Happy Halloween! Tis the season – and as a spooky Halloween treat for everyone, I invite all of you to pull up a chair next to the crackling fire – for a real life ghost story. It’s that time of year when we turn our attention to all things that go bump in the night – when the shriveled leaves are blown from the trees to gather against cold headstones in graying cemeteries, and illuminated jack-o-lanterns add eerie warmth to the bitter fall cold. So pull your blanket up over your lap, let the firelight cast orange shadows beneath your chin, listen to the rustle of the dead branches against the window – and let me tell you a story…
As a Clairvoyant and Medium who has worked in the field for over a decade, both with private clients, corporate clients, and even law enforcement, there are quite a few tales that I could share that would likely be, at the very least – engaging. However, there is one tale that surpasses engaging, and places itself into the sole position of being harrowing. It is this tale that I shall endeavor to recite, because the circumstances surrounding the tale actually frightened me. And that’s tough to do.
On the night of October 23rd, 2010, I had just finished playing a concert at a venue in Tacoma, WA. You see, my other J-O-B is “Rock Star” – no, really, it is – and upon finishing up this concert, two friends who had attended the concert suggested to me that I accompany them back to their home, in order to “check out” the house next door. The reason for this late night inquiry, aside from perhaps too many Hot Toddies during the concert on the part of my friends, was due to the fact that my friends were care-taking this home, and they thought that the home may be haunted.
Well, seeing as that we were a week away from Halloween, and seeing as though the ethers are particularly thin during that time of year, and seeing as though I, too, had a Hot Toddie in order to chase the damp mossy Northwest air out of my Los Angeles-based bronchial tubes – this all seemed like a very sensible idea at the time.
By the time I was able to get my musical gear packed away, even with the help of the Record label staff, it was quite late. We arrived at my friends’ home, a turn-of-the-century Victorian in the historic section of Tacoma, and next door sat the target – another turn-of-the-century Victorian with a dark personality, and even darker windows. It was a typical Northwest fall – wet, rainy, dark, and a little miserable – perfect ghost hunting weather.
At this point, we are going to assign my friends some handy pseudonyms, so this is all easier to keep track of. “Alice” and “Sarah” had a house guest, “Rex”, who expressed interest in coming along on our impromptu paranormal investigation. Of course, I knew Rex, and thought it would be a fun to have one more person on the ghost hunt. So, all four of us trod off next door, in the wind and the rain, to get to the bottom of the potential haunting. On the way, Alice told me that while she was next door feeding the cats at this supposedly haunted house, she felt someone upstairs. Naturally, the house was vacant, so that was a bit unsettling for her.
As we neared the house, climbing the corner lot cement stairs that were slick with black moss and time-crumbled edges, the pit of my stomach seized and the hair on my arms began to stand up. That’s never a good sign. This place was not only haunted, but haunted with something that was a very negative presence, and was none to happy about my arrival. I didn’t say much at this point, because I didn’t want to alarm anyone, but I did turn to both Alice and Sarah and confirm that yes, Virginia – the house is haunted.
“We haven’t even gone in yet,” said Sarah.
It was at this point that Rex stood on the moldy, rickety porch of this old Victorian home, and stated very plainly: “I don’t want to go in.”
Now, at this juncture in our tale, it’s very important to point out that Rex is a very lovely, very intelligent, and very gay man. I mean, extremely gay. Rex makes me look like a linebacker, and I mean that with the utmost respect for linebackers. So, upon Rex’s protest, which came out sounding a bit like Jim J. Bullock throwing a fit on Hollywood Squares, I naturally dismissed the incident, told Rex to buck up, and all four of us entered the house.
It was more like walking into a vacuum.
The place was thick with spiritual occupation, sickness, and secrets. And none of them were good. The house was done up in dark antique woods. It smelled of rotting drapes and cat boxes. Rex’s eyes popped wide open and he made an effort to return to the porch. However, Sarah talked him into staying, and onward we strode into the living area, which was a hodgepodge of mismatched furniture and scarred wooden floors. Not only was this home haunted by at least one very unhappy occupant, but by 1970’s linoleum which had been slapped atop painted floors in the dining room.
