Category Archives: Bumps In the Night

We are all too aware of the bumps in the night. Are we truly alone in an empty house? Are dearly departed loved ones still close by, or someone or something else? If so, can they touch us and maybe bring us into their world?

We are Never Alone (Part 4)

Moonlight sepia“We are never alone” by Stanley Phillips

Creaking doors that squeak even though they do not move, harmonica tunes heard in the still night in my otherwise silent home, and our dogs staring into an empty corner of a room are only some of the sounds and occurrences that my family and I have confronted and learned to live with these past few years.

We live in a modest home that we probably will never be able to outlast the mortgage to own the place outright. The people we bought the house from were regular folks except they liked the color gray. They liked that grim color gray so much, they went out and covered every wall with it.

They were not a happy family. Some believe houses and places take on the characteristics of those that live in them. Thankfully, their attributes did not have lasting effects. For no sooner had a new colorful paint been applied on these walls I could almost feel the house come alive.

In fact, with every change we made to undo something they did the air within the house became lighter. This turnaround also brought a renewed drive within me to go back to my writing. Here too is a strange, yet wonderful development, as I have never written any better in my life. Even when I am tired, the words flow.

What’s more, I have to smile with the thought that maybe when I write I am not alone in the room where I do my work. That might sound strange. However, I have no other explanation for what takes place. How else could you explain, subconsciously directed to go back a few pages and to look at the very spot where a word or a line needs changing.

Then there is the clanging metal pull chord of the desk lamp in the room. That first came into play when I took out an old friend that I had forgotten all about…“Reign of Valor.” Here was a work that I thought I had successfully completed. Why I decided to rewrite the entire tale was unthinkable for any time until I moved into this house.

Within this house, with the end of every night’s writing, I could not mistake hearing that chord clanging against its metal stem. That in itself is not strange. After pulling on the chord to shut off the light, you would expect a clang or two to follow. Yet, you should not expect to hear a clang a minute after you left the room – clang…clang.

Now, I cannot make anyone believe my house is haunted. Instead, allow me to say I try to remain sensitive to the unseen world. So have my dogs – a German Shepherd, and a hound. They are both about a hundred pounds – Let me say, they are not afraid of anything or at least I use to think so. They will no longer go into one room in the house.

One day, I found them in that room both staring into an empty corner growling as if they had cornered someone or something that should not have been in the house. I had to pull them away to settle them down before ordering them outside. Outside, they quickly settled down, leaving me inside scratching my head wondering.

I do not believe they were in any danger. Also thankfully, we have had no repeat of the occurrence. However, that does not explain the harmonica playing in the middle of the night. No one in my household has one, nor does anyone in the neighborhood. Yet, there was that unmistakable sound of a harmonica playing in my bedroom in the middle of the night.

Even though my wife is a light sleeper, the tune did not wake up my wife. After a few nights I had enough…my wife heard the harmonica. Next morning, I remembered having someone telling me if you were to tell your unwanted guests to leave…they would go if they were friendly. Well, I tried it and I was somewhat saddened as all activities stopped…

At least they stopped for a while. If you believe as I do, that we are but spirits trapped in an earthly shell. What is to stop us from returning after we cross over? Our return might be as a simple reminder of who we are…not were…a familiar scent or smell, maybe even a friendly touch, or lend a helping hand with some hint on what could be done to head off some problem.

Do you think that brainstorm of an idea you suddenly came up with, was brought on by your brilliant mind or might there be someone watching over us…giving us hints, or direction? My writing is a case in point. Take for instance, my new novel “The Goat, the Babe, and the Maroons.”

I am a baseball and a football fan. For the most part, I do not go for frontrunners, although I have been a fan of the Green Bay Packers since 1963. Most of the time I root for the underdog, maybe that is why I joined the crusade to get the 1925 Pottsville Maroons their rightful NFL Championship back, thus the reason for writing the story.

The way I came about writing the story was strange enough. However, by my choosing Charlie Berry as the main character is the real story. Originally, “The Maroons Return,” was a screenplay. I even pictured the main character in my mind. This spring as I wrote the short story I found out the character I envisioned resembled Charlie Berry.

The third story in my novel “The Goat, the Babe, and the Maroons” is “Kiss the Curse Goodbye.” Here again is another unbelievable occurrence that I could not have dreamt up. It could only have truly happened to become a story. To start off, I am not a Red Sox fan.

