Archives: Magic

A Starlit Sky

There are a great many things that are very different for me since I moved from the hectic confines of Baltimore to the quieter, slower paced calm of St. Joseph and the Midwest.  There are a great many things, too, that I took for granted when I lived in Baltimore… being able to get anywhere without a car, 24 hour stores not named Walmart, Sub Shops, the ocean (no matter how stinky it might be) oh and of course:  Royal Farms fries.  But today I’d like to talk a bit about something that my neighbors here in the Midwest take for granted and something for which I am constantly grateful to be able to experience on a regular basis.

The Night’s Sky.

Get out of the city every once in a while to really see the night's sky.

Get out of the city every once in a while to really see the night’s sky.

When living in even a small city, the light pollution, while often beautiful especially during a storm, can make the night’s sky seem cold, dark and lightless. I discovered many years ago while in another part of the rural Midwest with my wife and a friend that the night’s sky is not cold, dark, and lightless at all. We were out there for a wedding and our friend Kyle was driving us back to his home where we were staying.  It was the middle of summer, but later at night so it was quite dark.  Liz asked him to pull over so that we could look at the sky.  So that she could share it with me.  It was the first time that I had ever seen that starry expanse and experience it in what my limited mind would call “All its Glory.” The stars just kept going and going, and through it all, in between all of the stars, there was this beautiful blue hue.  This haze that seemed to me to be the star dust of distant solar systems mingling together and I could only see it in this beautiful way because I was so far away.

I pride myself on having been able to point out constellations in the night’s sky to my peers when I was in high school, or later when I worked as a laborer in this job or that.  My fellow students and coworkers did not often look up at the night’s sky.  I feel that many in Baltimore and in cities like it don’t often look up and this makes me kind of sad, so I used to take every opportunity I could to point up.  More often than not they were unimpressed and often times mockingly so.  I could not fathom why they didn’t have a greater sense of wonder at the concept of heavenly bodies.  Not until I saw the true night’s sky.  See, to a person in a city, even being able to see a constellation isn’t that big a deal ( I suppose) because it’s only a handful of stars in an otherwise pitch black sky.  The lights of the city are all around you and in their own way, quite beautiful, so why bother looking up at some tiny pin prick of light that isn’t even that bright anyway?  If my peers could see what I had seen those years ago on that stretch of rural country road in Iowa, they might think very differently.

I admit that I do not look up into the true night’s sky as often as I should, or even as often as I’d like.  I get distracted with this or that human endeavor — video games, tv series, trying to write a book — and I miss the natural beauty that is above is at all times.  Every once in a while I ask my wife to drive me out into the middle of nowhere, so that we both can spend an hour or so just looking up.  I encourage any you to do this, too.  Even if it is difficult, find a way to get out past the lights of the metropolitan world, a way to escape the constant pull of the day-to-day hum drum of being human, and look up.  It will be good for your soul.

What does the night’s sky look like where you are?

Do you see the stars?  Do you see the darkness?  Do you see neither?  Share your wisdom.  Tell me your experiences and thoughts in the comment below.  Thank you for reading and as always, have a wonderful day.

Paranormal Experiences

Hey everyone, I hope you enjoyed The Inspection. Things will be getting back to normal this week with a regular post today and a lore post on Thursday.

Today I’d like to talk about the paranormal.  Specifically paranormal experiences that I’ve had, some that folks I know have had, and some that folks I’ve never even met have had. I grew up in a very active house, as far as the paranormal is concerned.  I have five siblings older than me who grew up in that house before me and most of them have had some kind of experience or another.  As for me, when I was very young, I used to see shadow forms a lot.  Some looked like small animals, some looked like standing humans and some looked like hooded figures.

Once, when I was about six or seven, my sister and I were home alone.  She was babysitting me and the rest of the family was out for the evening.  It was quite late and I was in my sister’s room laying on a daybed near a window, trying to fall asleep.  I could not even remotely sleep; my mind was  racing.  Suddenly, I saw a silhouette on the shade of the window from the outside.  At first I thought it was a bird or something, but I realized almost  immediately, and to my horror, that it was in the shape of a human skeleton wearing a Parson’s hat.  I started to cry and woke my sister who was sleeping nearby.  She turned on the light and, of course, the silhouette disappeared.    My sister was skeptical, but went and looked out the window, finding nothing.  This wasn’t surprising, as it was a (roughly) twenty foot shear drop to the concrete ground out the back of the house.  She let me sleep in her bed for the night and I never saw the figure again….while I was awake.  Chronically after this event, I had a recurring nightmare.  Not about a skeleton with a hat, but featuring a wicked old man with a hat, dressed all in black, including a huge black cape.  As I grew older I stopped having the nightmare and dismissed the event as the overactive imagination of a very imaginative child.  I later discovered a phenomenon called the Hatman, which brought back all of those memories and had me wondering just what was outside that window that night.

I’ve heard a ton of stories over the years and I admit I seek them out.  If you know me, I will likely ask you about any experiences you’ve had as candidly as I might ask about any movies you might have seen.  By far the strangest story I have ever heard was from a coworker of mine from when I worked as a janitor at a university which will remain nameless for the time being.  She told me she had been working in a building on campus which at one time had been a morgue.  It was not her regular posting, but she was a thorough cleaner so she looked for something to do.  She found a bathroom on the sub-basement level and cleaned the entire thing.  Pulled the trash, disinfected, cleaned the toilet and wiped everything down.  She later informed her coworkers that she had done the work, so they did not need to worry about it.  They were very confused, insisting that there was no bathroom in the area that she’d indicated, to the point at which they insisted she show them the room.  When she brought them down to the area, the hall in question was not there.  The hall simply dead ended after a turn.  Needless to say, she was very worried and confused.  She even went so far as to seek therapy, concerned she may need assistance with her own metal health and faculties, but there wasn’t anything wrong with her that any doctor or therapist could find.  She was later relating the experience to another coworker, who informed her that there had at one time been a bathroom there, back when the building had been a morgue.  When she told me this story I was completely floored.  I knew I would never forget it, just because it was so damned strange.

Which brings me to the experiences of folks I’ve never met — you!

Please share any strange experiences you’re comfortable with in the comments.  I look forward to reading and, of course, retelling your stories.  Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day.