Hauntings released on amazon.com

Hauntings now available at amazon

hauntings.
hauntings.

Hauntings contains two tales of supernatural terror. The first is the story of a young combat veteran taking a walking tour through rural Holland hoping to dispel the demons of his combat experience only to find demons of another kind. The second story tells the tale of an old professor nearing retirement, bored with life who stumbles upon satanic ritual activity while on hiatus in a borrowed cabin in the woods. Hauntings is sure to delight fans of supernatural horror fiction.

The Haunting of Reuversweerd was inspired by the true story of a Baron’s castle being commandeered by the Nazi’s near the end of World War II. The Nazi’s eventually executed the baron in the spring of 1945 shortly before the end of the war. His widow closed and boarded up the castle forbidding anyone entry. Castle Reuversweerd has remained vacant to this day. For whatever reason the castle has earned the reputation of being haunted. The haunting of Reuversweerd is fiction and is not to be confused with historical fact, it is my firm belief that at times truth is best told as fiction.

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Happy President’s Day

We used to celebrate George Washington’s birthday, he fought the British in our revolutionary war, he was the first president of the United States, without him there would be no United States. We used to celebrate Abraham Lincoln, he fought the civil war or war between the states if you prefer, to maintain the union and to end slavery. Both of these men accomplished great things and were elected president of the United States. Now you must understand most presidents are not great men, they tend to be arrogant self-centered politicians who do more harm to the country than good, like devaluing the money and betraying our allies, so you see the other presidents the worthless ones were jealous and they got together and talked to other worthless politicians who wanted to be president someday too and convinced them to end Washington’s birthday and Lincoln’s birthday and replace those holidays with worthless presidents day! Someone noted that the word worthless might be taken as a derogatory term and wouldn’t be politically correct. They removed the word worthless from the final document and here we are today celebrating “Worthless” President’s Day!

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Faith to Faith, A Biblical Guide to Prayer is available now for pre-order!

Available now for pre-order at Amazon.com

Available now for pre-order at Amazon.com

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a work in progress

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

Faith may be the most important subject mentioned in this little book. It is most certainly where the rubber meets the road in our daily lives as Christians. Merriam Webster defines faith first as strong belief or trust in someone or something, followed by belief in the existence of God or strong religious feelings or beliefs, and last as a system of religious beliefs. It is safe to say that this is how the secular world defines faith, but how does the bible define faith? The bible defines faith in Hebrews 11:1 as the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. It would be easy for us to gloss over the differences in definitions if we are not careful. What exactly is meant by the word substance in the passage above? The word in the original Greek is uJpovstasiß which is transliterated as hupostasis which means in English a setting or placing under, thing put under, substructure, foundation, that which has foundation, is firm, that which has actual existence, a substance, real being, the substantial quality, nature, of a person or thing, the steadfastness of mind, firmness, courage, resolution, confidence, firm trust, assurance. In Hebrews 1:3 the word has the meaning of the real nature in contrast to the outer manifestation; it speaks of the Divine essence of God existent and expressed in the revelation of His Son. In short substance in this sense is the actual being, existence, force or energy in existence under and prior to the manifestation of anything in the physical realm in which we live and have our being. That is somewhat more than simple confidence or hope that it will all work out for the best. It is the actual spiritual underlying existence of that for which we are praying.

