Playing with Spirits

A friend of mine confided in me recently, quite privately, about some supernatural experiences he’d had. We’d worked together on a few films where I’d heard murmurs about these experiences but he’d always been extremely quiet about them, I think understanding that so many people are skeptics. When I had the opportunity to ask him more about what he went through, and why it left him so traumatized, I found his answers perfect reading for The Occult Section, and hope you agree. Here below he talks about his experiences and gives a word of warning about communicating with spirits. He has asked me to keep him anonymous.

“I’ve had experiences going all the way back to when I was around 3. I continued to have experiences for almost 30 years after that first experience, but the types of occurrences gradually became more intense towards the end of that three decade run.

The one constant in all of my experiences was that I was always lying down and I would feel a chill run down my back. The first time this happened, when I was around 3, a gentle chill woke me up from sleep and I saw a disembodied hand slowly crawling up the cupboards. I watched this go for a few minutes. There was also one time when I was around 9, again I was awakened by this chill, and saw a woman in a grey dress standing next to my bed. She was looking down at me and had her hand placed on the bedpost closest to my head. I’d say she and I were looking at eachother for a good 60 seconds before she started to slowly disappear. It was a very comforting feeling, I wasn’t scared at all.But as the years went on and having occasional “visitations,” I began to get more curious about these phenomena so I read many books on the topic. This curiosity eventually lead me to experimenting with communicating with spirits. The books I read gave guidance as to how to put myself in a meditative state and to open up to spirits who wished to communicate. The first time I did this I was highly successful: in my meditative state, a friendly female energy came forth who introduced herself to me as Elena. Being a complete newbie at this, all I could think to do was ask her to provide some form of validation that this meeting took place — so that this just wasn’t just my imagination. I did this when I was visiting a friend in Canada, in a town I had never visited before. The very next day I was accompanying my friend on an errand when a quick chill ran down my back. I looked up, and saw I was standing right in front of a store called “Elena’s Boutique.” Getting this validation got me even more interested in taking this further. I thought, “if I can do this on my first try, what can I accomplish on my second? Third? 100th try?” I did my meditation exercises almost on a nightly basis. Unfortunately, all of my subsequent attempts to communicate with spirits fell well short of what I experienced the first time. For weeks I did the same exact exercise and came up empty handed. It was almost like the spirits were avoiding me out of spite as I was doing this out of entertainment rather than a genuine attempt to contact them, to help them. I probably should have stopped at this point. Instead I kept pushing.

And then one night, as I was again doing my meditation exercise and opening myself up, I was confronted by, not a warm female energy, but an ugly, twisted, contorted alien-like (non-human) image. This freaked the living crap out of me and I immediately withdrew.

But after I stopped, I started getting those paralyzing chills again. This happened maybe once or twice a week on a regular basis. By this point I was sleeping with the bedside lamp on so that I wouldn’t be in complete darkness when those chills took over.

Not knowing what I should do, I reached out one last time to see if I can get some sort of answer. Again, I got nothing. So with the light still on I gave up and tried to go to sleep. Not soon after I closed my eyes I felt a low rumbling on the floor, like if a subway train was running directly beneath me. I accepted that for what it was, until that split second I realized I didn’t live anywhere near a subway. It was then when the very beginning of the familiar chill spiked into the back of my neck, and before it could spread down my back I tried to spring myself upright to stop it before it could take over. I usually react too late and I suffer the paralyzing fear-chills.

To my amazement, this time I maintained complete control over my body as my eyes flew right open and I began to sit up. But before I could get halfway sitting upright in bed, I felt a pair of hands close around my neck and slam me back down. The hands held me down as the paralysis completely took over my body. My eyes were open and I was wide awake the whole time. Since my eyes were the only things I could move, I scanned the room to see if there was anything else going on — it was then when I saw what looked like a faint shadow against the wall, cast by my lamp, of a figure crouched on top of me with hands around my neck.

