Saturday, December 3, 2016

Statement Regarding the Wildfires of the Smoky Mountains


Hi there. This is Jeff Lawhead, author of Phantoms Fill The Southern Skies and operator of jslawhead.com here.

As at least some of you know, this week the area I live in has been in a state of emergency since Monday, November 28th, due to a near unprecedented series of wildfires that nearly devastated the Smoky Mountains in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Although I was not personally affected by these fires and did not lose anything in the event, it has proven to be a historic tragedy in East Tennessee due to what many, many others have lost. As of writing, 13 people have died, over 80 were injured, innumerate people lost their houses and businesses, and the entire general flow of life here has been heavily upended.

As a result, I am going to temporarily cease operations of posting paranormal stuff on my website and actively trying to sell Phantoms Fill The Southern Skies. Beyond my hobby of writing about the paranormal, I work in the tourism industry for my day job, and as the wildfires and the damage they cause as part of what needs to be my business to know, I feel it's inappropriate to be talking about tragedies and ghosts in the mountains and woods when we are currently experiencing that ourselves in a way that's garnering nationwide headline news. Just really not the right time.

Again, this is only temporary and I expect to try to be resuming posting paranormal articles and videos here maybe mid-February as well as trying to sell my book.

I would also like to encourage anyone reading this to come visit the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge all the same. Even though the wildfires have devastated us, we are very much NOT closed for business. Our spirits and livelihood burn brighter than any fire and we will have an amazing Christmas holiday here nonetheless.

I think that's all I have to say about that for right now. For tourism information on the Smokies, I refer you to www.allthesmokies.com. For news on the wildfires, I refer you to www.wbir.com. Thank you!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Paranormal Folklore - The Little One (On The Road) - Castle of Spirits

This article comes from Castle of Spirits, reprinted and shared with permission.

THE LITTLE ONE (ON THE ROAD)

A guy I worked with told me this story, he swore it was true...

I was driving up towards Prescott, Arizona, my girlfriend, Becky, dozing off in the seat next to me. Rolling the window partially down, in the hope that the cool air would keep me alert, I wearily kept driving my Chevy down this narrow highway road, with nothing but a thick forested area on the passenger side of me, and mostly open meadowland, with a few clumps of trees here and there, along the driver's side of the road. I had wanted to leave first thing in the morning on Friday, but Becky was called into work at the last minute, so we ended up leaving at close to eight o'clock that night. Knowing we had to head back before early Monday, I didn't want to wait until the next day to go and end up losing a good chunk of a Saturday to boot.

So here I was, it had to be close to at least ten pm by then. Driving by the light of my dim headlights, with a close to full moon overhead (full enough to see the open expanses of the passing meadow areas, anyway) I noticed some smoke or steam coming up from the sides of my car hood. This, in and of itself, was not unusual as the car was close to fifteen years old, dented up a bit, with dimmer than usual lights and hoses that seemed to know the most inopportune time to break. Add to that, a radiator that overheated during the summer months or when in use for long periods of time. This being early October, I hadn't given the radiator much thought - it hadn't bothered to act up since August, and as the saying goes 'out of sight, out of mind'. But something sure was putting off plumes under the hood, so I nudged Becky and explained in short that I had to pull over.

As I slowed down a bit, Becky rolled down her window and peered out along the edges of the dark wall of pine trees. "Up there," she exclaimed, pointing forward, "about twenty feet or so there's a dirt shoulder of some kind." Slowing to a crawl, feeling safe at the moment as another car hadn't passed us for a number of miles now, I quickly saw the flat, dirt indent, about the length and width of two cars, just to the right of the road. The dirt area, much like that whole side of the road, was lined by a knotted mass of trees, giving it the look of a half circle cut down the middle by the road. I pulled over, and turned the car off - leaving the keys hanging from the ignition. With the headlights on, I got out of the car and walked to the front of it, popping the hood. I had grabbed a flashlight out of the glove box, and so proceeded to inspect the damage.

Sure enough, the radiator had overheated. I bent down a little, to peek between the crack of the hood's bottom edge and the top of the car front, to look at Becky through the front windshield. I was going to call out, to ask her to grab the gallon bottle of water I kept behind the front seat (there since August, at least) so, once it cooled a bit, I could add water to the radiator.

Expecting to see her dozing off, or looking toward me, I was surprised to see her staring wide-eyed, mouth agape, out at the direction of the driver's side window. She was as white as a ghost. "What are you doing?" I demanded to know. She kept staring out at the meadow fields, only raising her arm slightly to point in the direction she was looking. "What?" I said, walking back towards the driver's door. As I did, I looked out into the moonlit meadow. I saw a short line of trees in the distant background, a small pine about 20-25 ft out, directly in line with the back end of the car, and, running about ten feet from that point forward, in a line almost parallel with the road, was a short brick wall, about three feet or so high. A sparse forested area began, about forty feet or so from the wall's edges, in either direction of the small meadow. "So?" I said, "Probably part of an old house, or a fence. What's the big deal about the wall?" As I got into the car, and shut the door to wait for the innards to cool, she replied - slowly, quietly - "It isn't the brick wall. It's what I saw looking at us OVER the top of the wall." I turned to her, "What? Quit screwing around." "Stuff you!" she said, "If I..." Then she stopped talking, and her gaze drifted past me, to the wall.

