The Boy on the Playground
There’s a lot of talk about children with imaginary friends. But what happens when the line between what is imaginary and what is real, is crossed? I don’t like to talk about my paranormal experiences. For one, I don’t want to believe them, and two, I don’t like to talk much. But there are times where I can’t just wave away the obvious truths. This is one of those times when it really wasn’t just “a part of my imagination.”
When I was in elementary school, I had little to no friends, because I was the most timid little thing you could find on the playground. Nobody wanted to play with the “quiet girl” who didn’t know how to play ball or climb monkey bars. So I often found myself sitting on the swings, looking out at the playground to watch the other kids fool around.
One day, I finally noticed another loner wandering around the edge playground by himself. He was around my age, eight at the time. I don’t remember exactly what he looked like, besides his sad, green eyes, and that he never looked at anyone but me. It was probably a week or so later when I finally got the courage to walk over to him and ask for his name. I only remember that it sounded like, “Willie.” So ever since then, I’ve only remembered him as Willie.
Willie was the only person I could talk to, because he hardly ever talked back. It was weird, because it was like he was in some kind of trance the first time I saw him. In fact, he didn’t even acknowledge me until many days after our first meeting.
I had begun to consider him as my only true friend when he asked me, “Where are my real friends?” I was saddened, but at the same time, I wanted to help him. He told me their names, so when recess was over, I asked a teacher. She gave me a strange look, and asked how I knew the names of her past students.
When I reluctantly told her that “Willie wanted to know,” she started to cry really hard. She asked me how I knew about a boy who died several years ago in a bus accident. When I asked again about his friends, she told me that they had all grown up and were probably already in college.
The day after that, I saw Willie again. And it would be last time I’d see him. He was at our usual meeting place, at the boundary between the playground and the swing set. I remember feeling a rush of jealousy when I saw him, because I was reminded about his “real” friends. Running up to him, I told him that his friends were gone and that they were never coming back. He looked so shocked when I explained what the teacher told me, but then he smiled at me for the first time.
I was in tears by then, because I didn’t know why he would still smile at me when I had meant to hurt him. By the time I had gotten rid of the tears, he was gone like he had never been there.
To this day, I regret being so childishly cruel to him. If I could see him again, I would tell him how sorry I am. But I don’t know where the dead go. Wherever he is now, I just hope that he knows how much his presence meant to me when I didn’t have a friend.
The Salem Alchemist
In 1720 there lived in a turreted house at North and Essex Streets, in Salem, a silent, dark-visaged man,—a reputed chemist. He gathered simples in the fields, and parcels and bottles came and went between him and learned doctors in Boston; but report went around that it was not drugs alone that he worked with, nor medicines for passing ailments that he distilled. The watchman, drowsily pacing the streets in the small hours, saw his shadow move athwart the furnace glare in his tower, and other shadows seemed at the moment to flit about it—shadows that could be thrown by no tangible form, yet that had a grotesque likeness to the human kind. A clink of hammers and a hiss of steam were sometimes heard, and his neighbors devoutly hoped that if he secured the secret of the philosopher's stone or the universal solvent, it would be honestly come by.
But it was neither gold nor the perilous strong water that he wanted. It was life: the elixir that would dispel the chill and decrepitude of age, that would bring back the youthful sparkle to the eye and set the pulses bounding. He explored the surrounding wilderness day after day; the juices of its trees and plants he compounded, night after night, long without avail. Not until after a thousand failures did he conceive that he had secured the ingredients but they were many, they were perishable, they must be distilled within five days, for fermentation and decay would set in if he delayed longer. Gathering the herbs and piling his floor with fuel, he began his work, alone; the furnace glowed, the retorts bubbled, and through their long throats trickled drops—golden, ruddy, brown, and crystal—that would be combined into that precious draught.
And none too soon, for under the strain of anxiety he seemed to be aging fast. He took no sleep, except while sitting upright in his chair, for, should he yield entirely to nature's appeal, his fire would die and his work be spoiled. With heavy eyes and aching head he watched his furnace and listened to the constant drip, drip of the precious liquor. It was the fourth day. He had knelt to stir his fire to more active burning. Its brightness made him blink, its warmth was grateful, and he reclined before it, with elbow on the floor and head resting on his hand. How cheerily the logs hummed and crackled, yet how drowsily—how slow the hours were—how dull the watch! Lower, lower sank the head, and heavier grew the eyes. At last he lay full length on the floor, and the long sleep of exhaustion had begun.