אָמַר

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A work in progress

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

Faith may be the most important subject mentioned in this little book. It is most certainly where the rubber meets the road in our daily lives as Christians. Merriam Webster defines faith first as strong belief or trust in someone or something, followed by belief in the existence of God or strong religious feelings or beliefs, and last as a system of religious beliefs. It is safe to say that this is how the secular world defines faith, but how does the bible define faith? The bible defines faith in Hebrews 11:1 as the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. It would be easy for us to gloss over the differences in definitions if we are not careful. What exactly is meant by the word substance in the passage above? The word in the original Greek is uJpovstasiß which is transliterated as hupostasis which means in English a setting or placing under, thing put under, substructure, foundation, that which has foundation, is firm, that which has actual existence, a substance, real being, the substantial quality, nature, of a person or thing, the steadfastness of mind, firmness, courage, resolution, confidence, firm trust, assurance. In Hebrews 1:3 the word has the meaning of the real nature in contrast to the outer manifestation; it speaks of the Divine essence of God existent and expressed in the revelation of His Son. In short substance in this sense is the actual being, existence, force or energy in existence under and prior to the manifestation of anything in the physical realm in which we live and have our being. That is somewhat more than simple confidence or hope that it will all work out for the best. It is the actual spiritual underlying existence of that for which we are praying.

אָמַר

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The Illustrated Secret’s of Enoch is available in kindle format on amazon.com now!

Enoch is mentioned only twelve times in the bible, yet he has drawn attention from religious scholars for thousands of years. He is mentioned eight times in the book of Genesis. The first two references to the name of Enoch refer to a son of Cain who had a son of his own named Irad. These two references are not referring to the subject of this little book for there is another Enoch mentioned in the book of Genesis. The Enoch we are interested in was fathered by Jared when he was one hundred and sixty-two years old, Jared lived an additional eight hundred years after the birth of Enoch. So what else does genesis tell us about Enoch? Genesis 5:21 tells us that Enoch lived for sixty-five years before he had a son whom he named Methuselah. Genesis 5:22 tells us he lived an additional three hundred years and had other sons and daughters during that time. Genesis 5:23 tells us Enoch lived three hundred sixty-five years, so far so good, but then in Genesis 5:24 we are told that “Enoch walked with God, and was not, for God took him.” So from genesis we can see that Enoch lived three hundred and sixty-fives years fathered Methuselah, (whose name by the way means, whose death shall bring, ) that he fathered other children in his three hundred and sixty-five years and that he was a good man, so good in fact that he walked with God and was taken by God physically presumably into heaven.
In I Chronicles Enoch is mentioned in Jacob’s genealogy and in Luke 3:37 Enoch is mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus. Hebrews 11:5 clarifies for us what we found in genesis 5:24 as it reads “By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God.”. And finally Jude 1:14 quotes the book of Enoch stating “It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with ten thousand his holy ones,” Jude 1:15 clarifies what the Lord and the holy ones return to do stating “to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”
So the book of Enoch was known in the time Jesus walked the earth and was in fact quoted by the apostles, but when the religious books of the time were being collected and compiled into the canon of the bible Enoch didn’t make the cut. Many of the fathers of the early church such as Athenagoras, Clement of Alexandria, Irenaeus, and Tertllian, but although it was a widely read book in the ancient world and well esteemed buy many, many more did not believe the book was divinely inspired, but felt that it may have some historical significance. Only the Ethiopian Church considers the book to be part of the bible.

The book of Enoch is divided into five sections. The first section discusses in detail the events recorded in the sixth chapter of Genesis where angels called the sons of god decided to leave heaven, their first estate to go to earth to mate with human women who then bore them offspring called nephilim. The word nephilim has been translated as giants and as the fallen ones, the bible goes on to say that the nephilim were “the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown”. There are many who believe that Noah’s flood was in direct result to the actions of those fallen angels who corrupted the human gene pool by mating with the daughters of man. The book itself claims to have been written by Enoch prior to the great deluge of Noah’s time, however modern scholars consider the book to date from no earlier than 300 BC. Whether or not the tale was transmitted by word of mouth for generations prior to that time is a question not often asked, Some of the later sections of the book are considered to have been written no earlier than the first century AD.