I turned to look. I saw a small translucent-white stocky humanoid form, just shy of three feet tall, its tiny round eyes from this distance appearing as black as night, standing in front of the wall. It slowly took a step or two towards us, its short chubby arms at its side. I screamed, and tried to turn on the flashlight. I knew the batteries were low, and sometimes had to jiggle it and turn the cap slightly to get it to work, so in my excitement I twisted the cap, the batteries flew out and I just about dirtied by pants. As the batteries were now rolling under the seat and across the floor of the car, I decided to forget that. I looked up, saw the hood was still up, and froze.

"He's going back," Becky then said. I looked out over the moonlit field again, just in time to see this....thing... scamper around the side of the wall, out of view. As Becky quickly rolled up her car window, I said I was going to shut the hood - to hell with the water, if the radiator didn't burn out we'd stop down the road and add water. "Give me the bottle. I'll dump some in the reservoir and shut the hood, you just start the car." Becky replied. As she got out and went to the front, I turned the key. The engine groaned, trying to turn over. I looked from the steering wheel, to Becky pouring some water into the reservoir, to the wall, and back again. As Becky slammed the hood shut, I looked towards the wall - to see the small, white head of the ghostly entity peering over the top of it.

"Get in the car!" I yelled, as the entity's tiny hands gripped the top of the wall, and it hoisted itself clean over - landing on its feet, running. Running towards us. Becky jumped in the passenger side, locking her door. She no longer had the bottle, which couldn't have been more than half empty now, but, under the circumstances, I didn't ask and I didn't care. I turned the key, still it wouldn't catch. "Oh, god!" Becky murmured. I didn't want to look. I turned the key again, still just that tired groan. Becky leaned over, reaching past me, hitting my door lock with one hand while rolling the window up with the other (it was one of those older, manual window knob rollup jobs). "Hurry!" she said, frightened, as she sat back up. With one more turn of the key, the car finally started, and as I punched the accelerator, I looked toward the field. That little thing was only a few feet from the edge of the road - the edge on the OTHER side of the road, thankfully, but close enough that I could see its eyes were, indeed, dark, empty holes, its mouth was open now, in a wide leering grin, and I could have sworn it had small pointed teeth but it all happened so fast. Its skin, or surface, seemed to be rolling, as the entire entity ran at my car.

As we headed down the road, I turned my rear view mirror in such a way I could see "it" - quite a bit back now, turning away from us, walking alongside the road in the opposite direction. I watched the road ahead. Then, Becky screamed. She had been half turned, looking back at the entity too. Now, she was bent straight over, her head buried in her hands. I turned my rear view mirror to and fro, but only saw the road - "it" was gone.

We drove another twenty minutes or so with the car smoking a small portion of the way. The car overheated again as we entered the outskirts of town, only then would Becky let me stop. As we parked and waited at the first gas station we hit, I asked what had happened. "I was watching it, it stopped at the edge of the road." she answered. "I know," I said, "I saw it walking away." "Yeah," she answered "it was walking away. But as it walked away, its head turned all the way around, still grinning, and it watched us drive away." Needless to say, when we headed back we left at 10.00 am, to be sure we'd get back LONG before nightfall.

See more from Castle of Spirits at www.castleofspirits.com.

The picture in the article here isn’t related to post, I just need some eye candy. Got it from Google Images.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Guest Article on Deep South Magazine

Just in time for Halloween - I was given the opportunity to write a guest article for Deep South Magazine on Southern Ghosts and history and you can read it at http://deepsouthmag.com/2016/10/25/a-history-of-southern-ghosts/ if you like.

Enjoy!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Paranormal Folklore - The Dark Corridor - Castle of Spirits


This article comes from Castle of Spirits, reprinted and shared with permission.

THE DARK CORRIDOR

The whole, frightening experience began at around 5 O’clock on the evening of the 23rd of December 1969. The chill night air was biting and the last remnants of day were creeping over the horizon. The thought of spending another night away from home, away from the comfort of the family over the festive period would be enough to fill most with melancholy and yet, here in the Wayfarer’s Inn, there was not the slightest feeling of loneliness. Quiet contentment appeared to be shared by all of the residents. Jonathan Harper was a travelling sales representative. Nothing too much could be said about him except that he gave the impression of someone uncomfortable with the thought of Christmas alone. If there were anything that left one to assume he was not part of the crowd, this would be it. Otherwise he was no different to anyone else in the inn.

Outside a thick, cloying mist rolled in off the hills spreading icy tentacles across everything in its path. It wouldn’t be too long before the landscape were covered in a heavy, white coat of frost. The residents knew that they would be here for some time - transport to these far outreaches was, at the best of times, limited and as for their own vehicles, parked in the yard around the back of the inn, no one was going to risk driving in these conditions - no one with any sense that is.

The Wayfarer was a small Inn, only ten rooms; each one bijou but welcoming; yet it exuded a warmth that was easy to comprehend. This hotel, deep in the English countryside, offered a respite for the exhausted traveller. The site of a lonely inn, lights glowing like a beacon to the lost, would act as a welcome break for the weary.

Sat in a comfortable, wingback, leather armchair Jonathan mused over the day’s business. He had completed a successful mission into Scarborough and his company would reap the benefits of these labours with a healthy contract, sure to earn them a huge amount of money over the coming year. Jonathan took a sip of brandy and looked into the comforting fire that was burning brightly in the fireplace beside him. Thoughts of his family, the children opening expensive parcels on Christmas morning without him, left him with a small tear rolling down the side of his cheek; yet over the next few days he would have little more time to think of them - he would be too busy trying to survive.

