A Metaphysical Journey of Denial

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IMG_1226For anyone that writes articles there eventually comes a time where you want to write about something but you have no idea what it is or where to even begin. A point where you just throw a bunch of shit at the wall and see what sticks.

Unlike previous articles, this one has no preconceived path or logical beginning. It simply is what it is.

In 1980 when I was 13, my grandfather passed away suddenly. I spent a lot of time with this man and at that age just assumed he’d always be around, at least for many years to come. Even when he went into the hospital I just assumed he’d be coming home soon. This was my first ever experience with death (aside from one of my neighbor friends whose mother was hit by a train) and all I remember was standing in front of his casket and looking at him, expecting him to say or do something. I couldn’t really wrap my head around why he wasn’t. He was always larger than life to me and here he was a foot in front of me not even blinking. The thing I remember most was the makeup which to me was so obvious and he just didn’t look right. I didn’t like the thought of him looking like that. He shouldn’t look like that. I wanted to take it off of him. I remember touching him and recall nothing of the service itself.

My grandfather was born in 1904. He lived through WWI and WWII. The Dust Bowl. The Great Depression. He had a great sense of humor but was very straight, relatively quiet and by the book. Very no-nonsense and things were either black or white. There was no grey area with him. He grew up in a generation where you worked your ass off and earned everything you had. Because of the type of man he was, what happened next really messed with my head.

One important note is that many years earlier he had had surgery on his throat and his vocal cords were accidentally damaged giving him a very raspy and distinct voice.

I can’t recall the length of time exactly but it was very soon after the funeral. A few days, maybe a week. My brother and I were standing in the kitchen with my mother who was cooking dinner. The phone rang and my brother answered it. He got a really weird look on his face and said “Grandpa?” My mother froze and I took the phone from my brother. The first thing I noticed was the connection was really bad. I had never heard a phone connection so awful. My initial thought (since I was 13 and assumed distance had an effect on the quality of the call) was this call was coming from the other side of the world. Through the static and popping sound I heard my grandfather saying “I love you.” Over and over again. “I love you.” That voice was unmistakable. I recall trying to speak to him and asking him questions but he just kept repeating “I love you” through all the hissing, crackling and popping.

By this time my mother had about had it and took the phone from me. I just remember her putting the phone to her ear and then the tears started. Oddly enough we never spoke once about this for well over 20 years. One day recently just out of the blue while my mother and brother were present I said “Remember after grandpa died and he called us?” They both looked at me like it was something brushed under the rug and couldn’t believe I just asked that. But they both remembered. Vividly.

One thing I realized writing this is that his funeral was the one and only I’ve ever attended. He was the first close person I ever knew to pass away and since then I have lost all three of my other grandparents and two girls I went to high school with that I was very close to. Both of these girls died violent deaths. I attended none of their funerals. I wait until everyone else is gone and then go visit them alone.

In 1985 I was a senior in high school. I didn’t really have many close friends. I did things and hung out with people but in reality there were two guys and two girls (oddly enough the two mentioned above) that I considered actual real close friends.

The last weekend of our senior year fell on a 3-day weekend so we had Monday off. That Friday my friend Angie drew a smiley face on my rear driver side window with lipstick in the parking lot at school. It was a face she signed all her letters with so the moment I saw it I knew it was Angie.

I am certain I spoke to her on the phone over the 3-day weekend because we talked a lot. I assumed I’d see her Tuesday morning and then we’d graduate a day or two later. Angie never graduated.

On that Tuesday morning I was in 1st period when another friend Kim came into class late. She didn’t look good. Kim sat down next to me and said “Angie’s dead.” This simply didn’t compute. I just stared at her. She said she was on the bus and that Angie was running late and missed the bus. She ran outside to catch it but there was a vehicle parked on the side of the road blocking her view. As she ran out from in front of the parked vehicle onto the road, a car that was driving the opposite direction past the bus hit her full on. It was nobody’s fault. It was just one of those things. If it had taken her 5 seconds longer to exit the house it never would have happened.

The bus stopped and Kim got off and ran to Angie. She held her in her lap in the middle of the road as she died. She told me some details I’d rather not have known. I never washed that face she drew on my car window off.

The night Angie died I was awakened at around 3 a.m. by a lot of noise in the dining room. I got up and stood there watching the convection oven going crazy. Every time you pressed a button on the oven it beeped and this thing was beeping like 10 people were all pressing buttons at the same time, the light was on, and it was running. The next thing I knew my mother was standing next to me watching as well. Eventually she walked over, unplugged the oven and everyone went to bed.

We lived out in the country and on a spot where there were three houses in a row. We were the middle house. Behind the three houses was a field about 3 feet tall. The next morning I woke up and walked into the dining room and stood next to the convection oven. I looked out the window at the field behind our 3 houses and it was rolled flat as if by a large rolling-pin. Only it was only flat on our property line. Where our property ended on both sides the field still stood straight up. I haven’t heard from Angie since. She said her goodbye to me and moved on.

