Bob and Randal were already at Denny’s when I arrived. The waitress already took our orders as we sat there in awkward silence, because that’s how men deal with emotionally traumatizing situations. They go quiet and brood about their problems. After our orders arrived, I broke the silence.
“I got the number of a psychic.”
Pastor Randal coughed uncomfortably, but I knew why. Christianity doesn’t mix with New Age. I was raised with it all of my life so it was nothing new to me. Randal replied, “I don’t like it. But it’s not my place and I certainly didn’t deliver. So I’m at a loss.”
I looked at Bob. “What do you think?”
Bob just slid the house key across the table. “Do what you want. I’m not up for this. Do you know, I woke up last night with a shadow trying to smother me? I thought it was just a bad dream. Return the key when you have had enough. If you burn the house down, just make it look like an accident or I’ll disavow you. I like you, but I’m too old for getting dragged or whatever else this thing has in mind. If the problem gets fixed, the bank will issue up to $150 for…. ‘pest control’. Let’s just say we got rid of rats officially and not mention psychic, okay?”
I shook Bob’s hand. “I’ll do what I can about the ‘pest control’ issue, and I’ll let you know the results. I’m going to call her. Pastor Randal, I could use the prayers of your church. You’re welcome to come along too.”
Randal chuckled. “I just posted the request on the church Facebook page. As for the ghost hunting, why not? This is more fun than a youth group lock-in.”
I made the call. “Hello. This is Alicia,” a woman answered.
“Hi, this is Johnathan Campbell. I got your number from Esther, who said that you provide psychic services?” I announced.
“Psychic-Medium, all mediums are psychics, but not all psychics are mediums,” she corrected me.
“My mistake, are you available to help?” I amended.
“I assume that you are talking about the house on X Avenue with all of the negative spiritual energy?” she asked.
“That’s the place.”
“I do want to help, but I can only meet at nine tonight. My college course work is keeping me too busy. Can you do that?” she inquired.
I inwardly groaned, but I kept a stiff upper lip. Because I’m a guy, dang it! And if a girl can face a scary ghoul at night, so could I! “I ain’t afraid uh no ghost,” I said in perfect imitation of the Ghost Buster’s song. There was silence on the other end of the line. I have that effect on young women sometimes. Hey, it’s fun because I don’t have to impress them. I’m off the market.
“O…kay, I’ll see you at nine. This is serious right?” She asked with a little skepticism. I coughed to buy a little time as I stifled a laugh. Pastor Randal arched his eyebrow at me. “Sorry Alicia. Humor is how I deal with stark raving terror, but I promise you that the caretaker, Bob Fraker, can pay you if you are able to help us take care of the problem,” I explained.
Randal and I met at the house on X a little early. We bumped fists in greeting and waited. He said that’s what his teens do in his church. Yeah, I can manage a fist bump every now and then.
Alicia rolled up in a beat-up Honda Civic. Her hair was brown with spiked blue and purple highlights. She was wearing ripped jeans and a jean jacket. She greeted me first. “You must be Johnathan?”
I couldn’t resist. “How did you know? Oh, you must be psychic!”
She actually put her palm to her face in reaction. Yes, I’m that corny. She brought her hand from her face and offered her hand to Pastor Randal.
He introduced himself and gave me a disapproving look. “I’m Pastor Randal and I apologize for my friend. I think he is trying to deal with the terror we just faced this afternoon.”
Alicia laughed nervously and shrugged. “It’s okay, it is kind of refreshing. Most guys just use cheesy pick-up lines.”
“So do you charge for your psychic-medium services?” I asked.
She nodded. “Yes, a hundred bucks, but you can pay me later.”
I nodded. “Okay, so what kind of experience do you have with this?”
She paused for a moment. “I have helped several ghosts cross over while in college. Most of the time I give readings for clients, but I do see ghosts and am able to talk to them. Most of the time, they aren’t evil. They are just mischievous if you get any negative reaction, or they can be defensive what they perceive as their home after people provoke them.”
“Okay, let’s see what you can do,” I replied.
She held her hand up. “Can you wait outside? I’m already picking up that this entity doesn’t want you inside. It may make things hard to have communication if things are flying around.”
I shrugged. “Sure. I don’t think that I want to get attacked again anyway.”
She clicked on her flashlight and walked into the house like it was the middle of the day instead of dark, scary, and full of shadows. I was feeling a little guilty over my feelings of relief at having to stay outside instead of going into the house at night.
After a quarter of an hour, Alicia came out, and I realized that no scary nasty thing had attacked her, or dragged her to the backyard, nor sent her screaming like a…. well, like a little girl. I folded my arms to cover my shame and faced this young college girl like a man.
“Well?” I asked, hoping that I didn’t sound abrupt, or embarrassed.
“It is a few ghosts, some demons, and a poltergeist. They don’t like you, Bob, or Pastor Randal.”
I looked at her and nodded. “Okay, so it isn’t a ghost?”
She continued. “Yes, but there are some ghosts in there, and some strong spiritual echoes in the house too. I was able to talk to the ghosts, and most of them moved on. There is nothing that I can do for the poltergeist though. It was created by the traumatic emotions of the people who lived here decades ago, people with abilities. The poltergeist has been feeding on the ghosts, the residents, and the neighbors. It has been feeding on you too. When you woke up to find a shadow over you, you thought it was smothering you, but it was feeding on your life force to get stronger. It feeds best when it can possess someone and rape a victim. It feeds on both the attacker and the victim. Then it attaches to both and continues to feed on them.”
I was shocked, horrified and violated, “Why couldn’t Pastor Randal exorcise it?”
“Because it isn’t a demon. It doesn’t like Christian images. The only thing that you can do is take away the feeding tube. Anyone who is affected by this needs to seek counseling and some form of spiritual wellness like yoga, tai chi, chi gong, or a really good church with healthy counseling.”
I did my best to keep my shock in check. “There have been some rapes over the last twenty years. Are you saying that these men could say, ‘The Devil made me do it?’”
She shook her head. “No, the temptation is presented to the person. When they give in to the temptation, the poltergeist can possess them and use them. It just tried to possess you without any prompting, because you were in its house. It was a pure attack and I wouldn’t recommend that you go in again.”
I was so disappointed, but I pressed on. “What do we do now?”
She smiled. “I would like a chance to try to move on the other two ghosts, and then I’ll sage the house for you. Then it will need to be smudged regularly until the activity stops. You should also have the land blessed. That will eventually make the spirit move. But it exists and that is that.”I nodded, and I held out my hand to shake hers. “Do what you can. I’m going home to get some sleep. Thank you.”