The Not-So-Secret Blog

When I told Flo I was writing a blog about her experiences, she was aghast! Or, should I say, “aghost”.

“Oh, no!” she exclaimed. “Now people will know I can communicate with “spirits”. It will get all over Max Hills and even Springfield! I’ll be a laughingstock now…A crazy Ghost lady!”

At the mention of a blog, truth be told, Flo looked miserable – even dejected. I knew she preferred to be hidden. But I was able to quickly reassure her not to worry.

“Look, nobody will ever find you – even if they try. Because you don’t have an address or even a phone number. You’re so private, you can’t even be counted in the Census!”

“Oh phewww,” Flo sighed. “For a minute, I was scared I’d be discovered. I’m just not ready for that. You’re the only one who knows about the talking deads, Not counting Terrisann, and she only knows I saw her dead cat and dog. And they didn’t talk.

“Besides, I’m still not sure these ghost-conversations will last” she sighed. “So maybe you’re being premature with this blog thingy And that’s the reason I want to keep it just between you and me. Nobody can find out…”

Since Flo wasn’t that familiar with the blogging world, I didn’t point out that other people – strangers – all living – would be seeing her online and learning about her “gifts.” Some might come to see her as rather unusual. Which is sort of the point.

But I didn’t tell her the blog was already up. Because I knew, the bloggers’ would be more interested in her Visitants than in her skills. Because Mediums, per se, are all over the internet – a dime a dozen. Or maybe even 15 sense.

Still, I feel a little uneasy telling her ghosts stories. I’m taking a risk in revealing them. I just hope she never finds out – especially from an Apparition.

But we all know, that could happen.


Elephant In The Rooms

You can add Harry Houdini, the great Illusionist/Magician, to the list of skeptics who, during the early 20th Century, unmasked Mediums as “frauds”. And, truth be told, during the heyday of Spirituality, many were cons.

Flo told me she had been reading up on Houdini, ever since dead people started coming by.

She wondered briefly if their appearances were somehow caused by magic-in-her-mind. Like making an elephant in the room disappear and re-appear? Are the spirits merely Illusions? Flo’s still not completely sure they aren’t figments – despite the truths they’ve been telling her.

“Houdini wasn’t as lucky,” Flo says. “He consulted many, many Mediums through seances and readings and never once connected with his late mother, Cecelia. And, after he died, even Bess, his widow, couldn’t get him to come through. And, she tried hard for years.

“I don’t even try – and yet, these random dead ones appear and start talking to me – or sending me signs – and I don’t know how that happens…

“I just don’t get it. And why is what seemed so hard for Houdini, not so hard for me?But, on the other hand, I know, for sure, I could never get out of chains and ropes, like he could.”

I’ve often thought if Flo could meet up with some other Mediumistics, maybe they could reassure her she’s not hallucinating or imagining the apparitions. But the problem for her, she says, would be trying to find authentic mediums; those who connect to The Other Side – not for money or for fame – but to help those who need to hear what the departeds have to say.

“It’s too bad I can’t talk about the Visitors with my kids or my bridge club. If I could share what’s happening, they’d think me nuts. But I’d feel so much better revealing it. Still, I don’t want to be laughed at or accused of insanity. So, until then, I have to keep the visits to my self. And, that, my friend, is like having an elephant in the living room. The kitchen. The master bedroom. and especially the study.

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What’s Cookin’ Geist Lookin

This is what I know about Flo. She’s still an expert microwaver. Ever since she got married, and her husband became the family chef, she gladly turned over most cooking dinner duties to him. And that was a wise move. Through the years, he’d taken many classes at restaurants, cooking schools and even from private chefs. His cooking just got better and better. He told anyone who praised his culinary talents, his interest in cooking was nurtured by his late mother, Mim, who died when he was just shy of 12- years-old.

He could remember vividly, Flo says – the aromas, the tastes and even the way the home-made noodles bounced around gently in the home-made chicken soup. The luscious soup was grease-free and pale gold in color, he said, like her hair in the one color photo he had of her.

Flo admired her husband’s sensory descriptions of Mim’s dishes but couldn’t offer him the same when it came to her microwaved tuna noodle casserole or defrosted cheese souffles. So, Flo busied herself cleaning up after his dinners. Although he was meticulous, the counters needed wiping; the left-overs needed to be refrigerated.

Out of the blue, one day, her husband’s love of Mim’s cooking motivated Flo to try to duplicate a dinner from the recipes in Mim’s treasured, old “The Settlement Cookbook. Cooking an entire meal, after so long, was a hefty challenge for Flo, but she was driven to try.

