When I was small, someone asked me if I believed in ghosts. I replied that of course I did, didn’t everyone? After all, it went: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Also, I vividly saw people who were not there. Like, fully formed humans no one else could see.
I was assured by many that I had “imaginary friends,” but I also knew they weren’t the sort my peers had. One girl in my class had an imaginary pet snail. I had an imaginary retiree who lived in an apartment building the next town over. We were not the same.
Now, when I begin reading, I immediately gravitated towards ghost stories. Horror became my genre of choice by the time I was in fourth grade, when I first got my hands on a Stephen King short story compilation. Ghost stories have always been my favorite, whispered at sleepovers, or told while shining a flashlight in your face around a campfire.
Anyway, as time went on, I started to learn about the spiritual side of things, in particular to my life. I went to Lilydale, as I have mentioned before in my blog. I had an experience there where the Medium told me that I myself contain psychic ability. I mostly ignored this. Then, I went to Salem this past Fall, and a psychic there asked me why I continue to waste my talents. In fact, she told me a lot of things.
One item is that my life will remain on fire until after the New Year. So far, this tracks. Everything remains ablaze, as it has been one emergency after another fir several months now. She did also tell me that this time next year I will look back at this and laugh. I will be in a whole new place, apparently. I am very much looking forward to that.
In the meantime, I’m looking into the psychic thing. When I wrote about my trip, I mentioned that we performed a spell that resulted in Sahar’s purse falling off a desk, totally of its own accord. This, coupled with a few things said by the tarot card reader, led me to believe that my mother has access to the spiritual plane. This was confirmed the other night by my friend Carey, who is often visited by spirits. Her grandmother came to her in a dream and told her that she has been speaking to my mother, who apparently is quite the fighter. This was a sort of aha moment, because I knew, in the way I sometimes know things, that there was a way my mother would be able to communicate on that playing field. Still, I suck at the whole psychic thing because I don’t know what I’m doing. I mean, I’m reading a lot, and I’m researching a lot, and I’m learning a lot. But I still don’t know what I’m doing. All I have truly figured out so far is that true power comes from within. Now, to unlock that somehow.
Do you believe in ghosts? I’ve always believed in ghosts. I’ve always believed that spirits can hear me when I speak to them, and sometimes they talk back. It’s just hard for us to hear as mortals. Does my rational brain wonder if this is all just indoctrination? Like I said in the beginning, it went: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Of course I wonder. Am I just programmed to believe in the supernatural, or is the supernatural the most natural of all, and we as a species have either dampened our senses, or have yet to unlock them? Oooh, I love a good mystery of the universe.
Anyway, I think that is all for today. I am just up in my head about the God of it all. As per usual.
As the constant reader knows, I needed a flippin’ break. I have been under massive amounts of stress, what with a sick mother, and an apartment hunt, and a new job. I was even diagnosed with Acute Stress Disorder and my psychiatrist doubled my meds. As I like to say about the recent situation, everything is on fire, and has been for a few months. So naturally, when it came time for the girl’s trip I planned last year, I wanted to bail a little. The timing just seemed so terrible…and yet, everyone encouraged me to go, damn the circumstance. So, I did. And oh, am I glad I did!
Much in the way that a week in the Bahamas with my sister renewed my spirit many years ago, this little jaunt to Salem, Massachusetts did exactly the same. We were staying smack dab between there and Boston, and I was thinking we might take in both cities, but there was so much to do in Salem that Boston was easily discarded as a destination.
The first night we had dinner at a bar called The Witches Brew, where the waitress told us where to go and what to avoid-excellent information for the bewildered tourist. We walked around for a bit and got our bearings, then planned the next day and headed back to the hotel. In the morning we returned, and discovered Essex St, which is a walkable road with shops and tourist attractions and restaurants. (PS all of Salem is walkable. It’s amazing. Catch up, Buffalo.) Essex St. is probably the most touristy part of the area…when we were back on Saturday, there were street performers, too (and a ton more people.) Anyway, we took a red trolley on a ride around the city, where a colorful tour guide named Skip gave us interesting information peppered with corny jokes. It was nice to ride around and hear the history and see the sights, plus it gave me a sense of direction around the city. I am used to meticulously planned towns, not the wild growth of villages you find in New England.
