Report From a Haunted Tea Party

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I love all the haunted tea parties, but this one was extra special.

We had not only three guests that are highly skilled psychics, (sisters Suzanne Worthley, Lisa Eckman, and Suzanne’s daughter Phoebe) but three guests whose great grandparents, grandparents, and great aunt and uncle lived in my house from the 1920s through the 1960s. (Sisters Barb and Kathy and their cousin Bill.) Between the stories that Barb, Kathy and Bill shared about their memories of Leon and the house, and Suzanne and Lisa’s impressions of the spirits and residual energies, we had a fascinating time!

To share just a few of the things I learned at the tea: I found out that Leon and his wife used to sit on the side porch, while the upstairs tenants had use of the front porch. It was Barb and Kathy’s grandmother Liz, not their aunt Gertude, who used to sit at the upstairs window and watch to make sure kids didn’t leave church early ~ and who called their parents if they did!

Suzanne took a look at pictures of both Liz and Gertrude and said that although they were sisters, their energy was very different. Suzanne picked up on Liz’s sharp intellect and serious nature and on Gertude’s warmth, kindness and sense of whimsey ~ she said Gertrude had a love of flowers and fairies. Gertrude used a conch shell as a doorstop in the parlor, a practice I followed after I heard the story from Barb a few years ago.

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Suzanne also said that Leon and Liz had a deep friendship, based on mutual respect. (There was a period of time when Liz and her husband were renting from Leon and his wife.) I found this interesting, because I have heard from more than one psychic that Leon has a female companion in the spirit world who is not his wife but was a good friend of his during their physical lives. I had figured that it must have been a family member, since friendships between men and women who were married to other people seemed to have been pretty unusual in Leon’s time. Suzanne said Leon respected Liz’s intellect, which resonated with me as a characteristic that Leon, who was very traditional, would value. (Leon once told psychic Echo Bodine that she “came across like a man,” meaning she was very direct. I got the impression that although Leon didn’t think of directness as feminine, he did respect it.)

Last, two things: Bill gave me a photograph of Gertrude and her husband Ted, which I am very happy to have. (I will share it after I make sure it’s all right to post.) And, after Barb told me a few years back that the guest room closet (with a big window) was her grandmas’ sewing room and happy place, I said I was going to put my sewing machine in there. (I do already have an antique sewing table in the closet.) On Monday this week, I came home and found the sleek and beautiful, steampunk-ian  Franklin sewing machine pictured here on my back porch, with a note from Barb, saying it belonged to her grandma Liz and she wanted me to have it. I am thrilled and honored, of course.

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I was intrigued by the Egyptian symbolism on the sewing machine ~ my son told me that it was probably from the 1920s, as that was when King Tut’s tomb was discovered and there was kind of a worldwide craze about it. I looked online and found the Franklin sewing machine and it IS from the 1920s. That would explain the unexpected drama of ancient magical symbols on an important, but common, household machine.

I called Barb and let her know that I will take good care of her grandma’s beautiful sewing machine and that I see it as a permanent part of my house and its story.

 

 

What Makes a Haunted House Happy?

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What makes a haunted house (or at least it’s physical world steward) happy? A brand new, sparkling clean checkerboard floor, that’s what! Doing the happy dance now that we have a charming and fittingly vintage-looking floor in the summer kitchen, back hall, and back bath. The pretty antique stove can return from its backyard exile, the clothes dryer can be brought in from the porch, and I have already gotten the pie table and Christmas cactus set up by the window.

Apparently, Leon kept an eye on the remodeling work. When I arrived home yesterday, the floor polishers were just finishing up. One of the guys said, “Did you know your house is haunted?”
 
I said “Yes,” and asked him what Leon had done to let them know he was around. He told me that the dryer vent kept flapping loudly while they worked and the smoke detector went off several times. Now Leon has “spoken” to me before with the smoke detector ~ in that instance (which was years ago), I sensed Leon’s presence in the back hall and asked if he was there. The smoke detector responded with a few quiet beeps. I told Leon hello, thanked him for his help with the house, and waited to see if the detector would keep beeping. It didn’t and the battery did not need to be replaced for months after that.
 
The other funny thing is that the fellow who actually installed the new floor ~ a man of very few words ~ must have had the same experience that the floor polishers did, because when I arrived home after his first day working here, the smoke detector cover was sitting on the summer kitchen counter and the battery was pulled out enough so that it wouldn’t work. Neither Dudley nor I have heard the smoke detector alarm go off or even chirp for years. We even tested the battery last week to make sure it worked before putting the smoke detector back together.
 
It made me happy to know that Leon was watching over the work and the house and letting the guys know, in a friendly way, that he was here.

