Thursday, February 23, 2012


by Wendy Corsi Staub

Two weeks ago, I blogged about my first-ever experience with…well, I hesitate to say a ghost, because it’s not like a saw an apparition or heard voices. But a Very Strange Thing definitely occurred that defied rational explanation. If you missed that post, you can catch up HERE.

That was the first time a Very Strange Thing happened to me, but it wasn’t the last. There have been other Very Strange Things over the years, usually when I was alone. I rarely told anyone about them, because, well…you never know how others might interpret something like that, especially when you aren’t quite sure how you should interpret it yourself. I just knew that I didn’t want anyone to try to talk me into—or out of—anything. I wanted to make up my own mind.

Have I?

I wish the answer could be a straightforward yes or no. But when these Very Strange Things occur, I tend to go from initial disbelief (Whoa--is this really happening?! No way!) to absolutely certainty that I’ve just had a paranormal experience—and then the pendulum gradually swings back again to uncertainty as time passes and the specifics fade.

Unless, of course, someone else shared the experience. Better yet…a roomful of someone elses. When you have eyewitnesses, you at least know that it wasn’t all in your head, which means the phenomenon, at least, is real--though the cause may still be open to interpretation.

A few summers ago, at Thrillerfest in New York City, I was invited to present a panel with my author friends Heather Graham (aka Heather Graham Pozzessere and Shannon Drake) and Alexandra Sokoloff, who also write paranormal. Actually, the Thrillerfest committee had asked us to present a “séance,” but none of us were comfortable with that idea, so we instead decided to lead a discussion on spiritualism. We were thrilled when my good friend, Dr. Lauren Thibadeau, phD and registered Lily Dale medium, agreed to join us as a special guest.

There we were–we three authors talking about the personal experiences that had led us to write our “ghost stories,” with Dr. Lauren elaborating with informative anecdotes–when a Very Strange Thing happened.

I’ll preface it by mentioning that earlier in the evening, as Dr. Lauren and I sat chatting together in the hotel bar, she had confided that playful spirits have been feeding off her recent stress and moving objects around on her, manipulating appliances, etc. She described a couple of experiences that would probably freak out most of us, but to her are irritating nuisances, all in a day’s work. (Even, apparently, when she’s not working!)

So as we sat there on our panel, basically talking about whether spirits can make themselves known by manipulating energy, the recessed light in the ceiling directly above Lauren’s head turned itself off.

Then on.

Then off again.

Then on again.

You can imagine how that went over in a roomful of paranormal authors, aspiring paranormal writers, and fans of paranormal writing. If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I might not have believed it. Every other recessed bulb in the ceiling remained steadily on.

Not that one.

There it was, blinking like a beacon over Lauren, who was amused, and pretty much chalked it up to an opportunist spirit.

That light continued turning itself on and off for a good part of the lively discussion that ensued. We had a terrific interactive audience and they were filled with questions for Alex, Heather, me–and of course, Dr. Lauren. At the end of the evening, as the room was emptying and we were gathering our things and chatting, we noticed that the light had long since stopped blinking. It glowed steadily now, not a flicker in sight.

Leave it to a psychic medium to inject a new kind of “thrill” into Thrillerfest!

If you’ve experienced Very Strange Things, have you always been alone? Or was someone else there to witness it—and assure you that you weren’t imagining things?


Jordan Dane said...

The cynic in me would have doubted that blinking light in a setting like that, but what fun!! I went on a ghost hunt in OK. We hit a well known ghost hangout, the Gilcrease Manson, and many tour people experienced their cameras not working, battery problems they thought. Batteries that started working again after we left the mansion. That was at night in a creepy old mansion. Of course I believed it, hook line sinker.

Now, can we talk about Sasquatch?

Fun post, Wendy. Hope you're having fun on vay-kay!

BBC said...

Oh yeah. The strange things, they do happen. My first house had a anti-spin-cycle spirit. Kept opening up my washer so that it wouldn't spin out. I kept wondering why I was forgetting to shut the washer after so many years of doing laundry. I finally just said, "Look, you lived here first. I live here now. I'm cool with it, but you've got to stop effing with my laundry."

And it did. Weird.

Jordan Dane said...

Mindy--I totally believe you. But if we were roommates, I would seriously mess with your head.

I planned a company outing in Chicago where we were going to take customers on a big evening of ghost hunting and go to the most haunted parts, like the Valentines Day Massacre. One of the stops featured a woman ghost who people swear arrives in the scent of lavender. I had brought a cheap perfume of lavender to mess with my peeps.

I think I do these things using humor as a defense mechanism. A ghost would scare me like anyone else and I can't rule out they exist. I've had a few hair raisers too.

Anita Grace Howard said...

Another great ghostly post, Wendy! I love these stories! Hope you're having a relaxing vacation, and that the only spirits on your itinerary are the kinds you order from the bar. ;)