I couldn’t go to her funeral. I waited until everyone had left and went to her grave alone to tell her I loved and missed her. I still think about her often almost 29 years later. She was only 18 and left a lasting impression on me. She’s still the only person I know who has passed away that I ever cried over. I hope to see you again one day Angie.

So to people that ask why I got involved in the paranormal, that’s pretty much it. I’m not a ghost hunter because I view them all as people. Two people I knew and loved came back to me and they were still people. When I hear someone say ghost hunting I see them both and it hurts because they are both souls that should never be hunted no matter what your definition of that term is or how you justify it. Don’t simply parrot what the media says. Think about the words you use because those words have meaning and intent behind them.

As I mentioned earlier, my other girl friend from high school also died. She was murdered by her estranged husband who shot her in her car in a parking garage as she arrived at work then drove to another city and shot himself in the head. I actually contemplated going to her funeral and even drove past the church as it was about to start. As I neared the church I saw her two little blonde girls standing out front holding their grandparents hands. I turned the car around and drove off. There was no way I was going to be able to handle that. I have vivid images of her looking up and see him pointing that gun at her to this day. Almost like I’m seeing it through her eyes.

Another friend of mine was murdered in a Portland park one night by having her head crushed with a rock and another guy I grew up with got into an argument with his neighbor who left then came back and shot him to death in his front yard. So on average I’d say I’ve had more friends killed violently than most people not raised in the inner city, which in itself is a little unsettling.

Jumping ahead to 2010 when I first formed Portland Paranormal. Initially I assumed the correct way to do this was to emulate what you see on television. It didn’t take long for me to realize it wasn’t feeling right. I was doing things the way you’re apparently supposed to and I was getting ridiculous amounts of evidence (for lack of a better word) but something just didn’t feel right. People constantly commented on my EVP’s and the things I was getting on video and saying I could get an EVP in an airplane bathroom. None of this made sense to me because I didn’t think I was doing anything special and assumed everyone was getting the results I was getting because why wouldn’t they?

To back up a little, when I first got started I couldn’t get a place to let me spend the night there for the life of me. I tried harder than anyone will ever know just to get that first opportunity. I emailed, called, wrote letters, used social media, showed up in person, everything I could possibly imagine doing and nobody would give me the time of day. This went on for quite some time and I was really at my wits end. I was about to just give up and if something came to me that would be great but I wasn’t going to keep putting this much effort into something that was going nowhere. One night I was sitting in my room and decided to do something I had not only never done, but had never even crossed my mind. I spoke out loud to my guardian angel(s)/spirit guide(s). I didn’t even know enough to know who it was I was sitting there talking to or how to address them. Is it spirit guide or guardian angel? And how many are there? I still don’t know to this day but I’m working on it.

I basically said if this is something I’m meant to do then I’m asking for your help in getting it started because I’m out of ideas. This was on a Friday or a Saturday night. By Monday I started getting emails and calls from people about investigations. Make of that what you will. I even got a call from a producer from a production company making a pilot. I hadn’t even done a single investigation yet. I didn’t like the outline he described to me on the phone about investigating places with an investigator and a skeptic so I didn’t take it any further but at least I was on my way.

My very first investigation was unlike any other since. It was a horse barn out in the middle of nowhere. No heat, no electricity, and to make matters worse, in my haste to not forget anything, I forgot to bring a coat and it was fucking cold. In all honesty I had almost no idea what I was doing and was basically winging it. I ended up not only getting EVP’s that blew some people’s minds but almost as soon as it started, I met Leah. More about her later.

Why would spirits talk to me any differently than anyone else? The more people complimented me the more I wondered what was going on and why. So one day instead of just wondering why, I sat down and really thought it out. What I came up with was one simple word. One word that made all the difference. Intent. It sounds simple enough (and it is) but it meant everything. I already wrote two articles all about intent so I won’t bore you with the details. However, I firmly believe that if your intent is in the right place, and you treat them with respect, and don’t act like an asshat and bring a herd of other people with you that they will communicate with you.

Once I had this word to focus on, everything started falling into place. Like a veil had been lifted. I suddenly saw everything in a different light. The entire way most ‘teams’ conducted themselves on every level, the phrases they used, the process they used, the whole cookie-cutter look and feel to all of them. It all started to really bother me. I saw them all as clones of one another with nobody putting any actual thought into what it was they were doing. As long as they were emulating what they saw on television, they were golden in their eyes. What they lacked were two things: intent and perspective.

Perspective is important as well. How others view you and your actions. Stop thinking about yourself for a moment and put yourself in their place. How would you view you? A crowd of loud people wearing matching shirts only hoping to capture something to make themselves look good. Personally I would have nothing to do with any of you.