He was awakened by the sound of a bell. "The church bell!" he cried, starting up. "And people going through the streets to meeting. How is this? The sun is in the east! My God! I have been asleep! The furnace is cold. The elixir!" He hastily blended the essences that he had made, though one or two ingredients were still lacking, and drank them off. "Faugh!" he exclaimed. "Still unfinished-perhaps spoiled. I must begin again." Taking his hat and coat he uttered a weary sigh and was about to open the door when his cheek blenched with pain, sight seemed to leave him, the cry for help that rose to his lips was stifled in a groan of anguish, a groping gesture brought a shelf of retorts and bottles to the floor, and he fell writhing among their fragments. The elixir of life, unfinished, was an elixir of death. - Myths and Legends of Our Own Land
Real Alchemy: A Primer of Practical Alchemy
The Path of Alchemy: Energetic Healing & the World of Natural Magic (Pathways to Enlightenment)
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The Trouble With Ghosts
Hospitals can be faced with trouble untreatable by conventional means.
And we’re not talking about bacteria.
Not long after a patient commited suicide at Peter Lougheed hospital several years ago, other patients moved into the room.
But one by one, patients reported feeling ill at ease there.
“We would get individuals in that room saying they saw ghosts and heard weird noises, they had a ‘creeped out’ feeling,” Dr. Lloyd Maybaum recalled.
“It would be multiple patients, separated by months.”
Staff — especially the night shift — were worried.
“It’s dark, it’s late, we know what happened in that room,” the forensic psychiatrist said.
“They were so distraught over that room they contacted pastoral care and they did some kind of blessing.”
Whatever was done seemed to work.
“I think they blessed the entire unit,” Maybaum said.
“Honest to God, we never, ever had another concern, no reports by patients or staff. It went away.”
None of it surprised the psychiatrist.
President of the Calgary & Area Medical Staff Society, he has a holistic approach to medicine, taking into consideration biology and psychology, as well as social, cultural and spiritual factors.
It means keeping an open mind.
Any spiritual approach, he said, can be complimentary, but not to the exclusion of solid, medical intervention.
With psychosis, for instance, time is of the essence, so spiritual treatment would have to come after conventional medicine, he said.
“The more episodes of psychosis, the more challenging it is to address,” he said, adding spiritual care experts are routinely consulted on cases.
“You don’t want to do it if it delays standard treatment, that would be the height of tragedy.”
Officials at Health Science Centre in Winnipeg allowed an exorcist to visit a suicidal teen after conventional medicine failed in 1997.
For Father John Kristalovich, who had performed more than 500 exorcisms, it marked the first time the controversial practice was performed in a hospital.
The Catholic priest, who has since died, said at the time “no psychiatrist, no doctor can help” those possessed.
He called the case a success, given “the evil one” left the teen after several prayer meetings.
He used his “gift from God” with permission from his bishop and the help of fellow Catholics, like Hazel Borodey.
She stresses exorcisms never had all the horror depicted in Hollywood films and, instead, are rather peaceful affairs.
“I really never knew it was exorcism, I just thought I was praying,” she said.
She added no one has been able to replace Kristalovich.
“If you know some exorcists, please let us know.”
Maybaum doesn’t rule out the benefits of exorcism for troubled patients.
He notes a colleague from Egypt said it was often done there, but only after a psychiatrist was seen.
However, he stresses it must be done with caution.
“You could make it worse,” he said. “I wouldn’t even know who to call.
“The bottom line is, whatever works for the patient.
“Sometimes it’s biology-based, sometimes it is more rooted in the psychological, social or spiritual domain — as long as you do no harm and the patient or their family isn’t being exploited.”
Bishop Fred Henry, the highest Roman Catholic authority in Calgary, declined to comment on the topic, while Alberta Health Services spokesman Bruce Conway said exorcisms are not part of pastoral care.
Recently, Calgary’s Roman Catholic diocese was called on by counterparts in Saskatoon to help with an alleged demonic possession case.
That was also something Henry refused to discuss. - calgarysun
Demons: Encounters with the Devil and His Minions, Fallen Angels, and the Possessed
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Reporter Flees Haunted House
A haunted house whose owner fled following a series of spooky incidents left a Sun reporter terrified after just a few hours.
We told last week how Vanessa Mitchell, 37, was forced to move out with her baby son after being attacked by ghosts in their home.
Our reporter decided to try a spell at the former witches’ prison, called The Cage — despite Vanessa’s warnings that it’s CURSED.
She said: “People who live here seem to die, get divorced or go mad.” Within hours we’d seen chains rattling on the walls for no reason, heard mysterious scratching and felt sudden extreme temperature drops.
The cottage in St Osyth, Essex, looks cosy from the outside.
But the chills start in the entrance hall, where spots of blood once appeared for no reason in front of Vanessa’s horrified guests.
Louis Wood The terror grows in the living room, where she saw the ghost of a man in ancient clothes with straggly hair. But most menacing of all is a sitting area by the kitchen, where up to 13 witches were chained in the 16th century.
The building was still being used as a jail right up until the early 20th century.
As darkness fell a chain hanging from a wall in there started swinging — though there was no breeze.
As our reporter settled down for the night she heard scratching behind a wall.
Just before midnight the temperature suddenly dropped to freezing and the fire spluttered and died.
The investigator felt unwelcome, as if she were being watched — and after just a few sleepless hours scarpered, terrified, around midnight. - thesun
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