It was about 5 minutes to 5 O’clock and he was almost asleep in his chair when he was approached by a cheery gentleman. Not too unusual a man, except for his dress. His clothes seemed odd, out of place for the modern style of the day. Jonathan, avoiding comment, stood and introduced himself. He invited his fellow resident to take a seat opposite him. The man appeared a jovial sort, ruddy cheeks and a broad grin that Jonathan responded to straightaway: “I couldn’t see myself going much further in that”, he said, pointing to the atrocious weather outside, “I’m just glad that I found this place when I did” he added. “It’ll be here for a while, according to the Inn keeper. Says it often gets like this in these parts with it being so open to the elements” said the man. He held out a warm hand of friendship to Jonathan, “Henry Clement, or should I say Pilot Officer Henry Clement, DFC”.

The two men sat down, Jonathan thinking it rather strange that his guest should introduce himself in such a way. It was a little unusual for people, in his experience, to introduce themselves twice, once to affirm military status. “Perhaps he assumes I am a military man too”, he thought to himself.

“Come far?” the gentleman asked.
“London - Kensington to be precise. I was hoping to get back home tonight but when I saw the fog was getting worse I phoned the wife to say I’d find somewhere to stay for the night and be home tomorrow,” Jonathan replied.

As soon had the words left his mouth he felt taken over by doubt. Was it the expression on the gentleman’s face? Was it the fact that the weather was that bad? Was it even, the thought that facing Christmas ‘alone’ somehow appealed to his sub-conscious? No specific reason occurred to him, he just sensed doubt. In any way the feeling of contentment, of comfort, in the company of Henry somehow appealed more than the prospect of leaving the safety of this place. Being with his family on Christmas day may still be possible if the fog lifted in time.

For a while the two men continued in deep conversation, occasionally laughing, occasionally arguing, but in all, remaining friendly with each other. It was apparent that his guest had been a serving officer during the Second World War, originally flying missions across Germany in the reconnaissance corp. before joining the mission to ‘Arnhem’ as a pilot transporting the parachute drop safely to their destination. Jonathan was fascinated. Such tales of heroism were often seen on the television yet here he was, listening to every aspect of a life as a pilot during this daring time.

“I haven’t so much as been involved in the boy scouts”, he told Henry, “And here you are, telling me all about a time I could only be in awe of. Well here’s to you, Henry”, added Jonathan, raising his glass. His companion gratefully accepted the plaudits.

Several hours had passed before both gentlemen chose to draw the evening to a close. Tiredness had encroached upon them without notice as they yawned almost in unison, neither having any idea how long they had been in conversation, except to say that several drinks had passed their lips and further chatter would result in either or both falling asleep where they sat.

Bidding his guest a good night, Jonathan moved slowly to gather his things. Since his arrival he had neglected to check into his room - he was told that it would have to be prepared as he was an unexpected, but never-the-less very welcome guest.

The gentleman at reception had a somewhat ‘odd’ appearance. The more he thought about it the more he noticed that his clothes resembled those of a similar period of dress to that Henry appeared to belong. He began to look around the whole reception area, at various objects, at the pictures on the wall behind the clerk, at the telephone exchange in the corner, everything reminded him of the 1940’s. Jonathan hadn’t noticed it before, but now the whole place appeared decked out as if in a bygone era.

“Excuse me?” he asked “I feel as if I have walked into some kind of themed Hotel, do you collect memorabilia at all?” A puzzled look upon the clerk’s face told him that this was not worth pursuing. “Perhaps he’s not the conversational type,” Jonathan thought to himself, contenting himself with the prospect of a warm bed and a peaceful night’s sleep.

On entry to his room he noticed that the theme downstairs carried on here too, however he was too tired to think about it any further. After turning on the bedside light and settling down his bedclothes he stepped into the bathroom for a quick wash and returned to the warm bed in anticipation of a comfortable night’s slumber. A few moments later and he was fast asleep - the rigours of a hard day’s work finally taking its toll.

It was approximately 2 am when Jonathan was disturbed by a knocking at his door. Rising from a heavy sleep, his eyes still not settled enough for him to turn on the lamp at the side of his bed; he wandered across to the door. On opening, the site of smoke rising from the corridor, in the direction of the stairwell gave cause for alarm. Calling out for whoever knocked at his door he suddenly became aware of a droning noise emanating from above. Within moments, the person responsible for waking him had returned. He couldn’t see the owner of the voice for smoke. “You’d better make your way downstairs to the lobby. We’ve been hit”.
“What?” cried Jonathan in astonishment, “You say, ‘we’ve been hit’?”
There was no reply. The disembodied voice had already made its way down the corridor, warning other residents to vacate their rooms. Jonathan followed his fellow guests safely making his way downstairs.

The lobby was crammed full with residents, so much so that chaos reigned. Nobody stood out as knowing what was going on as Jonathan searched for his friend, Mr. Clement. He was nowhere to be seen.

Grabbing at the desk clerk he asked him for some answers. “I can’t tell you much”, the clerk replied, “Except to say that we’ve been hit.”
“Hit? Hit by what? What do you mean, we’ve been hit?” Jonathan asked again, once more to be thwarted by the clerk. Nothing could explain the smoke and there did not seem to be any damage that would add weight to being ‘hit’ by anything.