It wasn’t that I thought I was better than them, I was just in a totally different place and didn’t relate to them on any level. I watched lots of videos and listened to audio from all over the place and all I could see were the mistakes, to the point that I don’t pay attention to any of them any longer nor watch a single paranormal television program because I don’t see what you’re supposed to see. When I look at it I see it for what it really is. And what it is, I can’t relate to.

I tried working with others and realized it simply also wasn’t for me. I went far longer with a ‘team’ than I should have. Around this time I was heavily researching Kenton Station in Portland, Oregon, but something inside me kept telling me to do it alone, with nobody else. I would mention this from time to time and everyone always said the same thing. I’d be insane to spend the night down in that basement alone. I’d ask why and they just repeat that I’d be crazy, God only knows what would happen to me.

Well I knew what would happen to me and that’s why I kept feeling the pull to do it. Finally I just decided when that inner voice is insisting on something this strongly, it’s best to listen. So after everything that had gone on down there for almost a year I decided it was way past time to do it alone. The first time I was down there alone I could feel the energy around me. Like they were all there saying “Well it’s about damn time.” There were times it was so crowded down there that they were physically bumping into me. I felt them all over me just like walking through a crowded room. Every part of my body was being bumped into as I walked around down there. It literally felt like hundreds of people were all around me. And they were.

I was getting my name said constantly by this time. I would turn on the spirit box and before I could turn my camcorder on someone would say my name. And it would go on the entire time I was down there. I would ask a question and someone would say my name. I’d ask for someone’s name to be said and they’d say my name. I’d ask for their name and they’d say my name. I’d walk away from the spirit box and someone would say “Kurt’s away.” I’d walk up to the spirit box and someone would say “Kurt’s here.” It was almost getting to be overwhelming but the entire time I had an intense feeling of absolute calm. One time a spirit yelled “Look at Kurt” causing me to stop walking and just miss busting my head on a pipe.

It eventually got to where I was using no visible light, not even the camera screen, and was being guided around a maze of low hanging pipes and support beams without bumping into or tripping over anything. I felt like I wasn’t walking but being led around. If I left the spirit box and went into another area they would start yelling my name and saying “Friend” so loud I could hear it on the other side of the basement. It was surreal. One time I asked if anyone knew who I was and they said my first and last name. It was getting absolutely crazy. I don’t think there was one question I ever asked that wasn’t answered. It almost felt too easy and I’m the first to admit I got more than a little spoiled.

It wasn’t all puppies and unicorns at Kenton Station. I met one soul there that no matter how hard I tried simply didn’t like me. And by didn’t like me I mean hates me, to this day. No matter what I tried he simply refused to tell me his name so one night I just called him Snoopy. I have no idea why I called him this but it stuck. Snoopy raised more hell and made more noise than any spirit I’ve come into contact with before or since. I could go on and on about Snoopy but since he can’t cause me any physical harm, he just tends to get very angry and swear at me, a lot.

Then I moved 2,000 miles away and haven’t been back since (and probably never will). People ask me if I miss it and of course I do. I was on a first name basis with many spirits there and they were certainly on one with me. It was like leaving friends knowing you may never see them again. But it was a learning process and eventually we all have to move on. I am honored they took me in and taught me as much as they did because I know it’s not easy for them to do what they did. It’s possible I could do this for the next 30 years and never experience another Kenton Station but at some point we have to take that next step. Also, as hard is this is for even me to believe, after moving away the saying of my name didn’t decrease, if anything it increased. Explain that one because I can’t.

At around this same time I started meeting people who did see things the same way I did. I call it synchronicity for lack of a better term. I believe like-minded people and people that are supposed to come together eventually are brought together by the powers that be. You just have to be aware of and open to the signs. Pay attention to them and you’ll get where you’re supposed to go. I met two guys, Jari and Michael. And it changed everything once again.

Synchronicity started to ramp up at this point. One night I was in my parents basement in Illinois and a voice in my head said “Move to New Mexico.” I had never even been to New Mexico before. So the next time I spoke to Jari on Skype I jokingly said “Hey move to New Mexico with me” to which he replied “OK.” It was that simple. I moved back to Portland to help finish my parents move and then headed to New Mexico.

We didn’t choose New Mexico or even the region, it chose us. One guy in Portland and the other one in the Netherlands not only end up moving to New Mexico but the exact location was chosen for us. Even though the voice said move to New Mexico I sort of assumed that I would actually move to Arizona. I had lived there before and it turns out Jari was born there. So Arizona is where my focus was. I assumed the desert SW was close enough. I was doing research regarding isolated areas in Arizona and all the results kept coming up New Mexico.