I could feel this entity hiding, seething at me from the ethers. It was a tall male in his mid forties with a long beard and mutton chops, no moustache, and a balding head – the kind that would beg for a comb-over if only this man had lived in 1963. The bald head-mound was surrounded by a tangled nest of stringy salt and pepper hair that fell to his shoulders. He had bulging slate colored eyes which he held overly-wide open under bushy eyebrows, and a blue naval-looking coat adorned with brass buttons, done up to his neck. He was a nasty person and he smelled, even in death.
As Mediums do, I was pulling energetic information from him, and as spirits on the defensive do, he was downloading information from me. It was a race to see who could find a chink in the other person’s armor first. I began to relay to my friends who I was in contact with: This man was an abuser. He didn’t believe in God. He didn’t believe in anything but his own ability to rule his home, which he had once done with an iron fist. He had a rage within him that permeated the atmosphere of the home like a depressive blanket. I wondered who ever could have dwelled in this house, from day to day, without falling ill.
“The man who lives here is in the hospital with stage four cancer,” answered Sarah. “That’s why we are here, feeding the cats.”
Well, there you have it.
Rex had tried to leave several times, but I convinced him to stay, because I could see that this spirit didn’t like having all of us there, and with a spirit who was this bent on being aggressive, there was safety in numbers. Just as the malevolent spirit man would hiss something awful at me through the ethers, Rex would say, “He doesn’t like you.”
Rex could hear him, too. I began to re-think Rex’s Paul Lynde protests about being in the home. To my utter surprise, Rex was a Medium.
I pulled Sarah into the foyer of the home, out of earshot, and said, “Why didn’t you tell me that Rex was an open channel?”
“Because I didn’t know,” she answered. “I don’t think he knows, either.”
This was not a good situation. Rex, though an incredibly sweet guy, was not a small guy, at six feet four inches tall. He also had more than a few cocktails in his system after an evening out, and now he was smack in the middle of one of the more haunted homes I’d been in, with one of the more nasty entities I’d encountered in awhile. I returned to the living room and asked Rex if he wanted to leave, but he was fine to stay, and he went to sit by Sarah for moral support.
At one point, this spirit man was yelling obscenities at me – keep in mind, this dead guy hated women – and he demanded to be called by name. I wasn’t terribly concerned with his demands, but he kept shoving a “C” surname at me, so I finally relented, thinking I could at least have a conversation with him and talk him into crossing over, which would have been a fool’s errand considering this gem of a once-human didn’t even believe in God. But a girl has to try.
I couldn’t quite get the name, and I was saying, “I’m sorry, are you saying Connel? Is your name Connel?”
Suddenly, from the corner, a slumped over Rex, eyes closed, bellowed in a deep and un-Rex voice: “COLONEL! YOU CALL ME COLONEL!”
There was a quite in the room that was more uncomfortable than the acrid smell of the cat boxes. Sarah, who was standing by Rex, froze with her panicked gaze trained on me. Alice was seated across the room at the kitchen table, and simply stared. I’d known Rex for years, and never heard that booming deep voice come out of him – until now.
The situation had gone from “not good” to “dangerous”. Rex was a big fellow, and he was no longer driving his own ship. The Colonel had pushed his way into Rex and taken up occupancy. A Medium who is not in control of their aptitudes is much like a swinging door on an old saloon – anyone can come in, and anyone can go out. Without knowing how to “latch the door”, a Medium is his at risk for a spiritual squatter. Rex had the worst kind of squatter possible: A victimizer who had remained physically impotent in death for over 100 years, and was itching for a fight.
“What’s happening?” Sarah asked, her voice shaking.
“Rex isn’t home right now,” I answered flatly, attempting to remain calm as I continued to systematically pull The Colonel’s file out of the ethers, frantic to find something to leverage against this entity that would force it to leave Rex’s body. The information coming back to me wasn’t helping. Yes, The Colonel hated women. He had raped both his wife and his daughter repeatedly throughout their lives, finally killing the daughter when she was in her mid teens during a struggle where he accidently choked her to death during a sexual assault. The daughter’s remains had been buried on the property in an unmarked grave that was beneath the floor of the dining room, right under the very spot I was standing. This was one sick muther-effer, now possessing a six foot four male frame.