One might ask why there is so much interest in this obscure little apocryphal book written under the assumed name Enoch? If we look at the book of Luke where Jesus is describing for His disciples the time of His return in Luke 17:26 ”Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.” We may want to know in greater detail just exactly what it was like during the time of Noah. Reading the first chapter of the Book of Enoch we find “Enoch a righteous man, whose eyes were opened by God, saw the vision of the Holy One in the heavens, which the angels showed me, and from them I heard everything, and from them I understood as I saw, but not for this generation, but for a remote one which is for to come. Concerning the elect I said, and took up my parable concerning them: The Holy Great One will come forth from His dwelling, and the eternal God will tread upon the earth, even on Mount Sinai, and appear from His camp and appear in the strength of His might from the heaven of heavens.” So not only does Luke and Mathew for that matter tell us that Jesus return will come at time like the time of Noah and the flood, but the Book of Enoch begins by telling us it is written not for those of Enoch’s generation, but for a generation in the distant future when the Holy Great One will tread upon the earth and He will appear in the strength of His might from the Heaven of Heavens.

From The reference in the Letter of Jude 1:15 quoting Enoch regarding the return of Jesus, to the passages in Mathew and Luke regarding the time of Christ’s return to be like the time of Noah, and considering Enoch’s claim to be written for the elect of the generation alive during the time of the Holy Great One’s coming to Earth I believe the Book of Enoch deserves a serious read. To help you in that objective I have selected The Book of Enoch translated by R.H. Charles. I combed over the document doing my best to replace archaic terms with more current English words without altering the meaning of the text in the hope of making the book a little easier for the reader understand.

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Haunting, a little preview

Séance Privee

When the sun set, Heinrich gathered the foursome together in the baroness’ private parlor. Although the room had obviously been recently cleaned and deodorized it still smelled of ancient decay. An ornately framed mirror covered the wall above the fireplace. Heinrich lit the candles placed on the mantle providing some little light to the room. It felt unseasonable cold in this room.

“Is just it me, or is it cold in here?” Melinda asked cupping her hands in front of her mouth to capture a little warmth. “Look I can see my breath.”

“It’s not you, I feel it too.” Ozzie replied.

“It is a cold spot!”Heinrich exclaimed with joy. “The spirits are with us here already.”

“Spirits or not, I’m going to get a fire going in the fireplace.” Jake said ambling over to the fire place looking for wood to burn.

“Suit yourself, Jake. I want you all to be as comfortable as you can be tonight.” Heinrich replied. “Please take a seat at the table. I’ve arranged the chairs for the four of us.” he continued. Jake busied himself carefully placing split wood on the grate in the mouth of the fireplace.

“Heinrich, do you have any paper or something I can use for kindling to get this fire going?”

“Sure, sure there is paper. Here take this.” Heinrich said handing an old newspaper he had grabbed from an end table next to a delicately embroidered wingback chair. “This was her favorite chair. Theodora would come here late at night sometimes to read, sometimes just to be alone with her thoughts, and of course for her seances. I’ve been told that on one occasion she had that table dancing about the room like a gazelle, but that of course is only hearsay. Although, it is, something I wish I was here to witness.”

“After my mother burned our Ouija board, our home was plagued by poltergeists, doors slammed, furniture moved, the lights came on and went off by themselves, it wasn’t fun.” Melinda replied gazing off into space.

“You didn’t by any chance bring any liquid spirits along to prime the pump and lubricate our little séance, did you Heinrich?” Jake asked.

“Maybe later, Ozzie afterwards maybe. I’m sure we all will want to have our wits about us for the next few hours.”

Jake held a match to the crumpled paper under the grate and waited for the paper to ignite. The paper blossumed into warm flame under the wood he had found neatly stacked next to the fireplace and had carefully placed on the fireplace grate. The wood had waited years for this night and was thoroughly dry and responded to the flame of the newspaper in kind and quickly lit providing both warmth and comfort to the little band of paranormal explorers.

“There.” Jake said pleased with himself at taking at least a little control back into his own hands and lighting the fire. The room now basked in the warm glow of the flickering fire and shadows danced across the walls. Jake ambled to the table and seated himself next to Melinda. Ozzie sat across from Jake and to Melinda’s left. Heinrich walked stiffly to the book shelf and took an engraved mahogany box down from one of the shelves. He held it gingerly in both of his hands and carried it to the table before he took his seat.