Once I got the message I started looking for smaller towns or even smaller areas outside of small towns because I had this feeling we needed to be isolated, at a high elevation and away from city light pollution. At first I was looking into Taos and had mentally decided that’s where I was going. But once again a series of things started pointing us away from Taos. How we ended up where we did is strange enough but it didn’t end there.

We settled on a region surrounded by Native American pueblos. But apparently even that wasn’t precise enough. I was sort of stuck in Illinois at this time and Jari packed up and flew to Florida where he waited for his belongings to arrive by ship. Once they finally arrived and cleared customs he drove from Florida to New Mexico and checked into a hotel room in a small town called Española. During this time he was still using the moving truck as his form of transportation and realized he needed to buy a car. He told me he was going to check with some local dealers and I immediately said no, check Craigslist. I have no idea why. During this time he had looked at a house in a very small isolated region but we both agreed they were asking far more than it was worth. Jari ended up getting a vehicle thru Craigslist that just happened to be the same make and model as what I drive although he didn’t even know what I drove at the time.

During this transaction the person asked him where he was interested in living and he mentioned this isolated area with the overpriced house and was told they knew someone that had a place in that exact area. Turns out the place was a 200 year-old former desert trading post built in 1813 that was now a house. A very haunted house on Native American land with an amazing history. That’s where we ended up and we referred to it as La Tienda. I could write another article just on the things we experienced while in that house. A lot of people ask how we could have lived in such a place and my initial reaction is how could we not?

All along this journey I have been told by others that I’m a medium or a psychic or have some gifts. I honestly couldn’t tell you the difference between the two. That’s how little I know or care about the subject.

Whenever I’m talking with Michael or Jari and someone new is present they always call me a medium (or psychic, I have no idea) in denial, at which point I then deny it. I always just chalk it up to good instincts and dumb luck. Many times I’ve gone to investigate a location and no matter what the owners/residents tell me about locations and experiences, I always end up gravitating alone to some far off dark, dirty place and that’s where the magic usually happens. One memorable occasion was very early on at the Klondike Restaurant and Bar.

Paranormal State had investigated this spot and focused all their time and energy on the 2nd (or maybe it was the 3rd) floor. The owners told us their stories and it was all upstairs or in the main bar area. The night we investigated everyone went upstairs to find the ghosts. The next thing I know I’m alone in the basement sitting on a gravel floor playing with a little boy who was turning my flashlight on and off on command. Yes I know people poo poo the whole flashlight thing but I wasn’t trying to do the flashlight thing. It was hanging off my wrist by the cord and I was focusing on my video camera when I noticed it kept turning on and off. So I took it off my wrist, laid in on the gravel floor and sat down.

The little boy had a thick head of very curly blonde hair and what looked like homemade clothes. As I recall, if you’re sitting at the bar there is a wall behind you with old photos on it. One of those photos shows the little boy I played with that night. So if you ever happen to find yourself in St. Helen’s, Oregon at the Klondike, find that photograph and tell him hi for me.

The only thing anyone experienced the entire night was me with that little boy. Why did I gravitate directly to the dirty old basement? I have no idea. I just went where I was supposed to. Oh and by the way, there’s no demon in the building. Sorry Paranormal State.

By this point I had gotten EVP’s on digital voice recorders, two types of spirit box, camcorders, had my name said on an Ovilus and on my phone as well. What could possibly be left? Then Jari, Michael and I started getting disembodied voice EVP’s over Skype. Why not?

People ask me what it feels like for me when there’s a spirit (or whatever you want to call it) nearby. The best way I can describe it is the feeling you get as you go deeper underwater. My head fills with pressure to the point I feel like I need to try and pop my ears. My vision also goes wonky on me and it gets difficult to focus. Occasionally I will also get a tingle up my spine but that’s less frequent and usually only when I’m in the presence of someone very strong, like Julia Staab.

Stairwell up to Julia's room.

Stairwell up to Julia’s room.

Not long ago I met a friend at a place in Santa Fe called La Posada. The moment I entered the place I was like “Uh oh.” Although I was supposed to meet her in the library room, I was drawn up a flight of stairs and the feeling I got up there was all of the above and then some.

As it turns out, although this place is now a hotel/resort/spa/restaurant/bar that covers 6 acres, originally it was a mansion built by Abraham Staab for his wife Julia. Someone eventually built this large resort but incorporated the original mansion into the design. I happened to walk up the original staircase and was standing outside the bedroom of Julia Staab.

I knew nothing about the history of this house but since then have spoken to several employees and did a little research. Turns out this place is one of the most haunted locations in all of Santa Fe (and that’s saying a lot) and Julia Staab is one of its most popular residents. People come from all over the world to spend the night in her room. The shortest stay in the room was a couple that came from England and lasted a total of 7 minutes. Personally the feeling I got is that she’s not real thrilled with all these people in her house.