After what felt like an eternity (probably closer to 30 seconds) the hands and the paralysis subsided and I was able to sit up. The next day I threw out the books and swore I would never do this again. I didn’t get the chills after that incident, but I had incidents where things would go missing and turn up in a completely different part of the apartment. I’d often hear the silverware in the cupboards rattling. But after the choking incident, none of this really bothered me — which, in hindsight, scares me the most that I accepted these occurrences as part of daily life.

I should point out that I was living alone in a basement apartment when this all happened, and was going through a low point in my life. I feel the perfect storm of my emotional state, location, and curiosity all contributed to my experiences.

The incidents stopped when I moved out of that apartment.

Katie: Had you ever experienced anything like that before? Would you have considered yourself a skeptic before this happened?

I was always a believer, as my mom is a believer. In fact, she was the one who first taught me meditation techniques — but it was for yoga, not communicating with spirits.

Katie: Since this experience, has your opinion on the supernatural changed at all?

Yes, it’s real and it’s not to be taken lightly! Leave it up to the professionals!

Katie: Have you had any similar experiences since then?

Thankfully, no. But that is probably because I am keeping that door closed VERY tightly.

Katie: Do you have any advice for someone who might be in the same position, to witness something like that?

Ghost hunting and communicating with spirits have gained popularity with reality shows on tv, but I strongly advise people to really think about what they are getting themselves into. It’s one thing if you are just an observer and weren’t inviting spirits to come to you, but I strongly urge anyone who’s looking at this as a form of entertainment to stop immediately. Or at least have an experienced person guiding you.

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0 comments on “Playing with Spirits

  1. I do believe in the paranormal, but I also believe in science. Could the paralysis felt be night terrors? Sleep paralysis is defined as “the experience of waking up (usually form a dream) and feeling paralyzed, except for being able to breathe and move the eyes. Hypnogogic hallucinations and sleep paralysis may occur together.” (Night Terrors Resource Center http://www.nightterrors.org/dis.htm)

    I’m not putting down his experiences as I’ve had experiences myself. IMHO, I think we need to look into all possibilities before claiming that something is of paranormal and demonic nature.

  2. @Wendi Excellent point! We here at The Occult Section talk about sleep paralysis a lot, since a lot of people have never heard of it and it can truly be terrifying to go through if you don’t know what it is (or even if you do). This case seems very likely to be just that. As a paranormal investigator, I always have to discard claims of paranormal experiences that happen when we are sleeping or just waking up. I’m not saying that nobody ever has paranormal experiences at these times, but it is always much more likely to be a dream than a ghost. I’ve had my own odd experiences while half asleep, and though they were weirder than typical sleep paralysis symptoms, I still don’t count them as paranormal. Too much doubt for my tastes 🙂

  3. @Jason Stroming
    I believe that we can have precognition type dreams but with so much known about Sleep Paralysis and that it is cross-cultural, and not limited to just the US, I have to say that in this case I think he was dealing with Sleep Paralysis. The website I referenced is very good and explains Sleep Paralysis very well.

    I do believe that our emotional and mental state have a lot to do with the energy around us; some call this psychic energy. I do believe that we can communicate and ask for validation. I think he did see Elena and he was validated the next day. I don’t doubt his experience, except for the sleep one. It’s just to vague, kind of like orbs (they’re moths, people, dust!)

  4. @Wendi As you said, the most rational explanation has to be the one we go with first. This is why I always discount experiences while sleeping. Doesn’t mean that they are NOT paranormal, it’s just that it’s not good data.

    As for orbs, I don’t understand why people still think that there is something paranormal about them when they have been consistently explained and debunked as just dust, bugs, moisture particles, pollen, or any other form of tiny particulate matter in the air. Might as well claim that magnetism is paranormal.

  5. The sleep paralysis stuff is one of the more common things I get emails about. Frustrating when you don’t know what goes on in their head and you’ve never experienced it yourself.

  6. @Patrick Sleep paralysis is a scary thing to experience, even when you do know lots about it, so it’s easy to see why so many people believe it to be paranormal. But same for us, most e-mails we get asking for advice seem to be the same thing, someone sleeping, can’t speak, can’t move, feelings of someone in the room, pretty typical sleep paralysis symptoms.

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