“The box, my friends contains Theodora’s planchette.” Heinrich said grimly placing the box on the table. He lifted the little brass latch that held the lid closed up and opened the box, Jake could see the box was padded and lined in white satin, the thought of an open casket came to mind. Heinrich gently lifted the planchette out of the box. One could clearly see that this planchette had been carefully made to provide the least resistance to any movement. It was in the traditional heart shape, yet instead of being made of wood or of plastic as later planchettes have been it was carved out of ivory. There was a place to insert a pen of pencil to assist in spirit writing, and of course the tip of the heart would be used to point to letters painted on the table top. Beneath the ivory three tiny brass wheels had been mounted in such a way that they would rotate in any direction under the least pressure. Heinrich carefully, gently placed the device on the center of the table within easy reach of everyone.

“Now if everyone would please put their fingertips, just the fingertips mind you, on the planchette, we can begin.” Heinrich invited, placing his own fingertips ever so lightly on the carved ivory. Melinda was next resting her fingers as light as a breath on the planchette. Ozzie rested his fingertips on the device.

“Not so rough, not so heavy, Ozzie.” Heinrich’s scolded. Jake lightly placed his fingertips on the planchette and felt an odd tingling rise up his fingers. Heinrich looked up to the ceiling and took in a deep breath, held it for just a moment then let it out slowly before he began.

“Theodora, Theodora, can you hear us Theodora?” He paused, took another long deep breath, then continued.

“Baron, are you here? Can you speak to us?” Heinrich waited for a reply. Jake felt a growing unease fill the room. He closed his eyes. The smell of cordite wafted in his nostrils, the sound of mortar fire echoed in his ears. He opened his eyes, the flickering light of the fire welcomed him back to Theodora’s private parlor.

“Baron, can you hear us?” Heinrich repeated somberly. “Baron Frederick, are you here? If you can hear me, let me know.” Heinrich pleaded into the darkness. The parlor door slammed shut with a bang, Melinda let out a little shriek of surprise, Ozzie’s mouth hung open as he gaped at the door.

“There must have been a draft.” Jake commented.

“Baron, is there something you want to tell us?” Heinrich continued ignoring Jakes disbelief.

“I’m so cold.” Melinda whispered shivering.

“I can see your breath, Mel.” Ozzie replied.

“This must be one of those cold spots they talk about.” Jake opined.

“Baron Frederick, do you want to communicate with us? Can you move the planchette?” Heinrich intoned. Whoosh the planchette flew from the table and smashed into mirror above the fireplace’s mantle.

“Damn!” Jake muttered.

“The baron is here.” Heinrich was saying when Melinda yelled. “Look at that! In the mirror, look!” A deep gray figure moved from the back of the reflection in the mirror forward towards the parlor, this parlor. Jake didn’t believe his eyes, then it floated out of the mirror towards the table. Jake stood up, startled.

“Sit down Jake! Don’t disturb the spirits.” Heinrich commanded. The table began to rock on two legs tapping out a strange dance. Jake backed away from the table feeling his heart rise in his chest.

“The baron is here, Baron Frederick, is there something you want to say?” Heinrich implored above the din of the pounding table.

“No shit Sherlock, he is telling us to get the hell out of his house!” Ozzie yelled backed against the fall wall as far from the table as he could get while still in the parlor. Only Melinda and Heinrich remained in their chairs.

“Don’t be frightened gentlemen, The baron means us no harm. In fact I think he is welcoming us into his home as guests.” Heinrich said attempting to sooth his young friends fears. Ozzie went to the door grabbed the doorknob and pulled, a gap between the door and frame appeared and let a little warmth seep into the room, but the doorknob slipped from his hand and the door slammed shut.

“Come back to you seat, Ozzie. He is not going to hurt you.” Ozzie reluctantly shuffled back to his chair and sat down.

“you too Jake, there is no point in standing there when you have a comfortable chair waiting for you.” Jake sat down, with his hands in his lap.