Jonathan had almost forgotten about the droning noise he had heard earlier when he was still upstairs, rushing around the corridor looking for the stairwell. On deciding to ask one or two of the other guests if they had heard it too he was surprised by their response.
“That’ll be the bombers flying overhead. They’re always around at this time of night” one cried out. Another said one might have crashed on its way back home.
“On its way back to where? Where’s home? Jonathan asked, curious to know what this was all about. “Is there some kind of airbase near here? Is this a flight path for aircraft?” he questioned further; nobody offered any more information. They all appeared too concerned with themselves to give him any answers.
At that moment, a rather dishevelled and bloodied gentleman entered the building. His head was adorned with a leather cap and flying goggles. Thinking it rather strange that anyone would be flying on an evening such as this Jonathan overlooked the man’s injuries. There was something else peculiar about this chap, a familiarity about him that he couldn’t quite place. “If I’m not mistaken”, he thought, “I’ve seen his face before”. Within moments there was sudden rush of guests towards the man, each one offering assistance and subsequently disturbing Jonathan’s concentration.

“Quick, someone help the gentleman to a chair. He looks as if he’s been in the thick of it”, shouted the desk clerk. Standing in amazement, Jonathan realised something was not right here and he intended getting to the bottom of it, though he would have to wait until the morning, as the main concern was the comfort of this apparent victim of an accident.

Running to the bar Jonathan grabbed a glass, filled it with brandy before taking a swig himself and then took the remainder over to the bewildered patient.

“It came at me, straight from nowhere. I tried you know, I tried!” the mystery man mumbled.
Jonathan could not make head or tail of what he was muttering about. “Poor fellow, he must be deluded”, he thought to himself. “Whatever it was that had happened outside must have given him a shock and he’s confused”. Within moments the man had fallen into an unconscious state. Efforts to bring him round again proved fruitless; he was out for the count.

Checking on his safety, the clerk advised that the gentleman be given breathing space, whilst he felt for a pulse. With a sigh of relief, he realised that the patient would be likely to recover after some much needed rest. Putting the man’s feet onto a stool he proceeded to call out to the other guests for a blanket. Someone with forethought had already arranged for this and it subsequently was laid across the patient in order that he remain warm while he slept comfortably.

Gradually, the chaos died down and everyone began making their way back to their rooms. Jonathan following suit, felt quite confused by recent events. He was determined to find out what had happened that night but this was no time to ask.

Leaving the clerk to deal with the mystery gentleman Jonathan retired to his bedroom once more, still puzzled by the poor chap’s condition and the reasons for such. He took one final look out of his window to see if there was anything that could satisfy his curiosity but all he saw was thick, thick fog and a white landscape. Nothing else could be gleaned by further enquiries that night so, resolving to sort things out in the morning, he decided to get some much-needed sleep; it would be a long day tomorrow. Jonathan hoped he would be able to travel home for a family Christmas. The fog would make travel difficult but he was determined to make it home.

The weather conditions for Christmas Eve had not improved any. In fact, if anything they had become increasingly worse since the previous evening. Pulling his curtains apart, Jonathan noticed that where he could see the white carpet covering the surrounding countryside the night before, this morning visibility was almost down to zero. There was no way he could travel under these circumstances at all. “It would be incredibly stupid to set off in this”, he murmured to himself.

Once Jonathan had carried out his daily ablutions and dressed himself he made his way downstairs, determined to call his wife and advise her of the dangerous conditions and to tell her that he would try again later that day if things improved.

On the stairwell, crossing his path was Jonathan’s friend of a few hours, Henry Clement. “What was all the fun and games about last night then?” he asked.
Henry stared for a moment in bewilderment, almost as if he hadn’t met Jonathan the previous evening, before replying that he had no recollection of what was being asked of him. “The crash!” said Jonathan. “Last night there was some kind of accident and a gentleman was rescued. He’s probably still downstairs at this moment. I must say the poor man looked in an awful state”, he continued “I suppose they couldn’t raise you up last night so you probably missed it all. Quite a commotion, I’d say”
Again Henry stared blankly into his face. Now Jonathan was beginning to feel rather uneasy about his friend. “Henry, It’s Jonathan, we met yesterday evening, do you remember?” he asked, puzzlingly.

Without wishing to appear absent minded or ignorant, the distinguished gentleman acknowledged his companion and in an attempt to avoid embarrassment responded, rather wishing to save awkwardness on both accounts. “Of course. Yesterday! I remember. Of course you’ll have to forgive me, I may have drunk a little too much and that’s when the memory plays up, isn’t it? You’re the gentleman that erm… that erm…” said Henry, gracefully covering his ignorance. “Jonathan. Jonathan Harper”, he affirmed. “I’m sorry, I should have realised that you have probably just woken up. “Nonsense. Not at all”, said an apologetic Henry, “Perhaps we can meet up in the bar later? Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get to my room”, he added. And with that, Henry marched off in the appropriate direction. Once again, Jonathan felt overcome by confusion. “I could have sworn he didn’t recognise me”, he thought to himself, continuing his way down the stairs to the lobby.

Jonathan’s search for a telephone took him to an old fashioned booth at the far side of the reception area. In a fashion, this didn’t seem out of place; especially with the other furniture in the inn, but again it was not something he was accustomed to. However, his only thoughts were whether he could get through to his wife to inform her of the current situation.

