When Ghosts Attack, Part One ...by Bill Knell

Anyone that has been involved with hands-on paranormal research for any length of time has probably experienced the physical manifestations of ghostly activity. Whether itís merely a tap on your shoulder or a hard slap on your face, itís something that happens without any easy or sensible explanation. Itís also something that you never forget.

As a paranormal researcher that has set UFOs as my primary area of interest, I am used to coming in after the fact. Because of the nature of UFO phenomenon, I am forced to look for evidence that something happened. If it happens again, I am unlikely to be there when it does. Thatís what makes ghost research a bit more appealing at times.

When someone reports ghostly activity to me, I might get the opportunity to experience the same phenomenon that the witness did if I take on the investigation. In some cases, I may experience more and I am not always ready for it. However, there are no shortcuts and if you want to hang around the paranormal pool, you are going to eventually get wet.

Itís my nature to invest a lot of time in most of the interesting and promising paranormal phenomenon cases that come my way. I hate shotgun ghost hunting where debunking is the primary goal and little time is given to the actual investigation. Most of that occurs because many ghost hunters donít understand that ghostly phenomenon probably doesnít exist in the same linear time that they do.

My first experience with a very physical ghost came in 1975. I was contacted by someone that owned an older house in a Michigan suburb. The home was occupied by a family of two adults and five children ages six to seventeen years of age. As usual, there was a catalyst that may have got things started or stepped them up to the next level.

The seventeen year old boy and his fifteen year old sister started playing around with a Ouija Board. Both were obsessed with contacting the spirit of Janis Joplin. Joplin died a few years before of a drug and alcohol overdose. They held several Ouija sessions without any success and decided to include two other friends hoping for better results. Their friends were both sixteen year old teenage girls.

The foursome took the Ouija Board to a small storage room on the third floor of their house. That floor was little more than a finished attic. It had a small bedroom where the older teen boy slept at the eastern end of the house, a long and wide hall just off the stairs and the small storage room at the western end that was sparsely filled with old boxes and disused furniture.

Their first attempt to use the board as a foursome took place in the dead of winter. They managed to get the board to spell out G-U-I-D-E. They assumed that meant that a spirit guide was now in contact with them. Before they could go further, the boy started having terrible pain in his groin area. Then the pain moved to his side and stopped in less than a minute. It was replaced by a very hot feeling on the right side of his body. Upset and worried, the boy hurried down the stairs to the second floor bathroom and examined himself. The mirror revealed a very distinct gash that looked like a burn mark. It was about five inches in length and just above his beltline.

The family contacted me after hearing about another investigation I had been involved with through a family friend. He heard me talking about ghosts during a guest spot on a talk radio show. I arrived at the house less than a week after the first Ouija Board attempt by the foursome. The first thing I discovered was that the boyís sister had also experienced physical phenomenon, but hadnít told anyone.

She found unexplained gashes on her chest and abdomen after the Ouija session, but didnít feel anything at the time. The other two girls involved may have had some physical evidence as well, but decided not to participate in the investigation or any more Ouija sessions. I suggested that the brother and sister reframe from any further Ouija sessions as well and they complied with my request.

I spoke with the family at length and discovered that the house they lived in was once owned by a Master Baker that eventually bought several bakeries in the area during the 1940s and expanded them into successful businesses. He retired in the late 1950s and passed away in the home during the early 1960s when it was sold to the family I was interviewing. The parents of the two teens that had the weird gashes admitted having their own strange experiences in the house.

Both said they saw a figure of a man they believed was the deceased Baker standing near their bed late at night on several occasions. Two of their younger children kept saying that they were being visited by a man in a white uniform. A photo of the baker provided by his widow (she lived in a retirement home nearby) was identified as the man the children saw. When I spoke to his widow and mentioned the gashes on the teenage brother and sister, she mentioned how that he often had small burn marks on his arms and other areas of his body from the baking he did. I also discovered that the Baker died of cancer and became violently ill, throwing up frequently during the final months of his life.

The States of Michigan, Indiana and Ohio are home to some of the most haunted places in the USA. It didnít surprise me to discover a case of this type in that region. What did surprise me was the feeling that I was being pushed around as I walked through the house. It was almost like a gentle shove, but different. I came back to the house on several occasions and felt that something didnít want me there. It wasnít the family. They were friendly, forthcoming with information and welcomed my help.

On my fifth visit, I decided to bring some reinforcements. A Lutheran Pastor that believed in house blessing and exorcism came with me. We werenít in the house for two minutes before he became violently ill and had to excuse himself to use the rest room. Having known him and his family for a while, I knew this was no act. He was physically sick. A few minutes later, he came out of the rest room and showed me his arm. He had a gash that looked like a burn mark on it. I felt lucky that I hadnít yet experienced that phenomenon.

The pastor blessed the house and said several prayers while the family sat around and I observed the entire event. During this time we all felt very uncomfortable. I began to feel physically ill and very stressed. Knowing that I would probably be the next one to throw up, I went outside for some fresh air. I still threw up and felt terribly ill. Fortunately, the feeling didnít last long and I didnít notice any gashes or other physical phenomenon. I went back in and felt relatively comfortable for the rest of the ceremony.

The pastor came back with me and repeated the house blessing several times over the next week until things settled down. There were no more instances of physical phenomenon and neither of us became ill again. However, the family still felt a presence for some time. After a few personal items ended up being moved around from one room to another without explanation, I enlisted the help of several members of a Spiritualist Church located in Detroit. They came out and managed to help neutralize the remainder of the ghostly activity.


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