The only “edge” that I had was in The Colonel’s difficulty in attempting to maneuver Rex’s body. It had been a long time since The Colonel had the weight of gravity pulling upon him. I had to figure out how to drive out this crazy dead old nut before The Colonel had full use of Rex’s bulky flesh suit. The race was on.
The Colonel slumped off the chair where Rex was seated and pulled himself across the floor like a drunken Golem, all the way to Alice, who was still seated at the table. Alice was a bit numb over all this, and the Colonel tried to climb up the back of the chair and scare her by saying some unsavory things, but Alice didn’t react. She knew better than to feed into this entity’s rage.
“You need to leave this house. You’re dead,” I said sternly.
“YOU DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT MY HOUSE!” The Colonel bellowed.
Sarah was panicked, trying to help by saying, “You need to leave Rex alone. That’s not your body.”
Of course, The Colonel just laughed, and I erupted into goose bumps, because the laugh was so foreign to Rex’s vocal chords. I was just putting together the thought in my mind that I would pull the dead daughter card – try and take the power away from this abuser by exposing a secret – when The Colonel began pounding the dining room floor, over and over again, laughing with a guttural rasp that made my eyes water. I couldn’t control the absolutely stone-cold sensation rushing up my back. He had pulled my thoughts straight from my head and beat me to the punch, slapping the spot on the floor where beneath, he had interned his daughter’s remains. In doing so – he completely creeped me out. Score: One for The Colonel, Zero for Danielle.
Thoughts are energy, ripe for the picking. Whatever he knew, I knew. But whatever I knew, he knew. Thus is the coup in spiritual work. I quickly realized that I needed to come up with something that would throw him off his game. The Colonel was a masochist, all about the control. I would have to knock him off his center before he pulled my next greatest fear straight out of my head, and acted it out.
I looked down at the dining room floor where I could “see” his daughter’s discombobulated skeleton, twisted in the crawlspace dirt below the linoleum. God, I hated that linoleum. All gold, maroon, and brown, it was the finest 1972 had to offer. I went with it. “If you know so much about your own house, why did you let someone put this god-awful linoleum down?”
The Colonel began to writhe, and a dismayed growling sound emitted from the back of his throat, but he did not respond. Excellent! I continued on. “I mean, look at this garbage, it’s hideous! Who lets someone come into their house and put this horrendous crap on their hardwood? What kind of moron let’s someone ruin their floors?”
The Colonel growled a little louder, and stammered out, “You don’t know anything!”
I could feel the entity reeling over the concept of linoleum, which kept him in his own head and out of mine long enough for me to play the trump card in this poker game.
“And look at you,” I continued, “what are you going to do? You’ve possessed a gay man! That body you’re in is queer. He has sex with other men. He’s a girl. You’re nothing but a sissy, sitting on the floor. No one is afraid of you.”
Now, let me take this opportunity to explain that I, as a gay woman, don’t think that gay men are sissies, or girls. The Colonel, however – did, which was why I chose the verbiage, straight out of his head. The Colonel took a moment to actually survey the consciousness of the body he had possessed, and for the first time, opened up Rex’s eyes wide, and in horror. The Colonel was a complete and utter homophobe.
The Colonel began dragging himself into the kitchen, sliding backwards on Rex’s bum, dragging his leg. Obviously, the Colonel had been wounded in a battle of some kind, and held onto the consciousness of this injury well into death. He stopped and peered at me from around a cabinet, one lone piercing eye, wide open in terror – terror of being emasculated, terror or being crippled, terror of being dead. The terror was hollow, and one of the most chilling things I have ever witnessed.
“You either get up and come at me, or recede,” I demanded.
The Colonel continued to drag himself into the kitchen. I took advantage of the situation and rushed in, squatting next to Rex with my hand on his chest. “Rex, come on, buddy. Come out. Push forward. Wake up.”