“Now everyone, firmly place your hands on the table palms down and push, hold it to the floor.” Heinrich instructed. “I think we have had enough for tonight, dear Baron, thank you for your warm welcome into your home.” He intoned softly, patiently waiting for the table to end its dance.

Moments later the warmth from the fire could be felt again and the table settled down to a soft tap now and then. Jakes eyes remained wide open scanning the dimly lit room for any movement of shadow. Melinda sucked in a deep breath and slowly let it out.

“I wonder why the planchette didn’t work.” She asked.

“Sometimes it does, sometimes the spirits wish to communicate in another manner.” Heinrich replied.

“Next time, I think I’d prefer a telegram.” Ozzie commented regaining his composure.

“Are we done then?” Jake asked.

“For now, I think.” Heinrich replied, pushing his chair from the table. “Would you care to join me in the library for some brandy?”

“If you think the baron will let us out of the room, I’d be glad to leave.” Ozzie replied getting up from his seat.

“Oh, I’m sure the door won’t be a problem for you now. Why don’t you give it a try?” Heinrich suggested. Ozzie didn’t move.

“Oh gee, Ozzie.” Melinda said getting up from her seat and opening the door allowing them egress to the corridor.

“I would have opened.” Ozzie said to Melinda. “If you gave me a little time to get my mind around it.” The little group made their way through the dusty hall to the library, where Heinrich had brought brandy snifters and brandy earlier along with a small covered platter of cold cuts cheese and crackers.

“I suspected we might work up an appetite during our experiment so I prepared a little snack for us.”

“Heinrich, What was that we experienced in Theodora’s parlor?” Jake asked, “You certainly can’t call that communication, can you?”

“Maybe not clear communication, but certainly we can call it contact.”

“Contact, okay, but contact with what?”

“With the baron, of course. Don’t you see that, Jake?”

“Frankly, no I don’t. I don’t know what I saw. Whatever it was didn’t seem welcoming to me at all.”

“Now now Jake it wasn’t all that bad, was it? A little unusual maybe, but no one was hurt. Just a little noisy table tapping that’s all it was. We may experience more than that before we are through here. That is if we are lucky.” Heinrich opined.

“Really Jake, when I was little we had worse than this at our house. When my mother burned the Ouija board all hell broke out.” Melinda shared.

“You’ve told us that, but you never got very specific. What happened when you were a kid?” Ozzie asked pouring himself some brandy.

“It was a poltergeuist, it moved things, it threw things, broke things. It was mean to us. Tonight was nothing, but a little noise, a little table tapping, like Heinrich said.”

“It tried to lock us in! That seems on the mean side if you ask me.” Ozzie replied, And what on earth was that thing that came out of the mirror? Was that the baron or was that one of the Nazis, or some kind of demon or something else?”

“Maybe it was baroness Theodora.” Heinrich replied.

“The baroness as a black wisp of shadow?” Jake asked.

“Yes, why not.”

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Angels and Demons A Biblical Introduction to the Supernatural is available in a kindle edition on amazon.com

It is done! Complete and I think it looks beautiful! Of course it should I used the artwork by the masters from the public domain to illustrate the book! I'm afraid that my text doesn't do the artwork justice, but it is still an interesting read. You can take a sneak peak at this link:

http://www.lulu.com/shop/lewis-stanek/angels-and-demons/paperback/product-21817163.html

It is available now from Lulu, I am awaiting my proof copy and I expect that soon after my approval of the proof copy it will be available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble and such.  Please take a look I think you will be glad you did!  Please check out the link below.