“I felt like an amateur weight-lifter bench-pressing 50 pounds,” she said. “I hadn’t actually cooked any real food (did pancakes count?) in a long time.

“I didn’t know, at the time, what strongly motivated me to make a surprise Mim dinner. Until much later, when one day, Mim floated into the kitchen just as I was feeling so down.

“Mim was my first Impression. And, back then, I was sure I was hallucinating. She still looked young – like her photo – but her voice was deeper and breathy, like an old woman’s. When I first saw her, she was high up, darting here – and then there – and she was transparent – like a dragonfly’s wing..

“So this is what grief does to you, I thought. Mutt also was looking up at the ceiling like he’d just seen a bee buzzing around, but it wasn’t a bee – it was Mim.”

“I was so dazed, it’s hard to remember what she said when she started talking, but it was complimentary about the dinner I made.. And, then, it was something about loving to cook – ever since she was a kid. Just like her kid. And how her inspiration came from some cookbook her mother had.”

Now, many messages later, Flo knows Mim was not a hallucination or a hologram figment. She was an apparition. That noun wasn’t even a word in Flo’s vocabulary – just like some of the words later uttered by other visitants, or even, unbelievably, some words coming through Mutt.

Really, Flo says now, nothing otherworldly, like her making a fabulous dinner or talking to dead people, is much of a surprise anymore, Because she knows most of her “surprises” are actually messages from Beyond.

You just have to be open to energies,” Flo says. “Just like I was when I was reading recipes from Mim’s old cookbook. And, look what happened…..”

ESPrecocious

Flo figures paranormal skills are not genetic. “My two children, Grayson and Annie, are not psychic. And my parents, well, Skeptic could be their last name.”

One day, Flo asked me how I thought she became a Medium.

“Was I precocious as a child and my parents just talked me out of it? How did my very recent ability to talk to Dead People just happen spontaneously -like finding a dandelion in the flower garden?”

I suggested maybe Flo’s budding Psi talents were squelched, like they are in many young children, by disbelieving parents. Flo said she would never have done that to her own kids, had she even considered they might be psychic.

“I had no clue,” she said. .

For one, she told me, Dr. Spock’s book on Baby and Child Care, didn’t have a chapter on “Paranormal” . And, two, that Reality TV show, “ESPrecocious” didn’t air until after both A & G were grown and out of the house.

(“ESPrecocious” is the Reality TV show focusing on extra-ordinary psychic kids who have run-ins with bad ghosts only they can see. ) Flo said after watching about 15 of the kids rid themselves of terrifying entities, she decided she was pretty glad A & G weren’t psychic.

Neither G or A displayed any of the tell-tale extra-sense signs demonstrated by the nine-year-old psychics on the ESPrecocious program.. The TV mini-mes also seemed to know about a lot more than just ghosts. In both instances, displaying psychic skills.

“My kids missed out on that boat ride,” Flo said..

Annie was far too practical to have an imaginary friend. Gray went straight from legos to video games. If he couldn’t build it or destroy it, he wasn’t interested. Obviously without psychic talent, he’d had a devil-of-a-time mastering games, like “All Out War.”

“My kids didn’t inherit whatever ESP genes I passed down to them. . More likely they have “skeptic” genes thanks to their grandparents.. 

Flo says ever since she started talking to Other-Siders, she’s wracked her brain, trying to recall instances where, as a child, or even as a parent, she might have revealed some psychic talent. Could she have predicted, when she was 11, Grandma Helen would soon run away with a married man a week after Grandpa Mel died? As a 42-year-old, could she have warned Annie, at camp, to ride the oldest, fattest horse, so she didn’t fall and break her arm? And even later, at 45, could she have remotely seen Gray skip his 10th grade classes to go play arcade games and smoke with the school JDs?

No and No and No.

And yes, Flo sighs, “I never saw the future – near or far – as a child – or even recently, when it counted most. So, when and how did I become a psychic? And, if I truly am, why couldn’t I prevent tragedy?”

This is a question that continues to haunt Flo, like the meanie ghosts hassling the kids on “ESPrecocious”. Although in that show, in just a few days, the kids are miraculously freed from the malevolent specters. Flo’s not so lucky nor as scripted. Her questioning of her ability to talk to Apparitions hangs on her like the taste of sour milk in her bowl of Cheerios. Unlike the Reality TV PSI kids, she is mentor-less, free-floating and mostly un-nerved. And also not being filmed.