 

 

 

Crystal Ball Divination Report

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In CRYSTAL BALL NEWS, I had an interesting and very enjoyable crystal ball divination session in my parlor on Monday night.

The reader was psychic intuitive Eric Moen, whom I met at the Intrigue Theaters ‘s old-timey illusionist/mentalist show at the Triune Masonic Temple in St. Paul in January. I wanted to have a reading with Eric to see if this venerable yet rarely practiced form of divination might be a good fit for my Spirited Schoolhouse. (It was. Details at the end of this post.)

We set up a small table in the parlor and Eric placed the crystal ball on it and lit two candles. First surprise: the ball has a name! Eric introduced the ball to me ~ since I’m not sure of the etiquette of me sharing the name, I’ll refrain from doing so ~ but I will say that the name seemed to suit the ball, which was large, dignified, and a bit aloof. Eric also shared the story of how it took for him to get the ball to work with him ~ three months ~ and yes, there was an initiatory experience of sorts.

The first image to appear was two owls, which is cool, because the owl is one of my totem animals. Then Eric said something to the effect that two male spirits were standing behind him in the parlor, to check him out and see what his business in the house was. I knew from the language used and the purpose of the visit that one of the spirits was Leon. (Which made me happy, as it always does when Leon looks after things.) Not sure who the other spirit was, though, and would like to find out.

Other spirits showed up, too: a riverboat captain, a Frenchman associated with the property, an old-fashioned young woman, who I believe may have been one of the spirit sisters, some elementals (or earth spirits) but the only spirit who showed Eric her face was Cherry, our sweet dog that we had to say goodbye to a few years ago.

Eric noted some things about the earth spirits on the property that resonated with me and fits into some of the topics/experiences I’ll be exploring more in my new book. (My new book on which I am ~ slowly ~ making progress.) One tidbit: Eric described an elemental being that I have seen here and even sketched a picture of.

One of the coolest things was that, when the reading started, Eric said, “Everything coming through is about your house and its energy, not you!” I told him that was perfect; I wanted to know what the crystal ball had to say about my house because I could use it all in my book. Another cool moment was when Eric started to talk about a chair that had been in my house, I not only clearly “saw” the chair in my mind ~ it was an ornate wooden ceremonial chair ~ but I also saw where it had been in my parlor.

The session ended when Eric saw two eyes looking out at him from the crystal ball (!) which told him that the session was done. His exact words were, “Okay, (name of ball) is looking back at me.” Stopping when the crystal ball starts gazing back at you made sense to me. (Along with totally capturing my imagination ~ wow!)

If you’d like to be part of a crystal ball reading event, please join Eric Moen and me on  Thursday, June 30 from 7:00 ~ 9:00 PM. More details, including how to sign up, can be found here.

 

 

 

 

 

Getting Ready for the Haunted Tea Party Season

 

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Having fun and busy, busy, busy, preparing for the 2016 Haunted Tea Party and Spirited Schoolhouse Season! Had a little help from the house spirits yesterday ~ more on that in a moment.

In addition to getting events scheduled, updating my calendar and website, and adding one or two new spirited events this year ~ including a group past-life regression event ~ my house needed a few repairs, fresh paint, and some restoration work. This is  part of the feng shui work that we started a year or so ago ~ in late 2014 and 2015, our yard and house exterior received the most attention. We got a good start on front porch repairs and exterior painting, including scraping and repainting the bay window, a focal pint of our side yard on the east.

In 2014 – 2015, we also did some much-needed trimming of the 150-year-old boulevard elms, and said goodbye to five trees ~ the two dying crabapple trees in front and the backyard pines, which had grown so tall they were tangled in the power lines. (We already had the power lines raised once.) I was very reluctant to cut down any trees ~ and it took me a a few years to be able to do so ~ but I am very happy with the yard’s new energy and the vitality of the remaining trees. Sometimes being a good steward means recognizing when it’s time to say farewell.

This winter, we turned our attention to inside projects ~ polishing floors, restoring floors (more on that in a future post) painting, and de-cluttering. The house energy has been somewhat chaotic and I was just asked this morning what effect, if any, the commotion has had on the spirit activity.

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Yesterday, I was doing touch-up painting in six different rooms, and the house vibe was especially topsy-turvy. We have the summer kitchen and back hall closed off because we have torn up the old linoleum floor (yay!!) and I was trying to do (the not-really-very-efficient) several things at once. I walked into the kitchen to get … something … and found myself standing by the microwave cupboard. Dudley was at the table and chuckled when I said to myself, “Why am I standing here?”