However, what happened on the evening of October 20, 2004 might make you wonder. As I said, I root for the underdogs. On the evening of October 16, shortly after the Yankees slaughtered the Red Sox by the score of 19 to 8, I took up the cause of the Red Sox to not only to win the ALCS, but also to win that year’s World Series. Shortly after the seventh game began, I subconsciously heard three numbers 18, 86, and 104 and I knew the Red Sox were going to go on to win that year’s World Series.

Ghosts are Real – part 3A

Ghosts Are Real – part 3A   _DSC6373(written by Stanley Phillips)

Some ghosts go unseen, while others seem to appear going through some normal course of life. Some ghosts can even see you, and may even interact with you. While others, do not actually see you or do not care that you are there.

My dad had an interesting tale to share. Veteran of World War II, he fought the Japanese from 1942 to 1945. He never once spoke of the war. As for his meeting with the specter, he could not wait to share what had taken place.

In the case of my father, he was actually viewing an action that had taken place years before when his apartment did not exist and there was only bare ground beneath the cover of some trees, and not a man-made roof.

That night, two worlds met on the very same spot. Maybe to say two worlds is not be correct on what takes place from time to time. To be more precise think of the many days and actions that occurred throughout existence. The memory or the impression of each event resides where it took place – at times at the very spot where we stand or sit.

My dad had just sat on the couch to enjoy a bowl of ice cream. Slowly, from out of nowhere a chant was faintly heard, that seemed to be coming from all around him. The song or tune was not threatening, but it soon became annoying. My dad had no idea where it was coming from.

That is when the vision of a Native American suddenly appeared in his apartment as he began to dance about the couch. With the bowl of ice cream in his hands, my father began to circle about the couch in an attempt to get away from his visitor.

The visitor never once tried to make contact with my father. As if performing the ceremony he had done a hundred times before he was following the custom of his people as he danced.

This visit was one of many images, events caught on the fabric of time to be view by anyone. The Native American dancer, possibly a medicine man was a willing participant in a ceremony that was as important then as it is today. Not that my father ever considered it, but maybe somewhere along the corridor of time the dancer chose him…not only to view the dance, but also to participate.

Not all Native American dances were conceived for war. The Native American has dances for many events for life. One is to thank the Creator for life, children, as well as good crops. The sad commentary on life today we are taking for granted when we should be grateful

Wherever there are memories there are also visions of the past that will from time to time surface to remind us where we come from. Maybe my father’s friend was such a vision, reminding us we should be thankful for what we have.

GHOSTS ARE REAL – (3 OF 4)

A passagePhoto “The Passage” by FidlerJan

Ghosts Are Real (3 of 4) written by Stan Phillips

Often when we hear tales of ghosts from someone we do not know we have to wonder if the stories they share actually happened. However, if we can rely on the credentials of the storyteller the tales can come alive for us.

For this segment, I rely on the words of a very strong and honorable man. He is not one for fairytales…nor is he afraid of mere mortals, or needs approval of any kind. In fact, as he recounted his tale, he found amusement over what they confronted in a quaint old French Quarter hotel room.

Thinking about how he told the story, his enjoyment may have been due to the recalling of the spirits’ playful and yet potentially damaging display.

During a recent vacation in the French Quarter the oldest neighborhood in New Orleans, my friend and a relative of mine stayed at a historic hotel. Even though the room was small, there was enough room. That is until they realized they were actually sharing the room with others.

From the moment they stepped into their room, they felt an eerie sensation as if they were not alone. Worse yet, they believed they were being watched by someone, or something within the room.

To quiet my niece’s fears, my friend began a search. He looked under the bed, behind the mirrors, and in every corner. He found nothing. Then the feeling of some presence being there with them began to grow. There was also a chill in the room. As they moved about, the chill followed them. Even when they moved to stand in the opposite sides of the room, the chill was there. To some it might conjure up the thought there was more than one entity in the room with them.

Of course, some could easily dispute the thought by just thinking the room was drafty. However, that was not case. The air in the room was still. Moreover, a blast of warm air greeted them when they first opened the door and entered the hotel room.

In time they laughed, believing it was only their overactive imagination. Why not, they thought. They were in the land of spells, incantations, surrounded by beliefs of old New Orleans-just a place where the imagination could run wild.

There had been no physical touch, or sounds to startle them-only a room with numerous cold spots they believed. All else was just their mind playing tricks. At least that was what they thought before they returned after an evening of festivities and slipped under the covers to fall asleep.

After arriving in their room, they barely stayed awake long enough to dress for bed. It was early in the morning. The sun had not come up yet, and they just wanted to catch a little sleep before the new day began. However, that was far less than what they were about to experience. No sooner had they almost fallen asleep, they heard the splat of water dripping onto the bathroom floor.