I’ve been back to this place many times since but I don’t always go up the stairs. I already know what it feels like up there and although it’s not bad or malevolent, it’s not necessarily a feeling I want to repeat just for the hell of it. I took Jari there once and as soon as we walked in the door he said the same thing I did the first time I walked into the building. “Uh oh.” He also said out loud what I heard the first time I was outside Julia’s bedroom door. “She wants to know why we’re here.”

More on La Posada later.

Julia Staab

Julia Staab

I also have an ability to read people. Maybe this is something a lot of people can do, I have no idea. I just know it’s relatively new to me and the feeling I get is very strong. I immediately know whether or not to avoid someone, no matter how perky or charming they may appear. Due to this fact I have very few friends and meet a lot of people I never see again.

A little more on Leah since she was a part of my life for about 3 years. As mentioned previously, the night of my very first investigation I was running a spirit box and one of the very first things that came out of it when I asked who was with me was a woman saying Leah. Not sure if she was with me prior or not because that was the first time I tried to contact anyone and there she was.

I’ve had my name said over 110 times now that I have recorded. Many of those are the same woman’s voice. A lot of times she simply says Leah. For whatever reason she seemed to be very protective of me. I viewed her as a doting mother or an overly protective sister. For some reason I also felt she thought I was cute but that’s neither here nor there.

I only saw her once and it was weird. Why wouldn’t it be? I was in Illinois resting in the daytime. I was lying on my back and was in that not fully asleep but not awake state when I felt someone rubbing my left thigh. I know right? I opened my eyes and it’s still daytime but I’m lying on my right side and my head is where my feet should be and there’s a woman in period clothing kneeling at the side of my bed with her head down a little and both her palms resting on the side of my thigh below my hip. She looked black and white in a color world. I watched her for several seconds then closed my eyes and opened them again and I was in the correct position on the bed and she was gone.

I speak of Leah in the past tense because I haven’t felt her around in a long time since that moment. I get the feeling she’s no longer with me. Maybe that was her goodbye.

I have had interactions with a lot of spirits (or whatever you want to call them) but people frequently asks me if I’ve ever dealt with anything worse or more sinister. I’m glad you ask.

The short answer is yes, once that I am certain of. The long answer is much stranger. Now to many people this is going to sound insane but I’ve relayed this story to a couple of people who are far more advanced consciously than myself and they nodded along and knew exactly what I was talking about. As I’ve said before, if you do this long enough eventually you’re going to run into the things nightmares are made of. If that freaks you out then find another hobby.

This all started with the empty house across the street from me when I lived alone in Portland, 5744. I knew from day 1 that there was something wrong with this house. Very, very wrong. I became almost obsessed with the place and eventually started going over to it at night and standing on the front porch at the door and basically demanding answers. I got some of the creepiest and most bizarre EVP’s standing on that porch. Things that made no sense. A men’s choir singing in Latin for one.

5744

5744

People I told about the house started getting obsessed with it and would drive by it at night for no apparent reason. Some people I took up on the porch with me got physically sick and started dry heaving. They wouldn’t come any closer than the sidewalk while I stood on the porch. I even broadcast a live night vision web cam feed of the house over the Internet. People had no idea what they were looking at or why but would message me that they were getting sick looking at this nighttime video feed of a house.

Eventually I apparently took it too far. I was knocking on the door, ringing the bell, talking into the mail slot and telling it I knew it was in there. What was in that house eventually decided to come to my house. There’s more to the things I saw, felt and heard while standing at the front door at night but it would take too long to go over it all.

It would start with the entire environment in my room changing. I knew when it was there and didn’t care for the feeling it brought with it. At this point I still sort of assumed it was a spirit. That soon changed. It seemed that its sole purpose was to try and scare me. It did this at first by making its presence felt. When that didn’t work and I responded with anger rather than fear, it decided to show itself to me. It would come in thru the window that was facing the house and stand in the corner making the area much darker.

I am certain this thing can take on any form it chooses. What it chose to show me was interesting. I had been dealing with it earlier that night and ran it out. Jari and Michael both heard it growl over Skype as I was kicking it out. I had put my headset down on the desk and was across the room near my bed when it growled. I heard it with my own ears and knew there was no way the mic didn’t pick it up. It was just too loud. When I finally put the headphones back on they both told me they heard a loud growl.

Later that night I was lying in bed on my left side facing the door with my eyes closed when I felt it come back. I was tired and really didn’t want to go thru another round with this thing so I just laid there trying to sleep. It told me to open my eyes but I just said that’s not happening, I’m tired and going to sleep, get lost. This dialogue was all internal. I didn’t actually speak. It kept at it and at some point realized I wasn’t going to play along so it showed me what I would see if I opened my eyes. To this day I am convinced I did not open my eyes but I saw my room exactly as it would have looked if I had. Even the lighting was identical. Every single item in my room was visible.