<a href=”http://www.lulu.com/commerce/index.php?fBuyContent=15239700″&gt;

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Fallen Angels

Fallen Angels

Prior to his fall from heaven Lucifer was the name given to Satan. He was the Shining one, the Morning Star, But that was not to last. The bible indicates that it was Lucifer’s pride that inspired his rebellion against God. It was his pride that instigated his ill fated attempt at overthrowing the throne of God. Tradition has it that shortly after the creation of man, in God’s image and likeness, Lucifer rebelled at the thought of angels serving an inferior creation to themselves. When God told his angels that they were to serve mankind Lucifer refused and with a third of the angels of heaven following him rebelled against God. When Lucifer was cast out of Heaven he was no longer The morning Star, but Satan the accuser, the enemy of God, the lord of evil, and the tempter of human beings.

Satan has been depicted as a cute little red devil with horns, a little pitchfork, and a pointed tail in comics and cartoons longer than anyone living today has been alive. This trend began sometime in the middle ages as an attempt to ridicule the devil where it would hurt him the most, his pride. However, there is no biblical evidence to suggest that this description is in any way accurate. In fact Satan as little red devil is about as accurate a description of Lucifer as chubby little babies with wings and bows and arrows is of the cherubim surrounding God’s throne. The bible describes Satan as radiantly beautiful. We find God at first discussing the King of Tyre, but soon is describing the Prince, the supernatural power behind the throne of the kingdom of Tyre, that is Satan. In Ezekiel 28:12-15 it reads “Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou wast in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, the topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was in thee; in the day that thou wast created they were prepared. Thou wast the anointed cherub that covereth: and I set thee, so that, thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till unrighteousness was found in thee.“ The bible states it was ultimately because of Satan’s pride in his beauty that he was cast down as it states in Ezekiel 28:17 “Thy heart was lifted up because of thy beauty; thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I have cast thee to the ground; I have laid thee before kings, that they may behold thee”

In Isaiah 14:12-15 it reads concerning Lucifer, “How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how are you cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations! For you have said in your heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also on the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet you shall be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”

From what is written in the book of genesis we cannot tell how long mankind lived in the garden of Eden before falling to temptation, was it a day or a thousand years? We have no way of knowing for certain. What we do know is that Satan tempted our ancestors with the lie that if we disobeyed God and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil we would become as gods, knowing both good and evil.

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Angels Preface

My family has a history of being involved in the occult. I can’t claim to know how far back this interest goes. I haven’t attempted to do a spiritual genealogy or anything of that kind although it may prove to be interesting if I did. The point I am trying to make is simply that I am no stranger to the supernatural. My mother’s step mother Anna, was a practicing medium. Not the kind that put themselves out for hire and were therefore prone to fraud to keep their audiences satisfied, but the more independent type that did what they did for their own purposes. My mother of course grew up under her influence and was made aware of the existence of an immaterial world beyond our own from a very early age. What my mother may have experienced in her childhood and youth I do not claim to know, but I do know of her interest in the supernatural and the occult during my own childhood.

I recall certain occurrences in our home at the top of Blanchard hill when I was a child. I remember being visited by a shadowy figure of a woman dressed in a black floor length dress with a bustle on more than one occasion. The figure would pass through my bedroom pausing for a moment here or there as if it had found something of interest and then it would be gone. When I was about six years old I had a toy xylophone that I kept on my dresser on those rare occasions when I tried to keep my room in order, every now and then it would play a few discordant notes from what appeared to be it’s own accord. Now that I write this I remember Anna saying after my grandfather had died that she would know that he was visiting her when the wind chimes she kept indoors would begin to play.

My parents were given a print of the “Blue Boy” that my grandparents had kept in their home for many years. My mother hung the painting in the master bedroom. From that moment on, our pet dog, Fancy, was terrified of my parent’s bedroom and would not enter of it’s own will. If Fancy was carried into the room it would run out as fast as it’s short little legs would carry it as soon as it was free to do so. I believe something inherently unfriendly entered the master bedroom with the print of the “Blue Boy”.

