Saturday, June 29, 2013


*name has been changed

My good friend of 30 years, subject of my book Estate of Horror: A True Story of Haunting, Hatred and a Horrific Family Secret, for in all intense and purposes is the ultimate and a real ghost writer. Paul was an anthropologist, teacher, lecturer and most importantly a wonderful writer until his sudden death at the age of 55 from a massive heart attack in 2009. His articles for local newspapers spanned more than two decades and included subjects in a wide scope of interests. He was well known in our cultural community and it was a sad loss for us all when he passed away.

As Executrix of Paul’s estate I had to sift through thousands of papers he left behind, some hidden, some piled on shelves, some scattered on his basement floor and others stored in hundreds of boxes.  He was a collector and world traveler but not until his sudden death did I realize I was dealing with a hoarding situation.  Many of the papers I reviewed were original, or duplicates of his original typed articles and hundreds of extra copies of newspapers where his articles appeared. He was a gifted teacher, a brilliant man, and a bit egocentric whose wide interests ranged from Monarch butterflies to the European Monarchy. Paul had written an article about me for a local newspaper in 2006 about my talent for restoring antique dolls and it was well received. We had talked in length for several years of collaborating together on writing a book based on a certain historical female figure, which now with his untimely death, would never happen. I never imagined, that in a few years, I would write a book about Paul!

As I mentioned my friend was an anthropologist and he wrote numerous stories (on an old portable typewriter) and some topics were about the origins and history of our modern holidays. Halloween was one of his favorite times of the year and as it so happened I came across an article he wrote about this holiday.  His research showed that it was a holiday adapted from early pagan traditions to a Christian Holiday  honoring the dead and how it evolved to become one of our major holidays due to our cultural fascination today with icons associated with it: witches, goblins, demons, monsters, and GHOSTS.  He particularly singled out ghosts in this article that were called “Poltergeists”.  I think it had to do with the word being of German origin (meaning- noisy ghost) and my friend was very proud of his German heritage. Little did I know, at the beginning of my 10 months spent at Paul’s house, to clean it out for sale, that ironically I would be confronting some of the very subjects my friend had written about in his article!

I remember a conversation I had with my distraught friend after the death of his beloved mother in 2001. He told me he thought he felt her presence and that she was trying to contact him. I told him if it was true, and I had no reason to doubt his experience, it was to comfort him and to show him her love for the great and devoted care he had given her in her final days. He then asked me to make a pact with him. If either one of us were to die before the other would we try and contact each other and not be afraid?  I was so startled and stunned by Paul’s request, and told him, “Don’t be silly, we have many years before this could ever be a possibility.” But, he was so insistent about this that I could only humor my friend and quickly made the promise to him so we could get off the morbid subject. Neither one of us could have known then that this promise would be fulfilled sooner than anyone expected.

I would like to share this excerpt from my book, Estate of Horror: A True Story of Haunting Hatred and a Horrific Family Secret, as why I believe my friend’s spirit was haunting his house. You will have to wait for the book to be published to read the full and chilling story of my paranormal experiences so you can draw your own conclusions.

Excerpt from Chapter 15- Caught on Tape!

I walked into Paul’s almost empty bedroom and retrieved the tape recorder that I had placed on his bed earlier that day.  Only a clothes hamper, an old typewriter covered with a towel, and a large portrait painting of Paul, leaning against the wall, were left in his room. His large closet was emptied earlier of its hundred boxes of collectibles. It was hard to believe it was the same room. I brought the recorder to the dining room table and rewound it and found about two hours of tape had  recorded.

When I played it back, I could distinctly hear voices on the tape. Had I captured audible paranormal sounds? Then I realized they were our voices coming from the basement right below Paul’s bedroom. There wasn’t any insulation under the hardwood floor and the room didn’t have wall-to-wall carpeting to muffle the sound. I was sure our voices had contaminated the recording until I heard something interesting. Over our excited voices, and at the exact moment the poltergeist activity was happening in the basement, you could simultaneously hear either a knocking or a banging sound. I played the tape back for my son Chris and his friend Eddie when they came upstairs.

“It’s definitely timed to exactly when things happened in the basement,” Chris said. “But how come we didn’t hear those bangs above us?”

It was a question beyond any rational explanation.

“I don’t know. What gets me is that the knocks are coming right from Paul’s room,” I said. 

I paused and looked around the room, and noticed the portable typewriter covered with an old orange towel that had been pushed aside on one of the window ledges. I realized we had never even looked closely at it. To me, it was just another obstacle we moved out of our way to clear Paul’s room. This time, something was drawing me to the typewriter to take off the towel. 

“Guys, you are not going to believe this. Look!”

Chris and Eddie walked up to view what was a sheet of typing paper still in the typewriter’s roller. Several of the typewriter’s keys were stuck up in the air and jammed together. The paper was blank except for two typed words “the hell….”

“Dude, really?” exclaimed Chris.

We had no answers for this. My friend had to be the one who had typed the words but I had no idea when or why. Was he trying to send us a message? I wondered, was his room the source of the paranormal activity?

End of excerpt.

The typewriter as found in Paul’s bedroom and used in my book trailer.

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