana's line of questioning, I suddenly felt a large hand hit my head.

“Oh, what the fuck? Why did you hit me?” I yelled.

“I didn't hit you, I swear.” She replied.

“Well, someone just hit me in the head.” I said calmly. “Let's get out of this room for a minute.”

When we opened the door, we found Tony and Victoria standing outside the room.

“We heard you yell. What happened?”

Before I could answer, Victoria gasped and said, “Your head. Did someone hit you?”

“Yeah, and it burns” I replied.

Tony brought over a small mirror and as my eyes focused I looked in the mirror and sure enough, there was a large, red handprint across my forehead. I inspected the mark and anger began to fill up in me. Diana provokes, and I get punished.

“I need a cigarette.” I angrily said and walked up the stairs and walked outside.

Something I don't share often is that I am sensitive. I'm not a psychic or a medium, but I do get impressions and can feel the presence of spirits. After getting hit in the head by the spirit in the basement, I did get a rather disturbing impression and I needed to ask the client if my impression was correct When I walked outside and lit my cigarette, I joined some of my peers and the man I was looking for, George.

I greeted everyone and asked him, “George, how is the spirit in the basement related to you?” I could tell I had hit on something a little too close to home, George's hand trembled as he took a long drag from his cigarette. When he exhaled all that hung in the air was smoke and raw emotion.

“The spirit downstairs is my dad. And he was anything but a good man.”

As we stood silently, George gathered himself and explained, “ My old man died in the basement about ten years ago.” He paused, his large dark brown eyes welling up with tears, “My father had a real problem with anger and took it out on my mom.” George wiped the tears from his eyes and continued, “A few times, I tried coming to her rescue, but that only made the bearings worse for her and I.”

George broke down crying, all I could do was stand there and watch this gentle soul relive his pain. When George was done crying, he lot another cigarette and I decided I would share a little of my own life. I explained to him that growing up, my mother would hit and belittle me when she became angry. The physical part of the abuse subsided as I grew older, but the verbal part was always there. No matter what I did was never good enough and she considered my pursuit of the unknown as being of the devil. It may sound like a stupid platitude, but I told George, that for men like us what doesn't kill is only makes us stronger. George, thanked me so much for sharing. And on that note it was time to get back to work.

It was reported to us that when George moved his mother back into the house, she claimed to watch as spirits came and went through the large bay window in the family room. This window was more than likely a portal to the other side. There was only one way to find out.

As Diana and I approached the living room, Victoria met us in the hall and said, “Amazing. Just amazing.”

“What's amazing?” Diana asked.

“That window in the front room.” Victoria said looking over her shoulder to the family room. “That window is a giant portal to the spirit world.” Victoria looked back again and shuddered. “They just come and go as they please.” As Diana watched Victoria leave, I stepped into the family room and the lights on my meter went crazy.

“Whoa”, I exclaimed as I watched the lights on the K2 flash.

“Yeah” Diana replied. “I guess this really is where it all happens.”

As we sat on the couch the room suddenly became noticeably colder and had an electrical feel to it.

I pulled out my voice recorder and asked, “Do you use the window as an entry point for this house?” The moment I finished the question the lights flickered. I laughed and said, “I'll take that as a yes.”

Diana laughed as well and asked, Can you tell us how many of you are here?”

This time no flickering lights and the K2 meter went dead. Either they didn't know how to or they didn't feel like cooperating After a few more minutes of conducting an EVP session, I stood up and put my hand on the window and was shocked to discover it was hot to the touch.

“Wow” I exclaimed. Diana looked over with a quizzical look and I continued, It's the middle of January and this window is hot.”

Diana walked over and placed her hand next to mine. “It could be hot because it's an active portal.” She said.

I was about to answer when Tony’s voice came over the radio, “You guys want to meet George's mother.” It was as good a time as any to report to Tony about the suspected portal.

When we arrived in the kitchen, we found Tony, George, Victoria and George's mother. As we stood there conversing, I looked down the hall towards the family room, and watched as a tall, blond haired woman in white clothes suddenly appeared. The mystery woman vanished from sight when she turned left into a bedroom.