My friend got up from the bed and dragged himself into the bathroom. He soon stared down to the sink basin in disbelief. A shower towel was blocking the drain. The cold water faucet was on. The water was overflowing the basin and streaming onto the floor.

To this point, there was not much of a puddle on the floor. It was as if the faucet had been just been turned on, and the towel just inserted, the situation just developing. My friend wasted no time in removing the towel and turning off the faucet.

After drying up the floor, my friend made certain that both faucet knobs were securely off before returning to bed.

Not more than a moment after his head hit the pillow he once again heard the sound of water dripping onto the bathroom floor. The water was once again flowing over the sides of sink basin. This time it was hot water. A towel was again in the drain hole.

You can form any explanation for this occurrence you like. As for my friend, he believed that they had guests that wanted them to leave. Maybe the guests wanted to be alone on their own romantic rendezvous. In any case, after he dried the floor my friend returned to bed for what turned out to be a restless night.

As strange as it might sound, someone from another time, or some departed soul might be watching us. Then again, we could also from time to time catch a moment from some time in the past.

With moments caught on time, the spirit can awaken to allow the reviewing of events. Worlds then merge, as moments become one.

Part 3A – will follow in the next few days.

I must apologize about the long period between posts. I had devoted most of my final touches on my new novel “The Goat, the Babe, and the Maroons.” The novels deals with three sports curses, and how they were or can be broken.

Ghosts are Real – (2 of 4)

A doorGhosts are Real (part 2 of 4) written by Stan Phillips

Cameras can capture a moment, cherished memories. They can also capture the unseen.

For me, it took place a number of years ago. My wife and I were on our November honeymoon on Aruba. Some think it is the perfect getaway…except from November through January…the raining season.

Because of Aruba’s close proximity to the equator, the complex wind patterns that drive hurricanes are limited. This fact, combined with the island’s location to Venezuela the possibility of hurricanes hitting the island head on is remote. However, it does not mean inclement weather does not wreak havoc with vacations on the island during the hurricane months.

As for my story, a lot had to come together to bring about the rendezvous.

Thinking of what had to take place to make my rendezvous possible; I have to begin with hurricanes. As for hurricanes, they have hit the island with little damage…except for November 1877, when a hurricane hit the island head on and leveled it.

We had scheduled a Cancun honeymoon, but a hurricane struck a few days before our wedding. Thus, we quickly changed our plans to honeymoon on Aruba instead. It is after all a wonderful place to vacation under normal settings. As I said a lot had to come about to make my rendezvous possible.

Aruba gets on average 18 inches of rain each year. Most of the yearly rain comes between November and January, which was the time we choose to honeymoon on Aruba. Of course, fate would have it that rain or mist fell every day the entire day through… except for the last few hours before we stepped on the plane to return home. On the last two hours, the sun burned so brightly we both got sunburn.

One morning, while it was not raining, a fine mist and overcast sky greeted us in the new day. Being adventurists, we rented a car and went exploring. Our travels brought us to the far side of the island where we found a natural stone bridge and a partially destroyed stone building near the shore.

Taking out my camera, I took a couple shots of the rock formation. However, the partially destroyed building caught my imagination. In my mind’s eye, I could sense a world of activity going on high along the one full remaining wall. The floor was gone, but somehow I could feel that something invisible was hovering high up against the wall.

I moved as close as I could to snap a number of photos, concentrating my efforts on the walls and what I felt was there. My breathing became heavier as I wanted to get even closer as if being beckoned. However, the spell was soon broken as my wife’s displeasure with what she thought was only foolishness pulled on me to leave. Also I felt an awesome pressure building against my chest as if I was being closed in on. This encouraged me to leave.

Returning to our hotel, I learned that the building was once a fish warehouse. There was even a wooden wharf, where fishing boats docked and fishing men unloaded their daily catch. Storm waves from the 1877 hurricane decimated much of the building, destroying the wharf, leaving the partial shell. The man went on to say a number of people that had taken refuge in the building perished during the storm.

A few days after the vacation, I had my film developed at a cheap 24-hour site. You know the kind that use to sit in the middle of some parking of a small strip mall. Most of the photos I took came out beautifully, even the natural stone bridge. However, strangely, the developer said none of the shots of the warehouse came out.

Oddly, checking the negatives I noted none existed of the warehouse, good or bad. Someone had painstakingly snipped them from the strips of negatives…in one case, a single good negative was by itself.

A year went by before I found one of the photos. They were developed, or at least one of them had. The photo appeared in a psychics’ book. I recognized the photo immediately. I have remained silent until now, not that it would have made a difference then, nor should it now. Today, as then there is a sort of veil over my mind dulling my senses toward the injustice done to me.

