I received an e-mail earlier this month from a cousin who I hadn’t seen or talked since I was a teen. A long, long time ago. She was wondering what happened to my mother because her Christmas card to her went unanswered and her phone was disconnected.
I explained that she was living in an assisted living facility and had dementia. I started corresponding with Barbara and she told me about her haunted Victorian house. Well, formerly haunted. She’d found a medium who removed reticent spirits and was successful. Barbara provided a lot of details that I’ve already incorporated – with her permission in a book – STRANGE THINGS: True Tales of Alien Encounters and Paranormal Experiences – that I was just completing. When she wrote, I was working on the last chapter, which was called Haunting Experiences. A synchro there.
Barbara told me she wanted to visit my mother and I gave her the address. A snowstorm and the flu outbreak at the facility slowed the reunion. Recently, when my sister was visiting our mother, she called me and I told them both about Barbara’s plans. My sister was too young to remember her, and at first my mother didn’t know who I was talking about. Then she remembered and what she said to me was startling: “Barbara lives in a haunted house.”
Wow! I hadn’t said anything to her or my sister about Barbara’s story. So thinking logically, I figured Barbara had written about it in the Christmas letter, which my mother had finally gotten. Later, I e-mailed Barbara and she said, “I didn’t tell her anything about ghosts.” She was not only perplexed by the comment, but concerned that my mother had used the present tense! Barbara doesn’t want any more ghosts around!
So the very next day she visited my mother, who didn’t recognize her or remember who she was, even though I’d told her about the upcoming visit. They chatted awhile and my mother did remember Barbara’s mother, Elaine. There was no mention of ghosts, but Barbara noticed, as my sister and I also have, that she seemed to converse on the side with invisible people. Dementia, I guess. But maybe dementia somehow opens the mind to invisible worlds and even to knowledge about things that are outside of her regular awareness – like the ghost story.