My mother, sisters and I would play with a Ouija board on a fairly regular basis. It was exciting to think that we were communicating with an unseen spirit. I remember us children hunting for treasure hidden somewhere in the basement under the Ouija boards direction. There was a game of my mother’s invention where she would place colored pick up sticks in a brown paper bag and we children would take turns reaching in, touch a pick up stick, and then try to feel or sense what color it was by the warmth or coolness we felt in the stick before bringing it out of the bag. I recall quite clearly being told to try to feel the warmth of the color. As time passed and we grew older the games changed. Instead of using colored pick up sticks we would use a deck of playing cards and try to predict first whether the card was a face card or a number card, then the color, and then the suit before we looked at the card in our hand.

By the time I was a teenager, my mother was involved in an organization called the “Chicago Psychic Society” led by a doctor Clifford Royce. Attending classes at the Chicago Psychic Society was a fairly common weekend activity for my mother and oldest sister. I rarely, if ever attended, but not because of a lack of interest, only a lack of funds. On one occasion we traveled to the city to see a guru of one sort or another, my mother and sister went in to meet with him and be given their own personal mantra, I waited in the car. At the time I felt left out, but today, I am glad I didn’t attend that meeting. I had one less piece of spiritual baggage to get rid of by waiting in the car.

Don’t think that I didn’t act to advance my own interests regarding the occult. I may not have had the money to attend lectures at the Chicago Psychic Society but I did find enough money to join the Theosophical Society. As a member at large I had the privilege of borrowing books from the library at their national headquarters in Wheaton Illinois. This was the most complete library of the occult and supernatural I would ever find. I made a habit of visiting the library and on occasion I would attend lectures and meetings held at the National Headquarters building.
Whenever we, as a family, would get together, we would spend time practicing our psychic abilities, giving each other readings through psychometry or other means attempting to hone our skills to a razor’s edge. Individually, we we would meditate attempting to clear our minds to be ever more open to the supernatural. This we hoped would increase our psychic abilities. For a time my oldest sister and I would experiment in astral travel. I remember on one such occasion, my sister and I decided to try an experiment in astral travel where we would have some objective feedback other than relying on what the traveler claimed to experience afterwards. At the time I was a teenage living with my mother in an apartment building, one of my sisters lived in the same apartment complex a few units down from us. For this experiment I left my sister’s apartment and went to my bedroom in my mother’s apartment. My oldest sister was to attempt to free her spirit and travel immaterially from our sister’s home to mine. I was to be the receiver so to speak, to wait and perceive whatever I could during a given period of time. I lay quietly on my bed meditating, trying to free my mind from any distractions, waiting to see whatever I might see. At the same time my sister attempted to travel to my room from our sisters apartment. After only a few moments waiting I saw, entering my room, not my sister, but what appeared to be a wet grayish white cloud of ectoplasm. It entered through the bedroom door crossed across the room in front of my bed and then approached me. I had read about ectoplasm, but had never seen it before this. I panicked, I waved my arms in front of myself, trying to signal it to get away from me, it kept coming. I jumped over my bed in order to get out of my room without getting any closer to so to the grayish mass floating in my room than I absolutely had to. I ran straight to my sisters apartment. No sooner than I got in the door than my sister approached me and asking what the hand waving meant. She saw me! She thought I was trying to signal her! What did my hand waving mean? My hand waving meant I was scared silly and couldn’t wait to get out of there. Of course as far as astral projection was concerned we considered the experiment a success.

You might ask if any of our experiments and interest in the supernatural affected our lives in any way. Of course it did. My youngest sister had the unpleasant experience of sharing her home with a poltergeist. The lights would come on and go off at their own discretion, vegetables would move in their bags, the dish drainer was thrown off of the kitchen counter to land squeezed between the sink and the stove, doors would open and close. I am ashamed to admit that I thought this was the perfect opportunity and convinced my brother-in law to go along with me in attempting necromancy. Against my sisters wishes I drew a pentagram using her lipstick on the living room floor followed the directions given in a book of black magic I had purchased and brought to her home. I recited the invocation provided in the book. Nothing happened that night that we could tell other than making a mess and wasting a tube of lipstick, but in time it would become clear that this little experiment was had the same effect as pouring gasoline on a fire.