It was standing just inside my closed bedroom door. It was taller than I would have expected and way too skinny. It had on what looked like a form fitting black leather one-piece outfit with zippers all over it that looked gray in the dark room but it didn’t seem like clothing as much as it was part of its skin. It had no hair, grayish skin (only the head was exposed) and where the face should have been was just a black void. Like you could stick your arm into it all the way up to the shoulder. A couple of years after I saw this, the show American Horror Story came out with a similar looking outfit only what I saw wasn’t shiny latex but more like skin. It was more like an Edward Scissorhands outfit if it was part of his body and not clothing. And he was tall and ridiculously skinny. And didn’t have a face. Or hair.

There’s more to the story but that’s the general idea. Some day I will ask an artist to draw what I saw that night.

This brings me to the next part of this high strangeness. The spirit thing hasn’t slowed or stopped. It goes in cycles. I can go a couple of months with very little then suddenly someone turns on the faucet and here it comes. Lately however a new element has been added to the equation.

The first part of this you will probably think, OK, no biggie. The second part you may think it’s time to slap on the shit-waders. On September 15th of 2012 I was driving westbound on a long straight road on a beautiful absolutely cloudless day in Illinois. I was thinking to myself  “I’d really like to see a UFO right now. The conditions are absolutely perfect.” The next thing I know, directly in front of me was what looked like a ball-bearing with a white light in the center. From my estimate it was probably 3/4 of a mile high and probably a mile or so out. I was just staring at it waiting for it to show some sort of movement or for blinking lights or anything familiar. Instead it just floated there. As I approached a stop sign I started slowing down while still staring at it and it just blinked out. Gone. I thought “No! Don’t go!” I turned right and looked back where I had seen it and it was about a mile further away and to the southwest only now the light was bright red. I was now driving north so to see it I had to look over my left shoulder. After about 30 seconds of this it simply blinked out again and was gone.

A couple of weeks later I was again driving westbound several miles north of the previous location and noticed this one cloud in front of me looked like a tabletop. I was thinking how cool the cloud looked with a perfectly flat top like that when I noticed the silver ball hovering just above the tabletop. So I’m thinking to myself  “That looks familiar.” I watched it until some trees obscured my view and when things cleared up again it was gone.

Awhile after that I was on the same road I was on the first time only heading eastbound this time and it was at night. I was thinking to myself  “Well, same road and it’s been quite awhile since I’ve seen anything cool.” Suddenly I see a red ball of light directly in front of me and pretty low on the horizon, maybe 1/4 – 1/2 a mile high. I’m driving right at it until I reach a stop sign and turn left (north). I look back over at the red light and it’s following my car keeping perfect pace with it, very low to the ground. It stayed with me keeping even until I got close to town and then suddenly it again blinked and was gone.

I promised you a weird part so here goes. Very soon after the first sighting at about 4 a.m. my mother gets up to let the dogs out into the back yard. So we open the door and we’re standing there when we hear this rustling sound. Just to our left less than 8 feet away is a glowing cobalt blue ball of light about 18″ in diameter with a glowing pink halo around it and it seems to be stuck in a short leafless tree right in front of us. The branches are kind of thorny and this thing is having trouble getting through it. It finally breaks free and in less time than it takes to blink your eyes it shoots straight back to the far end of the yard (about 100′) navigates up and over a 7′ tall wooden fence and is just gone. I don’t need to tell you how this leaves you feeling. There’s really not much you can say at that point. The best description I can come up with is that it was some sort of drone associated with this first sighting. I also feel like it was taken by surprise when we suddenly opened the door. It immediately tried to retreat but got caught up in the tree.

The 4th sighting (this one in Portland) was different. It was a bright sunny day and I was walking backwards towards my car. My brother and his fiance were standing in the doorway talking to me as I backed away towards the car. I suddenly had this urge to look straight up. There was a cloud above me about the size of your fist if you held it directly out at arms length. I saw a bright silver metallic tube-shaped object that reminded me of those medicine capsule pills. There were no visible markings, windows or any other identifying marks. It didn’t appear to have a front or a back. I watched it as it flew into this cloud so I just stood there staring at the cloud hoping to get another glimpse of the object. Suddenly the cloud just started breaking apart and disintegrating until after about 2 seconds it simply wasn’t there any longer. None of the other clouds did this, just the one. For whatever reason I just got a strange, almost negative feeling about this one.

Since arriving in New Mexico I have had 3-4 sightings already. The first was similar to my first sighting in Illinois. Bright blue sky on a cloudless day. A metallic silver ball-bearing was floating directly to my left but with no light this time. It hovered in one spot then jumped a little higher and to the left. It paused there for a moment then blinked out.

The next sighting was very early in the evening. There were only 2 stars visible directly in front of me and Venus far to the right. As I was staring at these two stars the top one suddenly got extremely bright then blinked out leaving just the one star. Jari happened to be watching as well and saw the exact same thing.