Regarding my discovery, I know the psychic was not at fault. In fact, I did not care one way or the other of not having the photo. Somehow, inexplicably, it did not matter. Instantly, I became at peace with the entire episode as if I had played my part of making them known and my job was finished.

As for the photo itself, it showed more than a partially destroyed warehouse. Amazingly, in the photo, along the walls were glowing columns of light. Unseen by the naked eye, the photo revealed them hovering high up on the wall.

Ghosts Are Real…(1 of 4)

SONY DSCGhosts are real…(part 1 of 4) written by Stan Phillips

It’s not to say ghosts, or spirits do not exist. Why, if you believe, we ourselves are spirits…trapped in a shell we call a body. Then when that body corrupts and fails a new world opens to us.

Normally, once released from the body the soul moves on. However, some souls have a reason to remain, or are trapped…some even come back to help us.

As for the ones that have a reason to remain…what could have caused them not to leave? Was it because their life ended much too early…and, they want to finish what they long to do. Or, are they searching for someone, or something?

What of the images imprinted on time that occasionally present themselves to the living? Are they trying to tell us something? Are they trapped between this world and the afterlife and cannot escape, and the torment replays and replays.

No matter what, they vie for our attention. At times, they are playful. Some prove to be even helpful. Maybe, their age at the time of their departure of life has an effect on how they react to the living about them.

Thankfully, I have only had contact with friendly spirits.

Once, when my brother was very young, he had a very large stuffed toy gorilla. At the time, we lived in a very old house. I was about seventeen at the time.

Late one night, everyone in the house was in bed except for me. Just off the hallway was the living room. As I moved down the hallway past the living room, I happened to glance into the room.

The living room was dark, except for the light emanating from the hallway. Stopping, I saw the large stuffed toy gorilla. Beside the stuff toy sat a shadowy figure about the size of young boy. I thought it was my little brother sitting beside the toy. However, it wasn’t him. He had been fast asleep for hours.

As I recall, the shadow appeared to be embracing the toy, and even made it move ever so slightly. It made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. My eyes soon strained in disbelief. I searched the dark for the light switch. I could have sworn it was on the wall just past the doorway. Finally, I found the switch and flicked it on frantically.

Instantly, the living room’s darkness gave way to the light. I looked back at the gorilla to see the figure.

There, seated beside the toy gorilla was an image of a little boy with big brown lonesome eyes. His face, curved into a saddened expression. The image lasted in the light but a few moments before it slowly vanished.

We moved a few days later, and I never saw the saddened little specter again. (More to come)

Tiny Voices

_DSC1857Tiny Voices – written by  Stan Phillips

Within an empty room, you hear their voices. Out of the corner of your eye, you see a quick glimpse of them before they disappear.

They are always somewhere, not so far away. They were here before us; and this is their world as much as it is ours. Otherwise, there is no difference between us.

They step into an empty room and they hear our voices. Out of the corner of their eye, they catch a quick glimpse of us before we disappear.

They have no understanding of us. In fact, they wonder who or what we are. They tremble of the very thought of us, saying we do not exist. Yet, they hope we stay away.

We are of what legends become. They are the ghostly tales we share. We coexist within the same space, separated by time itself.

No matter where you or I go, someone has been there before. Because I am writing this at this very moment, does not mean I am not somewhere in the future writing some other piece.

Even now as you read this blog, except at the moment of its conception, my thoughts no longer pertain to these lines.

Our actions, and our deeds are eternal. Our yesterdays still exist. At times, we might even catch a glimpse of them…or hear the echoes.

Now, I am not saying ghosts do not exist. However, maybe some of what we deem as spirits is instead us, or someone we knew. Since our deeds last, they can appear at anytime as a reminder of our very existence.

Thus, the next time you hear a tiny voice, or catch something out of the corner of your eye, do not be afraid it might be you or someone you know of some other time.

Everything Out of the Ordinary

ist blog__220140720_20035020140720_20035020140720_200350Everything out of the Ordinary – Written by Stan Phillips

Have you ever questioned why things are the way they are? If not, maybe it is because you do not want to step beyond the norm to learn the how and whys that explain the abnormal occurrences. You feel safe to remain in you little sheltered existence. However, just for a moment consider all the unexplained occurrences that are taking place around you each and every day that do not exactly meet the norm. As with the sudden bump in the night when there is no one around. Or, the familiar face you have never known. These are the unexplained occurrences that I am writing about, and want to share…thus, the reason for this site. I am a “Beyond the Norm” sort of person and my writings follow suit. What else would you expect?