Eagerly Jonathan dialled the number… 01 984 7325… “Hello operator, which number are you calling?” said a voice at the other end of the line. He hung up immediately. Calling the number twice more he received the same response. “Hello operator, which number…?”
“How odd!”, he exclaimed. Dialling once more he allowed the operator to continue before he answered her. “Yes, I’d like to place a call to London 984 7325 if I may?” he asked.
“I’m sorry sir, that number is not available”, came the reply. “May I ask who are you trying to reach?”
Nervous panic began to manifest itself in his speech as he passed details of his home address to the operator. “I’m trying to reach my wife, Mrs. Cathy… Catherine Harper, 94. Whiterush House, K… Kensington, London”.
Immediately the operator responded, “I have no such person listed at that address sir. Are you sure that you have given me the correct address?”
Jonathan was getting quite irritated by the operator’s inability to locate the correct telephone number. “It’s my home address and I should know where we live. Good God, we’ve lived there since ‘66”, he yelled back down the line. Red faced with anger he demanded that the operator try the number once more. She was having none of it. “Sir, the number you wish to call doesn’t exist and the address which you gave me does not list Harper as the subscriber and is not the number you have given me” she responded firmly. Panic, beginning to get the better of him, he slammed down the phone with such a bang that the noise attracted the attention of the desk clerk who was not amused by Jonathan’s behaviour. “Mr. Harper, may I remind you that our other guests may need to use the telephone?” Immediately Jonathan responded. “Well why can I not seem to get through to my home to call my wife? The operator keeps telling me that our address doesn’t exist. What’s going on here?”
“Perhaps the line is down sir and the operator can’t get through. The fog sometimes has that effect; causing problems with the telegraph cables. It may be better to wait until later in the day, try again then”, the clerk advised. “In the meantime, would you like anything else?” Stunned into silence, Jonathan just stood, staring at the clerk, as if he had just been informed that his dilemma with the operator was not all that important.

After a few moments Jonathan moved towards the stairs, muttering as he clambered up each step. “I can’t believe this place, what the hell is going on here?” he thought, his blood beginning to boil over. Deciding to do a little bit of finding out for himself he made up his mind to have a word or two with his friend Henry. “He may be able to provide me with some answers” mused Jonathan. On reaching the door of Henry’s room he knocked loudly. “Hello!” a voice called from within.
“It’s Jonathan Harper. I would like to have a word with you about something if I may?”
The same jovial, ruddy-faced gentleman opened the door to him. “Can I help you?” he asked. Once again, Jonathan’s friend appeared oblivious as to who he was. “We met yesterday, in the bar area, don’t you remember me?” cried Jonathan, desperate to find some familiarity. “You talked about your days as a pilot in the reconnaissance corps: The parachute drop over Arnhem? What about the bombing raids in Germany? Please tell me you remember all of that?” he pleaded, his voice progressively rising in a fit of pique, almost screaming at the bewildered gentleman standing before him.
“My dear fellow, I have neither been to Arnhem nor do I know anything about a parachute drop you refer to”, said a stern faced Henry. “And even if I had I couldn’t possibly tell you about it, could I? Now, if you don’t mind, I have a lot of things to do and I would appreciate the time to get on with it. I have to be at camp for 1600 hundred hours” he added impatiently.

An uncontrollable Jonathan forced his way into the room, grabbed at the lapels of Henry’s jacket, held the man firmly in his grasp for a few moments whilst staring into his eyes before turning his attention to the jacket that his friend was wearing: A blue surge, Royal Air Force jacket of the type worn during the Second World War. It was adorned with various badges, each representing something or other. Jonathan had a limited knowledge of military awards, having himself served his time in the draft a few years previously but the one thing he didn’t recognise was anything resembling a DFC.
“I thought you were awarded a DFC?” he asked, releasing his victim for a moment. “I distinctly remember you referring to yourself as Pilot Officer Henry Clement, DFC. Where is your DFC?” Jonathan said, accusingly.
“You have to earn one before you can attach it to your uniform and as yet, I have not received such an honour,” replied Henry, attempting to reassure Jonathan of his status. Unconvinced, Jonathan again asked about Arnhem. How would he know so much about Arnhem and the landings if they had not taken place? How would he know about the parachute drop? Operation ‘Market Garden’? The hundreds of troops flown over for the offensive? The bombing raids on Germany? How could he possibly know of Henry’s involvement if none of this had taken place? He wanted answers and he wanted them now! “Tell me what is going on and what all this has to do with the Wayfarer’s!” he demanded.

“Listen to me”, said Henry, confronting Jonathan. “Whatever it is that is causing you to be alarmed has little to do with me. I don’t know how you know of any planned military action and I don’t care how you came by this information but for the sake of national security, please keep it to yourself and don’t talk about it again. I’ll tell you what you need to know and nothing more if you will just calm down and have a drink with me”. With that, Henry moved over to his chest-of-drawers and retrieved a bottle of malt from a drawer and two drinking glasses. Pouring a measure into each he returned to an armchair ushering Jonathan to be seated and began relaying the events to which Jonathan had referred.

A couple of hours past before Henry, looking at his watch, decided to wrap up the conversation. “Now you promise that this information will remain between the two of us? Nobody outside of Whitehall knows of these events and they wish to keep it quiet until they know how things play out. Any leak and you could jeopardise tonight’s flight”, he warned. Jonathan said nothing for a few moments before responding to his friend. “It’s almost as if you believe this happened recently”, he replied, questioningly. “That was all over 26 years ago”. Rising from his chair, he began to back out of the room, still staring at Henry, occasionally nodding his head from side to side in defiance of what he had heard and was expected to believe. “26 years ago, Henry!” he cried out once more, as he exited.

Needing to have a lie down in order to get his head together Jonathan made his way to his own room, still musing over what he had just heard. “The poor fellow is living in the past. Maybe that’s why he’s here, recuperating from some delusion” he thought to himself.