Since Rex had no idea how to use his abilities, I had no idea what his key phrase would be. Most Mediums have a key phrase they recognize so if they are possessed past their ability to control the spirit, the phrase can be uttered and rattle their native consciousness into kicking out the secondary spiritual squatter. I had no idea what would appeal to Rex, but I could feel The Colonel running away, back into the recesses of this dank old house. At the end of the day, The Colonel was nothing more than a coward.
Rex blinked and looked at me, then looked up at Sarah. “Oh dear, girls, did I fall down? Too many martinis?”
Rex was back online.
We didn’t explain what had happened to him at that moment, as Rex had absolutely no recollection of what had occurred. Sarah mentioned he had scooted himself into the kitchen, and Rex didn’t believe us. We finally got him on his feet and went to leave the house. As we were leaving, Rex began to fuss, wanting to stay. Often times, when a person is possessed by another entity, the person will maintain the emotional responses of the entity for awhile, until they can consciously flush them out. Rex started to get a rather glazed look in his eye as we approached the foyer. We quickly scooted him outside and locked the door behind him.
On the porch, he began to panic, wanting back into the house. Sarah was firm about him returning home next door, and I distracted him with conversation about shoes and belts, long enough to get him down the rickety front stairs and onto the main sidewalk below. I had one arm, Sarah had his other arm, and Alice walked behind him, making sure he would not bolt back for the home. Rex twisted his head backwards, looking up at the old tattered Victorian, saying: “Girls, I want to go back in the house.”
The rest of the night involved me, Alice and Sarah attempting to explain to Rex what had happened. Rex didn’t believe us, or rather, didn’t want to accept what had happened to him (“I don’t believe in all that hoo-doo!”) until finally at one point during the evening, he broke down crying, unable to even put into words the horrendous sexual atrocities that “he” had envisioned acting out on me, Sarah, and Alice. Considering that Rex is the most gay man alive, those thoughts must have been exceptionally traumatic on a number of levels.
I had to explain to him that the thoughts he had left in his consciousness were (obviously) not his own, but that of The Colonel, like old paint left on the side of the can in which it was once packaged. I worked energetically on Rex to rid him of the rest of the negative residual garbage that The Colonel had left behind in him, and discussed with him how to properly use his spiritual gifts.
Working with one’s spiritual gifts is not for everybody. I made a key error in judgment that night in goading someone to stay in a haunted location when they clearly wanted to leave. Though I didn’t know that Rex was a Medium, I did pick up that he was spiritually sensitive, and I should have honored his instinct to remove himself from the situation. I mistook his actual worry over the situation for the musings of a natural born drama queen. In my mild defense, if you knew Rex – you’d see how this would’ve been an easy mistake to make. However, even Rex with his colorful mannerisms would not have been able to concoct an “act” like the one we had all witnessed.
In over a decade of doing this kind of work in the field, I’ve never watched a full-body possession occur, especially when dealing with a human entity. I honestly believed that non-authorized full-body possessions were saved for demonic cases. All of the Mediums and Channels that I have ever worked with, myself included, have a great deal of experience in disallowing unwanted entities from occupying their bodies, so the thought of a “ghost” entering a person’s body with such force was never an issue to consider.
The experience with Rex was incredibly unnerving and struck a chord with me. It drove home the fact that what we do out in the field, as Psychics and Mediums, is truly dangerous if not handled properly. Spirit life has the potential to harm certain people who are more susceptible to spiritual frequencies, if the person who is dealing with the phenomenon is not well versed in what they are doing, or what they are capable of. The sobering truth was that we, all four of us, got out of that house unscathed — on a miracle. The situation involving a wide-open Medium without any discernment skills, so many Hot Toddies, and a masochistic negative entity, should have been much worse. However, The Universe cut us a break that night.
You know the saying “God takes pity on drunks and fools”? Well, I guess we double qualified that evening.
Rex promised me that he would look into developing his Medium abilities, as he clearly is a very gifted and wide-open channel who could potentially help many people with such a pure spiritual aptitude. But I know that since the incident, he has steered clear of any sort of spiritual environments or pursuits. His last words:
“Honey, all this hoo doo is a little too much for little ol’ me.”