After the trolley tour, we went to a magic shop called Pentagram, where I got a tarot reading. Oooh boy…that was intense. She asked if I had any questions and I told her: “Everything is on fire. When will that let up?” Short answer: next year. Long answer: the reader saw two issues…sickness and uncertainty. Further cards told her the sickness was not mine but my mother’s, so score one point for the tarot reader. The uncertainty cards unfolded to reveal my fears of change regarding “moving on,” as she said…as I am LITERALLY trying to move into a new home. Then she stops, smiles, and tells me my grandfather is there. No message…he just wanted me to know he was hanging out. (Later, when I told this to my father, he laughed heartly and sad “sounds like Dad.”) At the end, she told me I have power within me that I am not utilizing, which makes her the second psychic to tell me that. (More on this in my next blog.) She also told me that this time next year, everything with be different in a good way. So…only a few more months of fire expected.
Then we went to the Salem Witch Museum. It was…fine. They have these tableaus with terrifying mannequins that light up as a narrator who sounds like Vincent Price tells you about the trials. Then you go into another exhibit where a different loudspeaker narrator shows you three tableaus of witches through the years. One cool thing they have is a copy of The Wizard of Oz script, but sadly no photography was allowed. I also really liked that they compared the trials to McCarthyism, which was my term paper topic in high school. After, you exit through the gift shop. I very much remember the gift shop from when I went with my parents when I was 9…but I don’t think we saw the exhibit, because that horror would have surely etched itself in my brain. All in all, I don’t think it was worth the 17 bucks. Especially if you already know the story and if you don’t…why did you even come here? But I digress…
That night we had booked a private tour, because I wasn’t interested in the group ones where 50 people follow a man with a blowhorn around. Instead, I found a night time witch history/ghost story tour, and it was just us three following a cloaked and top hatted man with a lantern through dark city alleyways (we are so clearly not in Buffalo anymore, Toto.) Truthfully, it was awesome, because he had a tale for every step we took, and it was so cool that it was just the four of us out there when there were like dozens of mass tour groups floating around…we got to see nooks and crannies they literally couldn’t fit into, like a smuggler’s alley, for instance. The best spot was the Ropes Mansion Garden (the Ropes Mansion is Allison’s house from Hocus Pocus, in case you were wondering. Sidebar: Salem folk are NOT HAPPY Hocus Pocus 2 filmed in New Hampshire.) There was a bench there where you could sit and commune with the spirits that I thought was pretty neat.
After the two-hour walking tour, we were beat, and headed back to the hotel. In the morning, it was the day of the AFSP Out of the Darkness walk. I was missing the event back home, but I raised $750 this year, so I had to do my part in some way. We started our morning with coffee and a lovely little nature hike along a birdwatching trail near our hotel. It was shorter than expected, but since I got like 18k steps in the previous day, I figured I could easily make up the couple miles I would have done for the walk. (And I did. We walked like 17 miles the whole trip.)
We went back into the city and parked the car, then schlepped over to the Satanic Temple, fifteen minutes away. I was very excited for this because I think TST is really cool….and if you don’t, it’s probably because you don’t know anything about them, or you think they are connected to The Church of Satan, who are pretty much the “bad guys” of the Satanic world. I will go into this at some point in the future, because it would actually make for a super interesting blog post. Anyhoo, we got there and we didn’t have vax cards on us because we are morons, so we couldn’t go in, which was a dissappointm4ent.
So, then we schlepped back to Salem proper. FInally, the highlight of the trip: Witch Pix. Witch Pix is a photography studio that dresses you up like a witch and then takes professional photos. I dressed as a “warrior witch,” with a teal fur cape, black and gold brocade corset dress, and black horns. The pictures were STUNNING and we had so much fun.