It was long into the night when Jonathan awoke. Realising that he must have drunk too much whiskey whilst listening to Henry and his strange tale earlier that afternoon, he looked at his watch - It was 1.50 am. He’d slept way too long for comfort and his poor wife would be at home in Kensington, fretting about why her husband had not yet returned home safely to her and the children. Strangely, there was a noise; a droning noise emanating from above. It was a similar droning noise to the noise that he had heard the previous night; only on this occasion he could hear screeching too. It sounded like nothing Jonathan had heard before. Leaping from his bed he ran towards the window and pulled at the curtains. Nothing could be seen except a faint ball of light, something on fire perhaps and it was getting brighter by the second, its angle of elevation dipping downwards.

Suddenly Jonathan was aware something was happening; somehow he knew this mystery object was going to crash into the Wayfarer’s and he had to get out and quickly. Grabbing at his coat and suitcase lying by the side of his bed he hurriedly made his way for the door. There was little light in the hallway but Jonathan was un-perturbed as he felt his way to the stairwell, dropping his coat as he stumbled down the corridor. The droning noise was getting louder and the building had now started to shake. He had to get out fast and stopping for his coat was not a priority, or it wouldn’t have been if his car keys weren’t in the pocket. Jonathan had to turn back and pick them up. As he felt his way along the ground for the overcoat the noise from above became almost deafening. The walls were vibrating rapidly and pictures began falling from their hooks to the floor. Jonathan realised there was little time, if he didn’t make his escape now he would surely be caught in the middle of it all. The glass from the picture frames crunched beneath his shoes but he knew that unless he could get outside to safety, small cuts to his feet would be the least of his worries.

Jonathan tripped over each step as ran down the staircase, stumbling over objects that had fallen from the walls, catching his feet in the ill-fitting carpet. He eventually found the reception area. The droning was unbearable and now it appeared to be joined by a high pitch screaming or whining noise, like that of engines in high revs. He knew he had only seconds to find the exit and get outside. A clock in the reception area began the chiming of the hour as he found the doorway leading outside into the car park. Looking into the night sky Jonathan could see swirls of fog parting under the pressure of heat and flame as suddenly, the cockpit of an aircraft loomed clear through the mist. There was little time to recognise anything about the plane heading straight for the building he had just escaped from, except that it was big. Within seconds all around had became a huge ball of flame as the two objects, aircraft and building, met in a flurry of hurling brick, metal and burning debris. Diving onto the grass below his feet Jonathan covered his head with his hands and began praying. Praying for those still inside, the pilot and his crew and most of all, for his own safety.

The searing heat caused by the blast proved too much for Jonathan as he drifted in and out of consciousness. In the moments when he was aware he could just make out people running, some with buckets in hand, others with blankets, each one trying to douse the flames as they attempted to take control of the building. One whole side of the Wayfarer’s appeared to be gone, or was it just the smoke and fog? Jonathan tried rubbing his eyes in order to get a better view. No! It was indeed gone.

Wearily standing to his feet Jonathan surveyed the wreckage. What looked like a bomber aircraft was lying in flames at the rear of the Inn, its wing and engine on the right side missing from the main fuselage. It became apparent that the wing had parted company with the rest of the aircraft and collided with the back of the building causing a wall to fall away. He was lucky; if he had remained in his room he would surely have been dead by now. Gathering his thoughts he was alert enough now to realise that people inside must need help.

In the lobby Jonathan saw utter chaos as people were running in all directions trying to help each other or assist in some way with the clearing away of debris. Nobody had time for the full affects of the situation to get the better of him or her, they all co-operated fully with the desk clerk as he gave polite but firm orders. He had assembled the remaining guests in the lobby whilst he completed a thorough search of the building.

When all had calmed down inside and out people began to relax and take in the situation. Nerves gradually began to creep in with some of the female residents as they sought solace with their partners or other friendly guests. The clerk returned, grim faced as he recounted the damage to the back of his Inn. “Two rooms have completely gone; seven and nine. I’m sorry but there is no sign of any survivors at all” he said mournfully. Jonathan immediately recognised room nine as being his room. “I’m here”, he called out, “Room nine, that’s my room. I believe room seven was Mr. Henry Clement”, Jonathan added. Strangely, nobody responded to him. Again he informed the clerk. Again nobody responded to him. Jonathan manoeuvred himself in to a better position in font of the desk clerk in case, over all of the noise, he couldn’t be heard. “I am in room nine and Henry Clement is room seven”, he shouted once more. The clerk stood unresponsive, blankly looking straight through Jonathan. “I think Mr. Clement was in room seven but room nine was empty, I’m sure of it”, said the clerk working through his memory of the register of his guests. “Though Mr. Clement would have been due at camp this afternoon so I presume he’s safe”. he continued.
“This is absurd!” cried Jonathan, “I’m here, Jonathan Harper, standing right in front of you. I’ve been in room nine since I arrived, the day before yesterday. What the hell’s going on?” Still the response he was looking for didn’t come. He looked around the lobby at the rest of the guests; they too appeared not to notice him standing in front of them.

