One woman’s story of supernatural encounter and its aftermath
by Julia Finley
My Google Homepage has evolved over time. Now its got a little digi-pet, some news wires, noticeably no games, and a major menagerie of spiritual quotes from various religions. And of course, my email preview on the upper-left.
Thank heavens for that — I could never take the burn of directly viewing my inbox. I need a buffer. Did they have people like me in mind when they designed such things?
Anyway, today’s preview:
You are receiving this email because you have incurred a warning from Religious Messageboards. Repeat violations will result in permanent banning.
I peek at the previous window to confirm something I thought I saw. …Yes, I received two emails with this same subject header, from two different moderators. It seems I’m already a repeat offender, but of what crime, I must read on to find out.
A description of the infarction follows:
“This is a board for fellowship, and does not tolerate promoting witchcraft of any kind.”
I furrow my brows. “Promoting witchcraft”? What are they talking about? As a relieving afterthought, I realize I can easily prove this is all some mistake; no such “violation” occurred…
“Many member have asked you politely if your pastor or church leader can verify your activity as sanctioned by God. Because you ignore these requests, I can only assume you have no such sanction.”
Is this for real? I’m getting this for ignoring the trolls?
I did remember the [one] occasion where I was asked that asinine question. I had wandered into a section of the messageboard where people were posting dreams for interpretation, and one entry caught my eye.
“In my dream I saw demons peeling wallpaper off the walls. What could this mean?”
Amidst affirmations that demons were certainly causing trouble in the dreamer’s life, I typed:
Demons actually represent what ideas you yourself “demonize”. You may actually need to peel away some facade and reveal the truth, instead of “demonizing” the idea most ungracefully. Consider where in life you need to be more honest with yourself.
Ignoring all other interpretations, the fellow solely replied to mine. How do you know such things? Who gave you such authority? Have you been ordained by your pastor to uncover dreams? (I did not respond to any of this.)
As I exit that email preview, my mouth makes a soft, involuntary pant. Supply “proof of authority” –!
Three emails down, there is another message from this board. I purse my lips.
“Hi, I’m Gods_girl07, from the Religious Messageboards. Since you seem to be good at answering dreams, I was wondering if you could help me with a dream I had last night…”
It began in fall of 2005, when I could no longer concentrate on my government work. Back then I did probate for the Department of the Interior, and I strived to be the best in my section. I was also devoutly Christian, and had a dismissive attitude (to put it nicely) towards anything outlandish to my beliefs.
Then something happened. I experienced a crisis of faith that left a rift in my mentality. I had had crises before, but like any firm believer I got over them. This time was different, felt different. I had never lost te ability to concentrate before.
The difficulty I had concentrating at work was only the beginning, as that “rift” became a window large enough to let something through. At home in my private quarters, I became alert to “a presence”. I can only describe it as the change in static that happens when you sense someone is coming up the stairs, or about to enter a room.
Only no one ever arrived — ever. The horror films got this one right: the first few times you look up or turn around and nobody’s there, it’s too early to be scared. You just shrug and say, huh, that’s weird. By the third time, the fourth time, the fifth, you realize something is seriously wrong here.
My religious mentality seemed to exacerbate the episodes. The more I wondered if this presence was a demon after me, the “louder” the episodes became. It wasn’t loudness in the sense of audible footsteps or other sounds; it was the presence itself becoming clearer and clearer, like some incoming radio signal tuning itself. I began avoiding situations where the signal would start, and took great lengths to have company and rooms lit at all times.
That’s when a new feature appeared: knocks and “pops”, that began in the room corners. I shut my eyes and assured myself the house was still settling, but the pops were so loud they sounded like mini-explosions in the wood grain. Leaving lights on all night was becoming ineffective, and the “pops” and “signals” began to occur despite the presence of company. It began to dawn on me this may never stop.
In retrospect, this was a special time for me because the prospect of going insane lit a very special fire under my ass. It takes a paranormal experience happening to you to really respect its factuality, and turn to something you once had the luxury of dismissing as nonsense: paranormal research.
In spite of my “sensibility” and then beliefs, I knew I needed to examine different views of the paranormal plane. I made time after work to head down to my local used-book trade, and hesitantly asked the clerk for directions to their paranormal section. Once I was in front of it, I looked through a few works before realizing my experience had features in common with a poltergeist, or “knocking ghost”.
The poltergeist was described to me as a gradual, mounting series of haunt and terror, something along the lines of what this yahoo has to say:
Poltergeist disturbances are destructive and mischievous nonphysical entities, or spirits. When people get into conditions of tension, they exude a kind of energy. Along come a couple of spirits, and they do what any group of schoolboys would do: they begin to kick it around, smashing windows and generally creating havoc. Then they get tired and leave it. In fact the [energy] often explodes and turns into a puddle of water.