After some more shopping and such, we headed back to the hotel and had dinner, and then we decided to perform a spell. Sahar bought a little kit for a healing spell, and we did it for my mother. The crazy part is that I was ending the spell by blowing out a candle, and the moment I did, Sahar’s bag fell off the table. Coincidence? I think not.
Anyway, we just hung out for a bit, then slept, and in the morning, I had the best and unhealthiest breakfast ever: fried French toast topped with Nutella and strawberries. Afterwards, we headed home. 7 hours and 4 pee breaks later, and we were back in the Buffalo.
So. That was my trip. Was it fun? Absolutely. Will I travel with these awesome women again? Yup, just tell me when and where, ladies! Did it change my entire outlook on life?
…tune in Thursday for the answer to this and more questions.
Hubs and I recently watched “Happy” on Netflix. It was really good, provided you can handle some seriously cringe-worthy moments. There’s a lot of kid-in-danger going on, which I absolutely hate, but the end is happy enough and I liked it overall. Without giving anything really key away, I will tell you that there is a character named Happy, who is a flying blue horse (unicorn, really, though he never really cops to it.) He is the imaginary friend of a girl who gets kidnapped, and he has to save her. There are a lot of moments in the series where he is talking to other imaginary friends, cast-offs after their children have grown too old for them. It made me wonder…what happened to mine?
I had, as a child, an imaginary community. There were the outliers, imaginary folk who didn’t live with me. This consisted of D, a boy that I only knew because he had a green shirt with a purple D on it. He never spoke, just appeared for a game of “kick-the-ball” or to sit and watch tv. There was Mary, a young mother of eight who was a terrible cook, though I never met the children that she was constantly talking about. And there was Esther Drake, a retired schoolteacher who lived in an apartment building on the corner of Kenmore and Colvin. I knew these oddly specific things about them, and it was presented to me once when I was a little older that perhaps they were spirits. I’d had some psychic events as a child, and even my mother thought this was a possibility. Why would I imagine a retired schoolteacher? Why would I know her address? Why didn’t D talk? Where are Mary’s children? Questions I will never have answers for.
My best imaginary friends, however, lived in my house. Their names were Shushie and Potchie. Shushie wore a green dress and had a short black bob. Potchie had overalls with a red shirt and a cowboy hat. I don’t know when they appeared, but they stayed for a long time.
My mother tells me of one Shushie story. Her friend Marie needed a ride to the airport, back in the day when you could actually watch your friends plane take off. Apparently, I told mom that Shushie was going to go with Marie on vacation. I said my goodbyes and everything. Then, when we went back to the car and mom shut the door, I started screaming bloody murder because she had slammed Shushie’s arm in the door. Mom asked if she hadn’t gone on vacation. She did not. My mother was trying to maim her. Mom tells me that I was truly crying and screaming in that moment, as though the events were real. I don’t know.
I don’t know how old I was when they disappeared, but I know it was before we moved to Kenmore when I was eight, or maybe around the same time. Maybe they were just ghosts. Maybe they were mere figments of my overactive imagination. I always did find it interesting, though, that my imaginary friends were unlike others. Other kids I knew had imaginary bunnies and snails and frogs: mine were people. Detailed, seemingly real people.
I wonder if they existed on some plane of reality that I no longer have access to. I totally believe that children have the ability to interact with things in a way adults cannot. As for my previously mentioned psychic event: our car was stolen. I told my mom “it’s in front of the purple house.” She drove to the only purple house in the neighborhood. It was parked out front. Don’t tell me that was a coincidence! Those were forces, man!
There have been other times I have had a connection to an outside reality, and times I have been able to read signs to predict a situation, and I’ve always been sort of a hippy-witchy kind, so you can take or leave what I think on the subject. Sometimes though, I think about my lost imaginary friends, and I hope that they are still out there playing. I hope they have found some other little girl or boy to love them, whether they’re real or not. I don’t know where these manifestations go, but I hope it’s nice. I hope they get all they wish for, just like I would hope for any of my old, dear friends.