Suddenly, Jonathan was overcome by fear. If nobody saw him that meant he wasn’t there. If he wasn’t there, in front of them, he must be… dead! “But I can’t be!” he screamed. “I got out! I got away! I was outside when the plane hit the building I tell you!” His normal self-control had departed him as he ran furiously around each of the guests trying to attract their attention, as if in defiance of his slowly evolving conclusions.
“Harper?” a voice called out from behind. “Harper, you’re here”. Jonathan turned sharply to see his friend, Henry Clement standing in the doorway of the inn. “You made it then?” he added.
“Henry, you can see me? Then I’m here? Alive?” Jonathan queried. “Tell them all that I’m here, they can see me”, he pleaded. He turned his attention back to the other residents and the desk clerk. “You see! I am here. What the hell is the matter with you all?” Still, his ranting went unobserved by his fellow guests.
“They won’t hear you Harper. They won’t see or hear either of us”. Said a woeful Henry. “I’m afraid that we both went down with the plane. I managed to hold on for a minute or two in an attempt to steer her clear but you’d already gone”.
“What the hell are you talking about? I wasn’t in that plane. I couldn’t have been, I was outside the building when I saw it crash”. Said Jonathan, imploring his friend to see sense.
“You were thrown clear by the impact, Harper”, replied Henry, “That’s how you ended up outside”
Jonathan continued to argue his corner. “I am a travelling sales representative and I arrived here on the 23rd. I have nothing to do with you except that I met you in the bar” Henry immediately responded. “Harper, you didn’t have a room here. You remained at the station with the crew. I only came here on the 23rd to get some rest while my billet was being repaired. You were never here!”

Gradually, Jonathan ran through the events of the evening of the 23rd in his head: He hadn’t received a room key on arrival at the Wayfarer’s, as the room was not ready for him. All of the furniture and d├ęcor was not contemporary to 1969, neither were the clothes the guests were in, especially Henry. The operator hadn’t been able locate his address or telephone number the previous morning. She didn’t even recognise his name. Henry didn’t recall the conversation they had over drinks at the fireside or even, that he knew him at all. All of these anomalies started to fix themselves clearly in his mind. But wait. There was something! Something had actually happened to him that could not be explained. During the business with the telephone the desk clerk actually spoke to him. “No he didn’t. He spoke to someone but it wasn’t you, Harper”. Said Henry.

The stark realisation of what had occurred steadily seeped through into Jonathan’s head. He was never going to see his wife and children again. How could he, as they had never happened? He wasn’t a travelling sales representative; he was apparently a co-pilot in the RAF under the command of Henry Clement, DFC as yet to be.

“But how did I end up here, at the Wayfarer’s?” Jonathan asked Henry.
“Quite simple, my dear friend. This is our main flight corridor for Germany. Something must have caught us off guard and we were hit. This particular corridor avoids all of the towns and villages in the area and was deemed the safest path over to Europe”, Henry informed his colleague. “As to how you are involved? Well, let me tell you. A driver, in a hurry to return home to his family at Christmas time finds himself in a thick fog; so thick that it becomes an unbearable nightmare trying to continue onward. Suddenly, from out of the mist, a light looms. It appears to be a safe haven for the weary motorist, the Wayfarer’s Inn. Not listed on any map for over 26 years, it was destroyed by a returning bomber crashing into it, yet here it was. A cheery welcome is accorded the traveller and the promise of a comfortable night. Naturally, the traveller accepts this luxury of avoiding possible peril in such horrendous conditions. Snugly relaxing in an armchair by the side of an open fire, the gentleman begins to reflect upon Christmas with his family. Was it, after all, going to be an enjoyable time spent with the children? They always find time to fight over something, don’t they? Perhaps the thought of the relatives dropping in caused the gentleman concern - either way, he wasn’t really looking forward to getting home, was he?”
“A welcoming face appears offering warm, friendly conversation. The traveller gratefully accepts the opportunity to converse with someone who is not part of his family. He has, by now, already made a subconscious decision to remain here. All that was left for him was to have the desire to find a resolution to the strange events that were unfolding before him. He began to doubt his reality and started to accept another. Once you make the decision to peep into an alternate reality it slowly becomes your reality and what is becomes what was. The events of the 23rd of December were very genuine but you looked a little too deep and for you and myself, and all of the guests here tonight, let this be a warning to other voyeurs of the past”.

The light gradually began to fade on both Jonathan and Henry as they continued their conversation. In the distance the sound of a radio could be heard. The interference was strong at first but became clearer as the light faded.
“Sierra one, seven. We’re at the scene. Abandoned vehicle. It looks like the driver lost the car in the fog and came off the road. Can we have a recovery team?” the voice on the radio said. “Incident call-out time logged as 2 am on Wayfarer Road. No sign of the driver, may have wandered into the fog for assistance”.

Written By: Anton Lang, United Kingdom

See more from Castle of Spirits at www.castleofspirits.com.

The picture in the article here isn’t related to post, I just need some eye candy. Got it from Google Images.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Paranormal Folklore - Out Past The Shadow's Edge - Castle of Spirits

 
This article comes from Castle of Spirits, reprinted and shared with permission.

OUT PAST THE SHADOWS EDGE

Every time I think of this story it still gives me the chills even after all these years. I remember that night very vividly...

This happened to me about sixteen years ago right after I had gotten my drivers license and got to use my dad's car by myself for the first time.

My girlfriend and I were excited to go to a dance at our high school that Saturday night - and I was more then a little nervous about driving the stick shift without Mom or Dad in the car with me as I had a habit of killing the engine when I tried to start it.

It was early October, but the air was still warm and the moon was yellow and in a sickle form. There were dark storm clouds looming over the Wasatch Mountains and moving closer into the Salt Lake valley.

My girlfriend and I went to the dance and had a great time - staying way into the night. When the dance was over and after everyone had been sent away by the dance/school staff we moved on. We drove around looking for some place to go - as the newness of being on our own with the car would not wear off for several more months.