UPDATE – November 2013

Just prior to moving from Portland to Illinois the level of paranormal activity in my daily life was at an all-time high. It had gone from paranormal to normal and was taking a little bit of a toll on me. I was very isolated and didn’t really socialize with anyone because I felt my world or reality was just different from theirs. What other people were interested in I couldn’t care less about. It just didn’t interest me on any level. When I arrived in Illinois and walked into my parents house the first thing I noticed was a lack of that type of energy that I had become accustomed to. To be honest it was a relief and felt clean and light like I could breathe again. Their house was spirit-free.

I didn’t know anyone and didn’t have a lot to do there. I got a job delivering pizza which I really enjoyed but on my off time I didn’t really have much going on. I filled my time with making videos about some rabbits that lived on the property, lightning bugs and lots of videos about delivering pizza, but something was missing.

Since I worked early evening until closing most nights I stayed up all night and slept during the day. Being up alone and bored I started using the spirit box and other items and basically invited anyone that was interested in talking to me to please feel free to do so. I also spent a lot of nights at a local cemetery and got some incredible audio recordings. It took awhile for it to build up but things started happening. Really weird things.

The first sign things were changing was one very hot summer day in 2012 I was standing in the driveway talking to my mother who was sitting on the steps outside the front door. Suddenly there was a very loud growl that came from directly behind me. My mother’s eye got huge and her jaw dropped open. I said “I think they’re here.” My poor mother isn’t quite sure what to make of me.

I want to say something about growls. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve heard a growl next to me. Sometimes I’m alone and sometimes people are with me. For whatever reason, when people are with me they get scared shitless. I have a different take on growls and they never bother me at all. You have to look at it from the point of the spirit trying to communicate with you or get your attention. I would imagine projecting a voice into another realm or dimension would be challenging at best. However, a growl is simply a sound with no phonetics involved. No syllables or even a human voice, just a sound. To me that seems much easier for them to do and will more than likely get your attention. I look at it as simply a form of communication in a difficult situation.

My one take on my year in Illinois is that every spirit that I came into contact with there was very nice. They were always saying things like “Good morning” and other nice stuff. I ran into a few that had issues but those were in other towns in the area. In the city I was in they were all very nice.

My mother started randomly asking me who I brought into the house this time. When I’d ask what she meant she would tell me she saw a person and describe them to me. I recorded some pretty unusual things on video in the basement and did multiple investigations at local cemeteries and old buildings and apartments in nearby towns.

Once my parents finally sold their house we did a self move. We loaded two moving trucks over about a 3 day period. On the last day I was heading down to the basement to get yet another box when I saw a man standing on the landing above the stairs. He looked to be from the late 1800’s/early 1900’s and had a beard. The next morning on the day we left my mother asked me again who I brought into the house. I said “I’ve been carrying boxes for 3 days.” She told me several times that night she woke up and there was a man and three women standing in her bedroom. The man was wearing turn of the century clothing and had a beard.

So in the year and 3 days I was there the place went from spiritually void to technically haunted. A couple of days later we arrived in Portland at their new home and I made a promise to myself I would do zero paranormal research, anywhere. I didn’t want to haunt their new home then say “Well, off to Nuevo Mexico. Sé bueno.” In my opinion that would be a real dick move.

That’s not to say nothing happened in their new home because it did. I just chose to not react, respond or acknowledge it when it did. All of it was very “Here we are, pay attention to us” type of events. But I kept my promise and ignored it.

A few instances at my parents new house that stand out:

One that caused me to finally write the article on what I refer to as TE (Transcendental Environment).

A dark figure I saw go up and across the ceiling then come down right outside my bedroom door on about the 2nd or 3rd night we were there while the living room was absolutely packed with boxes.

My mother telling me a day or two before I moved that my father (of all people) told her he twice saw a woman standing in the bathroom while he was in bed watching TV.

All I could do was assure her I did nothing to encourage any of it and had actually gone out of my way to turn it all off. I told her that I also had seen things but ignored them.

I left on a Monday night at about 8:30 PM and drove to New Mexico arriving the following night almost 24 hours later to the minute. Approximately 1,400 miles. I slept at a rest stop in Utah for maybe an hour. I stopped to eat once, In-N-Out Burger of course.

One very odd thing happened in southern Colorado as I was getting closer to the New Mexico border. I was driving an SUV with a long trailer hitch and an 8-foot U-Haul trailer on the back. The overall length of my vehicle had to be over 20 feet. I had just left a red light so I was probably only going 35-40 miles per hour. I had been driving now for about 20 hours and I was not as focused on driving as I should have been. I was on a very dark road in the mountains that was surrounded by trees when suddenly a flash of movement caught my eye and I turned my head to the right.