I gained two senses from this:
One — confirmation of “demonic activity”. Could this be a time of testing, where I am judged by what stand I take against the enemies of God? Am I to demonstrate my courage and Christian mettle? If this was what I chose to believe, the next step was to find an exorcist (like a pastor or church leader, with that oft-mentioned verified authority sanctioned by God) to stamp it out.
Two — I now knew I was only in the early stages of a poltergeist haunting. I had not yet experienced the more harrowing features, including projectiles and exploding objects. My relatives and friends didn’t sense anything out of the ordinary yet, but that could change if I didn’t figure out how to absolve the issue before the real terror started.
Driving home, I felt lost in these thoughts. I didn’t want things to get worse, but… …in a moment of honesty with myself, I didn’t understand the spirit’s intentions. What was happening to me was disruptive and abnormal, but “demonic, mischievous, haunting, and terrorizing”? Maybe the reasons for the activity are as well documented as our emotional reactions to the events themselves. I didn’t know anything for certain, but I did know that it was possible, that God was in the rift from the very beginning.
Back at the house, the tell-tale radio signal tuned in almost the moment I walked through the door. It was evening now, casting dim blues shadows across my silent home. To me the poltergeist waited, in the kaleidoscope of shadows.
I plunked my keys down on the kitchen counter, and plunked myself down on the living room couch. In front of me was a fading reflection of myself in the TV, disappearing with the sunset. After a while I opened my mouth and spoke.
“H-hello. Is there something you’re here to tell me?”
There was a long conversation in that dimming room, where I admitted I was scared, but more profoundly I admitted I was curious too. I admitted things I didn’t know were within myself, and spoke to my Self as much as to the poltergeist. For the first time in weeks, I hadn’t noticed the sun completely faded and wasn’t afraid when it did.
From that night on, transformative imagery began to flow through my mind. Nothing about this flow resembled gentility — I saw scenes of forbidden passion, renewed rhythm, and divine fusion. Pure fire and steam was racing up my subconscious track, with no real knowledge whether I was dealing with a train, a monster, or what.
For the first time in my life, I began to thaw out a lot of suppressed emotions in my soul and body. My ideas of what was good and authentic were evolving, and I didn’t need my previous sources of surety, conviction, and completion any more. What was inside of me somehow encompassed all of those things, and my life and identity took on the original shape God gave it.
All the knocking, the pops, and the phantom signals faded away, and have never returned to this day. I actually felt lonely and missed the announcing signs, but it made me smile to think some part of my friend had become one with me. Perhaps now we were one for life; perhaps, all along, I was integrating an estranged aspect of my Self. In one great finale that assured me the change was complete, all the water sprinklers, toilets, tubs, and sinks on the bottom floor of the house began to overflow with water, similar to the Pontefract Incident. (The homeowner’s association did a full inspection into the flooding. No cause could be determined.)
It starts with me standing at the bottom of a flight of stairs. I know this is just the first flight, and more flights are beyond this one. As I climb the first few stairs of the very first flight, I am already getting very tired, and I say to myself ‘you can do it; I am with you my child’. I am saying it for Jesus, and this helps me climb the stairs.
Finally, I get about halfway and see a dwarf sitting at the top of the flight, waiting for me. As soon as I see him, I run back down the stairs and have to start all over again. What do you think this means?
A signal crackles to life in my mind’s eye. It no longer feels like static in my environment, but a two-dimensional switch in my forehead, a simple shift in my thinking.
I finally come out of the email preview.
Think of he stairs as steps in one’s spiritual progress. Each flight represents one chapter of spiritual attainment, and each set must be attained before going on to more advanced levels of spiritual knowledge.
What you are literally “telling yourself” on the first level may be encouraging, but not especially effective with each new challenge. A better approach would be to examine what is actually barring your progress: dwarves symbolize limitation and hampering within our own mentality. If this is what retards your spiritual progress, you may need to rid yourself of the limitations you place on your own mind.”
“Amazing,” she writes back. ”It’s like you really know me.”
I didn’t come away from the poltergeist encounter merely wiser for the wear. I could now understand dreams. They were no longer random or chaotic to me; it was as if some veil had been lifted from my mind.
I keep pretty busy these days. Quit my government work, quit my bible-thumping, and started to really look at dreams. Don’t know how many lives I’ve changed, let alone touched, by translating people’s nocturnal messages. They tell me I’ve done what therapists could not, nor spiritual philosophers and many others who have tried. The work has launched me into an underworld of warring forces, a war over souls that could change mankind’s future.
As for the poltergeist — which I now consider my divine encounter — I do know this: no matter how much we abhor the way change was made in our lives, the change is worth it. To live more truly, to make our lives a better reflection of the (super)natural world, is worth everything we experience to cross over. ♣
Artwork: The Keeper (Tempus Fugit II) by Marco Bressan