The poltergeist activity increased rather than decrease. At the height of the activity came during the holiday season. The Christmas tree was up and decorated and everyone was looking forward to Christmas, but the poltergeist would not leave the tree alone. Ornaments would fly from the tree across the room. At the height of the activity the Christmas tree was violently rocking back and forth throwing the ornaments across the room. Although I was present during some poltergeist activity, I wasn’t present when the tree was rocking. This did however affect me years later when my mother gave me a picture in a black frame that my sister had previously owned, I hung it in the living room. The following Christmas season, by this time I had become a Christian, we placed our tree next to the wall perpendicular to the wall where the picture hung. After the tree was up and decorated with lights and ornaments the frame began to move rocking back and forth while hanging on the wall. I approached for a closer look and in the reflection in the glass I saw our Christmas tree rocking back and forth. I looked from the picture to the tree and the tree was still. I looked back to the picture and the reflection of the tree was rocking violently back and forth. The frame itself was rocking side to side. I knew enough by then not to allow that to stay in my home any longer. I took the picture and frame out and threw it in the trash. We had no further experience with the tree or pictures on the wall.
It was in this home where I had what may have been an experience with an angel. At the time my young wife was pregnant with my oldest daughter, Melissa. I would frequently walk to the local convenience store as the apartment building was only a couple of buildings away. I would go there on errands for my wife. I made many trips there to buy a hot spicy dill pickle and a pint of Hagen Daz ice cream to soothe my wife’s cravings. This occurred on a trip such as this whether it was on a trip to buy a pickle or some other errand, I don’t remember, but what happened on the way I remember quite clearly. You see there was a little hill between the last house and the convenience store and this hill was made higher with plowed snow from the store’s parking lot. I being relatively young at the time, would climb over this icy hill rather than taking the safer route and walk in the street. This night I climbed the hill and once at the top started to fall backwards and was falling to the hard ice covered asphalt behind me when suddenly I felt a large hand pressed against my back at my shoulder blades. It felt as if someone reached down to me to stop my fall, like a father would to steady his little boy. This unseen hand touched my back at my shoulder blades and stopped my fall. I could very clearly feel the hand as it pressed into my back, the finger were pointing down towards the ground so it was literally as if a father reached down to steady his falling son. But you see I was fully grown and six feet one inch tall, who ever reached down to steady me had to be much taller than me. There was no one visible there to prevent my fall or to have helped me in any way.

That one experience so many years ago began my seriously thinking of angels. The experience brings to mind the 91st Psalm which states “For he will give his angels charge over thee, To keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, Lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.” or in my case crack my head against icy asphalt.

I should make a point of explaining one more thing. Although I am certain we considered ourselves Christians when I was a child, we were not. We did not go to church except on very rare occasions. We did however celebrate the secular holidays. On Halloween my sister and I would dress up and go trick-or-treating, on Thanksgiving we would visit family and eat turkey, on Christmas we would open presents, and on New Years eve we would stay up late and make noise. We celebrated the holidays with a depth of faith only a pagan can have.

I did not become a Christian overnight. While I was serving in the Air Force an acquaintance of mine decided he would invest his time and money witnessing to me. He wanted me to hear Christian tapes from a certain pastor who had once been an Air Force Chaplain, so he offered me the tapes. I had little interest and no tape player so I declined his offer; so he gave me a reel to reel tape recorder to play the tapes on. He spent time explaining his understanding of the bible to me and I would share my understanding spiritualism and eastern meditation with him. I would like to say he convinced me and I was born again then and there, but that didn’t happen for a number of years. What Roger Moore, (not the actor) did do was plant the seeds that would mature and eventually lead me to Christ. The day I was finally convinced of the truth by reading the Confessions of Saint Augustine, I decide to become a Christian. I sought out and found a priest willing to instruct me and later that year, I, my four year old son, and my father were baptized at Saint Joan of Arc Church in Lisle Illinois. My life changed after that and continues to change day by day to this day.

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