Directly outside was a full-grown buck coming right at me. If someone had been sitting in the passenger seat they could have reached out the window and touched it. I remember seeing it in great detail as it was probably less than 6 feet from me. I turned my head to the left and briefly closed my eyes anticipating the impact of a full grown deer coming thru the passenger window. A second later nothing had happened so I opened my eyes and looked into the side mirror on my side and the buck was running across the road in the exact spot we should have collided. To this day I have no idea how the entire length of my vehicle and the trailer passed by a charging buck that was 2 feet from me without an impact. What I do know is it got the adrenaline pumping and I was wide awake for the last leg of the journey into New Mexico.

La Tienda

La Tienda

I was inside La Tienda less than 10 minutes when I saw a woman walk into the kitchen and then was patted on the top of my head the very first time I walked into my bedroom.

While listening to a Beethoven piano concerto on my laptop one day I heard a woman say “Hello.” So I started the song over and this time heard a man say “Hey.” I started it over a 3rd time and there was nothing.

I was lying in bed one night and heard what sounded like 2 animals fighting in the hallway outside my bedroom door then a mans voice yelling to stop it.

While in my room one day I heard the front door open and a man say “Hello?” I stepped into the hallway and the door was closed and locked.

While driving to Santa Fe on a beautiful day there was a car in the lane next to me. Suddenly in my head I saw this car swerve into my lane and collide with me. About 2 miles later it suddenly swerved into my lane but since I was watching it I was able to hit the breaks and avoid impact. That’s twice now that I’ve somehow avoided having my vehicle totaled.

I have since moved to Santa Fe. As of this writing Jari is still at La Tienda but I feel he will also move as that area is just too isolated. Poor Internet and cell phone service plus too much driving to get pretty much anywhere makes it more trouble than it’s worth. It was an interesting experience but again I was getting signs to move to Santa Fe and didn’t waste any time like I had in the past. I was in a new place in less than 2 weeks.

UPDATE – June 2014

Back to La Posada. A friend of mine who lives here in Santa Fe admitted to me that she had never been there. We decided we should change that. We arrived on a Saturday night and went immediately up the staircase to the door of Julia Staab’s room.

This happened to be one of those nights when the energy was off the charts. It also happened to be a full moon if you give things like that any merit. As soon as we reached the top of the stairs my eyesight went all wonky and it felt like I was deep underwater. I really didn’t want to be up there. My friend immediately walked to the end of the hall where 2 chairs are set up and I remember her saying “There are people sitting in these chairs”. That is not something I would expect from here as she’s never ever talked like that around me even once.

I had never described to her what I feel when I’m around that sort of energy, the whole eyesight and fuzzy head thing, but several days later she told me she was worried about me because when she was near the chairs and turned to look at me my eyes were both twitching rapidly and she said she could see my brain scrambling. That actually turns out to be a very good description of how it feels. I’m pretty good at blocking out energy but not when I’m upstairs at La Posada. I’ve had shortness of breath and heart palpitations up there. I just can’t seem to dial it in at all there.

I have sort of a germ thing and avoid touching things that the general public touches. La Posada is the only place where I use the handrail when I come down the stairs because I always feel very unsteady. She did the same thing and said something about being worried about falling as we descended the stairs. I took another friend up there recently and she said almost the exact same thing about feeling unsteady on those stairs.

We went into the bar area and sat down and drank sparkling water while people watching. That was the next strange part about this evening. The people were all acting very bizarre. It’s hard to describe it exactly but it was like being a fly on the wall in a David Lynch movie. Everyone was just weird. It was as if they were not aware of us and their behavior simply didn’t make any sense.

Neither of us were ready for what happened next. I will do my best to describe everything we saw and felt but it’s not easy because the more I think about it the more things seem to not make sense. Neither of us have any clue what time we got up to leave. My best guess is 11:30 but that really is just a guess. The best part about this experience is that days later when we talked about it, we didn’t tell the other person what we experienced as much as we already knew ourselves what we experienced and just asked the other person what they remembered. Oddly enough we recounted virtually the exact same details with only a few very minor differences, lending validation to what happened.

When you exit the bar area you’re in a hallway. This hallway is probably 8 feet wide. Across the hallway is a space called the Library Room. This small room had been rented out and was brightly lit and full of people. To your far right is a second room called the Rose Room. It was also lit but not visible from our position. In between these two rooms against the wall is the staircase leading up to Julia’s room.

Stairwell up to Julia's room.

Stairwell up to Julia’s room.

If you look at this photo again of the stairs going up to Julia’s room, the Rose Room would have been to the right of the photographer. The Library Room is on the other side of the stairs on the right as well. The door we walked out of is at the far left corner of this photo directly facing the Library Room.

To read about what happened next, please refer to the article The Blue Light.

To be continued.