I picked the old grade school that we had both gone to when we were children. We were fairly close to where we lived so we felt safe and there was nothing to worry about except the looming rain clouds. We parked in the parking lot behind the school and walked into the huge grass playing field and the play ground behind the school. The field was lit by one huge stadium type lamp that cast a circle of dim light on the playground and playing field surrounding it.

She and I sat on the swings talking WAY late into the night. It started raining a cool mist that was very pleasant. But after an hour or so it was enough rain to make the ground under us muddy - so we were careful not to stick our feet in the mud (this is important in a minute).

It became quite and we were both very tired by then. We suddenly looked up at the same moment... the hair stood up on the back of my neck... as we both felt the need to look back and over our left shoulders. Something had caught the corner of our eye. About two hundred feet or so away there was SOMETHING crawling on it's stomach out past the shadows edge of the light that the giant stadium bulb gave off.

We both stared in horror not saying anything. We watched as the thing MOVED towards us, just keeping on the boarder of the light shadow. It was humanoid looking - a dark color with no clothes on. It was laying flat on it's belly... it's arms down, held close to it's waist.

But what frightened me the most (besides the fact that it had been coming up behind us) was the way it moved and the structure of it's legs... It was inching forward moving NOTHING but it's feet to push it forward. And the legs... If you look at a normal humans knees - the knees bend forward... This things was reverse - the joint bent BACK and away. (Imagine laying flat on your stomach with your hands pulled in at your sides to your waist and your knees are UP OFF the ground instead of against it.)

We stared for several seconds... we both had stopped breathing and the only sound was the rain falling. The head of the thing looked up and I saw nothing but black pools where the eyes should be...
My girlfriend and I JUMPED off the swings onto the wet grass and lunged into the car about 50 feet away. There was several seconds of panic when I couldn't get the car to start - and I was terrified to look up. I didn't want to see "IT" closing on us - I didn't want to see those knees bending in the wrong direction and the black, soulless eyes. I was afraid I would pop the clutch in the car and not be able to start it again. I kept my head down and looking at the steering wheel. The car engine turned and caught - we tore off into the night.

I called my folks from my girlfriends house and told them about what had happened. They allowed me to stay there with her and her Mom until the sun came up in a few hours. We waited and passed the time by telling her Mother our story - which scared her (as well as my parents) badly.

When the sun came up early that Sunday morning - we drove back to see if "it" was still there. This time bringing weapons. But there was nothing as we searched the field. As we poked around the swings we had been sitting on earlier... there were large bare foot prints that had tracked through the mud ALL AROUND the very swings we were on. We both had - had our shoes ON and as I said before, we were careful NOT to get mud on them. And we HAD NOT walked around and around like these tracks had. We found nothing but those bare tracks.

Every once in a while I get brave enough to go back to that field late at night (never alone though). I sit by the school field side in my truck with the high beams on searching the area, but I've never seen "IT" again...

Submitted From: David Tester, UT, USA 


See more from Castle of Spirits at www.castleofspirits.com.

The picture in the article here isn’t related to post, I just need some eye candy. Got it from Google Images.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

New Content To Come Soon

Hello all. Other than some scheduled posts coming up, I realize I haven't been posting here as much. To cap off a truly grueling Summer, at the end of August I got quite sick and had to receive new medication to take, and then my car's cooling system broke down for the 6th time this season where the dreaded head gasket broke, requiring $1,200 in repair and a week of me not having regular access to an automobile.

So I'm backed up in trying to get my personal environment back to square. As soon as I can get caught back up there, I'll be scheduling more documentaries, stories and paranormal submissions to post.

Thank you! Come back soon!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Paranormal Folklore - Keep the Lights Off - Castle of Spirits


This article comes from Castle of Spirits, reprinted and shared with permission.

KEEP THE LIGHTS OFF

They say there is this problem going around. No one knows what it's called and no one knows the cure. But it always occurs with a certain someone. That certain someone is a young girl....sometimes boy...but mostly girl.

And as all young girls do....it takes place at a sleep over or get together. The story I've heard about is a girl named Macy, who has her friends Lexie, Briget and Meagan over to spend the night. She gathers them into her room to tell ghost stories. But she demands they keep the light on at all times. She has this problem and knows about it from recent happenings. But yet, they finally talk her into turning the lights off. She shudders to think what is coming...but agrees.

See this problem is a strange one. Whenever the lights are off......she will get uncontrollably scared..I mean screaming crying kind of scared. But when she goes to turn the lights on...the other people in the room will be standing there with empty black holes, staring at her. Or mutilated bodies...still freshly cut open and bleeding. Or think of your worst nightmare...and have it in the room with you. Could you imagine? Turning on the lights and seeing that?

Well back to the story...As Lexie was telling her story...she suddenly turned her flashlight out.....so that the room was now in total darkness. Macy started whimpering for she knew what was coming. Then she heard a little girl's voice....and she knew it couldn't be one of her friends....ring around the rosies.....pocket full of posies...ashes ashes......we all.....fall...down... And Macy got so scared she just had to turn the light on. She jumped up and fumbled for the light switch. But as her hand found it....she didn't want to turn on the light. Then all of a sudden lightning flashed from the storm outside...and in the split second of light she could see her three friends with empty black sockets....standing there with smiles on their faces....and then the room launched into total darkness again. And as Macy screamed and screamed...You could faintly hear........ring around the rosies.......................

Submitted by: Kristy Przepis, FL, USA


See more from Castle of Spirits at www.castleofspirits.com.

The picture in the article here isn’t related to post, I just need some eye candy. Got it from Google Images.