Now, usually if I forget the reason I came into a room, I will remember in a minute or two, and most of the time, I am standing right where I need to be. Nothing came to mind, though ~ until a bowl that was sitting in the dish drainer tumbled and rolled, clattering as it fell. Dudley and I looked over and laughed and I said, “Hey! I came in here to get felt strips for the bookshelf.” Which are in the drawer under the dish drainer. I am guessing that it was Leon who helped, since I have asked for his assistance several times during this repair and restoration project.

Hope to see many of you this spirited event season!

 

 

Spirit Visitors at the Massage

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Love going into the parlor to meditate and seeing my meditation partners ~ aka Fluffy and Simon ~ already there and waiting to get started.

This is Fluffy, at nineteen years old, who made it to the red chair first (which means Simon will sit on the sofa or prowl around the room till Fluffy decides it’s time to be queen of all she surveys elsewhere in the house, making a spot available for Simon on my lap or the back of the red chair).

My (online) Rosicrucian studies are going well, and I really look forward to meditating and studying in the parlor a few times each week around twilight. It’s peaceful and restorative. Last night, I meditated on the massage I had yesterday. It was the first time I ever had a massage (first time because I am uptight!) and during it, Lisa (the masseuse), who is highly intuitive, saw not only my spirit helpers but also ~ ME. 

Lisa asked me after the massage if I have noticed that I’m becoming more psychic and I said yes. She said she believed it, because both an eagle and a hawk spirit helper showed up. She also asked if I had any relatives in spirit that looked just like me. I said no. She said, “Well, someone showed up who looked exactly like you.” After discussing it for a bit, we decided it probably was an aspect of my spirit.

So, why, you may ask, would part of my spirit leave my body just before an awesome massage? : ) Lisa said it may have been my higher self. Another possibility that occurs to me: I was intimidated by the thought of a massage, and have read about (and experienced firsthand) the feeling of “ditching” one’s physical body when feeling threatened.

I am going to take two mini-sabbaticals this month to work on my latest book (a follow-up to House of Spirits and Whispers) and am going to see if I can explore this phenomenon further in the new book.

I’d be interested in hearing from anyone who has had similar experiences. (You may email me at the address on my “Contact” page.)

 

Unexpected Gift ~ A Message from the Natural World

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Anyone who knows me or has read my books knows that one of my favorite gifts is a message from the natural or spirit world. I noticed this seemingly magic feather, pictured above and elsewhere in this post, during my birthday week in the back hall of my house.

When it first caught my eye, I was startled, thinking it was a centipede on the wall. Upon closer inspection, I realized it was a feather, which has been one of the best and most clear signs I get from the universe. Although it appeared to be suspended in the air, the feather was actually caught on a near-invisible cobweb. (The feather had been on display on a shelf in the back hall.)

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In my life, feathers represent opportunities, especially writing opportunities. I interpreted this as a very positive sign, especially since earlier this year, I woke up with a hawk feather standing straight up in my hair (!) which I only noticed when I saw my reflection in the medicine cabinet mirror. The hawk feather had fallen out of a dreamcatcher made for me by my friend Ximena, who is a skilled energy worker. I felt that the October birthday feather message was that my usual late fall and winter  “creative cocooning” time of writing and editing would be productive and surprising and magical. And it has ~ I now represent some very talented and well-known clients through my literary agency, have sold my first book as an agent (with two more proposals being considered), and am doing developmental editing  for a very interesting metaphysical book as well as a spooky true paranormal book. (Will post about these books when their publication status is “official.”)

Last, but definitely not least: I am making progress on ~ and having fun with ~ my own next book, a follow-up to House of Spirits and Whispers. This is perhaps the real magic of this writing season, as I have referred to this sequel as “the book that did not want to be written.” It seems that, finally, the house spirits and my guides agree that the time has come for these stories to be told.

 

November, 2015: Scenes From the Tea Table

 

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November, 2015: Scenes from the tea table.

Sorry I haven’t posted in awhile! November is always a respite for me, a quiet time after the haunted tea party season ends and before the hubbub of Christmas begins. This year, November was quiet as far as entertaining and events, but filled to the brim with work I love ~ helping people get theirs books polished up and published. Pictured in this post are my good friend/fellow writer Kelly, over for our November writers’ weekend, and my assistant Sylvie at my tea table desk.

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I am grateful to have as much work as I do ~ seven clients now for the Annie Wilder Literary Agency ~ and I just sold my first book for one of my clients this past week. Will share details on this book and others as we go along the process.

Also was fortunate enough to spend a lot of time outside last month, as we had gorgeous weather. Nearly every day felt like a gift; sunny, crisp, and fall-cool with gorgeous colors and green grass (!) because of all the rain this year.