Excitement filled me as I blurted out, “Did anyone else see that?”

“See what?” Tony asked.

“The blond woman.” I said grabbing Victoria and we rushed towards the bedroom.

When we walked into the bedroom, I was shocked to find there were only two people in the room: the client's daughter and her African American friend. No tall blond haired white woman.

“Did a blond haired woman just walk in here?” I asked. The two young girls looked at each other and the client's daughter replied,” No.”

“A blond woman?” Victoria asked. “Did you see her?”

The two young girls shook their heads in the negative. I could tell both were becoming afraid of the prospect that a ghost might be in the small room with them. I was about to ask another question when a dark shadow rushed past the door heading towards the family room. Victoria and I watched in utter astonishment as the black shadow jumped through the large bay window and vanished.

As we stood in the hall, Tony walked up behind us and said, “I think it's time we do a channeling session.

We gathered in the basement, Victoria sat in a chair and Tony set up a video camera to tape the session. The rest of us watched in silence as Victoria closed her eyes and breathed slowly and deliberately.

Victoria opened her eyes and said, “He is here.”

“Can you tell us your name?” Tony asked standing to the left of Victoria.

Victoria looked up at Tony and said in a deep, male voice that was not her own, “Why are you people in my house?”

“George's father, I presume.” Tony said.

“Oh, did that little wimp bring you here?” The spirit said with a sneer and a laugh.

“He did” Tony replied. “Why do still bother him and your wife?”

“Because I can” Victoria or the spirit looked around and further said, “And there's nothing you can do about it.”

“Don't bet on it” Tony replied as he ended the session.

When Victoria came out she drank a large glass of water and asked, “Are we doing a house cleansing?”

“Yeah, I think so. Tony thinks it’s best to rid this family of their spirits and try to close the portal.”

“Oh, you think.” Victoria blurted out in the voice of the spirit.

“Are you OK?” I asked completely surprised by the intrusion of the spirit.

“Yeah” Victoria said shaking her head. “That was terribly rude.”

“I have a feeling he doesn't care about manners.” We walked upstairs and joined the others.

Cleansing a house of an unwanted spirit has never been a part of ghost hunting repertoire. In fact, I have always regarded it as being somewhat rude evicting a spirit from a property they still perceive as their own. I would rather teach a homeowner to be assertive with a spirit with whom they share their home. However, sometimes laying down boundaries doesn't always work and more drastic measures must be taken. This was one of them.

When we assembled in the front room, Tony handed us each a bundle of sage and lit them. Since this was my first house cleansing, Tony had me follow him. Everyone in the group walked from room to room allowing the smoke from the sage to fill each room. Burning sage is believed to neutralize and drive out negative energy. Tony and other investigators swear by the practice, but I have yet to see any evidence that would indicate to me that it works.

Many days after this dramatic investigation, I analyzed the EVPs that I collected that night and something interesting was found. As Diana and I were in the front room, I asked if this window was a portal.

As I listened, a very eerie voice answered back, “They want us to come in through the window.”

This response confirmed for us that the window was acting as some kind of portal between this world and the spirit realm. To this day, I still wonder who “they” are. I may never know. 

To read more of Rick's paranormal adventures, his book is available now on - click here.  

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Tuesday 22 October 2019

Delayed Release - The Curse of Peg O'Nell - or - The Demon of the Well

Owing to technical issues, The Curse of Peg O'Nell - or - The Demon of the Well by Daniel Nicholas Cobban will now be published on the 1st of December rather than Hallowe'en.

Monday 14 October 2019

The Curse of Peg O'Nell - or- The Demon of the Well

Rather delighted to reveal the cover of our first novel, a spectacular gothic horror in time for Hallowe'en by Daniel Nicholas Cobban! Based on the legend of Peg O'Nell, it tells the tale of the village of Ingerley where Peg unleashes her vengeance in the late 19th century. The amazing cover art is by the official Beul Aithris Art Dude, Mark Hetherington. It will be available in print and Kindle via Amazon, and other eBook platforms in time for Hallowe'en!

In a slight change to the Hallowe'en publishing schedule, Gregor Stewart's Witch Memorials of Scotland will now be coming out in the middle of November.