After pondering the how and why of metaphysics, what Flo is left with at the bottom of her most recent glass of Dunsmuir, is this-

“The only thing that really matters is Right Now.”

Photo by Man Ray

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Murder House Flop

I guess it sounded like a good idea – creating an online Reality Mocktail of True Crime with a double shot of HGTV. So Quibi (10 minute vids) recently debuted a series called “Murder House Flip”. The subtext being filming homes “haunted” or “imprinted” with bad energies from murders committed in-house and later sold to people looking to move close to the Ocean or in a nice, quiet suburb. Then Remembrance of Things Past kicked in. Enter two good-looking, expert renovators with fix-it, re-designs in mind.. Then cue the eerie music, like the theme from “True Detective.’

Sorry, not sorry to say Flo and most critics weren’t buying it. One critic said the episodes would have been better if the home-owners actually seemed bothered by the left-over auras (i.e. imprints). Another said the show needed better renovators (but maybe not as cute). . And, there’s not a single audience review on Rotten Tomatoes. Unless their critiques were written in invisible ink. Meanwhile, the show got an overall rating of 47%.

But Flo didn’t watch because she tries to avoid Reality TV as much as possible. Her own Reality has become more interesting to her,. Full disclosure – for a time, Flo was obsessed with “The Real Home-Makers” from towns like Boise, Albany and, especially, Roswell. Watching those shows numbed Flo like a sedative – when she needed a sedative most.

But that was before her first Visitor arrived unannounced and long before Quibi was a blink in its mother’s eye. Although Flo now accepts her ethereal Visitors as graciously as any house-guest, she’s completely dismissive of any and all suggestions that apparitions, inside and out, are terrifying. In her opinion, It’s the people making money off “scary” ghosts who are the real terrors. (Not counting Edgar Allen Poe and Shirley Jackson).

Flo knows better.So, she would much rather watch an episode of “Topper” on YouTube or another round of “The Sixth Sense”. However, if she changes her mind, Quibi has renewed “Murder House Flip” for a second season.

And to that, we say, Boo!

Elvis, Can You Read Me?

Once you become aware that you have the ability to talk to the Departed, and let them talk back to you, it is tempting to consider your messaging options. Flo briefly considered how fascinating it would be to hear from Freud or Picasso or James Dean (who seems to have quite a ghost-fan following). That’s just for starters.

But in Flo’s emerging Medium experience, Apparitions always come to her unannounced. She hasn’t gone “hunting” for them or even asked them to appear.

Such reticence apparently doesn’t apply to some TV Mediums who call up the Deceased. Flo’s thinking of the one who recently channeled Elvis Presley. Apparently, Elvis revealed his memory of a conversation he had with entertainer Wayne Newton. The channeled message apparently satisfied both the Medium and Newton – but how much more indicative of contact, Flo thinks, if Elvis sang his favorite new song or dished on Col. Parker (set to be played by Tom Hanks in a now-delayed movie). Or what if Elvis commented on his little-known meeting with Muhammed Ali, when he gifted him a handmade, satin boxing robe, or – even some of the events that have rocked his family.

Flo believes Elvis could have revealed more to this questioner. Because Apparitions, aka the deceased, don’t run on our clocks. And they don’t just report on the past. They are time-less. They can see backwards, forwards and in the present – if they want. That’s true of the spirits who’ve visited Flo – so it’s also likely also true of famous people – and more importantly, loved ones.

Flo doesn’t question the legitimacy of famed Mediums, because she believes every single one of us can make Contact with those who’ve Passed. If she can tune in, she figures, any body can.

It’s just that some are quicker at connecting – Or have had more practice using psychic tools. Or aren’t afraid to try.

The skeptics will report on some well-known Mediums who won’t or can’t admit the departed don’t always show up, like TV reruns, On Demand. So some Mediums resort to “cold reading” their clients or “cheating” by collecting information about them beforehand. There are allegations and even proof of fraudulent tactics against some on internet.

This jaundiced view has caused Flo to keep her connecting skills, for now, on the down-low. Not that she will ever consider going into the Reading business (unless forced). She doesn’t believe in putting a price on something as precious as reaching a dear one who’s passed who can provide comfort or help.

Flo says (and I have her word on this), if you want more details than you can get from the Channeling or Reading of a Star, like Elvis, (and especially if it puts a hole in your wallet), buy the book.