I’ve also embarked on an online study of Rosicrucianism, meditating almost every day in the late afternoon, at twilight. I’m enjoying it immensely and will post more details about my experiences with it as I get further along.

Last but not least, have had some friendly visits from the house spirits, mostly last at night. Gentle tapping in the walls, exaggerated whispers and gurgling water noises in the pipes, even something that sounded like someone moving a heavy stack of books around a desk. (Wonder where the spirits have heard that before?)

Spirits in the Parlor ~ All Hallows Mediumship Eve with Janice Carlson

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Perfect way to wrap up the season of spirits: two final spirit message circles. Guest medium Janice Carlson did a fantastic job both nights of communicating messages from loved ones in spirit to our guests.

As the hostess, it was interesting to note that these back-to-back event nights had very distinct and different energy vibes. The first night, there was an undercurrent of breezy, bubbly energy and the background music ( Brahms on Pandora) got loud enough to be intrusive. (I do consider it to be spirit activity when the radio volume increases.) The second night’s energy was so heavy and still, Janice stopped in the middle of the messages and asked if I could feel it, too.  (I could.) The radio had stopped (not spirit activity ~ our Pandora station just shuts off occasionally) so I turned the radio back on and and also turned on some fans.

Janice brought through specific messages for each guest, including a message from a cat that had lived to be 30! One guest told of having the amazing and strange experience of walking in her yard and seeing her footprints turn to dead grass as she moved. She brought photos, which were pretty incredible. Her question was whether there was some message from the spirit world with regard to the footprints. I’ll be exploring this odd phenomenon further, including Janice’s response to it, in my next book.

Of course, there were also many moving and comforting messages, including several from loved ones who had crossed over in incredibly tragic circumstances. On a related note, for the first time ever, I actually “felt” a spirit’s passing. Janice was speaking to a guest whose (female) friend had died at a young age. Janice asked if the death  was from an accident or an illness when I felt the sensation of a powerful impact and being thrown into the air ~ like being struck by a car. At the same time, I felt that this had happened to a man, not a woman. Janice then said something about a male who had died in a car accident, and after reading for the guest whose friend had died, gave messages to two guests who had a male friend or relative that died in a car accident.

We closed the evening with a sage burning and asking for blessings and healing for all present, both physical and spirit guests.

The spirit messages circles are so popular and seem to be such a positive and healing experience for those in attendance that I’m considering offering one each month next season. Will keep you posted.

Season of Spirits with Linda Cora ~ WOW!

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Last Thursday night’s Season of Spirits event was awesome, thanks to my friend Linda Cora’s incredible mediumship skills and a parlor-full of great guests, both physical and in spirit.

The vibe of the night was high-energy and positive. Many of Thursday’s guests were friends who have come to many events at my house, and their anticipation and excitement provided the kind of energy the spirits seem to love.

Linda’s amazing skill, coupled with her down-to-earth observations and sense of humor added another element of fun to the event. Guests were able to name the loved one in spirit with whom they most wanted to communicate, and Linda connected with those spirits.

Linda started out with information about the spirits who had approached her as soon as she booked the event here, wanting to make sure their messages would be conveyed to their family. She gave specific names, medical conditions, and physical descriptions, most of which we verified by the end of the night. One of the most humorous messages of the night was from a “very Catholic” grandma in spirit, who was concerned about her grandson working a late shift. Her comment: “Nothing good happens after midnight.”

Loved ones in spirit came through with specific messages of love, with apologies, and with reassurance, advice, and even admonishments (specifically, a message to a guest’s mother with diabetes to take care of her health). In once case, the spirit visitor did not have much to say, so Linda did a mini-reading for the guest (a young woman) instead.

One of the fundamental themes of the night was that our family, friends, and even companion animals in spirit are still with us ~ they are part of our lives, offering support and love from the spirit side of life. Linda said we “lift them up” when we say their names, talk to them, and share our memories and stories of them. There were many moving and humorous moments throughout the night; I feel very fortunate to be part of these lively, powerful, and healing spirit message circles.

We have two more spirit message circles this season, All Hallows Mediumship Eve. One will be held tomorrow night (October 29) and the final on October 30. The guest medium will be the very talented Janice Carlson, who I met through my work at FATE magazine. Both events have been sold out for weeks ~ next season, I am considering hosting a spirit message circle each month, as there seems to be an incredible demand for this kind of healing experience.

 

 

 

 

I Live in a Haunted House ~ Yes and Yes Interview

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Thank you to the very cool Sarah Von Bargen of “Yes and Yes” for posting this interview about my house and living with spirits.

Check out Sarah’s blog at this link:
http://www.yesandyes.org/…/10/i-live-in-a-haunted-house.html