Seeing Not Believing

It’s taken quite a while for Flo to believe in what she’s seen and heard – namely people who’ve departed, but have not yet gone to The Other Side.

The first  Apparition Flo saw was her late Mother-in-law, who appeared  quite suddenly when Flo saw her floating around the kitchen ceiling. She was congratulating Flo on the great meal she cooked for her son’s last supper. One of the reasons Flo thought she was hallucinating was her In-Law now looked very much like a younger Marilyn Monroe. Same platinum blonde and twinkling eyes. In a way, she also looked a lot like the Flo on the Welcome Page.

Flo, a non-cook & non-believer in the supernatural/paranormal/metaphysical, thought her mother-in-law-vision was a by-product of her lack-of-sleep and/or deep shock and grief. Or both. She did not even consider it a “neither.”

Flo couldn’t believe what she’d seen in the kitchen. Can’t blame her.  Meeting an apparition for the first time is unsettling. So incredulity is quite a common reaction amongst those of us who have had this experience.

And, anyway, not all of us (would-be Mediums) can actually see the non-living. Some of us can only hear them. Or receive their messages through Signs or Sounds or the Movements of objects (known as psychokinesis). Also, Aromas (or smells) and Touch. Taste, not so much.

These are some of the sensory events Flo experiences with non-livers over a short period of time.  She goes from Seeing Not Believing – to OK, Then.  But, her first look is not convincing.  She confuses the talking vision with insomnia.

*below: Maurizio’s Cattelan’s art. Last year, he sold 3 bananas duct-taped to a wall at an art fair for $120,000 each +. But, take two looks because you may not believe, at first, what you see.

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The Friendly Ghosts

“Ghosts” have a bad reputation – mostly based on scary popular movies like “The Shining” and “The Blair Witch Project” (and a dozen or more film screamers),

But the ghosts Flo encounters are more like “Casper – the friendly ghost” – spirits still earth-bound who want to help where they can. They are not fearsome, but benevolent and intuitive. And, helpful, because they can see and know what is coming – cloudy to us, but utterly transparent to them.

According to “Paranormal Professor” Loyd Auerbach, one of the first, renowned U.S. “ghost-busters,” apparitions who interact with us have not yet crossed over to The Other Side. Auerbach is probably one of the most experienced at discerning real ghosts. Over three decades, he’s reported and recorded countless poltergeist and apparition encounters. He’s shared these stories (some previously on TV, and some now, on YouTube). We listened to some of his tales – a few, quite hilarious -during a recent online event sponsored by the Rhine Center Organization in North Carolina.

As for the blog, Flo and I prefer to communicate with the “friendlies” who, although perhaps unsavory when alive, once they passed, have “seen the light.”  In Flo’s experience, these repentant apparitions are now working off their karma.

Given the pandemic now spreading across the world, the interest in life after death – as in “ghosts” – may find itself spreading just as fast. Mostly as we ponder – what ever will become of us when we are no longer here to social network.

 

 

 

 

 

Seeing Is Believing – Spirits In The Sky

This is a vintage photo from our collection of  random Unusual pictures. I came upon this photo before Flo was a character who could communicate with ghosts.

Take a close look and see if you think there is something otherworldly going on here.  I’m not sure where the red tint comes from, but  we believe there are Spirits emerging from the roof.

We haven’t doctored the photo. We wouldn’t even know how without damaging it. Since we moved, not certain which carton in storage holds this picture, but very glad it was archived on the computer before the moving trucks came.

Seeing ghosts and apparitions is only one way to acknowledge their presence. It’s likely the gentleman in the photo wasn’t aware of the energies swirling around him. He doesn’t appear all that interested.  But, perhaps, if you Believe in ghosts, you can see this, while non-believers, who look, can not.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Back Story on Flo #1

Thing is, we all have a back story. Just not an invention for a movie or Netflix series.

The moment you are born, your back-story is written for and about you. This is true for both a character in a play or a novel and for her writer. Maybe back-stories of creator and creation parallel or intersect. Or maybe they are as different as chocolate and chalk.

Flo Golden became a Medium by accident – or so, she thinks; much in the same way as the person writing down her adventures. Maybe Flo and her writer share the same back-story – the accidental introduction to conversing with the Dead.

Maybe these experiences would be classified as “paranormal” or “ghostly”. Or, maybe “metaphysical”, which Flo prefers or even better, “mysterious”. Because you can bet there is a metaphysical mystery being cooked up, as we speak.

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